Eclecticdodo moves on up to 75 - part 2

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Eclecticdodo moves on up to 75 - part 2

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1eclecticdodo
Mai 11, 2016, 5:13pm

Time to move onto a new thread....

I thought I would share this photo of my son climbing castles

2eclecticdodo
Modifié : Sep 4, 2016, 1:51pm

Books Read January to June:

January
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
6) Americanah
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

February
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

March
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
35) Plainsong
36) Angry Children
37) Romans: Momentous News

April
38) True Friendship
39) Unreached
40) The Antidote
41) Tales Of Mystery And Magic
42) Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2015 Highlights

May
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

June
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
56) Son
57) When The Wind Blows
58) The Long Earth
59) The Day Hospital

4eclecticdodo
Modifié : Déc 25, 2016, 5:16pm

(bold=acquired, italicised=currently reading, crossed out=completed)

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: book 2/3 Mother Of Eden book 3/3 Daughter Of Eden
- 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)
- The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry: book 4/4 Son completed
- 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: book 1/5 The Long Earth, book 2/5 The Long War, book 3/5 The Long Mars, book 4/5 The Long Utopia, book 5/5 The Long Cosmos completed
- Mary Poppins by P L Travers: book 4/8 Mary Poppins In The Park
- Mary Russell by Laurie R King: book 2/14 A Monstrous Regiment Of Women book 3/14 A Letter Of Mary
- Midwife Trilogy by Jennifer Worth: book 3/3 Farewell To The East End
- No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith: book 7/16 Blue Shoes And Happiness, next up 8/16 The Good Husband Of Zebra Drive
- Peter Grant by Ben Aaronovitch: book 5/6 Foxglove Summer, book 6/6 The Hanging Tree up to date
- 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:

- A book published this year - Ed Bear Versus
- A book recommended by a local librarian or bookseller - Plainsong
- A book you studied in school - Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry
- A book chosen for you by your spouse - The Iron Man
- A book published in the year of your birth The Name Of The Rose
- A book that's been banned - July's People
- A book you have owned for years but never read Return To Oz
- A book that intimidates you Emma
- A book translated from another language - Waiting For The Wild Beasts To Vote
- A book about a culture you do not know - Americanah
- A book over 400 pages - The Book Thief
- A book chosen because you like the cover - The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street
- A book being made into a film this year The Light Between Oceans
- A retelling or adaptation - Sita's Ramayana
- Complete a series - The Giver quartet
- Start a new series - Plainsong

7eclecticdodo
Mai 11, 2016, 5:27pm

ok, I think I'm done....

8streamsong
Mai 11, 2016, 5:28pm

In that case, I get to be first! Lovely opening of your son climbing castles! May he always have one handy to climb!

9PaulCranswick
Mai 11, 2016, 8:55pm

Happy new thread, Jo.

10scaifea
Mai 12, 2016, 8:22am

Happy new thread! I love the photo of your son - so sweet!

11eclecticdodo
Mai 12, 2016, 9:10am

Thanks lovely people. He's really into climbing. In fact anything dangerous.

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.

12drneutron
Modifié : Mai 12, 2016, 10:48am

Go to the bottom of any page and click on the Common Knowledge link. In the top right corner of that page is a search box, and you can use the drop down menu beside it to pick "original pub date". Then enter 1980 and click search. Here's what I got:

http://www.librarything.com/commonknowledge/search.php?q=1980&f=16&uid=v...

You've got nearly 3600 books to choose from! :)

13souloftherose
Modifié : Mai 18, 2016, 7:12am

Happy new thread and nice picture of R! From your last thread, Sita's Ramayana piqued my interest.

>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.

14eclecticdodo
Mai 13, 2016, 6:55am

>12 drneutron: wow, that's a lot of books. There seem to be multiple entries for at least some, perhaps bringing up every time 1980 has been entered in that field, not unique works. Databases fascinate me.

>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.

15eclecticdodo
Mai 13, 2016, 7:14am

Interestingly, How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk was published in 1980 as well. That doesn't help me with my fiction challenge, but it is interesting in terms of parenting trends. Also the paper bag princess - a wonderful picture book for challenging gender stereotypes

16drneutron
Mai 13, 2016, 8:14am

Well, there's also a group read of The Name of the Rose going on in the group!

17eclecticdodo
Mai 13, 2016, 2:45pm

>16 drneutron: Thanks. I've not really got on with group reads before. I never seem to have much to say that I can put into words, and I struggle to find a consensus from other people's views. That said, I've only tried twice so may be worth another go. At school I was terrible at analysing books. Even now, the most I can usually manage is a few sentences summary and thoughts as a review (you're getting the whole thing in this thread, not the edited highlights!).

18Ameise1
Mai 14, 2016, 8:01am

Congrats on your shiny new thread, Jo and happy weekend.

19eclecticdodo
Mai 14, 2016, 11:46am

>18 Ameise1: Ah. I wonder what he's thinking about?

20eclecticdodo
Mai 14, 2016, 12:08pm

I picked up Spark Joy again last night after quite a few months. I had read up to the end of the chapter on clothes, and actually sorted my clothes, but got stuck on the disposal. Finally this week I took two big sacks of castoffs to the charity shop and then Streamsong's thread reminded me to carry on with the clearup. Next step is books. I'm not keen on the suggestions of cutting pictures you like out of big coffee table books and keeping just them. But I can totally see that I need to thin out a little. There are quite a few I will never read again, particularly given the ability to look things up the internet age. I still have all my university textbooks and mostly they just hang over me and remind me of the promising career that I gave up, at least for the time being. Lets see how many months this chapter takes me to act on.

21streamsong
Mai 16, 2016, 9:26am

I didn't realize there was a second book until you mentioned it. It's going to be a big job and in my case, this will take a loooooong time. I'll be interested to hear how you decide to manage the books. It's fun that a couple of us are fired up to do this and can encourage each other onward.

