Eclecticdodo moves on up to 75 - part 2
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I thought I would share this photo of my son climbing castles
1) DIY Dentistry And Other Alarming Inventions
2) Game Of Scones: All Men Must Dine
3) How It Works: The Husband & How It Works: The Wife
4) Food From The Wild
5) The Lord's Day
7) The Victorian Asylum
8) Crochet Master Class
9) Christmas, Actually
10) The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street
11) So Much Cooking
12) The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying
13) Seven Years In Tibet
14) Reggae Reggae Cookbook
15) Fortunately, The Milk
16) Mother Of Eden
17) Getting Past The First 30 Seconds
18) A Wayne In A Manger
19) All You Zombies
20) The Mousehole Cat
21) The Hairy Dieters: Good Eating
22) Don't Swallow Your Gum
23) The Fox And The Star
24) Waiting For The Wild Beasts To Vote
25) The Incredible Years
26) Blue Shoes And Happiness
27) Recovering From Child Abuse
28) Protecting Children From Abuse In The Church
29) When Cancer Interrupts
30) Where's Will? Find Shakespeare Hidden In His Plays
31) Intentional: Evangelism that takes people to Jesus
32) First Wives Club
33) Relationships: A Mess Worth Making
34) Take Heart
36) Angry Children
37) Romans: Momentous News
38) True Friendship
40) The Antidote
41) Tales Of Mystery And Magic
42) Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2015 Highlights
43) The Book Thief
44) M Shed Bristol Museum
45) Esther: Silent But Sovereign
46) Sita's Ramayana
47) Foxglove Summer
48) Making Church Accessible To All
49) Ed Bear Versus
50) Galatians: The Life I Live Now
51) Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry
52) A Bear Called Paddington
53) The Servant Queen And The King She Serves
54) The Name Of The Rose
55) Mortimer Keene & The Beast Of The Bay
57) When The Wind Blows
58) The Long Earth
59) The Day Hospital
60) The Long War
61) Something Wicked did not finish
62) Never Let Me Go
63) Salmon Fishing In The Yemen
64) The Only Way Is Ethics Part 1
65) Different By Design
66) The Long Mars
67) Tim The Tiny Horse
69) Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
71) The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh
72) Blitz over Westminster
73) The BFG
74) Alan Turing: The Enigma
75) The Iron Man
76) The Long Utopia
77) Stressed Unstressed
78) According To Yes
79) 13 Things That Don't Make Sense
80) Aim High
81) The Light Between Oceans
83) A Monstrous Regiment Of Women
84) Reasons To Stay Alive
85) The Moth Snowstorm did not finish
86) The Alaskan Laundry
87) The Long Cosmos
88) Why Does E=mc2
89) The Tale Of Little Pig Robinson
90) The Tale Of Two Bad Mice
91) The Tale Of Jemima Puddleduck
92) The Tale Of Squirrel Nutkin
From earlier in the year (but I forgot to list it)
94) Voices From The Workhouse
95) Old Wives Tales
96) Secret Thoughts Of An Unlikely Convert
97) From Frazzled To Fabulous
99) July's People
101) The Tale Of Johnny Town Mouse
102) The Tale Of Jeremy Fisher
103) Odd And The Frost Giants
104) The Hanging Tree
105) The Perilous Question
106) Return To Oz
107) You Had One Job
108) First Among Sequels
109) More About Paddington
110) Duties Of Parents
These are the series I'm (semi) actively reading, and the next book in the series:
- Chronicles Of Kazam by Jasper Fforde: book 2/4 The Song Of The Quarkbeast
- Dark Eden by Chris Beckett:
- Discworld by Terry Pratchet: I've read a completely random selection in a random order so I need to restart from the beginning, whether I'll ever actually manage that is another matter entirely...
- The Girl Who by Catherynne M Valente: book 1/5 The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making (I've read the prequel)
- J. W. Wells by Tom Holt: book 4/7 You Don't Have To Be Evil To Work Here, But It Helps
- Long Earth by Terry Pratchet & Stephen Baxter:
- Mary Poppins by P L Travers: book 4/8 Mary Poppins In The Park
- Mary Russell by Laurie R King:
- Midwife Trilogy by Jennifer Worth: book 3/3 Farewell To The East End
- No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith:
- Peter Grant by Ben Aaronovitch:
- Pirates! by Gideon Defoe: book 2/5 The Pirates In An Adventure With Ahab
- Plainsong by Kent Haruf: book 2/3 Eventide
- Roll Of Thunder by Mildred D Taylor: book 2/3 Let The Circle Be Unbroken
- Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket: book 2/13 The Reptile Room
- Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde: book 5/7 First Among Sequels
This is a 2016 Fiction Challenge I amalgamated off the web:
4) Divergent (free)
8) Save With Jamie
12) Beyond Chocolate
13) Beyond Temptation
28) Honest Evangelism
29) Money Counts
30) Spurgeon's Sorrows
31) A Heart Set Free
32) Deep Magic, Dragons, And Talking Mice
33) Table Talk 1
34) Table Talk 2
36) Ezekiel: For His Glory
37) Mark: The Suffering Servant
39) Through Changing Scenes (free)
40) The War On Terror: How Should Christians Respond (free)
41) Tortured For Christ (free)
42) Prosperity: Seeking The True Gospel (free)
53) Double Comfort Safari Club (book swap)
61) Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
62) Alice Through The Looking Glass
64) Poems Of The Great War
65) The Maestro, The Magistrate, And The Mathematician
69) The Perfect Aquarium
71) The Winter Diary of a Country Rat
72) Pirates! in an adventure with communists
73) Pirates! in an adventure with Napoleon
74) Pirates! in an adventure with Moby Dick
79) Bleak House
80) Before I Go To Sleep (gift)
81) A Fine Balance (gift)
82) Sweet Tooth (gift)
83) Side By Side (gift)
84) Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children (gift)
85) Tiny Toys To Knit (gift)
86) Mini Christmas Crochet (gift)
88) Five On Brexit Island (gift)
89) The Thrilling Adventures Of Lovelace and Babbage (technically my husbands, but I intend to read it asap)
91) The Muse
92) Dark Matter
93) The Hiding Place
Now, I need your help! One of my fiction challenge is to read a book published in the year of my birth (1980). I'm sure there must be a way of looking up potential books. Hopefully showing a preference to fiction, and not totally rubbish. Any ideas? CK has original publication date but I can't seem to find a way to search.
