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Robin M

Book a Week 2020 - BW2: Hero's Journey - The Hobbit

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Happy Sunday!  Did you know January is National Hot Tea month?   Please join me for a delicious hot cup of your favorite tea while we go on a hero's quest!  A few weeks ago, I watched The Lord of the Rings Trilogy with my son who hasn't read the books yet. He prefers to see the movies first which is the opposite of me as I like to read books first, then see the movie and have much more fun comparing the two. It has been ages since I’ve seen the movies so most was long forgotten and it was interesting experiencing them through his eyes. It had also been decades since I read the books and in trying to answer all his questions, it put me in the mood to reread the series and where better to begin than with Bilbo Baggins in the prequel The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

"Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum."

Speaking of Bilbo's pantry, if you want to 
eat like a hobbit, be sure to dip into An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery, then join me for elevenses while we read. 

Both The Hobbit and the Unexpected Cookbook are available to read or listen to free on Kindle Unlimited right now. 

 

“As they sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things
made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him,
a fierce and a jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves. Then
something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and
see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees, and the waterfalls,
and explore the caves, and wear a sword, instead of a walking-stick”



If you'd would like to learn more about the Hero's journey, check out Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey and/or Hero with a Thousand Faces, or follow another fictional character as they are put to the test.

Are you ready to answer the call to adventure?  

 

 

Link to week one

Visit  52 Books in 52 Weeks where you can find all the information on the annual, mini and perpetual challenges, as well as share your book reviews if you like.

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Good morning/afternoon. We slept in after watching Spiderman very late last night.  Impossible to go to sleep after an exciting movie. Started The Hobbit, still working my way through Knife of Dreams 

Finished e-book Dark Horse but I had read it so fast, rereading much more slowly now to absorb all the nuances.  

I finished The Girl with Seven Names and learned more about Korean politics and culture. I'd  watched a documentary on Kim Jung Un and his predecessors a couple years ago which was an eye opener.  

 

 

Edited by Robin M
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For the new members this is me sort of marking the thread.  I know when roughly Robin will start a new thread.......I check occasionally throughout the afternoon and post something when I find it.  Generally just what I am reading,  nothing overall detailed or profound.  It makes it easy to find this thread later in the week.
 

I just went and checked a copy of the Hobbit out on Overdrive.  Woot!  Love the Hobbit! 🥰

I have several books going right now but am concentrating on Kate Carlise’s A High End Finish this afternoon while waiting on my kids this afternoon.  I generally start several books in sort of a rush of enthusiasm then concentrate on one or two so I finish books.  One of my 10 categories involves trying new to me cozy series and this is a popular one that I have never tried.

i am planning to continue my reread of 1Q84 at a few chapters a week.  I am amazed that I am 8% done already.

 

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@LaughingCat   Meant to tell you this in my last post and forgot....I must admit I downloaded the bingo sheets for myself and older DD last year and then, well.... forgot all about it ….until today when older DD (who let me remind you is dyslexic) and I had a whole long conversation about how she didn't enjoy reading because it was too much work...  at the end of which she tacks on "by the way, where did you put my book bingo for 2020?"  2 Bingo sheets are now downloaded and printed 😄

@LaughingCat  Yeah! Pleases me to no end that the book bingo is encouraging her to read.  Did she finish the Bingo from last year?  Curious what she ended up reading.

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31 minutes ago, Robin M said:

Happy Sunday!  Did you know January is National Hot Tea month?   

Robin, I had a wonderful cup of Earl Grey tea when I went out with my dh for our Sunday morning coffee out. I like tea so much more than coffee, but it has to be black/regular tea and with milk. 

19 minutes ago, Robin M said:

I finished The Girl with Seven Names and learned more about Korean politics and culture. I'd  watched a documentary on Kim Jung Un and his predecessors a couple years ago which was an eye opener.  

Loved that book. 

I recently started "New York" by Edward Rutherfurd. It's almost 900 pages long, so it'll be a while before I finish it. Loving it so far. I read his book, "Paris" a few years ago, and I still think about some of the characters from time to time.

Some pictures to share, since I've been on a roll for several months now. The first one is sunset where we live (Grenada). The other two are when my dd and I went to New York for a few days back in June. Some may recall that it was an unpleasant trip due to the circumstances (estranged brother dying of cancer), but we tried to make the most of our time otherwise. We stayed near Times Square. The third picture is from our visit to the Met. I've always loved the works by Tiffany. 

 

June 19a.jpg

June 24.jpg

June 25c.jpg

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I plan on starting "The Hobbit" this evening.  I read it as a kid but not since.  And - I'm afraid to admit this with a group of readers - I've never read the LOTR books. :ph34r:  

Finally finished my first book of 2020.  Fluffy historical fiction/romance called "The Love Knot" by Elizabeth Chadwick.  It was fun. And fluffy.  And sometimes, my brain needs fluff.  But I think I'm sinking into a fluff rut.  Hence my determination to join BaW this year and expand my reading horizons.  I also downloaded the free reading journal from the Modern Mrs. Darcy and it contains lists of award-winning books (Pulitzer Prize winners, Newbery winners, etc.).  I have read ashamedly few of them.  That should change.

Edit: Link to the free reading journal with lists on MMD:

https://modernmrsdarcy.com/new-printable-reading-journal/

You have to give your email address to get the journal sent to you but the author of the blog seems pretty good at not spamming me with a ton of emails afterwards. 🙂

I would also like to start reading more Canadian authors and I discovered this website called the 49th Shelf (a reference to the 49th parallel that separates Canada from the US over a fair portion of our border :)).

https://49thshelf.com/

We also have a national reading challenge here in Canada every year called Canada Reads.  It's an annual "Battle of the Books" here in Canada. 🙂  Here is what it's about:

https://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads/about-1.4025711

And here is the long list for 2020:

https://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads/here-is-the-canada-reads-2020-longlist-1.5411178

I hope to read at least the short list for Canada Reads (announced on Jan. 22).

