DiscussãoClub Read 2024

Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.


Editado: Dez 24, 2023, 11:32 pm

My name is Cindy,(cindydavid4) I joined in 2016. I read just about anything; lately I have enjoyed reading works in translation which really has opened up my world. Over these 8 years Ive discovered books and authors I would never have known about without LT. Ive also taken part in wonderful book discussions with the other readers here and 'met' folks who Ive come to know, and look forward this year of doing more of the same! I welcome you all to this thread and hope we can have some great book discussions

The subject heading is apt because next month I will have cataract surgery. Im very excited to be seeing clearer. maybe having an easier time reading small print, and be able to drive at night again. But what ever happens, Im sure it will only make my reading life easier

A bit about me: I taught children with special needs for 35 years in Phoenix, retired 4 years ago. In my spare time I read, garden, folk dance, travel with my dh and volunteer at a childrens museum. Oh and I play with my three cats

I wish for everyone joy, good health, happiness, peace, and many many good reads for this new year!

Editado: Jan 10, 9:35 pm


number of books read 77 fiction 15 non fiction (compared to 82 last year)

Favorite books


Kairos jennifer erpenbeck
the bridge of the san luis river
garden of light
the brothers askenazi
lighthouse keeping
hidden palace
show boat
a girl is a body of water
the girls edna farber
evening chorus
so long a letter
cowives co women
lessons in chemistry
old new york
two old women
the bird girl and the man who followed the sun
mister pip
one day this all will be yours
ancient stones

non fiction

these precious days
the avram davidson treasury
Africa is not a country
federick the great
a line in the world
mixed harvest
border to the edge of europe
orwells roses
the hands of my father
the lost education of horace tate
hope and other dangerous pursuits
burning questions
fair play
the black sea

number of books read 77 fiction 15 non fiction

new to me authors 30!!!

books that surprised me

frederick the great Nancy Mitford
the lost education of horace tate
mixed harvest
mister pip
the girl
orwells roses
lessons in chemistry

books that disappointed me

good night irene
small things like these
shrines of gaiety

Editado: Fev 21, 8:58 pm


RTT Quarterly January-March 2024 Prehistoric mixed harvest4.5*


January: Janus - the gameshouse 4

February: - Aquarius & Amethyst
a nun in the age of aquarius by helen reynolds 4,5 wifedom

March: Medicine & Epidemics

April: : characters with disabilities how to build a boat

May: International Labour Day


July: Vive la France

August: LibraryCin

September: Royal to the Bone

October: : Adultry

November: Biographies & Memoirs

December: Reader's Choice


January - Prize Winners - where the wild winds are 4

February - Women's Work becoming a nun in the age of aquarius4.5 wifedom

March - Forensic Sciences - forensics is a wide open topic so read about criminal forensics, genetic forensics, even astronomical forensics.

April - Globalization - all things global, exports, international banking, terrorism, pandemics.

May - Wild Wild West - books about the western U.S. Historical or modern. Indian wars, water wars, conservation, settlement, etc.

June - Middle Europe - anything about Europe from the Elbe to the Ural's, from Finland to Turkey. History, language, travel, etc.

July - Insect World - insects are important. Butterflies, honey bees, mosquitoes, ants, roaches, etc.

August - Being Jewish - this topic is wide open as long as it is nonfiction. Zionism, modern Israel, history, religion, Kabbalah, Judaism.

September - Essays - any book of essays. Scientific, religious, political, racial, social commentary, etc.

October - Music, more music - lots of books being published now about composers, the music industry, history of music, and even memoirs and biography's from the Boss to Bach.

November - Too Small to See - books about Bacteria, Viruses, Atoms, Dust. maybe even microaggressions?

December - This is a dual topic month. As You Like It - whatever you want to catch up on that is nonfiction
Political Biograph


jANUARY Elizabeth Gaskell
mary barton DNF

Febuary Geoge Bernard Sha
pygmalian 4
androcles and the lion 4

March Sir Walter Scott iivanhoe DNF

Editado: Jan 14, 10:51 pm


annual theme Around the world in 12 months (Annual topic):
quarterly themes:
1st When the world was new - Pre-Renaissance literature January-March 2024 pirkei avot a social justice commentary

Reading down the Danuub


January Equal Rites4.5

March Wyrd Sisters

May Witches Abroad

July Lords and Ladies

September Maskerade

November Carpe Jugulum

Editado: Jan 5, 12:11 pm


5* books that I cant stop thinking about long after Ive finished, often books that I reread , and often are looking for more from the author

4* books that made me smile after reading, where the characters, plot and writing all came together just darn good books

3*I liked, but issues with plot characters, writing disappointed

2* finished but not happy about it

1* DNF


I dont review everything I read, but ill at least give some clue as how i felt about it When I review a book, I follow this template that has served me well/







Dez 26, 2023, 12:37 pm

Welcome back to Club Read, Cindy! I like your 2023 summary categories of Books that Surprised Me and Books that Disappointed Me. I've never participated in Reading through Time, and your list of themes tempts me, but I've promised myself not to do challenges this year, and I want to stick to that goal through the first of the year at least!

Editado: Dez 29, 2023, 8:47 pm

Thanks! Im doing some challenges. I just saw the non fiction group and I like how they are setting up topics. This will help me increase the number of non ficion I read and perhaps broaden the topics to read, perhaps out of my comfort zone But mostly Im reaidng for me, which is fun!

Editado: Jan 3, 9:18 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Dez 29, 2023, 9:25 pm

Cindy, it’s been fixed at source now, but there was a typo in Reading Through Time
October: : Adultry Should read Adultery. I’m doing that one.

Dez 29, 2023, 9:32 pm

Looking forward to your reading journey Cindy. I too stay up late reading. That’s the best thing about retirement - not having to worry about waking up on time.

Editado: Jan 3, 9:18 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Dez 31, 2023, 7:33 am

>11 kjuliff: You got that right, esp when its chilly in the morning (dont laugh but its down to 45 and for us thats cold)

Editado: Jan 3, 9:19 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 8:29 am

For Elizabeth Gaskell, I've read Mary Barton, North and South, and Wives and Daughters and really enjoyed them all. I think North and South is her most famous these days, but I gave Mary Barton the edge. Just connected to the characters a little more easily.

Makes me want to do a reread!

Dez 31, 2023, 10:25 am

thx! ill go with mary barton

Dez 31, 2023, 2:02 pm

Last review of 2023 ancestor stones (Id been calling this ancient stones and suprised no one called me on it! glad I caught it myself

why did you chose this book
A couple of years ago there was a poster who went by the name spirial sheep. Was mainly on the Reading Globally thread, which I was just discovering For some reason they disappeared from LT but not before suggesting this book. The quotes she included egged me on so I had to get it. for some reason I couldnt get started with it, too many other shiny covers. So Decembers theme for the African Challenge was West Africa, I remembered that book was about Sierra Laone, so found it and started reading

no spoiler synopsis

The unnamed narrator was from a village in SL and got a scholarship to England to one of the univerisits. Many years later she arrives back home with her family, and starts asking her four aunts their stories.

what kept you reading theres no plot here, just storytelling, yet those stores are the plot allowing the narrator to discover her famiily. The writing is really excellent Through those stories you learn about the culture and history of the country which I did not know

what slowed you down there are four chapters, dating from 1926-2003. Each aunt takes turns telling their stories in each chapter. As much as I tried, I had trouble keeping track of who was who tho some names who they all referred to was easy,I looked at the "family tree" and its utteraly unreadable, Its not printed but poorly drawn with so many curlicues within all the letters I gave it up. So I just enjoyed the stories, as the narrator did, even if it was hard to get the continuity of each aunts, stories. If I had known this, I would have read one aunts story through the 4 chapters, one at a time to make it all connect. I will try that if I decide to reread it

who would you recommend this for anyone interested in family stories, anyone curiious about the region

Rating 4.5 would have been a five but for the lack of a useful family tree

Editado: Jan 1, 11:33 am

>9 cindydavid4: I'll look forward to your comments on Where the wild winds are. I'm adding it to the list of possible reads for my nature reads this year.

Look forward to seeing what else you read.

Jan 1, 11:37 am

Happy New Year, Cindy. Wish you another great year of reading

Jan 1, 4:41 pm

thanks all and same to you as well!

