a forum for book lovers around the world to share their reading pleasures.
'There are no faster or firmer friends than those formed between people who love the same books.' - Irving Stone
Just testing to see if this works.
What Yer Reading has replaced Watcha Reading. You were correct, ladies - we filled another page with the books that we've been reading !I recently completed another clean out of the bookcase and a box of paperbacks has been donated to the local scout hall for their next book sale. This just happens to be taking place at the end of the month so I'm sure they will be replaced.Just finished Michael Robotham's Shattered which was a great who dunnit, and also provided the background of Joe O'Loughlin, psychologist, who features so heavily in these books. Starting on Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez today.
I read Love in the Time of Cholera many years ago and I loved his writing then. Haven't read any since so will be interested to see what you think.
have any of you got a Christmas wish list yet? I have Bill Bryson's sequel to Notes from a Small Island (Notes from Little Dribbling) on mine thanks to sylvia. Also A Notable Woman. See here:http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1782115706/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3EN0CKHKSS90G&coliid=I2CHEQS6OZPSB0And The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J R Rowlings)
Jaywalker, the mention of Christmas made me stop and gag!Funnily enough, I am after book 3 in the Robert Galbraith line of books. It is due for release later this month. I look forward to hearing your thoughts Jay; I read The Cuckoo's Calling for Bookclub, and followed it up quickly with book 2, Silkworm . Lets just say I am mad keen on Cormoran Stork.....another dysfunctional and just my type.LOL.Also desperate for the next in The Game of Thrones series which also was supposed to be released in October. That would ease me through the Holiday cricket season
have you read Kate Atkinson's series with her dysfunctional detective?
No, I haven't. Must borrow one from the library.I've discovered that I have Robert Galbraith's ,The Silkworm, following on from The Cuckoos Calling, as an ebook. Happy to pass it on if you would like.Just finished " Ma, he sold me for a packet of cigarettes" written by an Irish lass about growing up in Dublin in the 50s. Born into poverty , with no education, it was a totally depressing memoir, and written just as the Irish speak which took a little getting used too. Having said that it was also quite compelling as the author showed courage and guts throughout. This book is followed by another four or five following on as she becomes independent and has her own family. Sometime down the track I hope to read the last in the series to see how she gets on, though for now I'm still scratching and making sure I haven't got lice or other infections, being such a grubby tale
Snuck a few lazy hours of reading in and finished Love In The Time Of Cholera which I enjoyed. Lots of little stories within stories. Perfect reading for a lazy few hours in a hammock on a hot day - it had that calming , lyrical quality.Your mention of Xmas previously, Jay, gave me a bolt so when we drove past the local art gallery yesterday morning and saw a plant sale just had to stop didn't we ? Not only did I pick up some organic, home grown veges but also several copies of a delightful children's book called Possum Games, written by Michelle Worthington and illustrations by Sandra Temple. Both are local lasses and members of the gallery.With family and friends interstate I thought this story of possums playing with mangos on a tin roof so very Qld that it would make a great gift for the Little People! Thanks for the push ...... Also went to a play opening mid week - Afterplay by Irish playwright , Brian Friel. It was only one act about a fictional meeting of two characters from Chekhov's plays, Uncle Vanya and The Three Sisters. Thoroughly enjoyed it , and great to go out in the evenings - the gardens are fragrant, the temperature is comfortable, and bit of a buzz around the old town.
The play sounds really great. And yes, I would love the Galbraith e-book - we're off cruising the South Pacific on Saturday on the second Cruise of the Performing Arts. We loved the one last year and they already have the poster out for next year with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa so probably go on that too. Then we're doing 14-day one to New Zealand in Late January so will need an e-book for that.I've moved on to a novel I picked up cheap in Sydney last year - Abdication - a mix of fiction and fact by Juliet Nicholson who is the great granddaughter of Vita Sackville-West and also an historian who has written several social histories of the pre and post WW1 era. It's better than I expected. Would make a good TV series.I think sylvia is in the middle of moving house sobhaven't heard from her on the other site either.
