What Are You Reading? (11)

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What Are You Reading? (11)

helmikuu 12, 2022, 2:00 am

It's time for the eleventh installment of this topic!

helmikuu 14, 2022, 10:15 am

I am reading With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge. I wish FS would come out with it own edition--probably the best book I've read of what actually happens in combat.

helmikuu 14, 2022, 11:29 am

>2 podaniel: Good to hear. Don’t miss the series The Pacific, Eugene Sledge is portrayed by Joseph Mazello.

helmikuu 14, 2022, 12:14 pm

>3 NLNils:

Thanks for the tip.

helmikuu 14, 2022, 12:44 pm

For myself, I am reading Journey to the center of the earth & hp lovercraft's short stories. Also reading the library edition of Hellboy when my eyes need a break from novels.

For my baby girl, reading her The house on pooh corner & the blue fairy book.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 15, 2022, 1:29 pm

I am also reading Journey to the Centre of the Earth (FS 2001). A friend was jealous of this beautiful edition and purchased a second-hand copy, only to discover that a printing error gave him 8 blank white pages between pages 74-90. It became a learning moment when I was able to share about how books are printed with multiple pages on a sheet, then the sheet is folded, gathered, tied, and finally trimmed. One of the sheets had apparently not been printed on one side and, after folding, it was a strange situation of some pages printed and others not, all in one signature. I encouraged him to make the book even more one-of-a-kind by handwriting the missing pages, or even better, pencil in the words with Arne Saknussemm’s runes.

Edit: Got the spelling right in Arne’s name

helmikuu 16, 2022, 12:26 am

>6 BionicJim: I encouraged him to make the book even more one-of-a-kind by handwriting the missing pages
I buy a lot of used books and finding this would have kept me scratching my head for years.

helmikuu 26, 2022, 12:48 pm

The Vision of Piers the Plowman (FS, 2014)

It's really a lovely book but very awkwardly sized and uncomfortable to handle as a result. Attempting to read the middle English for fun but relying heavily on the facing page translation.

helmikuu 26, 2022, 1:50 pm

>8 L.Bloom: That’s with the Donaldson translation, right? I didn’t realize it had facing page original Middle English. Do you know if it’s the B-text or the C-text?

helmikuu 26, 2022, 3:49 pm

>9 Eumnestes: From the intro it says it is based on the B text

helmikuu 26, 2022, 6:36 pm

I'm reading The Library: A Fragile History, which is probably of interest to most active members of the site. I'm nearly 150 pages in and we've barely hit the 1600s, so naturally most of the material is about personal or monastic libraries, rather than public or lending libraries.

helmikuu 26, 2022, 6:46 pm

I've been reading through Daphne du Maurier's works: read Jamaica Inn, Frenchman's Creek, and My Cousin Rachel so far, just starting Rebecca now. Frenchman's Creek definitely my favourite so far - making me rethink my attitude towards historical romance.

...thinking of giving the Outlander series a go, maybe even some of the Bridgerton books too - the show was entertaining enough!

helmikuu 28, 2022, 4:03 pm

>9 Eumnestes: I'll add something to this that I've noticed as I've tried to read Langland's middle English. I'm no scholar but I have found that though Chaucer and Langland were contemporaries, the middle English in, "The Vision of Piers the Plowman" is nearly impenetrable to me while, "The Canterbury Tales" is intelligible to a much greater degree. Not sure of the reason for this.

helmikuu 28, 2022, 4:53 pm

>13 L.Bloom: It's because Chaucer wrote London English, the dialect that dominated the formation of early modern English, and subsequently modern English. Langland wrote in a West Midland dialect, which seems less familiar to us now than Chaucer's English.

I share your experience of reading the two authors. Chaucer's language is easy enough that I will not purchase a modern verse translation (unfortunately, fine press editions with the original are expensive). By contrast, I welcome some help with Langland's English. Based on your description, I ordered the FS edition. A little worried about the awkward size, but otherwise it looks excellent.

helmikuu 28, 2022, 7:10 pm

>13 L.Bloom:
Language apart, the content and approach of both authors are quite different. Chaucer makes occasional criticisms of classes and systems through humour. Langland criticises the state of religious and secular government relentlessly through metaphor which is difficult to appreciate without a knowledge of the turbulent history of the period. PP spawned a number of other works which called for revolutionary changes, and is essential to an understanding of the period, but a bit of a slog for the casual reader.

maaliskuu 7, 2022, 12:13 am

'The Decline ad Fall', volume three of 'Byzantium' by John Julius Norwich - I'm about half-way through, and up to 1270 (year, not page number!).
'Joseph Andrews' by Henry Fielding.
Non-FS: 'Anna Karemina' by Tolstoy, translated by Rochelle Townsend, Everyman's Library, 1960. God, it's boring! however, I've made it to about three-quarters of the way through, so I'll plough grimly on to thhe end. Pity - I loved 'War and Peace'.

maaliskuu 7, 2022, 12:39 am

FS: "Meditations" Marcus Aurelius and "As I Walked Out One Summer Morning" by Laurie Lee.

Non FS:
"Maigret and the Man on the Bench" and " A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles.

maaliskuu 7, 2022, 2:18 am

>17 PartTimeBookAddict: I have not read any Laurie Lee for a long time, I think I will pick up “Cider with Rosie” next.

At the moment I am reading “On War”, by Carl Von Clausewitz (the Michael Howard and Peter Paret translation). I have been meaning to read it for a while now, it is easier to read than I was expecting, with lots of little nuggets to examine and think about.

maaliskuu 7, 2022, 8:19 am

Lost world - whatever they used for the cover material has a really soft nice feel to it. Also, had read JP earlier in the year. This is similar enough that I'm glad I took a break and didn't go back to back. So far a fun and fast read. Overall both JP and Lost world are great values and I hope the do some more Chricton books in the future.

maaliskuu 7, 2022, 11:52 am

Oryx and Crake
Can't put the book down

maaliskuu 7, 2022, 4:57 pm

The Eric Gill LE of Canterbury Tales (with the aid of a large lap pillow, a table, and a second hand copy of the penguin edition for the notes)

maaliskuu 7, 2022, 5:01 pm

>21 L.Bloom: I learned about him through Golden Cockerel, really like his art and starting to collect a few books with his engravings. I like that LE.

maaliskuu 15, 2022, 4:28 pm

Revelations of Divine Love~Dame Julian of Norwich
Old English Medical Remedies~Sinead Spearing
Clara's War~Clara Kramer

Just finished a reread of A Traveller in Time, by Alison Uttley.

maaliskuu 16, 2022, 4:25 am

Just finished Folio's edition of Queen Lucia. A very amusing tale of rivalry, pretension, and one-upmanship in an English village. I hope the rest of the series is as good.

Staying with the period feel, I also revisited a couple of my old PG Wodehouse paperbacks: The Code of the Woosters and Much Obliged, Jeeves.

maaliskuu 16, 2022, 9:29 pm

>24 Cat_of_Ulthar: I just finished The Code of the Woosters in the Everymans Library edition of The Best of Wodehouse. The first time I read any of his works. Never laughed so hard reading a book. Pure comedic genius. I'm grateful to the FSD who recommended him. I can't wait to read more.

maaliskuu 17, 2022, 6:03 am

>25 amp123:
I can also highly recommend the movie
“Wodehouse In Exile” which I recently watched on Amazon Prime. Well acted and interesting story based on real events.

maaliskuu 17, 2022, 6:20 am

>25 amp123:
You are entering another dangerous and slippery slope here. I bought The Code of the Woosters in the Everymans Library edition last year and now have 20 of these editions. Lovely easy reads with humour on every page and indeed almost every sentence. Very well presented hard backed editions and all costing around €10.00 each with free shipping from Book Depository. I'm only afraid that I will keep going and buy all 100+

maaliskuu 17, 2022, 7:37 am

>27 N11284: my foray started with a collection of 25 Wodehouse books that I purchased from a hospice on ebay in January for £65 - bargain I thought - only to find out when it was delivered that about ten of them had coffee spilled on them and were damp and wet even in the box. The rest had coffee rings on the covers but otherwise perfect. I was angry and appalled that a charity/hospice would do such a thing and not include this in the description. The pictures were taken in an angle so as not to show the coffee spills and I left a neutral feedback. Should’ve left a negative one but I am a kind person by nature.

I’m a sucker for Everyman’s Library books. They are so lovely especially the PG Wodehouse covers. It would have been far better to pick them up individually. Hatchards has a lovely collection - a whole bookshelf in London’s Piccadilly.

maaliskuu 17, 2022, 7:43 am

>28 ironjaw:
Agree about the covers.They look wonderful on the shelf.

maaliskuu 17, 2022, 6:17 pm

I am reading War and Peace, it was my New Year’s resolution to finally read it. Started in January, but it has been going quite slowly.

I am reading it in German as the translation is a very new one which was lauded very highly as very close to the original and with a lot of very good notes on the text.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 18, 2022, 12:14 am

>30 woodstock8786: I'm also reading War and Peace, in English. I'm approaching the half-way point, trying to read 200 pages per week, so with the book clocking in at over 1300 pages it's taking some time. I'm quite enjoying it, the multitude of characters haven't been awfully difficult to keep straight, but there does seem to be a good amount of superfluous rumination - I thought the other day that with some judicious editing, it could be an even better 1100-page novel!

maaliskuu 18, 2022, 5:36 am

>31 coynedj: Is it true that the reading and the flow of the story starts getting better after 200 pages or so? I am still at a point where there are so many different people and it is difficult to keep them all straight in my head

maaliskuu 18, 2022, 7:47 am

>32 woodstock8786: I enjoyed the book but do find it to be overrated and doesn't stand the test of time as say something like Don Quixote. It's more in tune with a long winded Dickens novel that reads more like a soap opera than anything else. I found Anna Karenina to be more enjoyable and his last novel, Resurrection, to be my favorite. I love Tolstoy for his short stories, and, although I don't consider myself religious, his books on Christianity are one of a kind and in my extensive readings he is the only individual who has made me question whether I should become more religious. Gandhi attributes Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God is Within You as heavily influencing his thought and becoming a pacifist. Maybe it's ignorance but I just don't get why War and Peace is considered one of the best novels ever written especially considering his contemporary, Dostoevsky, is a far superior novelist. I even enjoyed The Adolescent, unanimously considered Dostoevsky's worst novel, more than War and Peace. I enjoyed War and Peace and Anna Karenina but I think the genius of Tolstoy lies in his later works on Christianity and his short stories / novellas.

maaliskuu 18, 2022, 9:31 am

>32 woodstock8786: For me it was fairly easy to follow right from the start, which is unusual as I often get lost in keeping track of people. Tolstoy usually does a fairly good job of reminding you who characters are when they come back into the story. I found it best to identify who the main characters are and pretty much ignore the rest - I'm sure there's a family tree of the important ones somewhere on the internet. Some of them have me very curious how they'll turn out.

Like Joshbooks, I so far don't see why it's considered the greatest novel ever written, though it is undoubtedly quite good. Anna Karenina may have been better (I'll wait until I finish War and Peace before making that judgment) and I also love Dostoevsky, though his books certainly aren't quick reads. Somehow I've read all of his novels except The Brothers Karamazov, a travesty which I need to rectify. My favorite so far is The Possessed, also titled Demons depending on the translator.

maaliskuu 18, 2022, 9:39 am

>32 woodstock8786: Yes, it is true: after the first several hundred pages it becomes much easier to distinguish characters and events. The reader learns through familiarity, and the plot lines resolve themselves into more distinct pathways. Just keep going.

>33 Joshbooks1: I think the reason that so many people have considered WP on a par with AK, or even greater, is that they treat it as a different kind of novel. AK is a polished gem: the problems intimated in the early parts of the novel are precisely developed by a story arc that creates the impression of both progress and repetition. You can almost encapsulate the story in a single view. The philosopher Bernard Williams exemplified the fundamentals of his "moral luck" theory with a compressed account of the plot of AK.

WP is not like that. Tolstoy himself opined that it was "certainly not a novel." It is a set of loosely related plots accompanied by a series of ruminations about the philosophy of history. But these plots are just fascinating, and the juxtaposition of the fiction with the philosophy always resonates. For example, many times Tolstoy the philosopher will tell us that historical determinism makes the choices of individual Russian soldiers irrelevant. But then follows a chapter in which Tolstoy the storyteller presents characters whose decisions and actions appear genuinely to impact what happens in a given battle. It's mixture contradiction, irony, and development. But if one is not able to enjoy the bagginess of the whole affair, one is likely to find WP lacking in comparison to something like AK.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 18, 2022, 11:21 am

Thank you everyone for the detailed answer. I read Anna Karenina two or three years ago and that was a great read.

My thoughts were a bit along that line with W&P, that it seems not like a structured novel, but more like a lot of loosed threads but I haven’t come far enough to judge.

I will definitely keep going and see.

Thanks everyone for the good insights

maaliskuu 18, 2022, 11:41 am

>35 Eumnestes: I'll have to look more into the Bernard Williams theory regarding AK. It's probably just personal preference but I found both WP and AK to be overrated. They are great stories and fun reads (especially AK which I will probably reread one day - never WP) but I found both stories lacking the philosophical moral brilliance and courage of older Tolstoy with Resurrection, his later Christian philosophy, and several shorts stories. Even for instance Levin in AK who philosophizes throughout the book and is a portrayal of Tolstoy himself; he has good points but his thoughts are quite simple and basic. Later in life Tolstoy really dug deep with all his moral fiber to better understand humanity, the world around him and life itself and I believe this is where he shined as a writer and why he is up there with Dostoevsky. Tolstoy is one of my favorite authors, and I'm probably in the minority, but it isn't because of WP or AK. I'm not bashing these books and I enjoyed both immensely, I just don't think AK or WP should be in the category of best novels and it's a shame people only remember him for these two books when he has so much more to offer.

maaliskuu 18, 2022, 3:51 pm

>37 Joshbooks1: I knew nothing about Resurrection until I read this post and just did some quick online research. Any suggestions about the best edition/translation to read? I'm trying to avoid a Print on Demand copy or shoddy translation. If you have any thoughts about Tolstoy's Calendar of Wisdom or Hadji Murad I'd love to hear those as well.

maaliskuu 18, 2022, 4:58 pm

I believe it was the Maude translation which was either Penguin or Oxford. I've always enjoyed Maude but then again I've never been too picky when it comes to translations so someone may be of better assistance. It has less of an exciting plot than his other two novels but much more philosophical in his beliefs and about Russian society in the late 19th century and certainly relevant today. As for Hadji Murad, it's great along with most of his novellas (when I was in college first reading The Death of Ivan Ilyich I was completely in shock and it truly changed my outlook on life). Maybe fifteen years ago I picked up Great Short Works of Leo Tolstoy by Perennial Classics which has an amazing collections of short stories and novellas which I highly recommend (700+ pages for $15 - can't do much better than that). I do have the Folio boxed set, but, ashamedly, it's still on the shelf in shrink wrap; I'd be surprised if they didn't have those stories and suspect with typical Folio fashion the translations are superb.

maaliskuu 18, 2022, 5:00 pm

Currently reading Possession by A. S. Byatt. Definitely high-brow, literary, and a romance. It’s a fine read, but it’s taking a while to get through, and my TBR pile is sitting there slightly impatiently, waiting for me to finish…

maaliskuu 18, 2022, 5:43 pm

"Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. The illustrations are a little dull, but the story is so engrossing.

maaliskuu 18, 2022, 10:34 pm

>25 amp123:

Always glad to see someone discover Wodehouse. Especially Bertie Wooster's world. Echo the recommendations of the EL editions. Love them.

Having said all that, if audiobooks are your thing at all, you may want to check out Jonathan Cecil's narrations of the Wodehouse books. As a general rule, I prefer text, but these are incredible. Phenomenal voice acting. When working, I keep them playing in the background and find myself laughing so often.

maaliskuu 18, 2022, 11:41 pm

Are the 1st World Library Wodehouse hardbacks of good quality? Is anyone familiar with them?


maaliskuu 19, 2022, 1:22 am

I just finished "All Quiet On the Western Front". What a memorable read. I don't know why I waited so long to read it. Highly recommended.

maaliskuu 19, 2022, 4:35 am

>44 Eastonorfolio: I have the Folio edition sitting on my shelf for nearly 6 years! Really need to read it this year...

maaliskuu 19, 2022, 5:28 am

>45 Kainzow: Yes, you really do!

maaliskuu 19, 2022, 12:22 pm

>38 vestigialtrumpet: Hadji Murad (or Hadji Murat in the P&V translation) is probably my favorite Tolstoy short story /novella. Nineteenth century Russians dealing with ethnic minority separatists in Chechnya. It initially seems a bit less focused than some of Tolstoy's more famous short stories, but it develops a fantastic set of characters and interesting thematics. Tolstoy treats the protagonist as a "noble savage," but also creates complicated affinities between the Russian and the Caucasian separatists. Unlike many of his shorter stories, Tolstoy based it on archival material about historical events. It's also longer than most of his short stories, over a hundred pages.

maaliskuu 19, 2022, 5:05 pm

>47 Eumnestes: Hadji Murat is also the story Harold Bloom highlights as the pinnacle of Tolstoy in his book The Western Canon.

(The Maudes' translation is part of the Everyman's Library volume 2 of the short fiction, which I find attractive and convenient.)

maaliskuu 21, 2022, 5:53 pm

>44 Eastonorfolio: Agree - so powerful and real. I've heard there are two notable translations which are quite different, and worth reading both. (I've only read the Folio one)

maaliskuu 21, 2022, 6:19 pm

I am now reading the Folio edition of Middlemarch. Superb writing so far. We definitely need more Victorian and early C20th literature from Folio !

maaliskuu 22, 2022, 10:17 am

Difficulties by Ronald Knox and Arnold Lunn. The book is a collection of letters between a Catholic priest and a non-Catholic on various objections to the Catholic church. Spoiler alert: the non-Catholic (Mr. Lunn) becomes a Catholic convert shortly after this book was published.

Msg. Knox was crazy brilliant and this is probably one of the best books of Catholic apologetics that I've read. Highly entertaining and informative.

huhtikuu 1, 2022, 7:32 am

>51 podaniel:
Having just read 'Enthusiasm' I am in full agreement.

Knox I would say was in a realm of higher intelligence than the common brainiac.