And I'm really enjoying "The Case of the Chocolate Cream Killer: The Poisonous Passion of Christiana Edmunds" by Kaye Jones.  I know - it sounds like the worst kind of sensational, badly written true crime but so far the author has spent more time exploring the history of Victorian treatments for mental health, the birth of chemical testing for poisons, and other historical/cultural bits from Victorian England.  Books about the history of poisons and the chemistry of poisons fascinate me.  I've got the John Emsley book "The Elements of Murder" on my TBR list and I need to re-read "The Poisoner's Handbook" by Deborah Blum.

My favourite book from childhood?  Hmmm...  I probably can't name just one.  I read the Narnia series over and over again.  The Secret Garden, the Little House series, Little Women, Black Beauty.  And I remember a book about the life of Man O' War, the racehorse, that I took out of the library and read a number of times.

Edited by Dicentra
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Maybe I will finally finish Hero with a Thousand Faces!

@Negin gorgeous pictures!   

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1 hour ago, Robin M said:

Happy Sunday!  Did you know January is National Hot Tea month?   

Yay for tea!  My current favourite is a black/green/oolong blend.

27 minutes ago, Negin said:

I recently started "New York" by Edward Rutherfurd. It's almost 900 pages long, so it'll be a while before I finish it. Loving it so far. I read his book, "Paris" a few years ago, and I still think about some of the characters from time to time.

Rutherfurd's "Sarum" is wonderful, too.  And I started "Russka" a number of years ago but never finished it.  I should start it again. 🙂

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I can remember the moment someone first put a Nancy Drew book in my hands. We were on vacation in Minnesota and they found an old copy of The Ghost of Blackwood Hall at an antique store for a dime. The book was in mediocre shape when I got it and is downright shabby now. It still sits on my shelf and in case of fire I might just grab it on the way out. 

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Oh and Cherry Ames. (Apparently Sandy and I were destined to be friends even from our youthful misadventures into books way older than us!) I found a stack of Cherry Ames's books at my grandmother's house that had been hers as a girl. Somedays I feel as though I missed my calling to be a WWII nurse.

image.png.978f295aa33fb72b5b8400be87ddc4cb.png

Honorable mentions also to The Secret Garden and Farmer Boy. Both have been read more times than I can count. 

 

image.png

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I'm plodding through my Terry Pratchett audiobook. It's not like a mystery where I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS so I bump the speed up to 2.0. It'll take me a few days to get through. 

I grabbed a Banana Yoshimoto book from the library and A Year of Writing Dangerously but haven't started either yet. 

Our snow storm ended up with a disappointing two inches. Heather - did you get the horrible storms they called for?

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As an adult I’ve come to some children’s books that I didn’t know about as a child, but have enjoyed a lot.

such as:

Terry Pratchett Bromeliad Trilogy .

 

 

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9 minutes ago, aggieamy said:

I can remember the moment someone first put a Nancy Drew book in my hands. We were on vacation in Minnesota and they found an old copy of The Ghost of Blackwood Hall at an antique store for a dime. The book was in mediocre shape when I got it and is downright shabby now. It still sits on my shelf and in case of fire I might just grab it on the way out. 

image.png.d201cedf34f76797824423a28b56dad2.png

Oh and Cherry Ames. (Apparently Sandy and I were destined to be friends even from our youthful misadventures into books way older than us!) I found a stack of Cherry Ames's books at my grandmother's house that had been hers as a girl. Somedays I feel as though I missed my calling to be a WWII nurse.

image.png.978f295aa33fb72b5b8400be87ddc4cb.png

Honorable mentions also to The Secret Garden and Farmer Boy. Both have been read more times than I can count. 

 

image.png

I still have my Cherry Ames and Nancy Drew’s!   My mom had read them at a friend’s house so we went to used book stores to put together relatively complete collections of originals.  I was obsessive...no surprise!  Dd did not really appreciate Cherry Ames so I reread them at the appropriate age. 😂. Fortunately she loved Nancy .........

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11 minutes ago, mumto2 said:

I still have my Cherry Ames and Nancy Drew’s!   My mom had read them at a friend’s house so we went to used book stores to put together relatively complete collections of originals.  I was obsessive...no surprise!  Dd did not really appreciate Cherry Ames so I reread them at the appropriate age. 😂. Fortunately she loved Nancy .........

I got Sophia a bunch of Cherry Ames books one Christmas and waited for her to fall in love with them. Nope. She read one or two and said they were okay. I'm holding out hope that I'll end up with a granddaughter someday that will love them. 

Any new book recommendations from your DD? Sophia's loved about everything she's suggested. 

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I somehow totally missed Cherry Ames and Trixie Belden, and I don't think I ever read any Boxcar Children either.  I did read some Nancy Drews, and I think I once read a Bobbsey Twins, but I preferred the Hollisters, and later I read a lot of The Three Investigators.

I did love The Secret Garden, and yes, also The Velvet Room by Snyder.  

And I had a real soft spot for Captains Courageous, which I read the summer I was 11.  I read it again as an adult and it didn't speak to me quite the same way.  

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5 minutes ago, aggieamy said:

I got Sophia a bunch of Cherry Ames books one Christmas and waited for her to fall in love with them. Nope. She read one or two and said they were okay. I'm holding out hope that I'll end up with a granddaughter someday that will love them. 

Any new book recommendations from your DD? Sophia's loved about everything she's suggested. 

My Dd has sort of left her mysteries behind for now and reads mainly Sci Fi these days.  Has she tried The Goblin Emperor yet?  My daughter thought I was brilliant when I found that one........thank you @Kareni. 😉. Seriously,  I think that one would interest her.  It’s fantasy not Sci Fi but a seriously well developed world and a main character that it is really hard not to root for.  

