Charl08 reads the year through #14

É uma continuação do tópico Charl08 reads the year through #13.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2020

Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.

Charl08 reads the year through #14

1charl08
Editado: Dez 17, 2020, 2:30am

Can I make it to 300?

2charl08
Editado: Dez 16, 2020, 2:44am

(It's not a race)

Happy holidays everyone. (3 days to go for me!)



(Xmas card from the Bodleian library shop. Enter at your own risk, v tempting...)

3charl08
Editado: Dez 29, 2020, 6:30pm

December 23 (Total 300*)

Scandal Takes a Holiday
Seven Graves One Winter
The Abstainer
Two Lives
The Trouble With Mistletoe
Act Like It
Utopia Avenue
The Honjin Murders
Whatever Happened to Harold Absalon
A Burning (ARC)

The Man on the Street
Lost at Sea
One and Only
The Adventures of China Iron
Why We Die
Mrs Tim of the Regiment
The Dutch House
Sabrina and Corina
Merry and Bright
What I know About Art

The Big Sleep
Breakwater
Pursuit of Love

November 18
Symphony for the City of the Dead
Last Night in Nuuk
The Pear Field
His Grumpy Childhood Friend
Death Going Down
The Tourist Attraction
Henrietta Who
The Book of Cairo
Written in Blood
Lord of Scoundrels

The Postscript Murders
Planet Omar: accidental trouble magnet
Once Upon a Tower
Bad Boy for Xmas
Home Stretch
Strangers Press collection (counted as one book)
The Fig Tree
Kiss Me Annabel

January 25 (January 2019: 23)

February 22

March 30

April 30

May 28

June 25

July 25

August 27

September 22

October 26

*These totals don't add up. I'm going to have to go back and fix this. ETA See post 37 on previous thread.


Create Your Own Visited Countries Map


(Thanks to Paul S for this map link).

4charl08
Dez 16, 2020, 2:21am

Books read in translation



(Pictures from places I want to visit - or revisit - via Unsplash)

Some favourites from fiction read in translation, as the touchstones don't seem to work for lots of them.

Sworn Virgin Albania
A young woman who has officially become a man by Albanian custom, moves to the US.

The Book of Rio Brazil
Not because I liked them all, but because this short story collection was so varied.

The Pear Orchard Georgia
Brilliant account of a young woman making sense of her childhood in a former soviet children's home.

The Seventh Cross Germany
Brilliant account of being in opposition in Nazi Germany, written by a political refugee.

The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die (India - Bengali)
Woman is haunted by her mean relative from beyond the grave.

Where the Wild Ladies Are Japan
Author reimagines patriarchal Japanese folk tales with recurring godlike figures interfering in "normal" life.

Signs Preceding the end of the World Mexico

The Slynx Russia
Weird post-nuclear world where survivors cling on to life and try to remember (or forget).

Grass South Korea
Brilliant GN that uncovers the grim experience of women's treatment by the Japansese army.

1947 Sweden
Brilliant historical NF exploring attempts to escape the consequences of WW2.

5charl08
Editado: Dez 16, 2020, 2:24am

I tried to read some of the books on my "unread" shelf this year. Most of this shelf has been reorganised and moved around (I bought some new bookshelves) but there's still plenty to be read.



Maybe in 2021?

7Berly
Dez 16, 2020, 2:33am

>5 charl08: Hope I am not too early. I just want to let you know my unread shelf is shelves--many of them!! LOL. Happy last thread of 2020!!

8Helenliz
Dez 16, 2020, 2:42am

Happy New Thread!
My response to >2 charl08: (It's not a race) Oh Yes it is - it is Panto season after all.

I'm with you, finish on friday for 2 weeks. Not counting down, not at all.

9charl08
Dez 16, 2020, 2:43am

>6 charl08: Not too soon Kim. Thank you for visiting.

I could add the ones on the kindle. And the library books! Lockdown also added quite a few to my stack(s).

10charl08
Editado: Dez 16, 2020, 3:09am

>8 Helenliz: This in no way resembles me leaving the office on Friday.

11FAMeulstee
Dez 16, 2020, 3:55am

Happy new thread, Charlotte!

>2 charl08: Probably not a race, getting to a rounded number is nice. I always try, and never succeed ;-)

12humouress
Dez 16, 2020, 3:59am

Happy new thread Charlotte! Go, go, go!

>8 Helenliz: Oh, no, it isn’t.

>11 FAMeulstee: I find that hard to believe.

13FAMeulstee
Dez 16, 2020, 7:02am

>12 humouress: I have only finished on a rounded once, Nina, in my first year I ended at 130...

14charl08
Editado: Dez 16, 2020, 7:14am

>11 FAMeulstee: Maybe not achieve a round number, but always achieve lots of reading!

>12 humouress: Oh yes it is?



>13 FAMeulstee: I'm happy if it's 301 or more! I just seem to have slowed down the past week or so.

15katiekrug
Dez 16, 2020, 7:17am

Happy new one, Charlotte! I am very confident you'll hit that 300 mark!