Enjoy your cruise.Sounds wonderful. I have a girlfriend on her 5th Rock The Boat Cruise. Her 88 year old mother loves these trips apparently.,,,,,.I've just finished My Life, Farmer to POW and Back, Dick Campbell's Story as told to Lisa Clements. This was a gift from a family I met via my sister's funeral and whom have a POW history. The book is a 2014 release and is large print and of large size, that I think has been geared toward that age group. The author doesn't delve deeply into the war history, though Dick's memories are sprinkled throughout providing a very personal perspective. Interestingly, I came to "hear" Dick's voice as his story progressed. A great story of resilience, littered with Aussie humour and warmth. A great addition to my collection - and signed by Dick.Now moving on to Dr Chris O'Brien's autobiography, Nevertheless Say Die.
Some more purchases for under the Xmas tree:-Autobiography of Thomas Jeffersen which includes the original jottings for the American Constitution.Hiroshima by John Hersey, an American Pulitzer Prize Winner, written in 1946, and as the title suggests.Johnno by David Malouf.No books for me yet, but I'm working on it.......
We're back and we had a great time. The artists were all great, especially Anthony Warlow, who we found ourselves sitting next to in one of the lounges on the second day. The Grigoryan Bothers were marvellous and David Hobson was in good voice. I finished Abdication and now reading a novel I picked up at our favourite Sydney bookshop -- cheap remainders situated under Central Station. It's called The Age of Desire and is a novel based on the life of American novelist Edith Wharton. I also read Summer in February while we were on the cruise - about a colony of artists living and loving in Cornwall just prior to WW1. Lovely writing and it was made into a movie a couple of years ago.
Pleased you enjoyed the cruise, Jaywalker. I remember the first time I saw Anthony Warlow in Guys and Dolls, nearly thirty years ago. I was pregnant at the time, and vowed that if I had a son I would name him Obadiah accordingly.Have just finished reading All That I Am by Anna Funder which I absolutely loved. Good story, great writing - one of my favourite reads for the year ! About to start on Tim Winton's Dirt Music, though I remember I found Cloudstreet a bit of work.I have at long last sorted my Xmas reading. After a ten year search I finally discovered the name of the book about the squadron my father flew in during WW2. Despite emails all around the world to an assortment of booksellers and military organisations I had been unable to locate a copy. However, the AWM have a copy of the original manuscript so I will receive a copy of this within the next few weeks. An expensive and time consuming little exercise. Phew. Scratch that one off the list.Disappearing for a week. Heading to the Deep South for some sheep farming fun.Leaving you with :8 Famous Literary Dedications That Are Everything | ClickHolewww.clickhole.com/.../8-famous-literary-dedications-are-everything-3209
Just a quick Hello from our new home in Suffolk! Settling nicely but finding homes for things is a work in progress. Loving the new house, its warmth and quiet location. Bury St Edmund's is our nearest main town; a very attractive town with both old interesting and modern buildings. Having to get used to driving down country roads but we will get used to it I'm sure. Last Saturday our son Elliot and Nasreen brought baby Liam to see us for the first time in 4 months. He is a darling baby and smiling now. They journey took them 1 and a half hours as opposed to 4 or 5 if we've been up in North Staffordshire!Sorry this isn't about books but thought I would call in now that my computer is set up. Am re-reading another Adriana Trigiani book "Big Cherry Holler" and enjoying it all over again.
So glad to hear you've settled in happily and have had a visit from your grandson. We have driven round that area a few times and been to Bury St Edmunds as I have a friend in Colchester who we have stayed with several times - she did a teacher exchange and lived in my (then) house for a year while I was in Kent teaching. It wasn't a formal exchange and a bit complicated to explain but we have remained friends ever since. We also stayed in Norfolk last year and went to Thetford to se the Dad's Army museum.As I mentioned on the FR site I've just started The Cuckoo's Calling and really enjoying it - Robert Galbraith aka J R Rowlings. There are two more when I've finished this one.