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13 hours ago, tuesdayschild said:

Will you continue reading on through each next book in their new series?

I have read SK Dunstall's Stars Uncharted and do intend to continue on. I enjoyed it (though not as much as Linesman).

13 hours ago, LaughingCat said:

Just wanted to say although I have greatly enjoyed most Lois McMaster Bujold SciFi books, I LOVED the The Curse of Chalion and it's sequel Paladin of Souls.  Also LOVE her Penric series in the same universe.   

I've been hearing excellent things about the Penric stories. I should see if my library has them.

2 hours ago, Robin M said:

Finished e-book Dark Horse but I had read it so fast, rereading much more slowly now to absorb all the nuances.    

I'm glad you enjoyed Dark Horse . It's my favorite of the four book series; I think because Sazo was as much a character as Rose and Dav.

Regards,

Kareni

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@Negin, that Tiffany piece is stunning! Thank you for sharing your pictures.

1 hour ago, Dicentra said:

I plan on starting "The Hobbit" this evening.  I read it as a kid but not since.  And - I'm afraid to admit this with a group of readers - I've never read the LOTR books. :ph34r:  

You are in good company. I've read the Hobbit but LOTR has never captured my interest. (I haven't watched the movies either; fortunately, neither my husband nor daughter has disowned me.)

As regards reading as a child: I read anything that didn't move! Since much of my childhood was spent in Australia, I read British books such as Enid Blyton's the Five series. After moving to Guam at age ten, I read the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and, yes, Cherry Ames along with countless others.

Regards,

Kareni

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2 hours ago, Robin M said:

Good morning/afternoon. We slept in after watching Spiderman very late last night.  Impossible to go to sleep after an exciting movie. Started The Hobbit, still working my way through Knife of Dreams 

Finished e-book Dark Horse but I had read it so fast, rereading much more slowly now to absorb all the nuances.  

I finished The Girl with Seven Names and learned more about Korean politics and culture. I'd  watched a documentary on Kim Jung Un and his predecessors a couple years ago which was an eye opener.  

 

 

So even though I promised myself not to add to my TBR from the threads on here - I HAVE TO add this one as I have been on a "Korean" binge since last year.

Started When my name was Keoko by Linda Sue Park last night!

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Today only, free for Kindle readers ~

The Gentle Grafter by O. Henry

 "A convicted felon turned master storyteller pays tribute to the art of the scam in this clever and captivating collection of crime stories

Jeff Peters is an honest swindler. He believes in never taking something from a man unless he gives in return—whether it’s fake jewelry, a crack on the head, or a bogus deed to the Brooklyn Bridge. His partner, Andy Tucker, is a different story. Andy is a grifter with imagination, who would rook every rube in the world if he got the chance. Instead, he’ll have to settle for the city of Pittsburgh. When Andy and Jeff descend on the Steel City, no millionaire’s pocketbook is safe. But then again, neither is the conscience of a conman.
 
“Conscience in Art” is one of O. Henry’s finest stories, demonstrating all the wit, charm, and ingenuity that made him famous. This collection of classic tales set on the wrong side of the law showcases a master craftsman at the top of his form.'

Regards,

Kareni

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Loved Nancy Drew and still have a few on my shelf. I recall trading them with friends so never owned that many. Oh, and another favorite elementary-age book of mine was Heidi. Before that I read almost every one of the Wizard of Oz books. Never read any of the others y'all are talking about, but in my early teens I found Tolkein and was hooked. (My first book crush was on Aragorn!)  Late last year I reread Fellowship and Two Towers, but didn't get to Return of the King.  Don't know if I'll fit The Hobbit in during the read-along, but perhaps I'll join in later when you get to Return.

Those of you from warmer areas will understand how excited I was to see snow falling from the sky when my dh and I took a trip to the Utah mountains. Snow!! Cold!! Getting to wear wooly hats and mittens!  He skied while I sat and read in all sorts of comfortable spots around the lodge/resort. I felt like the only non-skier there. I did go ice skating at an outdoor rink and had a blast -- and didn't fall! 

I read and thoroughly enjoyed Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It was quite the hot title a few years back, and for good reason. It is beautifully written, and filled with compelling characters who are surviving the post-apocalypse in a traveling music/theater group, performing Shakespeare and Beethoven at different settlements around the Great Lakes. It is a rarity -- a positive, hopeful post-apocalypse novel.  

While in the mountains I also read a police procedural mystery featuring a strong young woman newly minted as detective in the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department. It's a good mystery -- the initial crime scene might be too much for the more sensitive among you -- but it is otherwise not gruesome. Oh, the title would help! Lost Hills by Lee Goldberg. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads only because I was disappointed the author didn't do a great job with the setting. Other mystery writers, like Julia Spencer Fleming's, create really evocative settings, which in her case is the bitter cold winters in upstate New York. Lost Hills is set during the dry Santa Ana conditions that mark fire season in Southern California, and the author just sort of mentioned it in passing. I didn't feel the setting the way I do with other writers. 

I'm making progress in the audio version of David Copperfield. It has some really funny stuff in it, mostly in the form of the offhand ironic commentary on people. 

And finally, I've started a book I got for Christmas, Birding without Borders, by Noah Strycker. If you are into books about birds and birders, this is for you!  The author is a millennial who decided to devote a year to achieving a Big Year -- counting a record number of species around the entire world. The difference in his Big Year quest is that he is concentrating on one area at a time, connecting with locals and getting to know the culture and context of the birds he sees. It is very readable, and fascinating, and keeping me up past bedtime as I read just one more chapter. 

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Hello! I've read two books so far this year - one was great and the other NOT great.

This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Medical Resident by Adam Kay. I picked up this book just before bedtime and ended up reading until almost one o'clock and my eyes wouldn't work any longer. Super interesting memoir from a man who was training to be a doctor in the NHS. He ends up choosing OB/Gyn as his specialty so that made it even more interesting and to top it all off he is funny. 