You've got nearly 3600 books to choose from! :)
>11 eclecticdodo: Wikipedia also has a list (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_in_literature). Some books I've read from 1980 are The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (although I would guess you've probably read the latter). For children's fiction there's The Magicians of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones plus there's The Twits or George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl.
>13 souloftherose: Thanks Heather, that's a much more manageable list. I'm tempted by George's Marvellous Medicine, as I loved it but haven't read it since I was about ten. Also The Bourne Identity and The Name Of The Rose jumped out at me. Decisions, decisions...
To be honest, I'm glad for the distraction. Today is a year since my first ectopic pregnancy (well, the surgery). It's still pretty hard sometimes. To think I should have a 4 1/2 month old. And the second one would have been due in 2 weeks. Facebook helpfully reminded me, as if I could have forgotten. On the other hand, I'm still here, and they didn't have to do a hysterectomy so there's still the possibility of trying again once the cancer followups are done.
I still have a few University textbooks, too. And in my case, they are much older than yours. :-) I know they would just be tossed if I tried to donate them as they are so out of date.
This is book 5 in the Peter Grant crime/fantasy series. Peter leaves London to assist in the investigation of a missing child. Once again there is plenty of mystery and surrealism; this one isn't as dark as some previous instalments, making it a more fun read I thought. There is little to advance the overarching plot of the series so it could be read as a standalone. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the narration of the audiobook version by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith was excellent.
Published by Prospects, a charity supporting people with learning disabilities to access the gospel, I was expecting quite an emphasis on learning disabilities. That is the case, but I was pleasantly surprised by the content relating to other disabilities too. The first half of the book is about the arguments for inclusivity, with lots of examples to give the human side as well as the theoretical. The second half is more practical, with chapters on different types of disability and the key issues for those affected. Again, there are plenty of personal examples. It makes a good guide to the issues for Christians not experienced in thinking about access and also for those with experience but not within the Christian context. Each chapter lists sources of further information.
Beautiful bikes! Do you have adventure plans for them?
>27 streamsong: Reuben is all better and we didn't catch it thank goodness.
We have lots of plans for the bikes. We live next to a path between Bristol and Bath along the line of the old railway, and there are lots of other cycle paths near by and more being built all the time. We're planning on building up the distance slowly so that eventually we can do day trips, and who knows, maybe even a holiday (we had a fab one to Jersey before Reuben was born). There's a local chapter of Kidical Mass which I'm a ride leader for. And we've spotted some quiet streets on which to practice road skills too (although he seems way too young to be going on the road at 5!)
I manage to run and listen to audiobooks. My headphones sit over the ear so I hear background noise pretty well, and I usually run a traffic free route, so it's not an issue. But cycling is more often on roads and if I have Reuben with me I need to focus even more. I don't think it's a good idea on a bike....
Firstly a disclaimer - this was a prepublication copy from the author who is a friend of mine, so I may be biased. I found it to be a well written and a wonderfully twisted story. Emily loses her bear, Ed, and we follow first his adventures in the land he finds himself in, then a short conclusion back in the real world where he rescues Emily, who had been persuaded by her psychiatrist that Ed was just an ordinary stuffed toy. There are monsters galore and the action is fast paced. Having read part of an earlier draft I was very impressed with the improvement made simply by eliminating the word "was" (as in "Ed was looking for Emily").
The third I've read in this series of undated devotions. This time my husband and I read it together before bed each night so that we were able to discuss it. Once again, it's an excellent book, taking the book of Galatians in manageable chunks. There is plenty of application and the questions at the end of each day worked well for prompting discussion between us.
In the mean time I went for another run today while Reuben cycled. And had an asthma attack. Without an inhaler. Doh! I'd forgotten the effects of hay fever season.
We had to set flags in the mud beyond which they weren't allowed to go for fear of getting stuck, but they had a great time throwing stones with a satisfying splat. What I really need is some proper sun. We're off to the in-laws in Exmouth for a couple of days next week and that's about as close as I'm going to get.
51) Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor
Having studied this one at school (and rereading as part of my fiction challenge in post 4) I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it. I had fairly good memories, which is saying something because I hated English Literature and was pretty rubbish too. Anyway, it exceeded expectations and I can see why this book won awards. It is excellently written and covers a very difficult subject by making it a personal story. I remember now that this was eye-opening to me as a teenager. I grew up in a small English town and had only experienced racism in people's comments about those not present. The ugly actions displayed in the book may be far removed from 21st Century Britain, but many of the root beliefs of superiority persist, and dare I say it, seem to be becoming more acceptable in these days of Britain First, UKIP, and the EU referendum.
I don't remember if I read these (or had them read to me) as a child. The stories are fairly familiar but that could be from the TV series. The edition I read was part of a beautiful set from Harper Collins for the Folio Society (NB not an actual FS publication), and that certainly added to my enjoyment. In this book we meet paddington and he settles into life with the Browns. Thoroughly enjoyable.
A short book produced by the Bible Society and others in commemoration of the Queen's 90th birthday this year. The author uses excerpts from the Queen's many televised Christmas speeches as well as anecdotes and other information to provide a picture of the her faith in Jesus which underpins her dedicated service. I must admit, I'm a bit of a fan of the Queen. I'm not altogether comfortable with the idea of a monarchy but the alternative presidential style Prime Minister/Head of State is far worse a prospect in my view, at least while this admirable lady remains on the throne.
Wow! That was a real slog of a book. I listened to the audiobook which is 21 hours long, although that's probably quicker than I could have read it myself (I'm a slow reader, and I'd have given more thought to the latin if it were printed in front of me). The story is entertaining enough, but it is very long winded in the telling. One reads it more for the rich symbolism and religious language from 14th Century Catholicism. At the same time the philosophy behind the book is very clearly postmodernist, which places it firmly in the latter part of the 20th Century; this makes a curious mix. I am glad I persevered however it is not something I intend to reread and I will probably steer clear of the authors other works too.