Waugh writes a profound biography of him.

huhtikuu 1, 2022, 6:38 pm

>52 LesMiserables:

Yep--thanks for the enablement to finally read the Waugh biography.

huhtikuu 5, 2022, 9:25 am

Just started the Ash Tree Press collection of Mary E Braddon ghost stories. Really enjoying both the content and the edition itself. (Bonus, Ash Tree Press is a Canadian company!)

huhtikuu 6, 2022, 3:36 am

Talking of EW, I've just today completed 'Put Out More Flags'.
Waugh delivers again. A genius comic.

huhtikuu 6, 2022, 3:42 am

Just starting this evening: A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh Fermor.

huhtikuu 6, 2022, 2:17 pm

Just finished Ali Smith’s new novel Companion piece, which is wonderfully playful and contemporary, whilst playing around in time, with time for an open ended historical tale. Always love the wordplay.

huhtikuu 6, 2022, 2:33 pm

>42 adriano77: the recordings by Martin Jarvis are wonderful. When I read the printed text I cannot help hearing Jeeves and Bertie's voices

huhtikuu 6, 2022, 8:54 pm

I’ve been on an Ian McEwan kick, having read this week:
Enduring Love
The Comfort of Strangers
and Nutshell

Now on to FS Edmund Crispin books!

huhtikuu 6, 2022, 9:12 pm

>59 PartTimeBookAddict: Looks like you're a full time book addict. None of this part time balderdash at all.

huhtikuu 6, 2022, 9:20 pm

>60 coynedj: Ha ha! They are very short novels, more novellas really.
If you haven’t seen the movie version of “Comfort of Strangers” it is pretty weird, but hypnotizing. Christopher Walker’s Italian accent alone is worth the price of admission.

huhtikuu 6, 2022, 10:09 pm

>59 PartTimeBookAddict: I have quite a few books by him at home. I started with Enduring Love and found it meh. So, I haven't been reading anything by him since...

huhtikuu 7, 2022, 5:05 am

The Life of the Mind by James V. Schall

huhtikuu 7, 2022, 9:59 am

>56 LesMiserables: Hello, LesMis! Been a while my friend!

I’ve read A Time to Keep Silence back in January. Bought it from Hatchards in Piccadilly. It was listed as a Hatchards Special Edition with a striking cover. Much enjoyed it but needed to brush up latin and French 😂

huhtikuu 7, 2022, 11:34 pm

>64 ironjaw:
Faisel, I thoroughly enjoyed it: Fermor is a brilliant writer.

huhtikuu 8, 2022, 4:58 am

I've just discovered someone called Meghan Markle is attempting to trademark a word.

'Archetypes' I believe.

Best we all get reading before we are reduced to an ever decreasing circle of vocabulary!

Oh, and I'm reading One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.

huhtikuu 9, 2022, 6:21 pm

Have just now finished The Dispossessed, by Ursula Le Guin. I enjoyed the book and saw it, among other things, as an observation of how the way we organise ourselves as idealist humans in society always ends up as being oppressive to human freedom and how those ideals need to renew themselves every few generations and how each individual needs to find or claim their own freedom for themselves. Quite a hopeful book actually. That’s my initial response but it’s much more than that of course, it’s a novel! I will read it again - it’s deceptively simple, but I think rich as well.
I enjoyed the read and adore the FS treatment of this book, especially the cloth cover, that shimmers like silk and feels so good in the hand. It’s a keeper.
Before this I read Possession by A. S. Byatt (I just realised now how the titles relate!). It turned into a truly great read, well worth it. The FS version is nice enough but is not a ‘precious object’ like The Dispossessed. It’s just a book, a carrier of content well worth reading…

huhtikuu 9, 2022, 9:14 pm

Halfway through a reread of Master & Margarita.

Starting Deadhouse Gates. Anyone read the entire Malazan series? Worth investing the time?

huhtikuu 10, 2022, 12:56 am

>68 adriano77: obviously personal tastes are exactly that, but for what it is worth I do recommend the Malazan series. Whisky Jack and the Bridge burners are definitely one of the more memorable literary creations that stick in my mind. It can be dark in places, not too dark though. The characters are not shining beacons of light and honour, they are gritty and interesting.

huhtikuu 10, 2022, 4:39 am

That is definitely a reading project for someone who relishes a challenge! Reading the entire Malazan canon would be a major undertaking - the 10 volumes of Book of the Fallen, the 6 novels of the Malazan Empire, and a further 7 or 8 (easy to lose count) associated volumes, with more in the pipeline.

huhtikuu 10, 2022, 5:19 am

>69 Hamwick:

I've read Gardens of the Moon and it took until beyond the midpoint to get me even vaguely interested. However, from what I see elsewhere, it's widely thought of as the worst of the series and things get exponentially better in all respects (writing style, characters, so on). Was hoping to confirm that here.

As >70 strangenews: says, it's quite the investment of time!

huhtikuu 10, 2022, 12:19 pm

>70 strangenews: When I read them, only the first 8 books were out. It still took me 3 months to get through the 8; a much slower pace than normal for me. When the 9th book came out a couple of years later, I found I couldn't remember the details well enough to get a full appreciation of the story. I did enjoy them, so one of these years I will reread the first eight and the final two.

huhtikuu 10, 2022, 3:44 pm

Everyman's Library edition of Shakespeare's Histories Volume I. Much as I would prefer the FS version, this is my first time reading the bard and I wanted the excellent introductions and footnotes. Sadly I missed the boat on the FS printings of the Oxfords and the secondary prices are, well... typical.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 11, 2022, 12:36 am

>71 adriano77: The problem for me with Gardens of the Moon, is that you feel like you have joined halfway through the story. You are straight into it and are expected to just run with it. You end up having to piece it all together, as you get more of the background through the later chapters and books.

It definitely improves though and becomes quite memorable, although it has so many different characters it can get a bit confusing if you take a break between books.

If I was to recommend a fantasy series to someone at the moment, it would be the Spellmonger series, by Terry Mancour. Book 1 was great, book 2 was a bit frustrating (I think Terry Mancour was playing around with some styles, which did not work for me), but after that anomaly, each book has been a real pleasure. He writes them as fast as Sanderson. The best way I can describe the series (now on book 14 of 20) is a combination of Anne Mcaffrey’s Dragons of Pern, with the Lord of the Rings and Terry Pratchett’ Discworld.

Edit: I accidentally typed Spellsinger, instead of Spellmonger.

huhtikuu 11, 2022, 12:48 pm

Well, I finally finished War and Peace. It's a tremendous book of course, though I'll withhold judgment on whether it's the best novel ever written. I do disagree with some of his historical-philosophical views, and it could have been edited a bit (after mentioning "three men", did we really need to be told "There were three of them" in the same paragraph?). Quibbles.

I also finished The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, as mentioned in the Spring Collection thread. It's a fine book but I was quite content to read a copy from the library - I don't really need a lavishly illustrated high quality copy.

So, on to new things. As for fiction, I need something light after War and Peace. I'll be delving into the world of Wodehouse. For non-fiction, it's another library volume, Calling Bullsh*t.

I also finished the video series of Horatio Hornblower. I don't know how closely the series followed the books, but I found the episodes very formulaic. Based on this, I find it unlikely that I'll read the books.

huhtikuu 11, 2022, 1:38 pm

>74 Hamwick:

Didn't mind the dropping-in-midstream thing so much. More so the workman-like prose and flat characters. The ending fizzled actually, thinking about it. With that said, would be interested in learning more about Laseen.

Not heard of Terry Mancour. Will take a look.

huhtikuu 11, 2022, 2:40 pm

Sense & Sensibility~Jane Austen FS Edition
The BFG~Roald Dahl FS Edition
The English Patient~Michael Ondaatje Everyman's Edition

huhtikuu 11, 2022, 4:28 pm

Just finished Dorothy L Sayers’ Strong Poison (FS 2009) and started Dracula (FS 2008), which I had never read as I don’t like horror, but enjoyed the historical novel about Stoker, Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor, so thought I really should read the famous book.
Strong Poison is a reread, but I hadn’t read the following two Wimsey and Harriet Vane novels, so thought I should start at the beginning of their story. The plots in the Wimsey books tend to be improbably convoluted, but the period detail and humour is fantastic for a light comfort read (only Wodehouse does it better >75 coynedj:).

huhtikuu 11, 2022, 5:25 pm

In the past few months I have read Power of the Dog, Handmaids Tale, All the Light You Cannot See, A Tale of the Terror, Folio version, The Stranger, The Orchard Keeper, American Sphinx about Thomas Jefferson, and The Orchid Thief. I have just started Folios Kafka on the Shore and The Black Death. I would highly recommend any of these to read and would buy a Folio treatment of all except maybe The Orchid Thief, funds permitting. I know Folio has published Handmaids Tale, but I dont have it yet.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 11, 2022, 5:47 pm

>74 Hamwick: >76 adriano77: I believe the Malazan series was based on the author's GURPS campaign.

Yeah, here we go, I remembered correctly:


I think it was also heavily influenced by Glen Cook's The Black Company.

I read the first few books and enjoyed them (a while ago), but it read like exactly that to me (someone's Black Company inspired D&D game).

huhtikuu 13, 2022, 5:19 pm

Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey. It was published by The Folio Society in 2010.

huhtikuu 13, 2022, 7:05 pm

>62 Kainzow: I agree re: Enduring Love - it had McEwan's usual great opening, then faded quickly.

But if you haven't read Atonement, I heartily recommend. A wonderful novel.

huhtikuu 14, 2022, 5:24 am

>75 coynedj: Bravo. Indeed, a wonderful book. I often get a sense of prolonged elation on finishing the big books.

Clarrisa, Poor Fellow my Country, Lord of the Rings, David Copperfield, Les Miserables, Atlas Shrugged etc. All left me deeply satisfied.

huhtikuu 15, 2022, 1:36 pm

About 2/3 through The Classical World, by Robin Lane Fox. Lovely binding by Folio in full Buckram with a small inset image on the front board of a bas relief.

This is not a narrative history, but rather a (long) collection of (short) topical essays which switch between historiographical modes. For example, one essay might focus on cultural history while the next might focus on political history, the next on philosophical trends, and so forth. This is nice both because the essays are short enough that they can be read in a brief sitting, and also because it also avoids one of the common pitfalls of much recent academic historical writing, which is to totally ignore more traditional "kings and battles" history in favor of cultural quirks and marginal voices. (If all one had was older works, kings and battles alone would indeed be tiresome and incomplete, but the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction; to be educated one still needs to know who conquered whom, when, and how.) This approach allows Fox to attend to both priorities (obviously in a survey manner due to the sweep of time and space covered).

At first I was slightly put off by his overly conceptual framing device (he wants to see everything in terms of three vaguely platonic ideals: freedom, justice, and luxury), and I still think this is procrustean, but on balance these are important themes and the way he handles it is not too intrusive.

huhtikuu 19, 2022, 5:24 am

So just finished The Life of the Mind by James V. Schall, and have embarked upon:

A Time of Gifts by PLF.

huhtikuu 19, 2022, 5:34 am

I've just begun China by John Keay, in Folio's magnificent edition which is certainly enhancing the pleasure.

huhtikuu 20, 2022, 10:00 am

Half way through the FS Eleanor of Aquitaine. Will likely follow that up with the FS Thomas Becket by Frank Barlow.

huhtikuu 20, 2022, 7:29 pm

Just finished Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities."

It was very charming and imaginative. The proper illustrator could have a field day with an FS version!

huhtikuu 20, 2022, 8:36 pm

Boswell’s London Journal in the FS 1985 edition.

huhtikuu 20, 2022, 8:42 pm

Took me a while due to general busy-ness, but I've just finished Trollope's Barchester Towers.

I loved The Warden, and loved the first half of BT, but I started to struggle with the slow pace of developments, and there just wasn't enough tension and character intrigue to keep me enthralled. Having said that, I did enjoy it, and most of the time I felt like I was in the hands of a master writer. Some very funny moments too. The Folio edition was a delight too, even though simple in comparison to some of their recent offerings.

Will I keep reading the Barchester series? Yes, but won't resume until next year, I think. By then, hopefully my brain will be clearer of work things, which have been challenging over the last couple of years for obvious reasons. These longer, slower paced reads do require some head space, I find.

I'm now reading All Our Shimmering Skies by Aussie author Trent Dalton. A dramatic change in style, to say the least. So far, so good. I really enjoyed his debut Boy Swallows Universe.

huhtikuu 25, 2022, 3:02 pm

Read The Doomsday Book , absolutely devoured it, though very sad. Now reading Seward’s The Wars of the Roses.

huhtikuu 27, 2022, 8:54 am

I'm reading the Folio edition of Phantom of the Opera and am loving the presentation of the print volume overall. The layout is good, paper stock is lovely, and the artwork does not detract! Particularly, I like the full chapter opening pages that lead in with artwork AND the printed page edges (black and orange -- quite striking). Excellent work with this one!

huhtikuu 27, 2022, 11:22 am

>92 jillmwo: glad you like it. I've had my eye on that edition for a while, but some here give it a bad rap

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 27, 2022, 3:23 pm

L.F. Celine : Journey to the end of the night
with illustrations by Jacques Tardi

huhtikuu 27, 2022, 3:23 pm

I'm continuing with my maiden reading of A Time of Gifts. If you haven't read Patrick Leigh Fermor, you might want to.

huhtikuu 27, 2022, 8:10 pm

I just finished A Conspiracy Of Dunces for the first time. I couldn’t tell if I loved it going through but in hindsight it’s been staying with me. I think I’ll have to read it again at a later date.

huhtikuu 27, 2022, 10:16 pm

>96 brokenwolf: I re-read A Confederacy of Dunces a couple weeks ago. The parts with the factory owner and his wife kind of dragged, but overall pretty good.

I found a cheap copy of the original hardback from 1981 and passed on the Folio as the art on that one I thought was too much like a kid's book and not a good fit for that story.

huhtikuu 28, 2022, 2:29 am

I have just finished Night Soldiers by Alan Furst (as recommended by English Bookseller in another thread) and it was excellent - thank you English Bookseller. Have just started The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt (also recommended here by someone) and it’s looking promising. Both books would be good publishing options for Folio IMO. The Furst book is the best WWII war novel I’ve ever read, and the Dewitt is the kind of unique/intelligent/surprising book that awakens parts of the mind that are rarely stimulated, like an interesting conversation with someone who knows far more and is far more intelligent than I am. This is what I often wish for but rarely find, so it’s nice to have it in book form

toukokuu 4, 2022, 2:52 pm

Moby-Dick. Great book, I'm surprised more people haven't heard of it.

toukokuu 4, 2022, 8:14 pm

>99 CobbsGhost:

What's it about?

toukokuu 4, 2022, 10:34 pm

>100 boldface: I think it's a fishing story.

toukokuu 5, 2022, 1:22 am

>101 coynedj: It's a famous DJ's exotica song.

toukokuu 5, 2022, 9:20 am

>100 boldface:
I'd hate to speculate whilst only 15-20% complete.

>101 coynedj:
There are fish involved, so far, but as many or more clams than fish as well.

>102 Jeremy53:
Led Zeppelin?

toukokuu 6, 2022, 11:28 am


Some more P. G. Wodehouse: Something Fresh. It's fun and kept me turning the pages but I did feel the third-person narrative was a little less engaging than the first-person approach of the Jeeves and Wooster stories. (It's part of a Blandings omnibus and Summer Lightning is next up.)


I had begun Lucia in London but it has been put aside for now because I am getting stuck into the LoTR LE and enjoying meeting some old friends again :-)

toukokuu 6, 2022, 6:36 pm

>104 Cat_of_Ulthar: Tesoro, no-one pushes Lucia aside. Mrs. Mapp tried and paid molto caro.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 7, 2022, 5:51 am

Reading Victory over Vice by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 7, 2022, 5:38 am

I finally finished Middlemarch (latest Folio edition) after about six weeks. Even though not a lot actually happens in the book, this was really an impressive and intricate portrait of late Georgian England. Definitely lives up to its subtitle, A Study of Provincial Life, and, in my view, earns its spot on all those "best novels of all time" lists. I have mixed feelings about the illustrations in this edition, but there's a generous helping of them at least.

toukokuu 7, 2022, 11:10 am

Still working on my reserved list at the library. I finished Calling Bullsh*t by Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West. Much of the information was familiar to this inveterate skeptic, but there were some useful parts.

Currently reading T: the Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us, by Carole Hooven, and Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir. The T book seemed well received but the topic attracts a lot of polemicists in addition to the occasional scientist, but I'm happy to report that it seems quite scientific and shoots down the politically-driven theories with (gasp!) the evidence. Project Hail Mary is wonderful - I have been putting off other tasks so I can spend more time with it. His book The Martian was made into an excellent film, and I can't imagine that a film of this book isn't already in the works.

toukokuu 8, 2022, 7:05 pm

Not a Folio, but sort of Folio-adjacent - I'm reading The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco.

It is sort of a mix of late 19th century elements like psychiatry, mesmerism, anti-semitism and freemason/satanism conspiracies. The 125th anniversary of the exposure of the (real life) Taxil hoax was last month so I had been reading up on that and happened to run across Eco's book where Taxil (and one of Taxil's fictional characters) are fictionalized characters in Eco's story.

I noticed that there are already a couple Eco books Folio has released, including Foucault's Pendulum, which also appears to be playing with historical conspiracies. Anyone here have that one and is it worth picking up?

toukokuu 8, 2022, 8:03 pm

>109 rsmac: I’ve been trying to find a copy of the FS Foucalt’s Pendulum in my price range for awhile to no avail. It’s a match to the remarkable FS The Name of the Rose, which I was lucky enough to acquire at a second hand bookshop for $25. There seems to be more of these that come available and it certainly is about an historical conspiracy, if you didn’t already know.

toukokuu 8, 2022, 8:13 pm

>110 BionicJim: I've really been enjoying The Prague Cemetery so it looks like I'll be looking for the FS Foucault's Pendulum, too. I guess we're now Ebay rivals! Lol.

toukokuu 8, 2022, 8:20 pm

Currently reading the FS edition of The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sachs.

toukokuu 9, 2022, 5:05 am

Just finished A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor and starting Between the Woods and the Water by same.

Outstanding literary talent.

toukokuu 9, 2022, 3:02 pm

They Are People, a collection of modern (for the thirties) short stories of nuns, monks and priests compiled by Sister Mariella Gable. She oversaw three such collections and this one is quite good.

toukokuu 10, 2022, 1:38 am

I just finished If This is a Man by Primo Levi. It was an extraordinary account made all the more impactful by the light hand with which the author retells his experiences in the concentration camp.

At one point he describes a dream filled restless night, attempting to share the top of a bunk bed with another prisoner. I got drawn into it, evocative as it was of trying to sleep with a fever, heady and overwrought. Then, he wakes up - in an Auschwitz work camp - and a new horror begins anew. It was quite a startling moment, to read of him transition from one nightmare straight into another. And such an interesting moment to highlight out of all the possible moments of horror, waking up in Auschwitz.

The Folio edition isn't much to my liking but it can be picked up at low prices. I'll definitely be purchasing the sequel, The Truce.

toukokuu 10, 2022, 6:40 pm

>115 AHub: It's an amazing read, isn't it? Not sure I could do a re-read, though. Extremely dark, of course.

There's a copy of the Folio Truce on eBay atm, I've been thinking about getting it, but with postage it's $34 AUD. Not a King's ransom, but not a bargain either.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 11, 2022, 2:02 am

If you want to have an idea how it is to survive a concentration camp, you should read Marguerite Duras' La Douleur ( The Pain ).
I don't think there is a Duras in Folio.

toukokuu 16, 2022, 1:23 am

After finishing A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor, I moved quickly onto Between the Woods and the Water snd finished it in no time. I've just started the third of the trilogy, The Broken Road.

Just can't get enough of PLF at the moment. What a talent!

toukokuu 16, 2022, 6:46 am

One of the more well known escapades of PLF's life was his leading the SOE party that in 1944 captured and evacuated to Allied territory the German commander in Crete, Major General Heinrich Kreipe.

Unknown to PLF at the time was that on the evening of the kidnapping, the remaining German officers on Kreipe's staff toasted their missing general as an old fusspot. The replacement to the missing Kreipe was a much more effective and brutal German leader in Crete.

