Fall into November, what are you reading?

rouan

It’s been a long time since I started one of these threads.


I picked up The Left-Handed Booksellers of London a week or so ago and put it down after a few pages until I was in the right frame of mind to read it. I picked it up earlier this evening with the intent of just reading a couple of chapters and a few hours later, I‘m done.


It was decent; I can see why so many people have recommended it. It certainly kept me on the edge of my seat a number of times, but that’s not surprising since it doesn’t take much to do that!

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msmeow

I finished Fair Warning by Michael Connolly. I enjoyed it a lot. The main character is a journalist, Jack McEvoy.

Now I'm into Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith. I haven't read much yet, but I'm enjoying it like I have the others in the Cormoran Strike series.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

The Lost And Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

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Carolyn Newlen

The Last Good Day by Gail Bowen. I am really enjoying this series set in Canada and written by an acclaimed Canadian author. There's always a murder, but the main character's family is normal and actually like each other.

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netla

It's the season for comfort reads and I have been re-reading my feel-good books. I'm currently on The Guernsey Literary and Potato-Peel Pie Society. I'll probably move on to one of Terry Pratchett's books next.

I finally ordered Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson that I posted about some weeks ago, and am waiting for it to arrive. I decided not to order it from Persephone Books, since I found out there is actually one more book in the series than the three published by Persephone and if I buy them all, I want the sizes and covers to be in the same style.

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annpanagain

Netla, if you get all the books in the series, please try to work out how old she is when she starts to write her book. I try to visualise the character I am reading about and that includes the age. It seems to vary between the books but I have never been good at arithmatic.

I have just started The Crow Trap by Ann Cleese as I am on a "Vera" kick.

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salonva

I don't frequent this forum too regularly but Guernsey was one of my all time favorites and I just read Miss Buncle and loved it......so I will pay attention to your suggestions netla!

I just read Olive, Again and thought it was very good, but there is so much sadness in it. It also had so many characters, and little stories that were not really related. Once I understood that, it was more enjoyable for me. ( I kept thinking each mention of a new character was someone I was supposed to have remembered - ha!).

Before that, I don't remember if I shared here but I read This Tender Land which was really wonderful. I couldn't put it down, and it is not the kind of story that would usually grab me. So beautifully written.

I am not sure what I will read next but will try Hamnet. This was recommended on another book forum.

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Rosefolly

I just put Ordinary Grace on my TBR pile. I thought I read it sometime ago, but when I look at it I cannot remember it. I do remember reading Kreuger's more recent book, This Tender Land.

I could never get into Olive Kitteridge, much less Olive Again, and even turned off the broadcast version unfinished. If life is really that dreary, I'm going to put myself into a fantasy version of it instead.

Come to think of it, that's kind of what I do.

On the other hand, I am in the third book of a run of very good books. The first was Piranesi, mentioned on last month's thread. Next I read Or What You Will, Jo Walton's latest books. It is about a muse who lives in an author's mind and makes his way into many of the author's books. His author is dying of cancer, and he is desperately trying to find some sort of survival for both of them after the author's death. It is an odd but very enjoyable book. Currently I am in the midst of one of Guy Gavriel Kay's books The Last Light of the Sun. He does not like his books to be called historical fantasy, but I struggle to find another description that gives a sense of them. This one is about a time and place based closely Alfred the Great and his struggles with the Vikings, only everyone and every place has a different name, and the supernatural is real.

So very nice to be at last reading new-to-me books with such pleasure. Most years I get a run (or two) like this. I was beginning to think that 2020 would let me down in this. Happy and grateful to be wrong!

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rouan

I must have a theme going in my mind. I picked up The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland at the library today.

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astrokath

I have just finished Mammoth by Chris Flynn, and enjoyed it very much. The characters are a mammoth skeleton, parts of a Tyrannosaurus bataar, the hand of an Egyptian mummy and a fossilised penguin - sounds unlikely, doesn't it? It was both funny and serious, entertaining and illuminating, and I recommend it.

I also read the next of the Bill Slider series from Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Cruel as the Grave (not published yet). Bill remains one of my favourite Detective Inspectors and I haven't read a dud book from C H-E.