I listened to Name of the Rose a few years back and had many of the same thoughts. I'm glad I have experienced it, and would probably get more out of it if I read it a second time (I know I miss lots of details with audios) , but what an undertaking to do so.
I have Salmon Fishing on the Yemen on Planet TBR. I'll be interested to see what you think.
I don't do housework and our maid has become a much better cook and coffee maker than she is at keeping the abode shipshape. I prefer that actually as I associate antiseptic clean with hospital wards!
Have a great weekend.
>51 PaulCranswick: yes, I've been out on the bike every day this week. Today we did an 18km ride with friends, followed by a 6km round trip out for dinner - Reuben's longest total distance by quite a long way. I'm not missing the electric at all. I may not be able to go quite as fast, but I'm living a slower pace of life now I'm not working so a longer journey time isn't a problem. And I've not to use the car since last Saturday.
A quick read at the library yesterday. I enjoyed the rhyming and illustrations and the story is fun. Mortimer Keene is busy inventing a flying machine while the rest of his class go on a school trip to the beach; a sea monster attacks and it is down to him to save them. Good for young readers I would think.
The concluding part of The Giver quartet. We learn the story of Gabe, the baby in the first book, and his mother. At the end evil is vanquished. I found the early part of this book quite uncomfortable reading but that has more to do with my emotions around motherhood than the book itself. I am glad I persevered as it really is another excellent book. By half way through I was totally hooked and read at every opportunity. It is very satisfying to have so many loose ends tied up but without seeming like that is all the book is doing. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I picked this up on our weekly trip to the library, it immediately caught my attention on a display at the entrance, although another patron did try to warn me off that it is too depressing. I can't believe I've never heard of it before. In graphic novel form, with artwork very similar to that of his most famous children's book The Snowman, we follow a couple as they make preparations and live through the early days of nuclear war. It takes the mickey out of contradictory and completely pointless advice that was given around the time of publication (1982). It is rather bleak, but I quite like bleak. I don't suppose nuclear war is much less likely these days than it was 30 years ago, more so perhaps. Happy thoughts....
The world as we know it is just one of a (possibly infinite) number of parallel worlds that can be "stepped" between. Joshua, a natural stepper, sets out to explore further than anyone has ever gone before, with an artificial intelligence named Lobsang and a giant hi-tech airship. It's a very entertaining book as one would expect from the authors, it is hard to say where each had their input as the whole works together very well. Then end sets up nicely for the next in the series and I've started reading already.
At church we're in the middle of 40 days of prayer. We're particularly devoting ourselves to spending time in prayer, with some of our usual weekly activities suspended to help us do that. It's been a really amazing time so far. I've especially found the morning prayer meetings helpful, right after the school run every morning I go to the church building to meet with 30 or so others.
In other news we've been doing loads of cycling. Reuben and I managed a quick 4 miles before dinner this evening. And Andy just had his bike serviced and various bits replaced by a community interest company that we found out after is a Christian outreach project. He's really looking forward to the smoother ride.
59) The Day Hospital by Sally Read
A very moving book of poetry. The author really captures the voices of twelve patients with varying histories and psychiatric diagnoses. I'm not a big poetry reader, and I have no idea how technically brilliant, or otherwise, this volume is, but I found it very piercing. As a former psychiatric day patient myself I can see truths in this art. I will look out for more from the author.
Try to have a great weekend. xx
Wow - a shooting that close would stress anyone out.
I was stressed out this morning but had a better afternoon - I was so busy I forgot my troubles. And then I went for a run this evening.
I didn't pick up any books at the library today, but I did see a great title: The gigantic beard that was evil. Maybe another time I'll get it out.
We had a lovely day today. I had a lie in while Andy and Reuben did a bit of food shopping. We had lunch at home then cycled into town to see a new exhibition at M Shed on the history of Children's television from 1946 to today. It was really interesting, and a great balance between artefacts, information, and video exhibits (here's a video montage from the local BBC news http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-36689590). Reuben had a great time spotting all the things he watches - mostly older series that we have on DVD and a few current programs we watch online (no TV at home). After that I went for a run round the harbour while the boys explored the rest of the museum for the millionth time. Then we met up again and went on a boat trip on the John King, a 1930s vessel that used to work the docks. Finally an ice cream in the cafe, cycle home, and picnic dinner in the garden. Wow, that's quite a lot to fit in an afternoon!
It is hard to do it justice with any photos, but this close up of St Mary Redcliffe Church shows how detailed many of the structures are:
The second instalment in the Long Earth series. A series of Stepwise Americas declare their independence, triggering a war, sort of, meanwhile relationships between humans and the other sapient creatures are deteriorating too. Many of the same characters from the first book return, though there is an intervening period between the books when situations have changed somewhat, ensuring it isn't just a repeat of the first adventure. Highly recommended, if only for the pun that all kids want to be "twain drivers".
I just couldn't get into this one which surprised me because I loved Farenheit 451
62) Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I'm not sure what I think about this. It certainly captured my attention and I was keen to find out what happened, but I thought it was trying rather too hard to be heart wrenching. It is a very interesting premise and well worked out. I guess I was waiting for some big twist and it didn't really happen, in fact it ended rather predictably.
I got Double Comfort Safari Club from an honesty book swap shelf, admittedly I haven't put a book back there yet, time to find one.
I got the paper book of Alan Turing: The Enigma as a Christmas present but haven't managed to get very far, so when it came up on offer on Audible I went for it, somehow it's much less daunting to read a very long book by audiobook. And let's face it, I get a LOT of time to listen to audiobooks while I walk places or watch my son play. In the same offer I also got Redshirts, which I've been after for ages, and 13 Things That Don't Make Sense.
Then last night I picked up Engleby from a local buy/sell group for £1. I've heard good things about it in the past and for that price I couldn't resist. Besides, I love BS5 Booty (the name of the group) for connecting with locals, I had a great chat with the lady selling it about bikes.
I'm also about to receive £30 book tokens so I smell a shopping trip coming up!