16charl08
Dez 16, 2020, 7:45am

Thanks Katie. I recently discovered many many scandi crime dramas on Netflix / Prime, and my willpower is weak in the face of all that greyed out snow and adequate social welfare.

(Although watching the Valhala Mysteries last night, and the main mystery was how the heroine survived in the face of her own idiocy)

17Carmenere
Dez 16, 2020, 7:56am

Happy new thread, Charlotte! You go girl!! You can do it!!!

18drneutron
Dez 16, 2020, 8:25am

Happy new thread!

19jessibud2
Dez 16, 2020, 8:28am

Happy new thread, Charlotte

20msf59
Dez 16, 2020, 8:41am

Happy Wednesday, Charlotte. Happy New Thread! 300? You can DO IT!!

21thornton37814
Dez 16, 2020, 10:52am

Sounds like you are on track to hit 300.

22charl08
Editado: Dez 16, 2020, 4:22pm

>17 Carmenere: Thanks Mamie. ETA Sorry! Thanks Lynda! I should be fined for speed reading.

>18 drneutron: Thank you Jim.

>19 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley

>20 msf59: Cheers, Mark.

>21 thornton37814: I admire your optimism Lori.

23susanj67
Dez 16, 2020, 12:26pm

Happy new thread, Charlotte!

>1 charl08: If you can't, there's no hope for any of us...

24charl08
Dez 16, 2020, 12:35pm

The borderless book club have reached 35% on their crowd funder!
(How much refreshing a page is too much?!)

https://ko-fi.com/borderlessbookclub

Next book is London under snow which sounds very atmospheric and wintry, I think. IF you know anyone who is thinking of reading more translated fiction, this might be good for them.

25charl08
Dez 16, 2020, 12:36pm

>23 susanj67: I really should have cancelled the Netflix subscription. But they had Bridgertons. And several other things that I am reluctant to lose...

26susanj67
Dez 16, 2020, 12:53pm

>25 charl08: No, this is not the time to be cancelling the fun things. Keep it and enjoy! The books will always be there.

27Crazymamie
Dez 16, 2020, 1:21pm

Happy new one, Charlotte! Susan is right that this is not the time to be canceling fun things. Hoping you make it to 300 if you feel like it - totally impressed by your numbers regardless of the final tally.

>24 charl08: Atmospheric and wintry sounds excellent - adding that to The List.

That was Lynda in >17 Carmenere:, btw.

28charl08
Editado: Dez 17, 2020, 2:13am

>26 susanj67: Thanks Susan, that's kind. It certainly feels like the weather to hunker down under a blanket and do as little as possible. After four online meetings today, I'm about ready to return to proper meetings. I never thought I would say that.

>27 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie. And thanks for spotting the mix up too. Sorry!

29PaulCranswick
Dez 16, 2020, 6:37pm

Happy new thread, Charlotte.

I think you'll get to 300.

Don't cancel netflix! The service has been a Godsend to me over the last year.

30figsfromthistle
Dez 16, 2020, 6:52pm

Happy new one!

You can make it to 300 :) Now as for Netflix, if there are a number of shows you would still like to watch, then keep it. You will find it quite useful, especially during the winter months.

31charl08
Dez 17, 2020, 2:16am

>29 PaulCranswick: I resisted it for a while, but a free trial has got me back on their books.

>30 figsfromthistle: I think I will review it again in January. Thanks for the wishes.

2 days to go!

32charl08
Dez 17, 2020, 2:26am

Possible Xmas break reading

Stuff coming by post
Mrs Tim of the Regiment
Breakwater
How to be a failure and still live well

Stuff I've been meaning to read for a while
Insurgent Empire

Netgalley
A Burning
Afropean
Three Women
How to work without losing your mind
Conjure Women

34BLBera
Dez 17, 2020, 7:51am

Happy new thread, Charlotte. You have some great holiday reading plans.

35bohemima
Dez 17, 2020, 8:06am

Happy new thread, Charlotte! I’m amazed at the extent of your reading.

>16 charl08: I’m extremely annoyed by mysteries I. which the heroine is mostly a blithering idiot in terms of personal safety and good decisions.

36Familyhistorian
Dez 17, 2020, 4:02pm

Happy new thread, Charlotte! Good luck on reaching 300.

37charl08
Dez 18, 2020, 1:13am

>34 BLBera: Well, loose guidelines, Beth. And thank you.

>35 bohemima: Thanks Gail. Maybe avoid the Valhalla mysteries then: both leads seemed incapable of waiting for support to arrive.

38charl08
Dez 18, 2020, 1:14am

>36 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I have been so tired after work this week I've not got very far. Here's to the holidays. (1 day to go)

39charl08
Editado: Dez 18, 2020, 1:20am

Obama published a new list!

