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KeskusteluClub Read 2023

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helmikuu 13, 1:20 pm

Saint Valentine image from The Independent

QUESTION 6: Love Stories

It's hard to escape them as St Valentine's Day approaches.

What constitutes a real love story for you?

Does there have to be a happy ending?

Can a love story with a happy ending ever be more than a "cosy read"?

Is a book like Of Mice and Men a love story?

Which books/ sonnets/ plays/ poems /essays are your favourites around this theme?

helmikuu 13, 2:02 pm

I always want to read more love stories, but I struggle to find them. Looking forward to people's suggestions.

helmikuu 13, 2:21 pm

I'm going to cherry-pick this one and just go for Does there have to be a happy ending?

I don't think "and they lived happily ever-after" is necessary for a love story. And, just as there are more varieties of love than the romantic/sexual, so are there more books dealing with love than the formulaic boy-meets-girl. Amy Tan, for instance, frequently writes about the complicated and prickly relationships between mothers and daughters, and though they usually end up with the characters coming to a fuller understanding of one another, the endings can't exactly be described as "happy". Kent Haruf's Our Souls at Night examines a deep love that develops between two lifelong friends, yet ends with the death of one of them.

This does not mean that "lost love" is a guarantee of a good love story. (Bridges of Madison County and Love Story, I'm lookin' at you.) I think it depends on believable characters dealing with circumstances that make happy-ever-after unlikely, but having the courage and openness to love anyway.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 2:28 pm

>2 Nickelini: Atonement by ian McEwan is the only love story I can think of as I’m the opposite of you. I usually don’t go for them if by “love stories” you mean stories where love is the centre of the plot. Not sure what that says about me…

helmikuu 13, 3:14 pm

>4 kjuliff: i loved Atonement but I don’t think of it as a love story. I can’t think of the last love story I’ve read—maybe I don’t know what they even are.

>3 LyndaInOregon: I absolutely adored Love Story when I read it but I was 13 so I’m not sure it would hold up :-D

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 5:16 pm

Loved Atonement and no i dont think it was a love story at all.
certainly it started out as one but lil sis squased that. Its certainly about revenge. I was bothered that she didn't tell the truth tll everyone died, which isn't atoning for anything

love story had me in tears and its all my friends could talk about for a while. Tried to reread it I think in college, and oh my, just no,

What constitutes a real love story for you? a story of love that continues through conflict, pain and sorror.

Does there have to be a happy ending? no, Eloise and Ableard certainly didn't end well but its considered a love story

Can a love story with a happy ending ever be more than a "cosy read"? not sure what a cozy read is

Is a book like Of Mice and Men a love story? gosh Im gonna have to reread it. It is about brotherly love, otherwise no opinions as of yet

Which books/ sonnets/ plays/ poems /essays are your favourites around this theme? Just went through my journal from the last few years, even if they are not actually love stories, I think they are.

this is how you lose the time war

here be dragons

the queen of hearts

princess bride which in the book does not have a happy ending

night circus

the great believers

the far pavillions

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 5:41 pm

>5 Nickelini: Yes I think I was just thinking about the beginning. It’s a while since I read Atonement. I think then the only love story novels I have read are those of Jane Austen, especially Pride and Prejudice

helmikuu 13, 9:04 pm

I went through my books by ratings (mine) and I sussed out some wonderful contemporary books which has a love story of one kind or another. These are all 5 or 4 1/2 star reads for me.

1. Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason (US)
2. The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson (UK)
3. Léon and Louise by Alex Capus (French/Swiss)
4. Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill by Dimitri Verhulst (Belgian)
5. The History of Love: A Novel by Nicole Krauss (US)
6. The Translator by John Crowley (US)
7. Valentines: Stories Olaf Olafsson (Iceland/US)
8. I Married You For Happiness by Lily Tuck (US)
9. Dear Evelyn by Kathie Page (CAN)
10. Jamilia by Chingiz Aitmatov (Kyrgyz)
11. The Housekeeper and the Professor: A Novel
by Yoko Ogawa (Japan)

These vary in many ways. Some feature young love, some look back upon very long marriages...

Do they need to have a happy ending? I think not.*
Is tragedy not married with romance very often?!

* (I can't speak of "genre romance" (they usually have their own shelf or section in a bookstore).

helmikuu 13, 9:09 pm

>8 avaland: Oh forgot about History of Love, and agree with you and I read Jamillia too which I loved

Oh that reminds me of the one I read for the Asian Challenge the day lasts more than a hundred years Its not written as a love story but by the end it certainlly is

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 9:39 pm

>8 avaland: Your idea of "love" in a novel is very different from what comes to mind for me. I've read two of the ones you list. I enjoyed Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill, but when I think of that novel and think of "love" I just get wrinkles between my eyebrows. I guess? But that's not the first five things I'd say about that novella. And I pull a complete blank at The Housekeeper and the Professor. I guess I insert a bit of romance in my idea of love in a novel and your idea is more subtle than what I think of.

helmikuu 13, 9:58 pm

that reminds me there is always pygmalion; Watched the broadway revived production of My Fair Lady, based on the book and love how they made the ending very obscure. Well done, Eliza

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 11:08 pm

I suppose The Letters of Abelard and Heloise.and Romeo and Juliet would have to be the most famous and enduring of love stories.

I would classify On Chesil Beach by Ian Mcewan as a love story, and many of Julian Barnes novels have love stories as major themes, though in many cases the loves of Barnes’ characters are disturbed.

helmikuu 14, 7:31 am

>10 Nickelini: I get what you are saying.

My all-time romantic read has been Doctor Zhivago (first read in '75 at the time the 1965 film made a second run); however, even that is not what one might call romance; it is not an easy read; it's complicated.

It's Valentine's Day and I'm reading a novel about a woman whose husband has just gone off with a much younger woman, LOL

helmikuu 14, 8:05 am

helmikuu 14, 8:33 am

>14 labfs39: Too funny.

helmikuu 14, 9:09 am

>12 kjuliff: Certainly Abelard and Heloise, and McEwan and Barnes in their own ways.

However, I always think of Romeo and Juliet as being in lust, not in love. Had they locked them up together for a week or two, there never would have been such a play. Had they allowed them to get married, Juliet would have been pregnant right away, and Romeo would have been off philandering within the year.

>13 avaland: Doctor Zhivago is definitely on my list.

helmikuu 14, 9:16 am

>13 avaland: well that’s a love story too.

When was the last real love story I read? Hmm. The first two that come to mind are ones I read in seems like a previous life - The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Shadow of the Wind. Perhaps I should add the incestual Ada or the awkwardly romantic Love in the Time of Cholera, or momentary romance within violent transitioning pre-Israel in When I Lived in Modern Times. Ada is most recent.

What constitutes a real love story for you?

Well, goodness, are we all properly jaded? It must be a story that is romantic to us despite our resistance to such a thing? (Ok, to me, despite mine)

Does there have to be a happy ending?

That sounds hardly romantic.

Can a love story with a happy ending ever be more than a "cosy read"?

It would need to make up for that somehow. I still like The Princess Bride.

Is a book like Of Mice and Men a love story?

Haven’t read it

Which books/ sonnets/ plays/ poems /essays are your favourites around this theme?

See touchstones above

helmikuu 14, 10:31 am

>13 avaland: Yes! Doctor Zhivago is a famous love story. Yet it's also a story of war, and history, and politics . . .

Re: Of Mice and Men - I'm going to say a big NO to it being a love story but I can see someone making an argument that it is. For me a love story needs an element of romance. Stories about love between a grandmother and grandchild, between a man and his dog, a girl and her horse . . . all brimming with love, but to me are not "love stories". But that's just me. YMMV

helmikuu 14, 10:32 am

>16 SassyLassy: yeah I always thought so as well; what was she 14? yikes. Doesn't stop me from swooning when I am in the middle of a production, or watching the film shakespear in love

helmikuu 14, 10:37 am

>18 Nickelini: I agree with you about the books with love, but are not love stories

>17 dchaikin: oh times travelers wife! Oh my, I was in tears after the first time I read it, second time too. It has some issues, but the life story felt so strong I could forgive much. sigh

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 14, 11:01 am

>16 SassyLassy: & >19 cindydavid4: but R&J are so romantic. They co-speak a sonnet! 🙂

helmikuu 14, 11:22 am

Q6 Love stories

If I try to think of one I would call a favourite, the first thing that comes into my head is The letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning coupled with Sonnets from the Portuguese — a courtship between two very clever and grown-up people who don’t quite know what’s hit them, but do have the words to work it all out. That’s one where the real life is actually better than a lot of fictional love-affairs I’ve read about.

>16 SassyLassy: >19 cindydavid4: True, but I think the thing that grabs us about R&J is the illusion they have that they can create a private world where they can escape all that tedious family stuff and the messiness of adolescence and just be together. We’ve all wanted to believe that at some point too…

>17 dchaikin: I think there’s an important difference between “love” and “romance” as narrative structures — in a romance or rom-com we know it’s escapist fantasy and we enjoy it at that level; a proper love-story jars us out of that and involves us with the characters in deep and unexpected ways.

helmikuu 14, 12:49 pm

>22 thorold: ok, i can see that I clumsily mashed two things together, but I’m not picking up on your meaning. I’m trying to think of a love story that fits that description. I’m imagining that when I’m jarred into reality, any love aspect is one of the things that evaporate with the fantasy.

helmikuu 14, 4:36 pm

>22 thorold: I like that, and you are right, we all have that wish. In the play we mourn that innocence gone

"a courtship between two very clever and grown-up people who don’t quite know what’s hit them, but do have the words to work it all out. "

Just remembered another book that fits as well Katherine by Anya Seton.A book I first read in college and return to it now and again. She is the mistress, later wife of John of Gaunt son of Edward the III and uncle of Richard II. Their love affair felt real, and for the age

helmikuu 14, 5:15 pm

>23 dchaikin: Hmm. Maybe I allowed a nice bit of phrasing to carry me away too: I’m having a hard time coming up with a really precise example of what I meant, but I think you get something like that in a lot of modern novels, where there’s a great attraction between two people, but the biggest obstacle they have to overcome is not the traditional external problem (money, family, etc.) but some flaw in their own characters. Lucky Per is the one I’ve got fresh in my mind: two people who bond very strongly at the intellectual and physical level but (just) miss being able to get together permanently because they aren’t quite strong enough to break with their pasts. Probably more moving for the reader than if they had walked off into the sunset together.

helmikuu 15, 10:31 am

>1 SassyLassy: QUESTION 6: Love Stories

My favorite love stories have a ridiculously long build up, and if I'm just reading for something happy, I usually prefer stories where the story ends when they get together.
Generally I don't think it needs a happy ending - I think short stories like A Temporary Matter by Jhumpa Lahiri are just as much of a love story as anything else.

I will say, there are some books I absolutely love, absolute favorites that I've reread a billion times, I that I don't think the love plot is super successful in (for me, at least)
Erin Morgenstern's The Starless Sea and The Night Circus are seriously two of my favorite books ever, but I've never been fully invested in the romance aspect. I was never fully convinced -- same thing for another of my favorites, Neverwhere. I didn't really see Richard and Door as a romance, even though there were some slight indications of it throughout and I think they were sort of together at the end? I'm honestly still not sure.

I loved One Last Stop.
I also just finished Bunny by Mona Awad and I think the love between Ava and Samantha was really complex and I absolutely adored the exploration of the line of platonic love, and what a soulmate can mean.

helmikuu 15, 1:34 pm

>25 thorold: that’s a very precise example.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 15, 4:39 pm

What constitutes a real love story for you?

A real love story as opposed to a fake or non-love story? I don't know how to answer this, exactly.

I enjoy the love/romance plots when they arise in classic fiction (Jane Eyre, Austen's novels, David Copperfield).

Does there have to be a happy ending?

No. I have enjoyed reading about bad marriages and love gone wrong in Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, Middlemarch, and etc.

Can a love story with a happy ending ever be more than a "cosy read"?

I don't know because I have never read a romance novel. Not a lot of love and romance themes in the types of genre books I gravitate to (horror, dystopian, science fiction, speculative fiction).

Is a book like Of Mice and Men a love story?

Yes. But it's not a romantic love story.

Which books/ sonnets/ plays/ poems /essays are your favourites around this theme?

John Donne's " The Relic" always struck me as a nice love poem.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 16, 5:43 am

>18 Nickelini: re: the Pasternak...agree! That might be an indication of how I like my love stories (we watched "Truly, Madly, Deeply" on Valentines Day evening. That might say something...:-)

helmikuu 16, 8:39 am

I think a love story with a happy ending can definitely be more than a "cozy read." Just look at the work of Jane Austen they're considered literary classics and deemed worthy of academic study.

Even if Pride and Prejudice were the only one of her books with a happy ending for the main couple - which I don't believe it is, but it's the only one I've read, and thus the only one I can speak to - it would still, by itself, prove that a love story with a happy ending can be more than a "cozy read."

I do think stories with unhappy endings can be love stories. After all, the doomed love affair is a staple of tragedy. Orpheus and Eurydice, to name an example, is definitely a love story if you ask me.