Editado: Jan 1, 5:23 pm

Today was our indie bookstores annual New Years sale: 25% everything in store including books of course. As usuall the line to get in was long as was the line to check out, but they have it down as a science (besides we are all readers so lots of conversations taking place. Anyway heres what followed me home
my name is barbra
the vaster wilds
our lady of the niles
bookshops and bonedust
this other eden
so late in the day
the games house

Plus I still have covenant of water house of doors and the heaven and earth grocery store. by james mcbride, I may be some time......

Jan 1, 6:23 pm

It’s very tempting to advise you where to start. Great finds.

Jan 1, 6:48 pm

>21 cindydavid4: Ooh, I love book sales. It looks like you came away with some good ones. I especially liked This Other Eden. Our Lady of the Nile was good too. For some reason, I thought you had read it. We read so many good African novels in the African Challenge, I forget who read which.

Jan 1, 8:36 pm

It was one I was waiting to read it but the store I orded from had to cancel because it was out of stock, so my indie saved the day! and so I didn't yet.

Editado: Jan 2, 4:46 am

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Editado: Jan 2, 4:53 am

the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men...... I was curious about this other eden so started reading. OMG this writing is something Ive never seen before and am absolutely hooked. so rather than read what I expected, this will be my first book of 2024

Jan 2, 7:24 am

>26 cindydavid4: yay. It’s gorgeous. Everything Paul Harding writes is.

Jan 2, 1:57 pm

ive never read him before, I need to rectify that.

Jan 2, 10:06 pm

I loved This Other Eden too, and have recommended it to my book club for our February read, so I'll probably reread it at the end of Feb for the meeting. I'm going to try and read Tinkers too, which I've owned forever but haven't read.

Editado: Jan 3, 9:22 pm

pardon our dust, I am making major changes in how I set up the challenges. please take an alternative route. we apologize for the inconvenience

huh? heres whats happening, our metro area is doing major on our freeways and streets, you cant go a day without getting stuck on at least one. So I am venting, while actually fixing my thread. hopefully it will be done soon

Jan 5, 12:05 pm

Well the first book of the year was not as expected, but it was a pleasant experience Heres my review for krampus

why did you choose this book

Chosen by my Real life sci fi/fan book group for this month. Plus I have long had an interest in folklore, origin tales, and what happen to pagan life after christianity

synopsis w/o spoilers

The author tinkers darkly with the beloved mythology of Santa Claus. Set in Appalachia, Krampus the Yule Lord is a twisted fairytale about a failed West Virginia songwriter who gets ensnared on Christmas Eve in an eternal war between a not-so-saintly Saint Nick and his dark enemy Krampus, aka Black Peter, an ancient trickster demon. Krampus the Yule Lord is Gregory Maguire (Wicked) meets Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell) in the realm of Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, as Clive Barker (Mr. B. Gone) works his dark sorcery from the shadows.

what kept you reading tbh, it went slow for a bit while the main character is in the doledrumzs but that changes once he find Santas bag turns out to be magic, and discovers they are chasing him; well I just had to see where this goes. Its good fantasy with nods to the old rituals, as well as our own times and culture. The plot was engaging, with some interesting turns and 'I didnt see that coming' moments.

what slowed you down nothing really there is violence and gore and scary events but nothing that made me jump I do know I want to read more of this authr

who would you recomment it to anyone who is into fantasy in a real life setting where anything can happen

Rating I was goinng to score it 4,5 because it was good but not mindblowing but when I realized I wanted to read more by him, has to be a 5*

Jan 6, 6:31 am

>31 cindydavid4: Ooh, wishlisting this!

Jan 6, 12:59 pm

>22 dchaikin: hee let me know when I hit the jack pot

Now reading equal rites this other eden and house of doors

Jan 7, 1:44 pm

Hi Cindy! Happy New Year!

I just finished Two Old Women as my first book of the year and really enjoyed it. I saw you weren't as enthusiastic about Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun so perhaps I'll try her memoir, Raising Ourselves.

I'm also reading House of Doors. I loved TTE's other two books and this one is also so very good. I hope you're enjoying it, too.

Jan 7, 3:35 pm

hey welcome! Happy new year as well! Glad you liked two old women, and I think my main problem with bird girl, is the inequality of her life versus the mans. Its taken from an old legend and I assume to be typicals of the story telling in that time, and I it seems to be saying to girls, this is what happens if you disobey, and to the men, well thats just what we do, that being said the writing is really good, but the book itself rather dark

I have the memoir and keep meaning to read it but you know, shiny covers and all that

I haven't decided what I think about HoD; seems to be very slow and very heavy on describing buidlings and what people look like. the fact that it has Maugham as a character right now is probably the main reason im sticking with it (and tbh im not very far) but given the praises it has gotten around here, Im sticking with it.

Jan 7, 3:44 pm

>35 cindydavid4: You need to get immersed in the storyline to enjoy House of Doors. I thought it was a good read, but have been a little surprised at the amount of praise it’s getting.

Jan 7, 5:51 pm

>35 cindydavid4: Eng is a master at setting, hence all the description. Hope you do enjoy HoD.

Jan 7, 10:33 pm

thanks for the encouragment Ill keep reading it for sure

Jan 9, 10:25 am

When I am totally immersed in a book, I read it in about two days. The House of Doors took me about a week. :) I thought the first half was beautifully written, but a bit slow. By the time I arrived at the two-thirds point I was galloping through the final parts.

It sounds like you have an interest in Somerset Maughm. It's been so many years since I've read anything by him - any suggestions?

Editado: Jan 9, 10:53 am

oh my the painted veil,moon and sixpence and the razors edge were the first ones I have read, and was hooked. I contined on from there, reading severall others. A few I did not care for liza of lambeth and try as I might I could not finish on human bondage however its been decades and I probably should try it again. on a chinese screen is non fiction about his travels in china. Always had to check the date of publication because his writing does not feel dated, so im surprised by how long ago these were written

Jan 9, 11:20 am

Loving where the wild winds are a travelogue of wind across the ages, through greek mythology all the way to our satellites. Have already marked many lines to share and am enjoyin the word origins of many of our commone thoughts about the wind and weather. my first non fiction for the year, and finding it quite lovely

Just found another book he has writtenWalking the Woods and the Water: In Patrick Leigh Fermor's footsteps from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn Ive been a fan of Fermors writing since first finding time of gifts and a small bookstore in a small town. also love that the cover is styled much like Fehmoors first two books. This sounds fun, Id love to travel the same trails as he did through this authors newer eyes

speaking of new eyes, I may be absent from LT for a while,, today I am getting my catarcts removed! little worried about how much Ill be able to read but eager to see better!! so stay tuned

Jan 9, 12:10 pm

>41 cindydavid4: Good luck with your surgery!

Jan 9, 1:06 pm

Wish you well with the cataract surgery. I remember my grandmother telling us how much she hated her decor after she had her cataracts removed. I hope you still like your house afterwards. 🙂

Jan 9, 1:35 pm

Good luck with your surgery, Cindy! "See you" on the other side

Jan 9, 3:53 pm

heh well so far so good. 1 down 1 to go. probably the smoothest medical precedure Ive had.

Jan 9, 3:56 pm

>45 cindydavid4: yeah! So glad to hear it.

Jan 9, 4:31 pm

>45 cindydavid4: Good to hear. Love the title of your thread and how it relates.

Editado: Jan 9, 8:52 pm

Glad the first cataract removal went well. Also glad to hear you're enjoying where the wild winds are - it sounds intriguing. I look forward to your quotes and notes.

Jan 9, 8:53 pm

Good luck with the surgery. You should be recovered for reading in a few days if all goes well. It’s a fairly simple and routine procedure now.

Jan 10, 12:40 pm

Stopping by and will be following along as usual. Hope the last surgery all goes well.

Editado: Jan 10, 6:33 pm

yes it did! very pleased with the first result. I have been going around the house closing my right eye so my left one will see what Ive missed. also been reading that way and wow every word is so sharpe and easy to read. Looking forwad to getting the right one done in two weeks

It was also a birthday present, one day later! cant believe how many people noticed my birthdates at the surgical center wishing me a hapy birthday. Found one gal who shared the birtday with me

Jan 10, 6:37 pm

>51 cindydavid4: fantastic! Yay

Jan 10, 6:38 pm

>51 cindydavid4: Happy Birthday!