The film 'Ill met by Moonlight' deals with the kidnapping but perhaps not surprisingly does not reflect the German staff officers' views of their former Commander.

toukokuu 27, 2022, 6:05 am

Almost finished The Broken Road by Patrick Leigh Fermor, and probably would have done so earlier, but broke off to re-devour Waugh's Brideshead Revisited , Scoop, and Decline and Fall in double quick time.

toukokuu 27, 2022, 7:57 am

>119 English-bookseller: In a shameless plug, I review the Folio Society edition of Ill Met By Moonlight here for those who might be interested: https://ubiquitousbooks.wordpress.com/2022/01/29/ill-met-by-moonlight/

It is readily available in the secondary market at low prices and makes for quite a story.

toukokuu 29, 2022, 3:45 pm

Dismayed over the absurd price of the LE of LOTR I secured an oversized 10” x 8” Houghton Mifflin edition of LOTR and the Hobbit with the illustrations of Alan Lee at a fraction of the cost. Finishing it now while reviewing Jackson’s cinematic interpretations.

toukokuu 30, 2022, 6:53 pm

Embarking on the FS Mani.

kesäkuu 2, 2022, 12:05 am

Just finished Moonraker. Loved it.

kesäkuu 2, 2022, 1:50 am

Rereading Brothers Karamazov while I look to find a FS copy. They should just reprint it anyway.

kesäkuu 2, 2022, 4:47 am

>125 adriano77: I have only read it once, but a great epic prolonged delight.

kesäkuu 2, 2022, 10:08 am

After putting it off for years (on my TBR pile), I'm finally reading Gone With the Wind (1968 2-volume LEC edition), after just having finished the EP 2-volume Dr. Zhivago.

kesäkuu 2, 2022, 8:00 pm

>126 LesMiserables:

Fantastic book, yes, though not my favourite Dostoevsky - that will remain C&P. Worthy of a reread at least, IMO.

kesäkuu 5, 2022, 7:07 pm

I just finished the Gormenghast trilogy in anticipation for the LE release. A much different "fantasy" experience than LOTR, which it is often ranked alongside of. Certainly not what I was expecting.

I found it very imaginative and the writing was very expressive, but there were many times when I had to reread a passage to clarify what was happening or who was doing what. And too often I felt that a scene would drag on much longer than it needed to with rococo descriptions. The characters and their motivations always felt at arm's length. The plot never drew me in. The third book "Titus Alone" fizzled out and left the whole trilogy with a flatness.

Having said that, there were a lot of interesting elements and I think if I reread them I'll be going in better prepared for the style and probably have a more enjoyable experience.

Did anyone have this same reaction? If there are any fans of these books, I would like to know what you love about them and what I may have missed.

kesäkuu 5, 2022, 10:47 pm

Swimming against my own advice, I'm juggling a few books at the moment:

Men at Arms
Victory over Vice

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 7, 2022, 5:20 pm

Currently reading The Real and the Romantic: English Art Between Two World Wars as I seem to have been enjoying this period for the last couple of years.
Recent reads especially recommended by me are
Hons and Rebels (I read the Slightly Foxed edition rather than the FS). This has a light hearted first half, but I found the second half rather poignant, which took me off guard.
Sea of Tranquility, the latest Emily St John Mandel, which I really enjoyed for its playfulness, including characters from her otherwise unconnected previous book, The Glass Hotel, and an author on a book tour before a pandemic, where the book is about a future pandemic (shades of her earlier Station Eleven). I think I especially enjoyed the clarity of Mandel’s writing having just read Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.

kesäkuu 18, 2022, 8:47 pm

I just finished reading the FS Dickens II edition of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. I'd avoided this since it's famously an unfinished mystery, however, it was very rewarding. Dickens was still at the top of his game, introducing eccentric and memorable characters right to the end. Can anyone recommend a quality follow-up book where the mystery is resolved? I've heard there are literally hundreds of attempts, but has anything floated to the top?

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 18, 2022, 10:45 pm

I just finished reading A Passage to India, by E.M. Forster (FS), which seems to get both better and more heartbreaking with each passing read, and now reading Lolita, which honestly reads like rich-honeyed poetry. Nabokov sure had a way with language.

kesäkuu 19, 2022, 6:13 am

The Pendulum. Eco liked long sentences. Doesn't matter. I like Eco.

kesäkuu 19, 2022, 8:54 am

The Books Of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk. This is my third book by her and the past two I enjoyed but was always wondering what made her special enough to win the Nobel Prize. This book is why. Nearly 1,000 pages but absolutely fantastic and brilliant.

kesäkuu 19, 2022, 9:37 am

>135 Joshbooks1: I've also read two of her books (I absolutely loved Flights, but felt that Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead was not quite as good). I've been putting off reading The Books of Jacob due to it's size - I have a tendency to read big books in winter and shorter books in summer. It's good to hear that the time investment should be well rewarded.

kesäkuu 19, 2022, 11:38 am

Treasure Island. I was surprised to find it's not playing out on some Caribbean island swathed in Jungle but a terrific adventure nonetheless.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 16, 11:34 pm

>137 snottlebocket: Agreed. Stevenson is a master of his craft.

kesäkuu 20, 2022, 9:58 am

>137 snottlebocket: If you want the caribbean version you could also just play Monkey Island on the computer. X marks the spot.

kesäkuu 20, 2022, 11:08 am

I've finished the first two books of the LoTR LE. They are large volumes but I haven't found that to be a problem and the reading experience has been lovely. I knew some of Lee's illustrations from a calendar I had many years ago but most are new to me and they are beautiful, especially his landscapes.

More P.G. Wodehouse. I've been exploring the world of Blandings Castle. Leave it to Psmith was fun, with Psmith himself being an interesting character - a bit off-putting at first but then I warmed to him. I am now getting into Summer Lightning.

I think it's fair to say that Wodehouse sometimes recycles jokes or that his characters (and, indeed, plots) might be variations on a number of themes but he makes up for it with some beautiful turns of phrase which make me laugh out loud at times.

kesäkuu 20, 2022, 11:47 pm

I finished Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir some time ago. It was a lot of fun, but it did have one flaw toward the end, in my opinion. I won't say what it was because it would give away too much. But, it's a worthwhile read - few books have no flaws, and this one was far from fatal.

I have also recently finished Why We're Polarized, by Ezra Klein. It was very good, and disheartening - there was little hope of a reversal any time soon. I also finished (about ten minutes ago) On the Yard by Malcolm Braly, an NYRB publication. It was superb. NYRB has a tendency toward publishing good books.

I continue to work my way slowly through a few short story collections. One is pulp fiction, another is Wodehouse, and a third is Nabokov. I'm enjoying them all.

kesäkuu 30, 2022, 2:37 am

After hearing (from Timothy Snyder) that nazi Germany murdered about 1.5 million Ukrainians in 1941/2 (mainly Jews) I thought I’d read The Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution. The ex-soviet states have been largely undifferentiated in my mind till this war, so it’s good to educate myself now, learning that East Galicia for example is western Ukraine (Galicia itself include southeast Poland). Perhaps this type of naming has helped obscure things for me. Luckily we have google now.
The book is short enough to read in a few sittings (lots of notes in the back) and what you’d expect, an academically credible yet readable examination of how the mass murder perpetrated by the Nazis turned into systematic genocide, how the ‘problem’ of the Jews was manufactured and how the ‘solution’ evolved. The book doesn’t leave out the Poles, disabled and other groups that were murdered by the Nazis, but the focus is naturally on this conference, this turning point, when the holocaust really became the holocaust.
Highly recommended.

kesäkuu 30, 2022, 7:52 am

I'm not trying to get political but a lot of Ukrainians assisted the Nazis in killing those 1.5 million Jews in their country. Many Ukrainians, like many other European countries, were more than happy when the Nazis invaded and took over their land. Obviously this wasn't universal and it's easy to understand why when Stalin's land reforms resulted in anywhere from 6-10 million Ukrainians starving to death in the 30's. But, they weren't all innocent and actually quite brutal during those years.

heinäkuu 3, 2022, 4:09 pm

Just finished reading the FS Rob Roy; not the new LE, but the regular edition from 2001, which is actually quite lovely, with buckram binding and marbled paper covers. It takes a while for the adventure plot to get going, but once it does the writing is very solid. We're reading it to our son now, who's really enjoying it, despite Andrew Fairservice's authentic Scots dialect.

Non-Folio: Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Have long been familiar with its argument, but never read the text until know. Very engrossing, and the degree to which Freud concedes the speculative nature of his comments is noteworthy.

heinäkuu 13, 2022, 12:28 am

I've recently completed a re-read of The Sun Also Rises courtesy of the recent Century Press edition. I fear thirty years may have passed between my reads, but the young drunks and bullfighters still held their own.

I have followed it up with one from the TBR pile Everybody Behaves Badly and why yes, yes they do. Glad to finely complete the couplet.

heinäkuu 13, 2022, 3:20 am

>144 Eumnestes: I just bought the same edition on ebay last week - looking forward to reading it now!

heinäkuu 16, 2022, 4:52 pm

>143 Joshbooks1: I think it’s fair to say that the ‘holocaust by bullets’ (as it is called) in the Ukraine and surrounding area probably occurred with the cooperation and assistance of locals (there are examples of this from colonial takeovers everywhere, from Algeria to New Zealand) but it’s not fair to imply that their responsibility was anywhere near equivalent to that of the Nazi invaders! The fact remains that the killing was carried out almost exclusively by German Sonderkommandogruppen or Einsatzgruppen. They started by only killing Jewish male bureaucrats, ie men who had been part of the murderous (and hated - I’m speculating here) soviet apparatus. The killing escalated within months to the killing every Jewish man woman and child they could round up (to an astounding total of about 1.5 million people). I guess some rejoiced at and helped with the first killings at least. There are different planes of responsibility here though, and shining a spotlight on local collaborators (as you have here) can seem a bit like straining out gnats while swallowing camels, especially when Ukrainians are once again suffering terribly at the hands of an outside regime.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 18, 2022, 2:45 pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

heinäkuu 21, 2022, 7:56 pm

Recently finished:
Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, by Katharine Hayhoe - definitely a worthwhile read, though it only gave me a little hope.

Recently tried, but gave up on:
The Pyrates, by George MacDonald Fraser - he couldn't less more than three sentences go without some snarky comment or pop culture reference.

Currently reading:
Kim, by Rudyard Kipling (Folio Society 2016 edition) - it was good to get back to real literature, after The Pyrates. Most excellent so far.
Russian Roulette: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Plot for Global Revolution, by Giles Milton - it concentrates on India rather than any global plots, but it's quite well written and informative.

heinäkuu 22, 2022, 3:54 am

Just finished Amor Towles’ latest - The Lincoln Highway. A bit of a disappointment. Great writing as usual, such a talent, but the plot is a bit of a mess and not really tied together thematically very well…

Now reading Thea Astley’s It’s Raining in Mango. Fairly dense writing but I love it. Powerful.

I recently tried to read Black Beauty for the first time (Beehive Books illustrated edition) and gave up halfway through. I can see why kids and horse people love it, but it was a bit obvious. I much preferred Steinbeck’s The Red Pony as a kid - although I may have also loved this!

heinäkuu 23, 2022, 6:48 pm

Rereading 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson.

Started reading Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky.

heinäkuu 23, 2022, 11:09 pm

The Intelligent Investor.
It's a pretty big book, so I'm taking my time with it.

I want to read a Fiction book at the same time. Might be the time to finally read All Quiet on the Western Front.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 24, 2022, 6:19 am

Shall I be a Priest? Fr William Doyle.

heinäkuu 24, 2022, 9:09 am

>149 coynedj: Rudyard Kipling is out of favor these days for a variety of reasons, but I still find him to be enjoyable. In particular, Kim is a remarkably colorful read, just amazing in how Kipling was able to describe the country and the culture.

heinäkuu 24, 2022, 11:24 am

>154 jillmwo: Agree that Kim is a wonderful read.
Currently reading Faber & Faber, which is enjoyable and amusing name dropping, as well as an insight into an unusual publishing firm.
Recently finished Imagining Rome: British Artists and Rome in the Nineteenth Century, an old exhibition catalogue which I hadn’t got round to reading for over twenty years, but which was remarkably enlightening as to reasons for changing art styles.

heinäkuu 24, 2022, 3:24 pm

Just finished the left hand of darkness. Just starting the first Earthsea book.

heinäkuu 25, 2022, 3:35 am

Currently reading the FS LE Lord of the Rings, the LEC Count of Monte Cristo, and The World of Ice & Fire (to get ready for House of the Dragon next month)

heinäkuu 26, 2022, 11:49 am

Non FS: Just finished Miron Bialoszewski's Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising. Really impressive first-person account of a catastrophe. Almost no introspection, with a massive emphasis on physical details and events. And utterly candid about his own lack of heroism.

FS: Just started reading Descartes's Meditations and Other Writings (FS 2011), translated by Desmond Clarke with spot-on illustrations by Shout. Not a spectacular edition, but the usual high quality and good common sense I expect from Folio. And I'd forgotten how much Descartes's "meditations" echo (in form) the tradition of religious exercises by people like Ignatius of Loyola.

heinäkuu 26, 2022, 12:42 pm

Just finished Folio's LoTR LE. By pure chance I was listening to the closing section of Liszt's Dante Symphony (when the choir comes in) while reading the final chapter. Brought a few tears to my eyes, but in a good way.

I am continuing with a bit of Wodehouse as bedtime reading each night, sending me off to sleep feeling that all is right with the world, if only for a while.

I also reread Dave McKean's Cages, having been reminded of it recently, and can heartily recommend it. Among other things, it's got music and cats. What's not to love ;-)

heinäkuu 26, 2022, 1:09 pm

I have recently started my first Trollope with The Warden. I have been meaning to give him a go for a while now having mentioned it in a previous post last month. I was pleasantly surprised to see the most recent FS edition in a Dublin bookshop going cheap while away on a break with my family for a few days which made it an instant buy. It is an easy and enjoyable read so far and I do like the book design and the Bill Bragg illustrations. I will most likely be keeping an eye out for Barchester Towers in the same design though I know that’s where this series ended.

heinäkuu 26, 2022, 10:38 pm

Because this year marks the centenary of the publication of The Waste Land and Ulysses, I'm teaching a course on the two works in the fall as part of the noncredit, senior citizen/retiree adult education program run by the university where I went to grad school. So, yesterday, I started rereading Joyce' Dubliners, which I last read 25 years ago. My goal is to reread it, reread A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and reread Ulysses before the start of the term in September.

elokuu 1, 2022, 5:46 am

Like many, the only R.D. Blackmore novel I have ever read is Lorna Doone, but recently I picked up a copy of the Maid of Sker, which is of local interest to me. Although not very far into the book I am enjoying it a great deal and I'd be quite happy to see a Folio edition.

elokuu 1, 2022, 6:55 am

Doing a reread of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. Halfway through the final book and will be sad to finish! One of those series to be savoured.

elokuu 1, 2022, 7:27 am

>163 RRCBS: Absolutely agree. In the absence of a Folio edition I went with Subterranean Press and it is one of the highlights of my library.

elokuu 1, 2022, 9:59 am

>162 HuxleyTheCat:

I recently read the FS edition of Lorna Doone and thoroughly enjoyed it. I would certainly buy other FS productions of Blackmore's works.

elokuu 1, 2022, 11:09 am

>164 HuxleyTheCat: Same! This read is my first time reading from the SP set and I love it. Only complaint is that the last book is so big and heavy that I can’t have one of my cats on my lap when I read at night! But they are definitely a set to treasure.

syyskuu 3, 2022, 1:00 pm

I just finished Lost Illusions by Honore de Balzac in the gorgeous FS edition. A beautifully written book. Themes on ambition, morality and corruption are as apt today as they were then.

syyskuu 3, 2022, 1:24 pm

>167 assemblyman: I own the same edition and am eager to read it; it's a really lovely volume. There apparently is a recent film adaptation, but I think I might wait to watch it until I read the novel.

syyskuu 3, 2022, 1:40 pm

Something Wicked This Way Comes....Ray Bradbury, FS edition.

syyskuu 3, 2022, 2:31 pm

>168 Eumnestes: Definitely worthwhile and that binding really adds to the enjoyment.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 3, 2022, 3:59 pm

Aeschylus, The Persians La Pléiade edition

syyskuu 4, 2022, 12:39 pm

The Master and Margarita, FS edition.

syyskuu 5, 2022, 10:41 am

The FS edition of Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism. I am thoroughly enjoying the book and the FS picture choices are brilliant.

syyskuu 5, 2022, 11:12 am

Cozying up to The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill, on this wonderful rainy day. Perfect read for the spooky season. Just a paperback copy. Fine with me.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 5, 2022, 11:29 am

>174 Lady19thC: Wouldn't a diminutive set of Susan Hill's (five?) ghostly novellas be a treat!

edit: I've just seen there is a hardback omnibus, but Folio might do it better

syyskuu 5, 2022, 11:40 am

>175 red_guy: Yes, I could get into that, assuming it doesn't cost a fortune and is bound/illustrated nicely. My paperback has some great memories for me, though. Won't replace that one!

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 8, 2022, 3:10 pm

I am restarting a journey of sorts. After a couple of previous starts interrupted by life events, I am going with Gibbon's "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" with the 8 volume FS set. After waiting for a possible new set from the FS (LE?) with the complete Footnotes, I am going ahead and reading along with an audio version that includes all of the Footnotes.

I am anticipating a pleasurable and certainly enlightening experience.

With my luck a complete FS version will soon appear.

syyskuu 8, 2022, 6:58 pm

>177 Forthwith: Good luck. That's quite a commitment, but as you say, will no doubt be enlightening.

I just re-read Greene's Stamboul Train. When I started I'd forgotten I'd already read it (years ago) - as an 'Entertainment', I'd describe it as 'mildly entertaining'; it just doesn't hold together well enough, I think...

Now I'm off to read Rooney's latest, Beautiful World, Where Are You - loved her first two.

syyskuu 8, 2022, 8:28 pm

I have been on a Penelope Lively kick set off by the delightful FS production of "The Ghost of Thomas Kempe."

Finished "Family Album", "The Photograph" and "Life in the Garden" this week. Nice, but a little lightweight.

Can anyone recommend a really good book of hers? Or are those a fair sample of what she can offer?

syyskuu 9, 2022, 12:55 pm

I'm currently re-reading Trollope's six Barsetshire novels - Barchester Towers just now, in the FS typeset/Trollope Society edition (1995).

Also on the go:
H.M. Bark Endeavour : Her Place in Australian History, with an Account of her Construction, Crew and Equipment and a Narrative of her Voyage on the East Coast of New Holland in the Year 1770. With Plans, Charts and Illustrations by the Author. Melbourne University Publishing/The Miegunyah Press, Third Edition 2020.
This is an extraordinary book by an extraordinary author (look up Ray Parkin). The bulk of the book charts Parkin's mission to document in great detail Cook's famous ship. Along the way, this former seaman offers his own philosophical insights into the sailor's symbiosis with ship and ocean, in some passages almost recalling Melville himself. The 2020 edition corrects the egregious misprinted cross-references of the 1997 limited edition.