Whether or not a love story with an unhappy ending should be marketed and/or shelved as romance is a whole different question - and one I'm happy to leave well alone. :)

helmikuu 16, 2:57 pm

>29 avaland: Oh I fell in love with Alan Rickman that movie; that voice, that acting, We were all in tears by the end.

helmikuu 16, 3:58 pm

>30 Julie_in_the_Library: I’ve always thought of Orpheus and Eurydice as being rather one-sided. It doesn’t really seem to matter what Eurydice thinks of Orpheus, before or after their marriage. No-one asks her. (And of course it does have a happy ending in some versions, e.g. Gluck’s opera.)

helmikuu 17, 7:57 am

>32 thorold: I only remember the basic outline. I haven't read a version in a very long time, so I've forgotten most of the details. I didn't realize that there were versions with a happy ending.

helmikuu 18, 3:50 pm

>1 SassyLassy: Thinking about my own list here.

Doctor Zhivago, mentioned by others is definitely on it. Here are a few that haven't been mentioned as yet:

The Summer Book since not all love involves romance
Silas Marner for the same reason and probably an odd choice
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
A Tale of Two Cities
and to bring it into the twentieth century, So I Am Glad

I haven't discovered any from this century as yet.

In a separate category, all by itself, I would put Gone with the Wind. I'm not sure it would be a real love story in my mind, but there is something definitely there. I can't think of another book I would isolate like this.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 18, 11:57 pm

>30 Julie_in_the_Library: I think a story about a couple in love which ends unhappily is definitely a romance and not a love story, unless the loss of love is de to the death of one of the partners.

I don’t read love stories as I don’t go for happy endings unless I really like the writer. Off the top of my head I could only think of Pride and Prejudice as the only love story. But when I looked at the novels I’d tagged with “love’ I also got
Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters and Silk, Alessandro Baricco.

The problem with “Romance” is that it’s also a French genre not necessarily even about love in the Love Actually since.

helmikuu 19, 12:43 am

I realized that "love" is actually a very complicated concept when it comes to books.

Just finished a reread of Bridget Jones's Diary, which I thought would be fun for Valentine's Day. Definitely NOT a love story

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 4:46 pm

Sarah Walters is the writer of one of my fav books Fingersmith London in the 1800s is filled with crime, inclluding the fingersmiths, part of a cat burglar familly who knows how to open locks. The girl in the family is sent off to try and trick that family of their heritance. Brilliantly written, with many twists and surprises, its very much a love story here

I often get her mixed up with Emma Donogues work so I always do a double take to make sure its the right one.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 3:44 pm

>37 cindydavid4: Agreed. Have you read Tipping the Velvet? If so would you, like me categorize it as a love story? I see I hadn’t catalogued Fingersmith , otherwise it would have appeared in my list - >35 kjuliff:. Doing so now.

helmikuu 19, 4:44 pm

also be sure to catalogue it as LBGTQ if you haven't already. I actually started Tipping the Velvet and for some reason didn't care for it,however it might have been that I was in the world of Fingersmith and wasn't ready to leave! Ill try it again, bet Ill love it

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 5:29 pm

For me, any story that has love as a central theme (not necessarily the only, or even the most prominent theme, though) is a love story. A romance is one type of love story. Any storyline that includes romantic love, whether happily ending or not, between two people is a romance.* So, for example, I would say that the novel I just finished, Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry, which has, as an important feature, the unrequited love of the title character for a married woman, is a love story, but not a romance.

* I haven't figured out how I categorize, for our purposes here, a story about a love triangle. Though now that I think of it, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, which is about a love triangle of sorts, I would say is, in very important ways, a love story. I can't say more without including plot spoilers, other than to highly recommend the novel.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 5:50 pm

>39 cindydavid4: I will go back and tag them now. I just hadn’t thought of that. Fingersmith was my first Sarah Waters novel. Apparently the title Tipping the Velvet is from a Victorian slang for bi women

helmikuu 20, 2:24 pm

Something not done since last year. Feel free to embellish the "what" answers with "who, why, when, and where" if you choose

image from LitFire Publishing

QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question)

b - has a colour in the title

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)

d - is the funniest one you have

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you

f - is your favourite cookbook

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you

h - has the longest title

i - is the last paper book you bought

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)

m - has roses in the title

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it

o - has a title with alliteration in it

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 20, 7:05 pm

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question)
Buckingham Palace Gardens, Anne Perry

b - has a colour in the title
Red Sky at Morning, Richard Bradford

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
Cosmos, Carl Sagan (Can't go back much farther in time than the origins of the universe!)

d - is the funniest one you have
The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw, Patrick McManus

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you
Leaving Time, Jodi Picoult - Picoult's readers know she is going to throw them a twist ending, but this one ... well, it really blew my mind. And if you go back and re-read, she was playing absolutely fair with the reader. There were red flags aplenty in the narrative, but definitely flew under the radar. (Not to mix a metaphor, or anything.) Anyway, I really love it when a book (or movie) can honestly surprise me like that.

f - is your favourite cookbook
Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook - This is a First Edition of the 1950 classic. I bought it at a garage sale for probably 50 cents, back in the 60s. You could tell which recipes were really good, because those were the pages with food splashes on them! I've added a few food splashes of my own over the years, and even though it does include some real losers (remember the Jello-mold salads and main dishes of the era?), it's still the basic reference I reach for if I'm trying to prepare a new-to-me dish for the first time. (Rabbit cacciatore? In there. Angelfood cake from scratch? In there. Beet pickles? In there.)

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you
Bunny Blue, which of course is long gone. It’s a child’s picture book with words, given to me by my mom, and was the book with which I apparently taught myself to read. (At least, that’s what I’m told. I don’t remember ever NOT being able to read. I know I was already reading when I started to school.) I took it to the hospital with me to get my tonsils out, at age 4. I came home with no tonsils, but also with no Bunny Blue.

For books still in my collection, probably the Bible my aunt gave me when I was about 14. Though I am no longer a practicing Christian, she remains an important person in my life.

h - has the longest title
For base title (not including subtitle): Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society, Amy Hill Hearth (64 characters).
Now, if you want to go to those scholarly tomes whose subtitles are so complete that they almost make reading the book itself an afterthought, Women Write: A Mosaic of Women's Voices in Fiction, Poetry, Memoir, and Essay, Susan Cahill (77 characters)
But if you really want the champion of the long title, you have to turn to Lewis Grizzard. I no longer have the book, but I suspect the Grand Prize Winner is Life is Like a Dogsled Team … If You’re Not the Lead Dog, the Scenery Never Changes (85 characters including the ellipses). Touchstones doesn't recognize the full title, but that's what it's called.

i - is the last paper book you bought
The Goldsmith’s Daughter, Tanya Landman

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities
Mon Tricot Knitting Dictionary. Roget’s Thesaurus used to be the one I reached for most often, but that’s largely been replaced by the online version.

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet
The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara Walker

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)
Buffalo Girls, Larry McMurtry

m - has roses in the title
The Scottish Rose, Jill Jones (Touchstones won't like to this, either, though it will link to the author & this title is on her page.)

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, Abbi Waxman

o - has a title with alliteration in it
Marrying Mom, Olivia Goldsmith

helmikuu 20, 7:26 pm

I have a suggestion - if it hasn’t been done before - for a future AVID READER QUESTION -
Write a one paragraph review of the last book you read, in the writing style of its author. Readers of The Rotters’ Club excluded.

helmikuu 20, 8:05 pm

>44 kjuliff: Hoo boy, I'd have to pass on that one, since it was an erotic romance....

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 20, 9:17 pm

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to goIreland: Mythical, Magical, Mystical: A Guide to Hidden Ireland by Christy Nicholas
b - has a colour in the title - The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
- Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

d - is the funniest one you have Before She Met Me by Julian Barnes

e is a novel whose ending really surprised you - Middlemarch by George Eliot

f - is your favourite cookbook The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you Jill’s Gymkhana by Ruby Ferguson

h - has the longest title - The Shack: Reflections for Every Day of the Year by William Paul Young

i - is the last paper book you bought Fingersmith by Sarah Walters

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities The Story of Art by E. H. Gombrich

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet -
The Letters of Abelard and Heloise by Peter Abelard

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)The Butchers’ Blessing by Ruth Gilligan - Note I read this as having either of these, as in the game. But Butchers, being human would have some vegetable in them unless they were carnivores :-)

m - has roses in the title - I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it - The Governance of China by Xi Jinping

o - has a title with alliteration in it. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 20, 8:55 pm

>45 WelshBookworm: oh I do hop it happens!!! and that you are brave enough …

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 21, 12:44 pm


a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question

b - has a colour in the title

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)

d - is the funniest one you have

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you

f - is your favourite cookbook

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you

h - has the longest title
The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, Etc. Who was born in Newgate, and during a life of continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest and died a Penitent

i - is the last paper book you bought

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)

m - has roses in the title

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it

o - has a title with alliteration in it

helmikuu 20, 10:29 pm

Q6 - Love - I know we've moved on to a very fun question, but I've been wanted to post this and haven't been able to get to my computer. So I'm still talking about Love. It seems like a very slippery description indeed. I recently reread Bridget Jones's Diary and acknowledged that it's neither about love nor romance.

Years ago The Guardian came out with a list of 1000 novels apparently everyone must read (insert eye rolling emoji here). They divided the books into Comedy (where you will find Bridget Jones's Diary), Crime, Family & Self, Love, Science Fiction & Fantasy, State of the Nation, and War & Travel. Here's The Guardian's top books under the theme of "Love":

Le Grand Meaulnes by Henri Alain-Fournier
Dom Casmurro Joaquim by Maria Machado de Assis
All 6 novels by Jane Austen
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
The Garden of the Finzi-Cortinis by Giorgio Bassani
Love for Lydia by HE Bates
More Die of Heartbreak by Saul Bellow
Lorna Doone by RD Blackmore
The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Vilette by Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Look At Me by Anita Brookner
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
Possession by AS Byatt
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
A Month in the Country by JL Carr
My Antonia by Willa Cather
A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
Claudine a l’ecole by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
Cheri by Sidonie-Gabrielle Collette
Victory: An Island Tale by Joseph Conrad
The Princess of Cleves by Madame de Lafayette
The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
okay, sorry, adding the touchstones is exhausting . . . you know how to find books ;-)
The Lover by Marguerite Duras
Adam Bede by George Eliot
Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
A Room with a View by EM Forster
The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
Strait is the Gate by Andre Gide
Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon
The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Living by Henry Green
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy
The Go-Between by LP Hartley
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer
Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer
The Swimming-Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst
Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest by WH Hudson
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek
Beauty and Saddness by Yasunari Kawabata
The Far Pavillions by Mary Margaret Kaye
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
Moon over Africa by Pamela Kent
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre-Ambroise-Francois Choderlos de Laclos
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence
The Rainbow by DH Lawrence
Women in Love by DH Lawrence
The Echoing Grove by Rosamond Lehmann
The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos
Zami by Audre Lorde
Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
Samarkand by Amin Maalouf
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
The Silent Duchess by Dacia Maraini
A Heart So White by Javier Marias
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
So Long, See you Tomorrow by William Maxwell
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Child in Time by Ian McEwan
The Egoist by George Meredith
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
Arturo’s Island by Elsa Morante
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Lolita, or the Confessions of a White Widowed Male by Vladimir Nabokov
The Painter of Signs by RK Narayan
Delta of Venus by Anais Nin
All Souls Day by Cees Nooteboom
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson
Pamela by Samuel Richardson
Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
Ali and Nino by Kurban Said
Light Years by James Salter
A Sport and a Passtime by James Salter
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
The Reluctant Orphan by Aara Seale
Love Story by Eric Segal
Enemies, a Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Waterland by Graham Swift
Diary of a Mad Old Man by Junichiro Tanizaki
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Music and Silence by Rose Tremain
First Love by Ivan Turgenev
Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
The Graduate by Charles Webb
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
East Lynne by Ellen Wood
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

I've read lots of these. I still don't know what defines a book about Love

helmikuu 20, 11:36 pm

QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question)
Enchanted Islands - undercover spy on the Galapagos Islands pre-WWII

b - has a colour in the title
Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light: Fifty Poems for Fifty Years

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
The Neanderthals Rediscovered: How Modern Science Is Rewriting Their Story

d - is the funniest one you have
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes Box Set

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you
If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things - I remember being surprised at the end but that was a long time ago.

f - is your favourite cookbook
Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse: Cupcakes, Small Cakes, Muffins, and Other Mini Treats

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you
W B Yeats Selected Poetry my father bought it for me in Ireland in 1968

h - has the longest title
The Moosewood Restaurant Table: 250 Brand-New Recipes from the Natural Foods Restaurant That Revolutionized Eating in America

i - is the last paper book you bought
A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities
The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach used it frequently when I had writing workshops.

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet
The Sacred Isle: Pre-Christian Religions in Ireland

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)
Waking Lions

m - has roses in the title
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it
Francine du Plessix Gray - At Home With the Marquis De Sade a Life

o - has a title with alliteration in it
The Never-Open Desert Diner

helmikuu 21, 2:23 am

QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question)
Alan Booth : Looking for the Lost
Actually, better yet, a book that describes a trip I just took and now I can go read it to see how my trip compared!

b - has a colour in the title
Javier Marías : A Heart so White

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
Edward Seidensticker : Gossamer Years: The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan
A diary from year 974 Japan by an anonymous lady of the court.

d - is the funniest one you have
Edmond Rostand : Cyrano de Bergerac
Don't really do "funny" books but this famous French play has excellent puns and insults.