Jan 10, 9:00 pm

thx. my birthday is usually kinda quiet, at least since Ive been a senior. david and I go out to dinner, have my fav cake,see a movie (the new willie wanka and its wonderful), and get a bunch of cards. as far as gifts, my sis is also born in Jan, ten years before me, I got her the my name is barbara memoir and she gave me EVERGREENS : Celebrating Six Decades on Columbia Records CD. we have promised each other we will trade said gifts when we are a good day was had by all

Jan 10, 9:12 pm

Happy birthday! :)

Jan 10, 10:20 pm

Happy birthday Cindy

Jan 11, 6:49 am


finished apples are from Kazakhstan thanks to whoever recommended this to me. I already knew about the country after reading Sovietistan: Travels in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, another book I highly recommend. The author of apples takes us on a journey to a place of incredible beauty, ecological destruction via overland nuclear tests and using a seas water to irrigate cotton, a gulag or two, and many heartbreaking interviews with several survivors and family members, byzantium style bureaucracy and yes apples, which may or may not come from there, but there is certainly some history here. If you are interested in post soviet life, and past history, or just like travelogues, you really cant go wrong with this book rating it 4*5, loses half a star for lacking s decent map, index or bibliography. still highly recommended

Jan 11, 8:07 am

>51 cindydavid4: Congratulations! I'm glad things went well! And happy birthday! That sounds like a lovely way to spend a birthday.

Jan 11, 8:44 am

>57 cindydavid4: another book, despite cataract surgery? Nice. This sounds good

Editado: Jan 11, 9:12 am

what Im finding is that if I keep my right eye closed, I can read like a house on fire with my left. cant wait to see how many I read after next week! (tbf, the last two were relaively quick reads)

Jan 11, 12:00 pm

Hooray for a successful cataract operation, and happy belated birthday!

Jan 11, 12:52 pm

Wishing you a belated happy birthday! Glad you and your sister gave each other enjoyable presents.

Jan 12, 2:56 pm

I'm really interested in the Kazakhstan book, but it doesn't seem to be available in ebook form, which is how I do most of my reading, and my library doesn't have it. But I'll be looking for it in a bookstore if I ever get to one,
Glad your cataract surgery went well. I had one eye done several years ago. The eye wasn't quite ready for it, but since I had to have surgery for another problem with the eye, the doctor advised just to go ahead and do the cataracts too. At my last visit the doc said my other eye is now at the point that Medicare would approve cataract surgery, so that I should have the surgery whenever I feel my vision is compromised enough. Right now I feel like I'm still seeing everything ok, but what do I know?

Jan 12, 3:43 pm

youll know when you need it. I knew I did because I was having difficulty seeing

I got my copy of the book through ABE, you might want to check there. Ive also had good luck on ebay

Jan 12, 9:29 pm

now reading the gameshouse No its not anywhere on my schedule, but soneone mentioned it, shes one of my fav writers and I happened to have it on my shelf, I started it and now cannot stop. I may be some time (this is why I generally do not plan or write goals!)

Jan 13, 8:48 am

Congratulations on the successful surgery, and happy birthday!

Jan 13, 8:58 am

>21 cindydavid4: fyi, I'm reading The Vaster Wilds now and enjoying it very much.

Happy belated birthday and I'll add my congratulations for you successful surgery. Cheers!

Jan 14, 7:03 am

Delighted for you that the first eye op was a great success. What a positive start to 2024 (and the best of birthday presents).

Editado: Jan 14, 11:06 pm

for the Global Reading Challenge 'when the world was new" I picked a book written by a local rabbi about the Pirkei Avot: a social justice commentary contains sayings attributed to sages from Simon the Just (200 BCE) to shortly after Judah haNasi (200 CE), redactor of the Mishnah. These aphorisms concern proper ethical and social conduct, as well as the importance of Torah study. Many of these are ancient that no longer fit with our modern world, so I am interested how Reb Shmuly will make them have meaning for us today.

among may favorite of these:

"If I am not for me, who will be for me? And when I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, then when?"

'you are not obligated to complete the work (of making the world whole) but neither are you free to disist from it"

'that the world rests on three pillars. Torah (learning), Avoda( acts of love,) and acts of kindness.' (charity)

should be an intersting read

Jan 15, 2:30 pm

>69 cindydavid4: "If I am not for me, who will be for me? And when I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, then when?"

This is such a great line, and a great title for one of Primo Levi's novels: If Not Now, When?

Jan 15, 4:03 pm

yes, its from Rabbi Hillel; the jewish center at the UofA was named after Hillel. such a great line to be inspired by

Jan 16, 9:39 am

>71 cindydavid4: Hillel, right! I was thinking Maimonides but of course Hillel is correct now you say it.

Jan 16, 12:24 pm

>71 cindydavid4: The Jewish centers at quite a lot of schools are named after Hillel. In fact, Hillel International is "the largest Jewish campus organization in the world" and is found at 850 colleges and universities.

I was in the Westchester Hillel when I was at SUNY Purchase. We shared a Hillel with a couple other schools, but it was based at Purchase.

That Hillel quote is the Hillel organization's tagline. (Slogan?)

Jan 16, 3:16 pm

>72 rocketjk: Maimonides is another favorite rabbi included in the Pirkei Avot. His discussion of the levels of tzedakah (charity) have stayed with me since I read them in jr hi and still find the meaningful today

On an ascending level, they are as follows:
8. When donations are given grudgingly.

7. When one gives less than he should, but does so cheerfully.

6. When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.

5. When one gives directly to the poor without being asked.

4. Donations when the recipient is aware of the donor's identity, but the donor still doesn't know the specific identity of the recipient.

3. Donations when the donor is aware to whom the charity is being given, but the recipient is unaware of the source.

2. Giving assistance in such a way that the giver and recipient are unknown to each other. Communal funds, administered by responsible people are also in this category.

1. The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.

Jan 16, 4:48 pm

>74 cindydavid4: Nice! I don't think I've ever seen that list before. Thank you.

Editado: Jan 22, 6:12 pm

the gameshouse review

why did I choose this book I love Norths books, and someone here mentionted this one I hadnt heard of before Chosen for the RTT January theme of Janus.

synopsis without spoilers

"Everyone has heard of the Gameshouse. But few know all its secrets... It is the place where fortunes can be made and lost through chess, backgammon--every game under the sun. But those whom fortune favors may be invited to compete in the higher league, where the games played are of politics and nations, of economics and kings. It is a contest where capture the castle involves real castles and where hide-and seek takes place on the scale of a continent. Among those worthy of competing in the higher league, three unusually talented contestants play for the highest stakes of all-

the first two stories reminds me a bit of my dungeons and dragons days, esp when we played it outdoors. theres a game master, there are cards instead of dice and different levels of play. There is a cat and mouse trap portion that would make Agatha Christie take notes,its a true thriller, which is the kind of mystery I like, with turns and spins that make it all worthwhile

what kept you reading her books never fail to get my attention and keep it for several hundred pages. this is no exception. The book is actually three novellas;the second one is an anchor of sorts, but I had to read it again to catch what I didnt before. the narrator talks directly to the reader, which in some hands would be disastrous, but Northe makes it work brilliantly, and I didn'mind a bit, Her writing is so I had some trouble remembering character names at first but later i just went along for the wide

what slowed you down towards the end it gets dizzing trying to figure out who is where an by the end it . but then it stops being a fun thriler to true horror when the players take theri game to a new level with global consequences. lots of politics and power making moves in their interests. I had to stop several times because it got too much and you could see how a few people are playing with lives. The very end slows down and is interesting. But it was a shock to the system and Im not sure how to recommend it or how to rate it

I recommend this story to not sure. the first two parts id say to anyone who likes a thriller not sure who to recomment the last story, but im sure there are people who would like it

ranking first story 5 second story 5*third story I admired the work put into this book but couldnt finish it, it was too close to real life

Editado: Jan 21, 4:29 am

my review of where the wild winds are read for the non fiction challenge

I am afraid my read of where the wild winds are was a DNF dont get me wrong, the writing was lovely and I did learn much about the winds. but there was so much tramping the snow and setting camp and talking to other winders about the topic. and over and over again of what feels like the same thing has he goes from place to place, which make the book boring to me I was expecting this to be more of a travel book along with a science study,so my reaction is not his fault did not finish, but I could be convinced to do so

Whats funny is that he has written a book describing his journey following Patrick Leigh Fermor time for gifts that he started at 19 through europe. It probably my favorite travel book, so I am little worried..Eager to see how he pulls this off, he has big shoes to fill, hope he is successful and I like this book more.