Also re-reading after decades, My Early Life: A Roving Commission by Churchill. A memoir full of incident, brilliantly told and with much wit in the early chapters recalling his less than distinguished education.

syyskuu 9, 2022, 7:52 pm

>179 PartTimeBookAddict: have you tried Moon Tiger by Lively? It is the only one I have read, but enjoyed it.

I think that shortly after reading the Lively, I read The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald, thought it was wonderful so started reading her novels, and perhaps that was enough Penelopes for me!

The latest Slightly Foxed quarterly featured The World My Wilderness, which I have just finished reading. Very evocative of the ruins of bombed London in 1946, but left the reader to do a lot of work with the plot (unresolved storylines).

syyskuu 10, 2022, 1:08 am

I have the FS copy of "The Blue Flower" from Penelope F. I will give that a try soon. And I will be on the lookout for a copy of Moon Tiger. Thanks!

syyskuu 10, 2022, 6:12 am

Penelope Fitzgerald is wonderful. Everyman do an excellent two volume set which contain her seven best known works that is well worth investing in and very reasonably priced.

syyskuu 10, 2022, 6:23 am

Just finished the first volume of CS Wedgwood’s set on the English Civil War. Very interesting and I like the Folio treatment except for the paper thin spine. I’ve been reading a lot of FS history lately and really enjoying it. Citizens was also excellent. It (fortunately or unfortunately) resulted in more acquisitions, specifically the FS bios on George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, the Everyman edition of Rousseau’s The Social Contract and the LEC Confessions.

syyskuu 10, 2022, 7:27 am

>184 RRCBS: I was disappointed in the FS bio of Franklin. It inevitably uses the Autobiography as a basis, but in reordering it loses some of its personality, and removes some of old Ben's zingers, including his dismissal of men of disputacious Turn.
"Persons of of good Sense, I have since observ'd, seldom fall into it, except Lawyers, University Men, and Men of all Sorts that have been bred at Edinborough."
As a university man bred at Edinburgh I couldn't be without that one, so I supplemented the FS version with the Franklin edition of the Real Thing.

syyskuu 10, 2022, 7:32 am

I am currently reading ‘The Aztecs’ by Richard Townsend, published by FS. The names of places and people are almost impossible to pronounce!

syyskuu 11, 2022, 5:48 am

>185 Jayked: interesting! I may have to add his autobiography to my next LOA order!

syyskuu 25, 2022, 7:27 am

Finished the Wedgwood trilogy, now following that up with Antonia Fraser’s book on the Restoration and Charles II. Probably follow that up with Churchill’s Marlborough, which I recently acquired. Really enjoying devoting more time to non fiction lately.

syyskuu 25, 2022, 8:02 am

I recently finished Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad which I really liked. Im loving Conrad’s use of language so I will continue with more of his books in the future having only read Heart of Darkness previously. I’m currently reading Dostoevsky’s Short Stories which I’m reading as a bit of a primer before I start reading his larger works at some point in the future.

syyskuu 25, 2022, 10:28 am

This entire month I've been reading the FS edition of William of Malmesbury's Deeds of the English Kings (2014). Not a deluxe edition, but very solid with the usual Folio production quality. The illustrations, presented on coated paper, come from contemporary or near-contemporary illuminated manuscripts. The translation is by R.A.B. Mynors, who wrote it for an Oxford UP edition in 1998-99. His notes and scholarly apparatus are perfect for the interested non-expert. I continue to be impressed with the way that FS can combine attractive presentation with scholarly good sense. Excellent reading experience.

syyskuu 25, 2022, 10:44 am

I haven't listed anything for a while.

Recently finished:
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon - I quite enjoyed this one, but to be honest not enough to continue with the series. That said, I couldn't wait for my next reading session, to see what happened next.
The Dawn of Everything, David Graeber and David Wengrow - this took issue with a lot of the common narrative regarding the development of civilization, and quite effectively (if you read it, don't ignore the footnotes in the back). Sometimes it gets ahead of itself and draws conclusions that aren't very well supported, but it was well worth reading and has stuck with me.
Sea of Tranquility, Emily St. John Mandel - I really enjoyed Station 11, so figured I'd try this. Very interesting, very short, and I read it in two sittings. It has one issue that all books dealing with its topic have, but does fairly well with it.
Those Terrible Middle Ages!: Debunking the Myths, Regine Pernoud - also takes issue with a common narrative. Very good at doing so, written by a French researcher so her examples come mostly from France but that doesn't spoil the story at all for this English speaker who is far less familiar with French history than English.

Currently reading:
Ema, the Captive, Cesar Aira - I think someone here pointed me in Aira's direction. I've only recently started it, but I love the style.
American Republics: A Continental History of the United States, 1783-1850, Alan Taylor - this one also takes issue with a lot of the common narrative, which seems to be a thing for me recently. I'm not very far into it, so I'll give a more thorough review at some future time, but it's very informative so far.

syyskuu 25, 2022, 12:36 pm

>191 coynedj: thanks for your comments on The History of Everything, which I intend to read. Agree with your thoughts about The Shadow of the Wind and Sea of Tranquility (Station Eleven is a very high standard to follow).
Currently reading Lost Realms, about the less well known kingdoms of Britain in the 400-800 period (“Dark Ages”), but am finding it hard going as there is so little available evidence.

syyskuu 26, 2022, 3:09 pm

Just finished "Rogue Male." Maybe not high literature, but sure hit a sweet spot for me. I really like how the David Rooney illustrations spillover and are incorporated in the text. There is a similar effect with "The Ghost of Thomas Kempe" and "Day of the Jackal."

Are there any other books the FS have done with this illustration layout?

syyskuu 26, 2022, 4:26 pm

I loved 'Rogue Male' too when I read it some years ago. Read FS 'Day of the Jackal' during this summer. Just as Maggie Thatcher, I loved it. Naturally saw the movie many years ago which is why I held back. Kestrel for a knave had the same spread out illustrations, and quite a few more books have the same. Deserves it's own thread, one of the det subjects that hasn't been focused on in the FS book breakdown - maybe.

syyskuu 26, 2022, 5:07 pm

>194 Pellias: "Day of the Jackal" is great. Both the book and film. I would love FS to do some more Forsyth: "Dogs of War" and "Odessa File." Potboiler fun!

syyskuu 27, 2022, 8:47 am

>193 PartTimeBookAddict:

Anansi Boys has a similar illustration layout.

syyskuu 27, 2022, 5:38 pm

>196 podaniel: Thanks! Good to know. I'll check it out, but probably will stick with my old paperback.

syyskuu 28, 2022, 5:42 pm

Starting vol 3 of the Chips Channon Diaries, to be taken in small doses. Odd how fascinating the dirt dished by politicians you wouldn't want to stand next to in a queue. He lacks the guts and the brio of Alan Clark, who dissed his colleagues with relish while still alive to enjoy the exercise, but he did live with more important figures than Maggie Thatcher. I was a child when the events described took place, but politicians of that era aren't quickly forgotten.
Vol.3 has the most pages of the set, but is a full half-inch thinner than vol.2. The paper is thinner and dingy, the spine so mean that it barely reaches the boards, and the page-block sags like an alderman's belly. All three volumes are the same price. The first two were made to a high standard in Latvia by a Scandinavian-based company, the last by the "English" company Clays. I suppose the thinking is that as there is to be no fourth volume, you won't lose any sales if you bait and switch on this one.

lokakuu 8, 2022, 6:10 pm

Finished Pym’s “Excellent Women” and listened to a few more of her novels:
“Jane and Prudence”
“No Fond Return of love”
“A Glass of Blessings”

Interesting, small mid-century slice of life stories. And so much tea drinking!

lokakuu 9, 2022, 5:51 am

Just finishing the first volume of Churchill’s Marlborough. Really enjoying it, beautiful writing. Also really like the paper in the FS edition.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 10, 2022, 6:23 am

I’m dipping in and out of As I Walked Out One Midsummer morning, and the Alice B Toklas cookbook. It’s a very pleasurable thing - like time traveling, but oh so gently.

Lee is such a beautiful writer, and Toklas has all the inside stories on Stein and co. and delivers it with that cheeky, side-glancing, slightly sullen wit.

And I really like both Folio editions - nice in the hand, easy to read. After finishing a new release paperback, thank God I’m back.

I’m eyeing off a Folio copy of Heart of darkness (blue edition from 90s) but just can’t get excited about the look of it…woodcuts yes, cover, no.

lokakuu 10, 2022, 7:48 am

I finished Maus over the weekend. What an incredible book that I wish I had read earlier.

I'm now currently reading Charlotte by David Foenkinos. That too is beautiful. I'm reading some pages over and over, such is their beauty.

lokakuu 13, 2022, 8:48 am

>203 Kainzow: In a different thread, someone suggested that FS should do Maus. I couldn't agree more.

lokakuu 21, 2022, 2:56 pm

Recently finished:
Ema, the Captive, Cesar Aira - In the end, it merits a meh. Some interesting bits, but it never came together and amounted to anything.
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury, FS edition - I had read another of his books, Farenheit 451, and found it to have a tremendous premise but poor execution. This one, though, was great all around. Every other sentence has evil portent until Something Wicked arrives and then every other sentence has evil, which I thought was masterfully overdone. And despite the bright yellow cover, I found this to be a fine example of what FS can do when they're not publishing comic books or overblown LEs.

Still working on:
American Republics: A Continental History of the United States, 1783-1850, Alan Taylor - it's always good in these difficult times to find that there were equally or more difficult times your country's history. People have acted in vile ways for a long time, which of course doesn't excuse their vile actions today. It would be nice if we could learn from history, but I dare say this type of history is rarely taught.

lokakuu 22, 2022, 1:04 am

FS Magic Mountain - about 100 pages in, waiting for impact. Finally reading in advance of the upcoming double-barreled blast of Cormac McCarthy releases.

Non-FS, recently finished Granta 159 & Young Mungo. The Granta was fine as usual, Young Mungo was better than I expected - rated three stars.

lokakuu 23, 2022, 4:06 am

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

One of the supercomputers is named Googleplex Star Thinker. Written well before that Internet search engine existed. And then there was a reference to Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in The Wind". The answer is 42 to "how many roads must a man walk down".
I like seeing those connecting strands to other pieces of my life.

lokakuu 23, 2022, 12:14 pm

FS Browning's Dramatic Monologues with the lengthy intro by A.S. Byatt. Really interesting form of delivering a narrative.

lokakuu 26, 2022, 11:01 am

I've just finished the FS version of Knut Hamsun's Pan. I found the older McFarlane translation used by FS more powerful than the recent Lyngstad version, although perhaps lacking a little of Hamsun's lyricism.

I'm now starting Einhard's Life of Charlemagne.

What an interesting and varied selection works there are to be found in the FS back catalogue!

lokakuu 26, 2022, 6:09 pm

I’ve just started on Cormac McCarthy’s The Passenger. I’m enjoying it so far, but I suspect it will take me some time to fully immerse myself in the prose.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 26, 2022, 6:47 pm

A.S. Byatt, Possession. A beautifully written novel and a magnificent edition by Folio. Size, paper, type-setting, binding design and illustrations all perfect.

lokakuu 26, 2022, 9:37 pm

>210 SpoonFed: I have my copy of The Passenger, but I'm going to wait until Stella Maris comes out so that I can read them back to back.

lokakuu 27, 2022, 1:01 am

>211 cronshaw: I recall Possession appeared on a few FSD's 'least favourite' editions a while back, but I agree with you, a beautiful tome. (But I'm yet to acquire one!)

lokakuu 27, 2022, 11:29 am

>213 Jeremy53: There's nowt queer as folk!

marraskuu 3, 2022, 7:07 am

Just started Parade's End and disappointed to see that all of the notes are at the end of volume 2. It's a real pain having to have both volumes open at the same time, especially as there are so many notes, 13 on page 1 alone. Not sure if I can keep this up.

How important is it to read the notes to get a full experience of the novel?

marraskuu 3, 2022, 4:40 pm

I just finished Jane Eyre - latest FS edition - and I doth believe Charlotte to be a heart thief of the rarest sort. The book is worth every penny! As a fella who typically reads non-fiction, I can honestly say that the book was much more compelling than I dare admit. Great production, with great and fitting artwork.

On to Defoe's Plague.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 3, 2022, 10:49 pm

Jane Eyre is a true classic - a wonderful work, one with a big beating heart and the kindest of spirits. Maybe time for a re-read over Christmas...

I just finished As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning - really enjoyed it (ignoring the occasional, casual...weirdness...). Colourfully written.

Now a little way into Big Chief Elizabeth, which I - like *many* FSD's - got as a bonus 'mystery book' a few years ago (2017 ish?). Not my usual genre, but really liking it so far, 80 pages in.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 7, 2022, 4:09 pm

The part of Jane Eyre that really stuck with me was the account of destitution after Jane runs away from Thornfield. Quite powerful.

I have started on the Folio edition of Rebecca. Seems like quite a nicely made and designed edition, given it's price point. So far the story is holding up too.

marraskuu 7, 2022, 4:14 pm

I've started my 2nd read of Neverwhere, with the new beautiful FS copy. It is big, cumbersome and heavy, especially when reading in bed, but I am still loving it!

marraskuu 17, 2022, 5:18 am

Finished Churchill’s Marlborough, which I thoroughly enjoyed both in terms of style and insight into a historical period I didn’t know much about.

After that, read some fantasy: Feist’s Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon, then Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. Enjoyed all, but loved the Novik.

Finally, read Reunion by Fred Uhlman (new Everymans Library release) and enjoyed it. Beautifully written novella.

Not sure what’s next, maybe some Romantic poetry.

marraskuu 17, 2022, 2:31 pm

The last few bedtime readings have been Bill Bryson's Notes From a Big Country. Hilarious and still largely valid, I suspect, even though they are getting on now.

Before that I enjoyed Angela Carter's Magic Toyshop. Very, very good.

marraskuu 26, 2022, 5:38 pm

Revisiting my Folio Society edition of Possession by A.S. Byatt. Kind of a follow-up to the Folio edition of Browning's Dramatic Monologues.

marraskuu 27, 2022, 11:52 pm

Finished FS Magic Mountain, have had it on the shelf since it was published.

It was... fine. Ponderous. The narrator breaking the fourth wall to comment on the length of the book is as much a review as any.

marraskuu 28, 2022, 3:44 pm

I’m doing a reread of Rendezvous with Rama, but my first time reading the Folio edition. I wasn’t sure about the texture of the bookcloth covering the boards at first, but somehow it feels “modern” and complements the contents exceedingly well. And, of course, the text itself is just as good as always.

marraskuu 28, 2022, 4:02 pm

>223 kcshankd: congratulations on your perseverance. I am about half way through, having started and stalled last year.

Currently reading The Tomb of Tutankhamun (FS edition) and have just started Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead.

marraskuu 28, 2022, 10:05 pm

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

marraskuu 29, 2022, 6:55 pm

>226 JessieJim: That novel rocked my boat back in Uni, almost 30 years ago. I subsequently read all of his works - loved them. I re-read GoW a couple of years ago, and while I still thought it was excellent writing, it didn't really do it for me anymore...

marraskuu 29, 2022, 8:32 pm

Rereading Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, FS edition (most recent one). Still remains one of my favourite books!

joulukuu 4, 2022, 11:12 am

I've been on a incredibly lucky streak of novels as of late.

Salka Valka by Laxness. Archipelago published this book I think last year and, boy, does it live up to Laxness' reputation. For those of you who have read and enjoyed Independent People, this is as good. I can't get over how talented Laxness was and the way he describes certain people and scenes is unparalleled as an author.

Porius by John Cowper Powys. I'm quite shocked this book isn't on the list for one of the best books of the 20th century and why it isn't more popular in the English speaking world. It's a tough and incredibly long read, and maybe that's the reason, but it is an absolute masterpiece. I found it similar to Broch's The Death of Virgil (but better) where at times it is difficult, confusing, and even a slog, but it is worth it and Porius is one of the most beautiful books of literature I have ever read.

After Lives and The Last Gift by Abdulrazak Gurnah. The Nobel Prize winning author in 2021 does not disappoint. Both books were wonderful, insightful, short, and easy reads which I think is also part of his Hemingwayesque style.

joulukuu 5, 2022, 10:53 am

>229 Joshbooks1: "Porius by John Cowper Powys."

It really is time for John Cowper Powys to be recognised more widely as one of the great novelists of the twentieth century. May I ask which edition you were using? I originally bought the 1994 Colgate University Press edition which has now been shown to contain numerous inaccuracies and misprints in what is, as you say, a difficult text. I now have the Overlook Duckworth edition of 2007, edited by Judith Bond and Morine Krissdóttir, which I believe is much improved. The Powys Society have links to some very helpful notes on various Powys novels (including this one) by W. J. Keith. https://powys-society.org/keithcompanions.html

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 5, 2022, 2:52 pm

>229 Joshbooks1: >230 boldface: I couldn't agree more about the greatness of John Cowper Powys. I have both the Colgate UP and Overlook Duckworth editions of Porius, as well as the original cut edition published by Macdonald in 1951. At some point I really must "compare and contrast" the three texts, but it will be a long job!

joulukuu 5, 2022, 4:14 pm

>230 boldface: I have the 2007 Overlook Press hardcover edition. I can't find anything I dislike about the edition and found it invaluable with the list of names in the front since I'm not the best with names and kept going back to it as a reference.

>230 boldface: >231 davidjbrown10: Have either of you read anything else by him? I think I need a little break since it took an incredibly long time to finish, but how does Glastonbury Romance compare to Porius? Maiden Castle? My favorite part of reading is every now and then discovering a hidden gem, such as Porius, and somehow it will forever be a part of you.

joulukuu 5, 2022, 7:02 pm

I'm currently reading Travels With Charley - Steinbeck FS. Dream buy is hardback Beowulf by Seamus Heaney (translation)

joulukuu 5, 2022, 8:40 pm

>232 Joshbooks1:

A Glastonbury Romance is also a great novel and an easier read than Porius. It is one of Powys's so-called Wessex novels: Wolf Solent (1929), 'A Glastonbury Romance' (1932/33), Weymouth Sands (1934) and Maiden Castle (1936). It got JCP into a lot of trouble, though, when the then (1933) owner of Wookey Hole Caves (near Glastonbury) sued for libel, as Powys had included a controversial character in his novel, depicted as the owner of the Caves. It meant that subsequent editions suffered cuts to the text and his English publishers insisted that all real names of both characters and places in his next novel, 'Weymouth Sands', should be replaced with fictional ones. Thus, while the American edition was published as 'Weymouth Sands', the UK version was renamed after one of his fictional characters, Jobber Skald and all references that could identify the town of Weymouth were excised. Recent editions have restored the original names. The University of Wales 1990 edition of 'Maiden Castle' is described on the title page as "The first full authoritative edition". The Overlook Press 1987 edition of 'A Glastonbury Romance' has a list of characters at the front.