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.

22eclecticdodo
Mai 16, 2016, 3:31pm

So, making a start on the books is going to wait another day (or more). I was up from 3am with Reuben being sick every half hour or so. Once or twice I dropped off in between, sitting on the bathroom floor with him asleep at my feet, but basically I've been up since 3. So tired now I can barely type. I have eaten so much cake to keep me going - yay for friends delivering home made gluten free lemon drizzle cake! Yay also for selling my electric bike to said friend to make room for my shiny new (not electric) Bobbin Brownie

23eclecticdodo
Mai 17, 2016, 6:29am

47) Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

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.

24eclecticdodo
Mai 17, 2016, 7:35am

Still waiting for the bike shop to get my new bike in (hopefully the next couple of days). In the meantime my son's new bike just arrived. Islabikes are lovely lightweight children's bikes. They're expensive, but they hold their value second hand so you get your money back.

25eclecticdodo
Modifié : Mai 18, 2016, 6:23am

48) Making Church Accessible To All by Tony Phelps-Jones et al.

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.

26souloftherose
Mai 18, 2016, 7:15am

>23 eclecticdodo: I really enjoyed that one but am sad that they keep pushing back the release date of The Hanging Tree :-(

27streamsong
Mai 18, 2016, 9:37am

I hope Reuben is feeling better and that it wasn't something he could share with the rest of you. Poor guy.

Beautiful bikes! Do you have adventure plans for them?

28eclecticdodo
Mai 18, 2016, 12:58pm

>26 souloftherose: I had a feeling it was due to be out by now but didn't trust my memory!

>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!)

29PaulCranswick
Mai 20, 2016, 9:56pm

>24 eclecticdodo: Love the bike, Jo, hope you get plenty of fresh air on it. Not easy but neither is it impossible to read and cycle but you'll need a little practice first. xx

30eclecticdodo
Mai 21, 2016, 2:51pm

>29 PaulCranswick: Annoyingly the bike still hasn't arrived. I phoned them today and got a discount off the price for the inconvenience, and they should be calling me with an update on Monday morning.

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....

31eclecticdodo
Mai 22, 2016, 10:07am

49) Ed Bear Versus by Jud Ghilotti

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").

32eclecticdodo
Mai 22, 2016, 10:10am

I'm cheating and counting Ed Bear Versus as a book published this year for my fiction challenge. Technically it's not published yet, but it will be available on kindle soon.....

33eclecticdodo
Mai 22, 2016, 10:28am

50) Galatians: the life I live now by Peter Mead

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.

34eclecticdodo
Mai 23, 2016, 3:42pm

A bit disappointed to still not have my bike. They called me today as promised with an update, and unfortunately they have "oversold" the model I bought - 3 buyers and only one bike. They gave me two options 1) the same bike in baby pink (Um. I don't think so!) or 2) this years model at the very discounted price they were offering for last year's. The only catch is it will be another couple of weeks for delivery. Ho hum. It'll be worth the wait.

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.

35drneutron
Mai 24, 2016, 6:33pm

Yeah I'm with you on the hay fever - it's killing me this year.

36eclecticdodo
Mai 25, 2016, 4:21am

Sorry to hear you are suffering too. It's rubbish isn't it. Fortunately mine isn't really bad, but I can't take antihistamines so there's not a lot I can do about it (had a bad reaction to one as a kid, causing my heart to slow down, but Mum can't remember which one she gave me so now I can't risk taking any of them). My son has much worse allergies and takes 2 types of antihistamines at the same time, and it's still not under control.

37eclecticdodo
Mai 26, 2016, 9:45am

I got my blood results from Charring Cross today and I'm still all clear after 6 months, so that means no more followup. Because of how quickly it responded to treatment it seems it was most likely gestational trophoblastic disease not choriocarcinoma, though we'll never know for sure. Either way, it's gone. I'm hoping for dinner out tonight to celebrate.

38drneutron
Modifié : Mai 26, 2016, 10:27pm

Dinner? I'd head to a beach somewhere to celebrate! :) I'm so glad you're clear.

39scaifea
Mai 27, 2016, 6:54am

>37 eclecticdodo: WOOT! Wonderful news!

40eclecticdodo
Mai 27, 2016, 6:34pm

Thank you. Sadly our nearest beaches are just mud - here's a picture from Reuben's school trip to Severn Beach a few weeks ago:

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.

41eclecticdodo
Mai 28, 2016, 4:21pm

I got my bike! And not only that, I ran down to the shop to collect it (a couple of miles) and rode back. Then we went for a long walk this afternoon. I'm feeling quite virtuous, and very tired! The bike really is as lovely as I was expecting.

42souloftherose
Mai 30, 2016, 8:53am

43eclecticdodo
Juin 3, 2016, 5:50pm

This week was half term and I've had a lovely holiday. Sunday we went to a friend's birthday party at a farm near Bristol. We camped overnight, and Reuben slept in the car on the way there so he was up until midnight - that meant we really got to enjoy the evening entertainment together. And we discovered Reuben is a disco diva! Then we went to the in-laws in Exmouth for the rest of the week, where we've had glorious lie-ins while they played early morning childcare. We got home this afternoon and he's just gone to sleep now (10.45pm) due to having slept in the car again. This is why we avoid car journeys! Just so long as we can get him back into routine ready for school on Monday.

44eclecticdodo
Juin 3, 2016, 6:12pm

While away I finished some books....

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.

45eclecticdodo
Juin 3, 2016, 6:22pm

52) A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

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.

46eclecticdodo
Juin 3, 2016, 6:35pm

53) The Servant Queen And The King She Serves by Mark Greene

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.

47eclecticdodo
Juin 3, 2016, 6:50pm

I did quite well with books acquired in May - only 7, compared to 9 read. They are all fiction, and they are all audiobooks, so that will keep my busy for a while: Foxglove Summer, According To Yes, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, The Name Of The Rose, The Long Earth, The Long War and The Long Mars

48eclecticdodo
Modifié : Juin 4, 2016, 11:47am

this sums up my attitude to housework....