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you
Victor Hugo : Le Dernier Jour d'un condamné (Last Day of a Condemned Man)
I found the ending to this very clever

f - is your favourite cookbook
Don't have any.

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you
Victor Hugo : Les Miserables
Not the first book my mom gave to me, obviously, but the one that had the biggest influence of my reading tastes.

h - has the longest title
Richard Lloyd Parry : People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up
Nonfiction with the subtitles are bound to win this cateogry.

i - is the last paper book you bought
泰三 小林 : 玩具修理者
The October book club for my Japanese book club so it is the last paper book I bought, but already read and off the TBR pile!

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet
I have quite a few Victor Hugo books lingering on the TBR from years ago but have I passed by Victor Hugo stage?

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)
Shinsuke Numata : La Pêche au toc dans le Tôhoku
Toc is a type of fish.

m - has roses in the title
Yuko Tsushima : Woman Running in the Mountains
An antipated read from last year that I just read in January has letters that if you pick them out you can spell "rose" because I have no books with rose in the title. I did used to own the famous manga The Rose of Versailles but I hated it and sold it.

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it
Cao Xueqin : The Story of the Stone
I just completed this epic Chinese classic!

o - has a title with alliteration in it
None I believe.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 21, 2:46 am

Q7: Name a Book You Have That

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question)
A place I’ve never been by David Leavitt (cheating!)

b - has a colour in the title
The beige man by Helene Tursten

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
Hmm. I’ve got a lot of books that claim to tell the story of something “from the earliest times” or “from the beginnings of recorded history”, and I’ve got physics books that talk about the origins of the universe, but maybe the book that covers the earliest well-defined period is The Greeks by H D F Kitto

d - is the funniest one you have
Uncle Fred in the springtime by P G Wodehouse. But I have about 90 other Wodehouse books that could compete for the title…

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you
I’m not telling you

f - is your favourite cookbook
I only have about four, and I rarely open any of them. If I need a recipe it’s usually the internet that comes to my rescue.

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you
Tricky. There must be a whole pile of books my parents gave me when I was small, but of course most of those have been passed on to other people’s young children. The first one that I have that I can remember being given is a copy of Alice in Wonderland my father brought back for me when he went to a college reunion in Oxford, probably sometime in the late 1960s.

h - has the longest title
Coryat's Crudities hastily gobled up in five months in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia commonly called the Grisons country, Helvetia alias Switzerland, some part of high Germany and the Netherlands; newly digested in the hungry aire of Odcombe in the Countyof Somerset, to the nourishment of the travelling members of this kingdome by Thomas Coryat — but it’s too easy to find ridiculous long titles in books from the 17th and 18th centuries, in those days the title had to do the job that’s now done by the synopsis on the back cover or jacket flap. Coryat is fun, though, because the first hundred pages or so are sarcastic “blurb” poems advertising the book by leading poets of the age.

i - is the last paper book you bought
I bought three yesterday, all at the same moment, in the Hatchard’s at St Pancras station: Scenes from a childhood by Jon Fosse, Broken April by Ismail Kadare, and A cat, a man, and two women by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities
The Oxford English Dictionary. Obviously.

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet
(Insert 100 books from the TBR pile here…)

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)
A leaf out of his book by Penelope Shuttle

m - has roses in the title
The roses of Picardie by Simon Raven — in this case the “roses” are actually rubies. I was going to be clever and find a book whose title contains a rose variety, but there are so many that it’s actually difficult to find one that doesn’t.

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it
The anabasis by Xenophon

o - has a title with alliteration in it
Peregrine Pickle by Tobias Smollett.

helmikuu 21, 5:58 am

Q7: (have skipped some....)

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go: The Breakwater Book of Contemporary Newfoundland Poetry

b - has a colour in the title The Crimson Petal and the White

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time) A Deep Presence: 13,000 Years of Native American History

d - is the funniest one you have Nicola Barker’s Wide Open ("one" of the funniest)

f - ... your favourite cookbook: Currently, it’s the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

i - the last paper book bought: Remember Why You Fear Me: The Best Dark Fiction of Robert Shearman

j - is the reference book: The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns: 4050 Pieced Blocks for Quilters

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet (I have a no guilt policy these days !

l - has something (mineral): The Marble Faun by Nathanial Hawthorne

m - has roses in the title Black Dahlia & White Rose: Stories

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it Roots by Alex Haley

o - has a title with alliteration in it: The Sixteen Trees of the Somme

helmikuu 21, 8:21 am

>49 Nickelini: Giovanni’s Room - Yes! A standout yes. Hard no on Lolita. It’s like the opposite. I’ll have to report back on The Age of Innocence.

helmikuu 21, 11:44 am

>51 lilisin: good to see the great Javier Marias getting a mention. He was much under-exposed in the USA. And like so many post WWII writers has sadly left us.
Given that you are multilingual, I was surprised to see we had so many books in common, and some of your recommendations are of books I’ve not yet catalogued. I read all Emil Zola and Gustave Flaubert in French but sadly my French has deteriorated with lack of practice.
Question, have Mariah’s later books (post Infatuations been as good as his earlier novels?

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 21, 1:00 pm

QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

In order to do this without breaking my brain too much, I'm going to start at the beginning of my library by Date Entered and scan forward until I find a book that fits the question I've gotten to, then continue forward to the next question, whenever appropriate. My library setting is for 20 books per page, which creates 170 pages:

Describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question)
Scandinavia: the Background for Neutrality by Alma Luise Olson. A "current events" book published in 1940. (Page 3)

Has a colour in the title
Black Majesty by John W. Vandercook (Page 9)
Published in 1927 and listed as being in the Theodore Dreiser Legacy Library. Also on my list for coolest covers:

Is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
Hmmmmm . . . This is a tough one. I'll have to step outside of the system described above and conjecture that for me this would be The Bog People by P. V. Glob.

Is the funniest one you have
Again outside the self-created system: Don Quixote

Is a novel whose ending really surprised you
Horton Hatches the Egg (see below)

Is your favourite cookbook
The cookbook's are all in my wife's LT library, but I'll just go with
Justin Wilson's Homegrown Louisiana Cookin' by Justin Wilson

Is the first book someone really important to you gave you
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Suess, given to me by my mother at about age four.

Has the longest title
I don't know. I went back to my system and scanned the next five pages, which produced:
The Public and Private Life of Daniel Webster: Including Most of his Great Speeches, Letters from Marshfield, etc., etc edited by S. P. Lyman (page 12)

Is the last paper book you bought
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities
The Baseball Encyclopedia

You always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet
Back to the system. The next book down from the Daniel Webster book that answers this question is The Federalist Papers

Has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)
If man counts as an animal, then The Life of Andrew Jackson by Marquis James. If not, then A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (a.k.a. Maria Louise Ramé) (page 16)

Has roses in the title
The Grandma Stubblefield Rose: The Life of Susan Stubblefield, 1811-1895 by Edna Beth Tuttle (Local Mendocino County, CA, USA history. Again stepping outside of my system)

Is by an author whose name has the letter X in it
After Many a Summer Dies the Swan by Aldous Huxley (Still on page 16)
Huxley seems a little bit obvious, though, so I kept scanning and it only took me to the next page to come up with:
Lectures on the Science of Language, Volume 1 by F. Max Müller (published in 1871)

Has a title with alliteration in it
I came up with quite a few in which the alliteration was only two words (my favorite: A Time for Trolls: Fairy Tales from Norway). The first I came upon with three words of alliteration, on page 24 of my LT library, was Jazz Journeys to Japan: the Heart Within by my friend Bill Minor.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 23, 3:13 pm

QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question) Travels with a Tangerine (Iran, Iraq, Turkey) ever since I was a kid

b - has a colour in the title The Hare with Amber Eyes

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time) (probably cheating but here it goes) Time Machine If not, the restaurant at the end of the Universe

d - is the funniest one you have (I love that Cyrano was included here, one of my favs) the complete far side

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you Stones Fall

f - is your favourite cookbook nada

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you (during out 10th anniversary we traveled around new enland,one of the places we went was to the Alcott home. My fav book as a kid was Little Women There gift shop actually had a few first or early editions but I knew it was too much money . Back at home for our dinner, my DH handed me the book.(sigh)

h - has the longest title

i - is the last paper book you bought the book of chameleons

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities National Geographic World Atlas

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet too many to list, check my TBR shelves!!

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!) green fried tomatoes

helmikuu 21, 3:39 pm

>42 SassyLassy: QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

I'm using mostly books from my Random Reads lists, still to be read or read this year. So of course I'll have to make this a challenge to read them all this year....

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question)
The Summer Isles: A Voyage of the Imagination

b - has a colour in the title
The Crimson Shore

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot

d - is the funniest one you have
Revenge of the Librarians

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you
Well, I wouldn't know yet, would I? TBD

f - is your favourite cookbook
Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

g - is a book someone really important to you gave you
...And Ladies of the Club - My grandmother gave this to me.

h - has the longest title
The Books of Jacob Full title: The Books of Jacob, or: A Fantastic Journey Across Seven Borders, Five Languages, and Three Major Religions, Not Counting the Minor Sects. Told by the Dead, Supplemented by the Author, Drawing from a Range of Books, and Aided by Imagination, the Which Being the Greatest Natural Gift of Any Person. That the Wise Might Have It for a Record, That My Compatriots Reflect, Laypersons Gain Some Understanding, and Melancholy Souls Obtain Some Slight Enjoyment.

i - is the last paper book you bought
Pucky, Prince of Bacon

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities
The Welsh Academy English–Welsh Dictionary

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet
Jane Eyre - and I did just use a credit on Audible for this....

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)
Wolf Hall

m - has roses in the title
Blood and Roses: The Paston Family and the Wars of the Roses

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it
Independent People

o - has a title with alliteration in it
The Adventures of Alianore Audley

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 21, 4:06 pm


QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question)
Most relevant right now: Der eiserne Wolf im barocken Labyrinth - Erwachendes Vilnius by Cornelius Hell.

b - has a colour in the title
The Blackhouse by Peter May

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
Aboriginal Australians by Richard Broome

d - is the funniest one you have
The Blue Day Book by Bradley Trevor Greive

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you
The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson

f - is your favourite cookbook
Vegan für Faule by Martin Kintrup is the book that I have used the most. Delicious, easy and quick recipes.

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you
The Art of the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien ed. by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull was the first book my husband gave me as a present. If the question means the first book EVER it must be one my mom gave me, but I don't remember which one was the first.

h - has the longest title
Maybe it is Die Verfolgung und Ermordung Jean Paul Marats dargestellt durch die Schauspielgruppe des Hospizes zu Charenton unter Anleitung des Herrn de Sade by Peter Weiss

i - is the last paper book you bought
The High House by Jessie Greengrass

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities
The Complete Guide to Middle-earth by Robert Foster

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet
That applies to so many, but North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell is definitely one of them.

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)
The White Peacock by D.H. Lawrence (and it has a colour, too!)

m - has roses in the title
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it
Aunt Bessie Assumes by Diana Xarissa

o - has a title with alliteration in it
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 21, 10:59 pm

QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question) : The Quest for Theseus

b - has a colour in the title Vermilion Sea

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time) Everyone’s Guide to Atoms, Einstein, and the Universe (or pick your big bang book)

d - is the funniest one you have Carpe Jugulum (or pick your discworld)

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you An Island

f - is your favourite cookbook: n/a

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you The Angel’s Game - the 1st book avaland/Lois sent me. (I can’t think of anything earlier than that)

h - has the longest title ‪A Canyon Voyage; the Narrative of the Second Powell expedition Down the Green-Colorado River from Wyoming, and the Explorations on Land, in the Years 1871 and 1872‬

i - is the last paper book you bought After Sappho

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities Beowulf on the Beach ? (I look up everything on my phone)

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet Gödel Escher Bach

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title The Book of Eels

m - has roses in the title La Roman de la Rose

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

o - has a title with alliteration in it The Custom of the Country

helmikuu 23, 9:18 am

QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson (Australia)

b - has a colour in the title: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami (hee-hee)

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time: The First Three Minutes by Steven Weinberg

d - is the funniest one you have: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you: Bring Up the Bodies, just kidding! This one is hard for me. Do I not read surprising books or do I not remember the endings? I suspect the latter.

f - is your favourite cookbook: Please to the Table by Anya von Bremzen

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you: The Poems of Henry W. Longfellow c1901 given to me by my grandmother with a lovely inscription about how her father gave it to her and now she was giving it to me. I was 13. Unfortunately I left it beside my bed one day and our puppy chewed the leather binding to bits. I was so upset, and my grandmother was quite angry with me. I've always wanted to get it rebound, but have never found someone who could do it.

h - has the longest title: American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work

i - is the last paper book you bought: Memories Look at Me by Tomas Tranströmer

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities: Little kids first big book of dinosaurs by Catherine D. Hughes (my youngest niece is wild about dinosaurs and tells everyone her favorite animal is the Pachycephalosaurus)

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet: that perennial list-maker War and Peace by Tolstoy

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

m - has roses in the title: Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it: Sky Burial by Xue Xinran

o - has a title with alliteration in it: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

helmikuu 23, 11:47 am

>59 MissBrangwen: "j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities
The Complete Guide to Middle-earth by Robert Foster"

When I saw this my first thought was, "That's what I should have put for the 'place you'd like to go' question."

