avatiakh (Kerry) reads from her shelves

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avatiakh (Kerry) reads from her shelves

1avatiakh
Editado: Abr 10, 3:06 am


Sir Walter Scott's Home, Abbotsford in Scotland which I visited in October 2023

Welcome to my 2024 thread.
I'm Kerry from Auckland, New Zealand. I read widely though not as prolificly as previous years. I signed up to LT in 2008 and joined the 75 Books in 2009 group. In 2023 I went travelling for three months around the world including time with my daughter who lives in London. While I couldn't get to Israel as planned I did end up with extra time in Bangkok and really enjoyed my time there. This year I'm staying home and hope to include reading books set in many of the places I visited.

Currently Reading:
Maror by Lavie Tidhar (Israel) - stalled
The Iliad by Homer (audio)

2avatiakh
Editado: Jan 7, 9:45 pm


Came across this restaurant in Prague, apparently there are several 'The Good Soldier Švejk' inspired restaurants around. Jaroslav Hašek's 1923 novel lives on and i hope to read it this year.
https://www.seriouseats.com/restaurants-inspired-by-the-good-soldier-svejk

My 2024 Category Challenge
1) Local - Australia & New Zealand
2) UK & Ireland
3) Europe
4) Israel & Holocaust Literature
5) The Americas
6) Africa
7) Asia
8) Scifi & Fantasy
9) Juvenile - children's & YA
10) Illustrated - manga, GNs & picturebooks
11) Nonfiction
12) Dropbox - anything that slips through the gaps

3avatiakh
Editado: Dez 30, 2023, 3:23 am


Loy Krathong (Festival of Lights) is one of the most picturesque festivals in Bangkok. It’s when people gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by releasing beautiful lotus-shaped rafts, decorated with candles, incense and flowers onto the water. We happened on a light and sound show at the canal by our hotel.

Goals for 2024

Read from my shelves - I must commit to reading more of my own books and slow down my library requests.
Writers I'd like to focus a little on include Richard Zimler, Louis de Bernieres & Mollie Hunter as I own most of their works.
Finish Reading The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt - my epic fail for the past couple of years

plus a repeat of my unsuccessful 2022/3 goals which includes the books I vouched for over on the Club Read 2022's HOPE TO READ SOON: a tribute to Rebeccanyc -
Aira, César. The Seamstress and the Wind - Jan
Bergelson, David. The End of Everything - Mar
Rufin, Jean-Christophe. The Abyssinian - May
Rufin, Jean-Christophe. The Siege of Isfahan - Jul
The 2023 HOPE TO READ thread is here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/346710

4avatiakh
Editado: Jan 1, 10:51 pm

Holocaust Literature Group
_____

Holocaust Literature - A couple of years ago Lisa (labfs39) and I started a Holocaust Literature group which anyone is welcome to join -
We set this up as a separate place to record and discuss Holocaust related books and media.
I didn't meet my reading goals this past year though I read several Holocaust memoirs and some fiction.
I visited several Holocaust museums and memorials on my travels.

so many worthy books I've still not read -
This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski
Lovely Green Eyes by Arnošt Lustig
Brodeck's Report by Philippe Claudel
Memory by Philippe Grimbert
The Cap: The Price Of A Life by Roman Frister
If not now, when? by Primo Levi

My Holocaust Literature reading thread: https://www.librarything.com/topic/338441#n8014630

5avatiakh
Editado: Mar 31, 10:11 pm


The two black cats resident at the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia. I was there in September and enjoyed finding out more about Edgar Allan Poe's life.

Some of the Awards, series and trilogies that I'm concentrating on -

Captain Alatriste by Arturo Pérez-Reverte - 2/7
Latin American Trilogy by Louis de Bernières - 0/3

Crime -
Rebus by Ian Rankin - 24/24
Cormoran Strike by Robert Galbraith - 6/7
Pepe Carvalho by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán - 5/23 - reading what I can find
Kramer and Zondi by James McClure - 1/8
Nina Borg by Lene Kaaberbøl - 3/4
Paula Maguire by Claire McGowan - 3/6

Scifi
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson - 3/4
Murderbot by Martha Wells 6/7
Prefect Dreyfus by Alastair Reynolds 2/3

Fantasy
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch 6/9 - need to get back to this one
Temeraire by Naomi Novik - 3/9
The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop - 0/3

Children's/YA
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome - 1/12

Manga:
Buddha vol.1 by Osamu Tezuka 1/8
Vagabond vol 1 VIZBIG Omnibus Edition Series by Takehiko Inoue 3/12

Prix Goncourt:
I've read books that have won the Award, some older ones are hard to find.
Here's what's on my radar for the near future:
The Battle by Patrick Rambaud - to read for The War Room challenge's Napoleonic Wars month

also ongoing is my read of the winners of the UK Carnegie Medal in Children's Literature‎.
'The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are the UK’s oldest and best-loved children’s book awards.
The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded by children’s librarians for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people.'
I like that this is awarded by librarians. The Kate Greenaway Medal is for illustration, so mainly picturebooks win.

Carnegie Medal (UK) Winners update-

2023 Manon Steffan Ros The Blue Book of Nebo- READ 2024
2022 Katya Balen, October, October
2021 Jason Reynolds Look Both Ways
2020, Anthony McGowan, Lark - Read 2020
2019 Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X
2018 Geraldine McCaughrean, Where the World Ends
- READ 2023
2017 Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea - READ 2023
2016 Sarah Crossan, One - Read
2015 Tanya Landman, Buffalo Soldier - Read
2014 Kevin Brooks, The Bunker Diary - Read
2013 Sally Gardner, Maggot Moon - Read
2012 Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls - Read
2011 Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men - Read
2010 Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book - Read
2009 Siobhan Dowd, Bog Child - Read
2008 Philip Reeve, Here Lies Arthur - Read
2007 Meg Rosoff, Just in Case - Read
2005 Mal Peet, Tamar - Read
2004 Frank Cottrell Boyce, Millions - READ 2024
2003 Jennifer Donnelly, A Gathering Light - Read
2002 Sharon Creech, Ruby Holler - Read

2001 Terry Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents - own
2000 Beverley Naidoo, The Other Side of Truth - own
1999 Aidan Chambers, Postcards from No Man’s Land - Read
1998 David Almond, Skellig - Read

1997 Tim Bowler, River Boy - own
1996 Melvin Burgess, Junk - Read
1995 Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials - Read

1994 Theresa Breslin, Whispers in the Graveyard
1993 Robert Swindells, Stone Cold
1992 Anne Fine, Flour Babies - Read
1991 Berlie Doherty, Dear Nobody
1990 Gillian Cross, Wolf - Read 2021
1989 Anne Fine, Goggle-eyes - Read
1988 Geraldine McCaughrean, A Pack of Lies - Read

1987 Susan Price, The Ghost Drum
1986 Berlie Doherty, Granny was a Buffer Girl
1985 Kevin Crossley-Holland, Storm - READ 2024
1984 Margaret Mahy, The Changeover - Read

1983 Jan Mark, Handles
1982 Margaret Mahy, The Haunting - Read
1981 Robert Westall, The Scarecrows
1980 Peter Dickinson, City of Gold and Other Stories from the Old Testament
1979 Peter Dickinson, Tulku - own
1978 David Rees, The Exeter Blitz - Read 2022
1977 Gene Kemp, The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler - Read

1976 Jan Mark, Thunder and Lightnings
1975 Robert Westall, The Machine Gunners - Read
1974 Mollie Hunter, The Stronghold - Read
1973 Penelope Lively, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe - Read
1972 Richard Adams, Watership Down - Read
1971 Ivan Southall, Josh - Read

1970 Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen, The God Beneath the Sea
1969 Kathleen Peyton, The Edge of the Cloud
1968 Rosemary Harris, The Moon in the Cloud - Read 2021
1967 Alan Garner, The Owl Service - Read

1965 Philip Turner, The Grange at High Force
1964 Sheena Porter, Nordy Bank
1963 Hester Burton, Time of Trial
1962 Pauline Clarke, The Twelve and the Genii - Read 2021
1961 Lucy M Boston, A Stranger at Green Knowe
1960 Dr IW Cornwall, The Making of Man
1959 Rosemary Sutcliff, The Lantern Bearers - own
1958 Philippa Pearce, Tom’s Midnight Garden - Read
1957 William Mayne, A Grass Rope - own
1956 C S Lewis, The Last Battle - Read
1955 Eleanor Farjeon, The Little Bookroom
READ 2023
1954 Ronald Welch (aka Ronald Oliver Felton), Knight Crusader - own
1953 Edward Osmond, A Valley Grows Up
1952 Mary Norton, The Borrowers - own
1951 Cynthia Harnett, The Wool Pack - Read 2021
1950 Elfrida Vipont Foulds, The Lark on the Wing - Read 2021

1949 Agnes Allen, The Story of Your Home
1948 Richard Armstrong, Sea Change READ 2023
1947 Walter De La Mare, Collected Stories for Children
1946 Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse - Read
1944 Eric Linklater, The Wind on the Moon - Read 2021

1942 ‘BB’ (D J Watkins-Pitchford), The Little Grey Men - own
1941 Mary Treadgold, We Couldn’t Leave Dinah - Read 2021
1940 Kitty Barne, Visitors from London
1939 Eleanor Doorly, Radium Woman
1938 Noel Streatfeild, The Circus is Coming - own
1937 Eve Garnett, The Family from One End Street - own
1936 Arthur Ransome, Pigeon Post - own

6avatiakh
Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 4:28 pm


Changing of the Guard, outside the Parliament in Athens. We spent a few days in Athens and happened on this event which was interesting to watch.