49eclecticdodo
Juin 7, 2016, 9:22am

54) The Name Of The Rose by Umberto Eco

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.

50streamsong
Juin 11, 2016, 8:57am

I have a sign in my kitchen that says "Dull women have immaculate homes".

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.

51PaulCranswick
Juin 11, 2016, 9:44am

Pleased to catch up and find that you have finally got that bike Jo. Using it daily? I really miss not being able to do that in Kuala Lumpur. Apart from the debilitating climate the roads are just not safe enough to risk riding through the traffic fumes.

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.

52eclecticdodo
Juin 11, 2016, 4:23pm

>50 streamsong: my other favourites are: A tidy home is the sign of a mis-spent life, and Excuse the mess, I want you to feel at home

>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.

53ronincats
Juin 11, 2016, 4:36pm

54souloftherose
Juin 12, 2016, 6:20am

Sounds like you and R are doing really well on the bike-riding - well done!

55eclecticdodo
Modifié : Juin 14, 2016, 8:39am

>54 souloftherose: I'm making up for it today by doing nothing but reading and dozing so far. School run in a couple of hours so I'll be run off my feet again after that

56eclecticdodo
Juin 14, 2016, 8:07am

55) Mortimer Keene & The Beast Of The Bay by Tim Healey and Chris Mould

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.

57eclecticdodo
Juin 15, 2016, 6:44am

56) Son by Lois Lowry

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.

58eclecticdodo
Juin 21, 2016, 2:07pm

57) When The Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs

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....

59eclecticdodo
Modifié : Juin 21, 2016, 3:10pm

58) The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

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.

60eclecticdodo
Juin 21, 2016, 5:08pm

We had another shooting outside the pub just over the road. It was 4am so, once again, only the people who were targeted were around, but it's still pretty bad. I've never felt afraid here, just frustrated that our lovely area has to be dragged down this way. To top it off we were in the middle of a two day street party, a lovely community celebration, but Sunday had to be cancelled because the police had the whole area cordoned off. After the shooting last year the council put up a CCTV camera overlooking the junction so they caught it all on camera and arrested them right away. I can't believe people are stupid enough to try it. They seem to believe all their gangster hype and genuinely think they're going to get away with it. Or they're too tanked up to think at all. Anyway, they didn't kill him, shot in the stomach so pretty bad, but not murder at least.

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.

61eclecticdodo
Juin 24, 2016, 1:14pm

Oh crap crap crap.

Brexit.

That is all.

62eclecticdodo
Juin 24, 2016, 1:27pm

To go with my cheerful mood today I've been reading a fabulous but rather sad book of poetry:

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.

63PaulCranswick
Juin 24, 2016, 1:33pm

>61 eclecticdodo: I can sympathise with your rather succinct summation of the referendum result, Jo.

Try to have a great weekend. xx

64eclecticdodo
Juin 27, 2016, 7:07am

>63 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. I had an ok weekend. I have a lot on my mind and I'm not sleeping too well, but my husband has been very kind giving me a restful couple of days.

65streamsong
Juin 27, 2016, 10:28am

Here's a few hugs to help get over what's going on in your life: ((((Jo))))) Yay for your husband.

Wow - a shooting that close would stress anyone out.

66eclecticdodo
Juin 27, 2016, 3:54pm

>65 streamsong: Ah thanks for the hugs.

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.

67souloftherose
Juin 28, 2016, 7:35am

68eclecticdodo
Juin 28, 2016, 10:42am

>67 souloftherose: hugs to you too Heather, sounds like you're having a rough time too.

69Ameise1
Juil 2, 2016, 3:07am

{{{Hugs}}}

70eclecticdodo
Juil 2, 2016, 6:16pm

>69 Ameise1: Thanks for the hugs

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!

71PaperbackPirate
Juil 2, 2016, 6:29pm

Sounds like a great day!

72eclecticdodo
Juil 2, 2016, 6:33pm

I've just realised I never got round to uploading any pics from the last M Shed exhibition I went to. Briswool is a community project to create a knitted (and crocheted and felted) Bristol. It's been growing over the last several years. Here's a panorama of the main section:

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:

73bell7
Juil 5, 2016, 8:42pm

>72 eclecticdodo: That looks really amazing! What a talented bunch (I can knit, but not like that).

74eclecticdodo
Juil 9, 2016, 6:17pm

>73 bell7: I'm nowhere near that talented either. Or perhaps it's the patience I lack?

75eclecticdodo
Juil 9, 2016, 6:27pm

60) The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

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".

76eclecticdodo
Juil 15, 2016, 4:34pm

61) Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury did not finish

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.

77eclecticdodo
Juil 16, 2016, 6:35am

I did really well in June, I don't think I acquired a single new book! So that's an even better excuse to get some this month....

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!

78eclecticdodo
Juil 16, 2016, 7:28am

Oh yes, I just remembered I bought The Long Utopia in June. Well, one book isn't bad!

79eclecticdodo
Juil 18, 2016, 1:06am

After driving 250 miles yesterday for a big family lunch for my parents Ruby wedding anniversary celebration I'm exhausted, but annoyingly I've been awake since 4am. Why body, why do you do this to me? On the bright side, reading....

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.

80streamsong
Juil 18, 2016, 9:18am

Oh, I hate that when the sleep problems kick in! Not much sleep for me last night, either.

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.

81eclecticdodo
Juil 18, 2016, 3:07pm

>80 streamsong: sorry you didn't sleep well either.

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.

82eclecticdodo
Juil 23, 2016, 5:55pm

64) The Only Way Is Ethics Part 1: sex and marriage by Sean Doherty

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.

83eclecticdodo
Juil 23, 2016, 6:30pm

The summer holidays have started. I might not get much reading done for the next 6 weeks, we will see...