Beauchamp Hall by Danielle Steel. I liked the cover and the blurb made it sound like a Downton Abbey knockoff so I thought, why not? Ugh. I should have left it on the shelf. I actually was liking it at the very beginning but it turned ridiculous and I just barely was able to finish it. I had assumed that a Danielle Steel was about the same as a Victoria Holt but that is not the case. 

I've read about half of Kitchen by Banana Yamamoto and I'm not sure I'll finish. 

I love The Hobbit! It is one of my favorite books and read it aloud to the kids three times. I tried LOtR and couldn't get into it so I stopped. 

As far as favorite childhood books - the Little House on the Prairie series was hands down my fav - I think Little Town on the Prairie my favorite out of the series. 

Also, I loved Harry Cat's Pet Puppy by George Selden and The Witch's Buttons by Ruth Chew and A Little Princess  by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

My grandparents gave me a few of the Nancy Drew books and I read them but never really felt the love.

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2 hours ago, Dicentra said:

Yay for tea!  My current favourite is a black/green/oolong blend.

Rutherfurd's "Sarum" is wonderful, too.  And I started "Russka" a number of years ago but never finished it.  I should start it again. 🙂

"Sarum" is on my list. Honestly, I think that I would like to read all of his books eventually. "Russka" sounds wonderful also, especially since I've read quite a few Russian biographies in the past few years by Robert Massie. 

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I've read two this year and am almost done with number 3. I loved David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars, now 25 years old (still feels new-ish to me). Then I read John LeCarré's Agent Running in the Field which was fun and a quick read. I have about 30 pages left in Carol Anderson's White Rage which is a very eye-opening read chronicling racism in our country's history. So much I never learned in school. Not sure yet what's up next. I'm taking a calculus course this quarter, so I'm expecting my reading pace to slow down (though week 1 was fine).

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1 hour ago, Mothersweets said:

...

Also, I loved Harry Cat's Pet Puppy by George Selden and The Witch's Buttons by Ruth Chew and A Little Princess  by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

...

The Witch's Buttons is one of my all-time favorites!  Somehow, though, we still don't own a copy and I haven't read it in a very, very long time.

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A few weeks ago I went to see the Star Wars movie with some of my kids and saw the trailer for the upcoming movie The Call of the Wild.  It inspired me to read the novella by Jack London.  I *may* have read it in high school, but I really don't have a memory of doing so.  It's a beautiful book.  My review: Five stars.

The Call of the Wild tells the story of a dog's search for its soul as his journey takes him on adventures through the wild Arctic.
This novella is, simply, a piece of beautiful writing.  Jack London knew how to use words well and The Call of the Wild is a fine example of his work.  It is a quick and very rewarding read.  I think that Jack London might have been a poet or a painter who chose to write stories.

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In re Children’s books, have any of you read any children’s books by Dorothy Gilman (author of Mrs. Pollifax series) ? 

 

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Perfect theme here with re-reading (or newly reading) some old children's classics. I am just about to re-read Flambards, by K.M. Peyton - a series of 4 books. Sadly, I've lost the 2nd book in the series, so I may either skip it or borrow from the library. There was a British TV series made on the first 2 books. It's an excellent story, yet pretty sad as well. 

If you're a fan of horses, riding, hunting, early airplanes and England around WW1, it's a great series.

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Almost ashamed to post; still haven't finished a book in 2020. Working on Kierkegaard's Either/Or and Dickens's David Copperfield. The two are getting oddly combined in my head: I feel for the first time that I understand Steerforth's seduction of Little Em'ly on a deep level as a manifestation of the purely aesthetic consciousness, which eventually functioned to heighten the contradictions in Steerforth's character, maieutically bringing him from the aesthetic to the ethical realm of existence. Or would have if he hadn't drowned first.

I really need to finish these and get on to other books.

ETA: Suddenly I remember the scene from Karl Dreyer's "Ordet": https://tinyurl.com/tehwu4g

Edited by Violet Crown
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2 hours ago, Junie said:

The Witch's Buttons is one of my all-time favorites!  Somehow, though, we still don't own a copy and I haven't read it in a very, very long time.

It's a fun story, isn't it? I found one copy in a thrift store about 8 years ago and I was so thrilled! My girls were younger then and they read it and loved it, too! 

Looks like amazon has a copy or two - https://smile.amazon.com/Witchs-Buttons-Ruth-Chew/dp/0590098403/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+witch's+buttons+ruth+chew&qid=1578883016&sr=8-1

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6 hours ago, Negin said:

I like tea so much more than coffee, but it has to be black/regular tea and with milk. 

and a spoon of sugar 😉   (English Breakfast is any time of day favourite)

Love your pictures!!  Thanks for sharing a snippets of the world you live in and visit that I may never get to in my life time:  very enjoyable. 

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5 hours ago, Pen said:

As an adult I’ve come to some children’s books that I didn’t know about as a child, but have enjoyed a lot.

This!  Absolutely.  (Home educating my Dc exploded my reading world right open in the best way)

****

adding an extra from my growing years:  Milly-Molly-Mandy books ... I loved the thought of her pink and white striped frocks.  (Seeing the covers upthread 😀 I read Cherry Ames too.)

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Negin, thank you for the photos. Especially the last one. Dh's first job after graduation (and right after we'd had a baby) was in upstate New York, and while that was a rough couple of years, at one point we visited NYC and the Met, and that Tiffany window made a strong impression on me. So it was lovely to experience it again in your photo. Do you remember another Tiffany window in the same room, featuring unusual Old Testament figures, like Tubalcain? I'm possibly misremembering details, but something like that.

ETA: typos typos typos

Edited by Violet Crown
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4 hours ago, JennW in SoCal said:

 (My first book crush was on Aragorn!) 