Some of the books I hope to read this year:
The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts by Louis de Bernières
Hunting Midnight by Richard Zimler
The Spanish Letters by Mollie Hunter
Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture by Apostolos Doxiadis
Wildcat under glass by Alki Zei
The Sound of the Sundial by Hana Andronikova
The good soldier Schweik by Jaroslav Hašek
and others i've pulled from my shelves

Also these are the books I want to read from the DW 2018 100 German Must-Reads! booklist. I've mentioned this list the last couple of years and have only read Why we took the car since then.
Babylon Berlin
Night Train to Lisbon
Austerlitz
Memoirs of an Anti-Semite
The Nazi and the Barber
The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum
Jakob the Liar
Beware of Pity
Mephisto - saw the film and have always wanted to read the book
Auto-da-Fé
Berlin Alexanderplatz
Storm of Steel

7avatiakh
Editado: Jan 31, 2:00 pm

_____
______
January Reading Plans:
So many challenges to read books for -
The War Room - January: Ancient Wars:
The Campaigns of Alexander by Arrian - READING

British Author Challenge - Joan Aiken & Arthur Conan Doyle
Five Minute Marriage by Joan Aiken READ
The Smile of the Stranger by Joan Aiken READ
The Weeping Ash by Joan Aiken READ
The Girl from Paris by Joan Aiken READ

TIOLI January challeges -
Seventeen Seconds - Ivan Southall
Flower - Irene N. Watts
The Gardener's Year - Karel Čapek
The Painted Garden - Noel Streatfield
The Donkey Rustlers - Gerald Durrell
An Edinburgh Reel - Iona McGregor
Millions - Frank Cottrell Boyce
(Carnegie Medal Winner)
The Return - Dulce Maria Cardoso
The Secret Purposes - David Baddiel - READING
Tiger, tiger - Lynne Reid Banks
System Collapse by Martha Wells

Library Books:
How to kill your family by Bella Mackie - recomendation from my daughter!

Finish what I started in 2023:
Have several books on the go, mabe I'll finish a couple before the New Year starts.

8avatiakh
Editado: Dez 30, 2023, 4:51 am

Most of my planned reads are from my own shelves so I'm happy about that.

9PaulCranswick
Dez 30, 2023, 4:53 am

I think it will be no surprise that I intend to keep you virtual company again, Kerry.

>7 avatiakh: Plenty to like in your reading plans for January. x

10arubabookwoman
Dez 30, 2023, 4:55 am

>1 avatiakh: I read and loved Shogun many many years ago, and coincidentally I was looking at it on the shelf the other day thinking that a reread might be just the thing I need.

>4 avatiakh: Of these I;ve read Lovely Green Eyes, This Way For the Gas Ladies and Gentlemen and Brodeck's Report. I recommend them all, though I think that Brodeck's Report is only very subtly classified as Holocaust literature.

How lucky you are to be able to do so much traveling (though I'm sure it feels good to be home again). Our travel has been pretty limited in recent years with my husband's transplant, but I still think fondly of our Australia/New Zealand trip in 2011.

11drneutron
Dez 30, 2023, 8:29 pm

Welcome back, Kerry!

12richardderus
Dez 31, 2023, 12:32 pm

Happy more-sedentary 2024, Kerry!

13SandDune
Dez 31, 2023, 3:12 pm

Happy New Year Kerry!

14avatiakh
Dez 31, 2023, 9:05 pm

>9 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, looking forward to following you again this year
>10 arubabookwoman: Hi Deborah - I decided to continue Shogun into the New Year rather than rush the ending.
I've really enjoyed it. My son and I listened to the audio when in the car in the US, he enjoyed it too and was quite knowledgeable about the period. He's keen to pick up a paper copy of the book now that we are back home.

I doubt that I'll be travelling like that again, it started as a wish to visit my daughter in London and my husband worked on an airfare that would be interesting and varied (he's a retired travel agent). Times have changed and it was best value to buy sector by sector though many flights were highly restrictive with baggage allowance so we travelled very light with only a couple of changes of clothes until we left Italy for Bangkok.

I listed these tites from someone's reading somewhere, ooks that I already owned. I only managed to readThe Last of the Just and replaced it with The Cap. I also want to read Kapo which I barely started last January.

>11 drneutron: >12 richardderus: >13 SandDune: Happy New Year and thanks for the greetiings

...and I finished a book!

15avatiakh
Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 9:26 pm


1) The five minute marriage by Joan Aiken (1977)
romance
Read for the British Author Challenge January 2024. I didn't know that Joan Aiken wrote some romance novels for adults and I'll definitely be seeking out others.
This is set in Regency times and involves a hasty marriage of convenience to secure a provision in a will.

I dipped into a number of books that I plan on reading this month and they all look promising. For now I'll keep on with An Edinburgh Reel which is a children's book set about six years after the Battle of Culloden. Possibly I'll make a start on The Campaigns of Alexander as that will be a slow read, I have read some passages before and always wanted to read the entire book.

16quondame
Jan 1, 12:28 am

Hi Kerry!

Wishing you a great one!

17labfs39
Jan 1, 9:52 am

So many great books here as always, Kerry. And I love the photos from your trip! I should read The Abyssinian this year too for the Tribute to Rebeccanyc project. Good Soldier Svejk is such a classic, but we didn't get on well when I read it years (no, decades) ago. I'll look forward to your impressions to see whether he deserves a reread.

>14 avatiakh: I listed these titles from someone's reading somewhere I may be the guilty party as I have five of the six you list (and the one you just removed). :-)

Congrats on finishing a book already!

18BLBera
Jan 1, 3:02 pm

Happy New Year, Kerry. Your travels sound wonderful. Thanks for sharing your photos. I look forward to following your reading this year.

19avatiakh
Jan 1, 9:04 pm


2) The Smile of the Stranger by Joan Aiken (1978)
romance
Paget Family Saga #1. Read for the British Author Challenge January 2024. Another of these Aiken Regency romances. Not as good as Georgette Heyer but nontheless a diverting quick read. A young Englishwoman who grew up in Italy with her father has some adventures on her way to reconciling with her grandfather and also finds her true love.
Seems that it is first in a trilogy. I have the third book out from the library and can e-borrow the second from there as well.

20avatiakh
Jan 1, 10:38 pm


3) An Edinburgh Reel by Iona McGregor (1968)
children's fiction
It's 1751, six years after the Battle of Culloden. Christine's father is finally returning from six years of exile in France. He lost his land and she hopes he is over his Jacobite ways. A great historical read, quite exciting at times.

21FAMeulstee
Jan 2, 5:45 am

Happy reading in 2024, Kerry!

>6 avatiakh: I hope to read some of those books from the 100 German must-reads by Deutsche Welle as well.

22avatiakh
Jan 2, 6:27 pm


4) Flower by Irene N. Watts (2005)
children's fiction
This is about Home Children sent from England to Canada. There's a dual timeline where a girl in present day Canada learns her great grandmother's story. Not as harsh as some Home Children stories I've read in the past. Katie spends a few weeks with her grandparents in the Victorian house they've just moved into in Halifax.
I've read several fiction books about Home Children in Australia and New Zealand as well and also nonfiction on the subject. All very bleak stories. The children were meant to be fostered into families but this rarely happened.

23avatiakh
Jan 2, 7:04 pm

>16 quondame: Hi Susan - I'm determined to keep up on your thread this year.
>17 labfs39: Hi Lisa - Thanks for visiting. I have a feeling I only got a few pages into Good Soldier Svejk in the past. It was strange coming across the restaurant and then finding out that there were several across Europe. We didn't eat there, my son was obsessed with finding old style cafeterias to eat in. Not all above are my photos, I got tired of sifting through looking for the ones I needed so 'lifted' a few from online. The Bangkok one is mine, that was a lucky happenstance that we came back to the hotel via the canal.
I thought it might have been you with the Holocaust books, I didn't look back to our disucssions of making the group which is probably when I realised I'd not read these ones. I seem to have read lots more YA and children's books on the subject.
Today I came across Too many men by Lily Brett on a SMH list, The 25 best Australian novels of the last 25 years, sounds like one I should read as well.

>18 BLBera: Hi Beth - not every photo above was taken by me, I grabbed a few better ones from the web such as the Poe Museum cats. I did see them in the garden.
>21 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita - I decided to continue posting this list as it had so many good books on it.

24quondame
Jan 2, 7:12 pm

>23 avatiakh: I don't think I got as far as a few pages in Good Soldier Svejk. A rare DNB.

25avatiakh
Jan 2, 8:39 pm

>24 quondame: Oh dear, I guess it will be one of those books where I have to set a daily page count to get through it.

26FAMeulstee
Jan 3, 4:26 am

>25 avatiakh: I liked it way better, Kerry, although it took me some time to get through the 800+ pages.

27avatiakh
Jan 3, 5:27 am

>26 FAMeulstee: Oh dear, that page count is not encouraging, still it's one I always wanted to read. I'm hoping to like it too.

I haven't read much today but I did manage to buy a new dishwasher (much needed).
Also had a book arrive in the mail - The Refugee Summer by Edward Fenton which is set in 1922 Athens. Fenton translated Greek childrens writer Alki Zei's books to English.

Each year I participate in a Book Pool Challenge with the KiwiReaders group on GR. It runs during February & March and we all nominate 3 books and then try to read as many in the pool as we feel up to. Last year I managed 4 books out of the 30 or so that were nominated.
My nominations :
The Sparrow by Tessa Duder
V2 by Robert Harris
The Attack by Catherine Jinks

28FAMeulstee
Jan 3, 5:57 am

>27 avatiakh: My edition had the illustrations by Josef Lada, without those it would be still big, but way under 800p.

29avatiakh
Editado: Jan 3, 6:09 am


I have an old 1939 Penguin edition, it's only 282pgs and contains the first 3 volumes only. There are 4 volumes altogether. The Josef Lada illustrations are at the start of some chapters.
eta: I see on wikipedia that the 4th vol was finished by another writer who went on to write vols 5 & 6.

30figsfromthistle
Jan 3, 7:50 am

I have you starred so I won't loose your thread. Looks like you are off to a speedy start to your reading!

31ChrisG1
Jan 3, 12:09 pm

Happy New Year & new thread!

32avatiakh
Jan 3, 10:13 pm

>30 figsfromthistle: >31 ChrisG1: Welcome to my thread and thanks for visiting

33ronincats
Jan 3, 10:19 pm

Happy New Year, Kerry!

34labfs39
Jan 3, 10:20 pm

>29 avatiakh: My penguin edition has 752 pages and includes parts 1-3 and the first three chapters of part 4 (the ones Hasek wrote).

