timjones in 2011

KeskusteluClub Read 2011

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timjones in 2011

Tämä viestiketju on "uinuva" —viimeisin viesti on vanhempi kuin 90 päivää. Ryhmä "virkoaa", kun lähetät vastauksen.

joulukuu 31, 2010, 6:49 am

Well, here we are! I'm going to put a best-of-2010 list on my blog in the next couple of days, and then start with the listing here.

joulukuu 31, 2010, 7:06 am

Happy New Year Tim! Am looking forward to following your 2011 reading.

joulukuu 31, 2010, 7:10 am

Thanks, Cushla, and Happy New Year to you!

tammikuu 2, 2011, 5:23 am

Here is my "What I Read In 2010" blog post, including my favourites in fiction, nonfiction and poetry:


tammikuu 2, 2011, 3:14 pm

Looks like you had a good year. I enjoyed your review of There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor's Baby, though I'm always worried I'll be too scared by horror stories.

I also have the Lonely Planet: Greenland and the Arctic which I got when my final project was set in the Arctic. I've found myself fascinated by the poles ever since (seems like several of us here are).

tammikuu 2, 2011, 6:22 pm

Thanks, Jane! There's probably only one story in "There Once..." that I'd describe as an out-and-out horror story, so I wouldn't let that put you off.

I was raised on tales of Captain Scott and his exploits at the Pole, so I have been interested in Antarctica for a very long time - and the novel I am currently writing is largely set there - but I've developed a keen interest in the Arctic as well. Svalbard is also fascinating, and I remember being quite annoyed with Philip Pullman when he scarfed it for use as a location ...

tammikuu 5, 2011, 6:42 am

1. Wit of the Staircase by Saradha Koirala - poetry/collection (4/5). Here is my review:

I enjoyed this first collection a lot. Saradha Koirala's poems are short (mostly), elegantly constructed, and pull in a range of words you don't often find in New Zealand poetry.There isn't a bad poem in the book: I found some of them a bit slight (which may just be another way of saying that I didn't connect with the subject matter), but the best of them, such as "Echolalia", "Once a fort knight", "Nepal" and "Courtenay Place" are an excellent marriage of form and content.

2. A Foreign Country: New Zealand Speculative Fiction, edited by Anna Caro and Juliet Buchanan - fiction/sf and fantasy/anthology.

I won't give this one a rating, as it has a story by me in it, but I am going to post some comments about it on my blog. In brief, I enjoyed it!

tammikuu 7, 2011, 3:55 am

3. A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis - nonfiction/memoir/religion (4/5)

This is the book my book group is reading for our January meeting - we skip around a lot in time, space and genre!

I don't fully share C. S. Lewis's theological views, but I thought this was a good account of what grief does to the grieving person.

tammikuu 14, 2011, 5:57 am

4. Grendel by John Gardner.

Having read Beowulf a few years ago, I was keen to read Grendel, the story retold from the monster's point of view - though, in fact, Beowulf appears very late in this story.

All the same, it's a prodigious piece of writing. Modernism as a literary movement has not aged well, but at its best modernist literature has the kind of confidence and exuberance John Gardner shows as he takes the monstrous Grendel, a mixture of brute and philosopher, for a spin. (4.5/5)

tammikuu 14, 2011, 8:48 pm

I am interested in your note on the John Gardner book. I have just read his The poetry of Chaucer, John Gardner which I found stimulating. A very interesting writer and a quite an odd picture of him on the Authors page on this site, probably extracted from one of the dust covers of his books. He really does look like a child of the sixties. Anyway I will get hold of a copy of Grendel.

tammikuu 15, 2011, 5:21 am

>10 baswood:, baswood: Thanks - let me know what you think of Grendel!

helmikuu 2, 2011, 11:28 pm

5. Returning by Pat Whitaker (3.5/5)

Here's my review of this enjoyable New Zealand science fiction novel:


helmikuu 3, 2011, 6:02 am

I would recommend reading more Gardner - the novel he wrote after Grendel, The Sunlight Dialogues is very good: a very long meditation on myth and the modern Judeo-Christian view.

He claimed that his work was eventually sidelined because he had criticised so many of the major US writers in On Moral Fiction.

helmikuu 3, 2011, 7:06 am

In a piece I read not too long ago, Joyce Carol Oates discusses her "influences" and she talks about John Gardner. They were friends, both from upstate New York. He very much wanted to convert her to his idea of moral fiction, but she did not succumb (despite his best efforts). And yet she lists him as an influence. Here is the piece on line, the appropriate part is about half way down:

helmikuu 3, 2011, 5:03 pm

John Gardner a larger than life character? makes me want to search for On Moral Fiction

helmikuu 4, 2011, 7:55 am

>15 baswood: I had to read that in a 'fiction' class back in the early 90s. I don't remember much about it! I think I also had to read Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings, which I remember better:-)

helmikuu 5, 2011, 12:25 am

helmikuu 5, 2011, 6:49 am

>17 timjones: Perhaps you are now thinking a bit differently about your own literary influences?

helmikuu 6, 2011, 5:24 am

>18 avaland:, avaland: I fear I have not given them anything like the amount of thought displayed in that article - and nor do I have that level of literary schmoozing to recount! One day, maybe...

helmikuu 10, 2011, 1:47 am

6. Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (3.5/5)

It's almost heretical to say so, but I was left feeling a little underwhelmed by my first exposure to Jeeves and Wooster (other than the TV series), because each story in this collection (or chapter in this novel, depending how you look at it) follows very much the same pattern. So I enjoyed it, but not to the extent I expected.

helmikuu 10, 2011, 6:48 am

>20 timjones:, that's how I felt about it. I had expected it to be laugh-out-loud funny and it wasn't.

helmikuu 10, 2011, 7:11 am

Try The Code of the Woosters, which is a novel. The pace and length makes a difference. The absurdity and hilarity grow as Bertie gets himself into more and more untenable positions.

helmikuu 11, 2011, 4:08 pm

>21 charbutton:, charbutton: Interesting to see that I wasn't the only one!

>22 citygirl:, citygirl: Thanks for the recommendation.