All the 'Wessex' novels are very good and full of allusions to history, philosophy, mysticism, religion, etc., but 'A Glastonbury Romance' is generally held to be the best. The underlying theme in all of them is the ethos and spiritual aura of a particular place and its effect on the many and various characters who inhabit it. In 'A Glastonbury Romance', those characters who are stirred by the old legends of King Arthur, the Holy Grail and Joseph of Arimathea find themselves pitted against the industrial modernisers in a struggle not only for the future of their town, but also for their own souls. Think of an episode of The Archers set on Summerisle.

joulukuu 5, 2022, 9:09 pm

>234 boldface: Thank you kindly! I will look tomorrow at several editions and am looking forward to read more of JCP. After Porius, do you have any recommendations on what to read next?

joulukuu 5, 2022, 11:14 pm

Held off a few weeks after publication, but finished The Passenger.

Now when I get my hands on Stella Maris shortly I'll have to decide how long to let the final McCarthy linger on the TBR pile.

joulukuu 5, 2022, 11:40 pm

>232 Joshbooks1: Everything >234 boldface: said about "A Glastonbury Romance" and then some. I first read it more than 50 years ago and it was a life-changer, and I have returned to it every couple of decades since. "Wolf Solent" is almost as fine, though every time I've read it I've found that having everything seen and felt just through the viewpoint of the titular character gets a little oppressive—the antithesis of what he achieved with "Glastonbury" where he ranges across the feelings and motivations of a huge cast of characters. I recently read "Weymouth Sands" for the first time, and though it somehow peters out towards the end, it's full of variety, atmosphere, and insights. I've only read "Maiden Castle" once, many years ago, and found it oddly unsatisfactory, certainly compared with "Glastonbury" and "Wolf Solent". However it turns out that it was cut for its original publication, which I didn't know at the time, so I'm looking forward to getting to grips with the full version now available from Overlook.

joulukuu 6, 2022, 12:29 pm

>235 Joshbooks1: "After Porius, do you have any recommendations on what to read next?"

>237 davidjbrown10: sums up the relative merits very well. While they all make for rewarding reading, I would go straight to 'A Glastonbury Romance', which distils all the writer's talents in an epic tale.

joulukuu 6, 2022, 12:50 pm

Just finished Ralph the Heir by Anthony Trollope in the FS 1996 edition, which I found very pleasant to read. But, if I dare telling you what I lately read, this is because I could not understand the meaning of an abbreviation I found a couple of times through the book.
So, for those of you who read this book or who own it: the abbreviation "B. B." appears several times in relation with a place called "the Moonbeam", where horses were kept at the disposal of rich gentlemen keen on hunting, and where one could eat and sleep.
Two examples on p. 234 (4th page of chapter XXVII, FS 1996 edition):
"Lieutenant Cox was there, and with the lieutenant a certain Fred Pepper, who hunted habitually with the B. B."
"But he was to have one more winter with the B. B."
I tried to find "B. B." in every reference book I have, and also on the Internet. But could not find any relevant meaning. It cannot be simply "bed and breakfast", can it?

I usually never read books twice, but I'm doing this just now with Death on the Installment Plan by Louis-Ferdinand Céline, which I first read 40 years ago. Once you've been warned that the first 50 pages should be skipped because they are really unreadable (I read the book in French; I don't know how it can be in English), the rest of the book is a pure delight: a very dark, stinking, but humorous description of Paris at the beginning of the 20c. seen through the eyes of a poor boy who gets daily earbashing. (This is actually Céline's romantized childhood.) I recommend it warmly.

joulukuu 6, 2022, 1:23 pm

>239 Pepys: The Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Hunt, under B&B on p.33 of the Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope. It doesn't appear anywhere else, apparently.

joulukuu 6, 2022, 1:28 pm

>240 Jayked: Ah! Thanks for this quick reply. I knew I could find the answer within the group.

joulukuu 6, 2022, 10:25 pm

>237 davidjbrown10: >238 boldface: I just purchased A Glastonbury Romance. I do need a little break as Porius took 3-4 months to finish since I put it down to read other books in between. In a few months I'll give it a go. If it's half the novel as Porius is I will be reading happily for many more months to come.

joulukuu 7, 2022, 4:56 am

>238 boldface: do the overlook volumes have sewn bindings? Intrigued, had not heard of Powys.

joulukuu 7, 2022, 5:29 am

>243 RRCBS: do the overlook volumes have sewn bindings?

My Overlook Porius, a second impression hardback, doesn't: unlike the 1974 Village Press paperback which introduced me to the work, but that's a photographic reprint of the severely cut 1951 Macdonald edition.

I'll put in a word for Powys' Autobiography while we're here, an exuberant sprawling confession quite as singular as anything else he wrote. It might be the book of his that I'd retain if all but one had to go.

joulukuu 7, 2022, 1:59 pm

I'm halfway through, and really enjoying, The Guns of Navarone. It is slightly different from the movie (which may be better) and a great WWII adventure story.

If the FS published this in the same style of "Day of the Jackal" and "Rogue Male" I think it would be a really great production. With a fold-out map!

joulukuu 7, 2022, 9:36 pm

>243 RRCBS:
>244 terebinth:

My Overlook Porius, also a second impression, has started to brown slightly round the edges. It is the best text, though, as far as I can ascertain, and so will have to be endured! There was a time when a publisher called the Folio Society might have contemplated publishing a volume or two of JCP.

I second the Autobiography as a juicy (in places) but literary read (he manages to slip in a Periclean reference while describing an encounter with a Birmingham prostitute). It's on my shelf, not far from the Confessions of Aleister Crowley.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 8, 2022, 6:38 am

>246 boldface: ...It's on my shelf, not far from the Confessions of Aleister Crowley.

Crowley is perpendicular to my Powys shelves, but they are within spitting distance of each other, with Louis Marlow's slim Seven Friends (a memoir including Oscar Wilde, Crowley and three Powyses) somewhere between them. In Powys matters I'm more of a Theodore devotee, but John Cowper, by far the more prolific, exceeds him in shelf-inches even here.

Oh, and, yes, my Overlook Porius is waxing yellow. Odd that a book of obvious lasting value produced so recently in the USA doesn't use acid-free paper, I think in general America was well ahead of us in implementing that standard. As you say, its place is safe since there's no good alternative.

joulukuu 8, 2022, 6:25 am

>246 boldface: thanks for the info…I’ll look into a Kindle version!

tammikuu 8, 4:19 am

Just finished the Folio edition of Birdsong - really loved it. And a great intro from the author…

tammikuu 17, 6:14 pm

Recently finished, or not:

Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry - an excellent read. McMurtry is superb at drawing up his characters - two pages after they're introduced, it's like you've known them for years. Now I need to watch the TV miniseries.

Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson - I read the first 350 pages, then had to return it to the library. When I got it back, it didn't seem to be going anywhere I hadn't already seen. I skipped to the end, and it seems to end just as predicted.

Indigenous Continent, Pekka Hamalainen - excellent, though he did overstate things on occasion. It gives a wholly different view of the first centuries of European settlement in North America than what I learned in school, that's for sure.

The Once and Future King, T.H. White - Folio Society edition, and an excellent edition it is. I read this after Lonesome Dove, and missed the depth of character that book provided, but I eventually got over it. The early books are the strongest; I felt that the last book, The Candle in the Wind, was the weakest, as White rambled a bit and showed his political leanings too much.

An Untouched House, Willem Frederik Hermans - after all the discussion in another thread about Archipelago Books, I checked my local library for what examples they might have. This was one of the two. It's very short and very bleak, giving us another in a long and storied line of books about the cruelty of war.

Next up:

The Philosophy of Modern Song, Bob Dylan
Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne, in the relatively new Frederick Paul Walter translation

tammikuu 30, 7:40 pm

First up, a report on a TV miniseries. I mentioned before that I finished Lonesome Dove, and was planning to watch the series. I've finished it and was startled to see how faithful it was to the book. Such things are rare, and while there inevitably were some things left out (distilling an 850-page book down to 6 hours of screen time makes some cuts unavoidable), the major story lines were presented quite well. Kudos to those involved.

As for book, here's what I've read:

Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne - well, here's a case of a screen adaptation that deviated wholesale from the source material. The book was very enjoyable. Not deep, but fun.

The Philosophy of Modern Song, Bob Dylan - while it really doesn't present any philosophy of modern song, it was a good read, discussing a wide ranging selection of songs and (not in every case) specific recordings of them. Dylan either really knows his stuff, or has a top notch research team informing him. I'd guess that both apply in this case.

Next up:
The Structures of Everyday Life, volume one of Fernand Braudel's Civilization and Capitalism trilogy. I reminded myself in another thread that I had pledged to read it, and I'm about 140 pages in. Very well written and very informative, though my reading suffers from my lack of detailed knowledge of French geography and my very American unfamiliarity with some units of measurement (in this country we measure crop yields in bushels per acre, not in quintals per hectare). That said, this book proves beyond a doubt that, when it comes to the comforts of life, we do indeed live in the best of times. Now I'd like to see that we're not going to screw it up, but that's a political discussion.

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, Anand Giridharadas. Oops, getting political again.

A book of fiction that I haven't chosen yet. Maybe even a Folio Society publication!

tammikuu 31, 9:53 am

Great Expectations in the Dickens III printing on the recommendations of this forum. I must say the binding is excellent and I'm glad I followed the advice. Enjoying the work immensely and I find the book is difficult to put down!

tammikuu 31, 2:03 pm

Robinson Crusoe, first published by the FS in 1972; sixth printing, 2008


tammikuu 31, 2:27 pm

On the home straight reading the FS Iliad. I enjoyed it so much that I have the FS Odyssey and FS Aeneid (SE) heading my way :)

tammikuu 31, 4:07 pm

Recently read The King must Die, which I had picked up in the FS sale four years ago. Excellent retelling of the first part of the Theseus legend, up to the standard the recent Circe by Madeline Miller, and the Geoff Grandfield illustrations really complement the story (although I was originally ambivalent about them).
Currently reading Huckleberry Finn with the wonderful and numerous Harry Brockway wood engravings.

Also currently reading Hollywood: The Oral History, which is very readable and interesting, especially as told using the American Film Institute series of conversations between Hollywood professionals and AFI conservatory students. Recommended if you’re interested in popular culture.

tammikuu 31, 5:23 pm

>255 assemblyman: Personally, although I loved the Iliad, it is my least favorite of the three with The Aeneid being my favorite; if you haven't read either you are in for a treat. If you liked The Aeneid and/or The Odyssey I strongly recommend The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch and The Odyssey by Nikos Kazantzakis. Both are masterpieces, although very difficult at times, and some of the finest literature of the 20th century.

tammikuu 31, 6:05 pm

>257 Joshbooks1: Thank you for the recommendations, I will add them to my TBR list as both sound very interesting after I googled them. I have read both the Iliad and the Odyssey but i was a teenager at the time so it’s been over twenty years. I have never read The Aeneid so I am looking forward to that in particular.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 1, 3:01 am

>250 coynedj: I meant to respond to your earlier post, as I also read Indigenous Continent this month. I thought this good and I found myself in a real dialogue with the book, but considered it marred overall as I felt that Hämäläine undermined his argument by overstating his case. Some very thought provoking reframing of history nevertheless.
I read The Once and Future King a couple of years ago, and after the brilliant fantasy of The Sword in the Stone found the middle two books readable, but workmanlike; however, they are necessary for the overall tragic arc of the stories, which I thought was brilliantly achieved in The Candle in the Wind (I was crying at the end), even if diminished by the political leanings.

Edited for clarity

tammikuu 31, 7:20 pm

Just finished:
The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman
The Glass Key - Hammett
FS of Kidnapped - Stevenson.

Still reading:
11/22/63 - Stephen King

FS of Catriona

helmikuu 1, 4:57 pm

The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World, by Iain McGilchrist, a long and complex, but highly readable, excursion through fields of neurology, physics, art, philosophy and religion that attempts to come to grips with the matter of consciousness and other "things." He takes aim at Dawkins and a materialistic view of the world that excludes and derides the sacred and the divine. You might not like the destination but I think you might enjoy the ride, even if it is a long one.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 3, 2:52 pm

I am about to read Salman Rushdie's Victory city. It is my way to show my sympathy towards this writer who wrote and lived under continuous threat since 1989. I hope he recovers well from the attack of 12 august 2022.

Delivery expected February 18.

helmikuu 3, 11:13 pm

Just finished re-reading Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and currently a quarter of the way through Ray Dalio's Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order.

helmikuu 4, 9:12 am

>263 adriano77: How's the Dalio book? I read his first one and found it quite good.

helmikuu 4, 6:27 pm

>264 L.Bloom:

I've not read anything of his before. Liking it quite a bit. Casual, almost conversational style of writing. The format is interesting as he clearly wrote it hoping to appeal to people that may not have a lot of time (says as much early on; highlights key principles, says skip the rest). As for the content itself, it's nothing groundbreaking - mostly his way of looking at the financial world, with cycles inside of cycles inside of cycles - but it's enjoyable. I guess the genre would be pop economics?

helmikuu 6, 10:27 am

Working my way through a lot of Dumas right now. Hunting down the entire Bragelonne cycle in Hard Cover has been challenging. Speaking of which would really love to see an updated translation of the complete D'Artagnan romances put out by FS. Have quite enjoyed the Ellsworth translations, but Pegasus seems to have cut his book deal right in the middle of the series!

Would be a great place for FS to swoop in and fix the situation. Would love to read some up to date introductions and new illustrations.

helmikuu 6, 11:09 am

>266 ntenBroek:
That’s disappointing to learn to say the least, having bought all the books so far.

helmikuu 6, 11:36 am

helmikuu 15, 1:17 pm

Just finished Lermontov's "A Hero of Our Time." A short and interesting, if slightly disjointed, novel. The setting is of Russian soldiers stationed in the Caucasus in the early 1800s. A good finale with a triple-bluff duel scene. Nice illustrations.

Up next: The Easton Press version of Hal Clement's " Mission of Gravity."

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 15, 3:23 pm

I noticed a bunch of you were reading T.H. White not long ago, I recently started one of his works as well, the FS version of Once and Future King with my 6 year old. I fear it's over his head and it will take a while, but it's my first time with this as well. I love it!

FS, The Princess Bride with my 10 year old, she chuckles a lot. On a side note, Buttercup really ticks my wife off.

LEC, Livy The Early History of Rome, love this book in this edition. The Limited Editions Club generally put out books that rival fine editions of Folio, except with better paper.

helmikuu 15, 4:31 pm

On the FS side of things, this week I started Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. It's a rather frenetic read, but great fun, testing one's knowledge of ancient philosophy since Burton goes to such lengths to satirize it in his 110-page preface. Since the book comes in a little shy of half a million words, it is a commitment. Thank goodness that FS published it in three volumes for easy handling, while the buckram bindings and marbled paper sides are a pleasure to look at, as well. Since my Latin is so rusty, I am secretly relieved that the 1932 editor, Holbrook Jackson, places English translations in brackets after all the Latin passages. But my official position is that I do not need any translations.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 15, 4:34 pm

>270 CobbsGhost:
I’ve read Bilbo (FS edition) to my six-year old - it’s not his first language so you can guess how much went over his head but he was very excited! - and we’re now working on The Fellowship of the Ring (also FS, 1990s elephant hide), which is a bit heavy on scenery for him but nevertheless gets to stay on top of the book pile. I look forward to reading both The Once and Future King and The Princess Bride (I have both from the FS) with him later on!

I also have the LEC Livy and would go one further - being letterpress throughout I feel many LECs beat Folio Limited Editions, though Folio certainly also often come up trumps with newer - and better - translations and vivid art! I’m no great fan of the recent tipped-in letterpress limitation pages in offset-printed books - why bother?

helmikuu 15, 6:46 pm

Recently finished:

The Structures of Everyday Life, volume one of Fernand Braudel's Civilization and Capitalism trilogy. My conclusion hasn't changed from what I said when I was just a bit into it - it's an exhaustive compendium of how life was lived centuries ago, and why we should be glad to live in the present time.

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, Anand Giridharadas. I struggled with this one. He has a point, that the rich have taken over much of the charitable work in this world and decided not only what problems should be addressed, but also how they should be addressed (hint: in ways that don't bring attention to how they made their money, often by causing the problems they're now out to alleviate, or endanger their continuing to make said money). But he overstates his case - there's a lot of "if the rich are funding X, Y, and Z, then the agencies working on these issues will reflect their desires alone", though of course not in those words. And he offers no alternatives. Sure, it would be nice if, say, Pepsi would dedicate themselves to healthy dietary habits instead of selling very unhealthy products, but that's veering off into utopian realms. Maybe I'm just too much a prisoner of the MarketWorld mindset he rails against, but that's a real criticism that he doesn't seem to want to address.

Just begun:

Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr.
How the World Really Works: the Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We're Going, Vaclav Smil

helmikuu 19, 8:16 am

>272 GusLogan:

That's awesome, my little guy seems to be interested in the Hobbit but chose to read about the Wart first. I've been sure to purchase many o' children's books from Folio and stacked a fair amount in each of the little one's top shelf, and it has paid off. Aside of one cabinet of imited edition Folios and a few favorites, those kids books would be the last to leave the collection.

Regarding the LEC, I agree completely.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 1:18 pm

I am reading Schindler's Ark in it's Folio edition. I sort of knew what to expect going in, being familiar with the famous movie and reasonably well-informed about the Holocaust. But I hadn't prepared myself for just how tragically powerful Keneally's version of events would be. I struggle to put the book down, but whenever I do a cloud of melancholy follows me around for some time.

It's also quite a nice edition in general.

helmikuu 20, 1:13 pm

Crime and Punishment, my FS edition.

First time reading this novel and while only about 80 pages in, I am enjoying it very much. He definitely was the Russian Dickens!

helmikuu 28, 7:12 pm

>1 NLNils: Vol. 2 of 'India: a History' by John Keay
'Legends of King Arthur' vol. 1, 'Arthur'
'The Book of Margery Kempe''
'The Code of the Woosters' by PG Wodehouse (Everyman)
'A Short History of Slavery' by James Walvin (Penguin)

maaliskuu 3, 3:21 pm

Reading and really enjoying "Moonfleet". A great young adventure book in the vein of "Kidnapped" or "Treasure Island."

It's the kind of production I really like from FS. Cloth-bound, great cover, original introduction, and lots of illustrations: 10 in a 214 page book. I'm glad they did this one, I would never have known about this author otherwise.

maaliskuu 12, 1:35 pm

Just finished “The Silver Sword.” A charming young adventure novel. Well bound by the FS, but I think the illustrations left a little to be desired.