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Carolyn Newlen

Oh, good. I'm glad to hear there is a new Cynthia H-E coming out.

I'm just starting Murder in the Queen's Arms by Aaron Elkins. I am beginning from the first book to read (some will be re-reads but I will have forgotten them) all of his Gideon Oliver skeleton detective books in order.

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sheri_z6

After enjoying Deanna Raybourne's Veronica Speedwell mysteries, I've started her earlier series, the Lady Julia Grey mysteries. I liked the first one, Silent in the Grave, a lot, Lady Julia is not as sharp and funny as Veronica, but the echos are there. I will definitely be reading more of these.

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vee_new

I recently heard a talk given to the local history society via Zoom by Sarah Franklin on her first book Shelter set in the Forest of Dean during WWII. It is based round her interest in what were know as the 'Lumber Jills' . . . the female equivalent of the Lumber Jacks . . . who were recruited to help fell trees while their male counterparts were off fighting. An interesting premise of a no-better-that-she-should-be young woman, pregnant and homeless after the devastation of Coventry (albeit set two years after it happened) blended with that of a tale of an Italian POW bullied by the other prisoners, also sent to the Forest to work as a labourer. Of course the locals take these people to their hearts. The girl cuts down trees to the day she gives birth and the Italian grows courageous and picks up English and the girl in double quick time.

Not my usual choice of reading material and have given it to a real 'local' to get her POV.

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Carolyn Newlen

I'm reading The Searcher by Tana French. A retired and recently divorced Illinois policeman moves to rural Ireland to begin a new life and befriends a young boy whose brother has disappeared. It's really good.

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yoyobon_gw

Their Finest Hour And A Half - Lissa Evans

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Carolyn Newlen

I finished The Searcher and, as always, Tana French has written a terrific book, one that I hated to see end.

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sheri_z6

I finished the second Lady Julia Grey mystery, Silent in the Sanctuary. Lady Julia is becoming a bit bolder and more adventurous, and I'm hooked.

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salonva

I finished Hamnet and have been raving about it every chance I get. I don't know what I will read next. I have been lucky that the last 4 books or so have all been winners...

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msmeow

I am nearly finished with Troubled Blood, the newest Cormoran Strike novel by Robert Galbraith. I am loving it! Rather than trying to solve a gruesome murder (or murders) Strike and Robin are working on a 40 year old missing person case. It's really good.

Donna

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vee_new

Carolyn I have just heard an interview with Tana French on BBC radio. I had never heard of her until I read your recommendation and it appears that I'm not alone a she is far better known in the US than over here. She described how she had to get help when writing The Searcher as, although she could 'do' the dialogue of city speech, she was unfamiliar with how they spoke and the idioms they used in rural areas.

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Carolyn Newlen

Vee, I've read all her books and liked them all, this one in particular. Sometimes there is a feeling of dread, but this one, while it has tension, didn't create dread for me. Not that it doesn't provide surprises. I read a brief bio on line, and she has lived in many places because of her father's job, but she isn't Irish. She has lived in Dublin for some time now, though.

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msmeow

Currently reading Camino Winds by John Grisham. It opens with Camino Island, FL being hit by a cat. 4 hurricane, which was fitting reading for yesterday since we were having a bit of weather from TS Theta. The National Hurricane Center shows that another tropical depression has formed south of Cuba - crazy!

Donna

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Carolyn Newlen

I'm currently reading The Price of Malice, my first Archer Mayor book featuring detective Joe Gunther and set in Vermont, which I just found out about. There are a ton of them, and I couldn't start with the first one because my library doesn't have the first several in e-book form. It's not hard to follow, though.

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friedag

Do puzzle workbooks and magazine articles count in the monthly reading registry?


I have sidelined half a dozen novels because I can't settle into fictional narratives. I'll save them for later when I'm more disposed toward doom & gloom and dysfunction, on the one hand, or what strikes me as silly, sentimental made-up pap on the other hand.


I am too hard to please these days. But I have to read something! Instead math and logic problems are occupying and entertaining me, along with crosswords and other pencil puzzles. I have been reading lots of Archaeology and Linguistics journals, something I've been meaning to catch up with. Those led me to the following:


The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code by Margalit Fox - This is really a three-way biography of Arthur Evans, the archaeologist who discovered the 'Knossos tablets'; Alice Kober, the American academic and linguist who worked out methods of decipherment of the texts on the tablets; and Michael Ventris, the British architect who finally 'cracked the code' of the Linear B script.