Jean, I am going to enjoy exploring the villages around here, as you will know, most have its own stunning church and are steeped in history. I remember seeing The Cuckoo's Calling when I volunteered at the Trentham library before we moved and thinking I must read it at some stage despite the fact the Harry Potter series never appealed to me. We have a mobile library visit the village once a month but I need to join up at another village first producing some personal document with my new address on!
Pleased that you are beginning to settle, Sylvia. Your new abode sounds delightful.Just returned from a week in Tasmania, which was beaut. Not much time for reading but found Liz Bryski's 1992 effort, Bad Behaviour, in a charity store for $1. A good read about the swinging sixties in London with her usual crossover to Perth, Western Australia. Enjoyed this one more than her more recent efforts!Have just started 2015 Man Booker Winner, A Brief History of Seven a Killings by Marlon James. The books starts " Listen. Dead people never stop talking". This has me intrigued, though it's a bit reminiscent of The Book Thief which I could not finish. Will see how it goes.....
You should have called in, Moi. next time you're down here, please do.
I came across this site by accident -thought it might interest you, moi.http://www.sydneyreviewofbooks.com/category/fiction/
Thanks for the tip. It appears to be quite an easy-to-read site.Am battling with The Brief History of Seven Killings which is based upon the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in Jamaica during the 70s. Being totally unfamiliar with Jamaican history,culture and politics doesn't help the process at all. To convalute matters the background behind this event is being told by a cast of different characters, all with different voices and with their own slant on their part to play in the situation. These different voices cover a huge demographic, so it really is clever writing.Sounds odd, as I am enjoying trying to get through this book even though I don't like it.....the constant brutality and the "in your face" language...No more Prize Winning Novels for me. Too much effort required and too little time!
I agree. I looked at it in the bookshop and decided against it. I'm reading a book I think you would love. "The Women in Black" by Madeleine St John, set in the 60s in Sydney about the women who work in "Ladies Cocktail" in a large dep't store loosely based on David Jones. I came across it because we're going to Melbourne in February and I was looking at what's on and this has been made into a musical and is showing there from January. I'm going to book when they open next week.It's a little gem of a book and I was amazed to discover she was the first woman in Australia to be short listed for the Booker. She was in the same year at Sydney Uni as Clive James, Germaine Greer, Bruce Beresford and John Bell and only wrote four novels. This article about her is very interesting:http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/weekend-australian-magazine/madeleine-st-johns-life-in-pieces/story-e6frg8h6-1226597376438She captures life in Sydney at that time absolutely brilliantly.
This opened about ten days ago in Brisbane ! The music is by one of The Crowded House lads, though I didn't take much notice to be honest as was never a fan of this NZ band. The performances cease mid December otherwise I would have given it more consideration. The fella and I don't exchange gifts at Xmas - although this year he has bought me a new frock, he just doesn't know it yet - but rather , we each organise an outing, it being more about the experience these days. Was hoping to get tickets to the Qld Symphonic Orchestra playing to Raiders of the Lost Ark on the big screen, though advised it sold out within days. Am waiting to see if they put on a second performance.....To much "yeah right mon" so after 177 pages am giving Jamaica a miss. Good Riddance !
It sounds like it got a good reception in Brisbane according to this article so perhaps the Crowded House chap has gone a bit more serious!http://www.broadwayworld.com/australia-melbourne/article/Melbourne-Theatre-Company-to-Open-2016-Season-with-LADIES-IN-BLACK-20151127
As the year draws to a close there are a proliferation of Best Of Lists for 2015 in the media : lists of movies, tv shows, and books.Here are my favourite reads for 2015, for no particular reason except that I really enjoyed them. In no particular order:Johnno by David MaloufBurial Rites by Hannah KentThe Valley of Amazement by Amy TanAnd one I stumbled upon on the Readers and Writers site:-Once I Was A Teenager: Living in Australia in the 50s and 60s by Jonquil GrahamWhich books did you enjoy most in 2015 ?