On to “The Silmarillion” next.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 12, 2:25 pm

I’m traveling to Scotland later this year, so I’ve decided to work my way through some of the Scotland-related (either by subject or author) books in my library. Here’s my reading list (which I am certain not to get through in its entirety):

The main list:
Kidnapped (FS) - just finished
Catriona (FS)
A Memoir of the Forty-Five (FS)
Glencoe (FS)
Culloden (FS)
The Highland Clearances (FS)
The Master of Ballantrae (LEC)
Rob Roy (FS)
Waverley (LEC)

Lower priority:
The Memoirs of Sir James Melville of Halhill (FS)
The Amateur Emigrant (FS)
Across the Plains (Allen Press)
The Silverado Squatters (Grabhorn Press)
Ivanhoe (LEC)
New Arabian Nights (LEC)

Read before this project started:
Treasure Island (FS)
Jekyll & Hyde (Amaranthine)
Two Medieval Tales (LEC)

I know there are many, many more Stevenson and Scott books out there, but these were the ones I had on hand (other than the Glencoe/Culloden/Highland Clearances ones which I just picked up pretty cheaply for some background reading). Any must-reads I’m missing?

maaliskuu 12, 2:50 pm

>280 jsg1976: Check out "The Scottish Chiefs" by Jane Porter. Especially if you can get a copy with the N. C. Wyeth illustrations. She is often overlooked, but easily as entertaining as Walter Scott.

maaliskuu 12, 4:55 pm

My next read will be Barchester Towers as I have just finished re-visiting The Warden. I was reading the FS edition from the mid-80's (or perhaps mid-90's) with a most informative introduction written by Owen (--momentary brain-freeze-- Chadwick). I believe Ruth Rendell wrote the introduction for the follow-up volume, Barchester Towers. Last night, I discovered the existence of the essay series entitled Clergymen of the Church of England that Trollope did; really an interesting side-road to go down...

maaliskuu 12, 4:59 pm

maaliskuu 12, 6:14 pm

>283 affle: I second these suggestions. Especially the Boswell/Johnson volume, which gives a great insight into the lives of Scottish people a couple of centuries ago. If it's preferred, the LEC also published an edition of Boswell's text, although not Johnson's version (the Folio edition includes both).

maaliskuu 13, 1:06 am

>281 PartTimeBookAddict: >283 affle: >284 ubiquitousuk: Thanks! I ordered a copy of the Scottish Chiefs with the Wyeth illustrations and the FS Boswell/Johnson volume (being more interested for my purposes in the Johnson rather than the Boswell).

maaliskuu 13, 8:16 am

>280 jsg1976: If you are a golfer (and it's not a necessity) a must read before going to Scotland is Preferred Lies by Andrew Greig.

maaliskuu 13, 1:28 pm

>285 jsg1976: You're welcome. There is also "The History of Scotland" by Houston and Knox that FS did as a handsome two volume set. I've yet to read it however.

While reading Catriona I was very happy that FS included a glossary. I had to refer to at least once per page, if not more often.

Hope you have a great trip!

maaliskuu 15, 11:00 am

Recently finished:

How the World Really Works: the Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We're Going, Vaclav Smil - I expected more than what I got. He spends much more time on history (the How We Got Here part) than on science, and the science was focused mostly on the near-impossibility of accurate prediction on the topics covered (so there wasn’t much to the Where We’re Going part, though a good amount on where we’re not going despite the popularity of some scenarios).

Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr - I liked his previous book, All the Light We Cannot See, but this one left me cold, and I gave up on it. The story lines were too far apart, with too slim a thread connecting them.

Blindsight, Peter Watts - ah, finally a winner. A science fiction first contact book, but brimming with ideas and wonderfully different from other first contact books and movies I’m familiar with.

Mythos, Stephen Fry - a fun retelling of the Greek myths, ranging from the very start, through to the familiar gods of Zeus, Hera, Hermes, etc. I will be reading his other retellings, Heroes and Troy.

The Singing Sands, Josephine Tey - Just delightful, even with the ending being too pat and quick. This was my first Tey book, and it won’t be my last. The introduction lists The Daughter of Time, Brat Farrar, and The Franchise Affair as her best, and if The Singing Sands is in her second tier, then the first tier must be tremendous.

Up next:
The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton

Alpha: Eddie Gallagher and the War for the Soul of the Navy Seals, David Philipps (not my usual type of reading, but it comes highly recommended)

maaliskuu 15, 11:06 am

>288 coynedj: Regarding Tey, I recently finished The Franchise Affair and really enjoyed it (also read Daughter of Time which was very good, and Miss Pym Disposes, which I enjoyed, but didn't like it as much as the others). The Singing Sands is on my TBR pile, along with Brat Farrar!

maaliskuu 16, 1:36 pm

>288 coynedj: thanks for these short reviews. May get Blindsight for my son, as sounds suitably ideas driven.
I was underwhelmed by Fry’s Mythos, as too “easy”, although I will probably read subsequent books. I think that I have been spoilt by Miller’s Circe and Barker’s The Silence of the Girls.

For me, recent fiction highlights have been the much praised Small Things like These and Atkinson’s historical novel Shrines of Gaiety, which was something like a cross between Wodehouse and Gold’s Carter Beats the Devil, set in 1920’s London underworld - just fun!
Non-fiction highlight was The Restless Republic, which was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Award last year. I am on an English Civil War binge, and this looks at the “interregnum” of 1648 to 1660 by telling the stories of nine very different individuals during this period. I found it wide ranging, thoughtful, thought provoking and again, a fun read.

I would also mention Sebastian Barry’s latest Old God’s Time, which was beautifully written (as ever), but I found the use of an unreliable narrator just a little bit too much. However it is staying with me, so I may have to reread and perhaps amend my judgment.

maaliskuu 18, 7:30 am

>288 coynedj: Brat Farrar is very good. My first Tey novel. Great twists and turns.

maaliskuu 27, 11:10 pm

Halfway through "My Brilliant Career" by Miles Franklin. A FS printing from the 80s with a fairly bland cover design. The cloth feels nice though and I'm a fan of all the integrated illustrations throughout.

The book is very engrossing. This is my first time reading Franklin (it was recommended by the 1000 Books to Read Before you Die) and so far I can see why it is on the list.

maaliskuu 28, 9:12 am

I've been reading 'All hell let loose' for the past week.Trying to decide if I'll like it enought to invest in the Folio edition, which has a hefty price.

huhtikuu 6, 7:20 pm

Finished "My Brilliant Career". Very charming story with an unexpected ending. Similar in style to "Little Women" and the works of Ingalls Wilder.

Also finished Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl." Excellent FS production in a great format and with many photos. Such an engrossing book.

Next up, keeping on the "books by young women" theme, is "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi.

huhtikuu 6, 9:29 pm

>293 dyhtstriyk: It’s fantastic. Best single volume (well, in the FS case, two-volume) history of the Second World War that I have ever read. I read several years ago when it was first published and was delighted to see the Folio edition. It’s worth the hefty price - very well done.

huhtikuu 6, 11:59 pm

>295 wcarter: Great review. Mine has that same greenish tinge to the spine.

huhtikuu 7, 1:21 am

>297 PartTimeBookAddict:
I think that is caused by mild sunning. Very appropriate for an Australian novel ;-)

huhtikuu 7, 8:08 am

Bleak House, Dickens III.
Pace: glacial.

huhtikuu 7, 2:21 pm

>298 wcarter: I was looking into the poet Adam Gordon she mentions a few times in the book. Is he still read in Australia?

huhtikuu 7, 5:29 pm

>300 PartTimeBookAddict:
No, he is a forgotten poet now, but he was very popular a century ago, and my father used to quote him.

huhtikuu 7, 6:39 pm

Working my way through Trollope's Chronicles of Barchester. Am about to begin Framley Parsonage as my evening read. The edition is from the Folio set of the late '90's. (Really handsome sitting on my bookshelf.)

huhtikuu 8, 1:30 pm

I have begin the Folio edition of Lark Rise to Candleford. So far it lives up to its reputation as idyllic bucolic escapism.

huhtikuu 8, 1:34 pm

>301 wcarter: A lot of poetry is unfortunately ignored. I'll be giving him a read. A lot of his work is online.

huhtikuu 8, 3:36 pm

>303 ubiquitousuk: That one has been in my TBR pile for a long time. I do need to get to it at some point.

huhtikuu 8, 6:34 pm

>303 ubiquitousuk: I was reading Lark Rise to Candleford when my first child was born, so it feels extra special to me. A lovely book.

huhtikuu 10, 7:53 am

>299 L.Bloom: yep. I really liked it…but around half way, I wondered whether I actually needed to personally experience and *feel* the court case dragging on and on. I may get back to it some day…

I just finished the Hitchhikers fifth and final book. I enjoyed it a lot and thought the ending fitting, if morbid. But, it kinda worked for me. The Folio editions are a joy.

Now reading a biography on Patrick White - very detailed but starting to become very engrossing.

And flicking over to the second book in His Dark Materials from time to time.

huhtikuu 12, 10:56 am

I read Dino Park at the moment. Amazing book 🥰

huhtikuu 12, 11:31 am

>306 gmacaree: I recently started parental leave with my first, so it may yet have the same association. Either that, or it will forever remind me of poo-filled nappies ...

huhtikuu 12, 1:13 pm

Currently re-reading Guns Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond. An amazing, enlightening read and a beautiful Folio edition.

huhtikuu 12, 1:28 pm

I am in the middle of reading Gogol Collected Stories which as a first read I am greatly enjoying. I must pick up his Dead Souls. I am also re-reading At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien in the Everyman's collected edition. I usually prefer to read one book at a time but it's going well so far. I really wish FS would do At Swim-Two- Birds to go with the Third Policemen which is one of my favorite SEs.

huhtikuu 14, 2:28 pm

Just finished Ian McEwan's "Lessons" - his longest and least interesting book.

Working on the "Wrinkle In Time" series. On to the last book. It's a unique series structure, but I can see why the FS only published the first one. Each pretty much stands alone as its own story. They feel like Dr. Who episodes.

huhtikuu 15, 10:54 am

The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton - I gave up on it after 300 pages. I'm sure the author had some very detailed flowcharts tracking just when she would hint at plot points, and then later on would reveal them, and then later on would develop them, and then later on would connect them to other plot points. It was all very clever, but far too calculated for me.

Alpha: Eddie Gallagher and the War for the Soul of the Navy Seals, David Philipps - top quality reportage, showing just how someone can game the military's clannishness and legal system, and the public's adoration of the Navy Seals, to get away with serious criminality.

Currently reading:

The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps - I've been slowly working my way through this, and am almost done with it. This was a lot of fun, though I have to say that a number of the stories at the end of this long book are pretty weak.

A Manual For Cleaning Women: Selected Stories, Lucia Berlin. I've only read about ten stories so far (they're quite short), but it's clear that Berlin was an excellent writer.

Origins: How Earth's History Has Shaped Human History, Lewis Dartnell. I've only started it, but this is right up my alley, or what my son calls "Dad's weird nonfiction books".

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 16, 1:15 pm

>313 coynedj: I bought Alpha on your previous recommendation, it will be my next read after The Road. I immediately bought a second book on the topic, called Code Over Country by Matthew Cole, detailing the derailment of Seal Team Six (as they are known in public).

huhtikuu 22, 7:34 am

Have just begun '1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows' by Ai Weiwei.

huhtikuu 24, 11:20 am

I just started the second volume of the FS version of Churchill's The World Crisis--this is the volume where he tries to dig himself out of the Gallipoli debacle.

huhtikuu 24, 11:52 am

Just finished The Tomb of Tutankhamun, FS a week ago and LIVY, LEC edition three weeks before that, both are beautiful and interesting books to have on the shelf.

Last night I started 'The Anatomy of Melancholy' by Burton. The introduction is the greatest CYA note in history and nearly nullifies the basis for writing the book, but it's quite wonderful.

huhtikuu 28, 12:33 pm

Molesworth. Hilarious and I seem to recall that there was a topp Folio edition of it which I should track down. (My current copy is a wet and weedy Penguin, chiz.)

huhtikuu 29, 5:12 pm

Selected 'The Periodic Table' by Primo Levi from my shelves today.

huhtikuu 30, 5:51 pm

Halfway through ‘Victory’ by Joseph Conrad. Like all Conrad books in my experience: starts off slow and you wonder why he’s considered a great writer and then you get caught by the psychology of the characters and the drama between them. I’m riveted!

toukokuu 3, 9:33 pm

Recently finished:

A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories, Lucia Berlin. I confess, I didn't finish it. Not because it was badly written - it was quite well written. But I grew anxious for a sustained narrative. I may come back to it at some point.

Origins: How earth's History has Shaped Human History, Lewis Dartnell. I enjoyed this - it did a very good job of explaining the strong impact of plate tectonics on human development and history.

Next up:

Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century, Brad DeLong. Hey, I have a degree in economics.

The Anomaly, Herve Le Tellier. I don't recall where I got the recommendation for this one.

And, spurred on by the discussion in another thread, I pulled out the old family copy of Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery, Deborah and James Howe. Not deep stuff, but it should be fun.

toukokuu 4, 12:37 am

>321 coynedj: Beware! The celery stalks at midnight!

toukokuu 4, 11:30 am

>321 coynedj: I have A Manual for Cleaning Women, but have yet to find myself in the mood to read it. Recently read Louise Kennedy’s collection of short stories, The End of the World is a Cul de Sac, which is uneven so I am hoping for more from her Trespasses.
Recently read Time Shelter from the International Booker shortlist, which was full of ideas, but didn’t work for me as a novel. However I would recommend Guadalupe Nettel’s Still Born which is also listed and which I read last year.

Have just started the latest Kapka Kassabova travel book, Elixir: In the Valley at the End of Time, having really enjoyed her previous two books.

toukokuu 4, 2:21 pm

I forgot to mention that I also recently finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. An utterly charming book. If the folks in Hollywood have any sense in them at all, it will soon be adapted for film. And if the Folio Society has any sense, they'll have a new edition ready for release shortly before the film's debut.

toukokuu 9, 2:26 pm

Just finished FS's "A High Wind in Jamaica". I thought it was just going to be a children's adventure story. Wow! I was not expecting such a grim, strange tale. Very interesting read, with the most unexpected twists and character reveals. It kept me rivited. And good illustrations. Happy for the FS having brought this to my attention.

Up next: "The Girls of Slender Means" by Muriel Spark.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 9, 3:29 pm

Antony and Cleopatra in the Nonesuch Shakespeare. I know it's not FS BUT it is FS inspired. Once I learned about the upcoming Shakespeare LE I decided that if I'm going to splurge on a collected Shakespeare, I might as well go big. I suspect the price variance won't be too large between them in any case.

toukokuu 9, 4:37 pm

>316 podaniel: How is this one so far? I have the set waiting for me to clear space in my calendar to tackle it. I really enjoyed his writing in The River War 2v and the FS war speeches.

toukokuu 9, 5:06 pm

>327 LBShoreBook:

It's Churchill so it's a good read--but you have to understand that it is the First World War as seen by Churchill as civilian head of the navy. Which is an odd way to look at a war that was mostly land based. So the first volume is about events leading up to the war through the end of 1914 from a naval perspective. The second volume is just about 1915, i.e., Gallipoli, and is mostly an apologia for Churchill's role with respect to that debacle. The third volume is the rest of the war. The fourth is the aftermath. And the fifth is a tacked-on volume about the Eastern Front. Just from this overview, you can see how out of proportion the work is, but, again, that's Churchill for you.

toukokuu 9, 5:37 pm

>328 podaniel: Sounds fantastic in a Churchillian way. I've read other WW1 narratives for the bigger-picture view (The Guns of August being one of the better ones) so a myopic ego-centered one should be entertaining. Thanks for the input.

toukokuu 9, 5:45 pm

>329 LBShoreBook:

Yep--can't go wrong with Churchill. By the bye, if you haven't picked it up yet, I'd highly recommend FS's Great Contemporaries by Churchill. That may be his best single-volume book.

toukokuu 9, 6:19 pm

>330 podaniel: will check it out, thanks

toukokuu 18, 2:40 pm

Finished "The Girls of Slender Means" by Muriel Spark. I love her writing. Clever, darkly funny. She makes you keep pace. An excellent set piece near the end. I would love FS to do a box set of her novellas like the Waugh Comedies collection.

Also finished "Cider With Rosie". Very charming prose. A song on the secondary market for a pretty good production. Like those tall, slender books the FS does.

Listened to "Faceless Killers" - snooze. Better than Nesbo, but not as good as P. D. James or Ruth Rendell. And certainly not better than the masterful Martin Beck series, which the FS should have done instead.

Also listened to "The Order of Time" - (narrated by Cumberbatch) very interesting, smart, but comprehensible for the layman like me. A good choice for FS. I have to visit their "Relativity" for more background knowledge.

Up Next: Time to pick up my copy of "A is for Ox" and find out what all the hubbub was about!

toukokuu 20, 1:22 pm

Finished "A is for Ox" - a great short read. Well presented, with illustrations lined up perfectly. Now I know where serifs come from. Glad I got it before the secondary market blew up.

Also re-read "The Red House Mystery" which has put me in the mood for more of that kind of thing. Next, I will be going through the Locked-Room Mysteries box set that has been sitting on my shelf for the last three years.

toukokuu 25, 5:08 pm

I'm on a winning streak!

Recently finished:

Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century, Brad DeLong. Superb, for those who have an inkling to read such a thing. More wisdom and levelheadedness than is normally found, though he did less well with the most recent parts of his story. It's just too recent, and he did play a part in American economic policy making, so he (admittedly) isn't completely unbiased.

The Anomaly, Herve Le Tellier. Entertaining, a quick read, and it sticks with you (or, at least, it stuck with me). That said, it's not going to become part of the literary canon.

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery, Deborah and James Howe. A flash back to when my kids were young. Maybe I should read some Hank the Cowdog next.

Little Things Like These, Claire Keegan. Very short, and very powerful. Sure to be shortlisted for my Best Books I Read This Year list.

Up next:

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. No need to wait for my capsule review - it's a work of genius.

The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey. I said I would read more Tey, after I enjoyed The Singing Sands so much.

Civilization: A New History of the Western World, Roger Osborne.

The Disappearing Spoon, and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements, Sam Keane.

toukokuu 30, 3:53 pm

Moby-Dick LE. Maybe my favorite LE and one of my all time favorite books.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 31, 3:14 pm

>333 PartTimeBookAddict: Delightful little mystery. I liked it very much. A very nice Folio production just marred by the incomprehensible decision of repeating the cover on a thin cardboard slipcase. It would have been much better with a plain red slipcase.

You'll find that the latter two of the locked room mysteries (the Leroux and the Dickson-Carr) very similar, but with far more outlandish solutions. I didn't care much for The Four Just Men.

toukokuu 31, 2:02 pm

I am reading A Month in the Country on the recommendation of >295 wcarter: (https://www.librarything.com/topic/349775). Today I read the first half, which was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. Tomorrow I plan to finish it off.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 31, 6:32 pm

I'm reading Martin Gilbert's quite brilliant history of the Second World War. It's gripping, once I pick the book up I can't bring myself to put it down. I'm not usually much taken with military histories, but Gilbert's comprehensive bird's eye view of the theatre of war and his engaging, accessible prose style that includes fascinating (and horrific) anecdotal detail and regularly focuses on the war as experienced by ordinary soldiers and civilians, rather than merely as directed by political leaders and generals, has me hooked. The Folio edition is excellent, a beautiful binding design and well illustrated.

The parallel between the behaviour of Hitler's SS and Putin's troops in Ukraine is unnerving.

toukokuu 31, 6:54 pm

To the Lighthouse; perhaps FS will publish something by Clarice Lispector, such as The Chandelier, to augment its collection of Woolf novels. I find Woolf easier to read, Lispector is harder to forget.

toukokuu 31, 10:53 pm

>336 dyhtstriyk: Yeah. The Red House "slipcase" is bad design.

I finished "The Four Just Men". I found it entertaining enough with a few twists. In its way it is a precursor to thrillers like "Day of the Jackal", Harris' "Hannibal" and Nolan's "The Dark Knight." Looking up the publishing history on wikipedia is hilarious (and spoiler free).