I read the Wodehouse for our book group, which, this month, is meeting in the house of the great Wodehouse fan within the group. I just hope he doesn't read LibraryThing, or he may not let me in the door...

helmikuu 17, 2011, 6:03 am

7. Hemingway in Spain by David P. Reiter

Though I know little about Spain and less about Hemingway, I enjoyed this collection a lot (and to be fair, while all of it has a connection to Spain, the connection to Hemingway is sometimes peripheral). David Reiter pilots the reader confidently and entertainingly around both his and the famous author's connections to Spain and to "Maria". This is assured, powerful poetry. I'm sure I would have got even more out of it had I better knowledge of the subject matter it traverses. (4/5)

helmikuu 17, 2011, 6:16 am

8. Dwarf Stars 2010, edited by Joshua Gage

This is the 2010 edition of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's annual anthology of the best short speculative poetry (10 lines or less). As always, it's a mixed bag, but the best poems are very good indeed - my favourite in this anthology is "Bumbershoot", by Howard V. Hendrix.

If you have never tried speculative poetry (science fiction, fantasy or horror poetry) then this anthology is an excellent place to start. Check the Science Fiction Poetry Association website for details. (3.5/5)

PS: Just after I wrote this review, I found this rather amazing poem-by-poem discussion of the anthology by its editor: http://hooks-and-books.livejournal.com/23820.html

Disclaimer: I have a poem in this anthology

helmikuu 23, 2011, 8:58 pm

#20: I felt similarly about The Inimitable Jeeves. Each subsequent story was similar to the preceding ones, and I grew weary of the book about halfway through it.

helmikuu 24, 2011, 6:27 am

>26 kidzdoc:, kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl. A couple of us at the book group meeting had a similar reaction; others, who had read Wodehouse novels, were more positive. After talking about our books, we watched the first episode of the 1990s ITV series Jeeves and Wooster, starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeeves_and_Wooster), and I enjoyed that very much.

helmikuu 26, 2011, 5:20 am

9. The Baron In The Trees by Italo Calvino

This is a splendid book. On one level, there's not much to it: in the titular Baron, aged 12, has an argument with his parents and sister, is told to leave the table, and decamps to take up residence in the trees of the baronial estate. He never comes down, but still managed to live as full life, bringing his unique arboreal perspective to love, war, peace and politics.

Italo Calvino is a wonderful writer, and whether the Baron's adventures are funny, sad, thought-provoking or all three, they are beautifully told. I also liked the ways in which the baron changes, mostly for the better, the lives of those below him. Strongly recommended. (5/5)

helmikuu 26, 2011, 7:12 am

Oh! this sounds interesting. I have just read the wiki page on Calvino and I am definitely going to give one of his books a try

helmikuu 27, 2011, 1:16 am

>29 baswood:, baswood: I'd rank this close behind If On A Winter's Night A Traveller - the only two books by Calvino I've read so far. I hope you find one you like!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 6, 2011, 1:07 pm

Just found your thread via another thread. I'm slowly working my way through Club Read 2011 having come VERY late to the party.

At any rate, your comments re The Baron in the Trees are intriguing. Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler is one of my all-time faves. Will definitely have to follow through on that one.

Also, was looking at your profile page, and as a sci fi buff from way back am fascinated with the concept of science fiction poetry! Your book Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand I'm definitely going to have to check out.

ETA - touchstones show but are not working. Ugh!

maaliskuu 7, 2011, 5:26 am

>31 Poquette:, Poquette: Thanks! Naturally, I would be delighted if you checked Voyagers out - it's on Amazon (print and ebook editions) and there is more info about it on the publisher's website:


For more on science fiction poetry, you might also want to take a look at the Science Fiction Poetry Association website:


Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 7, 2011, 5:55 pm

Tim - I have just been browsing at sfpoetry.com and am thrilled and amazed. I found a poem that I liked so much I am posting it on my thread. Thanks for the link. You've opened up new worlds for me!

*blushing with embarrassment at that awful pun*

maaliskuu 9, 2011, 6:12 am

>33 Poquette:. Poquette: I'm delighted to hear that - pun notwithstanding!

maaliskuu 9, 2011, 6:24 am

10. Reindeer People by Piers Vitebsky

This is an excellent book. The existing reviews on this book's page capture it very well, so I'm not going to post another one, so I'll just thank whoever recommended this book to me last year (apologies, I've lost track of who this was!). If you are interested in the life of indigenous peoples in the polar regions, or in life and survival in extreme conditions, or in the effect that the fall of the Soviet Union had on its inhabitants, this book is well worth reading. (4.5/5)

maaliskuu 9, 2011, 7:51 am

#35, I put this book on my TBR when it was recommended on LT but it's been languishing there ever since. Thanks for the additional nudge to read it.

maaliskuu 9, 2011, 11:10 pm

>36 rebeccanyc:, rebeccanyc: Happy to help!

maaliskuu 13, 2011, 11:16 pm

35 - Ooh, added that to the wishlist as well.

maaliskuu 20, 2011, 6:34 am

11. From Smoke to Mirrors : how New Zealand can replace fossil liquid fuels with locally-made renewable energy by 2040 by Kevin Cudby - I'm planning to review this, together with another book on a similar topic, on my blog when I've read both of them. In brief, though, a well-written, thoroughgoing examination of the issues and alternatives than, I feel, was let down by some over-simplistic conclusions. (3.5/5)

maaliskuu 20, 2011, 6:39 am

12. "Lives of the Poets" by http://www.librarything.com/author/newtonjohn-9

I liked this collection of poetry - John Newton's second, coming 25 years after the first - better and better as it went along. The first section, a 'novella' in poetic form set in Sydney, is well-written but didn't do much to interest me - Sydneysiders might feel differently! A number of individual poems follow, none better than "Opening the Book", but the final section, a series of sonnets about various literary figures, mainly 20th century American writers, is outstanding and is worth the price of the book in itself. (4/5)

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 2, 2011, 11:20 pm

13. The Topless Tower by Silvina Ocampo.

I'll be reviewing this novella - novelette? - for Belletrista. I have just finished reading it, and enjoyed it a great deal, but the ending was a little unsatisfying so I'm going 4/5.

huhtikuu 2, 2011, 11:46 pm

14."The Spectrum Collection" edited by John Prescott. A sampler of horror fiction and poetry from Dark Continents Publishing. I'll be reviewing it on my blog soon. (3.5/5)

15. Rock and Roll Never Forgets by Deborah Grabien. An enjoyable crime drama in which guitarist J P Kinkaid, a thirty year veteran of English band Blacklight (which in personnel and personalities bears a close relationship to the Rolling Stones), has to sort out a murder in which his long-time girlfriend is the prime suspect and which has roots deep in his past.