Moi, I have "The Valley of Amazement" waiting on the shelf for me to continue with. I started it as were preparing to move house but found it too heavy for bed-time reading.Most memorable was "Mornings at Jenin" - Susan Abulhawa and a complete contrast was a book a friend bought me by Winifred Watson called "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day"I am now re-reading the Big Stone Gap trilogy by Adriana Trigiani and really enjoying them all over again.
I'm getting to the stage when I can't remember what I've read!! So the ones I remember must have been the best ones!!Probably a very different list from yours, Moi.Reckless by William NicholsonThe Lodger by Louise TregerThe Age of Desire by Jennie FieldsIf Love Were All by John Campbell
Received this one from Delanceyplace.com today :http://www.delanceyplace.com/view-archives.php?p=2948Some interesting reads amongst this lot.
Jean, I make a note of each book I read and in which year otherwise I wouldn't be able to remember most of them either! Has anyone read anything by Ann Tyler recently? I see her latest was mentioned in Good Housekeeping magazine; "A spool of blue thread" and wondered to put it on my wish list or wait till I join a library here.
I have started to keep a list of books over the past few years. Although these lists are never on me at the library or at the book stall and are therefore not much of a help, I have found that they have assisted with identification of my reading habits. For example, these lists have confirmed that I read very few works by women, and not many by Australian authors. Being aware of that I am now more inclined to look at books that are out of my comfort zone. It's all good.....
I have one of those lists too Moi, of books recommended by friends and hardly ever have it with me when out or at the library! I see Anne Tyler's "A Spool of Blue Thread" is on the short list of the Man Booker Prize.
I decided on a return to a light, easy to read detective novel between now and Christmas after finishing Angelica Garnett's autobiography about her life with the Bloomsbury group and am now happily into another one of the Inspector Stratton series by Laura Wilson which are all set during WW1 and into the 50s in London. They are well written and researched and the characters are interesting. Wilson has a degree in Eng Lit from Somerville College, Oxford, so not surprising.
I put this on the other site as well. This is a review from amazon. Interesting to see if you agree.Within the past 12 months I have re-read most of her novels, particularly enjoying:Morgan's PassingSaint MaybeThe Clock WinderThe Amateur MarriageThe Accidental touristBreathing LessonsA Spool of Blue Thread is mundane in comparison. I didn't engage with or delight in any of the characters.
Oh that's interesting Jean. I think I will wait and see what I can find in the library by Anne Tyler rather than rush out and buy it.
Brand new year on the horizon and once again I am signing up for the Aussie Author Challenge,2016. This year I am upping the anti by increasing the required reading to Kangaroo Level.This requires the reading and reviewing of a total of twelve (12)books:4 by female authors, 4 by male authors, 4 by authors who are new to me,Fiction or Non Fiction, and at least three genres.I totally enjoyed participating in this challenge as it made me turn to books and authors which I would have normally ignored.If you are at all interested in joining me in this Challenge go to :http://bookloverbookreviews.com/reading-challenges/aussie-author-challenge-2016?utm_source=Booklover+Book+Reviews+Fortnightly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=98801bfb5f-Booklover_Book_Reviews_Bites_Issue_44&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5f8a144b31-98801bfb5f-250154869Full of a head cold so have started reading Helen Garner's "Joe Cinque's Consolation". Maybe I should consider the Aussie Women Authors Challenge too ?
Wonderful to have you back for another year of the challenge May, and aiming for Kangaroo no less. Happy reading!PS: Hope you are feeling better really soon.
Oh May, I do admire you; I have sort of taken on a similar personal challenge via a list on Facebook but I doubt I will achieve it, still I will try. Good luck! Do you get Sudafed tablets for congestion over there and of course Olbas Oil to inhale?