I finished a few FS Simenon books as well. "Maigret's Mistake" and "Maigret Sets a Trap". Both very good. I haven't read enough of the 75-odd novels to state which are the "best". I would have put in "The Man on the Bench". But, I also would have made them collections of at least 6 novels - like the Waugh set or the Dahl set.

On to Leroux's "The Mystery of the Yellow Room" next.

kesäkuu 1, 9:37 am

Something Wicked This Way Comes. I read half of it yesterday and will probably finish today. Awesome book so far.

kesäkuu 16, 9:20 pm

The Fantastic Gustave Doré. A selected collection of his illustrations from the beginning of his career to the end. The reproductions are excellent, the paper and sewn binding have a high quality and the way the cover illustration is done (embossed, with gold and silver highlights) is striking.

In response to a publisher's rejection of Gustave Doré's proposed folio edition of Dante on the ground that the public only wanted cheaply made editions, he responded:

"In every age when art or industry has exhibited a tendency to languish, there have always remained a few hundred individuals who have protested against so pernicious a state of affairs, and have been ready and willing to pay a handsome price for any careful and well-published work which should be brought out."

168 years later, this statement remains relevant.

kesäkuu 17, 10:27 am

Still have two volumes of the Barchester novels to get through, but paused to read as a change of pace Alberto Manguel's A History of Reading. A chapter or two at a time allows me to absorb it.

Also taking a look at a (very) recent publication from the British Library, The Gothic Tales of Sheridan Le Fanu Note: For some reason that touchstone is wonky. My version was edited by Xavier Aldana Reyes.

And a couple of light mysteries.

kesäkuu 18, 12:45 am

I just finished reading Great Expectations (the 1994 Folio edition). As expected, I enjoyed it much more as an adult after having been forced to read it in Jr High. I was actually surprised how many bits and pieces were familiar after all these 40 years.

One of the inspirations to read it again this year was the new BBC mini-series. While the book is great and is certainly a deserved classic, the new mini-series is awful. Outside of the setting and character names, the story has been changed so much it's difficult to recognize the original and the themes and ideas that resonated so much with me (and I'm certain were a strong reason this book is still read 150 years after its publication) were lost upon those responsible for the cinematic work. I'm a proponent for updating classics and expect transference to a new medium to include changes, hopefully the better to enhance the original, but this was a major miss.

Dickens famously changed the ending of his book to make it a "happy ending" after input from his friend and novelist Bulwer-Lytton (An outline of the original ending is included in the Folio edition). Though there is some controversy, the published ending works on many levels in addition to giving the hint of an optimistic future for the main characthers. The cinematic ending is awful and completely wrong.

Sorry for the OT movie review, but the book is great! Like the rest of the FS editions in this series, the illustrations are fantastic and made it a pleasure to read.

kesäkuu 18, 1:40 pm

No FS volumes in the pile ATM. I am reading Miss Willmott's Ghosts (Sandra Lawrence). Next up I have Islands of Abandonment; The Book of Trespass; Small Pleasures; Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets.

kesäkuu 19, 7:42 am

We’re reading Austin’s Northanger Abby to our son, from the 1975 FS set with the red buckram. Not fancy, but a charming, convenient edition.

kesäkuu 19, 4:02 pm

>344 BionicJim:
I love Great Expectations and am due for another reread of it. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I find many people return to the classics long after their schooling days, only to realize they are fantastic and so much more enjoyable and relatable when you are a bit older and wiser! If you are looking for a worthy film to watch, the BBC TV miniseries starring Ioan Gruffudd, Justine Waddell and Charlotte Rumpling is fantastic. While none are perfect, it was the closest one to the book that I have come across and a delight to watch. I also really appreciate the ending, which I will not spoil for you!

kesäkuu 20, 12:07 pm

Currently reading American Pastoral by Philip Roth in my LOA edition. It’s been on my TBR pile for a while. Having a young daughter myself, finding the book tough to read, but definitely engaging and thought provoking.

kesäkuu 20, 1:07 pm

Recently finished Colson Whitehead's debut The Intuitionist, still thinking about it a few days later. On the one hand read straight it is a noir-ish tale from not quite historical 1950s NYC, on the other hand it is clearly an allegory on race in the USA

Currently reading Nothing Ever Dies on the generational trauma rippling from those decades of conflict.

kesäkuu 21, 10:41 am

Currently @ 74% of The War of the End of The World. I have the Folio Edition (a heavy thing of beauty), but given that the book was written in my native language I'm reading it on Kindle. So far it's been a spectacularly brutal and muscular novel.

kesäkuu 23, 12:55 am

Reading The Institutes by John Cassian.

kesäkuu 23, 6:33 am

Am presently engrossed in Bill Bryson's 'At Home', an absolutely riveting history of mankind's domestication.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 23, 4:31 pm

I just finished Roadside Picnic (SE), which is a very nice edition in my view and represents great value for money.

I am now reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Also a nice edition (I prefer Roadside Picnic), and quite funny if you have an irreverent streak. But I am glad the book is short because I can see it outstaying its welcome.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 23, 3:24 pm

>353 ubiquitousuk:

"I can see it outstaying its welcome".

Spot on. This is one of the most overrated books of all time and it has aged poorly. Might have been an interesting or fun read in 1971 but today?? Not so much.

And here is a two-fer for you. This will probably be an unpopular opinion but Charles Bukowski is another author who quickly overstays his welcome, where a little (VERY little, I might add) goes a long way.

kesäkuu 23, 3:21 pm

>354 dlphcoracl: Why in 1998?

kesäkuu 23, 3:27 pm

>355 PartTimeBookAddict:

My mistake. I meant to refer to its publication date, which was 1971 and not 1998. The book was very much ‘of the time’ in 1971 but is decidedly out of date today.

Now corrected above. Thanks!

kesäkuu 23, 3:43 pm

>353 ubiquitousuk: I have something crazy to say...

I recently read fear and loathing and HST's published letters. I am currently reading Moby-Dick and maybe this is some kind of weird bias but HST's writing is a lot like Melville's to me.

kesäkuu 23, 4:03 pm

>356 dlphcoracl: Oh, just a typo. I thought something might have happened in 1999.

Thompson's writing is decidedly evergreen. Aside from some of the political characters current readers may not be familiar with, his writing has some of the strongest and most passionate editorial prose in history. And as a stylist he is often imitated but never duplicated. I put him right up next to another great, Jimmy Breslin.

If you can find hard-charging, two-fisted writing today that outclasses him I'd like to see it.

As for Bukowski, we live in an era of ONLY Bukowski. Most new fiction is Auto-fiction of the type that made Bukowski popular. His legacy lives large: Knausgård, Rooney, etc... But, you are right. Just like all his acolytes he's a complete snoozer.

kesäkuu 23, 4:21 pm

I've never read any Bukowski, but I have to agree that Fear and Loathing did overstay its welcome. The further I got into it, the more times I said to myself "not this again!". At least I didn't buy the FS edition - I read it before FS got around to it, through the library.

kesäkuu 23, 10:54 pm

I'm reading a few Non Folios at the moment:

Vikram Seth's "The Golden Gate: a novel in verse." Once you get into the rhythm it becomes really hypnotic.

"Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders". Light summer entertainment. Mortimer is always enjoyable.

For FS: I'm deciding if I want to start Ballard's "The Drowned World" or Milton's "Big Chief Elizabeth" next.

heinäkuu 6, 8:42 am

Recently finished:

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. A transcendent work of genius. This was very enjoyable, and I must do it again.

The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey. Somehow, I liked The Singing Sands more. This had less of the dialogue I so enjoyed, and not being English, I had trouble following all of the names and titles. I have no idea if the history is creditworthy. I didn't dislike it, but it wasn't quite as good as I had hoped.

Civilization: A New History of the Western World, Roger Osborne. Very good, especially at putting historical trends and events into context. Weakest when discussing post WWII history, where his political leanings came to the fore.

Still working on:

The Disappearing Spoon, and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements, Sam Keane. While it's informative and well-written, I find myself reaching for other books first.


The Space Merchants, Frederik Pohl and C.M. Korbluth. Kornbluth's work was recommended to me, and this was all the local library had. Quite good so far. Part of the LOA's American Science Fiction collection.

Priestdaddy, Patricia Lockwood. The author is quite skilled at simile (and telling a story, of course). Not many people can legitimately say they have a Roman Catholic priest as a father.

heinäkuu 6, 8:04 pm

Finished Nothing Ever Dies, an exploration of the multi-generational reverberation of violence rippling from Vietnam. That led me to revisit my FS Quiet American, that I had last read in the runup to the second gulf war. Such lunacy to repeat such lunacy.

>361 coynedj: Priestdaddy might be an all-time favorite, I remember drawing several glances from my wife due to laughing out loud while reading it.

heinäkuu 9, 3:54 am

I just finished The Door in the Wall, which lives up the hype that surrounded the edition on this forum. Thanks to those who sang it's praises for inducing me to buy this book.

Now on to Shackleton's Boat Journey. First impressions are very positive: the textured paper binding feels like cloth and the addition of spot UK and silver foil makes for a very tasteful design on my view. From a quick flick through, the interior looks quite neatly put together too.

heinäkuu 9, 8:25 am

FS latest printing of Wuthering Heights. This is FS at it's best imo. Classic book, buckram bound, great original art (not much of it but it's well done), and great paper. At the original price ($60 US I think I paid) it was certainly worth it. Now at 75$, I would not be so happy to buy it.

heinäkuu 9, 11:29 am

>363 ubiquitousuk: "Shackleton's Boat Journey" is a perfect adventure read. I loved it.

I'm reading a non Folio version of "The Origins of Totalitarianism" on and off. Took a break to read the delightful "Dream Days" by Kenneth Grahame. A small and lovely designed book. Very wistful with his romantic nostalgia for innocence. Perfect summer reading that will make me go back to "The Wind in the Willows" very soon.

Also read "Silas Marner" recently to prepare myself for the big one in the fall: "Middlemarch."

heinäkuu 21, 7:19 pm

Some forum enablement to my reading this week:

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
A Month in the County by J. L. Carr
And starting off on A Shameful Revenge by María de Zayas y Sotomayor.

heinäkuu 22, 12:44 pm

Foliowise, I've been enjoying Hitchhiker; non-Foliowise, I've been engrossed in The House of the Spirits. I might have said this before but I would love some Allende from Folio.

heinäkuu 28, 11:33 am

Finished Roadside Picnic. Fun mix of PKD and Lem with a noirish flare to it. A lot more world building than the Tarkovsky film as it takes place over many years and narrates multiple trips to the "zone". Was interesting to see the film pick out the best bits and pieces from the book's various missions and fuse them into a single trip. The film also focuses on the more moralistic themes, and is less interested in some of the more alien (and supernatural) ones.

Le Guin mentions this in the intro, but it's also amusing how Soviet writers resign themselves to the possibility that we probably won't be able to understand and/or communicate with an advanced alien species, unlike more optimistic Western fiction that typically culminates in a communications "breakthrough". A big McKean fan from his Sandman and Cages days, so was pleased with the abstract illustrations that help underscore the more nebulous aspects of the work.

Probably not for everyone, but vintage sci-fi (or Tarkovsky) enthusiasts should be pleased.

heinäkuu 28, 11:51 am

LE Madame Bovary, enjoying it very much so far.

heinäkuu 28, 1:29 pm

Recently finished:

The Space Merchants - Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. Classic science fiction from the 1950's, very enjoyable.

Priestdaddy - Patricia Lockwood. Funny, touching, and (having been raised Catholic) filled with many familiar notions. I see that she has a novel out. I think I'll have to give it a try.

Currently reading:

Spinning Silver - Naomi Novik. This was recommended to me, and while I am enjoying it, I notice that all of the women are excellent people but any evil person is invariably male. Not that there aren't good men as well, but this is a story clearly pitched to women.

Existential Physics: A Scientist's Guide to Life's Biggest Questions - Sabine Hossenfelder. Very good so far. I'm no physicist, but I've been able for the most part to follow her arguments, though I'll never understand quantum mechanics. She doesn't shy from a debate, takes people to task when she feels it necessary, and isn't afraid to say "we just don't know".

heinäkuu 28, 3:01 pm

I just finished Foundation, which has an interesting narrative structure. I enjoyed the book's fairly rich model of the forces that shape society.

Prior to that I read Shackleton's Boat Journey, which was excellent. The recent Folio edition is nicely put together and the story of Shackleton's adventures is quite incredible and most thrilling.

Before proceeding with the next part of the Foundation Trilogy I am reading Five Days in London, May 1940. This is a much more academic book and perhaps a little bit disjointed in places. But it's a fascinating period and very interesting to get a bit of insight into the characters involved.

All three are in their Folio editions.

heinäkuu 28, 3:59 pm

>372 ubiquitousuk: Loved Shackleton's Boat Journey. I still have no idea how they survived that ordeal.

If you like "Five Days in London" check out Erik Larson's "The Splendid and the Vile". It has more scope for that time period and is very well written.

heinäkuu 28, 4:25 pm

>373 PartTimeBookAddict: thanks for the tip, I'll take a look!

heinäkuu 28, 5:27 pm

>374 ubiquitousuk: I’ll second the recommendation for The Splendid and the Vile. Great book.

heinäkuu 28, 6:51 pm

I just read Nancy Mitford’s “The Pursuit of Love” and “Love in a Cold Climate”.

Both had me laughing on almost every page. And such a lot of illustrations in the FS editions. Very enjoyable.

Next: Dipping into some vintage sci-fi with “Babel-17” by Samuel R Delany.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 29, 6:45 am

'China's Hidden Century: 1796-1912' published by the British Museum. A quite extraordinary read and a magnificent, profusely illustrated edition that provides a comprehensive history of the complicated, cosmopolitan and fragile empire that was late Qing China. The eponymous exhibition at the British Museum is wonderful, but there's so much more history and exhibit information in the book than is available to read in the exhibition itself.

Furthermore it's remarkable how affordable this large hardback edition is, with a sewn binding and printed in Poland, costing only £40 in the museum shop or on-line (cheaper than on Amazon). An equivalent Folio edition would be well over £100.

heinäkuu 30, 2:09 am

>377 cronshaw: I thought the exhibit was glorious. Already been three times!

elokuu 3, 6:12 pm

I just finished reading The Book of Crawling Creatures from the Studies from Nature set and what a lovely experience overall! I can't wait to make my way through the other three poetry volumes (I'm trying to go slowly to make it last).

elokuu 4, 2:37 pm

>183 red_guy: Just got around to my FS copy of "The Blue Flower" by Penelope Fitzgerald this week.

I don't know if it was the prose style, my unfamiliarity with Novalis and the era, or the crazy German names, but it was hard for me to connect with the book. It was fine and there are interesting elements (especially about late 1700s life), but I felt I really had to work at finishing it. It seemed to jump around too much. At least it's only 200 pages. The illustrations are fantastic, though.

This was the first P. Fitzgerald book I read, aside from "The Axe" short story. Anyone have recommendations of another of her works to try next?

elokuu 4, 8:17 pm

>380 PartTimeBookAddict: I would suggest Offshore or The Bookshop. I really enjoyed reading Penelope Fitzgerald’s books, and I consider The Blue Flower her best, but I had just discovered German Romantic Art (mid-1990’s), so it was an ideal read.

Have recently most enjoyed reading Fight Night by Miriam Toews, which is not my usual style of book , but which I found very funny.
Have also read The Romance of Ruins: The Search for Ancient Ionia - 1764 which I found a delight and, for my personal understanding, revelatory in providing sufficient detail of the experiences and difficulties overcome by eighteenth century travellers. It is a catalogue where I had been unable to attend the exhibition, but where the essays added significantly to the enjoyment of the art.

elokuu 5, 2:37 am

>380 PartTimeBookAddict: I've gone through The Blue Flower twice and didn't really care for it either time.

elokuu 5, 3:12 am

>381 CarltonC: >382 gmacaree: I don't think it's without qualities. She definitely had passion and was well versed in the subject matter. It just didn't jibe with me. I will check out some of her other works. Thanks for the recommendations.

elokuu 5, 5:19 pm

>380 PartTimeBookAddict: Oh, that's a shame it didn't appeal. I remember the thing I liked was that it didn't read like a historical novel at all, and was very immediate. If you should feel up to trying another one, I recommend 'At Freddies', which is about a stage school in London in the 1960s, and very funny.

elokuu 7, 11:23 pm

Just finished The Big Short by Michael Lewis.

elokuu 7, 11:28 pm

>384 red_guy: Thank you. Sounds interesting.

elokuu 8, 2:14 am

I've decided to read a bunch of India-based stories for the rest of the year. Primarily because I have them, but also because there's some India-related stuff happening at work (in a good way).

Just started the Paul Scott series (in Folio) - great so far.

Then, Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy.

A fair few words in all that, but looking forward to finally getting around to them.

Any other recommendations for India-related fiction/non-fiction? I've read The God of Small Things (wow).

Muokkaaja: elokuu 8, 3:08 am

>387 Jeremy53: I haven't read them myself but I've heard great things about the Ponniyin Selvan volumes by Kalki (it's fiction based on real historical people and events). I did watch the movies recently - they're available through Amazon Prime Video in the US - and they were stunning! Another fictional book series I enjoyed was The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi — I read it quite a while ago and don't remember much, but it's pretty popular so you may have already heard of it.

I visited Mysore Palace this summer and was really awed by the beauty and history of the place. If anyone has any book recommendations specifically regarding the Kingdom of Mysore, I am all ears.

elokuu 8, 5:16 am

Just finished the FS Parades End by Ford Madox Ford. A hard slog at times and not sure where it was going but well worth the effort.

elokuu 8, 5:20 am

>387 Jeremy53:

How about A Passage to India. Westvaco produced a lovely boxed version complete with 2cd's of Indian music. Lots of copies available on eBay. Its called A Silk Road Journey 2

Muokkaaja: elokuu 8, 2:59 pm

I just finished a reread of My Cousin Rachel, by Rebecca du Maurier, FS edition.

Also just starting The Living Mountain, by Nan Shepherd, FS edition and first time read!

Studying through Travels Through Middle Earth; The Path of A Saxon Pagan, by Alaric Albertsson.

elokuu 8, 3:27 pm

>381 CarltonC: re: The Romance of Ruins, how is book construction? Stitched binding? Looks fascinating.

elokuu 8, 5:16 pm

>392 abysswalker: The book construction is good, stitched binding as far as I can tell and I can lay the book flat without issue. When checking I noted that it was printed in Turkey, which was rather appropriate.
A Sir John Soane's Museum publication in association with the British Museum.

elokuu 8, 11:36 pm

>388 BooksFriendsNotFood: Awesome, thanks. Will add to TBR list.

>390 N11284: I've read A Passage to India a couple of times actually - which is unusual for me to re-read! I believe the initial set-up is very similar to the Paul Scott series, which is maybe based on an actual happening of the time? Cool re: the music set, will check out...

elokuu 9, 7:35 am

>387 Jeremy53: L.H. Meyer's The Root and the Flower is superb. Rushdie's Midnight Children was enjoyable but I'd advise lower expectations since I was expecting something magnificent after it won the Booker of all Bookers. Gandhi's autobiography is great. Also The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian is also well worth reading.