helmikuu 23, 1:24 pm

>62 rocketjk: Oh yes, wouldn't that be wonderful? :-)

helmikuu 23, 1:39 pm

Have to skip a few, but:

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go
Round Ireland with a Fridge, Tony Hawks

b - has a colour in the title
Black Heart, Ivory Bones, ed. by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
The Last Testament: A Memoir by God, David Javerbaum

d - is the funniest one you have
Blue Heaven, Joe Keenan

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you
Triangle, Katherine Weber

h - has the longest title
Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany, Stephen Sondheim

i - is the last paper book you bought
100 Crochet Tiles, Sarah Callard

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities
Top Pop Singles 1955-2018, Joel Whitburn

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet
Riddley Walker, Russell Hoban

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)
Tigerheart, Peter David

m - has roses in the title
Coming Up Roses: The Broadway Musical in the 1950s, Ethan Mordden

o - has a title with alliteration in it
A Rage for Revenge, David Gerrold

helmikuu 23, 3:06 pm

>64 KeithChaffee: d - is the funniest one you have
Blue Heaven, Joe Keenan

YES! — Keenan somehow managed to write comic novels almost as funny as those of P G Wodehouse. But regrettably few of them, TV seems to pay better.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 23, 8:09 pm

>42 SassyLassy: QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question)
Reef, Gunesekera (Sri Lanka)

b - has a colour in the title
Bitter Orange, Fuller

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
Sapiens, Harari

d - is the funniest one you have
Gashlycrumb Tinies, Gorey

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you
Your House Is On Fire, Your Children All Gone, Kiesbye

f - is your favourite cookbook
Alpine Cooking, Erickson (although not my most used cookbook)

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you

h - has the longest title
Menno Nightcaps:Cocktails Inspired by that Odd Ethno-Religious Group You Keep Mistaking for the Amish, Quakers, or Mormons - Klassen

i - is the last paper book you bought
Superfan, Lee

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet
Brideshead Revisited, Waugh (on my tbr since the 1980s)

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)
Bear, Engel

m - has roses in the title
Name of the Rose, Eco

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it

o - has a title with alliteration in it
Pride and Prejudice, Austen

helmikuu 25, 3:41 am

>66 Nickelini: h - has the longest title
Menno Nightcaps…

Wonderful! Although it does make you suspect that the title will turn out to be the best thing about the book…

helmikuu 25, 10:07 am

QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That
(Mostly using Owned-TBR books, starting from the most recently acquired)

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question)
Navidad & Matanza by Carlos Labbé

b - has a colour in the title
The Rider on the White Horse by Theodor Storm

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

d - is the funniest one you have

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you
The She-Devil in the Mirror by Horacio Castellanos Moya

f - is your favourite cookbook
The Great Minnesota Cookie Book

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you

h - has the longest title
The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade by Peter Weiss

i - is the last paper book you bought
Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities
Bibliophile: Diverse Spines by Jamise Harper

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)
Tentacle by Rita Indiana

m - has roses in the title
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it
The Years by Annie Ernaux

o - has a title with alliteration in it
Her Here by Amanda Dennis

helmikuu 25, 12:26 pm

>67 thorold: actually, it was a five star read for me. I’ve never made any of the recipes though

helmikuu 25, 12:43 pm

>68 ELiz_M: Loved I never promised you a rose garden! She also wrote in this sign and of such small differences which I read in college, working on my deaf ed degree. She has others I should look at too

helmikuu 26, 10:07 am

QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question) The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - I want to get to Greece some day.

b - has a colour in the title
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time)
The Iliad and The Odyssey; The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

d - is the funniest one you have
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you

f - is your favourite cookbook
Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes & Customs for Today's Kitchen by Leah Koenig and Easy Tagine by Ghillie Basan

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you
Julie Finds a Friend by Julie Wyatt Schenk would have been given to me by my parents as a small child. I still have it. I love the illustrations.

h - has the longest title

i - is the last paper book you bought
It hasn't actually arrived yet, but The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities
No Plot? No Problem by Chris Baty (in November)
The Making of a Poem by Mark Strand and Writing Poems by Robert Wallace, Michelle Boisseau, and Randall Mann (in April)

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet
The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon, The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!)
Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Sould of a Neighborhood by Mark Oppenheimer

m - has roses in the title
The Rosie Project by Gaeme Simson

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it
An Introduction to Fiction by X. J. Kennedy

o - has a title with alliteration in it
Dark Detectives: an anthology of supernatural mysteries edited by Stephen Jones
Also The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff, and Deja Demon: The Days and Nights of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

helmikuu 27, 3:49 am

>55 kjuliff:

Sorry I couldn't get to this sooner. I was on vacation and don't enjoy commenting via my phone. I actually haven't read this Marias (or actually any) yet but your comment makes me more excited to read it this year. Congratulations however on having read all of Zola and Flaubert. I am currently working on Zola's Rougon-Macquart series and hope to read my first Flaubert this year. While I used to read a lot of French classics, my moving to Japan on top of the already existing love for Japanese literature I had before coming here has made me put French classics aside but it's still a love of mine (as I am French myself) and I always try to read more. I've recently been venturing into famous French plays: the plays I would have read had I grown up in France instead of the US.

helmikuu 27, 6:54 am

aka Moliere? My sister's fav, and taught his work in my hs. Fell in love with so many of his plays

helmikuu 27, 7:47 am

A real love story for me is one that explores the complexities and challenges of love in a way that feels authentic and relatable. It doesn't necessarily have to be a traditional love story with a clear-cut romantic relationship, but it should capture the nuances of human connection and emotion.

Does there have to be a happy ending?
No, a love story doesn't have to have a happy ending. Sometimes the most powerful love stories are the ones that explore heartbreak, loss, and the difficult realities of life.

Can a love story with a happy ending ever be more than a "cosy read"?
Absolutely! A love story with a happy ending can still be deeply meaningful and thought-provoking, exploring themes of personal growth, sacrifice, and the power of love to transform lives.

Is a book like Of Mice and Men a love story?
While Of Mice and Men may not fit the traditional mold of a love story, it does explore themes of love and companionship in its portrayal of the relationship between the two main characters, George and Lennie. Their bond is a testament to the power of human connection and the lengths we'll go to protect those we love.

Which books/sonnets/plays/poems/essays are your favorites around this theme?
There are so many great works of literature that explore the theme of love, it's hard to pick just a few favorites. Some classic examples include:

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
These works explore different aspects of love and relationships, from the intense passion of Romeo and Juliet to the more understated connections of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester.

helmikuu 27, 7:51 am

>73 cindydavid4:

I read Cyrano de Bergerac last year and this year I have Pierre Corneille's Le Cid and Moliere's Dom Juan on my physical TBR.

helmikuu 27, 8:52 am

>74 hassanizhar: One Hundred Years of Solitude a love story? My thought is: well, yeah, eventually. Of course a lot happens. Interesting that it came to mind.

helmikuu 27, 4:53 pm

>49 Nickelini: It's never too late! Great list from The Guardian

QUESTION 7: Name a Book You Have That

a - describes a trip you'd like to take or a place you'd like to go (all countries are safe for the purposes of this question) Black Lamb and Grey Falcon to see as West said herself, the present and the past together

b - has a colour in the title - The Blue Book

c - is the history that goes the furthest back in time (not in your library's time, in real time) -when I wrote the question I thought it would be The Bog People like >56 rocketjk:, but then >58 WelshBookworm: reminded me it would be Ginkgo - I had too anthropomorphic view of the world I guess

d - is the funniest one you have - depends on the day, but today The Golden Calf comes to mind

e - is a novel whose ending really surprised you - have to think about this

f - is your favourite cookbook The Vegetarian Epicure Book 2

g - is the first book someone really important to you gave you - in this life The Dictionary of Imaginary Places

h - has the longest title Trial of Jones, Hazelton, Anderson, and Trevaskiss, alias Johnson, for Piracy and Murder on board barque Saladin, with the written confessions of the prisoners, produced in evidence on the said trial, to which is added particulars of their execution on the 30th of July also, the Trial of Carr and Galloway, for the Murder of Captain Fielding and his Son on board the Salidin
as >52 thorold: says it’s too easy to find ridiculous long titles in books from the 17th and 18th centuries, in those days the title had to do the job that’s now done by the synopsis on the back cover or jacket flap.

i - is the last paper book you bought The Colonel's Wife

j - is the reference book you use most often for non work related activities Gardening with Trees and Shrubs in Ontario, Quebec, and the Northeastern U.S.

k - you always meant to read but just haven't gotten around to yet - 2666 just to move it from the shelf from where it stares at me every evening

l - has something animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title (not Animal Farm - too easy!) -The Book of Fruits: The Complete Pomona Britannica

m - has roses in the title Orwell's Roses

n - is by an author whose name has the letter X in it Rouge Street by Xuetao Shuang

o - has a title with alliteration in it - Chasing Che

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 27, 6:09 pm

>77 SassyLassy: I'm a wee bit disappointed that your choice of a book with a color in the title should be so mundane.... I was expecting something like Vermilion Sands or Celadon Summer from you :-)

helmikuu 28, 7:49 am

>79 thorold: Great list for the Beauty of Lists thread!

helmikuu 28, 9:42 am

>78 avaland: It's actually a book by a favourite author - A L Kennedy. I try to plug her every chance I get, and I liked the reference to old travel guides. I'll try to be more imaginative next time!

You prompted me to search my books using 'colour' and oddly that one did not pop up, although I did find A Perfect Red, subtitled "Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Colour of Desire" and Mauve: How One Man Invented a Colour that Changed the World. Those are both pretty intriguing subtitles, somewhat overblown in the case of Mauve, but good books none the less.

Lots of great books about colour itself though

>79 thorold: Looking at your fun list, I see I missed The Ivory Swing from my books and The Yellow Wallpaper.
I once got stung by a paint chip labelled 'Magnolia'. There are so many colours it could have been. I was expecting cream, but once on the wall it had a decided soft pink undertone, a lovely colour, but not for that room. Luckily it was easy to paint over. Since then I have never thought of it as a colour.

>77 SassyLassy: >78 avaland: How is this one: The Gold Key and The Green Life: Some Fantasies and Celtic Tales - nothing mundane there!

helmikuu 28, 10:22 am

>81 SassyLassy: In Britain at least there was a period around 1970 when everyone wanted to paint their walls magnolia. I don’t think it was a well-defined colour then, either.

The only book in the list from >79 thorold: that’s really in my library is the Drabble Gates of ivory. But I’m sure I remember that Robert Graves book from somewhere as well.

I looked through a few pages of my catalogue for colour names in titles and didn’t find much that could be an obscure or unintended colour: most of it was just black, white, blue, red, green, yellow, gold and silver, and almost always with the literal or symbolic meanings those colours usually have.

helmikuu 28, 2:27 pm

Oh, well, if you want to go into paint chips to match color names in your library titles, the field does open up!

The first few I spotted included The SHELL Seekers; RAVEN in AMBER; FLINT; NICKEL and Dimed; SeaBISCUIT; The SMOKE Jumper; Mississippi MUD; The MULBERRY Tree.........

My little Mitsubishi is a lovely silvery aqua, but the manufacturer insists that the color is "Neptune". DMV says it's green. All in the eye of the beholder, I suppose!

helmikuu 28, 6:21 pm

>81 SassyLassy: I have read The Perfect Red lots of red-heads in my family)

"Lots of great books about colour itself though"

maaliskuu 1, 3:48 pm

Here's a question to try your powers of mimicry:

image from Whyte's Auctions - Irish Art and Collectables

QUESTION 8: Imitating an Author's Style

Write a short review (a paragraph or so) of a book, using the author's style and language.

You don't need to reveal the name of the author or book if you would like others to guess who it is, or you can come right out and say "I am Shakespeare" and I'm reviewing Romeo and Juliet.

For these purposes, it might be best to select a well known author and book so that others can admire your powers of imitation.

So many imaginative people here, I'm sure this will be no problem!

maaliskuu 1, 4:10 pm

This one may be a bit on the obscure side (or maybe not; it is in about 1800 LT libraries), but some years back, in a now-defunct online forum, our book club was reading A Heart So White by Javier Marias, and this was my reaction:

It was 10:30 Saturday night, and I suddenly realized that I'd been reading the same paragraph for the last ten minutes, not, as that phrase would normally suggest, re-reading anything, simply reading from the beginning and still searching for an end, which made me wonder if, when a cursory glance at my nightstand showed several books waiting to be read, books I really wanted to read, such as Chris Bohjalian's Midwives and Chandler Burr's A Separate Creation, it would truly be worth my while to continue struggling through the book in my hand, a book which, despite its numerous critical plaudits and literary awards, I was finding singularly difficult going, so much so, in fact, that I was reminded of the science-fiction concept of the "force field," an energy barrier frequently designed in such a way that the more energy one expends in attempting to pass through the barrier, the more resistance the barrier provides and the harder it becomes to pass through, and I soon decided that it was not, in fact, worth my while to finish said book, regardless of how many of my fellow book group members might feel disappointed in my absence, though, of course, simultaneously aware of the arrogance in thinking that my absence would even be noticed, and having made the decision, I found myself breathing more easily and even humming a jaunty melody as I put the book aside and turned my attention back to the collection of essays I had been enjoying so deeply before picking up this book, this literary pool of quicksand, in the first place, and resolved to rejoin my book group next month for the discussion of a different novel, which a cursory glance reveals to have paragraphs and sentences shorter than the length of a full page.

maaliskuu 1, 4:59 pm

Q8: Exercices de style

I’ll return with something clever and original shortly, but in the meantime, here are two I prepared earlier. Apologies to those with long memories:

Raymond Queneau, Exercices de style reviewed July 2009:

This story contains some violence, and may be unsuitable for those with tender feet.