Homeland Elegies,” by Ayad Akhtar
Jack,” by Marilynne Robinson
Caste,” by Isabel Wilkerson
The Splendid and the Vile,” by Erik Larson
Luster,” by Raven Leilani
How Much of These Hills Is Gold,” by C Pam Zhang
Long Bright River,” by Liz Moore
Memorial Drive,” by Natasha Trethewey
Twilight of Democracy,” by Anne Applebaum
Deacon King Kong,” by James McBride
The Undocumented Americans,” by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
The Vanishing Half,” by Brit Bennett
The Glass Hotel,” by Emily St. John Mandel
Hidden Valley Road,” by Robert Kolker
The Ministry for the Future,” by Kim Stanley Robinson
Sharks in the Time of Saviors,” by Kawai Strong Washburn
Missionaries,” by Phil Klay

From: Barack Obama took a break from promoting his own book to highlight 17 of the year’s best
By Stephanie Merry

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/obama-best-books-2020/2020/12...

40Caroline_McElwee
Dez 18, 2020, 4:37am

I've read Jack and got three others: Caste, Twilight of Democracy and Deacon King Kong.

41charl08
Dez 18, 2020, 4:50am

>40 Caroline_McElwee: I *loved* Long Bright River, best crime I've read all year I think.*

I almost threw my phone down the loo this morning, forgetting that it was in my back pocket. I need a holiday!

*Until I am prompted about all the others. Goldfish memory.

42susanj67
Dez 18, 2020, 5:02am

>39 charl08: I'm still mildly annoyed at him for his recommendation of Maid, which I wasted time on over the summer. I like the inclusion of The Twilight of Democracy, though :-) And Hidden Valley Road is superb.

43jessibud2
Dez 18, 2020, 6:49am

>39 charl08: - I haven't read any of them yet but there around half a dozen that I do want to read. The comments in the link are pretty spot-on, too. Some are even funny.

44charl08
Dez 18, 2020, 6:53am

>42 susanj67: "Dear Barack Obama,

I write concerning your recommendation of Maid...

45susanj67
Dez 18, 2020, 6:59am

>44 charl08: I wouldn't go that far - I prefer just to whine on LT :-) There are some on that list that look excellent, and the fact that he's evidently a reader is lovely. I can't see the current President doing anything similar.

46jessibud2
Dez 18, 2020, 7:16am

>45 susanj67: - Some of the comments in the linked article are precisely about that. One person listed trump's reading list as:

.

Others said he probably hadn't read 17 books in his life, never mind in the last year. True, all of it. ;-)

47charl08
Dez 18, 2020, 7:35am

>43 jessibud2: I saw two authors plugging their own books (not sure what that says about my algorithm settings...)

48charl08
Dez 18, 2020, 7:36am

>45 susanj67: You never know, he might reply!

>46 jessibud2: I don't know how he fits it in. But I am glad he does...

49charl08
Dez 18, 2020, 2:52pm

A Burning

This was an ARC from Netgalley, it's not out in the UK until next month but I'm not sure if it's already out in the US.

Told by alternating narrators the story centres on a young woman accused of a terrorist act. She is jailed based on little more than evidence that she was at the train station. We gradually learn how she came to live in the city, the story of her family's poverty. A hijra*, Lovely, tells her story of exclusion and of ambition to be an actress. And "PT Sir" (he's a sports teacher) gives his account of climbing the greasy pole of politics, witnessing abject poverty, promising much and supporting communal violence. Although Lovely offers some light relief with her wonderful ambition in the face of almost universal ridicule, there are no happy endings here. Majumdar looks directly at poverty and corruption and creates a narrative that asks hard questions about all those who choose not to see those suffering from bad government. Sometimes I felt as though I was reading from behind my fingers and had to put the book down for a bit. So not a light read by any means.

When Bimala Pal speaks next, he understands that she has known what happened all along.

If anybody asks, she tells him, PT Sir is to say that the unstable brick house in which the man was living collapsed. It spontaneously collapsed. And how does PT Sir know? He was doing a rally nearby. It is true that the house did collapse—when the party wrecked it with hammer and ax. It is true that the house did fall upon a man who died.

All of that is true, Bimala Pal reminds him, a gentle smile on her face.

*wiki definition
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijra_(South_Asia)

50katiekrug
Dez 18, 2020, 2:53pm

>49 charl08: - This one came out in the US earlier this year. It's on my list to read next year.

51charl08
Dez 18, 2020, 3:11pm

>50 katiekrug: Thanks Katie! Hope you enjoy it.

52charl08
Dez 18, 2020, 4:03pm

As is traditional have ignored the books I planned to read and have picked up The Man on the Street, a crime thriller by a new author.

53charl08
Dez 19, 2020, 10:29am

Watching the first series of Home for Christmas


I'm assuming this bookshop isn't real, but I like their GN stock...

54charl08
Dez 20, 2020, 3:58am

The Man on the Street

Great first novel by an "adopted Geordie" set on the streets of Newcastle. Our hero is ex forces, on the streets and with a murky past that makes him wary of the police. Sleeping rough near the river he wakes up to hear an argument, and then someone dragging a body followed by a splash. It's not until weeks later that a missing person piece in the local paper makes him sure that it wasn't a PTSD-linked nightmare. Contact is made with the daughter of the missing university lecturer. His friends (and the police) are convinced he's gone off with a new girlfriend. Jimmy and the daughter investigate themselves, taking in university corruption, dodgy land deals and threats from the past. I thought this was well done, and nice to see Newcastle take a starring role.