63) Salmon Fishing In The Yemen by Paul Torday
I loved this book. It is funny and moving at the same time. Basically it's about a madcap scheme to introduce Scottish Salmon to the rivers of the Yemen, and the personal and political fallout for those involved in the project. There is a romance of sorts, but without it being all about that. The author also manages to make salmon and fly fishing interesting.
I think you're doing incredibly well with limiting your book acquisitions. I seem to have fallen off the wagon the last few months. I've got to suck it up and walk past the FOL rack (right by the door!) when I go to the library.
I'm glad that you loved Salmon Fishing. I have it on Planet TBR - next time I need a fun read, I'll pick it up.
I was still up When Reuben woke at 6.45 (a relative lie in if I'd been in bed). Of course by then I was shattered so gave him breakfast then went back to bed and slept another couple of hours. Fortunately Andy had a lieu day from work so he did the school run for me. And Reuben was happy because he got jam sandwiches and a muffin for his packed lunch, whereas I'm much more strict.
It's been a seriously hot day today, and tomorrow is set to be even hotter. Weather report says 28deg but I think significantly hotter than that in the middle of the concrete jungle where we live. If it cools off I'm out for a run, though that seems pretty unlikely.
This is part 1 in what is to become a series of books on Christian ethics, by a lecturer in the subject at a London seminary (who also happens to be a friend of mine). There are four chapters, I believe each has been published as standalone digital versions but here they are brought together to form a book. Chapter 1 details Sean's story of living with same sex attraction and Christian conviction, chapter 2 is all about human sexuality, chapter 3 singleness, and chapter 4 divorce and remarriage. While the author takes the "traditional" view of sex being designed for within a heterosexual marriage, much of the content would be seen as radical, in modern secular culture, but also within Christian circles today. It is clear throughout that the arguments are based on considered interpretation of scripture, so that even if one were to disagree with the conclusions (I don't) one cannot doubt the sincerity with which they are reached.
My friend is visiting family in Portland US for the next few weeks and I'm very jealous of her trips to Powells. We're off to the New Forest soon, not nearly as exciting but I'm looking forward to it.
I did my first ever Parkrun today. It was horribly humid and rather warm, and I had to walk quite a bit, but I finished so that's a huge achievement. The last time I ran 5k was just before my first ectopic pregnancy last year. On a good day I'm now able to run 30mins straight (rather slowly) but I just can't cope with this heat. I'm planning to get in some early morning runs on holiday, and then after we get back I will (hopefully) go out before Andy goes to work at 7am. I can do this...
You have all of Sunday to recuperate. xx
I had a fair bit of time for reading. I started Different By Design about complementarianism, Alan Turing: The Enigma, The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, and Engelby by Sebastian Faulks. I've been a bit of a butterfly and made progress on them all but not actually finished anything.
Have a great weekend.
65) Different By Design by Carrie Sandom
This is a Christian book outlining the biblical case for complementarianism - the view that women and men are entirely equal in worth, with diversity of God-given roles. Generally I hold that view, however I found some of the arguments a little flimsy, particularly over diversity of church ministry roles. The parts examining marriage as revelation of heavenly realities were helpful and well supported. I need to do some more reading on the subject.
66) The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter
Part three in the Long Earth series. Sally Linsay explores Mars, Maggie Kauffman explores further into the long earth than ever before, and Joshua Valiente discovers a new species of human. I found it a little disjointed with the various threads of story being rather too far apart, though they sort of come together in the end. An entertaining read all the same and I will certainly carry on with the series.
- A book chosen for you by your spouse
- A book that's been banned
- A book you have owned for years but never read
- A book that intimidates you
- A book being made into a film this year
I added a few categories as I went along too...
I have plans for most of the remaining. My husband often recommends books to me, which I rarely get round to reading, so he will be happy to have me listen for a change! I have a reservation at the library for July's People (banned in South Africa). I was rereading The Jungle Book for one being made into a film this year, but I was rather disappointed that it's not as good as I remembered, I don't want to ruin the memory by reading all of it (I know, that doesn't make much sense). I'm currently thinking I'll switch to Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children which I've been meaning to get for a while.
I'm a bit stumped on a book that intimidates me. The problem is to find one that does, while not being so intimidating that I don't want to read it. But then that's the point of the challenge, to get me out of my comfort zone.
Firstly Tim The Tiny Horse by Harry Hill which I read in Charring Cross Hospital last year and really cheered me up. Andy is a little worried it will bring back unhappy memories of, you know, the whole cancer thing, but I think I can keep them separate. And it is funny.
Secondly a folio edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass for a bargain price of 50p! Some irreverent so-and-so has folded a couple of pages over as bookmarks, and there is a small mark on the slipcase, but otherwise it's in pretty good condition.
I never come out of that shop empty handed.
A short book of illustrated stories about Tim The Tiny Horse. LT has it tagged as children's but I'd say the comedy would go over most kids heads, certainly younger ones, so it is more of a grown up book. Having said that I just read it aloud to my 5 year old and he did enjoy it.
I really enjoyed this novel. It is difficult to describe it without spoiling the plot, but basically it is made up of diary entries of Mike Engelby from the time he started at Cambridge University until his 50s, with reflections on his childhood also mixed in; someone goes missing; reality unravels. The examination of madness interests me, and I liked the ambiguous ending. Overall I would say it is very well written though I did notice a few errors in the edition I have, repeated words and the like.
69) Harry Potter And The Cursed Child by Jack Thorne
It takes a bit of getting used to, as there is very little in the way of stage directions, scene setting and characters' motivations, as one would find in standard fiction, with everything being told instead through dialogue. However, I quickly became accustomed. The story is good, Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley's son and his friends and rivals get caught up in a plot to change the course of history, threatening the entire wizarding and muggle worlds. With a little help from Harry and the gang disaster is averted and all is well in the end. I'd like to see it as a stage play. From the limited details given, the scenery and stagecraft must be amazing.
70) Redshirts by John Scalzi
This really made me chuckle. It's science fiction, taking the mickey out of the genre, and in particular out of badly written serialisations and television series. A bunch of redshirts (as in, the ones who get killed off in these stories) realise their destiny and seek to change it. It's rather meta, but it also takes the mickey out of itself for being meta. I really recommend it. However, I must say, it's not exactly elegantly written. Without reading more of Scalzi's work I can't say whether that is a deliberate move in order to further emphasise the story, or if it is just plain sloppy. It did grate a little after a while, particularly the clumsy dialogue - he said, she said, and so on. It is still a good book though.