A man in a bus with a cord in his hat and a coat with a button that's a bit too low. Told again and again, but not dull at all.

If you want a book to read on the bus, this is the one to go for.

Don't insist on watching the movie first, or you may never get to read the book.

It is a real pleasure to find a book that restores overcoat buttons to their rightful place (slightly higher).

I loved, loved, loved this book!

So much more than a story about a man chasing a whale.

This book has a deep meaning and is very poetic in its form. It reflects the human mind that struggles with difficulties and deceptions.

Top shelf, third from right.

Not as funny as Zazie, but definitely worth a look.

Queneau is the best.

Plz tell me what this is about: I have to write an essay about it.

Amazon: "This slim volume..."

The narrator keeps getting on the bus, but we never find out where he is going.

Probably the best book I've read about a man on a bus.

Fantasy fan
Boring: There are no hobbits in the first five pages.

A phallocentric representation of a male-dominated world, in which women only appear in the most peripheral role, as opposites, others, caressers of hands.


I haven't read this, but I'm sure I would dislike it if I did read it.

The most extensive discussion of hatbands in modern French literature, with some valuable insights into the preference for cords over ribbons.

The "S" bus no longer exists: Paris bus lines have route numbers instead of letters nowadays.

Hetzelfde verhaal negenennegentig keer in verschillende stijlen

Nearly finished. Excellent so far - can't wait to find out how it ends.

Blue-flagged (2)
French, public transport, hats

This book is in French all the way through. How do they do that?

The first story in this book is about a man with a long neck and a funny hat on a bus. SPOILER ALERT: he has a problem with an overcoat button.
The second story in this book is about a man with a long neck and a funny hat on a bus. SPOILER ALERT: he has a problem with an overcoat button.
The third story in this book is about a man with a long neck and a funny hat on a bus. SPOILER ALERT: he has a problem with an overcoat button...
...The ninety-ninth story in this book is about a man with a long neck and a funny hat on a bus. SPOILER ALERT: he has a problem with an overcoat button.

I was reading this book on the bus when someone accused me of treading on his toe. Then a seat became free and he sat down.

(OK, it's tempting, but I'm not going to do 99!)

Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler reviewed April 2012:

thorold's new review of Italo Calvino's novel If on a winter's night a traveller, which you are about to begin reading, is a little masterpiece of the form: not at all the sort of half-baked amateur reviewing you would expect to find on the internet, but more the sort of thing to be savoured in the august columns of one of the snootier literary reviews. It is elegant, concise, and will give you the clearest possible idea of what the experience of reading the book might be like. In fact, it almost renders the actual reading of the book superfluous. Surprisingly for thorold, a reviewer who has previously shown a ponderous propensity to parade parody and pomposity before us (who could forget his painfully silly review of the Oxford University Examination decrees and regulations?), on this occasion he has found just the right line, avoiding both infantile humour and sententious pontification. Superfluous and excessive redundant adjectives are banished, adverbs quietly suppressed, and the sentence structure is crisp and sharp. This is a review to be read reclining in a leather armchair with a glass of dry sherry at your elbow. It is a review, indeed, that might be said to require a plate of cashew nuts and a string quartet playing Haydn. Sit back, relax, and enjoy it.

maaliskuu 1, 7:36 pm

>86 KeithChaffee: Hahaha! Im not good with mimicking writers, but I know one when I read one, Excellent!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 1, 11:15 pm

>85 SassyLassy: QUESTION 8: Imitating an Author's Style
The reading of another book of short, well shortish as in shorter more than longer, left or didn’t leave me with a sense of how it was. How it wasn’t. The child with the nose hole and the dad. The dad. The proud dad. The man-child dad. The child and the dad. I could feel the story unfold in my bones. A pile of bones was reading the story. The bones laughed. A genius wrote them.

maaliskuu 1, 11:01 pm

>86 KeithChaffee: Brilliant. I was going to do Infatuations but could not hold a candle to this.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 2, 3:47 pm

QUESTION 8: Imitating an Author's Style
Being a review of a certain children's book, which can still make us run screaming from the room.


Oh, look! Oh look –
A counting book!
With colors -- two!
(One red, one blue)
And clever rhymes
For story times ...
Until you’ve read it ten times ten
And still your tot demands: AGAIN!

You’ll hate the book, you’ll hate the fish.
You’ll be obsessed with one fond wish –
That it would just go up in flames.
You’re bored with all its silly games.
You cannot hide it here or there
Your kid will find it anywhere.
So leave it on the bookstore shelf.
Too late for me – but save yourself!

maaliskuu 2, 3:52 pm

>91 LyndaInOregon: ROTFLMHO!!!!!

maaliskuu 2, 4:01 pm

>92 cindydavid4: I was at a science fiction convention, years ago -- might have been OryCon -- and someone on the podium at the opening ceremonies ad-libbed a Dr. Seuss line. There must have been 500 people in the audience, all automatically reciting the entire book in response.

It ... Never ... Goes ... Away!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 2, 4:07 pm

BTW today is his birthday!

If you are at all familiar with Special Education you'll recognize the poem:

I do not like these IEP's
I do not like them, Jeeze Louise
We test, we check
we plan, we meet
but nothing ever seems complete.

Would you, could you
like the form?

I do not like the form I see.
Not page 1, not 2, not 3.
Another change,
a brand new box. I think we all
Have lost our rocks.

Could you all meet here or there?

We could not all meet here or there.
We cannot all fit anywhere.
Not in a room
Not in a hall
There seems to be no space at all.

Would you, could you meet again?

I cannot meet again next week
No lunch, no prep
Please hear me speak.
No, not at dusk and not at dawn
At 4 p. m. I should be gone.

Could you hear while all speak out?
Would you write the words they spout?

I could not hear, I would not write
This does not need to be a fight.

Sign here, date there,
Mark this, check that.
Beware the student's ad-vo-cat(e).

You do not like them
so you say
Try it again! Try it again!
and then you may.

If you let me be,
I'll try again
and you will see.


I almost like these IEP's
I think I'll write 6003.
And I will practice day and night
Until they say
"You've got it right".

maaliskuu 2, 5:05 pm

>94 cindydavid4: That's great!

maaliskuu 2, 9:33 pm

>91 LyndaInOregon: Tom Smith (the musician) agrees with you...

maaliskuu 2, 9:40 pm

>96 jjmcgaffey: Actually, I was listening to Tom's "Debasement Tapes" CD in the car today ... that's what kicked off my "review"! (So glad to find another Tom Smith fan here!)

maaliskuu 2, 11:04 pm


maaliskuu 3, 10:10 pm

>89 kjuliff: - My sad attempt of trying to copy/satirize George Saunders failed dismally. I might gather enough courage to do Jane Austen’s P and P. The only other writer whose novels I’da chance with has already been done - Javier Marias’s A Heart so White by >86 KeithChaffee: done with perfection.

>86 KeithChaffee: — I urge you to persevere. Javier Marias maybe try the The Infatuations which does have a plot and mystery.

maaliskuu 4, 2:04 pm

Q8 Style:

Second attempt, but I haven’t got more than fragments.

1. It was the best of opening paragraphs, it was the worst of opening paragraphs, it was the page of wisdom, it was the page of foolishness, it was the chapter of belief, it was the chapter of incredulity, it was the sentence of Light, it was the sentence of D____s, it was the comma of hope, it was the semicolon of despair, we had forty-five chapters before us, we had the title page before us, we were all going direct to a far far better thing, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the paragraph was so far like the present paragraph, that some of its noisiest critics insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

2. It is a truth universally acknowledged that an author, especially one who omits to write the scene where Mr Darcy takes his shirt off, is not destined to die a wealthy woman.

3. Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheuren Kritiker verwandelt.

4. Call me thorold. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shelf, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the bookshop…

5. It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they repossessed my Kindle, and I didn’t know what I was doing in the library…

6. Adultery novels are all alike; every Russian adultery novel is unhappy in its own way.

7. I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they got me my library card; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing; that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind; and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost: Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly, I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different reader in the world, from that, in which the librarian is likely to see me every week.

>99 kjuliff: >86 KeithChaffee: Yes. Read everything Javier Marías wrote. It’s worth it!

maaliskuu 4, 3:27 pm

>100 thorold: really like these. I couldn’t work out number 5 though, but it looks like the start of a very interesting novel. Definitely on my wishlist :-)

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 4, 3:29 pm

>101 kjuliff: The Bell Jar.

Instantly recognizable if you had read it and still remember its start. Not that popular to be easily recognizable otherwise. :)

maaliskuu 4, 3:37 pm

>102 AnnieMod: Oh of course. The Kindle reference threw me off. Thanks. Now I am wondering how >100 thorold: would do The Stranger.

maaliskuu 4, 3:55 pm

>103 kjuliff: Aujourd'hui, j'ai terminé ce livre. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas.

maaliskuu 4, 4:02 pm

>100 thorold: >104 thorold: You are a riot, Mark. I barked out a laugh that startled the sleeping dog. He's looking at me reproachfully now.

maaliskuu 4, 4:08 pm

>100 thorold: Was working on 1 myself - great take on it.

>104 thorold: too funny

maaliskuu 4, 4:11 pm

In a corner of my library, the shelf-mark of which I have no desire to call to mind, there lived not long since one of those novels that keep a bookmark in the first hundred pages, an old bus-ticket, a till receipt, and a post-it for the endnotes...

maaliskuu 4, 4:15 pm

>106 SassyLassy: 1. wrote itself. Or rather Dickens wrote it so well that it could be turned into anything at all by changing a couple of words. I claim no credit.

maaliskuu 4, 4:18 pm

>104 thorold: Your best yet! I darent challenge you again.

maaliskuu 4, 4:27 pm

>109 kjuliff: No-one's done Finnegan's wake yet...

maaliskuu 5, 10:03 am

In the room the workmen come and go
Preparing my new bungalow.
I grow old... I grow old...
I am no longer quite so bold.

Shall I tie my hair behind? Is life still within my reach?
I shall wear iridescent clothes, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do believe that they will sing to me...

maaliskuu 5, 10:29 am

If we’re doing verse now…

10. Of bibliography from A to Z I sing,
Not index cards alone nor shelves are worthy for the Deweys, I say the Form completed is worthier far,
The Serial equal with the Book I sing.

Of books immense in passion, page and binding,
Cheerful for freest reading form’d under law of copyright,
The Project Gutenberg I sing…

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 14, 10:14 am

A discussion on another thread made me think of this question.

QUESTION 9: Last Books

Desmond Hume, one of the characters in the series Lost, carried around a copy of Our Mutual Friend. He wanted it to be the last book he read.

If you could choose your last book, what would it be?

Just for fun, try suggesting last books for fictional or real people. Here are some suggestions:

Alexander Pope - For Whom the Bell Tolls

Oliver Twist - The Turn of the Screw

edited to add question number

maaliskuu 7, 12:17 pm

Last book

Another tricky one, probably the sort of question where you either have an answer all prepared or you get lost in working out the practicalities. The only way to be sure that something is the last book you read is never to read anything else, but that's not going to work for any of us (the closest I ever came was a four-week trip long ago where the only book I had available was Priestley's The good companions, which I read about six times...). So let's assume it's not a practical question and go with off the cuff answers:

— On the basis that the last book you read is going to be read in difficult circumstances, I might choose something I know I can always enjoy, whatever else I've got on my mind. In that case it would probably be Uncle Fred in the springtime, a proven success as a hospital read.

— Writers who describe spending a long time in prison often seem to console themselves by re-reading Homer or Virgil, or other great classical writers (in some cases purely from memory). I think I'd go for Ovid's Metamorphoses, which is not only at the root of thousands of more recent stories but complicated enough that it wouldn't be any hardship to go back to the beginning and start again.

— I've been trying and failing to get around to finishing Don Quixote for at least five decades. If I were a character in certain kinds of short stories, I wouldn't expect to survive the final chapter (which would be a shame, because there are all sorts of interesting-looking critical essays in the back of my RAE edition...).

— There's a case for the last book you read being one that reminds you that saying goodbye to the world isn't necessarily all bad news. That could be your Holy book of choice, or a nice rant by someone who was really fed up with the world. I think I'd go for Thomas Bernhard.

— Another angle would be to remind yourself what you won't be missing by dipping into whatever book regulates/regulated your working hours. But I don't really see myself carrying a copy of The European Patent Convention around in my pocket for the rest of my life. It wouldn't make a very amusing talking point, and it would ruin my jackets.

— The sanest solution seems to be to go for a favourite poetry collection. I think I'd be having a Sophie's choice moment in front of my poetry shelves if I were forced into a real decision, but for the sake of argument let's say A Shropshire lad. Or maybe T.S. Eliot's Four quartets, or perhaps rather ...

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 7, 3:19 pm

>114 thorold: Like you, I'd probably gravitate to poetry, but for the same reason a religious person might choose their sacred writings. I'd want my "last book" -- assuming I had (a) certain foreknowledge, and (b) the physical and mental ability to read -- to be one that lifted me out of myself with beautiful language and reminded me that I am just a very small sparrow on a very large tree.