55susanj67
Dez 20, 2020, 6:49am

>53 charl08: Ooh, that's another one for the Netflix list :-)

>54 charl08: That one also sounds good. And only £2.99 on Amazon. Click!

Happy Sunday, Charlotte!

56PaulCranswick
Dez 20, 2020, 7:00am

>39 charl08: I haven't read any of them yet, but have 2 on the shelves. We are a little bit behind the releases over here.

I wholeheartedly agree with the enthusiasm for Obama being an obviously avid reader.......says a lot about him! Generally speaking he looks to have pretty solid reading taste too.

57msf59
Editado: Dez 20, 2020, 7:50am

>39 charl08: Obama's reading lists always make me smile. I have read 7 of those and intend to read at least 2 more. He would make an ideal 75er!

58charl08
Dez 20, 2020, 9:50am

>55 susanj67: It made a nice change- usually just see Scandinavia through the lens of a (fictional) murder enquiry.

>56 PaulCranswick: Deacon King Kong is the one I already wanted to read, Paul. Hoping the library can find me a copy.

>57 msf59: I have been listening to him reading extracts of his book on the radio. A really good listen.

59Whisper1
Dez 20, 2020, 9:56am

Happy Sunday Charlotte, and Happy Holidays to you and yours!



image is one from my favorite illustrator, Russian born Gennady Spirin.

60humouress
Dez 20, 2020, 10:04am

>41 charl08: My younger son got his first phone for his birthday almost a year ago but he does tend to drop it a lot. Thank goodness for screen protectors.

My husband has been showing everyone this:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2020/12/18/iphone-plane-fall-moos-pkg-vpx.cn...

61BLBera
Dez 20, 2020, 10:21am

The Man on the Street does sound good, Charlotte.

I miss having a president who can read. :(

62Crazymamie
Dez 20, 2020, 10:42am

Happy Sunday, Charlotte! I went to add The Man on the Street to The List and discovered it is currently $2.99 on Kindle, so I snagged it.

Love the Obama list even though I have read exactly none of those.

63charl08
Dez 20, 2020, 1:50pm

>59 Whisper1: That's a lovely picture, thank you Linda.

>60 humouress: Yes, I've got my money's worth from my shatterproof case.

>61 BLBera: I really hope that Jill Biden will be able to put a focus on encouraging reading again.

>62 Crazymamie: A deal sounds good, Mamie. As does any list of books, as far as I'm concerned (even if it's rubbish, ie I don't agree with it, plenty to debate)

64charl08
Dez 20, 2020, 6:07pm

Interesting radio documentary about the influence of plague on Shakespeare - it doesn't mention Hamnet (I think) but nonetheless, similar ground.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000q9bp

65charl08
Dez 20, 2020, 6:25pm

I just read the colonial archives chapter in Burning the Books and my reasoned response is as follows:

66charl08
Dez 21, 2020, 4:33pm

Finished reading The Adventures of China Iron which the blurb says is an incisive critique of Argentina's foundational myths. As I don't know any of Argentina's foundational myths I can only say that it is a pretty earthy account of a young woman (a "China") who runs away from a horrible marriage as a young girl to go on a long journey with a settler from England. Liz, the settler, is following her husband to new territory. In the process China Iron and Liz meet a corrupt military man running an estancia. Welcomed by him, they see some of the worst of indentured life for men and women. In the final section of the book they meet up with "indians" and find a totally different way of living in rural Argentina.

I think I needed notes to make more of this.

67jessibud2
Dez 22, 2020, 4:45pm

Happy everything, Charlotte. Here's to good health, above all, and of course, good books.

68charl08
Dez 23, 2020, 12:23am

Thanks Shelley.

I'm still reading (not very festively themed) Why We Die alongside some festive specials - some (Vicar of Dibley) more successful imho than others (Upstart Crow).
Sometime during the second day of police, Katrina had been shown a tabloid, and found it used the word "murderess"; the inverted commas a standard defence against libel action. That -es troubled Katrina. Actress, stewardess, waitress all had shed their suffixes, succumbed to the gender neutral. So why did murderess still have that cachet? Because it was sexy, the idea that women were dangerous. It gave men the notion that taming remained incomplete. She had the feeling that sharing this with Helen Coe wasn't a good idea

69charl08
Dez 23, 2020, 5:17am

I've just finished Why We Die so just have one more Zoë Boehm and then (I think) I've run out of Mick Herron's series books to read! If you've not picked up his books, and you enjoy a thriller I'd recommend these.

70charl08
Dez 23, 2020, 9:42am

Have been to feed the goats as part of a short circular walk. Goats were on the other side of their paddock. Pleasingly, on coming to inspect what was on offer, instead of crossing little stream, they opted for a narrow little bridge. Bitter bitter wind meant we didn't stop for long. Long tailed tits spotted in the trees, and a bird of prey hovering in a field as we headed home. In other news, attempts to find a chocolate orange foiled again (have now looked in three different shops. Is there a shortage?) Bought a packet of chocolate orange minis. Not the same.