I didn't find the plot entirely convincing, but the two main characters and the '70s rock'n'sleaze background are excellent. (3.5/5)

16. Punctured Experimental by Iain Britton.

A recent chapbook by a poet I've previously interviewed on my blog:


I like to find at least a thread of meaning in poetry I hear or read, so I don't always enjoy avowedly experimental poetry, but I enjoyed this. It's looser in form than his 2009 collection "Liquefaction", but the strong images and verbal fluency of that earlier book are still amply demonstrated. As usual with Kilmog Press books, this is a fine production too. Recommended. (4/5)
. I find

huhtikuu 8, 2011, 6:31 am

Interesting reading, Tim. I can't say I've been fond of experimental poetry either, but every now and again I can be intrigued.

huhtikuu 8, 2011, 6:35 am

>43 avaland:, avaland: I think Iain's "experimental" is still within the bounds of "meaning can be derived from it". There are a couple of New Zealand poets I know whose interest is (as far as I can tell) entirely in the formal aspects of poetry, and although I admire their enthusiasm and commitment, I just can't find anything to connect with in their work.

huhtikuu 8, 2011, 6:50 am

This one is a hybrid between reading and writing: I'm a member of an online groups of poets - mostly New Zealanders, but including a number of North American poets - who call ourselves the "Tuesday Poets", for the pragmatic reason that we post poems on our blogs each Tuesday, and also take it in turns to post a poem at the central Tuesday Poem blog. The whole things was dreamed up, and is organised, by New Zealand author Mary McCallum.

To mark the first anniversary of the Tuesday Poem, we have been creating a joint poem on the blog - there's a roster, and each of the 26 or so poets involved has had four hours to post their one or two lines. The poem itself takes as a starting point Tyr, the Norse God commemorated in the name of the day.

You can see how we're doing here:


huhtikuu 8, 2011, 7:09 am

That's a nice concept Tim. And the poem seems to hold together (or be holding together as it is still under construction as I write).

On a related topic (vaguely) I am surprised how many books by NZ authors I have come across in second hand book shops over here recently.

The last 2 shops I have browsed had between them 2 CK Steads, Plumb by Maurice Gee, and a book of Baxter's poetry.

I was tempted to buy the James K Baxter - vivid memories of news items about him at Jerusalem came back to me when I saw the book (I must have been very young at the time, but it all must have left an impression on me...)

huhtikuu 8, 2011, 7:19 am

>46 zenomax:: Thanks, zenomax!

I would definitely recommend Plumb, one of the very best novels by a New Zealander - and also the Baxter, unless it's one of his very early, rather self-conscious collections. Baxter the Prophet came to overshadow Baxter the Poet in his later years, but his Jerusalem Sonnets may well be his best collection.

huhtikuu 8, 2011, 7:28 am

Thanks Tim, I'm sorry I didn't pick up the Baxter now.

Oh well, I'm in NZ next christmas - I think I'll do some local book hunting then. What are the decent secondhand bookshops in Wellington these days?

huhtikuu 8, 2011, 7:45 am

>48 zenomax:, zenomax: As an author myself, I would always prefer to recommend a "first-hand" bookshop, so that the poor suffering author can enjoy the fruits of his or her labours! And in that case, I would definitely recommend Unity Books in Willis St.

But if you insist on secondhandedness, then you can't really go past Arty Bees in Manners Street.

huhtikuu 8, 2011, 8:06 am

Yes, good point Tim. Unity and Parsons were the 2 bookshops I frequented - going back 15 years now.

By the way the tuesday poem is addictive, I keep going back to see if the next line has arrived!

huhtikuu 8, 2011, 8:08 am

>50 zenomax:, zenomax: I think a refresh every 4 hours or so will see you right!

Past midnight here so I will go and do my best pumpkin imitation...

huhtikuu 9, 2011, 7:05 pm

Hi Tim,
I enjoyed Grendel which I picked up from your thread. I have posted my thoughts on it on my thread.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 21, 2011, 11:55 pm

17. "In Pursuit..." by Joanna FitzPatrick

I'll be reviewing this enjoyable novel about the life of Katherine Mansfield on my blog later this week. (4/5)

18. The Teachings of Don B. by Donald Barthelme (3/5)

Here's my review of this lesser book by a great writer:

I recently read a great short story by Donald Barthelme, "Cortes and Montezuma", online, and it reminded me how much I had enjoyed his short stories when I first encountered them in my twenties. Looking to reacquaint myself with his work, I picked up this miscellany. There is some really good stuff in here, such as the title story; subtitled "A Yankee Way of Knowledge", it's a dead-on parody of Carlos Castaneda. I loved the subtle shifts in tone of "The Joker's Greatest Triumph" as well.

huhtikuu 22, 2011, 3:02 am

Hi Tim
Looking forward to your review of the life of Katherine Mansfield. I have read many of her short stories. I am a life long fan of D H Lawrence and would be interested to know whether he influenced her in any way.

huhtikuu 22, 2011, 10:03 pm

>54 baswood:, baswood: The friendship/rivalry between KM and DH Lawrence barely comes into "In Pursuit...", whereas the equivalent relationship with Virginia Woolf gets a chapter to itself.

I don't think I could summarise the KM/Lawrence influences here, but I do strongly urge you to read Kathleen Jones' recent KM biography, which has quite a lot on this - for more details, see




huhtikuu 23, 2011, 5:22 pm

Thanks for the links Tim. I've got to ask - Why "Books in the trees"?

huhtikuu 24, 2011, 8:09 am

>56 baswood:: It's the title of a short-short story I wrote, which is the final story in my short story collection Transported - and was recently posted online as a guest post on M L Poncelet/Ocean Blue Press's site:


Something about the title and the story just seemed to fit the blog!

toukokuu 3, 2011, 7:16 am

I have now posted my review of "In Pursuit...", Joanna FitzPatrick's biographical novel about Katherine Mansfield:


toukokuu 3, 2011, 7:26 am

19. in vitro by Laura Solomon. (3.5/5)

This is the first poetry collection by a New Zealand writer best known for her short stories. I'll be reviewing it on my blog soon.

20. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (4.5/5)

We discussed Madame Bovary at our book group tonight, and I can rarely recall a book on which we've more sharply disagreed - not on the merits of the novel itself, which we all enjoyed, but on the character of Emma Bovary. Was she vain and selfish, or was she a woman whose considerable energies, denied a more productive end, were poured into sex, shopping and self-destruction? The debate raged, which is usually the sign of a good book!

toukokuu 3, 2011, 9:58 am

#58 - Enjoyed your review of In Pursuit...which makes me want to read Storytelling. Have you read much of Mansfield, enough to recommend a starting point? (Is there a need for a starting point? She died very young.) I read a short story by her several years ago, and then, based on that story, acquired a beat-up used paperback called simply "Stories". But, I haven't read any of them yet.

toukokuu 4, 2011, 7:09 am

>61 timjones:, dchaikin: I haven't read a lot of Mansfield, but as you say, there isn't a lot to read! I don't have it in front of me, but from memory "Stories" contains the classic stories - "At the Bay", "Prelude" and so forth. The early stories are interesting, but I'd advise starting near the back of the book and perhaps reading outwards from there.

Katherine Mansfield: The Story-Teller is excellent, and I think you wouldn't go far wrong with that as a biography. If you get seriously keen, a collected or selected edition of her Letters might be the way to go.

toukokuu 4, 2011, 9:13 am

>60 dchaikin: - I agree with what Tim says above. Her first collection, In a German Pension, is OK but nothing special. It is only after that collection that she started to write about things closer to her own life - Bliss or The Garden Party could be good places to start but in some ways it doesn't really matter which story you pick, once she had found her voice they are all of a high standard.

toukokuu 4, 2011, 10:09 am

61/62 - Taking note, thanks! This is good motivation to actually pick the book up. I believe the one story I read was The Garden Party, (it was a story where the young girl somehow leaves a fancy party and visits the poorer section...goodness, i've forgotten the whole story, I don't even remember how/why she ever left the party... :/ )

toukokuu 4, 2011, 11:09 am

>63 dchaikin:- that's The Garden Party - she is asked to take some flowers down to a woman who has just lost her husband, once there she is ushered in to see the body where she has an epiphany. Then there is a coda with her brother where she attempts to explain this feeling. (I only remember this because I had to study this story a few months ago).

toukokuu 4, 2011, 11:19 am

Yes, thanks, some more of it is coming back...

toukokuu 5, 2011, 8:41 am

I'm pleased to have sparked off this discussion of Mansfield! The Katherine Mansfield Society website is also worth checking out for those with an interest in her work:


toukokuu 13, 2011, 7:42 am

21. "Island" by Penelope Todd.

I gave this literary historical romance (I think that's a fair depiction of genre) 4 stars out of 5. My review is here:


toukokuu 27, 2011, 5:34 am

22. Cars at the End of an Era: Transport Issues in the New Zealand Greenhouse by John Robinson.

This short monograph on the future of New Zealand's transport system takes a more pessimistic view than the similarly-themed From Smoke To Mirrors by Kevin Cudby, which I read a couple of months back. I'm going to review them both jointly for EnergyWatch, which is a New Zealand magazine on energy issues, and will then post that review on my blog & link it from here. (3.5/5)

kesäkuu 2, 2011, 7:59 am

23. A Room With A View by E. M. Forster (4/5)

24. Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett (3.5/5)

Just popping these down so I don't forget them at this stage...

kesäkuu 2, 2011, 8:15 am

Hi Tim

I read Unseen Academicals last year, and thought it was an ok book - amusing as usual, I'd say. And I haven't really noticed any deterioration in Terry's writing since being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I think someone helps him in typing up the novels nowadays.

kesäkuu 6, 2011, 8:12 am

>70 dmsteyn:, dmsteyn: Before answering, I had to check that you weren't Dale Steyn, a.k.a. the Phalaborwa Express, showing a previously-unsuspected interest in literature as well as bowling very fast!

But now I've got my cricket fanboy moment out of the way - and doubtless baffled a few more Americans - I did think that Unseen Academicals was up to the standard of previous Discworld novels; it's just that, even for a writer of Sir Terry's inventiveness, the law of diminishing returns tends to apply when a series has running for this long - and I've read at least half of the books in the series now.

kesäkuu 6, 2011, 10:33 am

Ja, I've actually met Dale at SuperSport Park in Centurion - I think my brother has his autograph. Glad to hear there are some cricket enthusiasts on LT!

Agreed on the law of diminishing returns - I prefer Sir Terry nowadays more when he branches out into new areas, like with Nation.

kesäkuu 10, 2011, 5:29 am

>72 dmsteyn:, dmsteyn: I haven't read Nation yet, but I have heard it's good.

And now, on with the countdown...

kesäkuu 10, 2011, 5:46 am

25. The Best Of Kim Stanley Robinson - selected short stories and novellas (4.5/5)

A very good best-of selection. One of the things that stands out in this selection of KSR's best short fiction is how he has returned to the same themes and character types throughout his career, finding different ways to address them. This collection would serve as an excellent introduction to this fine author.

kesäkuu 10, 2011, 10:00 pm

Hi Tim, just wanted to de-lurk to say I love Kim Stanley Robinson's writing. I've never read the short stories though so will have to watch out for that one - thanks.

kesäkuu 10, 2011, 10:05 pm

Man, with all the buzz about Kim Stanley Robinson around here lately I'm itching to finally start Red Mars and find out what I've been missing.

kesäkuu 10, 2011, 11:38 pm

> 75, KiwiNyx: Thanks for de-lurking, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

>76 stretch:, stretch: Go for it! But you might need to give it fifty pages or so to settle into the story.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 16, 2011, 12:59 am

26. Trace Fossils by Mary Cresswell (4.5/5). I very much enjoyed this collection, Mary's first 'serious' collection after her recent collection of light verse, Nearest & Dearest. Don't let the word 'serious' put you off: there are some highly entertaining poems in the collection, fuelled by Mary's love of wordplay, like this one:


Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 16, 2011, 12:59 am

27. The Guild by Felicia Day (Omnibus edition of Issues 1-3) (4.5/5)

I enjoyed Felicia Day's translation of her web series "The Guild" into the comics medium a lot. I think "The Guild" has made a smoother transition into the graphic novel format than has Joss Whedon's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Season 8, which seems the appropriate comparison. I would have liked the story taken a little further, though - it appears that there is material between the end of the comic and the start of the web series that could have been explored; but that's a very minor quibble.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 30, 2011, 3:30 am

I was out of town, and mostly away from computers, for a few days over last weekend, and by pure coincidence I managed to get lots of reading done! I read:

28. The Corrosion Zone by Barbara Strang (poetry collection) (3.5/5)

29. He'll Be OK by Celia Lashlie (parenting manual) (3.5/5)

30. Such A Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry (novel) (4/5)

31. Lan Yuan : The Garden of Enlightenment, ed. James Beattie
(guide/history) (4/5)

Comments on a couple of these:

Such A Long Journey is the next book the book group I'm in is 'doing'. I enjoyed the stories of the characters a lot, but was less convinced by the plot elements that felt, at times, uncomfortably grafted on top of the character story.