Jan 22, 10:00 pm

I am still wanting to finish this other edenand walking the woods and waterss

I am sorry house of doors was a DNF for me. I so wanted to enjoy it as much as everyone else has, but it was just too slow I was tiring of the excess descriptions that were beautifully written but I could have done without some of it. I didn't warm up to the characters, even maugham was a little off. Speaking of, whether he tried to do this or not, I think the author wrote a book that Maugham would have written, which is curious considering what he was there for., It really felt very much like painted veil and on a chinese screen and if that is what he was trying to do, Id say he pulled it off

while I didn't care for this one I will try one of his others and hopefully have better things to repore

For the rest of Jan, Ill read

walking the woods and waters

this other eden

pirkei avot

Jan 23, 8:44 am

Wish you a better read. I haven’t read Maugham, and I’m sure that blindness helped me with House of Doors. But also I like the author’s description.

Jan 23, 2:37 pm

Cindy, I also am one of the few who did not care for House of Doors. I reviewed it late last year, and set out my reasons why. So don't feel alone in that regard. It did make me want to re a bit more of Maugham. (And I did think he did a good job of evoking Penang, where I spent some time many years ago.

Jan 23, 4:39 pm

>80 arubabookwoman: Nearly everyone was raving about House of Doors and I don’t know why. I’ve been to Penang too and didn’t think the writer conveyed anything much about Penang.

Jan 23, 10:27 pm

Stop the presses! I got a gift card from a dear friend on my birthday and spent it buying a stroke of the pen and the ultimate discworld companion, so all of my planned books for this month is on the back burner.I will be some time Already loving the short stories, and love the illustrations in the other book. Problem is that the print is really tiny, even after getting my second cataract fixed*. Gonna see if I can get the kindle version so I can increase the font size! but thats fine, looking forward to diving anyway Im a very happy camper, um ah, reader

*everything went very smoothly the two eyes togehter are still a bit blurry but Im told thats typical. Tomorrow the dr will get me a new prescrip for new glasses, very excited to be able to see so much

Jan 23, 10:30 pm

>80 arubabookwoman: thanks; I looked for your review and didn't find it; can you send me the link pls?

Jan 24, 6:11 am

Cindy I don't know how to do links :( I'm ashamed to admit), but I took the liberty of copying the review and will paste it here (I do know how to copy and paste). Let me know if it clutters your thread too much, and I will delete the post. I gave the book 2 1/2 stars.

This novel is set on the island of Penang in Malaysia. Lesley Hamlyn and her husband Robert are hosting writer W. Somerset Maugham (Willie) and his secretary/lover Gerald for a few weeks in 1921. During the course of their stay, Leslie relates to Willie some secrets from her past, including a connection with Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat Sen. She also tells him about a sensational murder trial in which one of her close friends was tried for shooting her lover in 1910.

I'm an outlier here in that this book just did not work for me. It promised so much more than it delivered, and tried to cover too much, with the result that it all felt superficial to me. The plot was all over the place: Lesley and her lover; Lesley and the revolutionaries; Robert and his lover; Ethel and the murder of her lover; the murder trial; Willie and his money problems; Willie and his marital problems; Willie and his problems with Gerald. None of this coalesced into a cohesive whole.

There is some beautiful writing here, and a wonderful evocation of place, but this never became a book that called to me. And I did have some problem believing that Lesley, as the somewhat conforming wife of a high British colonial official, would take a Chinese revolutionary as a lover. And on top of that that she would tell the whole story to Maugham, a relative stranger.

One good thing about the book is that it did make me want to read more Maugham. I haven't read him for years. I would like to track down his story based on the story of the trial Lesley supposedly told him, and perhaps a reread of Of Human Bondage.

Jan 24, 3:39 pm

thanks, so glad Im not the only one! OHB is one that I tried to read and just couldnt get through, perhaps Ill try again..

Editado: Jan 27, 9:18 pm

Terry Pratchetts' new' collection of stories a stroke of the pen were good; certainly shows the beginnings of his talent , dry humor, and unusal characters, but none of the really grabbed me, tho wanted a fat jolly man in a red wooly hat and how scrooge saw the spectral light and went happily back to humbug was an example of his clever plots. Loved the forward by Neil Gaiman and the intro by Colin Smith with background of how the stories were discovered.
well worth reading if you are a fan The Quest of Keys, which was the story that lead them to the rest,is easily the best

rating this is a bit difficult, because you certainly cant say the stories are up to the standards of Discworld. But I have to put that aside, for these are the stories of a young man who was learning the trade, and stories which were hidden for so long and come to light. so 4.5 it is

Jan 26, 10:09 am

>86 cindydavid4: how were they discovered?

Editado: Jan 26, 3:12 pm

so a fan of his read the story the quest for keys 50 years ago in a regional british paper under the by line "patrick kearns". Recently the fan was interested in more about the story and contacted Pratchetts publisher who had not heard of his story. but given 'kearns' was his mothers maiden name, and he had worked in journalism for several years, writing stories for small regional newspapers, he started gathering people who wennt through the issues from the 70s and 80s in the british newspaper archive in Boston Spa, Yorkshire and in the process discovered the stories.

Jan 26, 11:15 am

>88 cindydavid4: Why did the person who had read stories written under the name of Kearns, contact Pratchett’s publisher?

Jan 26, 11:38 am

>88 cindydavid4: that’s fascinating. Thanks

Jan 26, 11:45 am

>90 dchaikin: I still don’t know how the initial reader knew it was Patchett’s writing.

Jan 26, 3:10 pm

>89 kjuliff: the child that originally read "the quest for the keys' had saved the story from the newspaper. When he recently found it again, He contacted the publisher to get more info, He had no idea about the title, and started looking in the archives for all of the stories pratchett wrote in several regional newspapers

here is a better summary

Jan 26, 3:50 pm

>92 cindydavid4: Thanks. I understand now. Before I couldn’t see the link between the two names.

Editado: Jan 27, 10:00 pm

review of in the mountains

why did you choose this book?

I have long enjoyed this author's work so was surprised when someone here mentioned it . Being a 'new to me' book meant of course I had to read it!

synopsis w/o spoiler . Taking place in the summer and autumn of 1919, the novel tells the story of the return of this Englishwoman to her Swiss mountain summer home, the home she left in 1914 and has not seen since. We know virtually nothing about this woman, except that in 1914 she left as part of a “we” and returns very much as I. Before the war, from which the narrator comes to be healed, the house had been filled with people, visited by friends, a place of laughter, now it is peace and solitude its inhabitant particularly craves..One day, not long after she arrives, two women, seeking relief from the heat in the valley, come up the mountain and stumble upon our diarist. She invites them to stay with her to keep her company, and in the months that they stay, a friendship develops and healing begins

what kept you reading?

From the first line I was put directly into the setting of this very quiet book. her descritpion of the swiss mountains is quite lovely, and you can feel how alone she must be. We are never told exactly what happened to her in England, but you can put the pieces together in comments she writes in her diary. When she meets these two sisters dynamics change causing some conflict.

what bothered you about the book

the older sister has a very icy personality, and is very manipulative, demanding the narrator do things that don't make her happy or make sense but she does them because she wants to be a good hostess. I was waiting for her to finally realize this, which is a 21st century feeling; still I was a bit miffed for her. And while I enjoyed the last section, I was disappointed with the end; her Uncle has come to bring her back home, and we still dont have a sense of what she is going back for. But maybe thats not the point

many times french and german phrases were included that obviously affected the narrator. with no translation. I suppose at that time most people in Europe spoke one or the other. took me a bit to type them out to get them translated..

I did enjoy many turns of a phrase or two:

"o delight delight to think one didnt die this time, that one isnt going to die after all, but is going to get betting,going to live, going presently to be quite well again and able to go back to ones friends, to the people who still love one"

"It is very good practice I think, to lean out of ones window for a space before going to bed, and let cool darkness wash over one"

recommendations and rating

this I think will be enjoyable to readers who dont mind quiet reads, ones that show possibilities for the future despite the past


Jan 28, 9:36 am

Beautiful review. I’m fascinated.