Now reading Mrs Tim of the Regiment which Stasia recommended on her thread and reminds me of Diary of a Provincial Lady.

Meet Mrs. Benson on the way home; she is coming to see me to lend me a "Little book which is so wonderful - she knows it will help me to bring up the dear children." I accept it with gratitude and spend the afternoon studying its pages. According to this book I have been sowing the seeds of com plexes and cultivating inhibitions in Bryan and Betty ever since they were a few months old. Feel much worried about this, but decide that it is too late now to do anything, and that Bryan and Betty must just take their chance.

71LovingLit
Dez 23, 2020, 3:56pm

>53 charl08: love that you are scouting the GN section of a probably fake book shop :)

Happy Christmas!

72charl08
Dez 24, 2020, 6:38am

>71 LovingLit: Thanks Megan! The whole programme made me want to move to Norway, it looked lovely. Not a murder in six episodes!

73charl08
Dez 24, 2020, 6:50am

Mrs Tim of the Regiment

This was a lot of fun, recommended by Stasia. Mrs Tim is an army wife who must pick up sticks and move when her husband gets a new job in Scotland. Pulled in lots of different directions the humour is mostly self directed, from the hat that looks terrible in daylight to her young daughter's ability to say what everyone is trying to avoid. Like The Diary of a Privincial Lady there's a lot of desperate scraping by to keep up standards, some discussion of those who have the bad taste to have lots of cash and feel happy to show it, and those who miss the class test in other ways. Tim has some rather old fashioned attitudes but his wife is more than capable of managing him (and the various single men who are smitten with her along the way). Dated in some areas as you would expect from a book first published in 1940 though. I still wonder what to be "Stellenbosched" is, assuming it's some kind of reference to the British army's experience, not a reference to the university or the wine production in the area.

74msf59
Dez 24, 2020, 8:13am



Merry Christmas, Charlotte! Hoping for a better 2021!

75HanGerg
Dez 24, 2020, 8:19am

just popping by to drop this off in time fro Christmas! Hope you have a good one!

76Carmenere
Dez 24, 2020, 8:31am


Wishing you and yours a lovely holiday season!

77SandDune
Dez 24, 2020, 8:35am



Or in other words, Happy Christmas! And have a great New Year as well. Here’s hoping 2021 is better than 2020.

78charl08
Dez 24, 2020, 11:44am

>74 msf59: Thanks Mark.

>75 HanGerg: Thanks Hannah.

>76 Carmenere: Thanks Linda. (Are those books edible?)

>77 SandDune: Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

79charl08
Editado: Dez 24, 2020, 11:50am

Wishing everyone a good festive break despite the crazy year and ongoing restrictions.

80nittnut
Dez 24, 2020, 12:59pm



Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
May next year bring you greater peace and joy, good health and many books.

81Caroline_McElwee
Dez 24, 2020, 5:04pm



I hope there are some treats, some relaxation, and some reading over the festive season, and that 2021 is a kinder year to everyone.

Hoping there will be some fine reads among your parcels Charlotte.

82Berly
Dez 24, 2020, 5:25pm



Charlotte--Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May 2021 bring you less need for masks, loads of peace and joy, good health and, of course, books!

83AMQS
Dez 24, 2020, 5:35pm


84Copperskye
Dez 24, 2020, 11:40pm

85humouress
Dez 25, 2020, 1:41am



Wishing you and yours the very best of the season.

86PaulCranswick
Dez 25, 2020, 2:48am



I hope you get some of those at least, Charlotte, as we all look forward to a better 2021.

87Helenliz
Dez 25, 2020, 3:56am

Merry Christmas, Charlotte, to you and yours.

88charl08
Dez 25, 2020, 4:31am

>80 nittnut: Thanks Jenn.🐧

>81 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline.🐧

>82 Berly: Thanks Kim. 🐧

89charl08
Editado: Dez 25, 2020, 4:34am

>83 AMQS: Thanks Anne. 🐧

>84 Copperskye: Thanks Joanne. 🐧

>85 humouress: Thanks Nina.🐧

>86 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. 🐧

90charl08
Dez 25, 2020, 4:38am

The Dutch House
For me, listening to this with Tom Hanks was both lovely and hopeless, as his narration was lovely and comforting. But I didn't walk enough this year once the lockdown started (yes, I have been listening to this for a *long* time) and attempts to listen to it at night was hopeless as I just fell asleep. That said, I wasn't that sold on the story either: it seemed very meandering and I kept expecting something (anything?) to happen!

91charl08
Dez 25, 2020, 5:36am

Sabrina and Corina
These short stories were recommended by Beth. I had a rubbish day yesterday (just a headache but annoying) but these stories held my attention, and took me to Colorado and beyond through the lives of indigenous women and their families. Pretty dark, definitely not sweet but in some places hopeful.
At the bookstore, I showed Tomi the teen section, an over flowing back corner with a dirty love seat. There were posters on the walls of nineties celebrities posing with copies of Beloved and Moby-Dick.