Breaking the Maya Code by Michael D. Coe (the third edition) which is the story the title implies. I remain in awe! And thanks to nonfiction.


What do you all do when reading certain types of books seems to become a trudge through molasses -- if that happens to you? If it doesn't. . . well, lucky you! :-)

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annpanagain

Friedag, I try another genre and have sometimes been pleasantly surprised at the style of an author I discover that way or I go to my bookshelves and re-read classic 19C authors or an old favourite.

It is a matter of mood if you can't find a book to engage you, as I pointed out to readers who would exit the well-stocked library where I worked, muttering that they couldn't find anything to read!

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kathy_t

Frieda - I've had that feeling from time to time, and I too am becoming harder to please when it comes to novels. Yet, though I sometimes complain about them, I never abandon my quest for that next great read. I just keep trying until one comes along that brings a welcome delight. It always eventually happens.

I have been reading A Good American by Alex George and enjoying it. It's about a young German couple who, due to unfortunate family circumstances, decide to make a new life in the U.S. But when I was about 1/3 the way into the book, one of my library holds became available - Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. I need to read it and get it back to the library because there is no renewing it while others are waiting their turn. I found a good place to stop (I think) and suspended A Good American. I don't like to do that, but since I own that one, it will await my return. Meanwhile, though I've just started, I'm pretty engrossed in Anxious People. I'll report back later on both.

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vee_new

I've just had a wading through a molasses-moment while reading Coming Home by Fern Britton and too late remembered why I so rarely read 'romances'. Apparently this is part of a series set in an unbelievably beautiful Cornish seaside village and concerns a very bad 17 year old daughter who abandons her two toddlers to find their no-good father. Fast forward to grown up children living an 'arty' life and meeting this neglectful mother. Every chapter is full of hugging, kissing, patting, crying helped on by vast quantities of booze and many packets of aspirin to deal with the hangovers.

I felt like shouting at them all "Pull yourselves together and show some stoic fortitude. Shoulders back, stiffen the upper-lips."

As an antidote I'm now on to The American Lover by Rose Tremain. A collection of diverse short stories. Each one just the right length.

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Carolyn Newlen

I guess I'm just lucky, then. Right now, with pretty constant staying home alone, I can't imagine what people do without books they enjoy. The younger generation kept after me to get rid of my old desktop PC and get a laptop, so I finally did a little over a year ago. When the libraries closed in March, I began to download e-books and have read one a day or so ever since. As I'm sure you all know, mysteries are my favorite, and I comfort myself by remembering reading long ago that people who like mysteries are fair minded and like justice. (I don't like horror.)

At any rate, books serve to engross me to the point that when I look up and see my cozy den and the patio and back yard outside the sliding glass doors opposite my reading club chair with ottoman, I'm sometimes a little surprised to find myself still at home. Someone comes to cut my grass, and someone comes occasionally to clean my house, and I'm a little embarrassed to say I'm pretty well satisfied. I admit to having gained a few pounds.

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roxanna7

I am very fortunate to have a personal library of thousands of books -- I just counted one ceiling-height bookcase = roughly 560 books, and that is only one bookcase. I have them in every room of this house (except the powder room), double-shelved, and in many genres -- fiction, classics, architecture, fantasy, scientific, children's, British, gardening, and who knows what else, collected and enjoyed over the past 70 years.

Almost all of those lovely books will be read again during this time of COVID, as our library is closed, and I do not like using electronic books at all. Right now I am re-reading Terry Pratchett, whom I adore, and have on hand Dean Koontz' Elsewhere to look forward to after that. Then, for something completely different, I may revisit Gene Stratton-Porter. Or Louisa May Alcott (I grew up in the town she lived in, so she seemed to be a neighbor, lol). Or whatever strikes my mood of the day... Happy times!!

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annpanagain

Roxanna, you have such a big collection! Sadly I have moved too often and have shed loved books in the process. As I am in a small place now, there is only room for two bookcases, both overcrowded! Thankfully, the public libraries are open again after a short lockdown period a while ago.