So, given all that, I'd probably reach for my Robert Frost collection. I can remember waking up to the news of Robert Kennedy's assassination in 1968, barely two months after Martin Luther King's assassination, and spending most of the rest of that day reading Frost and thinking deep thoughts. Not that I was facing my own mortality, but that I needed an anchor in a world that just seemed too much to cope with at that moment.

FWIW, I sat by my grandmother's bedside as she transitioned from this world to the next, reading aloud from the Book of Isaiah, King James Version, as much for the magnificent language as to acknowledge her Christian faith.

In reality, when The Reaper comes for me, I'm likely to be knee-deep in something totally frivolous -- the latest adventure of Stephanie Plum, or a re-read of a Discworld novel...........

maaliskuu 7, 4:06 pm

I'd just as soon go out laughing. Catch 22, maybe, or Portnoy's Complaint. Or, yeah, perhaps Don Quixote, assuming I have the strength to hold the book upright. Or if I'm feeling the need for something inspirational, perhaps Horton Hatches the Egg. Or a baseball book, perhaps. That might be The Kid from Tompkinsville.

maaliskuu 7, 7:07 pm

Hmm. Depending on the circumstances I’d read poetry, a favorite novel, or something funny. Or someone will be reading to me.

maaliskuu 7, 9:09 pm

>116 rocketjk: I agree; reading hitchikers guide to the galaxy in hopes that I will find out if gods message to his creation was meant to be comforting or ironic....

maaliskuu 7, 9:12 pm

Winnie the Pooh for me. At that point I’d be done adulting.

maaliskuu 7, 9:53 pm

Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas

maaliskuu 7, 11:09 pm

maaliskuu 7, 11:41 pm

>113 SassyLassy: The next book in whatever series I am reading at that time.

I don’t read special books at special times so why change my pattern. Plus long series are like old friends and what’s better than that?

maaliskuu 8, 2:18 am

>118 cindydavid4: Sure, great choice. "Life, the universe and everything." What could be better? :)

maaliskuu 8, 5:48 am


Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 9, 3:16 pm

>113 SassyLassy: I've always sort of hoped that the last book I read isn't a particularly good one, because I the odds are I won't actually getall the way through it, and the thought of dying in the middle of a good book and never getting to find out how it ends is terrible.

maaliskuu 11, 9:08 am

>125 bragan: the thought of dying in the middle of a good book and never getting to find out how it ends is terrible LOL

maaliskuu 11, 10:55 am

see Ive always belived that when you die you know all the answers. so youll find out on the other side!

maaliskuu 11, 1:00 pm

I think I'd like to go rereading something I always enjoyed, but had not read to pieces (so probably not Henry James or Jane Austen). Something where I know the ending, but would still get something out of the writing. Something with "sweep" (Steinbeck? Sinclair Lewis? Betty Smith?). Not something I would need to work at too much, though (sorry, Italo Calvino). Or something by a woman with a satiric edge (Muriel Spark, Barbara Pym, Mary Wesley). Shady but not too dark (leaves out a lot of Margaret Atwood). Or maybe a short story collection, a long one so that I could read one a day.

Interesting aspect to the In the Event of a Lingering Death Plan that I will have to think about.

maaliskuu 11, 1:31 pm

>128 nohrt4me2: I'm with you.

maaliskuu 11, 2:50 pm

>128 nohrt4me2: I’m with you on this. I can’t get myself immersed in anything new right now. I also like novels with an edge, rather than dark. Will be interested in reading answers to this thread

maaliskuu 11, 3:02 pm

In a way, I’m spending all my time trying to catch up so that i can figure out what I actually want to read. What I’m catching up to doesn’t actually exist, maybe reading everything. So, whatever my last book is, I imagine I’ll be reading it wondering which book, of the infinite options, I should read next.

maaliskuu 11, 3:58 pm

If I could choose my last book ever, I’d certainly do so. Maybe The Last Book Ever Written.

And then not read it until I’d read everything else . . .

maaliskuu 12, 11:26 am

I'm hoping for a quick and unexpected departure, so whatever I'm in the middle of is fine.

maaliskuu 12, 8:01 pm

The idea of a reread for a last book sounds lovely. I think I would go with Lonesome Dove. Which means that now I can't reread if anytime soon unless I wish to invite fate to play a cruel joke on me.

maaliskuu 14, 10:12 am

Love these answers.

It just occurred to me that in such a situation, for once I could abandon my compulsion to read potentially memorable books!

maaliskuu 14, 10:25 am

image from The Independent

QUESTION 10: Collections

Looking at your nonfiction here

Essays, biographies, history, music, tree pruning: Some of us actively work at making a collection of books in a particular field of interest. Most of us have several books on a given subject.

When does a couple of books on the same topic become a collection? Do you need a certain number, or is two enough?

Once you've accumulated a few books with the same subject matter, do you actively seek out more, or will it be a sort of haphazard thing?

How do you arrange them: cookbooks by country, explorers by region? Do they get their own special spot?

So many questions here - feel free to expand.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 14, 12:53 pm

>136 SassyLassy: I've never thought of my nonfiction books on individual topics to be "collections," although I certainly have several concentrations of such books. Maybe that's just a question of semantics, though.

I think it's natural to seek out books on subjects that interest us. I guess I'd have to say, upon consideration, that I have a collection of baseball histories and biographies, as those books take up four full shelves in my home office.

But, again looking at the semantics, in order to have a "collection" of baseball books, do I have to be able to say, "I collect baseball books?" I've never thought of it that way, although upon reflection it's true that whenever I'm in a sizable bookstore I do go to the Sports section to see if there are any books on the subject that I don't have but would like to have. So I guess I've been "collecting" baseball books all along without thinking of it that way. Or one could say that baseball books have been collecting in my home office for many years, like dust or spider webs. That might be how my wife would put it. :) I hope they're not plotting anything.

I would more specifically say that I "collect" Modern Library books, because I go in search of them (they must have their dust jackets!) to add to my ML collection without regard for whether I would necessarily want to read a particular ML book I might find. But those are mostly fiction.

Other than that, my nonfiction collections, to just go ahead and use the term, have mostly to do with American history. World War II, the Vietnam War era, including Watergate, and the Civil War era are the most robust. Mary Roach has been my wife's best friend since they were college roommates, so we have all of her books. Happily, we also love her books, but does that count as a collection of Mary Roach books? Those history and baseball books are basically sections that I've assembled. Together, my wife and I have what I guess for these purposes you'd call collections of essay collections and memoirs. But, again, I think I'd only call these "collections" in retrospect. At the time, we were just buying books that looked good.

maaliskuu 14, 12:48 pm


A grouping of books on a certain subject probably turns into a collection at the point where you start adding to it “because you haven’t got that one yet” rather than “because you want to read it”. I’m wary of that: it’s fun to try to complete sets when you’re young and are sure you’ll want to read them all sooner or later, but when you are starting to run out of space it doesn’t seem to be such a good idea.

My last big reorganisation of the non-fiction was based arbitrarily on Dewey, which had the effect of splitting up some of the groupings that might have looked like collections to the casual observer. Like most reorganisations I’ve been through (books and work) it was a lot of trouble and didn’t change my life in any important way.

At the moment the only things that are arranged in obviously collection-like ways are the out of date Ordnance Survey and Swiss Topo maps, which would probably end up together for space reasons anyway, and the Boekenweek gifts, which are fiction and don’t count for this question...

The only “collecting” activity I have drifted into recently was when I chanced on a batch of English-language paperbacks published in East Berlin in the 60s and 70s and was curious enough to seek out a few more examples on the secondhand market, so I have about 25 of them now. But these are all shelved according to where they go in fiction or non-fiction, they are only obvious as a collection in LT.

I suppose another one some people might consider a collection would be “books about P G Wodehouse”, where I probably have copies of most of what’s available, if not quite everything.

Then again, there must be around 250 books about railways scattered about my shelves, and probably 40 or 50 queer studies titles. But those are all useful and necessary books, there’s no hoarding instinct involved. Obviously.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 14, 6:06 pm

Been collecting rare children's illustrated for many years now. Amongst my non-fiction I have many books on travel biography history but agree that I don't consider these collections rather groups of books that interest me. I do also have book on nyc , and book about books

I do keep my rare books in one place, away from the light, and separate my non fiction into themes,

maaliskuu 14, 3:44 pm

The Amazon - the rain forest, the river, the people - especially the Yanomami. If I find out about a book I haven’t read, I will seek it out. I have books on my shelves as well as ebooks. I’ve read some of the history and Amazon exploration and anthropology etc.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 14, 5:56 pm

I have some cookbooks. I have arranged them unattractively on a shelf above the fridge in my kitchen.

I have several versions of the Book of Common Prayer--Church of Canada, C of E, ECUSA 1920s and 1970s--that are strewn around the house. You never know what room you're in when you suddenly need to consult the Psalter or the Kalendar.

Various reader's encyclopedias and foreign language dictionaries and grammars are on bedside tables, depending on who's trying to read what. Except Latin. Latin grammars and dictionaries are with my husband's books on American architecture. No reason, except I wanted them in his room where he would have to dust them, not me. Both of us enjoyed Latin, but I don't think they teach it in high school any more.

maaliskuu 14, 6:04 pm

>136 SassyLassy: QUESTION 10: Collections

I tend to get a bit obsessive when I am interested in a topic and I go and buy all the books that seem relevant and interesting. Then I read 2-3 (or none...) and move to a different topic. Sometimes I remain interested enough to buy more on the topic, sometimes they just sit and wait for me to circle back to them.

I don't have the space to actually get them all into shelves but I try to keep them together per topic - so that if I get interested again, I know where they are.

maaliskuu 14, 6:35 pm

>136 SassyLassy: Q10 - collections

Most of my physical books are non-fiction, and with only a few exceptions all of my non-fiction are physical books. I have a single small bookcase of fiction from childhood or by favorite authors; most of my fiction acquired in the past decade are e-books, and most prior to this were from the library or cheap paperbacks passed along once read.

My collections, in LT terminology, are both general subject categories and bookcase labels. The default main tag for a book in a collection is the name of the collection, e.g. books in the COMPUTER collection are tagged *COMPUTER* with a minor subcategory in lower case. Some of these are not technically computer books, but I have them where they are because I think of them or use them in that context. Some collections have major as well as minor subcategories, e.g. the CRAFT collection includes *CRAFT*, *ARCHITECTURE*, *MUSIC*, the CULTURE collection includes *CULTURE*, *ECONOMICS*, *RELIGION*, the SCIENCE collection includes *SCIENCE*, *BIOLOGY*, *EVOLUTION*, *MEDICINE*, the NATURE collection includes *NATURE*, *AGRICULTURE*, *GARDENING*. Obviously a book could overlap conceptually but also a book can reside in exactly one place so I make a choice. I recently minimized the tags after ditching an elaborate system that I couldn't sustain. I realized that the main question I want to answer with collections and tags is: where is it? The gauge is roughly a bookcase per major subcategory or a shelf per minor subcategory but with idiosyncratic nuances. The tags emerged as I went through all the books and stacked the ones that belonged together. A few authors have produced books on related topics that fall into different categories the way I've split things, but once I have multiple books by an author I prefer to keep them together.

I have 9 music books which are essentially strays but had to go somewhere, and CRAFT was most suitable both conceptually and physically. I'm USian so that's the bulk of my CULTURE collection, with non-USA organized by region of the world (by country would be too granular) and USA organized variously by ethnicity (e.g. Amish) or era (e.g. Civil War) or theme (e.g. poverty); religion is not place-specific so is separated out.

If I had only 9 science/nature books I'd lump them all together, but as it is I have 397 SCIENCE books and 293 NATURE books so they need subdivisions. What's the difference between SCIENCE and NATURE? SCIENCE is in the living room and NATURE is in the dining room, SCIENCE is more academic and NATURE is more practical. Also physically these bookshelves are maxed out so if I want to move anything there's a domino effect of discombobulation. I don't have space for more bookcases in those rooms.

None of these collections are collectibles; they are clusters of books about things that have interested me for a range of durations over several decades. I found during the great reorganization project this winter that I wanted to expand some categories to be more comprehensive and considered others somewhat of a nuisance so these might be the first books to go if I need shelf space.

maaliskuu 14, 7:01 pm

>136 SassyLassy: I probably do not need this many books on the Apollo space program and its predecessors. Not all of them are especially good, past a certain point there are a lot of redundancies between them, and I'm starting to have to admit that even I cannot and maybe don't even want to read an infinite number of them.

And yet, does that stop me from buying more of them? It does not.

I suppose that counts as a collection of some sort.

maaliskuu 14, 7:07 pm

There are subjects that I have a lot of books on -- crochet, Sondheim, pop music chart history -- but I don't think of any of them as "collections" in the sense that I attempt to be a completist. My only "I must complete the set" collections, I think, are my complete Peanuts and my "year's best SF stories" anthologies.

maaliskuu 14, 7:29 pm

Hmmmmmm .... guess my "collections" are of cookbooks and knitting technique or pattern books.

The cookbooks live in the kitchen, and if I were honest, I'd admit that out of 10 or 12 books and an uncounted number of free-range pamphlets and individual recipes, most of them are shelved and never looked at again.