"See," I told him. "Even Buffy the Vampire Slayer likes to read." When he asked who that was, I said never mind and told him to pick out a book.

92humouress
Dez 25, 2020, 9:51am

>91 charl08: Um ... oh dear.

93elkiedee
Dez 25, 2020, 12:29pm

>91 charl08: Eek, I can relate to that passage. Mike really loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I had a meltdown this morning as Conor was very unimpressed with his stocking and I felt like a hopeless mum, But he has a set of posh headphones from his aunt (my sister) and he's very pleased with them. I'm enjoying not hearing his shouty Youtube videos.

94charl08
Dez 25, 2020, 5:42pm

>92 humouress: I made the mistake of googling for the poster. Unwelcome 90s fashion reminders!

>93 elkiedee: Present buying requires psychic powers I think sometimes. Glad the headphones were a win.

95humouress
Dez 25, 2020, 7:14pm

>93 elkiedee: i suspect you haven’t mastered the art of being unimpressed with him being unimpressed. My boys are always delighted with their presents - although sometimes they are more delighted than others ... and sometimes their delightedness sounds a bit strained ;0)

>94 charl08: I was ‘oh dearing’ the backfiring of trying to be cool for a teen and failing spectacularly. That does happen to me occasionally :0/

96charl08
Dez 26, 2020, 4:59am

>95 humouress: I don't believe it Nina. Surely we are all really really cool... (!)

97charl08
Dez 26, 2020, 5:19am

Now reading Molotov's Magic Lantern.
Is there a set of secret maps to be found among a person's books, a way through the fortifications of the self? There is a scene in Chapter Seven of Eugene Onegin, after Onegin has departed on his wanderings, when Tatyana, who loves him, finds herself alone in his study. Reading avidly beneath the portrait of Byron and the statuette of Napoleon, Tatyana finds herself exploring a different world, trying to decipher the mysterious essence of the man from the traces of his fingernails in the pages of his books, the marks his pencil has made.

98drneutron
Dez 26, 2020, 10:18am

Wanna help me kick 202 to the curb? 2021 group is here

99jnwelch
Dez 26, 2020, 11:27am

Happy New Thread, and Happy Holidays, Charlotte.

I love the breadth of your reading. Looking forward to your comments on Molotov's Magic Lantern.

100charl08
Dez 26, 2020, 3:19pm

>87 Helenliz: Thanks Helen,sorry I missed you. 🐧

101charl08
Dez 26, 2020, 3:20pm

>98 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

>99 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. I've got lots to choose from at the moment, which I like.

102charl08
Dez 26, 2020, 5:43pm

Jumping between lots of different books but have picked up my copy of The Pursuit of Love which I bought primarily because it is a beautiful cover... (superficial, I know)

103katiekrug
Dez 26, 2020, 6:12pm

>102 charl08: - Oh, that's gorgeous!

104charl08
Dez 27, 2020, 11:35am

>103 katiekrug: There seems to be three more Katie, by the same artist.

I've picked up The Eighth Life and put it down again, also Burning the Books and am now on The Big Sleep. Am hoping the weather improves tomorrow so I will feel like a big walk. Need to get out and work off some of the sugar I have been mainlining for the past week.

105humouress
Dez 27, 2020, 9:50pm

>1 charl08: Love your Timmy topper - gives me a giggle every time.

106charl08
Dez 28, 2020, 6:30am

>105 humouress: They're just little works of genius.

107charl08
Dez 28, 2020, 6:35am

108BLBera
Dez 28, 2020, 9:43am

>102 charl08: That is a beautiful cover! I think we should judge a book by it...

I'm so glad you loved Sabrina & Corina!

>107 charl08: I love it!

Happy new year! I hope for a better year, one of vaccines, face-to-face happy hours, and, of course, LOTS of good books.

109charl08
Dez 28, 2020, 3:04pm

Thanks Beth: even better, it's a funny book, which I wasn't expecting having found previous attempts at her books unsuccessful.

110charl08
Dez 28, 2020, 3:05pm

Some exciting new books predicted here: I'll be asking the library for the Ishiguro. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-55129111

111charl08
Editado: Dez 29, 2020, 12:26pm

Some quick reviews

Merry and Bright: three novellas
Three holiday themed romances by Jill Shalvis - they're not new but they were a nice christmassy treat.

What I know About Art
Part of a series of YA nonfiction books looking at topical issues. Here the author who runs a blog highlighting Black artists discusses her own experience navigating a career in art galleries and museums. It's a short book, but there's plenty to chew over. I was struck by how passionate she is about her work, and how committed with very little support. She set up the blog from her own interest, developed a specialism and new ways to attract people into galleries. In some areas I would have liked more information, more context, but there's plenty of names and institutions to follow up (and I'm not the target audience here).

The Big Sleep
I listen to the BBC radio dramatisation of Chandler as an insomnia cure (I usually fall asleep somewhere near the casino I think.) I suspect most people will have read them: did they create a genre or do they just epitomise it? Like most books from this period the attitudes underlying the story can jar as well as the terminology.