While in Dunedin on my break, I visited Dunedin's Chinese Garden, Lan Yuan, was captivated by it, and bought the book about the garden. It's a strange mixture of academic essays about the history of Chinese garden design, and information about Lan Yuan itself, but still very interesting.

kesäkuu 30, 2011, 9:14 am

I agree with your thoughts on Such a Long Journey. Gustad's involvement in a plot to fund freedom fighter in East Pakistan is so out of character with the rest of the book as to make it appear as you say "grafted on" There was enough interest in the characters around the building in Mumbai to sustain interest in the novel.

heinäkuu 1, 2011, 4:11 am

>81 baswood:, baswood: Nicely put! You should come along to my book group and say it all for me :-)

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 5, 2011, 7:35 am

32. Forty Stories by Donald Barthelme (3.5/5)

I must admit to being a little underwhelmed by this collection - I got back into Barthelme's work after reading his marvellous short story "Cortes and Montezuma" - see


but prepare for a little audio surprise! - and I expected more of the same from this collection, but few of these stories hit those heights for me. "Cortes and Montezuma" is the perfect combination of absurdism, speculation, humour and emotion, but most of the "Forty Stories" lacked that particular richness of texture. All the same, there is much entertainment to be had here!

heinäkuu 20, 2011, 7:33 am

33. Mr Allbones' Ferrets by Fiona Farrell (4/5).

I've just reviewed this for the Landfall Review Online - I'll post my review once it appears. The subtitle is "an historical pastoral satirical scientifical romance, with mustelids", and that's a very good summary. Well worth reading.

heinäkuu 20, 2011, 4:28 pm

Hi Tim, I love the description of the subtitle, sounds very interesting, can't wait to read the review.

heinäkuu 21, 2011, 2:22 am

>85 KiwiNyx:, KiwiNyx: Thanks! I'm not sure when it will be up, but I'll be looking out for it.

heinäkuu 26, 2011, 7:15 am

34. One Was A Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming (4.5/5)

A very good police procedural (among other things) with a lot to say - well integrated into the story - about the effects of the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on the lives of the Americans who have taken part in them, and those who have returned, and those who have not.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 6, 2011, 9:01 am

Throwing these on so I don't forget them... will add more on these when I have time.

35. Immortal Love by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya - short stories

36. Kingdom Animalia : The Escapades of Linnaeus by Janis Freegard - strong debut poetry collection organised around Linnaeus' classification system

elokuu 5, 2011, 11:46 am

No. 36 sounds interesting Tim, look forward to your review on that (although the touchstone points to a different, yet equally interesting sounding book).

elokuu 6, 2011, 9:05 am

>89 zenomax:, zenomax: Thanks! I have fixed the touchstone to pick up the right book. Here is Janis Freegard's web page about her book, which has links to some poems from it and further info:


elokuu 19, 2011, 7:09 am

The latest addition to my library isn't a book I've read, but a book I've written: my third poetry collection, Men Briefly Explained, is now available in print and ebook format from Amazon.com, as follows:

Print: http://www.amazon.com/Men-Briefly-Explained-Tim-Jones/dp/1921869321/

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Men-Briefly-Explained-ebook/dp/B005HRYM32/

As the title suggests, these are poems that explain men - briefly. And if that's not an act of public-spiritedness, what is?

syyskuu 2, 2011, 6:48 am

I said in #33 that I would post my review of Mr Allbones' Ferrets by Fiona Farrell when it appeared - the review is now online here:


syyskuu 2, 2011, 8:18 am

37. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Volume 8: Last Gleaming by Joss Whedon (4/5)

Collects issues 36-40, the conclusion to this sprawling season. The final issue is by far the best, as Joss Whedon - who admits in an afterword that this season went away from what makes Buffy the character, and Buffy the show, tick - brings the focus back from the grandiose to the personal. Nice to see this often frustrating, sometimes brilliant season end on a high note.

38. Genesis by Bernard Beckett. (3.5/5)

This philosophical YA science fiction novel by a New Zealand author has some interesting ideas and a killer conclusion, but I found the framing story irritating. I'm sure it would have appealed a lot to the teenage me, though.

39. On The Overgrown Path by David Herter (4/5)

syyskuu 7, 2011, 12:04 pm

>93 timjones: Glad you liked the Herter. The second one is quite good also. We haven't read the 3rd yet, seems kind of pricey this time (PS Publishing). It's been a while since I read the Beckett, but I might agree with you. I forgave some of the tedium after the great ending.

Congrats on the new collection!

syyskuu 8, 2011, 8:40 am

>94 avaland:: Thanks, Lois!

I had run out of oomph to write a review of the Herter by the time I posted that last message - in brief, I enjoyed it, although (unusually for me, the advocate of brevity) I thought it could have done to be a little longer.

I have a feeling there is something dodgy about the grammar of that last sentence, but I am too tired to fix it...

I'm getting lost of nice comments about the concept of the new collection - it's already available on the Kindle, but the physical copies won't reach me until the end of this month. It will b good to hold a copy in my hands!

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 8, 2011, 3:59 pm

I wonder how electronic books will affect the sales of NZ and Aussie titles outside of the countries. Obviously in my line of work I see what's coming out in both countries and I am so tempted to chase down a copy but the prices stop me dead in my tracks. So, one has to hope they get picked up by the UK or US... I think the potential, if the electronic books are priced significantly lower, is tremendous (I am of the mind that Amazon's cheapie price for electronic books will not stay there. My theory is that it is there to encourage everyone to convert their reading to digital and buy a Kindle. Once everyone is comfy, the price will go up.

syyskuu 9, 2011, 7:55 am

>96 avaland:, avaland: I agree completely re price of NZ (and I guess Australian) print books being a huge deterrent to people outside NZ buying them. I put my head in my hands, though, when I see books being sold on the Kindle for 99c - it is very hard to compete with that!

For the record, "Men Briefly Explained" is selling for $8.99 on the Kindle, which seems like a reasonable price to me - but maybe not to Americans?

syyskuu 9, 2011, 9:12 am

>97 timjones: I think that a very reasonable price! (hmm, I thought most new books were $9.99 for the Kindle...to be honest, I haven't paid close attention.)