Editado: Jan 28, 6:48 pm

>94 cindydavid4: enjoyed your review of In The Mountains which sounds like my sort of book

Editado: Jan 29, 7:23 pm

review for becoming a nun in the age of aquarius by helen reynolds

why did you choose this book

for RTT Feburary theme : aquarius and amethes, and to be honest thinking reading it was going to be quite a lark. I was surprised that it was much more entertaining than I expected.

synopsis w/o spoilers

from amazon Becoming a Nun in the Age of Aquarius is a first-hand account of the "making-a-nun" process of the 1960s. It is so much more than a memoir. The author lets the reader in on the secrets of daily life and the reasons large numbers left their convents to return to secular life. First-hand accounts help to make life before, during, and after being a nun relatable. Historical perspective and a sprinkle of sociological insight are seamlessly interwoven. This was the last group of American women to enter Catholic religious orders in such numbers. It was also the last group of women to be trained and live under the conditions of the old pre-Vatican II Catholic Church. It reveals an integral part of women's history.

what kept you reading

her matter of fact, down to earth writing (like Aquarius!) I started this last night and finished it this morning. It was not only well written but well organized, with footnotes, a glossary, and bibliography. I esp liked her comments on the 50s, and what a difficult decade it was to be a woman. Much of her experience (the isolation from secular life, the specific very detailed day to day, not being able to ask questions or speak up) was part of that time period. I esp appreciated her information on Vatican II, how it came about, how it affected women living in convents, and catholics as a whole. what is amazing is it is her first book.

iRecommended to:

anyone who has any interest in convent life (esp to compare with the life in matrix

Rating: 5* its one of those books that already has me looking for more information and more reads about Vatican II. Its a book Ill be thinking about for awhile.

Jan 29, 6:49 pm

>96 baswood: have you read any of her other books?

Jan 30, 11:46 am

>98 cindydavid4: No I have not but Elizabeth Von Arnim has been on my radar for some time.

Jan 30, 12:28 pm

>99 baswood: >98nI have The Enchanted April on my tbr.

Jan 30, 1:34 pm

Jan 30, 1:56 pm

Bit late to the discussion but The House of Doors didn't work for me either for similar reasons mentioned above.

Jan 31, 9:53 pm

for the february author of the month is George Bernard Shaw. Have read a lot of his essays, and of course knew about Pygmailion after seeing My Fair Lady (sis and I used to sing the songs together; read Pygmailion, which is written in play form so of course I heard music through it. Now reading androcles and the lion. Knew the basic story, but didn't realize that Shaw developed in into a satire of religion. very interesting

Fev 1, 7:19 am

I was in a high school play as a freshman called Androcles and the Lion. Was this it? I played the Roman emperor. It was the beginning and ending of my theater career.

Fev 1, 7:57 am

yes probably. the Roman emperor ends up becoming supportive of the chritians. does that sound familar? Didnt you like acting?

Fev 1, 8:05 am

>105 cindydavid4: it was not a natural fit for me. 🙂

Fev 1, 10:41 am


Fev 2, 10:42 pm

starting the vaster wilds, and remembering that I have not finished covenant of water there are not enough minutes in the day, damn it, and im not getting any younger. ah well, we'll see which one keeps my attention

Fev 3, 10:18 am

>108 cindydavid4: I'm very interested to read how well you like The Vaster Wilds.

Fev 3, 10:26 am

well, the descriptions of the girls escape and her survival really work well and it kept me reading. As it went on I had a feeling this was not going to end well, so I looked at the end. so yeah writing excellent and I understand that the plot was very relistic, but not sure what her point was; that nature was beautiful and cruel, and that humans were just cruel? Tell me what your thoughts were, maybe Im missing something

didn't realize the 'castle' was at Jamestown, during the horrible winters they had there

Fev 3, 10:40 am

>110 cindydavid4: "Tell me what your thoughts were . . . "

My review is here. I'm happy to discuss if you'd like. Cheers!

Editado: Fev 4, 10:29 pm

I read it, and totally agree about the Groffs mastery of describing the natural world in all its facets. and I could hear zed breathing as I read the book. but I think I hit the part in the middle where you stopped; tired of still being in her head, And I did something I do now and again to help me know if its worth continuring - I go to the end and see what happens. and I just couldnt. all of that, and thats how it ends; realistic I have no doubt but really?

I thought this review from the Chicago Review apt "Lauren Groff’s new novel, The Vaster Wilds, is supposed to make you feel cold, hungry, thirsty, nauseated, sore, febrile, scared, awed, appalled, relieved, confused, hopeful, and tired of it all. The sensations are better effected than the emotions, which is the other way round from Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, a novel cited by Lauren Groff as a help in the writing of this one. Defoe is good at despair and hope, loneliness and the relief of friendship, where The Vaster Wilds is more evocative when it describes touch, taste, pain, and disorientation."

I agree with how well she describes the nature around her, and honestly have no problem with it. But after a while one tires of being on the run through this, at least I was

"The narrative voice of The Vaster Wilds is an effective compromise, pretty much contemporary, but with some archaic syntax, as in “he had lifted with one hand the creeping fearful soldier by his hair” and “she watched in wonder the pulsing stars above.” As for the dialogue, Groff has a relish for Elizabethan insult, so she has the mistress’s son Kit and his friends, the cook, and then voices that speak to the girl from the sky call her “sooty mammet,” “collop of mince,” “toothsome grub,” “tawny bead,” “wicked sprite,” etc. "

this didn't bother me as much as it may have you. Im not a big fan of dialect but if the idea is to put you in the time and place, use of old syntax makes sense. makes the reader realize that they are not in kansas anymore

"In Groff’s language things are vivid and palpable, as when the girl drinks some near-frozen water and “the cold sliced down the center of her like the tip of a knife,” or when the tears come: “O do not cry, girl, she told herself sternly upon the astonishment of this gift, but still the world went hot and liquid in her eyes.”

absolutely love this paragraph; shes trying to comfort herself as she did her young charge. I dont fault her writing and I guess we knew there wouldnt be a happy ending when we started. but hope springs eternal. her point was not to give her the life she imagined, so still wonder what point she was trying to make.

rating 3.5*

Fev 4, 10:10 pm

to those of you who are into medival times, the New Yorker has an article about a new biography of Margaret Cavendish,Duchess of Newcastle, entitled pure wit. Cavendish was the author of the blazing world pub 1666, along with many other books and essays concerning poetry, philosophy and science. Eager to read this bio of this fascinating woman and her work in a time where such things were frowned upon. thought some of you might be interested in the article and/or bio

Fev 6, 9:27 pm

I have put lots of reading on hold for now, while I read the very enjoyable how to build a boat I love how the author draws this young boy, and he sounds so much like my students Ive had in the past (its been four almost five years but i still miss them like crazy) anyway the book is very on target about so many things, and I hope it continues to be one I enjoy

Fev 6, 9:44 pm

>114 cindydavid4: yay! So nice to see another person lost in How to Build a Boat. I adored it.

Fev 7, 9:12 pm

Having a bit of a problem with Tess. great teacher who takes Jamie under her wing, but I think we (or I) could have done with less of her drama. She sounded and acted more like a teenager than a mature responsible adult. I dunno maybe im being hard on her, but shes making it hard fr me to have my sympathy. I still have a bit to go so my thoughts may change but personally I wanted to know more about jaimie!

btw how old is jaime. At one point he says in 2014 he was 8 years old so thought by the time of the book hed be 18. then the celebrate his 14th birthday, there were other consistenciestho being in a college I figured he had to be close to 18,

I still love this book and it will probably be in my top 10 list next December!

Fev 7, 11:40 pm

Tess's teacher stress worked for me. I took notes on Jamie's age... hang on... he was born in 2006, and the book opens (after the prologue) in 2019 when he's 13. (so, he was 8 in 2014)

Fev 8, 12:07 am

ok thanks,I didn't catch when the book starts. And his comments made him seem older to me. got it now. I think the college confused me; I think it means something different in Ireland than it does here.