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...

84PaulCranswick
Juil 23, 2016, 9:50pm

>83 eclecticdodo: Bravo Jo. 5kms in serious and unaccustomed heat is good going.

You have all of Sunday to recuperate. xx

85souloftherose
Juil 24, 2016, 4:29am

>83 eclecticdodo: Congrats on your first park run!

86eclecticdodo
Juil 30, 2016, 12:01pm

Thanks Paul & Heather. I've been for a run this week and remembered why I love it so much. I know I'm not fast, and I'm not exactly pretty either, but I enjoy it. We were on holiday in the New Forest and I went for a run through the scrubland around the youth hostel campsite. We've had a great week, the highlight of which was a camp fire last night with toast & butter followed marshmallows. Unfortunately I had a stomach upset for much of the week so I was rather grumpy company.

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.

87PaulCranswick
Août 5, 2016, 10:05am

>86 eclecticdodo: Substance over style every time Jo. xx

Have a great weekend.

88eclecticdodo
Août 5, 2016, 4:54pm

>87 PaulCranswick: Happy weekend to you too Paul.

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.

89eclecticdodo
Août 5, 2016, 5:15pm

I joined Bounts a while ago (bear with me on this, it is book related). You earn points for being physically active, by tracking your steps, activities, and gym visits. Well, I collected enough points to get £30 of book tokens! So today I had a leisurely hour perusing the bookshop and came away with two lovely hardbacks: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child and a book of poetry called Stressed Unstressed. This evening I went for a run (while enjoying the stunning sunset) so that's even more points earned. I'm well on the way to the next token...

90eclecticdodo
Août 6, 2016, 7:38am

An update on my fiction challenge:

- A book published this year - Ed Bear Versus
- A book recommended by a local librarian or bookseller - Plainsong
- A book you studied in school - Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry
- A book chosen for you by your spouse
- A book published in the year of your birth The Name Of The Rose
- A book that's been banned
- A book you have owned for years but never read
- A book that intimidates you
- A book translated from another language - Waiting For The Wild Beasts To Vote
- A book about a culture you do not know - Americanah
- A book over 400 pages - The Book Thief
- A book chosen because you like the cover - The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street
- A book being made into a film this year

I added a few categories as I went along too...
- A retelling or adaptation - Sita's Ramayana
- Complete a series - The Giver quartet
- Start a new series - Plainsong

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.

91eclecticdodo
Août 6, 2016, 7:28pm

This afternoon we went to the local charity shop and I got 2 books which I'm most proud of:

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.

92eclecticdodo
Août 7, 2016, 3:31pm

67) Tim The Tiny Horse by Harry Hill

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.

93bell7
Août 9, 2016, 7:46pm

>90 eclecticdodo: Nice job on your category challenge! It makes perfect sense to me that you wouldn't want to complete a reread and leave your memory of a story where it stands. Hope you have a great day!

94eclecticdodo
Modifié : Août 12, 2016, 4:13pm

68) Engelby by Sebastian Faulks

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.

95PaulCranswick
Août 13, 2016, 9:59am

I think Faulks is somewhat underrated Jo. Despite the critical success of Charlotte Gray and Birdsong, the awards judges continue to ignore him.

Have a great weekend.

96eclecticdodo
Août 17, 2016, 4:18pm

>95 PaulCranswick: I haven't read any of his other novels, but I'll be looking out for them now.

97eclecticdodo
Août 17, 2016, 5:21pm

Reuben and I had a lovely five days at my parents and seeing friends. I find the 120 mile drive pretty exhausting but it was worth it. We've had fun in Granny & Grandad's (huge) garden, built a scarecrow at Grandad's allotment, walked in the woods, went to Natural History Museum, had an afternoon in a pub garden, and visited Whipsnade Zoo. I didn't get any lie-ins as my parents aren't exactly early risers, but when they did get up they took over supervising Reuben and let me go back to bed for an hour or so most days. I got a fair amount of reading done too.

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.

98eclecticdodo
Août 18, 2016, 3:55pm

We had fun at the fountains in the centre of Bristol this morning


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.

99eclecticdodo
Août 25, 2016, 3:12pm

The barn dance went better than expected, although I did hide behind the door in a side room at the appropriate moments when they needed "just one more couple"....

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.

100scaifea
Août 26, 2016, 6:53am

>99 eclecticdodo: LOVE it. Charlie and I listened to Danny the Champion of the World this summer in the car, a book that we both love and have read before.

101eclecticdodo
Août 29, 2016, 5:48pm

>100 scaifea: wonderful

102eclecticdodo
Modifié : Août 29, 2016, 6:04pm

74) Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges

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.

103eclecticdodo
Août 29, 2016, 6:28pm

We've just had another lovely long weekend away. This time with a big group from church, staying at a state run boys boarding school (who knew such a thing exists?) near Bridgwater. Highlights were the Bible times and group games. We were camping on the field, a good distance from the houses and the nearest toilets, so I walked about 16000 steps a day just pottering round the site. Reuben struggled for the first day or so but he settled down yesterday and today and we were able to have lots of fun. Unfortunately he slept on the way home, so he only got to sleep at 11pm. I'm shattered after driving 2 hours in heavy traffic so time to bed very soon.

104eclecticdodo
Sep 1, 2016, 5:49pm

75) The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

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.

105eclecticdodo
Modifié : Sep 1, 2016, 6:47pm

and that's another one ticked off the fiction challenge I set myself:
- 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

106drneutron
Sep 1, 2016, 10:22pm

Congrats on hitting 75!

107streamsong
Sep 2, 2016, 12:06am

Woot! on the 75!

37 hours on Alan Turing! I don't think I could have handled that one.

Karenmarie has a group read going on with Dickens' Great Expectations.

And lyzard is going to start a tutoring session on Emma by Jane Austen. Her tutoring sessions are pretty darn outstanding!