The knitting books are in the bookshelf in the family room / craft room / room where we put everything we don't know what else to do with..... I've got probably six shelf-feet of them. About half of them get used or referred to regularly, to select patterns, brush up on techniques, or choose stitch patterns for projects I'm designing. The rest of them are strictly eye candy. And they're more or less grouped by subject -- pattern collections, stitch dictionaries, specific techniques, general encyclopedia-type reference.

maaliskuu 15, 1:39 am

>136 SassyLassy:

Q 10

Just as I have more or less "accidentally" amassed upward of 12 000 books, so I have more or less "accidentally" created various collections and sub (sub) sub...)) collections. But I think of them as bunches of books on some subjects that interest me and that ideally, in a remote and probably mythical future of leisure, I'll get to one day. Meanwhile, it does happen that books lose their shine and my interests shift. For example, I'm looking to ditch most of lit on psychology and psychoanalysis. And I could probably dispense with a good deal of math I haven't really dug in since grad school.

I like antiquarian books more often than I can afford them (I think the latest awful splurge was a first edition of Byron containing "Darkness"), so those form a small and very disparate "collection", but are more of a collection to my mind than the above.

Some favourite publishers and imprints end up creating "collections" too--Insel-Bücherei, La Pléiade etc.

maaliskuu 15, 9:38 am

Oh, geez, the knitting patterns and books. Forgot about those. Got hundreds when my mother in law died. Sorted and put loose patterns in plastic sleeves in large binders in the hall cupboard. I am going to put these out at the rummage sale and sell for 10 cents apiece.

maaliskuu 15, 4:30 pm

I think all my "collections" (same dubiousness as many others here) are fiction - Robin Hood, mostly. I'll pick up a cookbook cheap almost any time I come across one, especially if it has interesting baking recipes, but while I have a huge mass of them (that I really need to deal with, since I almost never actually look in the books when I want to bake!), I don't think of them as a collection. Huge mass = 5 shelves of a Billy plus the top of the cabinet in the kitchen plus a bunch of ones still in boxes...

Beyond that - I pick up books on interesting subjects, but I don't collect them. Hmmm. I find that I think of a collection as a bunch of objects - the physical books themselves - while what I'm mostly buying is the contents of the book (ebooks are as good or better for the vast majority of what I'm looking for!). And looking at it that way - no, I don't have any collections; I want the contents, not the physical objects. I don't even care if my series match (though I used to dump a TPB for a mass market, because it fit better on the shelf. Nowadays I'm not interested enough to bother - I don't care about the physical books enough).

maaliskuu 15, 5:12 pm

>149 jjmcgaffey: I have a friend I met on fb through a standard poodle group and she lives with her poodle, Beau, in Nottingham.

maaliskuu 18, 2:56 am

I have a collection of American womens' histories; mostly those of favorite female historians (i.e. Sandra M. Gilbert, Mary Beth Norton, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Marilynne Roach...etc. Within this larger category, I have a collection of 16 books on the Salem Witch trials.

I have a collection of quilting books that was never meant to be a collection. I've just offered half of them to a young cousin. I use only one large encyclopedia volume of block patterns these days, but keeping some of the others just to browse through once in a while.

I'd call these collections "accidental collections" as I'm not a completist.

maaliskuu 18, 12:51 pm

>151 avaland: Can you post the titles of yr witch books? I feel a theme for next year coming on ....

maaliskuu 18, 3:45 pm

As >149 jjmcgaffey: phrased it, there seems to be a "dubiousness" here about using the word "collection". A collection isn't necessarily a highfalutin group of objects like art or rare porcelain; it can also be merely the pile of shoes by the back door, or even the cutlery in the kitchen drawer. >143 qebo: makes a good distinction between 'collectibles' and individual things in the collection.

So, also tell us about your haphazard collections, the ones >147 LolaWalser: and >151 avaland: is describe as "accidental collection", as these in many ways are the most fun - "I bought a book on/by xyz a few years ago, and now magically there is a dozen of them"

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 20, 7:35 am

>152 nohrt4me2: I will do so over on our thread....
ETA it actually would be easier for you to just go to my library and search "Salem" (that is also the tag). It also includes other books related to the town/area of Salem.

maaliskuu 19, 10:09 am

>153 SassyLassy: oh, ok thats better. Only one Id remove though is my childrens illustrated( not highfalutin but a collection I continualy lookout for) the rest were " they are clusters of books about things that have interested me for a range of durations over several decades" (thx >143 qebo:)

maaliskuu 19, 2:38 pm

I remembered in the middle of the night that I have lots of Irish mythology and folklore books.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 19, 4:00 pm

The other collection in my house is of hubby's Louis L'Amour books. My lord, that man cranked them out.

I just had a nightmare vision of what would have happened had Louis L'Amour married Barbara Cartland and produced a child who was also a writer. We might this very moment be chin-deep in 20,000 titles about disinherited Edwardian-era schoolmarms being rescued from rampaging Comanches by one of the Sacketts...........

maaliskuu 19, 4:29 pm

I suppose for me, a collection of books is anything I would buy a physical copy of rather than get it from the library, or purchase as an ebook or audible book.

I "collect" books on the Welsh language, mainly for teaching purposes.
I have a huge number of vegetarian cookbooks, and most lately I mainly buy pie books.
I have a large number of knitting books.
I collect books on Arthurian literature, both non-fiction and fiction.
Books set in Wales (fiction).
I have a lot of gardening books, especially garden plans. Also bird identification books.
I have small collections on unicorns, music, language.
Women in history, especially Joan of Arc, and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Lots of medieval history books, history of Wales, British Isles in general. Books like the Anglo-Saxon chronicles, Froissart, books on the various Tudors, other royalty, books on Owain Glendwr, genealogy, things relating to family history.
Quite a lot on spirituality, especially channeling, paranormal, animal totems, energy work, chakras.
Small collection of books on gemstones, and rocks and their meanings.
Oh yeah, astrology books. History of Christianity and other religions. Quite a few Bibles...
Then there's the "collection" of books I inherited from my father which includes books collected by his father, and grandfather (all ministers) so lots of theology books, but also some sets like Balzac, and other literature. I did get rid of the complete set of Dickens long ago....

And then there's the magazines, like the Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies, Whispering Gallery, Realm, Parabola, etc....

maaliskuu 19, 4:50 pm

Yeah I also have a ton of English and Welsh history as well as two shelves of judaica works, and histories of other countrie,, three shelves of biograghies and memoirs, but probably my biggest non fiction collection is travel , covers one 6 shelf unit all by them selves.

maaliskuu 21, 4:13 pm

My own "collections" which I would define loosely as groups of books on the same topic or general area of interest acquired over time are in two major areas which I have made "collections" in the LT sense: Garden, and China (the country - PRC and earlier). Another grouping which could fall into this category is "Ahoy", which covers everything on the water from pirates to children's books on the topic to fisheries. It's kind of interesting to me that these are all nonfiction. That has the benefit of providing a built in excuse for acquiring new and new to me books on the topics, convincing myself that each new book teaches me more about them.

Looking at older books on these topics, it's easy to see how people get seduced into buying the rare and obscure. Luckily, I'm not in the target market, so can't succumb.

maaliskuu 21, 4:26 pm

QUESTION 11: Lost or Stolen or Strayed

Elsewhere, AnnieMod made mention of a wonderful sounding book: Lost Classics: Writers on Books Loved and Lost, Overlooked, Under-read, Unavailable, Stolen, Extinct, or Otherwise Out of Commission.

Who could ignore such a wonderful title?

Tell us about your book that got away, the one someone walked off with, you left on the subway, you didn't buy and regretted it ever after, that just somehow plain disappeared. Why did it mean so much to you?

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 22, 9:58 am

The Last Cruise of the Jeannette. A boy's adventure based on a true story of a North Pole expedition. I read almost every summer at my gramma's. No idea what happened to it. Gramma's house on the lake was my safe place. And reading that same book every summer until I was 14 anchored me somehow. I have no idea what happened to the book, but it was gone from her bookshelf when she died. Hard book to replace as it has been out of print for a long time. It won't even come up on the touchstones.

maaliskuu 22, 4:04 pm

I had many books from childhood still on my bedroom shelvees when I left for college: Heide, Little Women, Jane Eyre, others. When icam home they were gone. Mom said my bro had borrowed them to use at his new house to go with his antiques. Found out he didn't have them. So didnt know who to believe. Was sad, but was able to find some at used bookstores, and now of course, I can usually get them on line. Still I wonder what someone was thinking

maaliskuu 22, 7:59 pm

When I was studying abroad, my dad's basement flooded and a lot of books that I had stored there were ruined. It was a sad day in Mudville. A dog chewed a leather-bound edition of Longfellow that my grandmother had handed down from her father. My first loss was Peg-Leg Pete, about a duck, which I left in the rain. It was a library book, and I was horrified. Left a tremendous impression. And I have no idea where my copy of Where the Wild Things Are went, but I blame Max.

maaliskuu 22, 8:43 pm

Hmmm...I can't think offhand of any individual books that I lost. However, I was 11 when we were evacuated from Iran in 1979, and I had my own bookcase - far too many books to count for the inventory we were supposed to do before we left. I counted the books in three separate measured feet, averaged the count and summed it over the total shelf-foot length (why, no, I'm not a geek, why would you think that?) and came up with slightly under 1000 books. Of which I kept one, which I still have - Swiss Family Robinson, in a paperback copy. It had already been through a car crash with me, and lost its front cover and gotten covered with mud - so the first page was the one that said "Wash your hands before you read me and keep me clean!" with mudstains all over it. Couldn't leave that behind.

I repeatedly discover books that must have been left behind in Iran - oh I read that, of course I had that, I had a lot of those. But I don't _know_ what I had, I didn't write down any titles. A bunch of Asterix and Obelix, and Tintins; a boxed set of Narnia (paperbacks); a _lot_ of Black Stallion books and other Farleys... etc.

maaliskuu 22, 9:23 pm

when I was in college I left a library copy of the discoverers at the LA airport in one of the phone booths. Realized it flying to phx. Library charged me $50, that I didn't have but paid anyway. Don't think I ever lost another library book

maaliskuu 22, 9:25 pm

Does a story of a book that was considered lost but was found later count?

When I was 6 and in first grade, I learned to read and got my very first book - not sure if it was for a holiday or just because. That was the first book I read on my own, I learned to work properly with that book (it was long enough for that) and I had read it more times than I can remember. At one point, the books we outgrew, were packed and sent to my grandparents' for safekeeping - not much space in a 1 bedroom apartment (if we use the US way to count rooms) with 4 people in it. As I was spending all vacations in the house where the book ended up, I kept picking it up even in my teens - it was a bit shabby and with some damage by now but it was build to last and it was a gorgeous big format hardcover. Then I grew up, got stupid enough to think I do not like children's books (right...) and forgot about. The last time I was that book was in the summer of 1998 - before my senior year in high school.

And last year, we decided to sell the house - the grandparents were dead and it needed a lot of upkeep and there was noone to live there (or with plans to) so my Mom started packing it all, bringing all the books we had stored there. When I came home last summer, I went through the boxes with books just in case this book may be there (and to sort out what is worth keeping - there was a lot of stuff from the communist era that is just... not needed). Not surprisingly, the book was not there. At this point I was sure it is lost - according to Mom, all books were already moved.

But I wanted another look at the old house - I learned to walk there, I spent all my vacations and most weekends there - it was as much home as the apartment in the town was. Plus there was the final load of things to get out before and Mom loved the company (well, so she said). And while were driving there, I mentioned the book and Mom said that there was a book that came out from one of the wardrobes after she moved the books from the library. Yep - my book was there, sitting on the table, waiting for me. So now it is at Mom's - I decided not to bring it with me this time around but I probably will bring it in next time I am home.

PS: I have a newer, paperback copy of the book - I got one a decade ago. But that one is MY book :)

PS2: It is called "Пет приказки" (Five Fairy Tales) by Valeriy Petrov - one of the major Bulgarian children authors. It came out the year I started school and everyone in my year essentially read in out first year we could read (some could read earlier so it was not their first but...). It starts with a wonderful rhymed poem (whose start roughly translates as:

This book is for you, dear child,
the most dutiful/obedient/not naughty one of all the children.
It contains five fairy tales - one each for every finger of your hand.)

So that's the story of the lost book that ended up not being lost. :)

maaliskuu 23, 4:52 am

Oh, I love all of these stories! Some are so sad, but they show our deep love for books...

I cannot think of any book I really lost.
After I had finished my degree I sold many of my books online, mainly expensive books that I had needed for my studies but would never use anymore. I needed funds for a two months trip to the UK, so selling these expensive books was a good idea.
I also sold some of my other books, mainly children's books that I had not really liked as a child. But I regretted selling some of them afterwards and bought the same editions a few years later to replace them. Most of them were Astrid Lindgren books. Of course they are not the exact same books that I had as a child, but they look and feel the same so I am fine with it.

maaliskuu 23, 9:48 am

>167 AnnieMod: oh sweet! Love that dedication!

maaliskuu 23, 2:10 pm

Thankfully I'm starting to forget the individual opportunities "that got away", but there is one bookshopping-related thing I regret, and that is avoiding buying hefty hardcovers when I lived in the States. So I missed out on the books by the Limited Editions Club and Heritage Press. It's not so much the prices (which were probably much more reasonable back then) but the joy of shopping for them in person that I miss.

maaliskuu 25, 2:36 pm

I can't think of any lost books, but... I know I've told this story before but when I was 11 or so, my mother caught me with my father's copy of The Dirty Dozen and took it away from me and for a while hid it*. Eventually, after a period of time, probably thinking I'd forget about it, she put it back in the little alcove behind the chimney where his other books were. The next time they went grocery shopping I finished the book (I was not terribly impressed with it). The fiction written for young girls during the 60s was pretty vacuous....