35avatiakh
Editado: Jan 3, 10:30 pm

For my birthday I ordered some books, not something I want to do much of this year but I had a few that I can't get from the library or digital.
Rebels in the Holy Land: Mazkeret Batya, an Early Battleground for the Soul of Israel by Sam Finkel - this has been one I wanted for some years and has never gone to digital
One Foot Ashore by Jaqueline Dembar - another that isn't available digital or at library, I've read Out of Many Waters.
The Merchants of Nations by Alexandros Papadiamantis
The Murderess by Alexandros Papadiamantis
Three Summers by Margarita Liberaki
Shabbat: Recipes and Rituals from My Table to Yours by Adeena Sussman - cookbook
A Provincial Newspaper and Other Stories by Miriam Karpilove

Just came back from a late lunch out at my favourite local Chinese place - Hungry Head. Now have finally opened the bottle of Aperol and having an Aperol Spritz, a great drink for a hot summer afternoon.
Ok, back to my reading and then I must clean up the kitchen ready for the new dishwasher which comes tomorrow.

36avatiakh
Editado: Jan 3, 10:54 pm

Some recent kindle purchases:
The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale by Rebecca Stonehill (UK) - set in 1960s Crete
The Angel of Waterloo by Jackie French (Australia)
Susanna's Midnight Ride: The Girl Who Won the Revolutionary War by Libby Carty McNamee (USA)
The Visitors by Jane Harrison (Australia)
The Rabbit Hunter: The Battle of Greece by Christopher Worth (NZ)
Robert Louis Stevenson's Edinburgh Picturesque Notes

37arubabookwoman
Jan 4, 7:06 am

>35 avatiakh: I had that cookbook Shabat: Recipes and Rituals From My Table To Yours out of library, and it was very good. I've been considering buying it, though a lot of the recipes are more ambitious than I usually want to do.

38ronincats
Jan 4, 11:24 am

Happy Birthday, Kerry! It's cold here, 29 F when I got up, so I almost envy you that hot summer day.

39cbl_tn
Jan 4, 6:09 pm

Happy new year, and happy birthday! Book shopping is a great way to celebrate a birthday!

40quondame
Jan 4, 8:12 pm

Happy Birthday Kerry!

41humouress
Jan 5, 6:01 am

Happy New Year Kerry! Wishing you happiness, health and lots of reading adventures in 2024.



And I see I'm in time to wish you Happy Birthday, too! (completely intentional timing, I assure you)

42labfs39
Jan 6, 9:21 am

And a belated Happy Birthday from me too

43BLBera
Jan 6, 2:46 pm

Happy belated birthday, Kerry.

44labfs39
Jan 13, 8:22 am

I hope you had a good week, Kerry. It's been all sorts of stormy here: snow, rain, snow, rain, wind. Good reading weather.

45avatiakh
Jan 21, 2:29 am

>37 arubabookwoman: There's a few recipes that I want to try. I have her other cookbook and use it quite often.
>38 ronincats: >39 cbl_tn: >40 quondame: >41 humouress: >42 labfs39: >43 BLBera: Thanks for the Birthday wishes. I've been fairly quiet here but read some books at least.
>44 labfs39: Hi Lisa, we had one of our hottest days today, really uncomfortable with no breeze to cool down the house.

I have some spare time right now so will attempt to update my reading.

46avatiakh
Editado: Jan 21, 2:57 am

_
Go home cat (2022) & Blue Flower (2021) by Sonya Hartnett
picturebook

I was looking to see what Hartnett had published recently as previously she's written some great YA novels, only to see that she's currently writing picturebooks.
Go Home Cat is about a small boy going to buy licorice from the shop and his cat follows him.
Blue Flower is about finding out that being a different unique person is what makes the world a more interesting place. Seen through the eyes of a young girl who doesn't enjoy the same things as her school friends.

47avatiakh
Editado: Jan 21, 3:10 am


5) The Donkey Rustlers by Gerald Durrell (1968)
children's fiction
Set on a fictional Greek Island, an English brother and sister team up with their local orphan friend to save his inheritance, a farm, being taken from him by the greedy mayor. Fun read.

48avatiakh
Jan 21, 3:22 am


6) The Weeping Ash by Joan Aiken (1980)
fiction
Paget Family #2. I enjoyed this one, it was a much longer read mainly due to the split storyline which came together in the last part of the book. One part is set in England and is about a particularly abusive marriage and the young bride's optimism to find happiness amidst the despair. The other part is about half English twins making their way out of India overland as they are pursued by an angry Rajah's men. They travel with their guardian, an older American missionary woman, and an English adventurer who knows the region well.

49avatiakh
Editado: Jan 21, 3:58 am


7) The Painted Garden by Noel Streatfield (1949)
children's fiction
An English family relocates to California for the winter for the sake of their father's health. The oldest daughter is a promising ballerina, the son is a musical prodigy and the middle child, Jane, has no special talent. Surprisingly it's Jane who gets chosen to play the lead role in a film adaption of 'The Secret Garden' when the original child actress falls ill.
Fairly dated story that has its moments.

50avatiakh
Jan 21, 4:12 am


8) The Girl from Paris by Joan Aiken (1982)
fiction
Paget Family #3. Miss Ellen Paget takes the position of governess with a French aristocratic familyin Paris. The marriage seems to be unhappy, her charge, the young daughter has learning disabilities similar to autism. After a tragic event Ellen must leave Paris for her childhood home in the English countryside.
Not my favourite of the trilogy and the ending was quite weird.

51avatiakh
Editado: Mar 22, 3:10 am


9) The Gardener's Year by Karel Čapek (1929)
nonfiction
Delightful. Čapek describes a gardener's obsession with plants, soil and whether there is room in the garden for even more plants. I enjoyed this.

52avatiakh
Jan 21, 4:49 am


10) How to kill your family by Bella Mackie (2021)
crime
My daughter recommended this one, mostly because of the title. I could easily have put this down at anytime though glad I finished it because there is a great twist at the end. Grace is the unrecognised illegitimate daughter of a millionaire. After her mother dies she decides to go for revenge by killing off the family members one by one. The book reads as a confession written in jail.

53avatiakh
Jan 21, 4:54 am


The Dog of Pompeii by Louis Untermeyer (1932)
short story
I found this when looking for fiction set in Pompeii and Naples. I visited Pompeii in November so this story was a welcome read. Suitable for children too. A stray dog leads a blind homeless boy through the streets of Pompeii during the eruption.

54avatiakh
Jan 21, 5:11 am


11) Seventeen Seconds by Ivan Southall (1973)
YA nonfiction
This is an abridged edition for younger readers of his adult book, Softly tread the brave about the bravery of the Royal Australian Volunteer Naval Reserve bomb disposal officers, Hugh Syme (GC, GM and Bar) and John Mould (GC, GM) who served in England during WW2.
The title come from the seventeen seconds an officer has to get to safety if the mine he is working on goes live. These were very brave men.
I've had this paperback for a few years and Paul's War Room challenge inspired me to read it now. This was quite a technical read as each mine disposal had issues due to its location. Also the Germans kept updating the technology with the mines so disarming became more and more difficult. Both Syme and Mould along with other Australians volunteered to serve in the Royal Navy's RMS Rendering Mines Safe section. This unit was for disarming land mines that had been dropped onto British cities near the start of the war.
https://www.navy.gov.au/biography/lieutenant-commander-john-stuart-mould
https://www.navy.gov.au/biography/lieutenant-hugh-randall-syme

55labfs39
Jan 21, 9:26 am

>54 avatiakh: I am adding Softly Tread the Brave to my wishlist, as it covers an aspect of the war I am unfamiliar with. I can never come to your thread without getting struck by a book bullet!

56richardderus
Jan 21, 10:11 am

>53 avatiakh: Somehow or another I have actually read this, though it was in the 1960s and it was not quite enough of a favorite to make itself fully on top of my mind until you wrote about it...now I will have to find a place to read it from soon. Thanks, Kerry, for the good memory and the prompt!

57avatiakh
Jan 21, 4:42 pm

>55 labfs39: I would think Softly tread the brave is a hard one to find. Southall wrote quite a lot of histories and biographies about the war. He's mostly known for his writing for children and I only recently came across his adult books.

>56 richardderus: It was only 7 pages but quite poignant. I enjoy finding these older books/stories. Happy to keep prompting.

58labfs39
Jan 21, 5:34 pm

>57 avatiakh: So I discovered when I couldn't even find a record so I could add it to my LT wishlist! Ah well, at least it brought the topic to my mind. Perhaps I can find other works.

59avatiakh
Jan 21, 8:23 pm

Currently reading the latest Murderbot, System Collapse and Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce.
Took me awhile to get back into the Murderbot world when I started this one, but now fully immersed.
I'm reading Millions as it won the Carnegie Medal (UK) twenty years ago. It's quite captivating, a young boy who is suffering from the grief of losing his mother becomes obsessed with saints and becomes a walking encyclopedia of saints and their stories, all gleaned from a website, totallysaints.com

60avatiakh
Jan 21, 9:02 pm

>58 labfs39: I probably had a look for it too when I realised I was about to read an edition for younger readers, but at least I had it on my shelves. Some Australian booksellers have it listed on abebooks website, but really expensive. My library and the NZ National Library don't have it.
Hopefully Text Classics reprint it or a digital edition becomes available.

Story from the past - About 20 years ago my son and his friends were having a rock band practice in our garage along with an older group of their siblings. The older group were trying to find a name for their band and I pulled out an old copy of Ivan Southall's Ash Road from a pile of books there and that became the name of their band.

I'm definitely going to look for more of his books, I've read three including Ash Road which I got when I was at school through Scholastic Book Club.

So hot here, we are sweltering in high temperatures these past few days. I've been making so many different versions of iced tea.