It is true that most Americans have developed the mindset of not being willing to pay full price for anything, ever; which, with regards to books, has hurt independent booksellers and small publishers, in particular, and inflated the prices of hardcover books so as to accommodate the deep discounts required by the big stores (i.e. Amazon, B&N, Walmart). However, with regards to other products, it's just a hat trick, up the base price on the tag and then give it a "discount price." Of course, with the economy so bad here now, the prices of nearly everything has risen.

Is your collection available in ebook format or just kindle format?

syyskuu 9, 2011, 9:19 am

>96 avaland: - I agree theoretically but it may not be that straightforward - there may still be copyright and tax issues to get sorted not to mention demarcation between publishers territories. (For the first time I have found myself tempted to join the digital reading revolution, not because of price or access but because of lack of shelf space).

>97 timjones: - I think I can safely say that 99.9% of the 99c books are mediocre that can just be ignored. Unfortunately I can also safely say that a significant portion of the reading public have no critical faculties at all and will quite happily read a semi-literate cliched 99c book. On a more serious level one of the issues with the internet is that it reduces the value of everything - we have seen it with music and now we are seeing it with books. At the root of the issue is the lack of physicality - people seem to perceive an ebook simply as a file and therefore ask themselves how much a simple file should cost.
(ps - your book is $12.96 on Amazon.com)
(pps - I'm not saying it isn't worth $12.96)

syyskuu 9, 2011, 1:12 pm

>99 Jargoneer:/96 yes, you are right, and I don't know enough about "rights" to speak intelligently on it.

>99 Jargoneer:/97 Certainly, a digital rendering of a book doesn't have the costs of printing and physical distribution, but it does have the costs of writing, editing, and marketing.

syyskuu 9, 2011, 3:14 pm

It is like comparing apples and oranges to discuss 99-cent self-published books on Amazon with a $12.96 book that has the full marketing resource of an actual publisher behind it – whether it is from New Zealand or the New Hebrides. Marketing seems to be a key ingredient. Shipping costs are another matter. Even an old book purchased through abebooks.com, for example, still costs $3.00 or more to ship within the United States.

Not every 99-cent book is trash, either. There are many out-of-print classics that fall in the range from free to $1.99. I have quite a few of those on my Kindle. I also have books on there that I paid more than $12.00 for. My book-buying decisions almost never are made solely on the basis of price. It is a question of how much I want the book, whether it is 99 cents or $999.00.

By the way, some of those 99-cent self-publishers for Kindle on Amazon are getting rich by bypassing the conventional publishing apparatus. Some of it may be junk, but enough people are reading said junk that there is money to be made by going that route. You don't need me to tell you that Amazon has a whole mechanism set up to help writers through the process.

I've been buying books from Amazon since 1996, and price was almost never a consideration. Availability was the thing and knowing I'd have it in a couple of days. When I go to a bookstore, it is almost inevitable that they will not have what I am looking for on any given day, but I usually end up buying something serendipitously anyway.

Bottom line, Tim, good luck with your marketing – here, there and everywhere!

syyskuu 10, 2011, 7:25 pm

Thanks for your comments, everyone!

>98 avaland:, avaland: A bit of checking reveals that it is also available in Adobe ePub and Adobe Digital Editions formats, e.g. here:


Is there a particular format you were looking to find it in?

>99 Jargoneer:, jargoneer: I'm intrigued by the $12.96 - when I look at it, the only price I see listed for the Kindle edition is $8.99, though there are a variety of prices for the paperback edition.

>100 avaland:, avaland: You have raised exactly the issue I have with the 99c prices (for new books, anyway): while the cost of producing the book as a physical object has gone, all the other costs remain

>101 Poquette:, poquette: Thanks! (Just for the record, my publisher is in Australia, but the point still applies.)

syyskuu 12, 2011, 3:48 am

A follow-up question to the discussion above, for Club Read people who read ebooks: on what platform, and in what format, do you read them?

I have highlighted the fact that Men Briefly Explained is available on the Kindle on my blog etc., but maybe I should be saying more about other formats as well.

syyskuu 12, 2011, 4:51 am

>102 timjones: - I wonder if that's because I'm in the UK. I checked the UK price (£7.99) and then checked it against the US price but it could be that Amazon knows that I am based in the UK so it still shows me a UK price but this time in dollars. This is itself is interesting - it means that Amazon can effectively control the market internationally, altering pricing to suit the location - bearing this in mind what advantage is there in Amazon selling books cheaper to the NZ or Australia or even the UK? (This probably takes us back to copyright etc). Also in the UK ebooks have 20% VAT charged on them but print ones don't.

>101 Poquette: - there are always going to be good books at any price. I think the problem with the 99c books is that between them and the bestsellers the middle gets squeezed even further. As for the ebooks, the last place I would buy them is from Amazon as I don't like the idea of a single company dominating the market (as in Apple and iTunes). What I don't understand is why publishers don't sell them directly - cut out the middle man they could sell them cheaper and still more profit.

syyskuu 12, 2011, 5:15 am

>104 Jargoneer: Where we choose to buy our books is our prerogative. That is the beauty of a free market. I happen to like Amazon. I've been buying from them since their inception. They are an amazingly customer-oriented company. They provide excellent service. They are also an amazingly author-friendly company. The Kindle is an amazingly versatile product. I fail to see a rationale for avoiding Amazon just because they are big.

Publishers don't sell e-books direct for the same reasons they don't sell hard copy direct.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 12, 2011, 5:33 am

>104 Jargoneer: - it's not that they are big per se but they are creating a captive market al la iTunes. Amazon could have adopted the EPUB format which is the open source agreed format but they decided to go their own way, create their own format and closed system. As for the Kindle being a versatile product, it is already on borrowed time, Amazon are on the verge of releasing a tablet. A tablet makes more sense to Amazon, then they can tie you into them for books and music and film downloads when they start - just like Apple. (Amazon Tablet.)

Publishers do sell hard copy - it's the best way to buy from small publishers. You may pay more (closer to RRP) but all the money goes to the publisher.

syyskuu 12, 2011, 12:36 pm

>106 Jargoneer: You don't need to own a Kindle to read a Kindle book. The Kindle app is available free for tablets, PDAs, desktops, laptops, whatever, already. I tried it on my laptop before I bought the Kindle itself. And by the way, half the books I have on my Kindle were from a source other than Amazon, and they were all free and in the public domain. That's what I was thinking about re versatility.