Hope this helps and enjoy!

elokuu 9, 12:20 pm

Folio: Trainspotting. Pure brilliant, so it is.

Could do with a glossary, though, I suspect. I'm a highlander rather than from Leith so I could follow most of this although there was the odd word I had to check out. But what would our American cousins, among others, make of it?

Anyway, it's a way of life that is alien to me in many, but not all, aspects (the overnight bus journey brought back a big whiff/pong of nostalgia).

Non-Folio: Breakfast at Tiffanys.

I sort of enjoyed this without understanding a lot of it. But it's short so I'm going to read it again to try and get my head around it. Two nations divided?

elokuu 10, 9:21 pm

Currently reading The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe. Douglas Adams. The Limited Folio Edition

elokuu 10, 9:42 pm

>397 Carl64: Whoo! Enjoy!

elokuu 10, 9:53 pm

>398 BooksFriendsNotFood: Thanks! Great read and the books are top notch!

elokuu 15, 11:30 am

Les Miserables LE. I actually like the design of this one and this era of LEs in general. A Big, chunky, monument to a great work of literature.

elokuu 15, 6:33 pm

I finished The Living Mountain this morning and it was wonderful! Originally I was not going to pick it up, but so many of you raved about it! I'm glad I invested. Quite a treasure!

I am now rereading Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke.

elokuu 16, 4:23 am

I just read Evelyn Waugh's peculiar little novel, Helena - a title of his that is mostly overlooked these days, it seems to me. Very interesting and typically, drily funny throughout, but as I said - peculiar. Anyway, being about Constantine and that era, I thought I would bookend it with the FS Fall of Constantinople by Steven Runciman - just started today.

elokuu 16, 5:08 am

I am currently reading Middlemarch. Its a first read for me and I am halfway though it. It took me a bit to get into it but I am enjoying it now. I don't think I like it as much as The Mill on the Floss which I loved but I will wait to finish it and see how I feel.

elokuu 16, 7:06 am

Beowulf - 1973 Folio Edition, picked up from Abe Books after the recent special edition release. 1st time reading it, didn't think I'd ever read something like this but I'm enjoying it and glad I took the chance with it.

elokuu 19, 3:08 am

I started reading the latest FS edition of Monkey by Wu Ch’eng-en and I'm really enjoying it! One thing I'm appreciating so far is how it skips the long, detailed fight sequences and just says something like "It was a good fight that followed." or "Truly a good fight!" and then just gives us the ending. This is perfect for my current attention span.

elokuu 21, 7:52 pm

>404 Tamachan00:
Thats so expensive on ebay. 😳😓

Muokkaaja: elokuu 22, 7:04 am

>406 Ragnaroek: The 1973 FS edition of Beowulf can be found very, very cheap on eBay.

It’s the 2010 Seamus Heany’s translation edition that is on the pricier side.

elokuu 22, 9:03 am

>407 Nerevarine:
Ohhhh yes. My fault. Its a shame so. I wish the new version would be 100£ cheaper 😕

elokuu 22, 10:21 am

>407 Nerevarine: Yes, this is correct.
I picked up my copy for 12.99! It's a lovely edition though - a bit of a bargain at that price.

elokuu 22, 5:22 pm

I am nearing the end of the second volume of The Foundation Trilogy. The first volume ("Foundation") was clever and reasonably fast paced. The second ("Foundation and Empire") feels a bit more like cheap, derivative science fiction and is dragging a bit. We'll see what the third volume brings...

elokuu 22, 7:53 pm

I am almost halfway through Arabella, by Georgette Heyer, FS edition. I enjoyed the first one, so my husband gave me this for Christmas and I am finally getting around to it, before I sink into my "spooky" reads for September and October. A very pleasant way to end my summer reading!

elokuu 22, 8:14 pm

>411 Lady19thC: I hope you're enjoying it! I read Arabella in the Georgette Heyer Signature Collection edition back in 2021 - I recall it being very fun! - and when the Folio Society did an edition I snapped it up real quick haha. I really hope we get a new Heyer book from FS this year — I'd love for them to publish at least one of her mysteries as well as they're reminiscent of Agatha Christie's works.

elokuu 23, 7:13 am

>412 BooksFriendsNotFood: i truly hope they do!

elokuu 23, 11:20 am

Picked up a FS edition of The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann for €12 recently. A book I had not heard of before. I'm finding it an interesting treatise on time. Enjoying it so far.

elokuu 23, 8:19 pm

>413 DramPan: Fingers crossed!

I'm so glad she was a prolific writer because I've read 31 of her books so far and it's not nearly enough.

elokuu 24, 4:49 pm

I just completed The Eight Mountains: A Novel by Paolo Cognetti. This might be read in your comfortable armchair in the quiet of an evening. It is a contemporary work about the life friendship between two men and their fathers. One lived and remained in the Italian Alps and the other ventured to Nepal. The writer is living some of both lives.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 25, 9:34 am

Finished Childhood's End, one of Arthur C. Clarke's early successes that has continued to improve upon its reputation over time (it was also Kubrick's first choice for film adaptation before settling on The Sentinel (2001) over rights issues). It presents a different take on the alien invasion yarn by featuring a benevolent race of aliens instead of the typical hostile invaders, with a number of interesting and unexpected twists along the way. The Folio edition features illustrations by Grace Aldrich -- whom I really like as an artist -- however, some of her choice of subjects were somewhat underwhelming given the imaginative source material. Overall, though, the vintage sci-fi enthusiast should be quite happy with this package.

elokuu 29, 10:53 am

>411 Lady19thC: My wife and I read Arabella in the FS edition a few months ago. Charming story in pretty presentation.

elokuu 29, 1:05 pm

I am nearing the half-way point in the FS version of Blood Meridian. I anticipate that it will take more time for a slow read. Chapters 11 and 12 have some brilliant writing to savor. I am reading a Chapter or so at a sitting to let the phrasing internalize. This is a book with the parts exceeding the whole.
I am sad to learn that there is another serious effort this time to make this a movie.

elokuu 29, 1:54 pm

I am currently reading a trio of Franz Kafka short story books from Twisted Spoon Press. Contemplation, A Hunger Artist and A Country Doctor. I was away on a short visit to Prague recently (first time) with my wife and couldn't resist picking them up after visiting his museum. I really like some of the stories so far. I foresee picking up his main novels down the line at some point.

I also highly recommend visiting the Franz Kafka Museum in Prague, I found it very interesting and a wealth of information on his life.

elokuu 29, 4:13 pm

I'm nearly finished with the Heritage Press edition of Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii. It's just slightly better than dreadful.

elokuu 29, 5:42 pm

>421 Betelgeuse: High praise indeed! It'll be a dark and stormy night before I read any of his work. And one without access to anything better.

elokuu 29, 6:15 pm

>422 coynedj: I felt compelled to give it a try because I just saw a Pompeii exhibit at one of the Chicago museums. A few years ago I read one of his short stories and it was pretty good. It was a horror story and the florid prose worked in that case. But this is something else. I’m more than ready for the volcano.

elokuu 29, 6:32 pm

>423 Betelgeuse: was it a good exhibit? I’ve been thinking of going.

elokuu 29, 6:43 pm

>424 jsg1976: Yes, it was well worth the visit. Tragic, grim, interesting, and beautiful all at once.

elokuu 30, 10:32 am

Recently finished:

The Adventures of Sinbad, by Gyula Krudy
Season of Migration to the North, by Tayeb Salih
Both of these are NYRB editions, and provide further proof that they have a superb selection of translated works the we insular Americans would otherwise know nothing about.

Cheri, by Colette - another NYRB book, but proof that they don't always suit my taste. I got 80 pages in and gave up on it. It seemed like a pointless story about pointless people.

The Ascent of Money, by Niall Ferguson - began as a history of money, then veered into a history of finance, which I wasn't looking for. This book pre-dates cryptocurrency, so I hope someone does a book covering them and how our definition of money is changing.

Next up:

Musashi, by Eiji Yoshikawa - as mentioned in a previous post

The Big Myth: How American Business Taught Us to Loathe Government and Love the Free Market, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway - if the title doesn't tell you their opinion, then the introduction (which is as far as I've gotten) certainly will. I'm in the mood for a good polemic.

elokuu 30, 8:18 pm

>428 LesMiserables: The titles you've been reading are real eye catchers. 😆

elokuu 31, 2:34 am

>429 BooksFriendsNotFood: Yeah, real classics. :-)

elokuu 31, 7:18 pm

About 200 pages into the FS edition of Tocqueville's Democracy in America. A really fascinating view of the early 19-c US, even if the author never saw a detail he failed to remember. An engaging mix of political theory and history.

Although the leather of the cover seems less luxurious than one might expect, and there are no illustrations, this is an excellent reading edition. It reproduces the U of Chicago edition of 2000, which is a good mix of scholarly notes and accessible text, perfect for the interested non-expert. I'm almost always impressed with the decisions FS makes in presenting classic works.

elokuu 31, 8:18 pm

Finished Matilda (FS) and Coraline, by Neil Gaiman (another Gaiman I would like them to publish)

Now rereading Phantom of the Opera (FS) and loving it more each time I read it. Very hard to put down!

syyskuu 1, 1:33 pm

I am reading a rare trade edition: "The Perks of Being a Wallflower". I am pleasantly surprised: there's more to this than I expected. The blurb on the cover compared it to Catcher in the Rye, but it's a bit of a mix of that and of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

syyskuu 1, 2:00 pm

>431 Eumnestes: Totally agree, they excel at presenting classic works (with the exception of few questionable translation choices).

syyskuu 2, 1:31 pm

I am reading Les Miserables (Folio LE) for the first time.

syyskuu 2, 1:46 pm

On the second book of the Farseer trilogy. I read these in the trade editions when they were originally issued, but remember very little about them. I am enjoying the re-read.

syyskuu 6, 8:37 am

>435 texntim: Same! Really enjoying it as well.

syyskuu 6, 10:14 am

>435 texntim: >437 L.Bloom: This coincidently just arrived for me this morning.

syyskuu 9, 2:12 pm

I recently finished The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by Gerald Basil Edwards and thoroughly enjoyed it. The book is written in the cranky but also endearing voice of the title character and unfolds in a series of anecdotes and memories spanning the course of his life on the isle of Guernsey. It is not, for the most part, a plot driven book but is instead very much a study of the title character, his friends and family, and Guernsey itself. The degree to which any potential readers will enjoy the book will no doubt hinge on the degree to which they are drawn to the title character. The book unfolds slowly but rewards patience and even develops a bit of momentum at the end. And if you are at all interested in the Isle of Guernsey you will almost certainly enjoy this book.

If you are interested in picking up a copy, I’d strongly suggest checking out the illustrated editions put out by Extraordinary Editions: http://extraordinaryeditions.com/books/the-book-of-ebenezer-le-page/. The Island Edition is a particularly good value, IMHO, as it doesn’t cost that much more than a trade edition. And Martin Morgan, the publisher, is a pleasure and worthy of the support of this community.

Forgive me for the longer than normal post to this thread but I’m on lockdown with Covid and a bit bored so I thought I’d say a little bit about my impressions of the book rather than just state the title.

syyskuu 9, 4:45 pm

A lot of Kindle reads lately: Curse of the Chalion, Paladin of Souls, Berta Isla, Tomas Nevinson (prob fav recent read, ending was really good), A Heart so White, Learned by Heart.

Three favs are Tomas Nevinson, The Curse of the Chalion and Learned by Heart. All very different by really good.

Really miss physical books and will be happy to get back to them. Kindle was just easier for things like going on day trips. Finishing a reread of The Quincunx then prob start on some non fiction.

syyskuu 9, 5:08 pm

>440 RRCBS: Great to find another fan of The Quincunx!

I recently bought a U.S. trade edition, which amazingly is sewn and has good paper and is nestling in my TBR pile. I've just finished Shadow of the Wind and found echoes of The Quincunx there. It has been a long time since I read the paperback (1990-ish), but remember enjoying it hugely. Did you find it has stood the test of time?

syyskuu 9, 6:24 pm

>441 red_guy: Neat find! I’m really enjoying it the second time around, and can see what you mean about echoes in The Shadow of the Wind. I actually think I haven’t read any of Palliser’s other novels, so will be looking into that at some point!

syyskuu 10, 2:56 pm

I tried to read Howls moving castle, but this book is so boring and every character is absolutely annyoing I can't identify with one of those.

I gave it up and read GoT instead 😍😊

syyskuu 11, 3:03 am

I finished True Grit and I'm still making my way through Gulliver's Travels and Titus Groan — I'm reading them in ebook form but I chose them based on the existence of the FS SE and LEs. I don't find them horrid or anything but all three excel at putting me to sleep so I've put them to effective use by reading them before bedtime.

syyskuu 11, 3:29 pm

>443 Ragnaroek:

You are being overly kind. It’s worse than that.

syyskuu 11, 7:13 pm

I read Howl as a kid and enjoyed it very much. Didn't feel the same way about the movie though.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 12, 12:47 pm

Finished Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Second go around for me, but first in 30 plus years (and first in Folio!). A worthy sequel in which Adams' imagination is still outpacing his pessimism and he swings for the fences here to valiantly top the original, even if he ends up just a bit short. Jonathan Burton's a great choice on art, channeling Adams' humor and whimsy quite well. I would avoid the Adam Roberts introduction until after reading all of the books, as it contains spoilers not only for this one, but subsequent volumes as well...

syyskuu 13, 7:20 pm

Half-way through Paul Scott's 'The Jewel in the Crown' (FS edition - which I really, really like).

It started well - very interesting character development and context. Then, it inexplicably got bogged down in some interminable monologues, narrated by characters of questionable interest and value to the overall story. I really wrestled with why Scott chose to do it this way...to just cripple the momentum of his story like that...I mean, I know why he did it as a story-telling device (allows him to paint a very broad picture of the circumstances of the story and of Indian context), but boy, was it long-winded and lacking interest!

Anyway, I seem to have come out the other side of that and he's increasingly narrowing the lens again onto things that matter more. And more interesting characters. I nearly gave up!

I feel like it's the kind of book that really tests our modern attention spans and the time we have available. There are 4 books in the original series...+1 another sequel...so that's quite a commitment. When you're going through such reading tests, it's hard not to think about all the other (shorter) books you could be reading that you've never got around to.

(Rant over)

syyskuu 17, 1:34 pm

September has been a mixed bag so far:

The Good:
'Salem's Lot - Stephen King (Not a fan usually, but this one didn't stall out like most of his books do.)
City of Thieves - David Benioff (A tight WW2 story of two Russian soldiers trying to find some eggs during the German invasion.)
The Sea Around Us - Rachel Carson (I don't know if research has updated this book any, but it was extremely interesting, full of facts I hadn't even wondered about before. Highly recommended.)
Big Tree - Brian Selznick (If you like Selznick's style, this is a great short read about 2 seeds trying to make it big!)

The Bad:
Stella Maris - Cormac McCarthy (Incomprehensible and boring. Maybe if I was a quantum physicist I could glean something out of it, but I doubt it.)
Boldly Go - William Shatner (One or two good stories inflated to book length with a whole bunch of filler.)
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The worst book FS has ever recommended. Thankfully, I read a library copy. Poorly written, boring story, very long, the worst kind of exposition dumps, dull characters, and similes that just don't work at all. It's juvenile in the same way as "The DaVinci Code" or "The Night Circus")

Origins of Totalitarianism - Arendt (Almost finished... finally)
The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter (Found a bargain FS copy. Looking forward to it. Haven't read her before. The cover and illustrations pop.)

syyskuu 17, 3:14 pm

>450 PartTimeBookAddict: Ouch at The Shadow of the Wind lol (it ended up being a surprise favorite for me). I'm sorry it didn't work for you!

syyskuu 19, 3:40 pm

Currently on holiday in the Brecon Beacons, having spent a long day in Hay-on-Wye (somehow it's become an annual pilgramage!), where I picked up more than a few FS goodies. Made a start on Gilgamesh by reading the preface and first section, and honestly the book was worth buying just for the preface - to me the history of the story and it's redicovery is more epic than the story itself!

syyskuu 19, 4:32 pm

>450 PartTimeBookAddict: If I had to take one Stephen King book to the desert island, than it would definitely be 'Salem's Lot.

syyskuu 19, 6:17 pm

>453 HonorWulf: I like "Skeleton Crew" and "Four Seasons" but the rest all feel bloated. 'Salem's was good, though.

>451 BooksFriendsNotFood: Each to their own taste. I have a hard time even thinking of what other better books to recommend if someone liked it. I think of the works by Ondaatje: "Cat's Table" or "The English Patient." Tartt's "The Secret History" or Chabon's "Wonder Boys". But, I don't even know what people who like "Shadow of the Wind" get out of it. It's insanely popular, so there must be something. What made it work for you?

syyskuu 19, 9:20 pm

(I would suggest not reading the below if you have not yet read The Shadow of the Wind, because while I don't think I've spoiled anything - although I could be wrong - I've definitely listed a bunch of memorable scenes and themes.)

>454 PartTimeBookAddict: I honestly don't know how to explain why I loved it, but I think it's some combination of the grandness of the story along with the little details that just worked for me. I enjoyed reading about the characters, especially Fermin. I was absolutely hooked when the evil detective came into it. The mystery and "haunted house" aspect also had my eyes glued to the page. The absolutely dramatic climax. And just so many elements / scenes of the story that I can still recall, like the workplace harassment, the time in Paris meeting the mysterious author, the burning, the little community around the bookstore, Fermin's Godfather-esque antics, Fermin and Daniel in disguise and tricking that school priest guy 😭, etc. (And I mean, I recall that it felt sexist at times, but my brain is good at compartmentalizing.) And I suppose it was cool how this magnificent story was uncovered through so many smaller, individual narratives. I also just really enjoyed reading the sentences, but that could also be attributed to the beautiful LE which without a doubt enhanced the reading experience.

I'd personally compare this book with:
- The Starless Sea
- The Book Thief
- Les Mis (the movie)
- Murakami

Thanks for your recommendations, by the way! If I ever check any of them out, I will definitely be comparing them to The Shadow of the Wind haha.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 26, 4:24 pm

Just finished Mani by Patrick Leigh Fermor. It has taken me a while, having set it aside due to other commitments, but as I'm recuperating from some surgery, I dusted it off and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Moving quickly on to Roumeli; its Folio companion.

syyskuu 26, 9:49 am

>456 LesMiserables: Wishing you a speedy recovery.

syyskuu 26, 11:09 am

>456 LesMiserables: Hope your recovery is quick and easy!

Last night I finished reading my recently acquired Madame Bovary LE (I now officially own all LEs ever published that I wanted to own! Hurrah! I won't be able to say this for long though because FS simply does not know how to chill & I'll most likely hunker down into savings mode soon.) and I loved it! I definitely had the thought that it must be illegal for art to be so gorgeous — the paintings were stunning.

I love this article by the artist explaining her process: https://www.foliosociety.com/ca/blog/this-folio-life-bringing-madame-bovary-to-l...

syyskuu 26, 4:42 pm

>457 coynedj:
>458 BooksFriendsNotFood:

Thank you. One upside from being inconvenienced is the uptick in reading time. I expect that these hours in a library may not be experienced again until I retire.
I'm rather looking forward to a few hours of reading every day.