I'm so glad I'm not the only one that gets book crushes! I think my first would be Frank Hardy. *swoon*

1 hour ago, Violet Crown said:

Almost ashamed to post; still haven't finished a book in 2020. Working on Kierkegaard's Either/Or and Dickens's David Copperfield. The two are getting oddly combined in my head: I feel for the first time that I understand Steerforth's seduction of Little Em'ly on a deep level as a manifestation of the purely aesthetic consciousness, which eventually functioned to heighten the contradictions in Steerforth's character, maieutically bringing him from the aesthetic to the ethical realm of existence. Or would have if he hadn't drowned first.

I really need to finish these and get on to other books.

ETA: Suddenly I remember the scene from Karl Dreyer's "Ordet": https://tinyurl.com/tehwu4g

Yay. Glad to see you posting!

We're talking about favorite childhood books. What were some of yours? Because right now we're all picturing a little VC walking around with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Bleak House tucked under her arm. 

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Hoping Ds can locate his printed copy of The Hobbit as mine are all packed away:  it'll be no hardship to begin with the audiobook  😉

I've just completed the audiobooks for Tales from the Perilous Realm (Middle-earth Universe) ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, narrated by Derek Jacobi   (3.5).    I liked the "faery" tale concerning Smith of Wootton the most; Leaf of Niggle, Roverandom and the story of Famer Giles were all pretty good but not ones I’d listen to again or wished I’d read to my children.  Even with Derek Jacobi reading it I still wasn’t that interested in the verses for Tom Bombadil and started skipping through them.   

Also finished Village Diary: Fairacre  Bk2 ~ Miss Read, narrated by Carole Boyd (4).   I think the interview with the author at the end really made this audiobook.  Even though the book is (obviously 🙂 ) about village life and it may seem like nothing much is happening in Miss Read's books, they have a charming yesteryear feel about them and I love listening to them.  I do think I prefer the Thrush Green series more than this one though, admittedly fiction stories about schoolhouse marms are not my most preferred topic to read about....   Added to that the Fairacre books are written in first person, and Thrush Green is in third person which the author states she found easier to write, and, I found easier to read when I compared the two series.   (Extra, for others that like to know in advance : abusive father, husband is cheating on his wife and the advice given to her is meh!)

I can't seem to settle to working out any challenges for this year, things feel a bit up ended with 98% of my reading life stacked away in boxes so I'm just going to see how many printed books I end up reading this year, hoping for 24 but that feels ambitious this month, and listen to as many audiobooks as time and tasks allow.  I'm happy with that.

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15 minutes ago, tuesdayschild said:

This!  Absolutely.  (Home educating my Dc exploded my reading world right open in the best way)

****

adding an extra from my growing years:  Milly-Molly-Mandy books ... I loved the thought of her pink and white striped frocks.  (Seeing the covers upthread 😀 I read Cherry Ames too.)

Growing up I never lived anyplace with a truly great library so I know I missed several classics. My library really didn’t have a YA section so my mom graduated me to Phylis Whitney, Victoria Holt, and Mary Stewart...... so I missed fantasy to a large degree.  For me Wizard of Oz, Milly Mandy, Molly, and Teddy Robinson all entered my life with my children.........I had never read Winnie the Pooh either.  A friend gave Dd a really lovely Milne set at her birth and I faithfully displayed it on the table by the chair we nursed in .  Before I knew it I was happily reading Pooh to her while she nursed and napped,  those books made it even harder to move her to her crib.

It doesn’t surprise me at all that you also read Cherry Ames.....beyond being a bit surprised that she travelled to your part of the world!

2 hours ago, Pen said:

In re Children’s books, have any of you read any children’s books by Dorothy Gilman (author of Mrs. Pollifax series) ? 

 

I did have access to a pretty decent used book store and parents who bought what I wanted within reason.  A couple of the Gilman books look familiar but beyond that I couldn’t say.  I know they were not among the books I saved...until my mom died many of my childhood books still were in my room growing up.  Dd plundered the bookshelf’s there pretty efficiently .

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4 minutes ago, mumto2 said:

I did have access to a pretty decent used book store and parents who bought what I wanted within reason.  A couple of the Gilman books look familiar but beyond that I couldn’t say.  I know they were not among the books I saved...until my mom died many of my childhood books still were in my room growing up.  Dd plundered the bookshelf’s there pretty efficiently .

 

One of her adult geared books (possibly Thales Folly, but I’m not sure which one) refers to a children’s book which was the title of one of her own children’s books.  Iirc the characters had been very moved by the book in childhood.    It made me curious.  They are oop now. 

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26 minutes ago, aggieamy said:

We're talking about favorite childhood books. What were some of yours? Because right now we're all picturing a little VC walking around with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Bleak House tucked under her arm. 

Or possibly Fabulae Aesopi Selectae or Winnie Ille Pu ....

Regards,

Kareni

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DD14 has been bringing home 5 books a week from the public school library (her limit).  We pretty heavily restrict a lot of modern lit, and we've already read through a lot of what is permissible, so recently she's brought home all of Austen (evidently I've never read these!) and a lot of old classicish scifi, and some Dickens (also had never read).  This week I read all of Austen, Slaughterhouse Five, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  Over Christmas break we read Great Expectations and Oliver Twist.

Boy are those three different categories of literature!  I think reading Austen and even Dickens at the same time as the scifi really brought home how depressing the latter is.  Dickens can be depressing but at least things are worked out properly in the end (ie bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people).  My favorite of the Austens was Emma by far; Pride and Prejudice was neatly plotted and of course brilliantly written but I found it harder to buy. I think part of this is probably the difference in marriage/relationship norms; Emma was at least decently believable in that respect, and also felt like the carefullest, fullest novel.

Great Expectations was a cut above the rest of it, though.  Somewhere in the intro it quoted a critic as having said that it was the best first person novel ever written, and I agree.