When you were talking about publishers selling direct, I thought you meant direct to the public. Buying direct from a small publisher at a higher price does not increase the royalty to the author.

Look, I'm not trying to argue with you. I'm just saying there is more than one point of view on all this. You have yours, I have mine, and there are probably others. It's a big world, a big market, and there is room for more than one way to sell, buy and read books. This is as it should be.

syyskuu 12, 2011, 8:53 pm

Thanks for your comments, everyone!

Just on the question of whether publishers sell direct to the public, it's certainly true here in New Zealand that small and medium publishers sell direct to the public, because they struggle to get distribution through the chain bookshops in New Zealand - in most cases, only independent bookstores will carry books from small NZ publishers. I know of publishers selling both hard copy and ebooks from their online stores.

My Australian publisher, Interactive Press, sells hard copy books through its website (as well as through bookshops) and provides links on its website to its ebooks available on the Kindle, as per http://www.ipoz.biz/Titles/MBE.htm

syyskuu 18, 2011, 2:05 pm

An example of other ebook buying options, Weightless Books http://weightlessbooks.com/ put together by the enterprising people at Small Beer Press.

"Weightless Books is an independent DRM-free ebooksite devoted to ebooks of all sorts. We are excited by the new range of ereaders available which mean that the printed pages we publishers spend so long making pretty, clear, and readable, will now be able to be read onscreen—which is one reason why whenever possible we will always sell PDFs of titles (not coincidentally still our biggest seller of the modes available). As time goes by more titles will be available in epub, mobi, and lit."

syyskuu 19, 2011, 7:14 am

>109 avaland:, avaland: Thanks for this - Small Beer Press produce really good books, so I am glad they are now available in various e-formats - all of which I had heard of except lit.

syyskuu 19, 2011, 7:37 am

>110 timjones: - the 'lit' format is for Microsoft Reader. Bizarrely Microsoft were among the first companies to develop proper software for reading electronically but then never did anything with it. I think they have just announced they are abandoning it which is even odder since they are gearing up to launch smartphone and tablet operating systems.

syyskuu 19, 2011, 7:45 pm

>111 Jargoneer:, Jargoneer: thanks for the explanation!

syyskuu 20, 2011, 5:10 pm

I am actually interested in this because sometime in the near future we would like to make Belletrista available in formats for easy download to various e-readers. I had this discussion with someone who shall remain nameless at Readercon, who suggested I move the site to a Wordpress format because they make it easy to convert to various formats. This person also told me how surprised he was that people were actually paying a little money to download his magazine which is available on a website for free...

Tim, I don't know if you noticed in our "about us" page this issue, but one of our newer reviewers is translating more Angelica Gorodischer stories.

syyskuu 22, 2011, 6:50 am

>113 avaland:, avaland: That's interesting (and good) news about Belletrista, and also good news about the Gorodischer translations- I hadn't seen that, and will check it out once I am back in the land of broadband (I'm in very-slow-dialupland this week). Maybe those translations will need to be reviewed one day ;-)

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 22, 2011, 7:10 am

40. True Spirit: the Aussie Girl Who Took On The World by Jessica Watson (4/5)

Jessica Watson is the Australian teenager who sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted round the world aged sixteen. Her story of the adventure doesn't rise to any great literary heights, but it's well-told and enjoyable, and it only increased my admiration for her courage, skill and determination. If you enjoy tales of real-life adventure, I recommend this book.

syyskuu 22, 2011, 7:29 am

>114 timjones: A. Gladhart, academic, currently in Argentina. When I last emailed she was about to have lunch with Gorodischer! I mentioned that Gavin & Kelly at Small Beer has been looking for someone to translate more of her work, and coincidentally, Ms. Gladhart had already contacted them about possibly publishing her translations. Perhaps it will work out.

syyskuu 23, 2011, 6:39 am

>116 avaland:, avaland: I very much hope so - I'd love the chance to read more of her work, and since my Spanish is not far beyond the "por favor" level, I think further translation into English is my best chance!

syyskuu 23, 2011, 6:40 am

41. Guarding the Flame by Majella Cullinane (4.5/5)

Majella Cullinane is an Irish poet who has recently emigrated to New Zealand. I heard her read her poetry earlier this week, enjoyed hearing her poems very much, bought this book (her debut collection), and have now read it - a sign of how much I'm enjoying her poetry, all the more so as she is predominantly a lyric poet, which isn't normally my preferred mode. These are fine poems, covering her old life in Ireland, her new life in New Zealand, and the transition between the two. There are also some poems that range outside the lyric mode, and I especially enjoyed a number of these. This collection is well worth reading if you like Irish poetry or New Zealand poetry - or if you just like poetry.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 1, 2011, 6:32 pm

42. Unless by Carol Shields (4/5)

This was the first Carol Shields novel I've read. People tell me it's not her best, but I enjoyed it, although I felt there were a few too many disparate elements for such a short novel. It is certainly very well written.

lokakuu 1, 2011, 6:35 pm

43. Mediated by Thomas de Zengotita (3.5/5)

An interesting analysis of the way our view of the world and our relation to it is affected by the many forms of representation which stand between us and the world. In my view, the book's effectiveness is lessened by the author's tendency to extend his arguments beyond the point at which he can advance credible evidence to support them. Nevertheless, it's well worth reading - especially the chapters on the representations of childhood and of terror.

lokakuu 8, 2011, 8:14 pm

44. Burn by Nevada Barr (2.5/5)

I enjoy a good thriller, and I have enjoyed a number of Nevada Barr's previous thrillers about National Park Ranger Anna Pigeon, but I didn't enjoy this one. The National Park setting is incidental, Anna Pigeon is a secondary character, and the case in question is a particularly gruesome one - think The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, only worse.

I think the law of diminishing returns might have caught up with Anna Pigeon as a character.

lokakuu 11, 2011, 3:00 pm

120 Tim - sounds very much like the experience I am having with a book at the moment The Philosophers Fire - really interesting, but the author pushes his arguments a little beyond my ability to give them full credence.

lokakuu 12, 2011, 10:12 pm

>122 zenomax:, zenomax: From a quick squiz at the description, The Philosophers' Secret Fire looks interesting, despite the fault you've mentioned. Though non-fiction, it immediately reminded me of the Aegypt tetralogy by John Crowley - have you read those, or any other of his work?

lokakuu 12, 2011, 10:21 pm

45. The Coldest Place on Earth by Robert Thomson (3.5/5)

This account of an overland traverse in the Antarctic summer of 1962-63 between Australia's Wilkes Station on the coast, and Russia's Vostok Station, located 900 miles inland in the coldest part of this coldest of continents, is straightforward and unvarnished, and takes a long time to get over the preliminaries and come to the expedition itself.