Thanks for your concern, though I'de rather go without drugs for a cold. Tend to think it's the body telling you it's a bit weary so it makes you stop and regroup. I have been burning Fragonia and Eucalyptus Oils in a diffuser which has proved very helpful.I am about to start Bill Bryson's, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. He knows how to spin a yarn, that's for sure. Read in today's news that his Little Dribbling is one of the best selling holiday reads in Aust.Just finished Robert Galbraith's third book in the Cormoran Stork series, Career of Evil. Found it disappointing, and written quite scrappily. Not sure I'll bother with the fourth as the author's depiction of Cormoran seemed to have lost its momentum. Boring,in fact.
I'm still laughing out loud as I read Bryson's Road to Little Dribbling. Interesting about the third Galbraith book. I've only read the first and was going to order the second but might stop at that.
Sorry,JW. Hadn't forgotten about sending The Silkworm on to you. Just haven't worked out how. Have been reading instructions -wondering if there are issues because this is an Apple device. Grrrrr
Thanks, Moi. I haven't sent an ebook from my iPad but have sent them from my Mac desktop. Is it in epub file? If so it should just go as an attachment.
Just finished a nice little bio called Jimmy Stewart, Bomber Pilot, about the American actors time in the airforce during WW2 , a very shallow effort by actor Tony Curtis trying to be clever and not succeeding, and a peice of fluff about Wallis Simpson by Rebecca Dean. Can't help myself : fascinated by this story and have a tendency to read everything written about this woman. Learnt nothing new in this one!A local resident from Stradbroke Island, Janita Cunnington, has written her debut novel about growing up on the Noosa River -The River House- so I am off to the book launch at the local library. Been to a few of these lately and have to applaud the Library for contributing to these informative and interesting events.
I'm a bit like you re Wallis S. I recently read a first novel by Juliet Nicholson called Abdication. She is a well known historian and it was a good light read but not brilliant.
One of the young things at work recently lent me The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This is one of those YA series that were transformed to a movie franchise. After reading the first of the Twilight series - because one was more than enough- I was wary. However, Collins writes well and I found Book 1 an enjoyable read. I've also been skimming through The Andy Warhol Diaries if only because so many other books seem to reference this one. I'm not getting all the fuss. Perhaps you had to be there.........?
I haven't read The War Games but the movie was showing on a cruise we went on a few years ago and we thought we'd give it a go but we walked out after about half an hour. Not my thing at all.
Just finished Helen Garner's House of Grief which was another non fiction account of the criminal court process in Australia. Horrific and totally disenchanted with the Law.Followed this with Not Without My Daughter, the true story of an American woman and her child by a middle eastern gent and how after going to Iran to holiday with his family are not allowed to leave the country. Well, that well and truly put me off overseas travel for the moment. Just finished The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. This was an easy read but creepy on so many levels.What about you?
Sorry I've been absent for a while; no excuse just that my time on the computer is more limited now I have to share a study with hubbie!While I was at our local library with my short list of authors I was trying to remember who wrote "The Girl on the Train". Anyway must add Paula Hawkins to that list! Can't expect a wide variety of books out in the sticks as we are now but I did find one by Marcia Willett, recommended to me by a friend so expect it will be a light read and an something to alternate with Valley of Amazement which I am still plodding through!
Sylvia, we all get busy - and this year is certainly flying! You sound as if you are battling with Amy Tan?I have just finished Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan. What a terrific read.The author is in his 30's and his writing reflects this. It is fresh, topical and fun - a boys own adventure for the new millennium.
Yes I am battling with "Valley of Amazement" Moi and I've read two other books during the battle!! Still, I am back to it now and determined to finish it at some point but the subject matter and small print doesn't help as a bedtime read. Is Robin Sloan an Australian Moi?