I understand the teacher stress, believe me Ive been there. just too much running away, oo much flirting with Foley (I love how the two of them are helping Jaime) Havent finished yet so well see how this goes

Fev 8, 12:10 pm

just finished, wow! I need to read the epilogue again, not big on poetry but it was absolutely beautiful.Ill be writing my review later but thanks to who ever turned me on to this. My eyes are tearing up but Im smiling

Fev 8, 12:13 pm

>119 cindydavid4: ❤️ ❤️

Fev 8, 4:56 pm

Ok just reread the epilogue I am ready!
review of how to build a boat

Why did you choose this book?

my husband helps a friend build boats (yes we have lakes in the valley) and when I heard about this one the title definitely a metaphor something besides building, decided to try it.

I have two other connections with this book. Weve been to Wales and remember admiring the Coracles we saw there, plus the main character is a 13 year old boy who is 'on the spectrum'. Some of the kids I taught were the same and I can tell you that this author picked just the right wording, dialogue and humor that mine did. I admire her for that

synopsis w/o spoilers

Jamie O'Neill loves the colour red. He also loves tall trees, patterns, rain that comes with wind, the curvature of many objects, books with dust jackets, cats, rivers and Edgar Allan Poe. At age 13 there are two things he especially wants in life- to build a Perpetual Motion Machine, and to connect with his mother Noelle, who died when he was born

How to Build a Boat is the story of how one boy and his mission transforms the lives of his teachers, Tess and Tadhg, and brings together a community. Written with tenderness and verve, it's about love, family and connection, the power of imagination, and how our greatest adventures never happen alone.

What kept you reading?

the clear writing the well drawn characters, describing the landscape, not so it overuns the story, but puts everything in its time and place.This was a page turner read from morning to night then to afternoon. Rather a perfect one to read with the rainstorm outside

When I read a book about a character with a disability, I hesitate, coz I know there are certaing memes that go with these: the bullying, the discrimination, the injustice, absent parents, clueless administrators. I wonder if any of these would ruin things and they did not. The bullying is just a few epidodes and the rest is how everyone dealt with the problems.. ,

What slowed you down

Tess the teacher has a big impact on Jaime and they have a very strong connection. But she has moments that have me believe shes a 16 year old and not a mature woman. There a section when I actually shouted "grow up!" but as you come to understand the pressures she is under, you have empathy for her.


any one looking for a quiet read that feels very much like a small town for better or worse rating: 5*

Fev 8, 8:47 pm

>121 cindydavid4: I’m really happy you enjoyed this. And I appreciate your comments on Feeney’s writing about autism. I have no context to evaluate that, so glad it holds up.

Fev 8, 9:06 pm

>94 cindydavid4: Just catching up here. I'm so glad you liked In the Mountains by Elizabeth von Arnim.

>121 cindydavid4: How to Build a Boat is going on my reading list!

Fev 8, 10:07 pm

>121 cindydavid4: You have me interested in How to Build a Boat now Cindy. I was a bit put off as like you, I tend to avoid books with disabled characters. I have to know beforehand that they are very well done. Thanks for the assurance.

Fev 8, 10:25 pm

>124 kjuliff: you are very welcomed! I dont avoid them, just like you, want to be sure they are worth reading. Happy reading

Fev 9, 12:23 am

Added to my wishlist too! Glad to have your review ahead of time - for similar reasons... the portrayals of most allistic authors just don't reflect my experience with autistic people, and so many take a trauma-focused and/or pathological approach to autistic life that just makes me sad and mad.

Editado: Fev 11, 3:58 pm

I know. I think the first book with a diabled character I remember reading was Heidewho visits her friend who cannot walk. So someone tosses her wheelchair over a cliff, and she learns to walk! A miracle! ah no.(I loved that book so much and it was a long while before I realized how wrong it was.) I did a paper on the subject in college. cant remember the name of the book but its about a deaf child who is tryig to fit in.the kids notice robbers down the street and the child can lipread what they are saying and saves the day. um no.

BTW if you are interested: Ill be leading the Reading Through Time theme in April : books with characters with disabilities . come on by.

Fev 11, 1:34 pm

>127 cindydavid4: Oh wonderful! I'll look forward to that!

Fev 12, 5:26 pm

I'm adding How to build a boat to my reading list as well - this will be a good one for a quiet read.

Fev 12, 8:41 pm

been wanting something like this for a long time Elizabeth of the German Garden – A Literary Journey: A biography of Elizabeth von Arnim I know some about her life while reading her books and other resources but it would be nice to know more. stay tuned

Fev 12, 9:59 pm

>130 cindydavid4: did you read my review here HERE. It’s about her first marriage. After her first marriage she had an affair with H G Wells and then married Bernard Shaw’s brother. But she didn’t stay long with Shaw, I think a little over a year. The book Elizabeth and her German Garden is only covers a very short period of von Arnie’s life.

Read Vera to get more of an idea of her.

Fev 12, 11:44 pm

yes I read it; Im talking about an actual biography that has been written three years ago. :)

Fev 13, 12:00 am

>132 cindydavid4: I’m not sure what you mean by “three years ago”. Do you mean that the writer wrote a biography of the last three years of her life? That’s not my understanding of a biography. A biography is an account of someone's life written by someone else. The Elizabeth in Elizabeth and her Garden is about the writer’s garden and a few years of her own life.

Fev 13, 12:06 am

>132 cindydavid4: I now understand. We are talking about two different books. Sorry about that.

Fev 13, 12:14 am

np. btw does anyone else feel strange having the same conversations over three threads? Just askin.....:)

Fev 13, 12:40 am

>135 cindydavid4: count me in. I don’t know how it happened. Let’s keep it here on your page to keep it simple.

Fev 13, 11:03 am

its a deal!

Fev 14, 10:42 pm

A little frustrated by the bio; lots of interesting information but it feels like she is writing a diary about every single day of her life! Needed an editor, but still liking it for the most part

Fev 14, 11:25 pm

review for walking the woods and water

Why did you choose this book?

I was reading this authors other book for the non fiction challenge and happened to find out that he was writing this book. I huge fan of Fermoor and his works and that journey he took is probably one of my fav travel narratives. So I was eager how this author would do with it

synopsis without spoilers

n 1933, the eighteen-year-old Patrick Leigh Fermor set out in a pair of hobnailed boots to chance and charm his way across Europe, "like a tramp, a pilgrim, or a wandering scholar." The books he later wrote about this walk, A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and the Water, and the posthumous The Broken Road are a half-remembered, half-reimagined journey through cultures now extinct, landscapes irrevocably altered by the traumas of the twentieth century. Aged eighteen, Nick Hunt read A Time of Gifts and dreamed of following in Fermor's footsteps. In 2011 he began his own "great trudge"--on foot all the way to Istanbul. He walked across eight countries, following two major rivers and crossing three mountain ranges. With only Fermor's books to guide him, he trekked some 2,500 miles through Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. His aim? To have an old-fashioned adventure. To slow down and linger in a world where we pass by so much, so fast. To discover for himself what remained of hospitality, kindness to strangers, freedom, wildness, adventure, the mysterious, the unknown, the deeper currents of myth and story through the European culture

what kept you reading?

well heres the thing. I ran into problems from the first, when he said he didnt want to plan, and just wanted to get out there, and the only guides he used were the two original books, till he discovered gee he couldnt take the same journey that Paddy did after 80 years. the world has changed. As I was reading about the beginning of his treck, I decided that this would not end well so I put it aside. Got curious tho and started up again. Liked how he ofter referred to Paddys works and was frankly amazed at his determination - this wasnt a walk in the park. But he does end up seeing quite a lot that paddy did, and through the net was able to meet many other Paddy fans that took him in and showed him around Also realized that I needed to lower my expectations, of course couldn't expect him to write the same way with the same level of knowledge of the places Paddy went to. But I did finish, and was glad I did

what did you discover from the book?

the same thing he did: From the final page "I had set out to search for change, but perhaps the most striking revelations were the deep commonalities between our time and his.Suburban sprawl, motorways, hydroelectric dams may have irrevocably altered landscapes and silence was often compromised by roar of cars and planes But Europes wilder ways never felt that far away. Even in the most developed industrial places of my walk it only took a touch of snow to revive the sense of fairytale magic and I discovered wonder in unexpected places. Simarly in human terms everything and nothing had changed;The liquidation of aristocracy throughout Eastern Europe, the horrors of the wars that decimated so many people and cultures, the bellosicty that still occurs today. And yet in every country of my walk, I encountered kindness and generosity that Paddy would have recognized, and in many places parts of the culture -dance, song, tales -were being kept from the old times to pass down to the next generation

recommendation: anyone who has read Paddys books I think will find this interesting, and for those who havent reading it may encourage them to go back and read those classics

rating 4

Fev 15, 7:20 am

>139 cindydavid4: I have a couple of Patrick Leigh Fermor's on my wishlist, but I have never read him. Thanks for the reminder to do so.