Our State became a fortress for over seven months and we are only now opening the borders in a very controlled way.

I have just finished Ann Cleeves "The Moth Catcher" and have a DVD of "Nicholas Nickleby" waiting to be collected from the local library. I hope to get it this afternoon but the weather has been terrible with unseasonable storms and its not a good time to leave the house!

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kathy_t

Roxanna - Your house full (houseful?) of books sounds like a good setting for a novel!

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msmeow

Camino Winds - dull, dull, dull.

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yoyobon_gw

Donna, so...you're saying it didn't blow you away ?

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msmeow

:) That’s right! Even a barrier island taking a direct hit from a cat 4 hurricane was dull.

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Carolyn Newlen

I am reading Metropolis by Phillip Kerr. It is No. 14 in his Bernie Gunther series but the last book he wrote. I found a site that gave me the Gunther books in order of Bernie's age rather than the order in which they were written. I find it odd that he wrote a series out of sequence. This one is the second of the sequence.

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Rosefolly

I had read Walter Tevis's novel The Queen's Gambit back in the early 1980's then it first came out and loved it then. Somehow no one else ever seemed to have heard of it. The story is based on a fictional first woman to become a chess grandmaster. Now I do not play chess at all, but even so I found the novel compelling. When I heard there was to be a film presentation I was more than a little leery. I've had beloved books ruined by bad film adaptations before, and I didn't want this one ruined for me. Fortunately I need not have been concerned. The film (told in seven one hour episodes) is a glorious thing to watch. The acting, the writing, the visual effects, even the silences are dead perfect. And no, you don't actually need to understand chess to have the games be absolutely gripping.

This was the best thing I've seen in a very long time, and absolutely the best thing I've seen on a screen this year.

I'm thinking of taking it off the shelf and reading it again now that Tom and I are done watching.

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vee_new

Quite by chance I have been reading books by people who have moved to rural France and another was recommended Notes from the Cévennes by Adam Thorpe.

Thorpe was born and grew up in Paris so he has the advantage over the foolish incomers lured by the idea of a bucolic retreat in an area where property is dirt cheap and the sun always shines. He is also a poet/writer and manages to drop many literary references/quotes into his prose. His description of his adopted village high above the ancient city of Nîmes and the old stone house he buys left me rather confused as there are no drawings, plans or even photos of the area he describes. So discussing ancient walls that have fallen in, flooding rivers, dusty treasures dug up in cellars or vegetable plots rather float about in the text. He does describe the terrible time the locals had at the hands of the SS during WWII,

Unfortunately the last part of the book goes into rant mode while talking about the Green movement. He is all for it. Also Brexit which he was against despite his French passport . . . unwillingly granted to him via the city mayor . . . I often wonder how the real locals feel about these wealthy incomers and if they take them with the Gallic insouciance they deserve.

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astrokath

Rose, I also read The Queen's Gambit in the 80s and have just finished watching the show. I agree with you about the quality of the acting and the entire production. I went to my library to find the book, and sadly, it seems I gave it away at some time when I had to thin out my books to make more room.

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annpanagain

I found a Lawrence Sanders "The Fourth Deadly Sin" in a charity shop. I started reading him when my DH brought home a brand new Archie McNally he rescued from a skip bin. The radio station where he worked got copies of many new books and just threw them out!

Sadly the virus has hit again in the next State. We carefully opened the border on Friday night and now have to partially close it again. Some returning and visiting travellers were in mid-flight and are having to go into quarantine or go straight back. I hope this won't end in another State lockdown. We were doing so well...

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yoyobon_gw

Annapanagain........what is a " skip bin " ? I assume it is trash but why that term.

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vee_new

yoyo, over here we refer to a 'skip' as one of those large metal containers used to dump large amounts of waste/trash. A 'bin' is what you call a trash-can . . . we used to call them dustbins, which I think goes back to the day when any waste/detritus was known as 'dust'. So I presume a 'skip bin' in Australia is taking both words to mean the larger container.

These days UK household waste goes into a 'wheelie bin'.

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annpanagain

A skip bin is a large container for all kinds of waste. When full, it is loaded onto a special truck for the contents to be disposed of correctly. They can be hired for a one-off job or there can be a regular service where the bin gets replaced. I don't know why it is called that.