61avatiakh
Jan 21, 9:30 pm

Library pickups this past few days includes:
Eternal by Lisa Scottoline - WW2 historical fiction set in Rome
My Life as a Jew by Michael Gawenda - nonfiction
Bea Wolf by Zach Weinersmith - children's graphic novel that I saw in a bookshop in Asheville, NC. Cover art is very compelling.
The Little Liar by Mitch Albom - historical fiction set in WW2 Greece

I visited the local bookshop, didn't buy anything but took note of some books -
Nonfiction
Into the Forest: A Holocaust Story of Survival, Triumph, and Love by Rebecca Frankel
The Stable Boy of Auschwitz by Henry Oster
The Kamikaze Hunters: Fighting for the Pacific: 1945 by William Iredale
Sisters in Captivity: Sister Betty Jeffrey OAM and the courageous story of Australian Army nurses in Sumatra, 1942–1945 by Colin Burgess
The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel by Douglas Brunt
Fatherland: a memoir of war, conscience & family secrets by Burkhard Bilger
The Sewing Girl's Tale by John Wood Street
The Fighter of Auschwitz by Erik Brouwer

Fiction:
The Deck by Fiona Farrell NZ - a Christchurch based version of The Decameron.
Return to Harikoa Bay by Owen Marshall NZ
Light over Liskeard by Louis de Bernieres - I'm determined to read more of his works this year

62avatiakh
Jan 23, 1:28 am


12) System Collapse by Martha Wells (2023)
scifi
Murderbot #7. Took me a while to get back into the Murderbot world but once I did I really enjoyed this one. I love the interactions between the various AI and Murderbot's relationships with the various humans on the team. Was interesting to read the discussion on Lisa's Club Read thread about the gender issue relating to Murderbot. I always assumed female but was amazed that there are other perspectives.

63avatiakh
Jan 24, 10:10 pm


13) Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce (2004)
children's fiction
This book won the Carnegie Medal (UK) in 2004. I don't know why but I have avoided reading this for the past 20 years. Picked it up finally and found quite a captivating read for all that it is a bit juvenile. It's set around the time of the changeover to euro and involves a boy, Damien, who has become obsessed with saints since dealing with the death of his mother, who everyone says has gone to the best place. When a bag full of old pound banknotes falls into his hands, he considers it a gift from the Gods. Then there's the problem of unobtrusively spending thousands of pound in two weeks.
The story has lots of twists and turns and a great cast of characters.

64avatiakh
Editado: Jan 24, 10:38 pm

Brought some books home from the library that I found while browsing the shelves -
Four Aunties and a wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto - found this to be book #2, so have requested book #1.
The Girl from Jonestown by Sharon Maas - a Guyanese native. Just took my fancy, I always wanted to read about the cult.
The Longest Night by Otto de Kat - book #3 of a set, so I now have to track down books 1 & 2
Nocturnal Apparitions: essential stories by Bruno Schulz
The Iron Age by Arja Kajermo

...and while doing some research for my genealogy group, mainly looking for books based on New Zealand Jewish history I came across Rome, 16 October 1943, a visual adaption by Sarah Laing of Giacomo Debenedetti's work. This was in collaboration with the Italian Embassy and the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand. I've found a copy of Debenetti's book, October 16, 1943/Eight Jews, so will read that as well,
https://sarahelaing.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/debenedetti-rome-16-october-1943...

65avatiakh
Jan 24, 10:47 pm

My current reads are:
Tiger Tiger by Lynne Reid Banks - set in Ancient Rome
The Return by Dulce Maria Cardoso - Angolan Portuguese return to Portugal in 1975.
The invisible by Peter Papathanasiou - crime thriller set in Greece, not really doing it for me as yet and I'm halfway through.
The Campaigns of Alexander by Arrian - not reading this as much as I should so will probably continue into February.

66arubabookwoman
Jan 25, 9:19 am

>64 avatiakh: I've read two very good books about Jonestown, one fiction, one nonfiction: A Thousand Lives (Nonfiction) and Children of Paradise (Fiction). I really liked both books.

67PaulCranswick
Jan 25, 9:17 pm

>65 avatiakh: Yeah, The Invisible is not as good as his first outing.

68avatiakh
Jan 26, 12:14 am


14) The Invisible by Peter Papathanasiou (2022)
crime
George Manolis #2. I haven't read the first book in the series I don't think that mattered. This one is set in a remote region of Greece, Prespa, in the north on the border with Albania and Macedonia. Manios is on leave from his police work in Melbourne, Australia and decided to visit the area that his parents came from. He ends up going undercover in an effort to find a missing acquaintance. Lefty is an invisible, someone who has managed to avoid having an official presence, no bank account, no ID, no birth registration, which makes it much harder to find out what he was up to.
Sounds interesting though much of the book is fairly plodding with great descriptions of the location, the locals and the sense of desolation from the long ago civil war. The last thirty or so pages ramps up and almost makes the slog worthwhile.

69avatiakh
Jan 26, 12:25 am

>67 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. Maybe I should pick up the first book.

70avatiakh
Jan 26, 1:29 am

I went to my library website and they've made his latest book The Pit book #2, it's set back in Australia while Manolis is away in Greece.
He's also written a memoir, Little one : a story of family, love and sacrifice - and an extraordinary secret which uncovers that his aunt and uncle in Greece agreed to have a baby for his parents as they could not, he only found out when an adult. So he has two older brothers in Greece.

71avatiakh
Jan 26, 1:47 am

So I went rummaging in the garage which is mostly a storage space and needs a good tidy up. Found some books to bring back into the living area and put onto the shelves:
Forgotten Fire by Adam Bagdasarian
Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami - long time on my 'to read' list
Close Quarters & Fire Down Below by William Golding - need to find Rites of Passage - wanted to read more of Golding after attending a session with his biographer, Peter Carey, many years back.
Chase me, catch nobody! by Erik Christian Haugaard - I've read his The Rider and his Horse.
Stormswept by Helen Dunmore - last book of the Ingo Chronicles so I should get it read

lots more interesting books out there, these were just from a surface skim of a couple of boxes.

72avatiakh
Jan 26, 4:12 am

>66 arubabookwoman: I'll make a start with the Maas book and if I'm not enjoying it i'll switch to the one you've recommended.

73PaulCranswick
Jan 26, 9:16 pm

>69 avatiakh: Well the first book is better than the second.

74avatiakh
Jan 29, 4:17 pm


15) Fire, Bed & Bone by Henrietta Branford (1997)
children's fiction
This one I picked off my shelves at random and was a pleasure to read. Set during the 1381 Peasants' Revolt. The story is told from the perspective of a hunting dog who lives with Rufus and his young family. Quite outstanding as the sad events that happen to the family are countered with the dog's life in the woods once she is free of her captors.

75avatiakh
Jan 31, 6:28 am


16) The Return by Dulce Maria Cardoso (Portuguese 2011) (English 2016)
fiction
My last book for January. Rui and his family have lived in Angola but now due to the 1975 war they must return to Portugal. On their last day Rui's father is taken by soldiers and his fate is unknown. Life in Portugal as a returnee is quite miserable.
I had not given much thought to this period of Portugal's history and this book does much to raise my interest in these times.

I had an eye infection ast week and have also been busy doing genealogy so there are a few books I didn't manage to get finished and will carry them over to February.

76cbl_tn
Jan 31, 10:14 am

>49 avatiakh: The cover image first caught my eye and it immediately reminded me of The Secret Garden. Then I read your review and saw that a production of The Secret Garden features in the book. A job well done for the cover designer!

>60 avatiakh: Is iced tea popular in New Zealand, or is it something you picked up on your travels in the southern US? Our local version of iced tea is usually way too sweet for me, so when I order half sweet and half unsweet.

>61 avatiakh: I read The Sewing Girl's Tale with a book group last year. I liked it better than some of the other group members. It's a difficult topic to read about.

77avatiakh
Jan 31, 2:27 pm

>76 cbl_tn: Hi Carrie, I also caught this Secret Garden cover vibe. Though dated it turned out to be quite a reasonable read. I also read Flower where the main character is working on auditioning for the main role in The Secret Garden.

I was making a few versions of iced tead already, generally with fruit teas and using honey to sweeten. A local coffee and tea place sells a a couple of versions of 'athletic' fruit tea which I like.
I did buy a bottle of Georgia peach tea when I was in the US and it was very sweet. I drank lots of versions of iced tea sodas & cold milk teas when in Bangkok where it was very hot.
We also have a Gong cha shop just down the road from where we live and sometimes pick up a tea from there.

...and thanks for your thoughts on The Sewing Girl's Tale, it does look like a tough read.

78avatiakh
Editado: Fev 28, 7:26 pm

February Reading plans:

Finish my January reads that I started but didn't finish:
The Campaigns of Alexander by Arrian
The Secret Purposes by David Baddiel
Tiger, tiger by Lynne Reid Banks

Carnegie UK Medal:
The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros (2023)
Storm by Kevin Crossley-Holland (1985)

Finish some 2023 books:
Shogun by James Clavell
Maror by Lavie Tidhar
Mother's Boy: A Writer's Beginnings by Howard Jacobson

War Room:
Susanna's Midnight Ride by Libby Carty McNamee

GR Book Loving Kiwis BookPool Challenge:
The Postcard by Anne Berest
The Attack by Catherine Jinks


TIOLI:
The Mouse and his child by Russell Hoban

79avatiakh
Jan 31, 2:57 pm

I started reading The Little Liar by Mitch Albom but not sure I like his writing style, so I'll give it a couple more chapters.

81avatiakh
Editado: Jan 31, 6:22 pm

>80 SandDune: Good to know, it's one that has sat for years around the house. I always liked the film though haven't seen it since VHS became obsolete in our home.

82avatiakh
Fev 1, 3:18 am


17) Storm by Kevin Crossley-Holland (1985)
children's fiction
Carnegie (UK) Medal 1985. This junior novella is full of beautiful imagery and poetic language. It's not a usual winner of the Carnegie Medal which seems to have been mostly awarded to books for older readers, this book is for a much younger emerging reader.
This ghostly story is set on a stormy night when young Annie must walk across the marsh to the local doctor as her older married sister has gone into labour and the telephone line is down.

83avatiakh
Fev 1, 8:05 pm

So in January I read 11 books by female writers & 4 books by male writers.

84avatiakh
Fev 2, 8:38 pm

I'm currently reading 4 Holocaust fiction novels, not a good idea really.
The Little Liar by Mictch Albom
The Postcard by Anne Berest
The Secret Purposes by David Baddiel
Code Name Kingfisher by Liz Kessler

85BLBera
Fev 3, 11:46 am

>84 avatiakh: I loved The Postcard, but it would be tough to read a lot of the Holocaust books together.

86avatiakh
Fev 3, 3:53 pm

>85 BLBera: I'm liking it, very easy to read at the start at least.
The Baddiel book will be mostly about Germans and German Jews being incarcerated in detemtion camps in the UK during the war.