108eclecticdodo
Sep 2, 2016, 2:40pm

>106 drneutron: Thanks

>107 streamsong: Ooh, interesting. Where would I find those two threads?

109souloftherose
Sep 4, 2016, 5:02am

Congratulations on reading 75 books this year!

The tutored read thread for Emma is here and the group read for Great Expectations is here.

I haven't tried them myself but I've heard lots of good things about Juliet Stevenson's narrations of Jane Austen's novels if you decide to try Emma.

110eclecticdodo
Sep 4, 2016, 1:26pm

>109 souloftherose: Thanks Heather. I'm going to try Emma. I have a copy (thank you Mr Bernstein....), though I may invest in the audiobook you suggested.

111eclecticdodo
Sep 4, 2016, 2:57pm

76) The Long Utopia by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

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.

112eclecticdodo
Modifié : Sep 4, 2016, 4:19pm

We bought two new books today, but they are for our son, so they don't count.

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.

113eclecticdodo
Sep 4, 2016, 6:36pm

ok, having searched for a large part of the evening, I am forced to conclude that I must have given away my copy of Emma, despite it having been a gift from my secondary school form tutor/dear family friend (haha! dear to my family, not to me!). Anyhow, that gives me the excuse to invest in the Juliet Stevenson audiobook which Heather kindly recommended. And I think I've managed to download the whispersync ebook so I can switch back and forth.

114The_Hibernator
Sep 5, 2016, 4:57pm

I love the Juliet Stevenson versions of Austen's books! I hope you enjoy it!

115eclecticdodo
Sep 5, 2016, 5:15pm

I've been reading a book of poetry called Stressed Unstressed and this poem really spoke to me

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

116eclecticdodo
Sep 7, 2016, 5:03am

77) Stressed Unstressed collected classic poems to ease the mind, by various

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.

117eclecticdodo
Modifié : Sep 11, 2016, 12:12pm

78) According To Yes by Dawn French

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.

118streamsong
Sep 11, 2016, 12:33pm

>115 eclecticdodo: Lovely poem, Jo. I think it has special meaning to you.

And oh, ugh on the Dawn French book. That sounds like one I can cross off the list forever.

119eclecticdodo
Sep 11, 2016, 2:23pm

>118 streamsong: the thing is, apart from the sex, I actually quite enjoyed the book. It was only thinking about what it was saying that spoilt it. Just too much emphasis on doing what's right for you at the cost of all others, and that ridiculous optimism that if you do that, somehow everyone else will not only forgive you, but love you all the more for it.

120eclecticdodo
Sep 11, 2016, 3:48pm

I've been buying books....
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

121eclecticdodo
Sep 15, 2016, 5:19pm

79) 13 Things That Don't Make Sense by Michael Brooks

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.

122The_Hibernator
Sep 16, 2016, 8:12pm

:) Looks like a good book.

123eclecticdodo
Sep 20, 2016, 1:48pm

80) Aim High by Tanni Grey-Thompson

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.

124eclecticdodo
Sep 20, 2016, 2:05pm

I'm taking a trip to visit a friend in Norfolk from Thursday. It will be the first time, apart from hospital stays, that I have been away from my son and husband. I have a 6 hour train journey each way, and I'm planning a fair bit of down time when I'm there too, so I'm just thinking about which books to take...

125eclecticdodo
Sep 21, 2016, 4:39pm

81) The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman

A heartbreaking novel about love and the loss of children. The audio narration was superb. I'm stuck for words.

126souloftherose
Sep 25, 2016, 2:49pm

>112 eclecticdodo: Those both sound good-what sort of age would you say they're suitable for?

>115 eclecticdodo: That's beautiful.

>124 eclecticdodo: Hope you had a lovely time!

127eclecticdodo
Sep 25, 2016, 6:16pm

>126 souloftherose: I would say Ada Twist Scientist for ages 3 and up, On A Beam Of Light 4 and up. I'm not good at judging upper limits (lack of experience there) but would have thought On A Beam Of Light would hold more interest for older kids.

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.

128eclecticdodo
Sep 26, 2016, 7:10am

82) Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks

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.

129eclecticdodo
Sep 26, 2016, 7:16am

83) A Monstrous Regiment Of Women by Laurie R King

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.

130eclecticdodo
Sep 26, 2016, 7:21am

84) Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

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.

131eclecticdodo
Sep 26, 2016, 3:57pm

a couple of photos from my weekend away. The weather was glorious and the scenery beautiful

Looking out to sea from Hemsby sand dunes


Across Ormsby Broad, where we took a trip on the little boat to the left

132eclecticdodo
Modifié : Sep 27, 2016, 11:33am

I'm reading The Alaskan Laundry and came across this passage

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.

133eclecticdodo
Sep 30, 2016, 5:25pm

the letter is written and posted, the interview is tomorrow. Now to wait for the sh*t to hit the fan. Probably monday. I realise that's pretty cryptic and maybe one day I'll share more widely. Suffice to say it's going to be a difficult few days.

134eclecticdodo
Sep 30, 2016, 8:12pm

85) The Moth Snowstorm by Michael McCarthy

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.

135The_Hibernator
Oct 2, 2016, 11:16am

Glad you liked the Oliver Sachs book. I've heard great things about it.

136eclecticdodo
Oct 6, 2016, 10:09am

86) The Alaskan Laundry by Brendan Jones

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.

137PaulCranswick
Oct 8, 2016, 2:18am

>136 eclecticdodo: We are pretty much toe-to-toe on books read this year, Jo.

The photos of Hemsby are lovely.

Have a great weekend.

138eclecticdodo
Oct 8, 2016, 6:02pm

139eclecticdodo
Oct 8, 2016, 6:13pm

I've been buying books today. Well, it is national bookshop day, or something like that, so why not?

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".

140The_Hibernator
Oct 9, 2016, 5:43pm

141Ameise1
Oct 10, 2016, 4:26pm

Hi Jo, I was absent several weeks on LT but try to do better in the future.
I wish you a great start into the new week.