Fev 15, 2:07 pm

Enjoyed your review of the Nick Hunt book. I might have stopped reading when he said he didn't plan. I am a fan of Partick Leigh Fermor

Fev 15, 9:05 pm

>139 cindydavid4: sadly I stumbled with PLF and didn’t finish. Hopefully i can give him another try. I enjoyed your review of Hunt’s book.

Fev 16, 8:44 pm

oh Im sorry; has written other books, patrick lee fermor Not sure if you you like books about letters, but i liked In Tearing Haste: Letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor Abducting a General: The Kreipe Operation and SOE in Crete was rather fascinating. he also has travel books about the south seas, greece and the travel tree about his travels in the caribbeans. You might want to start with one of these first and then try the others later. Hope you find something you will like!

Fev 16, 8:46 pm

not sure where we were talking about Arcadia, Ian Pears 'new' novel (it was first published on line) I ate up all of his earlier works, his art detective series, stones fall, instance of the fingerpost, the dream of scipio. and the portrait and was disappointed at the time that i couldnt read Arcadia because I had no way to do it at the time. So now that it is has been published in book form, I am eagerly reading it. crossing my fingers it will be as good as the rest!

Editado: Fev 18, 10:27 am

I haven't read anything else by Ian Pears, but I really liked Arcadia when I read it a few years ago, although I had some issues with it.

Fev 18, 11:02 am

good to hear. Im liking it so far. if you are interested in reading more, I think my fav of his was stones fall A widow wants to know why her husband jumped out of a window to his death. She hires a young PI to find out. The answer lies in a journey through three different cities and time spans . its confusing at first, things quickly fall into place. Im not normally into mystery but the complexity of this, along with the history of finance and espionage really held me.

Fev 18, 12:04 pm

>139 cindydavid4: Oh that's really interesting, as I've read A Time of Gifts and at the time remember thinking 'you couldn't do that kind of walk today relying on the hospitality of strangers'. It sounds like I was half right. Nice that the PLF devotees online showed their support, but this feels organised and quite far from PLF's experience of just arriving places and things falling into place. Not the author's fault - our world is just not full of too many samaritans these days.

I imagine PLF's walk was more straightforward - he didn't have motorways and major roads to negotiate, and had the freedom to walk more or less where he wished. Landowners aren't so relaxed about trespassing these days - how did he negotiate those types of obstacles, or did he gloss over that detail?

I'm going to add this to my wish list, as all these questions are piquing my interest.

Editado: Fev 18, 5:49 pm

not sure about the tresspassing thing. I know he had contacts with lots of upperclass types where he was invited. ont remember him being kicked out anywhere,its possible but its been a while since I read it. the other people he met along the road were pretty happy to have him and often invited him so maybe the neeed wasnt there. But . did read this from reddit

be sure to look at the comments, very interesting the differnces in countries.

Fev 18, 8:54 pm

elizabeth german garden, a journey a review

Why did you read this?

I have read most of von amins books and was excited to learn there was a new bio about her life and books

Synopsis w/o spoilers

(from amazon)Jennifer Walker’s recent biography of the author Elizabeth von Arnim (1866 – 1941) provides a fascinating and comprehensive introduction to this writer and her entertaining novels. Born Mary Annette Beauchamp in Sydney, Australia, she was brought up in London. Writing as ‘Elizabeth’, she immediately became a literary celebrity and went on to publish twenty more eagerly anticipated novels. With their unique humour and brand of rebellious feminism, these won high critical praise and gained a wide readership across the world. This biography delves into the character of the remarkable woman whose life story provided much of the material and inspiration for her fiction

what kept me reading

Ms Walkers was privy to Von Arnims diaries, her correspondence with many authors of her day, as well as letters from her adult chidren. This provided me much joy in reading about her, planning of her books and the stories behind them over the years, it was this last that I wanted to know more about, and for the most part was happy with the background.

I was surprised that she could be quite ugly at times and had a temper that caused one child to flee. She could be demanding of her staff and rather rude to her various lovers. but we all have feet of clay, so.....

why did you start flipping pages

Remember how much the author was privy to? that had its negative side. It became a data dump; interesting still but after awhile I didnt want to read who was at what party and who she was having an affair with, and her constant walks with her dogs, and the many places she moved to. I did learn a lot about her life (in particular i recently had read the mountain learned why she had to leave her mountain chalet pre WWI what her losses were and how she began again on her return. Made me want to read the story again with new eyes. But I really did flip pages and think an editor was much needed here (did love her relationship with HG Wells - it wasnt an affair; they really were very good friends)

who would you recommend this too. any fan of her books, or who would like to start, with the caveat that you might need to skip places now and again. there is quite a lot to learn

ratine: 5* for the writing 4*for poor editing, so its 4.5*

Fev 19, 5:04 pm

why did you start flipping pages - i need to incorporate this into my reviews.

Enjoyed your review on Elizabeth von Arnim. I guess she was wealthy and human

Fev 19, 9:14 pm

Yes. a very talented and sensitive human indeed

Editado: Fev 20, 3:41 pm

reading some reviews of a man named ove reminds me how much Ive been noticing is the number of times I see a book review that thinks the character is 'on the spectrum' even tho the author makes no mention of it. It happens with a man called ove and with the conveniece store woman and How to build a boat People make an assumption based on character traits , characters who are shy, socially inept, wanting things in order. It might be true but it bothers me that the label which is vague in the first place is being placed on people when its not a fair label to give. I do tho appreciate that these characters are drawn as normal characters where their labels are not who they are so at least the author is paying attention

Fev 20, 1:10 pm

>149 cindydavid4: This was so timely. I commented on someone else's thread last week that I was pretty sure I'd read a biography review on Van Arnim that said she could be a nasty piece of work, but then I started doubting my memory. This was exactly the book - thank you for clearing that up for me!

Interesting comments on the Reddit question. England definitely allows quite a lot of land access (whether farmers like it or not). In NI you don't have walking rights over private land, but sounds like the rest of Europe is more relaxed on that.

Fev 20, 2:51 pm

>153 AlisonY: I can see there could be a problem with von Arnim, especially with her children. Apparently she left one of them in Germany, later to die in the war. Still I like her books. How far can we go in liking a book while disliking the author? I recently reviewed a book by a Norwegian who won the Nobel Prize yet betrayed his country and supported Germany in WWII. It’s a bit of a dilemma.

Editado: Fev 20, 3:50 pm

re her children during WWI there was much anti german sentament; her daughters were feeling the effects of that so she sent two older ones to the states to stay with some relatives (which is where the delightful book christopher and columbus came from One daughter did not want to leave Germany, she stayed and ended up marrying a german, In WWII her daughter wrote a letter to vonarnm begging her to let her come to london, as her parents refused to. She made that happen through some contacts. I am not sure if that daughter died tho. arnims youngest daughter was attending school in Germany suring WWI she apparently was a handful, and ended up in a boarding school.She ran away and after she was caught, got pnemonia and died Thats the story anyway She is said to have felt great guilt over leaving her behind,even still I was rather appalled at her anger against her daughter. so yeah, as I said, we all have feet of clay some of us heavier than others.

I read the post about the author you refer to, who was a fan of hitler.Ive always said I can separate the artist from the work, esp if the work is from long time ago, Not sure Id be interested in what he wrote however regardless of the Nobel

Editado: Fev 20, 3:51 pm

>153 AlisonY: regarding Scotland found this article interestinng

"Land reform has been one of the most significant achievements of the Scottish Parliament. The abolition of feudal tenure, the introduction of Community Right to Buy, and the establishment of the ‘right to roam’ are just a few of the many accomplishments to date. But as Lord Sewell put it in 1999, land reform should be viewed as a process, not an event.