Slaughterhouse Five I wish I hadn't read, and I kind of wish I hadn't let DD14 read at this age; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was only slightly less bleak.

Re: the OP, DS11 just discovered The Hobbit in his school library, after having read through The Lord of the Rings series, which we have at home.  What a treat for him 🙂

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Almena’s Dogs, Lassie Come Home, James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small and the rest of those...   are coming to mind now...  dogs in all of them ... 

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My favorite book from childhood is The Tombs of Atuan, which I discovered at about 10 or 11 and have reread every year or two since, along with the rest of the trilogy.  There is always something new for me to discover in them, spare as they are.  I also reread Little House every few years, with a similar experience.

I did read all 753 Babysitter's Club books (exaggerating a bit, but not much!) but I don't remember much about any single one of them.

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58 minutes ago, moonflower said:

DD14 has been bringing home 5 books a week from the public school library (her limit).  We pretty heavily restrict a lot of modern lit, and we've already read through a lot of what is permissible, so recently she's brought home all of Austen (evidently I've never read these!) and a lot of old classicish scifi, and some Dickens (also had never read).  This week I read all of Austen, Slaughterhouse Five, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  Over Christmas break we read Great Expectations and Oliver Twist.

Boy are those three different categories of literature!  I think reading Austen and even Dickens at the same time as the scifi really brought home how depressing the latter is.  Dickens can be depressing but at least things are worked out properly in the end (ie bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people).  My favorite of the Austens was Emma by far; Pride and Prejudice was neatly plotted and of course brilliantly written but I found it harder to buy. I think part of this is probably the difference in marriage/relationship norms; Emma was at least decently believable in that respect, and also felt like the carefullest, fullest novel.

Great Expectations was a cut above the rest of it, though.  Somewhere in the intro it quoted a critic as having said that it was the best first person novel ever written, and I agree.

Slaughterhouse Five I wish I hadn't read, and I kind of wish I hadn't let DD14 read at this age; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was only slightly less bleak.

Re: the OP, DS11 just discovered The Hobbit in his school library, after having read through The Lord of the Rings series, which we have at home.  What a treat for him 🙂

That is a tremendous amount of reading!!

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I've finished 5 books since the start of the year, and have been really enjoying most of what I've been reading - at this rate, I'll end up with almost as many 5-star reads in January as I did all of last year.  It might have something to do with that a lot of the books were ones I'd been looking forward to but had put off till after I finished last year's challenges... who knows?  

1. Linesman by S.K. Dunstall - Yes, I ended up really, really enjoying this book, and that's in spite of the fact that I could only get my hands on a mass-market paperback edition with super-tiny type and no white space, which I normally eschew.  The first book in a while I've stayed up to finish.  And yes, I'll definitely read the rest of the series.  5 stars.

2. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Made for Men by Caroline Criado-Pérez (audio) - read by the author, which in this case I think was a good thing.  She had some good ironic delivery on many of the head-smacking data (or lack thereof).  I knew a lot of this stuff, even some of the specifics, but having it all laid out so clearly and systematically really drove the points home.  Maddening, but should be a required listen (or read).  Especially since in the current climate some of this stuff is actually backsliding in the wrong direction.  Gaaah.  5 stars.

3. The Unseen World by Liz Moore - I really loved this book, which hit a lot of buttons for me.  The main character is homeschooled, but that's not the focus of the story.  She is brought up by her single dad, head of a computer science lab in Boston (he just brings her in with him every day), and who has a very eccentric idea of how to raise a kid (beyond the schooling aspect).  Anyway, things start going awry, and suddenly things are not at all what they seemed - it's mostly set in her childhood in the 1980's, but flashes forward to 2006, and ends in the near future.  Having grown up near Boston at about the same time as the protagonist (she's just a few years younger than I), a lot of the local stuff rings very true (although she misstates one thing about MA homeschooling law, but it's one sentence and forgivable 😉  - generally you can tell she really did her research, and she also grew up around here).  It's hard to describe the plot without giving things away, but it's actually a page-turner.  Another one I stayed up to finish. 5 stars.

4. Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton - The zombie apocalypse as narrated by the animals, mostly a snarky crow.  Started out as a novel viewpoint with lots of humor, but it seemed the author didn't know where to go with the idea, and it kind of lost focus and then I think rather jumped the shark and started to make no sense (even a zombie apocalypse has to have some kind of vague internal logic).  4 stars for the start and 2 by the end, so I'll average it at 3.

5. The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali (ebook) - I loved her earlier book, Together Tea, so I've been eager to read this one.  I loved it too.  It's mostly set in Tehran in 1953, around the time of the coup (which does play a role), but also in 2016 near Boston (it's another local author!).  Two bookish teens meet in a stationery shop and fall in love, but again, things go awry.  And now I want to take a Persian cooking course, because the descriptions of the food are mouth-watering. 5 stars.

After I finished The Stationery Shop, I picked Good Morning, Midnight back up, which I had started reading but had paused because I couldn't manage two post-apocalyptic books at the same time...  And I'm loving that one too - much better apocalypse, sans zombies.  I also picked Braiding Sweetgrass back up, loving that as well (hopefully this will finally inspire me to get back to gardening this spring), and after abandoning a Spanish read that was not floating my boat, picked up a German one from my shelf (that I bought in Germany last year), which is a story about quirky characters in a tiny town in the Westerwald (a low mountainous region a bit east of the mid-Rhine).  It doesn't seem to be in English yet, but in German it's titled "What You Can See From Here", though it's been translated as "The Day Selma Dreamed of an Opaki", "Dream of an Opaki", "From Here You Can See Everything" in the languages I can parse (there seem to be about 10 or so - English is low on the priority list, I guess), so who knows what it will be in English... (yes, Selma dreams of an opaki, which causes trouble...)