142eclecticdodo
Oct 10, 2016, 6:47pm

>140 The_Hibernator: good to hear, I've not read it yet

>141 Ameise1: Aw, thanks. Lovely picture. I've been pretty absent too...

143eclecticdodo
Oct 10, 2016, 6:51pm

Today is world mental health day, so be honest about your mental health.

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.

144PaperbackPirate
Oct 11, 2016, 1:29pm

Thank you for being brave enough to share your experience as it relates to this very important topic!

145eclecticdodo
Oct 11, 2016, 3:28pm

>144 PaperbackPirate: you're welcome

146PaulCranswick
Oct 14, 2016, 12:31pm

>143 eclecticdodo: I have terrible bouts of depression from time to time and am prone to seeing that black dog around every corner. I hide it all behind a clown's mask most of the time, Jo.

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

147Ameise1
Oct 15, 2016, 5:12am

Take care, Jo. Wishing you a relaxed weekend.

148eclecticdodo
Oct 15, 2016, 11:39am

>146 PaulCranswick:, >147 Ameise1: Thanks. I'm having a nice slow weekend so far. Andy and Reuben have been largely occupied with model railways so I've had time to myself. My brain is in overdrive though, with all the things I should and shouldn't be doing. I seem to be a constant disappointment to myself.

149eclecticdodo
Oct 15, 2016, 12:23pm

87) The Long Cosmos by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett

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.

150eclecticdodo
Oct 19, 2016, 3:14am

88) Why does E=mc2? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

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.

151PaulCranswick
Oct 21, 2016, 11:23pm

Wishing you a lovely weekend, Jo.

152eclecticdodo
Oct 27, 2016, 8:48am

153eclecticdodo
Oct 27, 2016, 8:57am

89) The Tale Of Little Pig Robinson by Beatrix Potter

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.

154eclecticdodo
Modifié : Oct 28, 2016, 4:37pm

>151 PaulCranswick: sorry Paul, I completely ignored you. It was a good weekend. This week has been a lot easier than it could have been - half term and my parents in law visiting - we've had a good time so far.

155eclecticdodo
Oct 28, 2016, 2:43am

I've just realised my 6th Thingaversary is coming up next Thursday. By my count that means I can buy 7 books. Alas I just received 7 new purchases today (>152 eclecticdodo:) so I'm not sure I can justify more, especially not this close to Christmas / birthday season. What to do, what to do?

156eclecticdodo
Oct 29, 2016, 12:33pm

Poor Reuben was ill yesterday. He had a splitting headache and then started throwing up everywhere. It eventually stopped when he fell asleep on the bathroom floor. He slept for a couple of hours, then woke up at 7pm right as rain and full of energy. Unfortunately that was just about the time he should have gone to bed, so we had a very late night sitting up reading stories. I'm counting ones:

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.

157eclecticdodo
Oct 30, 2016, 9:48am

I missed out an acquisition earlier in the month, which I finished last night

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.

158eclecticdodo
Oct 30, 2016, 4:19pm

It's been a ridiculously hard day. I've finished the wine so I'm on to vodka and coke. This is terrifying. But I know it will get easier from here. No more interviews, no more evidence. It will be ok, won't it?

159ronincats
Oct 30, 2016, 7:55pm

It WILL be okay, Jo. Trust me. Everyday gets better from this point.

160eclecticdodo
Oct 31, 2016, 4:38pm

Ok. You're right. Today was better. The world didn't end, and I actually forgot about it for a while.

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.

161eclecticdodo
Nov 1, 2016, 6:55pm

94) Voices From The Workhouse by Peter Higginbotham

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.

162eclecticdodo
Nov 1, 2016, 6:59pm

Oh, and very exciting news - I just discovered that our library system has removed all reservation fees! I can now order a book from anywhere in the Libraries West region (Bristol, Somerset, Dorset and Gloucestershire), to collect from my local branch, for free. I actually did a happy dance when I found out.

163ronincats
Nov 1, 2016, 8:02pm

Better and better!

164drneutron
Nov 1, 2016, 9:31pm

Awesome! I'm mostly getting books through library reservations now - a fee would kill my wallet! :)

165eclecticdodo
Nov 2, 2016, 4:50pm

95) Old Wives Tales by Claire Heath-Whyte

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.

166eclecticdodo
Modifié : Nov 3, 2016, 5:32am

>164 drneutron: It used to be £1 which is the going rate for second hand ones around here. Not much of an incentive to use the library. And then they put it up to £1.60 briefly

167eclecticdodo
Nov 6, 2016, 6:07pm

96) Secret Thoughts Of An Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield

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.

168souloftherose
Nov 8, 2016, 1:06pm

>162 eclecticdodo: Woohoo re no more library fees!

>165 eclecticdodo: I found The Gentleman's Daughter by Amanda Vickery gave a really good overview of the daily lives of women in the 18th century if you wanted to read more in that area.

169streamsong
Nov 8, 2016, 1:20pm

Hi Jo - Wow those fees do seem high; doing a happy dance that they are gone!

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.

170eclecticdodo
Nov 8, 2016, 4:19pm

>168 souloftherose: thanks for the recommendation Heather

>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....

171eclecticdodo
Nov 11, 2016, 12:09pm

Oh my word, what a headache. It's finally going after more than 2 days. Why do I have a headache? Because I've given up caffeine as a charity fundraiser. 125 hours without, to raise funds for the amazing work One25 do. I know it doesn't sound like much, but giving up caffeine is really tough when your as exhausted as I am all the time. Although I do loads more these days I'm still battling with my ME/CFS and working right up to the limits of what I can manage most of the time. If anyone would like to sponsor me, even a very small amount, you can do so here

172eclecticdodo
Modifié : Nov 11, 2016, 2:14pm

97) From Frazzled To Fabulous by The Man Who Has It All

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.

173PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2016, 8:52am

>172 eclecticdodo: Could be something I am likely to expect from my wife, Hani, for Christmas!

Have a great weekend, Jo.

174eclecticdodo
Nov 24, 2016, 4:30am

98) NW by Zadie Smith

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.

175The_Hibernator
Nov 24, 2016, 10:05am

I'm not a huge Zadie Smith fan either.

176eclecticdodo
Nov 26, 2016, 6:10pm

>175 The_Hibernator: glad I'm not the only one. I always feel guilty when I don't "get" a book, like somehow it must be me that is lacking...

>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.

177eclecticdodo
Nov 28, 2016, 3:50pm

99) July's People by Nadine Gordimer

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.

178eclecticdodo
Nov 28, 2016, 4:03pm

100) Emma by Jane Austen

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.

179eclecticdodo
Nov 28, 2016, 4:10pm

101) The Tale Of Johnny Town Mouse by Beatrix Potter

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.

180eclecticdodo
Nov 28, 2016, 4:14pm

102) The Tale Of Mr Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter

Jeremy goes fishing for minnows on his pond and is nearly eaten by a trout; he escapes and vows never to fish again. Another lovely story. This was one of my favourites as a child and I even named one of the frogs in our garden pond Jeremy.

181souloftherose
Nov 29, 2016, 5:43am

>174 eclecticdodo: I've struggled with the Zadie Smith books I've tried - I can see she's a very skilled writer but her books seem to leave a bad taste in my mouth. I am planning to try NW next year though so I'll see if I've changed my mind!

>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!

182eclecticdodo
Nov 30, 2016, 9:04am

Thanks Heather

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.

183PaulCranswick
Déc 3, 2016, 10:45pm

>176 eclecticdodo: That is not good news on the Police front. Sometimes they just don't feel able to go the extra yard for the victims of crime.

Have a good weekend my dear.

184eclecticdodo
Déc 7, 2016, 4:30am

>183 PaulCranswick: The officers I've been dealing with have been great. It's more the political situation between UK and USA. They would need enough evidence to go to trial before they can even do an interview. To be honest I don't think I ever expected it to get to trial anyway since it was so long ago there is no evidence, just my statement. I'm feeling ok about it now though.

185eclecticdodo
Déc 7, 2016, 4:51am

Yesterday was Reuben's 6th birthday and we took a group of his friends bowling after school. Massive fail on the cake - first it didn't rise so I had to go buy one, then I forgot the candles! Fortunately my friend rescued me by running over to the shops while they bowled and we had it all sorted by the time it came to sing happy birthday.

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.

186scaifea
Déc 7, 2016, 6:51am

Happy Birthday to Reuben! It sounds like he had a fabulous day, despite the stress on your end (I've totally been there, pretty much every year!).

187eclecticdodo
Modifié : Déc 8, 2016, 3:48am

>186 scaifea: Thank you

------------------------------

I've just realised I've still got one book to go in my fiction challenge for the year:
- A book published this year - Ed Bear Versus
- A book recommended by a local librarian or bookseller - Plainsong
- A book you studied in school - Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry
- A book chosen for you by your spouse - The Iron Man
- A book published in the year of your birth The Name Of The Rose
- A book that's been banned - July's People
- A book you have owned for years but never read
- A book that intimidates you Emma
- A book translated from another language - Waiting For The Wild Beasts To Vote
- A book about a culture you do not know - Americanah
- A book over 400 pages - The Book Thief
- A book chosen because you like the cover - The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street
- A book being made into a film this year The Light Between Oceans
- A retelling or adaptation - Sita's Ramayana
- Complete a series - The Giver quartet
- Start a new series - Plainsong

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

188The_Hibernator
Déc 9, 2016, 1:47pm

Late happy birthday to Reuben!

189eclecticdodo
Modifié : Déc 13, 2016, 4:44pm

190eclecticdodo
Déc 13, 2016, 4:44pm

I won a competition on Foyles website. I won sample chapters from Paul Auster's new book 4321 which is out in January. I know nothing about it, or the author, but it has caught my attention. As my husband says, they've basically sent me an extended advert in the hope I will buy the book. But hey, who am I to argue?

191eclecticdodo
Déc 14, 2016, 6:42pm

104) The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch

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.

192ronincats
Déc 14, 2016, 7:26pm

>187 eclecticdodo: Well, if that were my challenge, I would have no lack of choice!

193eclecticdodo
Déc 15, 2016, 4:20am

>192 ronincats: I didn't used to read a lot of fiction so I didn't buy it. As a result my options are either the odd gift received, or books I acquired through marriage. And most of those just don't interest me enough to want to read them. It's a struggle.

Besides, at the moment I'm reading First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde and I don't want to put that down just now.

194PaulCranswick
Déc 16, 2016, 6:46pm

>187 eclecticdodo: If I were doing your challenge Jo, I think I would be stuck on one too. I cannot think of any series I have finished this year.

Have a lovely weekend.

195eclecticdodo
Déc 18, 2016, 9:30am

>194 PaulCranswick: well it was a bit of a cheat with a 4-book series, rather than 20 odd!

-------------------------------------

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.

196streamsong
Déc 18, 2016, 9:40am

The bookish chain letter sounds like fun! If I ever see the US version of it, I will certainly join in!

197eclecticdodo
Déc 18, 2016, 11:55am

>196 streamsong: it was doing the rounds on Facebook. The good thing about doing it that way is you can ask for volunteers rather than sending out a dozen letters and not knowing who will carry it on. And it was worded in such a way as to only need a couple of volunteers each to take part. I'm not normally into chain letters, but this was right up my street!