Kessler's book is for children so I'll probably try to read it quickly.

87avatiakh
Editado: Fev 3, 4:30 pm


18) The Attack by Catherine Jinks (2021)
crime
Not as engaging as I hoped, I really like her work for teens and have now read three of her adult works which are mostly thrillers.
The book is in alternating chapters featuring the present and ten years earlier. Now Robin manages a remote island retreat where ex military bring teenagers for boot camp. This time it brings a troubled 16 year old she first met ten years earlier whose extended family ruined her life.

88avatiakh
Fev 4, 9:26 pm


18) Shogun by James Clavell (1975)
fiction
My ongoing audiobook for the last several months. I hardly listen to audiobooks so this 36 hour monster took me some time but what a wonderful story. My son listened alongside me for the first half of the book while we were driving in the USA last September. He was familiar with that period of Japan's history so we had some good discussions about the book, and now he's looking forward to the miniseries which should appear this month on one of the streaming networks.

English sailor, John Blackthorne, is shipwrecked on the coast of Japan in the early 1600s. At first he just wants to salvage his ship and return to the West but that becomes an unattainable dream.

89avatiakh
Editado: Fev 6, 6:44 pm


19) Code Name Kingfisher by Liz Kessler (2023)
children's fiction

This was a great story set during WW2 Amsterdam and the present day UK. Liv needs to do a family history research project for school and she has problems with her former best friend joining a group of bullies. Her project focuses on her grandmother who has never said much about her childhood.
The WW2 part is her grandmother's story when she and her sister are sent to live with a new family as life for Jews in Holland becomes more and more desperate. Her sister who is 16 starts doing jobs for the resistance under the code name Kingfisher.

90cbl_tn
Fev 5, 11:37 am

>89 avatiakh: That sounds really interesting. It won't be released in the US until May, so I've added it to my Amazon wishlist so I don't lose track of it!

91avatiakh
Fev 6, 6:43 pm

>90 cbl_tn: Hi Carrie, I came across it online when researching some UK children's writers. Now I can't remember who the original writer was that I was looking into!

92Owltherian
Fev 6, 6:44 pm

Hello Kerry! How art thou today?

93avatiakh
Fev 6, 6:45 pm

>91 avatiakh: Greetings. I'm fine having just finished anther book.

94Owltherian
Fev 6, 6:46 pm

>93 avatiakh: Thats good, i just started another book after finishing one yesterday.

95avatiakh
Editado: Fev 6, 7:00 pm


20) Chase Me, Catch Nobody! by Erik C. Haugaard (1980)
children's fiction

I found this in a rummage through some books in my garage and decided to read it due to The Horn Book blurb that it was 'told with exactly the right overtones of schoolboy humour.' I've read Haugaard before so expected a reasonable story and wasn't disappointed either with the humor or the story.
1937. Erik is on a school visit to Hamburg, Germany from Denmark. There's over fifity boys from two schools and he finds a new friend in Nikolai from the first moments of the trip. On the ferry he is approached by an older man who thrusts a package in his hands telling him where to deliver it along with a password. German police or SS arrest the man as the school group is leaving the ferry. So begins an adventure that ends with Erik and Nikolai fleeing Germany with a Jewish girl who calls herself Nobody.
The differences between the various teachers and students as they are either swept up or repelled by the Nazi propaganda and Hitler Youth groups etc made this a worthwhile read.

96humouress
Fev 8, 2:05 am

>84 avatiakh: I like things light so 4 at once would be beyond me; plus I'd probably confuse the plots. Although, reading your reviews, they all seem to have different takes and perspectives on that period.

Is that David Baddiel the comedian? And, if so, is that a humorous book?

97avatiakh
Fev 8, 6:29 am

>96 humouress: I've decided to tackle them one by one even though they focus on different parts of the war.
Yes it's David Baddiel the comedian, but this is based on his parent's story. He's also written a nonfiction, Jews don't count. His children's books are humorous.

98avatiakh
Editado: Fev 8, 3:32 pm


21) Susanna's Midnight Ride by Libby Varty McNamee (2018)
children's historical fiction
Read for Paul's War Room challenge. A children's novel based on Susanna Bolling's historic night ride from her home in Hopewell to Half-Way House where General Lafayette was staying. The sudden arrival of General Cornwallis to her plantation home with a large contingent of troops and hearing the officers' talk at the dinner table of capturing Lafayette in an early dawn raid means there is no time to lose and the news must get to Lafayette.
The early part of the book focuses on the plight of the womenfolk who must keep their farms running and spin flax to make uniforms. How the tobacco warehouses are burnt and crops ruined by the British. The melting of all the lead and pewter in the homes to make into bullets. The agony of the casualty lists and seeing the injured young men around the town who have had their lives ruined by war. The spy, James Armisted Lafayette plays an early part in the story too.
In the book is says that Bolling's ancestor was Pocahontas and a quick look at wikipedia does confirm that the Bollings of Hopewell were descendants.
I saw this book in the giftshop of one of the museums in Yorktown, VA. We walked around all the sites of significance last September on a visit to the town.
https://www.princegeorgecountyva.gov/news_detail_T6_R2332.php
https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+ful+HJ649ER+pdf

There's another famous ride, 'Betsy Dowdy's Ride', I saw the sign when driving from Kittyhawk, NC back to Williamsburg, VA. There's a picturebook about this ride, Ride: The Legend of Betsy Dowdy.

https://www.wgpfoundation.org/historic-markers/betsys-ride/

99labfs39
Fev 8, 6:13 pm

Fascinating. An aspect of American history hidden beneath all the boy stories.

100avatiakh
Fev 9, 5:41 am


Bea Wolf by Zac Weinersmith (2023)
children's graphic novel

DNF. The cover is gorgeous and i liked the title but the text and internal artwork were not for me at all.

101avatiakh
Fev 9, 5:43 am

>99 labfs39: Yeah, the womenfolk had it hard. Husbands and sons out fighting and they were left to keep everything ticking over.

102avatiakh
Fev 14, 6:31 pm

Gosh, I've been doing family research and so my reading has suffered this week. Will try to get back on track.
Current Reads:
The Postcard by Anne Berest
Logicomix byApostolos Doxiadis
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

103PaulCranswick
Fev 16, 6:52 pm

>98 avatiakh: Fascinating indeed, Kerry.

I will look out for that one.

104avatiakh
Fev 17, 1:14 am

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto is a DNF, I made it to the halfway point and wondered wy I was persevering with this ridiculous plot. I had the sequel Four aunties and a wedding out from the library as well.
While I enjoy the occasional romance read, I don't enjoy ridiculous.

105avatiakh
Fev 17, 3:21 pm

>103 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, I ended up buying it for kindle. I always loved the poem on Paul Revere's Ride, it was one of several in my father's Poems of Adventure book that I read a lot when I was young. That and The Highwayman were favourites that I was able to recite.
Anyway the idea of young girls riding on midnight dashes to save their countrymen is extremely appealing. These girls had brothers and other family & friends away fighting for several years and Susanna Bolling asked to remain anonymous as she felt her deed was nothing compared to what others did.

106avatiakh
Fev 25, 2:31 am


22) The Postcard by Anne Berest (2023)
autofiction
This has been a popular read on LT and I also enjoyed it. Based on the author's own family it slowly peels away what happened to her family during WW2. Not as confronting as some Hpolocaust novels it does give one an idea of how it was to be in France during the war years.

107avatiakh
Fev 25, 2:35 am

I'm reading slowly at present, not enjoying much of what I'm picking up, I might have to clear the slate and just try a random pick from my shelves.

Current:
Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis - graphic novel about Bertrand Russell
Cat-Eyed Boy by Kazuo Umezz - manga that's due back to library
The Mouse and his child by Russell Hoban - stalled
The Little Liar by Mitch Albom - stalled
Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump
The Secret Purposes by David Baddiel

108PaulCranswick
Fev 25, 4:15 am

>106 avatiakh: That one looks interesting, Kerry and I will go and see whether I can hunt it down.

109cbl_tn
Fev 25, 12:27 pm

>106 avatiakh: That one is already on my library wishlist. I hope I'll be able to fit it in soonish!

110avatiakh
Fev 25, 2:38 pm

>108 PaulCranswick: >109 cbl_tn: You should find this a worthwhile read. Fiction based on family stories is always interesting, I'm also reading about David Baddiel's grandparents in The Secret Purposes.

111avatiakh
Editado: Fev 26, 3:52 pm


23) Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis & Christos H. Papadimitriou (2009)
graphic novel
Quite the fascinating read on the subject of Bertrand Russell's life and the theory of mathematics. We meet a number of famous mathematicians, philosophers and logicians along the way including an intense Wittgenstein. The GN is built around a lecture Russell gave during his 1939 US tour, where he discussed his evolving views from being a committed pacifist to the threat of Germany's facism. The GN also jumps back into real world Athens where the writers, artist and researcher all opine on the direction of the book.

Both authors are mathematicians though Doxiadis is now a writer.
Columbia University website: Christos Papadimitriou works on the theory of algorithms and complexity, aiming to expand the field's methodology and reach. His research often explores areas beyond computer science through what he calls the algorithmic lens: biology and the theory of evolution, economics and game theory (where he helped found the field of algorithmic game theory), artificial intelligence and robotics, networks and the Internet and, since 2013, the study of the brain and language.

Apostolos Doxiadis seems to have been a child prodigy, he was born in Australia and grew up in Athens, when 15 he entered Columbia University to study mathematics. His father was a famous international architect, Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis, though a victim of politics.
I have his third novel, Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture, on my reading pile for this year.

112avatiakh
Editado: Fev 28, 3:17 pm


24) The Mouse and his Child by Russell Hoban (1967)
children's fiction
Delightful story about a windup clockwork toy, a father mouse holding his son and dancing in circles. From a toyshop they are taken to a grand home and brought out each Christmas time until they are abandoned which is where their adventure starts. Illustrations are by Hoban's wife, Lilian Hoban.
I first came across the film version many years ago, it was one of our family favourites on VHS though we lost the viewing platform after DVDs took over. I found the book in a used bookshop and it's sat on my tbr pile for a long while.
I've read several of Hoban's books, he's quite the impressive writer.