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I finished two books last week though one was a play and the other an audio book. My first Shakespeare of the year was The Merchant of Venice. It's been a long time since I've seen it performed and I don't recall how Shylock was portrayed, but this was the first time I read it and it was certainly uncomfortable in relation to treatment of/talk about Jews. I also listened  again to Wolf Hall in anticipation of the final book this year. I was going to go right to Bring up the Bodies but decided to take a break from Cromwell for a bit.

I'm currently still reading Oh, Florida! and The Custom of the Country on my Kindle. As for my next audio book I decided on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I've read and listened to the series so many times that if my mind wanders while I continue The Great Moving Purge, I won't have missed anything. I also started one more book, which I'll post below.

 

Some quotes from last week's thread:

On 1/9/2020 at 7:31 PM, mumto2 said:

I just finished the latest in the Agatha Raison cozy series Beating About the Bush https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44156421-beating-about-the-bush and have to say the series has recovered nicely from the place it was going with a Embarrassingly hysterical 50ish woman chasing men....she still is pretty man crazy but Sort of sane.  That statement is only going to make sense to someone else who has read them all....I am just happy I don’t have to give them up. This one features a wonderful grouchy, stinky donkey who falls for Agatha.  Made me lol. Comforting fluff and I have suffered from a headache for days now......air pressure, allergies, who knows, but I hate having to take pain relievers so wait too long.  
 

I listen to the Agatha Raisin books and her teenage girl antics do get tiresome. I think listening to Penelope Keith's narration makes it easier. I've listened to nine of them and have the tenth one on hold at the library - they must be popular because I've had to put a hold on every one of them so far. Anyway, I see that Beating About the Bush is # 30 and your post makes it sound like the Agatha's menopausal man craziness gets worse. They're still fun mysteries and are an easy way to pass the time, so at this point I plan to continue them.

 

On 1/10/2020 at 12:35 PM, mumto2 said:

I just finished The Tamarack Murders by Patrick F. McManus https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18911055-the-tamarack-murderswhich is the fifth Bo Tully 🥰 Mystery. 

Sheriff Bo Tully was a new find for me last year off of the favorite books to recommend thread.  I have the biggest crush on him @aggieamy!  The marvelous thing about these books is I think Mr. Amy 😉would like them too. 

Thanks for this. My library had the ebook edition of the first one so I downloaded it. I like it so far and it seems like I might have found a new mystery/police procedural series. I needed a new one. This has been my before bed book. 

On 1/11/2020 at 7:31 PM, Robin M said:

 

Sharon Kay Penman's 13th century Welsh Trilogy I soaked them up. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's  Half of a Yellow Sun taught me alot about African politics and culture.  No fluffed up love stories in the bunch. 🙂

I think it was you who first introduced me to The Sunne in Splendor. If not you then it was definitely someone at BaW. I read the first of the Henry II trilogy - When Christ and His Saints Slept - and thought it was okay. I think the problem is that I loved Sunne so much and by starting with that book it was always going to be a bit of a let down to read any of the others. I still want to finish that series and read the Welsh trilogy. Maybe I'll pick up one of them later this year. 

I loved Half of a Yellow Sun. I remember hearing about what was happening during that time and even remember the country of Biafra, but still knew very little about it. I also enjoyed Americanah by Adichie though it's not historical fiction.

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I've loved LOTR since my early teens but never much cared for The Hobbit. Although I usually reread LOTR every few years, I have never included The Hobbit in that reread -- but I did finally reread The Hobbit before the movies came out -- it was amazing how I had forgotten a whole section of the book (everything after Bilbo meets the dragon basically).  Not sure I'm up to reading it again right now but hopefully will jump in once y'all get to LOTR.

Most of the books I'm reading right now are "new year" type books:  Skim re-read Atomic Habits and just started Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, and listening to How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana White.   So far that last one is the clear winner in actually getting me to do something 😄  Too early to tell with Tiny Habits -- it starts out well but I'm not sure how he's going to have a whole book on this idea without lots of repetition. 

 

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1 hour ago, moonflower said:

My favorite book from childhood is The Tombs of Atuan, which I discovered at about 10 or 11 and have reread every year or two since, along with the rest of the trilogy.  There is always something new for me to discover in them, spare as they are.  I also reread Little House every few years, with a similar experience.

I did read all 753 Babysitter's Club books (exaggerating a bit, but not much!) but I don't remember much about any single one of them.

I just listened to The Tombs of Atuan for the first time last week.  This is my first visit to Earthsea........I missed out!

1 hour ago, Pen said:

The Ghost of Dibble Hollow https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007DXC1O/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_KF-gEbGBWZ8WF

No dog iirc.  

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn... 

Burgess Bedtime Story Books

Penrod

 

 

The Ghost of Dibble Hollow I remember......not well, but I read it!

13 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

I finished two books last week though one was a play and the other an audio book. My first Shakespeare of the year was The Merchant of Venice. It's been a long time since I've seen it performed and I don't recall how Shylock was portrayed, but this was the first time I read it and it was certainly uncomfortable in relation to treatment of/talk about Jews. I also listened  again to Wolf Hall in anticipation of the final book this year. I was going to go right to Bring up the Bodies but decided to take a break from Cromwell for a bit.

I'm currently still reading Oh, Florida! and The Custom of the Country on my Kindle. As for my next audio book I decided on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I've read and listened to the series so many times that if my mind wanders while I continue The Great Moving Purge, I won't have missed anything. I also started one more book, which I'll post below.

 

Some quotes from last week's thread:

I listen to the Agatha Raisin books and her teenage girl antics do get tiresome. I think listening to Penelope Keith's narration makes it easier. I've listened to nine of them and have the tenth one on hold at the library - they must be popular because I've had to put a hold on every one of them so far. Anyway, I see that Beating About the Bush is # 30 and your post makes it sound like the Agatha's menopausal man craziness gets worse. They're still fun mysteries and are an easy way to pass the time, so at this point I plan to continue them.