198eclecticdodo
Déc 18, 2016, 5:20pm

It's my birthday tomorrow (Monday)! I'll be celebrating by driving nearly 3 hours on my own with a small person - oh joy. We're visiting my parents for a few days and also getting in some quality time with my best friends. Part of me can't wait, the other part is very anxious. Familial relations are tricky (aren't they all!) plus I'll be missing my husband which (as well as the emotional side) means very little help with childcare. I'm hoping I can get some time during the days as early mornings and bedtimes my parents won't help with at all. On the bright side, and I feel very guilty to think this way, my Nan is having decorators in, so we won't be making a mad dash trip into central London to see her.

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.

199PaperbackPirate
Déc 19, 2016, 9:23am

Happy Birthday!

200The_Hibernator
Déc 22, 2016, 12:58pm

Happy birthday a little late!

201eclecticdodo
Déc 22, 2016, 3:11pm

>199 PaperbackPirate: >200 The_Hibernator: Thanks!

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....

202eclecticdodo
Déc 23, 2016, 11:32am

I'm currently sitting in a darkened room, listening to Handel's Messiah, and catching up on LT. All in an attempt to forget the horror that was Sainsbury's supermarket this afternoon. All joking aside, I came very close to a full on panic attack in the middle of the shop. At least I got the essentials for Christmas dinner. after that we can survive on leftovers and freezer food.

203souloftherose
Déc 23, 2016, 2:13pm

>202 eclecticdodo: Oh no! So sorry to hear Sainsbury's was so traumatic.

204bell7
Déc 23, 2016, 8:54pm

Happy belated birthday! Sounds like you had a lovely time. Sorry to hear the shopping was so bad...I'm afraid I'm spoiled by having Christmas dinner elsewhere and all I need to do is a quick run for a platter sometime tomorrow for a party.

205PaulCranswick
Déc 23, 2016, 9:34pm



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.

2017.

Festive Greetings and a few wishes from Malaysia!

206eclecticdodo
Déc 24, 2016, 10:45am

>204 bell7: Thanks. That is the advantage of going to family for Christmas, no matter how much I want to avoid it this year!

>205 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. Happy Christmas, seasons greetings, and here's to a better 2017.

207eclecticdodo
Déc 24, 2016, 11:03am

105) The Perilous Question by Antonia Fraser

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.

208eclecticdodo
Déc 24, 2016, 3:42pm

Here's to a Merry Christmas for everyone reading and a happy and peaceful New Year!



The picture is from Reuben's Lego Advent Calendar from last year (he has inherited my obsession with Lego!)

209ronincats
Déc 24, 2016, 11:55pm

A belated Happy Birthday! And I love Jasper Fforde too.

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!

210Ameise1
Déc 25, 2016, 6:51am

Merry Christmas, Jo.


211streamsong
Déc 25, 2016, 8:35am

Merry Christmas, Jo! I love the Lego Santa!

212eclecticdodo
Déc 25, 2016, 2:59pm

>209 ronincats: Thank you. That's a beautiful photograph. I've often wondered what Christmas would be like in sunnier climes

>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.

213Ameise1
Déc 25, 2016, 4:56pm

>212 eclecticdodo: Sure I did. :-)

214eclecticdodo
Modifié : Déc 25, 2016, 5:40pm

Christmas has been lovely. We managed to stay in bed until 7am, opened presents, went to church, ate a delicious lunch (if I say so myself), drank champagne, took the kids to the park, played games back at home, watched a film, and got the boy to bed at a decent hour. Reuben kept saying "this is the BEST Christmas EVER".

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)

215eclecticdodo
Déc 25, 2016, 5:11pm

106) Return To Oz by Alistair Hedley

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.

216eclecticdodo
Déc 25, 2016, 5:36pm

And with that last book I have finished the fiction challenge I set myself for the year:

- A book published this year - Ed Bear Versus
- A book recommended by a local librarian or bookseller - Plainsong
- A book you studied in school - Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry
- A book chosen for you by your spouse - The Iron Man
- A book published in the year of your birth The Name Of The Rose
- A book that's been banned - July's People
- A book you have owned for years but never read Return To Oz
- A book that intimidates you Emma
- A book translated from another language - Waiting For The Wild Beasts To Vote
- A book about a culture you do not know - Americanah
- A book over 400 pages - The Book Thief
- A book chosen because you like the cover - The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street
- A book being made into a film this year The Light Between Oceans
- A retelling or adaptation - Sita's Ramayana
- Complete a series - The Giver quartet
- Start a new series - Plainsong

217eclecticdodo
Déc 25, 2016, 5:46pm

>213 Ameise1: Oh Barbara, I nearly missed your post under the deluge of mine... I love Mr Bean, and they work surprisingly well with a 6 year old too, for when I can't face any more children's shows.

218Crazymamie
Déc 25, 2016, 8:41pm



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!

219eclecticdodo
Déc 29, 2016, 2:52pm

>218 Crazymamie: Thanks! Always good to find someone else who shares your likes.

220eclecticdodo
Déc 29, 2016, 2:56pm

107) You Had One Job

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.

221eclecticdodo
Déc 29, 2016, 3:14pm

108) First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde

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.

222eclecticdodo
Modifié : Déc 29, 2016, 3:33pm

109) More About Paddington by Michael Bond

The second Paddington book. I enjoy the slow style of writing in this series. I am working my way through my Mother-in-law's beautiful Folio Society boxed collection (one book per visit), which really adds to the reading pleasure.

223eclecticdodo
Déc 29, 2016, 3:30pm

110) Duties Of Parents by J C Ryle

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.

224eclecticdodo
Déc 30, 2016, 5:54pm

I'm feeling retrospective about the year gone by. I probably won't get a chance to post tomorrow, so here are my thoughts...

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.

225eclecticdodo
Déc 30, 2016, 7:00pm

226PaulCranswick
Déc 31, 2016, 6:39am



Looking forward to your continued company in 2017.
Happy New Year, Jo

227eclecticdodo
Déc 31, 2016, 3:27pm

>226 PaulCranswick: Thank you Paul. Happy New Year to you and yours.