71) The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh by Disney
Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. This is a Disney rework of the original Winnie The Pooh, and it is nowhere near as good. You can see where they have plagiarised bits of the A A Milne stories, but generally spoiled them. Now don't get me wrong, I quite like the film and TV versions, for what they are, but why would you mess with the book? My Nan bought it for my son, who seemed to enjoy it well enough, however, I did manage to "accidentally" leave it at my parents house....
72) Blitz Over Westminster by Roy Harrison
This is a reproduction, with a little commentary, of photographs of Westminster bomb damage during World War Two. I'm not quite sure how, but my Gran was involved in the production of the book some way, and consequently my parents have a number of copies. It is very interesting to show the scale of the damage. Casualty figures are given for each image which is really rather shocking, since this is only one small area of London, and certainly not the worst effected. This book had a huge impact on me when I first read it as a young teenager and I am pleased to have a copy to pass on to the next generation at some point in the future.
Unfortunately the day went downhill after that and I'm ashamed to say I was extremely short tempered with the boy. I'm stressing out about tomorrow evening when we have a family barn dance, followed by other family stuff over the weekend that no-one seems to want to tell us the details of. It is all way out of my comfort zone!
Consequently I am fortifying myself with a rather nice bottle of wine and some reading.
I think we've finally cracked long journeys with the boy - cbeebies playtime app on either kindle or (husband's work's) iPad. Alas the kindle crashed yesterday as we started a 40minute journey home, so I got out the Roald Dahl CDs and we listened to the first part of The BFG. Reuben was hooked so we listened to the rest of it this morning with him acting out the story with his Playmobil people. So cute.
73) The BFG
I loved this book as a child and it certainly lives up to that expectation now. The Big Friendly Giant, who is actually quite small by giant standards, joins forces with a little girl to stop the mean nasty human eating giants. The bits about dreams are especially lovely. It was a delight to watch my son's face as the story unfolded.
This is a very detailed biography of Alan Turing. I was given the paperback as a present but struggled to read enough of it at a time to follow the thread. Listening to audiobooks while standing around at the park or out running is my way around that, so when it came up on sale I bought it. There is quite a lot of mathematical theory in the book, which I found fascinating. And it really comes across how revolutionary Turing's thinking was, both in his work and in his private life. However, I would say it is just too long (37 hours in audio) with more background information than is required. While it was interesting to read details of the global political situation of the 1940s and 50s, much of that information was superfluous to the aims of the book, likewise the history of homosexuality as expressed in literature. A good book, but it would be improved by some harsh editing.
This is one of my husband's favourite stories, which he has recently been reading to our son. Unfortunately I think he puffed it up a bit too much and I was expecting something truly amazing. It is good however, and I enjoyed the illustrations by Laura Carlin in this edition. The Iron Man at first causes havoc, but later saves the day. It has the air of a traditional folk tale about it, though I can't say exactly what makes it so.
- A book chosen for you by your spouse
The Iron Man
Only 4 more to do:
- A book that's been banned
I've ordered July's People from the library
- A book you have owned for years but never read
Probably A Spot Of Bother by Mark Haddon
- A book that intimidates you
Hmmm.... tricky.... I think it will have to be one of the classics. Dickens, Bronte, Austen, someone like that. I'm open to suggestions for a starting point on any of them. I've tried in the past but not got past the first 50 pages or so for each of them.
- A book being made into a film this year
Probably Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
Book 4 in the Long Earth series brings further development of the characters, plot, and the multiverse they inhabit. Once again we consider what it means to be human, indeed what it means to be alive. This instalment was better than the last one I thought.
Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty
A further book from the author of Rosie Revere, Engineer, and Iggy Peck, Architect, it is supposed to be published on Tuesday this week but no-one told our local museum gift shop not to put them out yet so we got it early. This is another lovely rhyming tale about a child who is a little bit different and finds herself coming up against the adults in her life, but who perseveres with her natural talent and has a fabulous future (winning over those adults in the process). Ada Twist is late to talk but when she does start she questions absolutely everything - how? what? why? Named in honour of Ada Lovelace, a very under appreciated scientist, this book is excellent for inspiring children into the sciences, and is particularly good for featuring a female lead in an area often dominated by boys.
On A Beam Of Light by Jennifer Berne
A picture book biography of Albert Einstein focussing on how he struggled as a child and was different all his life, but never stopped thinking and went on to make many amazing discoveries. The book is dedicated to the next Albert Einstein, and ends by saying there are still so many unanswered questions, but that you may be the one to answer them. There are also some interesting authors notes at the end and suggestions for more in depth reading.
What ceremony can we fit
You into now? If you had come
Out of a warm and noisy room
To this, there'd be an opposite
For us to know you by. We could
Imagine you in lively mood.
And then look at the other side,
The mood drawn out of you, the breath
Defeated by the power of death.
But we have never seen you stride
Ambitiously the world we know.
You could not come and yet you go.
But there is nothing now to mar
Your clear refusal of our world.
Not in our memories can we mould
You or distort your character
Then all our consolation is
That grief can be as pure as this.
Child born dead by Elizabeth Jennings
I hope it isn't too sombre to share
This is a lovely collection of poetry, some ancient, some more modern. It is separated broadly into chapters entitled stopping, composing, meditating, stress-beating, remembering, releasing, feeling alone, living with uncertainty, moving on, seizing the day, and positive thinking. The editors state that their intention is for the book to be dipped into, perhaps in a medical waiting room, however I enjoyed it so much I read the whole thing over a couple of weeks. Some of the poems are incredibly sad, some more uplifting; both categories can be helpful in times of distress.
This book is well written and has a happy ending, however that does not overcome the issues. Rosie is employed as a live in nanny to a very rich, and very dysfunctional New York family. She sleeps with all the three generations of men of the house and gets pregnant, leading to the breakdown of the family, but it is okay because things work out and they are all grateful to her in the end. Um, no. Not to mention the immorality of a 40 year old woman sleeping with the 18 year old son, to whom she isn't technically the nanny, but near enough. It's also really explicit.