Robin Sloan is an American author, Sylvia. Did I tell you that the front cover of the hardback edition of his novel Glows in the Dark ? Told you : it's a fun read.I am reading a couple of books by an Australian author by the name of Justin Sheedy. Your hubby might well be interested, Sylvia. Nor The Years Condemn is about an Aussie Spitfire pilot in England during WW2. You will have to wait till my review as I am going to include it in the 2016 Australian Author Challenge.Sheedy followed this up with Ghosts of the Empire , apparently of a similar ilk, which I have packed away for my holiday reading. There's a third on the way. Whatever happened to my resolution not to buy any more books!(JW , this is the author of Goodbye,Crackernight we discussed eons ago.)Stick with this Amy Tan. It's a good tale despite being a tad on the depressing side.See you after Easter :)
SO grateful to you, MOI. I truly look forward to your review & delighted that you'll be including it in the 2016 Australian Author Challenge! How exciting. Book 3 in the trilogy, "No Greater Love", out this July. Rave reader reviews so far of Book 1, "Nor the Years Condemn", here. http://crackernight.com/reviews-of-sheedys-latest-release-ghosts-of-the-empire/
Sorry! Forgot to identify myself as the author, Justin Sheedy.
Like sylvia I don't seem to have got in here lately. Various things happening - I have to have both cataracts done, one on 30th, t'other on 15 April. Not very advanced but optician says I would need new glasses every 6 months if I don't. We cruised to NZ for 2 weeks, then had a conference in Melbourne in February, now back at Hansard doing a bit of part-time work. Also been having bathroom redone over two weeks and house is in chaos and covered with dust.I have managed to read a few books - specially enjoyed the Old Filth trilogy by Jane Gardam and now reading one of Laura Wilson's crime novels set in the 50s and very well written. In the daytime reading The Poets' Daughters - the offspring of Wordsworth and Coleridge who grew up together and stayed friends all their lives. Just got to a section about Sara Coleridge's pregnancies and how by then she had become morphine addicted like her father. Very interesting medical stuff about hysteria and epilepsy and how it's now thought that modern eating disorders are a 20thC evolution from hysteria.
Thought I would post a reply as this week is going to be busy with son, wife and baby grandson arriving for the Easter Weekend...I went to the library to take back Marcia Willett's book "Postcards from the Past" (a family mystery, ok light reading) NOT intending to borrow another as I do want to continue my battle with Amy Tan, but there on the Returns shelf was Anne Tyler's "A Spool of Blue Thread". So despite mixed reviews I borrowed it. I can see why people have criticized it as I am still waiting for the real story to start but perhaps it never does?? However, for now it makes easier reading than Valley of Amazement!Jean, I wish you all the best with those cataract ops; it is something I DREAD!! Though I've heard from other people that it's not something I should dread; my brother-in-law's short-sightedness disappeared after he had his! Have a good Easter everyone!
Yes, JW, sending positive thoughts for the 30th.
Back in the early 80s I was given a copy of the Australian crime writer, Peter Corris, second novel, The Empty Beach. Gritty, and based in and around Bondi, it was an easy and familiar read with Cliff Hardy, P.I, street smart, rugged and a diamond in the rough. I've just finished Book 35 in the Cliff Hardy series, Torn Apart. Set around Glebe, Hardy solves yet another ghastly crime. Another good read, but I was a little saddened by this novel. Cliff has had heart surgery, is on meds for the rest of his life, is semi retired, and has cut his booze intake dramatically. In short, he has got old. He still manages a random, but I'm afraid reading this adventure with Cliff in turn made me feel old. Bugger that ! Sayonara, Cliffy !
Ditto Jeffrey Archer. Just finished his latest, Mightier Than The Sword and thoroughly enjoyed. Great storytelling as expected, and yes, I will read his next book. He does sound old though, and it is more than just writing about peers and the upper crust - it's in his "voice".Last week we lost author Jim Harrison. Who, you may ask ? My favourite book of all time is a novella titled Legends of the Fall. In the 90s it was transposed into a movie starring Brad Pitt, whom quite simply, does not work for me. Regardless, the movie remained true to the book which was a wonderful study of contrast: a truely brutal story in a beautiful setting and told with a lyrical slant.Onto a contender for the Stella Prize now. God, it's a battle. More next time....