But once it does, it's gripping, as the Australian party (led by the New Zealand author of this book) grapples with the effects of extreme cold on man (I use the term advisedly) and machine.

Read in 2011, it's also an interesting historical document of a time when (right up to the end of the story) women were forbidden to stay and work in Antarctica; yet also notable is the close cooperation between Australian, US and Russian expeditions and bases so soon after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

This may not be one of the classic tales of Antarctic exploration, but it's still well worth a read.

lokakuu 12, 2011, 10:29 pm

46. The Day The Raids Came, edited by Valerie Morse (4.5/5)

This is an excellent collection of interviews with people arrested in, or closely affected by, the New Zealand police "anti-terrorism" raids of 15 October 2007. Whatever your opinion of those raids - and personally, I think they were the outcome of a police force desperate to make use of its shiny new anti-terrorism powers, and a Government keen to suppress Maori and particular Tuhoe campaigns for self-determination - this book is well worth reading.

lokakuu 13, 2011, 8:07 am

Will have to look for The Coldest Place on Earth as I enjoy polar exploration stories and especially liked The Coldest March by Susan Solomon which combined excerpts from Scott's party's journals with modern scientific interpretations.

lokakuu 15, 2011, 8:20 am

>126 rebeccanyc:, rebeccanyc: I have read and enjoyed The Coldest March, too - the Coldest Place on Earth isn't as well written, but still worth reading.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 27, 2011, 6:09 am

47. Slightly Peculiar Love Stories, edited by Penelope Todd (4.5/5)

I really enjoyed this collection of quirky love stories {disclaimer: I have a story in this collection!}, which I reviewed, excluding my story, here:


lokakuu 30, 2011, 8:22 pm

48. The Secret River by Kate Grenville (4.5/5)

I seem to be on a run of good books at the moment. The Secret River is based on the Australian author's family history, and deal with the fateful encounter between the early European settlers of Australia and the indigenous inhabitants into whose lands they spread. History provides a good guide to how the story will end, but that doesn't make the book any less of a gripping read.

Although the novel is told in the third person, the viewpoint is that of transported convict William Thornhill, and my only slight reservation is that, though his actions seem in character, the thoughts he is given to express occasionally read like those of an early-21st Century author, not a man of his time. But that scarcely detracted from this fine novel.

marraskuu 4, 2011, 9:13 pm

49. The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin (3.5/5)

I was slightly disappointed in this novel - although it is, as always, beautifully written, I felt it lacked the subtlety of her best work, and I found the ending a little abrupt. But, to be fair, even a less-than-top-notch novel by Ursula Le Guin is as good as most writers' best work.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 5, 2011, 5:48 am

123 - no haven't read any Crowley but they look interesting.

You've read a good array of books recently, book 46 looks particularly worth reading - I have little or no knowledge of this (been away from the country too long!)

ETA: I notice Poquette has recently reviewed one of Crowley's books - I see the link now with the Philosopher's Fire.

marraskuu 5, 2011, 4:26 pm

>131 zenomax: - thanks, zenomax! I will check out Poquette's review.

This has been a strange year for my reading - I feel as though I haven't done as much reading as usual, yet I'm actually ahead at this stage of the year of the number of books I read in the past two years. I think it's because I have done a lot more travelling than usual this year, and have got reading done in bursts while sitting on planes and in buses and cars. (None in trains, unfortunately, though it's my favourite mode of travel.)

Now for another New Zealand book...

marraskuu 16, 2011, 5:49 am

50. The Carbon Challenge : New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme (4/5)

A solid and careful examination of the deep flaws in New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme (ETS) and the ways successive Governments have weakened it to the point where it is, in effect, a device for taxpayers to subsidise polluters. A cautionary tale for anyone interested in the ways the urgent need to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions can be circumvented by powerful vested interests.

marraskuu 24, 2011, 10:14 pm

51. Portals by Robin Fry - poetry collection (3.5/5)

Robin Fry is a New Zealand poet whose collections always contain some poems that immediately grab me - from this collection, and with her permission, I posted "The reader" as a Tuesday Poem on my blog:


marraskuu 24, 2011, 10:17 pm

52. Luuurve Is A Many Trousered Thing... by Louise Rennison - fiction/YA novel (3.5/5)

Our book group decided to do something completely different for the final book of the year: everyone took on the job of reading a book by successful British YA writer Louise Rennison.

I chose one in her "Georgia Nicolson" series - in diary format, it's like a YA "Bridget Jones' Diary". It felt to me as though the book took a looong time to get going, but by the end, I was enjoying it more than I expected to.

joulukuu 16, 2011, 10:22 pm

53. The Cancellation of Clouds by P. S. Cottier

54. Tongues of Ash by Keith Westwater

55. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

I'm very busy in the runup to Christmas, so I'm just popping these three down as placeholders for now, and will come back to them when I have more time.

I'm about to review Deathless for Belletrista. This is going to be an interesting review to write...

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 26, 2011, 7:22 am

56. Scott's Last Biscuit by Sarah Moss - nonfiction/polar exploration and literature (3/5)

joulukuu 28, 2011, 9:00 pm

57. Not Saying Goodbye At Gate 21 by Kathleen Jones - first poetry collection from the noted biographer. Some wonderful landscape and personal poetry here - the best of these poems are those that bring the two together.

joulukuu 28, 2011, 9:43 pm

58. Tales for Canterbury, edited by Cassie Hart and Anna Caro - short story anthology (4.5/5) - I read this anthology, reviewed it here:


and yet somehow failed to include it in this list - bad Tim! But it's a very good book in a very good cause. Recommended - and not just because there's a story of mine in it!

tammikuu 1, 2012, 3:39 am

59. "The Comforter" by Helen Lehndorf - a warm and inviting debut poetry collection.

That completes my reading for the year - I'll put up my "What I Read in 2011" post in a couple of days, and then it's on to 2012!

tammikuu 2, 2012, 6:43 pm

Ta-dah! Here is my "What I Read in 2011" post, which marks the end of this thread - see you in 2012!