And oh, ugh on the Dawn French book. That sounds like one I can cross off the list forever.
Emma, which I'm actually quite enjoying, thanks mainly to the tutored read.
A small book of Poems Of The Great War.
The Maestro, The Magistrate, And The Mathematician.
And The Light Between Oceans, which was on sale and handily fits into my fiction challenge as a book being made into a film this year
A popular science book about, funnily enough, 13 things that scientists can't quite work out. It's a few years old now, so there may be new insights, but it is very interesting nonetheless. Matters covered range from physics, through chemistry, and medicine. It makes a fascinating counterpoint to the popular impression that science has removed the mystery from the universe.
A short autobiographical account of this amazing sportswoman. I got the feeling it is aimed more at young people than adults, but enjoyed it nonetheless. She focuses on the hard work and dedication involved in becoming a paralympic gold medalist. There's also some detail about setting goals, whether sporting or elsewhere in your life, and making steps to achieve them. I hate using the word inspiring about disabled people because it can be so patronising, but she is a bit inspiring. I would love to find out more about her disability rights activism and political career, not covered in the book, so I will look out for a fuller biography.
I had an amazing time in Norfolk. I read loads, went to Roman ruins, had a boat trip on the broads, mooched round the shops, paddled in the sea, walked on the dunes, relaxed in pubs, and was excellently cooked for by my friend's mum. By this morning I was really missing my husband and son, and very grateful to get home tonight. Now it's time for bed. I might manage to post some photos tomorrow, plus reviews for the several books I read.
Oliver Sacks describes in this book many of the varied physiological causes for hallucinations (as opposed to the psychiatric causes). His style of meandering through a subject with the aid of numerous examples is very readable, and I found it utterly fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the section on migraine and now understand a lot more about my own migraine aura.
The second book in the Mary Russell series, which features Sherlock Holmes and his young female apprentice. Mary has all but finished her studies at Oxford and comes into her inheritance, so there is a different feel to the first book. The mystery is good and I enjoyed the foray into theological discussion. I was a little surprised by the love interest, but I think I'm getting used to the idea.
An uplifting meander through what it means to be depressed and anxious. There are facts and figures mixed in with the authors personal experience and other writers take on the issue. The chapters are mercifully short so I think I could have managed to read even during low times.
Looking out to sea from Hemsby sand dunes
Across Ormsby Broad, where we took a trip on the little boat to the left
She moved quickly, energised by the sun and warmth, stretching her arms high to ease her back, rolling her head as she walked along Pletnikoff Street. She felt lighter. Secrets are funny, she thought. The great weight they hold. And then - the thaw.
I too have a letter to write, a secret to tell. I just wish I was somewhere as remote as Alaska to hear the response on my terms, instead of here with phone, e-mail and Facebook. Still, it's given me more courage in taking that step.
I gave up on this book. Partly it just didn't capture my attention, but mainly I was put off by the repeated lazy assertions that all of natures woes are due to the Christian faith. Yes, the command to rule over the world has been misrepresented as justification for destroying natural habitats, but that is significantly in the past, and says more about human nature than orthodox Christian doctrine. There was no mention of the great role played by the individual faith of many great naturalists, only the simplistic view that ruling over means destroying rather than protecting. I had high hopes for this book but couldn't get past the first few chapters.
Tara Marconi arrives on a remote island with nothing but a rucksack and the promise of a job in a salmon hatchery; she slowly settles in and learns to live, and to live with her own past. This is a love story about a way of life only possible in such a wild place. I really enjoyed the natural descriptions and being immersed in the details of boats and fishing. The idea of getting away from it all appeals to me but I liked how the ending brings her round full circle - it leaves the reader feeling ready to face the world instead of withdrawing.
The photos of Hemsby are lovely.
Have a great weekend.
A beautiful hardback edition of Odd And The Frost Giants
And The Perfect Aquarium because Reuben has been on at us to get fish for ages now, and I know next to nothing about them. I've always wanted fish. My two goldfish in my teens don't really really count. We do have a large mason jar with some ornaments and a robot fish (it swims and everything!), but he's still after the real thing. I'm going to do some reading and figure out a reasonably low maintenance tank.
And I got a lovely "books are my bag" Winnie The Pooh tote: "Poetry and hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you".
I wish you a great start into the new week.
I have depression, with periodic psychosis. I had postpartum psychosis after my son was born and spent 4 months in hospital.
I'm doing ok right now, with help from family, friends, medications, and a team of mental health professionals.
Feel free to ask questions.
And please do share your experiences.
Take care and be comfortable in the knowledge that you have a solid group of pals here who understand that things are never as straightforward as they may seem. XX
The final instalment in the Long Earth series, completed after Terry Pratchett's death. There is a call from the stars and a new type of stepping. We see resolution to some of the story lines but also a really good plot of its own, so that it doesn't feel like just a tying up of loose ends. I really enjoyed this series and this last book is just as good as the others.
This is a fascinating look at the details behind the classic equation; how it was discovered, what it means, and what further discoveries it has led to. There really isn't much maths involved considering the subject, and it is very simply explained. It brought back A-level maths and physics and expanded on the brief explanations we were given in those classes.
The Winter Diary of a Country Rat by Peter Firmin - a favourite of Reuben's that we've had from the library most of the last 2 years
Pirates! in an adventure with communists
Pirates! in an adventure with Napoleon
Pirates! in an adventure with Moby Dick
From Frazzled To Fabulous (free) a parody
Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield
NW by Zadie Smith
A quick and delightful read about the origins of the "pig with a ring in his nose" from The Owl And The Pussycat. I'd forgotten it entirely since my childhood so even though I only got a few pages in before my son fell asleep last night, I had to finish it. It's one of the longer Beatrix Potter stories. I loved it.
90) The Tale of Two Bad Mice
91) The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck
92) The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin all by Beatrix Potter
Charming stories from my childhood. At first Reuben was cross at me for insisting on "boring" stories (I prefer to say soporific) but he really rather enjoyed them.