BTW, I am plain Ann. My parents joked that they were too poor to buy an added 'e' in the local newspaper's Birth Notice!

For some reason my family nicknames were either "Annpan" or "PanPan"! Possibly because I kept piping up during conversations?

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annpanagain

Vee, we also have wheelie bins for general household use. During our Australian lockdown there was a time when people dressed up to put them out for collection. Something to lift the spirits and lots of examples are shown on the net. I think the idea became world wide with some very creative outfits!

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sheri_z6

I'm still binge-reading Deanna Raybourne's Lady Julia Grey mysteries. I've finished Silent on the Moor and Dark Road to Darjeeling and have just started The Dark Enquiry. After this I believe there are four novellas to finish the series, which become available as a boxed set on Kindle in December. After all that, I'll have to wait for the newest Veronica Speedwell book by the same author, due in March. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of these, and I'll be looking for her stand-alone books after this.

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astrokath

I think the Aussie skip is best translated as dumpster.

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msmeow

I finished Camino Winds (John Grisham) and it was dull and predictable to the end. Sorry, Mr. G.

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iamkathy

Just finished The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman a few days ago. I liked it and found it interesting to compare our current pandemic to the cholera pandemic discussed in the book. I believe there was an article about this book in Reader's Paradise quite a few years back but did not save it (I wish I had). A few days back I picked up Supercapitalism by Robert Reich to get some history into why we are in the state we are in today. My husband has been asking me to read this ever since he finished it a few years back. Seemed like the right time to finally pick it up.

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msmeow

If It Bleeds by Stephen King. Enjoying it very much.

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donnamira

I finished the Maria Dahvana Headley version of Beowulf, and while I have mixed feelings about it, I understand the enthusiastic reviews. I don't like some of her choices ('daddy' instead of 'father,' 'lemme' instead of 'let me,' and most annoying of all: 'hashtag: blessed' to describe Hrothgar's queen), but she tells with story with energy and drive, using the structures, rhythms and alliteration of the original, and she's especially good with the kennings.


I have about 20 books waiting on Mt TBR, so why do I keep getting books from the library? Sigh. I read an article in the Washington Post about classic historical fiction which mentioned Mary Renault's The King Must Die, which I read at least 40 years ago. I barely remember it, other than being surprised at how much I liked it, so the library copy is now sitting on top of the Mount, and I expect that is what I'll be reading next.

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Carolyn Newlen

I'm reading Murder by Suspicion by Veronica Heley, another Ellie Quicke book. They are light and "quicke." She has a terrible, bossy, whiny, entitled daughter that needs a spanking! And someone always gets killed, and the policeman who inevitably comes doesn't like her.

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Carolyn Newlen

Now I am reading The Wrong Side of Goodbye, the next Harry Bosch book on my list by Michael Connelly. This one is extra good. Harry is now retired and working without pay because he loves it so a couple of days a week in a smaller unit in the San Fernando Valley, CA, as well as his private detective business. He is having hard trouble (little niece's phrase) in both areas.

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annpanagain

I have just finished "Telling Tales" by Ann Cleeves, another in her Vera series.

They aren't detective books in that you get clues to the murderer, Vera doesn't always let her team know what is going on. let alone the reader! However, I am enjoying them in spite of references to Vera's book persona, being fat, ugly and a heavy drinker! I am mentally substituting the TV actress's milder version as I read.

I had stopped reading and collecting the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich after Hardcore 24 but I picked up Twisted 26 for 50c in the Seniorcentre book sale and am amused again. It probably doesn't hurt to have a break in a long series. I will try Look Alive 25 at a future time.

My D has our full collection to 24 and we have decided that she should donate them and the Sue Grafton Alphabet series to make room in her overflowing bookcases.


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yoyobon_gw

This would make a great bookmark !


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Carolyn Newlen

Yes!

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annpanagain

Please don't!

I had a new telephone system installed and the bookshelf which I had made to conceal the phone and power points had to be moved away from the wall. The technician hasn't been able to put it back properly as it is crowded and heavy.