 

Thanks for this. My library had the ebook edition of the first one so I downloaded it. I like it so far and it seems like I might have found a new mystery/police procedural series. I needed a new one. This has been my before bed book. 

I think it was you who first introduced me to The Sunne in Splendor. If not you then it was definitely someone at BaW. I read the first of the Henry II trilogy - When Christ and His Saints Slept - and thought it was okay. I think the problem is that I loved Sunne so much and by starting with that book it was always going to be a bit of a let down to read any of the others. I still want to finish that series and read the Welsh trilogy. Maybe I'll pick up one of them later this year. 

I loved Half of a Yellow Sun. I remember hearing about what was happening during that time and even remember the country of Biafra, but still knew very little about it. I also enjoyed Americanah by Adichie though it's not historical fiction.

I think the books that were really irritating started around number 22 or so.  Listening might make them better.  The last 2 or 3 were quite good so I am glad I didn’t quit.

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9 hours ago, Robin M said:

 

I finished The Girl with Seven Names and learned more about Korean politics and culture. I'd  watched a documentary on Kim Jung Un and his predecessors a couple years ago which was an eye opener.  

 

 

My book club read that a year or so ago and we all loved it. It was fascinating especially to hear the perspective of a privileged North Korean.

8 hours ago, Negin said:

 

I recently started "New York" by Edward Rutherfurd. It's almost 900 pages long, so it'll be a while before I finish it. Loving it so far. I read his book, "Paris" a few years ago, and I still think about some of the characters from time to time.

 

 

 

8 hours ago, Dicentra said:

 

Rutherfurd's "Sarum" is wonderful, too.  And I started "Russka" a number of years ago but never finished it.  I should start it again. 🙂

First, @Negin I loved your photos as always. 

I've had all of those Rutherfurd books on my TR list for several years now. Any suggestions which one to read first? I have no problem with long books so starting with the shortest one isn't necessarily the way I want to go. I'm sure I could start with any of them but I'm wondering if those of you who read it would recommend a particular one first. Mainly I want to read New York, Sarum, Russka, London, and Paris. I know there are more but those are the ones that most interested me.

6 hours ago, JennW in SoCal said:

 

Those of you from warmer areas will understand how excited I was to see snow falling from the sky when my dh and I took a trip to the Utah mountains. Snow!! Cold!! Getting to wear wooly hats and mittens!  He skied while I sat and read in all sorts of comfortable spots around the lodge/resort. I felt like the only non-skier there. I did go ice skating at an outdoor rink and had a blast -- and didn't fall! 

 

I can definitely relate! Many years ago we were going to visit Bill's grandmother in Tennessee in winter. We stopped at the TN welcome station just across the North Carolina state line. There was a little snow left on the ground, mostly just what hadn't yet melted. Bill and Dennis (4 or 5 at the time) were trying to make snowballs and have a snowball fight while I snapped photos. We must have looked silly, those crazy Floridians scraping up snow with bits of sticks and leaves in order to try and make snowballs. 🙂 

 

4 hours ago, Ali in OR said:

 Then I read John LeCarré's Agent Running in the Field which was fun and a quick read. 

I keep hearing about this book and how good it is. I'm going to have to add it to my TR list. I confess I've never read any LeCarre and I don't quite know why. While going through a spy and cold war thriller phase in the 80s and = 90s I read a lot of Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, Ken Follet, and lesser known authors of the genre. I don't know why LeCarre escaped my notice.

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3 minutes ago, mumto2 said:

The Ghost of Dibble Hollow I remember......not well, but I read it!

 

I don’t remember it much, but think I liked it enough to have read it more than once.  Can’t recall what the appeal was.  

I did also read Nancy Drew and other such series, but I don’t think any book of those more than once.   Funny though how some things come back ...   All of the dog  / animal ones I read more than once.   

 

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Abridged and English version of Three Musketeers 

El Toro Ferdinando  when very young 

Trumpet of the Swan

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1 hour ago, moonflower said:

DD14 has been bringing home 5 books a week from the public school library (her limit).  We pretty heavily restrict a lot of modern lit, and we've already read through a lot of what is permissible, so recently she's brought home all of Austen (evidently I've never read these!) and a lot of old classicish scifi, and some Dickens (also had never read).  This week I read all of Austen, Slaughterhouse Five, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  Over Christmas break we read Great Expectations and Oliver Twist.

Boy are those three different categories of literature!  I think reading Austen and even Dickens at the same time as the scifi really brought home how depressing the latter is.  Dickens can be depressing but at least things are worked out properly in the end (ie bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people).  My favorite of the Austens was Emma by far; Pride and Prejudice was neatly plotted and of course brilliantly written but I found it harder to buy. I think part of this is probably the difference in marriage/relationship norms; Emma was at least decently believable in that respect, and also felt like the carefullest, fullest novel.

Great Expectations was a cut above the rest of it, though.  Somewhere in the intro it quoted a critic as having said that it was the best first person novel ever written, and I agree.

Slaughterhouse Five I wish I hadn't read, and I kind of wish I hadn't let DD14 read at this age; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was only slightly less bleak.

 

 That really was some eclectic reading! I read Slaughterhouse Five a few years ago because several reader friends kept saying how much they love Vonnegut, and I never read anything of his. I didn't care for it. I've never read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and never really wanted to. I've never seen the move Blade Runner either and never wanted to.

As for Austen and Dickens, I love both of them. Yes, Dickens can be depressing and dark but he's also sarcastic and quite witty. The same is true of Austen - not the dark and depressing part but sarcastic and witty. Pride and Prejudice gets all the attention (partly I think, thanks to Colin Firth) but it's not my favorite. My favorites are Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility, plus Northanger Abbey for its hilarious send up of gothic novels.

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