93) Hag-seed by Margaret Atwood
This is a brilliant retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Felix is a stage director, betrayed and ousted by Tony. After many years, he is finally able to get his revenge through the medium of a production of The Tempest which he stages inside a prison. It sounds bizarre but it is truly genius. The inmates own rewriting of the play melds wonderfully with the story of Felix's revenge. Atwood at her best.
I've been really active - a run, walking, exercise class at the gym (sort of fast yoga to music), and cycling up a massive hill to weight watchers. Yes, I've joined WW again. I've put back all the weight I lost last year and feeling miserable about it. I've lost half a stone in 3 weeks which is pretty darned good. While I would love to follow the Beyond Chocolate/intuitive-eating principles instead of dieting, I'm just too emotional at the moment to judge when to stop eating.
Tomorrow will be more trying because I've got to wait in for the fire brigade and they can't tell me when they're coming. I will lose myself in a book. Or several books.
I read this book months ago but just realised I haven't listed it. It is a detailed look at the history of the British workhouse, from beginning to end of the institution, as told through historical records and surviving personal stories. The whole practice, while aiming to solve a significant problem, was barbaric in reality, virtual slavery for many inmates. I covered a little of the ground in a school local history project, and some of the legislative framework while studying the history of the welfare system at University, however there was still a lot of new information. This is very important history that everyone should be aware of, particularly given the current government's dismantling of the welfare state.
A book of biographies various Christian women from the 18th century. Because of the role of women at that time there is little written about ordinary women. The author gets around this by focussing mainly on the wives of famous Christian ministers, taking material primarily from letters as well as some other records. This offers a fascinating insight into life in the 18th century, as well as life as a Christian at that time. There is much to learn from these women, sometimes positive lessons, sometimes pitfalls to avoid, all of it useful. The author helpfully includes short studies related to each chapter and a passage from the Bible.
Rosaria Butterfield was a tenured professor in English and queer theory, and in a long term relationship with another woman. However she gave all of this up following her conversion to Biblical Christianity. This book tells the story of her conversion and subsequent life as a wife and mother. It is a little strange though, in that it includes a quite lengthy defence of the "regulative principle of worship", the belief that only unaccompanied scripture (specifically the Psalms) should be used for sung worship. Asides from the fact that I am unconvinced by the arguments presented, it seems to have little connection to the rest of the content of the book. That aside, it really is very interesting and I would recommend it to Christians and non-Christians alike, though the latter are likely to be offended by at least some of the content.
I couldn't live without requesting books through our system which covers about 20 libraries in the western part of the Montana (very large state, very few people). I can request books,music CD's and DVD's for no charge. I'm currently binge watching the Gilmore Girls which I'm getting a season at a time through the library.
>169 streamsong: Sadly it's only books that are free. There are hire charges for DVDs (£1-2), music CDs (50p) and audiobook CDs (£1.90). And that's per week so to get through a long audiobook or a TV series I'd need more than one hire. There is also a digital service with a rather limited selection of e-books and e-audiobooks which are free for the first 15 items (I'm hoping that's per year, but it's not clear). The app works just as well as audible on my phone and I've found a few books that interested me. Interestingly I just looked it up and there's an exemption for "people with a disability". It doesn't specify that the disability has to have any impact on ones reading ability... I wonder if I could swing it....
A spoof advice guide for men on balancing the demands of housework, parenthood, and employment. It's quite funny, but also really highlights the ridiculousness of the way we treat women. It sounds just like the advice pages from a women's magazine.
Have a great weekend, Jo.
Fiction about various residents of Caldwell in North West London. While much of the book was engaging, I wouldn't say particularly outstanding. And I was disappointed with the ending, it just seemed to stop rather than coming to any sort of conclusion. I keep being recommended the author, but this is the second of her books that I have read and found underwhelming; I don't think I will read any more.
>173 PaulCranswick: sorry not to acknowledge you Paul, my mind has been elsewhere.
It's been a busy couple of weeks:
Low point was finding out the police are dropping their investigation into a crime against me because the perpetrator lives overseas.
The news has thrown me rather, and that consequently has upset Reuben, so we've had some phone calls home from school. He had a good day on Friday though so hopefully I have reassured him that everything will be ok.
High point as upping my running distance back to where I was before all the health troubles last year. I'm nearly down to the weight I was then too. After a year and a half I'm back to where I was, and it feels pretty good.
We have finally had some rain here - so much that we had flash flooding. Our house is safe on a hill but other parts of Bristol weren't so fortunate and the roads and rail links were severely disrupted.
I've got another couple of reviews to write but they will have to wait. It's my turn for the early shift tomorrow so I should be asleep by now.
Fiction about an imagined uprising in 1980 South Africa. July rescues his white "master" and the family by taking them back to his village while the battle rages. I came across it on a list of banned books (it was briefly banned in South Africa) and it caught my fancy. I really struggled with the way the dialogue is written, with no speech marks; it made it very difficult to distinguish what is spoken and what is thought. That said, it is an excellent book, and I would highly recommend it.
I read this for my fiction challenge (a book that intimidates me). Having owned a paper copy for 20 years and never getting past the first couple of chapters it certainly did that. When I came to actually read it I realised I gave away that unread paper copy last year so instead bought the Naxos audiobook. Through a combination of the tutored read thread here on LT, and excellent narration, I finally managed to get into the story. I was surprised to find there is actually a fair bit of humour in it. It wasn't nearly as boring as I had previously thought. I'm still not exactly a fan, but I did enjoy it and found myself interested to see how things all worked out. On that note, the ending is most satisfactory, tying up all the loose ends nicely.
Timmy Willy the country mouse accidentally ends up in Johnny Town Mouse's home in the city. He hates the city and soon finds a way to return. Johnny Town Mouse later pays him a visit and is equally unhappy in the country and so returns home too. This is a sweet little tale that I had forgotten from my childhood.
>176 eclecticdodo: Sorry to hear you and R have been having a tough time but congratulations on getting back to your old running distance and weight!
103) Odd And The Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
A lovely story about a boy called Odd who enters the land of the gods to help said gods take back control from the frost giants and so bring an end to winter. It reads like a norse legend and I like the ending very much. The illustrations in this edition are wonderful too.
Have a good weekend my dear.