The need for ongoing land reform, in spite of multiple waves of land reform legislation, can be attributed to Scotland’s archaic starting point. While most democracies escaped the shackles of land oligopoly many centuries ago, Scotland’s democratic revolution never quite came to pass. As a result, the archaic patterns of land ownership and governance that were swept aside by revolution and revolt elsewhere survive in Scotland to this day, relatively intact.

Perhaps the most obvious expression of this relates to Scotland’s highly concentrated pattern of land ownership. With an estimated 67% of Scotland’s private rural land owned by just 0.025% of the population, Scotland’s concentration of land ownership is almost unique among advanced economies. Not only is this at odds with Scotland’s ambition to be a modern, progressive democracy – it stifles entrepreneurial ambition and prevents rural communities from fulfilling their potential.

Fev 20, 4:36 pm

>155 cindydavid4: Thanks for the von Armin update.

Re the separation of an author from his/her work, I thinks that it’s not really possible when it involves events in our own or our parents’ living memory. I very much doubt I would have read Hamsun’s book had I known of his actions before I started his book.

Editado: Fev 21, 8:27 am

>152 cindydavid4: reading some reviews of a man named ove reminds me how much Ive been noticing is the number of times I see a book review that thinks the character is 'on the spectrum' even tho the author makes no mention of it. It happens with a man called ove and with the conveniece store woman and How to build a boat People make an assumption based on character traits , characters who are shy, socially inept, wanting things in order.

As an autistic person myself, my first thought upon reading a brief summary on someone's thread just now of Convenience Store Woman was that the protagonist sounded autistic. Social ineptness and a desire for order, routine, and structure are pretty common autistic traits.

it might be true but it bothers me that the label which is vague in the first place is being placed on people when its not a fair label to give.

These aren't real people, though. They're fictional characters. It's not good or fair to armchair diagnose real human people, but that's not what's happening here.

Whether or not the various authors intended to write various characters as autistic is an open question - likely with different answers depending on the work in question - but it is perfectly fair for a reader to interpret a character as autistic if the way the character thinks and acts reads that way to them. It's certainly not wrong for autistic readers to see ourselves in characters, or to say so when we do.

"On the spectrum" isn't really vague, either; it's just a way of saying autistic without using the word, and accounts for different diagnostic terms like Autism Spectrum, Asperger's, etc.

I'm not sure what you mean by it being not a fair label to give. I'm autistic; it's nothing to be ashamed of.

Fev 21, 9:43 am

>156 cindydavid4: Interesting read - thanks for that.

Fev 21, 9:49 am

oh, I certainly didn't mean to offend you. No there is nothing to be ashamed. but this longtime sped teacher in me cringes when I see or hear that even if they are just characters in a book. I think my feeling is that such labeling of characters can lead to labeling people, and when I say unfairly, I mean that labels attached to people can be misleading and perhaps cause them to be discriminated against; Of course readers are free to interpret as they will, and tbh I did think that about the character in Convenience Store Woman. I guess it just sticks out when i see it .

Way back when I started teaching circa 1979, this kind of labeling happened all the time; deaf kids were often placed in institutions for the mentally handicapped, as they were called back then. Autistic usually refered to people on the severe range, and when people heard that label, thats the picture that popped up which is why there is the lable of on the spectrum.. This thankfully has changed over time, people have more knowledge about people with with disabilities and while discrimination still happens, I think more awareness leads to more opportunities in education and emploment

thank you for your post and making me be more aware of how my post sounded. cheers

Fev 21, 9:50 am

>159 AlisonY: I should have added , talking about trespassing, this number means there is more chance of someone trespassing and less chance for people to roam

Editado: Fev 21, 2:40 pm

>158 Julie_in_the_Library: As an autistic person myself, my first thought upon reading a brief summary on someone's thread just now of Convenience Store Woman was that the protagonist sounded autistic.
Maybe that was mine - Turning Japanese. Though I didn’t think the MC was autistic. I took the book as a reflection of modern Western life. I see from other reviews that many found the MC was autistic. I would never just jump to that conclusion.

After reading a second book by the same writer, I think that the MC wasn’t autistic in Convenience store woman. Murata is a very strange novelist and I won’t be reading any more of her strange works. Her Earthlings was a horror show.

Editado: Ontem, 8:27 pm

Interesting re George Wells and Von Arnim as friends perhaps, In the bio, Wells tells Elizabeth that his wife was just fine with an opened marriage. In the book Im reading now about the wife of Wells wifedom its very apparent his wife did not agree. mmmmmm

Interesting now to be reading about their life after reading about von armin, sind they both traveled in the same circles

Fev 22, 10:47 pm

has anyone read anything by Baruch Spinoza? Looking at Think Least of Death: Spinoza on How to Live and How to Die It was mentioned in the NYT and got interested after reading the article

"In 1656, after being excommunicated from Amsterdam’s Portuguese-Jewish community for “abominable heresies” and “monstrous deeds,” the young Baruch Spinoza abandoned his family’s import business to dedicate his life to philosophy. He quickly became notorious across Europe for his views on God, the Bible, and miracles, as well as for his uncompromising defense of free thought. Yet the radicalism of Spinoza’s views has long obscured that his primary reason for turning to philosophy was to answer one of humanity’s most urgent questions: How can we lead a good life and enjoy happiness in a world without a providential God? "

Editado: Fev 22, 10:55 pm

has anyone read anything by Baruch Spinoza? Looking at Spinoza: Freedom's Messiah (Jewish Lives) that came out this month. It was mentioned in the NYT and got interested after reading the article

"In 1656, after being excommunicated from Amsterdam’s Portuguese-Jewish community for “abominable heresies” and “monstrous deeds,” the young Baruch Spinoza abandoned his family’s import business to dedicate his life to philosophy. He quickly became notorious across Europe for his views on God, the Bible, and miracles, as well as for his uncompromising defense of free thought. Yet the radicalism of Spinoza’s views has long obscured that his primary reason for turning to philosophy was to answer one of humanity’s most urgent questions: How can we lead a good life and enjoy happiness in a world without a providential God? "

Fev 23, 8:11 pm

>165 cindydavid4: that would probably be too much for me. I’m interested in him, but I don’t think i’m all that interested in trying to read him.

Fev 23, 9:34 pm

Yeah the more Im reading the less interested I am in it, esp since with all his humanitarian philosophy he appears to be a bit mysogonist so Ill pass on it

Editado: Fev 24, 2:52 pm

>165 cindydavid4: >166 dchaikin:
Reading Baruch Spinoza was my entire life for one semester. I was the only student in the class, so had to be there and have read the material. I would say I spent 5-6 hours a day on this class alone, not to mention the others I was taking at the time.

Having said that, after looking at the reviews of the books mentioned here, I think it might be difficult to read a discussion of Spinoza's ideas without having read Spinoza himself. There's nothing like going to the source!

I never got the idea he was a misogynist in all that time.

Editado: Ontem, 12:48 pm

Hi Sassy, found it

"In the unfinished final chapter of his unfinished Political Treatise we find Spinoza’s
unfinished thought about the exclusion of women from the democratic polity. Spinoza
says that women are deprived of citizenship in a democracy because they are ‘under
the control of their husbands’ and, furthermore, ‘women do not naturally possess
equal right with men’.
The two paragraphs in which Spinoza discusses women’s exclusion from democratic citizenship have provoked both anger and puzzlement:
anger because Spinoza’s reasoning here is so poor, and puzzlement because Spinoza’s
position seems to run counter to what can be inferred from his Ethics about political
community. The basis of human communities, as stated in the Ethics, is that we join
together with others who ‘agree in nature’ with us. There is no indication there that
this agreement of nature cannot include women as well as men"-

Beth Lord is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Dundee. Her treatise goes on for 25 pages, Having trouble getting a complete link but if you go to Wiki, to Beth Lord Spinoza, you;ll see it

think you are right about sticking to the source. Ill have to try it ans see how it goes

Editado: Ontem, 8:28 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Ontem, 3:41 pm

>163 cindydavid4: Have you read Simone de Beauvoir’s She Came to Stay? People who say they are happy with open marriage are often unhappy with the practice of it. Particularly if they are the silent partner. 😊🙁