Breakwater
A new GN, all monochrome and rather bleak, set in a down-at-heel British coastal cinema. Chris has worked at the cinema for a long time, but a new employee shakes things up for her. I thought it seemed to run out of steam at the end, but I think this is her first book.

112Crazymamie
Dez 29, 2020, 12:32pm

Hello, Charlotte! The Big Sleep is a favorite of mine - I love those books, but I agree with your assessment about the disturbing underlying attitudes. I think Chandler created a genre. The terminology is unique to its time. I read an annotated version of it a few years ago, and it was so interesting - I learned a lot and also found out that a few of the terms meant something completely different than what I thought they meant.

113charl08
Editado: Dez 29, 2020, 2:30pm

>112 Crazymamie: I did think of you while reading, Mamie. There are some beautiful turns of phrase. I love the description at the start where Marlowe goes into such detail about his blue suit and coordinating accessories that ends "... was calling on four million dollars".

114charl08
Editado: Dez 29, 2020, 7:00pm

Pursuit of Love
This was great, I can't think why I hadn't read it before. The narrator describes growing up as cousin to a large, eccentric landowner family before WW2. Primarily she observes her cousin Linda, who falls in love with completely the wrong men. Until she doesn't, but then it's Paris in 1939. Some bits made me laugh out loud: two characters discuss cyanide pills for when the Nazis invade: You've got the wrong ones, those are for dogs...
Mitford mocks the right, left, upper crust and (presumably) herself. As with the Chandler, some of the language and attitudes are 'of their time' as the BBC warnings put it.


(I've met my target, as this is Book #300)

115FAMeulstee
Dez 29, 2020, 7:08pm

>114 charl08: Congratulations on reaching 4 x 75, Charlotte!

116Caroline_McElwee
Dez 29, 2020, 7:19pm

Yay, congratulations Charlotte.

117BLBera
Dez 29, 2020, 7:34pm

300! Amazing. Congrats on reaching your goal.

118katiekrug
Dez 29, 2020, 8:16pm

Way to go, Charlotte!

119Helenliz
Dez 30, 2020, 3:45am

Well done on being a reading machine!
300 books - I can't even begin to imagine.

120charl08
Editado: Dez 30, 2020, 4:45am

>115 FAMeulstee: >116 Caroline_McElwee: >117 BLBera: >118 katiekrug: >119 Helenliz: Thanks Anita, Caroline, Beth, Katie, Helen
I have been doing some sales shopping and happened upon the British Library shop, which is doing a 3 for 2 offer on their own publications, including crime fiction, science fiction classics and the new women writers collection.

https://shop.bl.uk/collections/british-library-fiction

121susanj67
Dez 30, 2020, 6:28am

Congrats on 300, Charlotte! We never doubted you :-)

>114 charl08: I loved this one too. In fact I love everything by Nancy Mitford, and I try to recommend her to other people. Some time ago I mentioned her to Booky Work Friend. Months later I got an email late in the evening which said simply "OMG Linda died!". Aghast, I tried to think of the Lindas we knew or worked with, or famous Lindas who might have made the news. I was about to click on the BBC and then I remembered my recommendation...

122charl08
Dez 30, 2020, 8:47am

>121 susanj67: I read another one and just didn't get the humour, so maybe it was the time and I should try again. I want to read the Paris ambassador one (Don't Tell Arthur).

I am still havering about setting up a Category challenge thread. I watched a lovely documentary yesterday about all the different kinds of penguins and am tempted to go with that as my theme. Possibly not all 18 types though, and definitely not as elaborately worked out as the more experienced category-c folk.

123Helenliz
Dez 30, 2020, 8:51am

>122 charl08: I saw the same penguin programme. 18 categories might be a few too many to keep track of. We'd love to have you, the water's nice and warm (unlike today's weather).

124Crazymamie
Dez 30, 2020, 8:55am

Charlotte, congratulations on 300 reads! 300!! Go you!

>114 charl08: A direct hit. Adding it to The List.

I hope you do set up a category thread - I have one for 2021.

125thornton37814
Dez 30, 2020, 10:59am

Congratulations on the quadruple! I'll make it to 242 which I hit one other year. I could possibly reach 243, but I suspect I won't quite finish the one book as I have a few other things I want to do between now and the end of the year.

126charl08
Dez 30, 2020, 11:04am

>123 Helenliz: Wasn't it good? Although I did wonder about the ones with the orange hair. Those three breeds looked pretty similar to me... (ha, what do I know?)

I was thinking that I would like to go visit lots of different penguin sites, (I've done two) but the ones on that island that were covered with poop have reminded me that they are better when you can't smell them...

In terms of the Cat challenge- I've got as far as thinking that I want categories for:

Fiction in translation - Galapagos penguin (not sure why? )
Books by African authors- jackass penguin
Women's biography, feminism and histories - emperor (because of the shared childcare!)
Books about books - ?
Keeping things interesting (first time and New to me authors) - ?
Bookclub books - ?
Graphic novels and memoirs - ?
Genre fiction (crime and romance)
Familiar faces (authors I've read before) - little penguin
Shiny new things - ?