He had a very happy birthday. His favourite present was the cabin bed we got him, which we had just about finished building by the time he came home from school (just the desk underneath to be done).
I have been acquiring books again. There's a thing going round Facebook, basically a book lovers chain letter, where you get a couple of volunteers to continue it, and they get a couple, and so on. Then everyone sends a book they love to the person 2 levels up the chain. I know with these things there is always someone at the bottom of the chain who doesn't get anything, but for the cost sharing a brilliant book with a stranger it was worth the risk. I sent The 10pm Question by Kate De Goldi. So far I've had Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.
I've just realised I've still got one book to go in my fiction challenge for the year:
- A book you have owned for years but never read
It's time to look through my bookshelves and find one... I'm thinking perhaps Alice Through The Looking Glass
Of course I could cheat and count Emma for a second time
The latest instalment from the Rivers of London series, where Peter Grant is an apprentice wizard with a specialist department at the Metropolitan Police. We learn more about characters already introduced, and meet new ones; the Faceless Man is finally unmasked but will the Folly be able to catch him? An excellent book, but it definitely needs to be read as part of the series not a standalone. I think the audiobook narration really adds depth to the characters and is well worth it.
Besides, at the moment I'm reading First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde and I don't want to put that down just now.
Have a lovely weekend.
I acquired another new book this week: Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan. Another gift from the bookish chain letter. I must say I'm looking forward to reading some books I would never have picked for myself. Though slightly apprehensive.
We've had a fun afternoon wrapping presents. I can tell which ones are for me because of Andy's, ahem, quality wrapping skills... On the other hand, I haven't actually wrapped his because the (unlabelled) box is too big and heavy, instead I had Reuben decorate it with my sharpies. I need to pick up a couple of gift vouchers tomorrow, and Andy still needs to buy for his sister, but apart from that we're all sorted. I wish I could say the same about Christmas lunch! I'm cooking for 7 of us and still have to buy practically the whole dinner.
I got lots of lovely things: jewellery, headphones, craft kits, chocolates, a gift voucher for my favourite online shop, make up purse, juggling balls, and two bottles of champagne. Plus a couple of joint Christmas presents, one of which is book shaped, that I'll open on Sunday (I used to hate joint presents, but I'm resigned to the fact now).
I got back from my parents this afternoon and I'm shattered. They did let me rest quite a bit, but the late nights and early mornings took their toll, not to mention the long drive home. I'm supposed to be doing the Christmas food shop tonight but I don't know that I've got the energy. On the other hand we're out of milk so no breakfast unless I go out at least to the petrol station round the corner....
Wouldn't it be nice if 2017 was a year of peace and goodwill.
A year where people set aside their religious and racial differences.
A year where intolerance is given short shrift.
A year where hatred is replaced by, at the very least, respect.
A year where those in need are not looked upon as a burden but as a blessing.
A year where the commonality of man and woman rises up against those who would seek to subvert and divide.
A year without bombs, or shootings, or beheadings, or rape, or abuse, or spite.
Festive Greetings and a few wishes from Malaysia!
A history of the Great Reform Bill, passed in 1832. The controversial bill made the electoral system fairer, though there was still a very long way to go to what we would recognise as democracy today. I knew very little about the subject, save that there were deadly riots here in Bristol. This is a fascinating book and I highly recommend it. As with all good non-fiction, it made me realise how little I know about various related subjects, particularly the history of the political parties.
The picture is from Reuben's Lego Advent Calendar from last year (he has inherited my obsession with Lego!)
This is the Christmas tree at the end of the Pacific Beach Pier here in San Diego, a Christmas tradition.
To all my friends here at Library Thing, I want you to know how much I value you and how much I wish you a very happy holiday, whatever one you celebrate, and the very best of New Years!
>210 Ameise1: Love it! Reminds me of the Mr Bean Christmas episode, please tell me you've seen it?
>211 streamsong: I love Lego. Reuben has acquired most of mine, but there are a couple of pieces I keep away from him.
In way of presents I got a lovely knitting kit (thank you Heather), chocolates, cider, a calendar, and lots of books. My favourite is S. by J J Abrams (touchstone won't work). I love it so much I will forgive my brother for the joint Christmas and Birthday present! Andy also got a book that I'm very interested in reading when he is done - The Thrilling Adventures Of Lovelace And Babbage (and thank you Heather, again)
I was given this book as a kid, probably close to publication (1985), and I have never read it. It is a Puffin Young Reader, so the language is pretty simple, the plot follows the Disney film. It is not great literature by any means, but I'm glad I finally read it. Now I can take it down to the charity shop with a guilt-free conscience.
Merry Christmas, Jo! Dropping in to check out your thread, and I see that we share a love of the original Pooh, Ben Aaronovitch (I adore those books on audio, and I am still waiting for that latest one to come out here), Odd and the Frost Giants, and Beatrix Potter. Not too shabby. Hoping that your holidays are full of fabulous!
This is very lazy publishing but entertaining none the less. It is a book of photos people have put online. Quite a lot of them had me laughing out loud.
Book 5 in the Thursday Next series. Thursday is living a double life, supposedly retired from Spec Ops and Jurisfiction, while in fact Acme Carpets is a front. With the help of her iradicated father and layabout teenage son, she must prevent the end of the world, again. I had forgotten just how good this series is. I found myself sneaking away from festivities to finish the book.
This is a classic Christian treatise on the raising of children, helpfully translated into modern English. The short chapters are punchy and to the point. It could be a very disheartening book but is saved by the many times the author points us back to God's sovereign grace in the lives of our children. Yes, parents have an awesome responsibility, but we are not without hope.
It's been a much better year than 2015.
I got my all clear from cancer.
No more surgeries or life threatening illnesses.
Things are improving with Reuben at school.
And I seem to have finally said goodbye to the yawning, aching, not-rightness that I could never put my finger on - I went to the police about historic abuse and while it's not been the outcome I was looking for, it has certainly been closure.
Things are looking up.
I have read 110 books this year, a new record, by a long way. Mainly that is because I discovered a love of audiobooks, which I can listen to while doing other things.
I have added 90 books to my collection, which is fewer than I have read, so there's a bonus.
Looking forward to your continued company in 2017.
Happy New Year, Jo