I shall have to empty it of not only books but the clutter of oddments in front of them and a collection of candles in holders on the top. I quail at the task as I should use the opportunity to cull while I am doing this. As I have a stiff right shoulder which needs medical treatment, I have every excuse to put it off and live with this slightly angled piece of furniture!

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vee_new

If I were to be judged by my bookshelves I would score very low points. We had shelves built either side of an early Victorian fire place. There are nine shelves each about a foot high almost up to ceiling height and recently in the spirit of decluttering I made a start on one side of the lower shelves.

Who knew how many books can be accommodated within that space . . . and I have only started on the bottom shelf. The paperbacks, stored two deep and going yellow and frayed have been thrown out for the trash/binmen and the hardbacks are now piled on the floor making the room look twice as untidy as it did before.

Pre Covid I could have dropped many of them off at charity shops or even tried to persuade the library to take the 'quality' hardbacks, but now everywhere is shut.

And how many non-book items lurk on the shelves . . . CD's, pens, pencils, bookmarks, lengths of cable for various long-gone appliances (I blame DH for these) If only I could be like those folk who keep their books colour-coded or lined up by height! I suppose the place would look tidy but it wouldn't be mine/me.


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annpanagain

Vee, good to know I am not the only person who uses their bookshelves for things other than books!

At present, I have several almost empty toiletry tubes that I mean to finish, a collection of small stuffed animals and magazines that would outrival a doctor's reception room for age! DVDs I shall probably never watch but once thought I might are piled on top of the shorter books.

Do you wonder why I don't want to go there?

I once started to put the books in alpha order and stopped at "B". As my old Librarian used to say about culling "When I pull them out I start to read them again"!

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yoyobon_gw

LOL.....I took the image to mean that you will be judged by your choice of books which you keep .

Your responses reminded me of the time I challenged a group of friends to list all the items that were in their purse. Then I compiled one e-mail showing what each woman reported and shared the results with everyone. It was a fun assignment and an eye-opener !.


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Carolyn Newlen

Vee, your only solution is to put everything back and forget about it, while mourning the loss of the paperbacks you threw out.

My books are in alphabetical order, but I dislike the ones that are by color or height. How would you ever find anything? And that's not to mention the pictures I see in decorating magazines that have all the spines to the back. What's up with that?

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yoyobon_gw

Spines to the back, how ugly.

It's very Alice In Wonderland-ish. A library full of backward books. You are assigned an aisle and shelf and told to take the tenth book from the right and READ it !!

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kathy_t

Annpan - You've got me laughing about you stopping at B when you started to alphabetize your books!

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msmeow

Is the spine to the back thing supposed to look more uniform? Because paper isn’t all the same color or texture. Decorators must use the technique in houses where no one reads.

I finished If It Bleeds by Stephen King and enjoyed it very much! It was three short stories and the title story, which to me was long enough to count as a novel. The stories were kind of paranormal creepy stuff, not horror.

Donna

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Carolyn Newlen

msmeow, a friend and I used to go to a local annual designer show house. Inevitably, there would be some old literate-looking books around, and my friend would stick her nose in the air and mutter "designer books." I think of her with a smile when I see strange book arrangements.

I have begun The Haunted Season by G. M. Malliet. It is another Max Tudor book. Max is a former MI-5 agent turned local vicar. He is very handsome and sighed over by all the females of his village. Now happily married and with a baby son, they are still sighing and gossiping in the best village fashion. Someone always gets murdered, and I think I already know who it will be in this case.

I had to stop reading and go make my cranberry salad to take to my daughter's tomorrow. I will make a pie in the morning, and that's my Thanksgiving duties done. Aging out isn't all bad.

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astrokath

I am rather fussy about my bookshelves. The books are alphabetical by author and chronological within author. I do keep hardcovers separate, but there aren't a lot of them. For non-fiction, I sort them by subject matter, and often in height thereafter.

I have finished reading White Fragility by Robin diAngelo, which was a very interesting read.

I realised that Robert Galbraith has a new one out, and I hadn't read the previous one, so I have just started Lethal White.

I also listen to a lot of audio books and have finished three of Elizabeth Chadwick's historical fiction books, while DH and I have listening to The Hope by Herman Wouk, and its followup, The Glory.