113SandDune
Fev 28, 5:11 pm

>112 avatiakh: I absolutely adore The Mouse and his Child. It seems to go places that other children's books never do.

114avatiakh
Editado: Fev 28, 11:29 pm

>113 SandDune: I thought it was extremely delightful and I loved all the characters in the book, even Manny the Rat had his moments. I'll have to read another book by Hoban. I've read many of his children's ones, Riddley Walker & The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz. Will need to look at a list.

Currently Reading:
Defiant by Brandon Sanderson - Skyward trilogy #3
Magic Prague by Angelo Maria Ripellino - failed to read this many years ago, having another go
Heartsong by Kevin Crossley-Holland - illustrated story
The Secret Purposes by David Baddiel

115avatiakh
Fev 29, 4:28 pm


25) Heartsong by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Jane Ray (2015)
illustrated story

Quite a interesting story behind this one. Illustrator Jane Ray visited the Vivaldi Museum in Venice and was very taken with the list of orphan names in the ledger at the Ospedale della Pieta. She was swept up in a story and illustrations involving one of the names, but couldn't seem to bring her idea to fruition. Crossley-Holland came to the rescue and the result is an enchanting story involving a mute girl with musical ability and the work of Vivaldi with the church's choir and orchestra.

I wish I'd known about the museum as I was in Venice last year, the guidebook didn't help there.

116avatiakh
Editado: Mar 28, 6:15 pm

Reading Plans for March:

British Author Challenge March: Welsh writers
The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros

GR Book Loving Kiwis Book Pool Challenge
The Sparrow by Tessa Duder
V2 by Robert Harris


Paul's War Room: War of the Roses
The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

continuing books from 2023 and Jan/Feb
The Secret Purposes by David Baddiel
Defiant by Branden Sanderson
Eternal by Lisa Scottoline DNF
The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts by Louis de Bernières

other Library Books:
How do you live? by Genzaburo Yoshino
Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump

117avatiakh
Editado: Fev 29, 4:50 pm


26) The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros (2021)
YA
Carnegie Medal UK (2023) winner. First published in Welsh, this is told in a sporadic diary form by both mother and teenager, Dylan. It's a story of surviving a nuclear fallout and also shows the love of the Welsh language of the writer.
One of those books you can read in one sitting, my library has classified it as adult scifi.

118labfs39
Fev 29, 5:41 pm

>115 avatiakh: I read my nieces a picture book about this: Vivaldi and the Invisible Orchestra by Stephen Costanza. I hadn't known about Vivaldi's involvement with the orphanage before reading it and then doing some reading on the Internet.

119avatiakh
Fev 29, 7:03 pm

>118 labfs39: I didn't know much about Vivaldi's life, definitely worth investigating. My library doesn't have the Costanza book but I'm interested in learning more about his work with the orphans and choirs.

120avatiakh
Mar 1, 8:36 pm

A visit to Jasons Books in the CBD this morning cleared all my outstanding credit.

Lone Wolf: a biography of Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky by Shmuel Katz - only vol.2, but vol 1 is available on kindle, I lived on Jabotinsky St in Tel Aviv so always interested about him.
Quiet Chaos by Sandro Veronesi
The Man of my Life by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán - Pepe Carcalho series
Kasztner's Train by Anna Porter
Butterfly's Tongue by Manuel Rivas - novella
When Famous People Come to Town by Damien Wilkins - essay, I collect this series
Creeks and Kitchens: a childhood memoir by Maurice Gee - already read this but not sure if I own this edition

121PaulCranswick
Mar 1, 9:14 pm

>120 avatiakh: Montalban's books are not readily available in Malaysia.
Maurice Gee is a favourite of mine, Kerry, but similarly difficult to get here.

122avatiakh
Mar 2, 12:17 am

>121 PaulCranswick: Paul - Montalban's books are a rare find anywhere. Long out of print in English.
Maaurice Gee - a long time ago I went to his Margaret Mahy Medal Lecture and it covered similar ground to this.

123PaulCranswick
Mar 2, 10:08 pm

>122 avatiakh: I love his book Crime Story, Kerry.

124avatiakh
Mar 5, 6:25 am

>123 PaulCranswick: Gee's adult novels are very good and he's written some really great children's novels. He's 92 years old so no more new books.

125avatiakh
Mar 5, 6:44 am


27) V2 by Robert Harris (2019)
fiction
Enjoyable read about the V2 rockets that were fired onto London in 1944. Told in alternating chapters from both sides. A rocket scientist who supervises the V2 launches from the coast of Holland and a WAAF officer who works in a special unit that tries to identify the launch sites of the missiles.

126avatiakh
Mar 8, 3:00 am


28) Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump (1986)
fiction

This was a highly enjoyable read though the ending is bittersweet. The book was adapted to the film, 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople' by Taika Waiti. Crump was a wellknown personality in New Zealand, he was a bushman and this novel is all about going bush and surviving in the Urewera National Park.
Ricky does a runner with his Uncle Hec into the bush to avoid being taken to a children's home by Social Welfare workers when his Aunt Bella dies.

127avatiakh
Mar 8, 3:13 am


29) The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson (1888)
fiction

A great adventure story set during the War of the Roses. I was hooked right from the start and the old fashioned language felt right for the type of story. Lots of escapades and a young hero who is courageous though impetuous. Stevenson does an interesting portrayal of Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
I'd like to watch the film version of this.

128avatiakh
Mar 8, 3:28 am

Current reading includes:
Eternal by Lisa Scottoline - still not 'grabbed' by this
The Sparrow by Tessa Duder - historical YA set in New Zealand
Don't forget to write by Sara Goodman Confino
Defiant by Brandon Sanderson

129labfs39
Mar 8, 8:48 am

>126 avatiakh: Wild Pork and Watercress sounds interesting, but hard to find locally.

>127 avatiakh: I've never read any of Stevenson's "adult" works, only Kidnapped and Treasure Island, oh, and Dr. Jekyll. I really should branch out.

130BLBera
Mar 9, 1:26 pm

>115 avatiakh: This does sound good, and I'll add this museum to my WL for future trips.

>127 avatiakh: This sounds like fun.

131avatiakh
Mar 9, 4:50 pm

>129 labfs39: Because of the small population, New Zealand has small print runs compared to elsewhere so books can be hard to find within a year of their publication. There was a reprint when the film came out and that's the copy my library had, I had to wait in a queue for it as it's still a popular read.

Crump is controversial as well as popular. His six sons wrote a memoir, Sons of a Good Keen Man: Life in the shadow of Barry Crump about growing up in a dysfunctional family which took the gloss off him somewhat.
NZ children's writer, Jack Lasenby also started out as a bushman and he wrote a great novel, The Lake about a young girl who goes bush.

Like Kidnapped & Treasure Island, The Black Arrow would be one for all ages.

>130 BLBera: Smaller museums can be great finds when you come across them.
The Black Arrow was fun, I liked that Stevenson made his hero, young Shelton a mix of brave and immature.

132avatiakh
Mar 9, 4:59 pm

I was going to ditch Don't forget to write but it's taken an interesting turn though it still feels like it's trying too hard. It's set in the 1960s and features a matchmaker so that premise caught my interest. I think I found the book on the Jewish Book Council website.

133avatiakh
Mar 9, 5:46 pm

>132 avatiakh: Ok and I'm learning stuff. Never hear of clamdiggers before, but they're pants that end 1 inch below knee, not to be confused with capri pants which end 3 inches below the knee.

134avatiakh
Editado: Mar 10, 4:48 pm


30) Don't forget to write by Sara Goodman Confino (2023)
fiction
This is set in 1960, a time when a young woman was expected to marry and become a homemaker rather than have a career. So when 20 year old Marilyn is caught in a compromising act with the rabbi's son and then refuses the parents' attempts to marry them off, she is sent to Philadelphia to spend the summer with her great aunt who is a renown matchmaker. A summer she'll never forget as her great aunt is not at all what she expects.
I almost DNF this one but kept going, I felt the writer was trying too hard and I didn't much enjoy the woman's role in life continually being thrust to center stage. Overall a light entertaining read with a side dish of matchmaking.
I DNF Lessons in Chemistry so I'm obviously not keen on reading fiction around this topic.

What was fun was that Marilyn wants to be a writer and is a voracious reader, recently published books mentioned that she and others are reading include To kill a mocking bird (1960), Hawaii (1958), Exodus (1959).

135avatiakh
Mar 10, 4:50 pm

...and I forgot to mention in Wild Pork and Watercress that young Ricky also loved a good book and he was always swapping paperbacks when they came to any tramping huts in the National Park. He read Don Quixote a few times over and also The Thornbirds.

136avatiakh
Mar 10, 4:52 pm

Current reading:
Eternal by Lisa Scottoline
The Sparrow by Tessa Duder
The Secret Purposes by David Baddiel

137dianeham
Mar 10, 11:39 pm

Hello Kerry. You came to visit me at my Club Read thread. I just joined 75 here a week ago and have a thread over here too. Would like to read your thoughts about House on Endless Waters. Thanks.

138dianeham
Mar 10, 11:45 pm

Hi again. I foound what you wrote about it in last year’s 75. Glad you like it.

139avatiakh
Mar 11, 2:32 am

Hi Diane - I'll have to look out your thread in this group.

140avatiakh
Mar 14, 5:30 am

Ok, Eternal by Lisa Scottoline will be a DNF after only 22 pages. I read some 2 star reviews on goodreads and they summed up why I wasn't getting into the novel, though some of those readers managed many more pages. The subject matter - the fate of Roman Jews during WW2 is really of interest but the opening pages were teen angst along with too much background explanation and I didn't feel I could bother reading on for 450+ pages.

141avatiakh
Mar 14, 6:02 am

So my library pickups yesterday were:
I have some questions for you by Rebecca Makkai - I haven't read anything by her but this looks interesting
A communist in the family: searching for Rewi Alley by Elspyth Sandys - Rewi Alley went to China in 1927 and stayed there for 60 years. He was a cousin of Sandys' mother. Inspired by Lisa's current reading about China.