But: what do I do about books that meet more than one category? Are there rules? (I should just go look for them)

127charl08
Editado: Dez 30, 2020, 11:36am

>124 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie. Thinking about it...(see above)

>125 thornton37814: I keep getting distracted MegETA sorry Lori! Yesterday I decided to try and clean the oven with bicarbonate and vinegar. Also had a lovely (if chilly) short walk. Snow on the hills!

128charl08
Dez 30, 2020, 11:12am


Robin on the path...

129Helenliz
Dez 30, 2020, 11:20am

>126 charl08: Yup, although I'm with you on the poo island. The poo trails visible from space was very interesting, but again, somethings are better without smell-o-vision.

Rules - the first rule of category challenge is never tell anyone the rules of category challenge. >;-) Meaning that you're free to make up your own. Some people only put a book in one category, others (me included) put a book in every category it fits into. You can play that one exactly as it suits you.
And the category title can be completely as tenuous as a very very tenuous thing. They don't have to actually make any sense at all. If they do, well great, but there's no pressure in that regard.

130Berly
Dez 30, 2020, 11:33am

>114 charl08: What?!?! Book #300? Congrats!!!

Have fun figuring out the categories if you go that way. I think for 2021 I am still going to lay down less rules and go wherever. I would like (as usual) to read more off my shelves!

131Caroline_McElwee
Dez 30, 2020, 12:50pm

>128 charl08: Great catch, they are such posers.

132charl08
Dez 30, 2020, 4:17pm

>129 Helenliz: Thanks Helen. I'll keep thinking!

>130 Berly: Thanks Kim. I am not sure yet. I think Katie mentioned she likes the planning and then does something different and I can empathise with that.

>131 Caroline_McElwee: The garden was full of bird visitors today including a couple of robins, I do love their curiosity.

133charl08
Dez 30, 2020, 4:49pm

Bookish meme (via Katie's thread)

Describe yourself: The Tenant

Describe how you feel: Something has to happen

Describe where you currently live: Down Cemetery Road

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The Book of Cairo

Your favorite form of transportation is: A Thousand Ships

Your favorite food is: Fish Soup

Your favorite time of day is: Midnight at Malabar Hill

Your best friend is: The Book of Rio

You and your friends are: Adults

What’s the weather like: A Year of Ugly

You fear: The Plague

What is the best advice you have to give: An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good

Thought for the day: Nada

What is life for you: How We Disappeared

How you would like to die: Girl Gone Missing

Your soul’s present condition: Arid Dreams

What was 2020 like for you? The Fragility of the Bodies

What do you want from 2021? Beach Read

134Helenliz
Dez 30, 2020, 4:51pm

>133 charl08: I had the exact same mode of transport. It did seem a good fit for a bookish meme. Although I actually get sea sick on a mill pond.

135thornton37814
Dez 30, 2020, 4:53pm

>133 charl08: I agree that a beach read would be welcome in 2021.

136weird_O
Dez 31, 2020, 1:41am

Time to take out the trash!

137charl08
Dez 31, 2020, 11:21am

>134 Helenliz: I couldn't think of another one!

>135 thornton37814: Wouldn't it, though. From under a shade for me, but still.

>136 weird_O: Ha! Like it.

138charl08
Editado: Dez 31, 2020, 11:22am

Now reading The Inspector of Strange and Unexplained Deaths which is quite odd. I can't decide if I like that.

139FAMeulstee
Dez 31, 2020, 11:23am

>133 charl08: I like your answers. Charlotte..
Now to my own thread to fill in my 2020 meme.

140charl08
Dez 31, 2020, 11:39am

>139 FAMeulstee: It's fun, isn't it! I was particularly pleased I had read the Camus this year.

141charl08
Dez 31, 2020, 11:59am

What did I read this month?

Not as much as I hoped, as getting time to sit and read quietly over the break proved more difficult than usual.

I also reread a book (Act Like It) which I don't do v often. This was also my favourite romance read this month.
I picked up David Mitchell's latest one Utopia Avenue, which I enjoyed a lot (but if you're not a Mitchell fan I wiild still suggest you pick up Daisy Jones instead). I also read another by Janet Malcom: her insight into Gertrude Stein made me wish I had more patience for modernist writing.

I read some international crime fiction - check out the striking cover of The Honjin Murders. As well as Japan, I also 'visited' Argentina (The Adventures of China Iron) and India (A Burning). I finally read Whatever Happened to Harold Absalon from my own shelves, but wished I hadn't bothered, as the experimental style annoyed me (he took the whole book to get to the end of the street).
I read three older books, finally finished listening to Tom Hanks narrate The Dutch House (what a lovely narrator), and two GNs. Thanks to Stasia for recommending Mrs Tim of the Regiment and to Beth for recommending Sabrina and Corina: both were winners for me.

142PaulCranswick
Dez 31, 2020, 9:49pm



Charlotte

As the year turns, friendship continues

143charl08
Jan 2, 10:44am

Thanks Paul.