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annpanagain

I have just finished McCall Smith's "How to Raise an Elephant" which isn't really a mystery, rather a gentle story with more about the Detective Agency personnel than much else! It is like dropping in on old friends.

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vee_new

Annpan, I'm also reading one of Alexander McColl Smith's 'Scotland Street' series The Peppermint Tea Chronicles. I think I have mostly listened to these via the BBC and can clearly hear the voice of poor little Bertie Pollock and his dreadful overbearing mother (temporarily sent to Aberdeen to study something very high-brow) plus the many other characters from this refined Edinburgh neighbourhood

How does A MCC S manage to turn out SO many books? I counted six new titles that are out in print this year alone.

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vee_new

Another 'listen' via the BBC has been Colson Whitehead's "Nickle Boys" . An unrelenting grim tale of life from the '50's/60's of a black boy sent to Reform School. I never understand why the BBC chooses as it's 'Book at Bedtime' slot deep and heavy books so unconducive for a good nights sleep.

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annpanagain

Vee, I have just requested that Peppermint Tea book. I think he writes for a newspaper and churns out episodes quickly.

I was surprised how many authors manage to write hundreds of books. Barbara Cartland wrote over 700 and had a couple on the go at the same time by dictating to two secretaries!

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yoyobon_gw

I'm reading Young Clementina by D.E.Stevenson. I really enjoy her books.

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kathy_t

I finished reading Fredrik Backman's Anxious People this morning. It's a keeper. It was very, very funny in a complicated-plot and unexpected-character-connections sort of way. As I was nearing the end, I started thinking that 300-plus pages of that type of humor wears you down a bit and loses some of its effectiveness, but by the time I read the final page, I had changed my mind. It's a delightful book.

I'd like to share one of my favorite quotations from the book - one that is not in any way a spoiler:

Do you know what the worst thing about being a parent is? That you're always judged by your worst moments. You can do a million things right, but if you do one single thing wrong you're forever that parent who was checking his phone in the park when your child was hit in the head by a swing. We don't take our eyes off them for days at a time, but then you read just one text message and it's as if all your best moments never happened. No one goes to see a psychologist to talk about all the times they weren't hit in the head by a swing as a child. Parent are defined by their mistakes.

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yoyobon_gw

Isn't that the sad truth though. Perhaps it's because traumatic moments leave a stronger memory than the zillions of happy ones.

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vee_new

Carolyn, your suggestion above that I should put all the books back on the shelves is probably the most practical, although the problem will have to be solved another day. Among the many books found was a 1936 Tide Tables from the San Francisco Port Pilot's Authority and an invitation from the Australian Imperial Forces to a dance held in Sept 1940 at the gymnasium in Bulford (part of the British Army barracks on Salisbury Plain) My Mother obviously enjoyed tripping the light fantastic to judge from the quick steps, fox trots, Paul Jones etc listed on the card plus the many signatures of the soldiers she spent the evening with. I believe all these men then went out to the Far East where most of them lost their lives. The Aussies were always considered 'good fun' and loved to cock a snook at authority.

Within the dance programme is a yellow card from the 'Imperial Japanese Army' sent in July 1944 from Philippine Military Prison Camp No 1, by my Mother's brother. It is typed, although he has managed a shaky signature saying in 50 words or less that his health is 'excellent' and will his parents save all the back copies of 'Life' magazine. They received the card in January 1945.

These things I will keep although I doubt they will be of much interest to future generations.

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kathy_t

Vee - Those mementos are fascinating.

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Carolyn Newlen

Oh, Vee, surely there is family who would treasure those wartime mementoes. They are priceless. My paternal aunts loved to dance, and one of them had a photo of her and one of her brothers in his 1942 Army uniform at a USO dance.

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annpanagain

Vee, I was amused at your reference to Aussie soldiers in WW2 as I have heard many tales here. One was of a very senior British officer who stuck his head above a parapet while on a front-line inspection. An Aussie private shouted at him, using the General's nickname and adding a warning to "Pull your F***ing head down!" He was asked what he did about the impertinence "Well, I pulled my F***ing head down, of course."

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salonva

Vee, your post was so amazing to me that I read it to my daughter today and later to my husband. Truly priceless.

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