142avatiakh
Editado: Mar 14, 6:35 am


31) The Sparrow by Tessa Duder (2023)
historical YA
Previously Duder had written a biography of Sarah Matthews, Sarah Mathew : explorer, journalist and Auckland's 'First lady', and this novel makes much use of the research she would have done on Matthews.
Our heroine is 15 year old Harriet, who arrives along with the very first group of settlers and officials to the site of what will become the city of Auckland. Harriet is dressed as a boy and goes by the name Harry, she's an escaped convict from Tasmania where she has served 3 or 4 years before escaping. The story is of the surveying of Auckland's first streets by Mr Matthews, leading up to a land auction and also the settlers' interactions with local Maori.
The narrative inserts a back story at intervals which tells of Harriet's older brother's betrayal and her conviction for stealing an apple that he's given her when she's only eleven. Her time in Newgate Prison, the voyage to Tasmania and life in the Cascades Female Factory before escaping.

I enjoyed this look at the first weeks of the city I live in and will probably do the Auckland heritage historic shoreline walk at some stage.

143avatiakh
Mar 14, 6:41 am


32) Ravencave by Marcus Sedgwick (2023)
YA
A Barrington Stoke publication for reluctant teen readers, set in a font suitable for dyslexic readers. That does not detract from this excellent little ghost story by the late but great Sedgwick.
James is with his family on a holiday to Yorkshire but there's something not quite right with them. His mother has had writer's block for some years, his father has just been made redundant and brother, Robbie just ignores him.

144Owltherian
Mar 14, 6:43 am

Hiya Kerry!

145avatiakh
Mar 14, 6:46 am

Hi Lily - late at night here in New Zealand.

146Owltherian
Mar 14, 6:47 am

its about 6:47am EST here in Ohio, and my little brother is yet again, asleep next to me.

147avatiakh
Mar 14, 6:50 am

I have our three legged cat, Conrad cuddled up on the couch, he's purring.

148Owltherian
Mar 14, 6:52 am

Thats adorable, my cat Kaladin used to be sitting next to me, but got up.

149avatiakh
Mar 14, 6:53 am

Yeah, our three ginger boys have lived outside all summer and are just now starting to return to the house with the arrival of autumn.

150Owltherian
Mar 14, 6:56 am

well now said cat is sitting on one arm-he is heavyyyy-

151avatiakh
Mar 14, 7:02 am



Photo from a couple of years ago, Conrad is in middle.

152Owltherian
Mar 14, 7:03 am

oml those kitties are adorable.

153avatiakh
Mar 14, 7:05 am

Yeah, we love them. Max, on the left, can be quite vicious though.

154dianeham
Mar 14, 7:05 am

>151 avatiakh: I like the orange kitties.

155Owltherian
Mar 14, 7:06 am

Yeah, i have a cat at my moms like that, well its only if you pester him too much.

156avatiakh
Mar 14, 7:13 am

>154 dianeham: We only wanted two but how could we leave the third brother behind and which one, so we took all three. Just annoyed that Conrad released a mouse into the house last week.

>155 Owltherian: He's a bit nasty at times but can be very sweet occasionally. He finds weird places to take a nap.

157Owltherian
Mar 14, 7:15 am

Heh, that sounds super fun to try and find him.

158avatiakh
Mar 14, 7:20 am

Yeah, and they all love my daughter, love to sleep in her room but she's allegic to cats! They sneak in when she opens her door or just sleep cuddled up to her door.

159Owltherian
Mar 14, 7:21 am

>158 avatiakh: Awwww thats cute, sadly my father is allergic but he takes medication to help with it.

160dianeham
Mar 14, 7:23 am

My husband is allergic to cats.

161avatiakh
Mar 14, 7:36 am

Dana has medication as well, just for when it becomes too much.
We went for ginger cats when we lost our beautiful black cat. He left the house and never came back. Our neighbour's ginger cat, Hugo, used to visit us a lot and we got sold on his personality.

162Owltherian
Mar 14, 7:37 am

Oh noo, i hope that kitty is okay.

163labfs39
Mar 14, 8:12 am

>141 avatiakh: I had never heard of Rewi Alley, so read through his Wikipedia entry. Interesting life. You'll have to let me know if this book is one I should add to my list of Chinese books to read, although I might have trouble finding it.

164avatiakh
Editado: Mar 14, 9:03 am

>163 labfs39: I just read Alley's wikipedia entry and am amazed that his sister is Gwen Somerset. She helped found the Playcentre movement which I was deeply involved with with my youngest two children.

165labfs39
Mar 14, 11:00 am

>164 avatiakh: Quite the accomplished family. First national librarian too.

166avatiakh
Mar 15, 9:12 pm

..and the librarian was an AllBlack as well, that is a major sporting achievement here.

167avatiakh
Editado: Mar 17, 6:31 pm


33) The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera (2021)
YA scifi
Newbery Medal winner, 2022. Most likely I saw this one on Amber's thread last year. I've had it out from the library for a long while and finally started reading it last week.
A cuentista is a storyteller and Petra wants to be the storyteller for her people when they arrive to a new planet. They are on the last of three spaceships leaving Earth which will be destroyed by a stray comet. The passengers are to be put into a stasis until their arrival but when Petra's pod is finally opened it's to a situation she never thought possible.
This was a good not great read. I liked that the Spanish phrases scattered throughout were not translated, added somewhat to the charm.

168avatiakh
Mar 17, 8:58 pm

Currently reading:
The Secret Purposes by David Baddiel - back to this and hope to finish by end of month
Paper cage by Tom Baragwanath - NZ crime novel
October 16, 1943 by Giacomo Debenedetti - put to one side over past couple of weeks
The Teacher by Michal Ben-Naftali

169avatiakh
Mar 17, 9:07 pm

Library pickups these past couple of days:
Victory City by Salman Rushdie - mentioned on Darryl's Club Read thread
Poland: a green land by Aharon Appelfeld - I'm stuck halfway through his To the land of cattails for the past year or so, but loved other of his books
A Lady's Guide to Scandal & A Lady's Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin - I'm either going to love these or ditch the first one quickly.

170avatiakh
Mar 20, 4:18 pm


34) A Lady's Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin (2022)
romance
A fun Regency romp with a delightful heroine who must marry in order to pay off her parents' debt and support her four younger sisters.I enjoyed this and dived into Irwin's next book.


35) A Lady's Guide to Scandal by Sophie Irwin (2023)
romance
I was really not taken with this second book. Irwin introduces too many characters with a difference and a messy plot which has the heroine falling for two men.
I still read the book but it wasn't as good as other Regency romances, the writer injected too many unusual aspects to the story.

171avatiakh
Editado: Mar 22, 3:23 am


36) Two can play that game by Leanne Yong (2023)
YA
I came across the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) awards 2024 shortlists on twitter and this was one of the books in the YA section. Liked the idea of it and really enjoyed this.
The main character is an Australian Malaysian Chinese navigating their family and career issues. Sam wants to be a game developer, she's been on the path since primary school but has won a scholarship to university that is for a mundane degree that she's not interested in. She meets Jay, who has the same Chinese Malaysian background, when they both vie for the last copy of a new game that includes a ticket to an indie games workshop. In the end they decide to compete against each other for the ticket and along the way they become good friends.
There's an element of romance but it's mostly about Sam finding her way. The competitive element is really fun especially with how their friendship develops.
There's lots of cultural references that don't feel intrusive, lots of Cantonese slang.

172avatiakh
Editado: Mar 25, 6:02 am


37) Paper Cage by Tom Baragwanath (2022)
crime
This won the 2021 Michael Gifkins Award for an unpublished manuscript which is administered by the NZ Society of Authors and the prize comes with a publishing deal from Text Publishing.
A fairly good crime novel set in Masterton, in the Wairarapa, hometown of the author though he's now living in Paris.
Three children go missing and one is Lorraine's niece's son. The local police, where Lorraine works in admin, are convinced it has something to do with the local gangs and a drug turf war. Lorraine isn't so convinced and neither is the detective who comes in from Wellington to help.

I've made note of the other winners of this award and will be reading a few at some stage. The award was established in 2018.

173avatiakh
Mar 25, 6:05 am

Currently reading:
The Secret Purposes by David Baddiel - read quite a chunk recently so back into it now
Strange Haven: a Jewish childhood in wartime Warsaw by Sigmund Tobias
How do you live? by Genzaburō Yoshino

174avatiakh
Mar 26, 1:01 am


My elephant is blue by Melinda Szymanik (2021)
picturebook
A delightful picturebook. A blue elephant appears when a child is feeling down. Szymanik usually writes YA fiction. The illustrations are spot on.

175klobrien2
Mar 26, 11:46 am

>174 avatiakh: Ooh, that looks good! I’ve got it requested. Thanks!

Karen O

176avatiakh
Mar 27, 5:47 pm

>175 klobrien2: I hope you like it. There are quite a few picturebooks dealing ith moods but this one is not dark like some can be.

177avatiakh
Mar 27, 5:56 pm

Library Pickups -
I went out early today as tomorrow everything is closed and I'm sharing my car with my son as his car is in for a service.
Machine Vendetta Prefect Dreyfus#3 by Alaistair Reynolds - just out though six years after #2 so I'm fairly vague about what happened. Great scifi set in world of Revelation Space.
The Consultant by Im Seong-Sun - looking forward to this one
Scattershot: Life, Music, Elton and Me by Bernie Taupin - memoir

Almost done reading The Secret Purposes, a little bit of a slog though interesting.

178labfs39
Mar 28, 9:38 am

>177 avatiakh: The Consultant does sound interesting. I'll look forward to your review.

179avatiakh
Mar 28, 9:56 pm


38) The Secret Purposes by David Baddiel (2004)
fiction

This novel is about the internment of Germans on the Isle of Man during World War Two. Most were Jewish refugees, but the British Govt just saw them as enemy aliens. A communist, Jewish Isaac is from Konigsburg and married to a non-Jewish German. He's considered a threat and along with many others is an internee.
The other storyline is with June Murray who works as a translator of German documents in Special Operations. She's upset by a Ministry of Information memo that news of the atrocities against Jews by Hitler should be suppressed and is not in the public interest.
Baddiel's own grandfather was interned on the Isle of Man and he wanted to draw awareness to this historical event.
This was a slow read but definitely a worthwhile one. I didn't think there was much story in it but the plot picked up in the last 150 pages.

180avatiakh
Editado: Mar 30, 6:14 pm


39) The Apothecary Diaries vol.7 by Natsu Hyuuga (2022)
manga
My favourite manga. Maomao was brought up in a courtesan house and then adopted by her apothecary father. She is now working in the Inner Court at the palace and solves numerous mysteries using her knowledge of herbs and medicines. Her patron is Jinchi, who she has assumed is a eunuch but perhaps he isn't.

181avatiakh
Editado: Mar 30, 6:23 pm

Current reads:

I've gone off track here -
Iris and Me by Philippa Werry - YA prose novel on life of writer Robin Hyde
Doing Time by Jodi Taylor - #1 in her Time Police series
The Teacher by Michal Ben-Naftali
How do you live? by Genzaburo Yoshino
The Iliad by Homer - audio

182avatiakh
Mar 30, 7:17 pm

>178 labfs39: Hi Lisa - I'm itching to pick it up, but it's an April read.

183avatiakh
Mar 31, 7:12 pm


40) Iris and Me by Philippa Werry (2023)
YA
An interesting prose novel about writer/poet/journalist Robin Hyde (1906-1939). She's highly considered in New Zealand but honestly her life seems to have been disaster after disaster. After a struggle to make a career as a journalist in New Zealand alongside much personal strife, Hyde whose real name is Iris Wilkinson decides to travel in 1938 to England to try establish herself there as a writer. She has almost no funds to support herself and yet still leaves her plans behind on arrival in Hong Kong to travel and report on the Japanese invasion of China. Amid much hardship she makes it to the warfront and does report from there but goes missing as the Japanese take over the territory she's in.
Some months later she finally arrives in England but it isn't the uptopia she hoped it would be.
I'm quite inspired now to read her work, I already have two books Passport to Hell & The Godwits Fly on my shelves and have picked up a kindle copy of Dragon Rampant about her time in China. I also want to read some of her poetry.
The mysterious 'me' in the tiitle refers to Iris's walking stick as she had a knee operation as a teenager and was left lame for life and somewhat dependant on opiates for pain.

184avatiakh
Editado: Abr 9, 7:18 am

Reading Plans for April:

I have library books to read, but also drew a few books off my shelves to consider. My reading also leads me on to other books.

Currently reading:
Doing Time by Jodi Taylor - a lighter read.
How do you live? by Genzaburo Yoshino - already overdue at library so needs to be read asap. Luckily our library system no longer does fines.
The teacher by Michal Ben-Naftali
The Iliad by Homer

want to read:
Victory City by Salman Rushdie
A communist in the family Rewi Alley biography by Elspeth Sandys
Cold Crematorium: Reporting from the Land of Auschwitz by József Debreczeni

War Room - Religious Wars
not sure where I put these two books after taking them off the shelves during the planning stages in December -
Bar Kochba : The rediscovery of the legendary hero of the last Jewish revolt against imperial Rome by Yigael Yadin
Knight Crusader by Ronald Welch
and
Tyll by Daniel Kelmann - Thirty Year War

other library books:
The Consultant by Seong-Sun Im
Strange Haven: a Jewish childhood in Shanghai by Sigmund Tobias

Too many of these are library books.

185labfs39
Abr 1, 12:52 pm

>183 avatiakh: Robin Hyde sounds fascinating. I wonder if there is a good bio out there? I'll have to look around.

>184 avatiakh: So many good titles here. Whose translation of The Iliad are you going to read? I'm also curious about A Communist in the Family and The Consultant.

186avatiakh
Abr 1, 4:41 pm

>185 labfs39: I think that The Book of Iris: A Biography of Robin Hyde by her son, Derek Challis, is the main biography. She hid Derek from her family, her other child died at birth and she took her pen name from him, Christopher Robin Hyde. As I said her personal life was difficult, along with her professional life. In the 1930s women were excluded from receiving the unemployment benefit, so times were very hard for her when she was made redundant and supporting her infant son in a foster family.

I'm listening to an audio of the Penguin Classics edition of The Iliad and reading chapter summaries to make sure I remember names. The translation is by E.V. Rieu, anyway I'm enjoying it and should listen to it more often.

I've started The Consultant, it's going to take a while to get used to the style of narrative. I'm also finding The Teacher a different type of read.

187avatiakh
Editado: Abr 2, 4:34 am


41) Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang by Mordecai Richler (1975)
children's fiction

This slim paperback has spent many years in my house without being read until today. I kept it because it's by a well known writer. A hilarious read, the star of the story is six year old Jacob who is the youngest of five children and has to say everything twice as noone listens the first time. Jacob's adventure starts when his father sends him to buy two pounds of firm, red tomatoes from the local grocer.

188avatiakh
Editado: Abr 3, 3:35 pm


42) How Do You Live? by Genzaburō Yoshino (1937)
YA fiction

This started off reminding me of Sophie's World in some ways though it is quite different. What is fascinating is that this was written in 1937 so is a snapshot of the values at play in those times in Japanese culture.
The book recounts episodes in Copper's life as a schoolboy and the chapters are interspered with his uncle's reflections on various subjects that relate back to Copper and what sort of person he will grow into. A quiet book that is quite beautiful.
This is shelved in adult fiction in bookshops and libraries though it's intended audience was mature children.

189avatiakh
Abr 3, 5:22 pm


43) A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (2001)
children's
Newbery Medal (2002). This came on my radar when seeking out Korean historical fiction. Set in the 12 century the story is based on the Thousand Crane Vase, a Korean treasure found in the Kansong Museum of Art, Seoul.
In a small village of potters, a homeless boy is drawn to the work of a master potter who makes the most wondrous pieces of Celadon pottery. Captivating.

190avatiakh
Abr 5, 5:27 pm

I'm feeling a trifle guilty as we had a cute puppy turn up in our back yard this morning and I've put him over the fence for our neighbours to deal with for a few reasons.
We are about to go to the city for some hours & the puppy was eating seeds that have dropped from our palmtree which was a worry. Our neighbours have little girls and from the shrieks of delight they at least are enjoying the dilemma. I've put a 'puppy found' note up on our mailbox at the driveway entrance giving neighbour's address as they are on a different street.

191avatiakh
Abr 6, 2:04 am


44) The Dragon King's Daughter by Yen Samejima (2020)
manga
A Chinese Fantasy #1. Cute story about a human lad helping rescue the daughter of the Dragon King from an unhappy marriage prospect. There are a couple of shorter tales included after the main one. There's a second volume dealing with a fox maiden tthat I've requested from the library.

192avatiakh
Abr 6, 4:38 pm


45) Doing Time by Jodi Taylor (2019)
scifi
Time Police #1. Highly entertaining read. The Time Police take in 3 oddball trainees who are put into their own team as no others want them.

193avatiakh
Abr 6, 5:37 pm

I've decided that I'm spending too much of my reading time with library books, so will have to reassess all this as I own so many great books.

194avatiakh
Abr 7, 7:05 pm

So a parcel of books just arrived to home:
Shirley Hazzard: collected stories
Drive your plow over the bones of the dead by Olga Tokarczuk
The Tower of Fools & Warriors of God (Hussite trilogy) by Andrzej Sapkowski

My son has been teaching himself Polish these past 18 months or so and now reads books in Polish. These ones would be difficult for him in Polish, but because we talked so much about them I decded that I'd like to read them myself.
My other son will possibly read Sapkowski's Hussite trilogy too as we visited Prague together last year and spent a whole morning on Vitkov Hill where the massive statue of Jan Žižka on horseback and other National Monument buildings are located.

195avatiakh
Abr 8, 12:23 am


46) Tamburlaine's Elephants by Geraldine McCaughrean (2007)
children's fiction

I liked this one. Tells the story of two boys and the elephants of Delhi, who come up against the great 14th century Mongol conqueror, Tamerlane. One boy is a warrior in the warlord's army, the other is his prisoner, together they look after the captured elephants.

196avatiakh
Editado: Abr 8, 12:36 am

Current reading:
A communist in the family: Searching for Rewi Alley by Elspeth Sandys - not sure I can hack this one, feels very dense and in need of a good edit.
The Teacher by Michal Ben-Naftali - hard to get involved with story
Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann - off to a good start
I have two children's fiction on the crusades, not sure which one will grab my attention first.

I have two more slim reads, both my own books - River Boy by Tim Bowler, a Carnegie Medal (UK) book and Butterfly's Tongue by Manuel Rivas, a novella.

Library pickup:
An illustrated history of the Later Crusades: A chronicle of the crusades of 1200-1588 in Palestine, Spain, Italy and Northern Europe, by Charles Phillips - I thought this might be helpful for the Religious Wars theme read.

197PaulCranswick
Abr 8, 1:24 am

>195 avatiakh: I like the look of that one too, Kerry.

I must also read Tyll soon.

198avatiakh
Abr 8, 1:38 am

>197 PaulCranswick: Yeah, I owned that one since it was newly published, but now I have set myself the task of reading at least 4 children's books off my shelves each month.
McCaughrean is a wonderful writer, her The Kite Rider is well worth looking out for.
Tyll was one I also got when it first came out in English translation, so I'm pleased to have made a start here as well.

199PaulCranswick
Abr 8, 3:00 am

I don't have anywhere near as many books for younger readers as you do but I would like to start to read more of the ones that I do have.

200avatiakh
Abr 9, 7:25 am


47) Butterfly's Tongue by Manuel Rivas (1998)
novella / short stories

Three short stories set in rural Galicia, Spain. The first one, Butterfly's Tongue was the one I liked most about a small boy and his teacher as the civil war breaks out. The last story was only a few pages and quite forgettable. The middle one was a sort of 'wolf girl' story and had its moments.

201avatiakh
Editado: Abr 11, 5:51 pm

I visited a charity shop yesterday and picked up three paperbacks in great condition -
Under Occupation by Alan Furst
Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris
South Sea Vagabonds by J.W.Wray

Currently reading and enjoying:
The Consultant by Im Seong-Sun
Knight Crusader by Ronald Welch
also Tiger tiger by Lynne Reid Banks but not enjoying as much as plot is leading up to fights in the Colosseum that I'm not sure I want to read about, but it's a children's book so can't be too horrific.

...and I'm off to the library this morning to pick up The Running Grave.
Este tópico foi continuado por avatiakh (Kerry) reads from her shelves #2.