*it was put in one my father's bureau drawers.

maaliskuu 25, 5:58 pm

>171 avaland: I read a lot of age-inappropriate books in the 1960s, but my mother and dad were pretty much on board with whatever. Neither of them were readers or followed books, so as long as there was no lurid cover and I got them from the library, no one said anything. Hell's Angels and Rosemary's Baby passed muster.

Just for fun, I tried to come up with a list of some YA for girls published in the 1960s. I don't think I read any of them except Island of the Blue Dolphins and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.

Any there that you read?

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Sister of the Bride by Beverly Cleary
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Hannah Green
Lisa, Bright and Dark by John Neufield
Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera Cleaver
Mr and Mrs BoJo Jones by Ann Head
The Unchosen by Nan Gilbert
Nothing But a Stranger by Arlene Hale
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Paul Odell
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Light a Single Candle by Beverly Wheeler

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 26, 6:25 am

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

maaliskuu 26, 6:19 am

Jean, I've copied your list over to my personal thread so we can discuss it there without interfering with Sassylassy's 'official' question here.... which is:

Tell us about your book that got away, the one someone walked off with, you left on the subway, you didn't buy and regretted it ever after, that just somehow plain disappeared. Why did it mean so much to you?

maaliskuu 26, 9:00 am

I remember having a boxed set of paperbacks in the mid-'70s, a gift from my parents, that were probably marketed as what would have been YA fiction if the label had existed then. Trying to think of what was in there... The Member of the Wedding, The Pigman, Joy in the Morning, Jeremy, can't remember the others. I remember loving The Member of the Wedding, not liking Joy in the Morning much—all I can remember about that one was that one of the protagonist's goals was to be able to hold her young husband's pencils for him when he wrote, and even at 14 I knew that wasn't anything to aspire to).

Of the list above, I read Harriet the Spy, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and A Wrinkle in Time. I'm sure there were more that would have qualified as '70s YA, I think that was when I was beginning to transition to reading adult books and picking my own. Plus I have none of my childhood books, which brings me to my answer to the original question, Lost or Stolen or Strayed. I'll make that a new post.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 26, 10:08 am

QUESTION 11: Lost or Stolen or Strayed
1. All the books, toys, stuffed animals, and furniture from my childhood. My folks divorced when I was 14 and I went off to boarding school, and they split up the big house I grew up in. My mom had reunited with an old college boyfriend, the love of her life, who turned out to not be as above board as she hoped... She put up a big chunk of money toward a house he had bought upstate that he was going to flip, or they were going to move there together, or god knows what, and in the meantime all my childhood stuff could be stored there while I was at school. He ended up losing the house to his ex-wife (I'm not sure at which point in the process she became ex, either), along with all the stuff in it. And my mom, who was pathologically passive when it came to confronting him about anything, never got my things back. She wouldn't even give me his number so I could pursue it when I was in my early 20s and incensed about the whole thing.

I'm not huge on possessions in general, but to this day I'm really sad about all that. In addition to being a link to my childhood, which came to an abrupt end that year, there are so many things I wish I could have passed along to my son, or had now... a gorgeous rolltop desk, a Korean chest with little drawers, a handmaid dollhouse-scale barn with working electric lights, all my books. The only thing that escaped was my collection of '60s and '70s underground comix, which I had packed up and sent to my dad's new house. Still have them all in my attic, too, but 45 years later I still miss all the other stuff.

2. I had a very close friend from my mid-20 through a few years ago—our sons were best friends as toddlers and grade-/middle-schoolers—who never returned the books she borrowed. Which wouldn't be a big issue if it weren't tied up with the fact that she's essentially dropped out of my life... a weird thing for me, since I've been fortunate never to lose a friend in all my years of friend-making. I know there are mental health issues involved—she battles with depression, and we've been through the cycle a few times where she's so guilty for not returning my messages that she cuts off contact. I had to track her down through her son at the beginning of the pandemic, when I was worried about her and she wouldn't return texts or calls. I'm pretty burnt out on pursuing our friendship for these past few years at this point. I know her son won't let her slip through the cracks entirely, so I don't feel responsible for her, and I'll still keep texting on her birthday and such. But that saddens me, because we were really tight for a long time.

She has several books of mine, but only two that I think about. One she gave me, a hardcover copy of The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, which I was looking for before it was reprinted and she tracked down for me in the very earliest days of internet book sales. I had been planning a Bloom piece on G.B. Edwards and asked for it back—we were working together a few days a week when I was in grad school at the time—and she said yes, yes, she'd bring it in, and then never did. I bought myself a copy of the NYRB reprint. But it's sort of a weird double sadness, the book she went to a lot of trouble to find for me, which would have been a warm artifact of our friendship, and that I'll probably never get back. The other was also a gift, a copy of the Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness that a dear friend gave me for Valentine's Day in the late 1990s with a sweet inscription. That's been borrowed for 20-something years and I still would like it back.

She has a number of other books of mine I don't care about. But those two I do, and I miss our friendship as well. She was one of the four people invited to my tiny wedding in 2017, and I think that was the last time I saw her.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 26, 10:39 am

sorry for the loss of your books and friend. you wonder whats in peoples mind. I had a friend who was in my wedding and we knew her and her husband for years. about a decade ago she stopped returning my calls. I also called her son to confirm she was ok, but he had no idea what was happening. We used to talk books for hours; she was a volunteer at the library and so I got the news on new stuff coming out. She gave me far pavillions which continues to be one of my fav all time books. I wish I knew what I did, or how I might have hurt her, but theres not contact so no way of know

maaliskuu 26, 1:38 pm

>172 nohrt4me2: I don't think I read a single one of the 60s titles you listed for YA girls! (I did read Rosemary's Baby, but it was in the 70s before I got around to that one.) I don't remember a lot of YA titles that were around when I was in junior high or high school (I graduated in 1963), except for the Cherry Ames nursing novels and the ubiquitous Nancy Drew.

What I do remember reading in the 60s were East of Eden, Atlas Shrugged, The Once and Future King, The Grapes of Wrath, The Stranger, and every Ray Bradbury story I could get my hands on.

The only two books I ever remember my mom removing while I was reading them were Mandingo and one about the Leopold/Loeb murder trial, whose title escapes me. They simply disappeared from wherever I had laid them down, and when I asked about it, she said "I don't think you should be reading that." I was a little miffed, but it was no big deal. This would have been in the late 50s and I was in junior high. OTOH, she read the riot act to the city librarian who initially was not going to check out a copy of Andersonville to me, because it was "a book for grown-ups".

maaliskuu 26, 2:32 pm

>172 nohrt4me2: Island of the Blue Dolphins (Scott not Paul), Wrinkle in Time and sequels, and Harriet the Spy. Published in 1970, so just over the line, Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret was the quintessential YA girl's must-read.

maaliskuu 27, 9:14 am

Thinking of QUESTION 11 : Lost or Stolen or Strayed, it made me wonder what book(s) in your current collection would you most hate to lose?

maaliskuu 27, 10:36 am

>180 SassyLassy: I think I would most hate to lose my early Tolkien books. They are in German and I don't read them anymore, but they mean so much to me, as with them my love for Tolkien started and they are one of the few things that I have kept from my teenage years. That time was rather difficult, but those books provide some happy memories.
Another one is The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism which I used in a course when I was studying in Australia. The professor was brilliant and that course really changed how I saw the world, and myself as a woman. I became a feminist then, whereas before I had not really been introduced to such topics.
And third, the small collection of books that I inherited from my grandmother.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 27, 12:56 pm

The Mother Goose my grandmother gave me for Christmas one year. Maybe my Collected Verse by Kipling, but in fact I lost that (lost access to it) for a while and replaced it, so now I have two (slightly different) editions. I have a bunch of signed books by a family friend (Desmond O'Grady, an Irish poet)...but I really don't like his poetry, so I would rather like to lose them in some way that wasn't my fault so I don't have to keep on keeping them (they're not large books, but.). Beyond dad's thesis (published as a book, though I've never actually read it all the way through). Oh! My parents' compiled letters from when they were in Afghanistan with the Peace Corps - my grandmother kept and copied them, and now we all have books (comb-bound) with all of them.

There's not a lot of physical books I'd care about - it's the internal contents that are important to me, mostly. Those I wouldn't want to lose are mostly physical objects that I hardly relate to as books. Though I do enjoy reading the letters - but again, I've never managed to read all the way through. I should.

maaliskuu 27, 12:56 pm

>180 SassyLassy: what book(s) in your current collection would you most hate to lose?

Whichever one I'm most engrossed in at that moment!

maaliskuu 27, 1:37 pm

One book that's "gotten away" from me that I'd really like back is my copy of the Short Stories of William Carlos Williams, that I lent to a friend many years ago and never saw again. The fellow moved from the West Coast to the East Coast and my guess is that the book went to the Goodwill rather than the New York.

The book that I think I would most hate to lose is a volume of Balzac short stories that my father originally owned and which he wrote his name in.

maaliskuu 29, 12:35 am

>161 SassyLassy: It was nearly three decades ago, and the guy's dead now, and I never had any intention of re-reading the book, anyway, and yet somehow I still cannot quite let go of my resentment at the fact that my college boyfriend walked off with my copy of The Screwtape Letters when we broke up. Probably best not to analyze the psychology of that too much, honestly.

maaliskuu 29, 4:28 pm

Inspired by a comment on RidgewayGirl's thread and a recent experience:

QUESTION 12: Relative Standards

Do you hold favourite writers with a literary reputation to a higher standard than other writers when thinking over their book you have just read? Do you give them a bye on a book that disappointed after a series of excellent reads from that author, or decide it is time to reevaluate?

If the book had been written by someone else without that reputuation, would you have been as critical?

maaliskuu 29, 4:43 pm

I don't care who has what reputation. I read what I want, and have fav authors. I am disappointed when my favs writes a book not as good as their previous. but am usually able to try another.

maaliskuu 29, 5:38 pm

>186 SassyLassy: I will give a little "benefit of the doubt" leeway to first-time novelists. Otherwise, in terms of favorite authors, it would take two underwhelming books in a row to get me to "reevaluate" in the way that you mean.

maaliskuu 29, 5:48 pm

>186 SassyLassy: I compare books to previous books of the same author and to other books in the book's genre. What someone else may think of the author (being it the literary world or the Worldcon members for SF is irrelevant). I may comment on a novel I do not understand/enjoy winning awards but that's about it.

I have a hard time giving up authors who I had enjoyed - both genre and literary (although I also don't think that they should be separated...). I may push them away from the top of my lists - which for all intents and purposes may mean not touching them for a very long time - but I don't generally give up on authors I had once liked. The only exception may be if they switch into a genre/type of books where I am not really interested to follow - but even then I will probably at least try to. And everyone is allowed to have a weak book (or 3).

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 30, 2:57 am

Q12 Relative standards

There aren’t that many writers I actively follow as they write. Most often I’m “catching up” with someone’s back catalogue and not reading in chronological order, so I don’t get too worried if I find one or two mediocre books along the way: it’s just interesting to see how they have developed as a writer.

A writer who takes risks and does something different every time is likely to be more interesting than someone who has found a winning formula and follows it consistently, anyway.

In the few cases where I am reading books as they appear, I suppose a weak book makes me a bit less motivated to go out and buy the next one, but it isn’t likely to put me off altogether. I think it’s probably what Annie said: they lose me if they head off in a direction that doesn’t interest me (or they go completely off the rails ideologically), but I’m perhaps too inclined to give people a second or third chance.

maaliskuu 30, 3:20 pm

Like many above - I read authors I like and don't care about popularity (especially awards, those seem way off to me any time I pay attention). I have ceased reading an author's _series_, if that series doesn't work for me, but that doesn't mean I stop reading the author (unless that's all they're writing any more). I have written reviews that say "not as good as I expected from (author)" - so I guess I do hold my favorites to higher standards somewhat.

I frequently think, when reading a first book, that I want to see what this author can do when they've gotten more experience. Sometimes a first book is really good (often partly because the author has been working on it for years), but often they're a bit clunky even though the ideas are good. And many authors smooth out the clunkiness and become really good with their second or third book (if they're still clunky by the third, I probably won't bother to read any more).

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 31, 5:34 pm

I tend to judge by genre rather than author: is this a good dystopian, literary novel, speculative fiction, vampire story, whatever?

Some authors are reliably good or bad in their bailiwick, and I will always put them on my wishlist. Or avoid them.

I still like Stephen King, though I do feel disappointed if one of his books is blah. I guess I would feel the same if Kevin Wilson or Colson Whitehead wrote something not great.

I've been seduced by the fanfare of some authors's early works, only to find subsequent efforts disappointing. I liked Ian McEwan's Amsterdam but hated everything else he wrote, so I took him off my list after suffering through Atonement and Saturday.

I do not follow Kazuo Ishiguro or Chang Rae Lee as closely as I once did because of some mid-career flops. But I will put them back on the wishlist if the story sounds interesting.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 10:57 am

Q12: A 'reputation' sets up expectations, doesn't it? I tend to follow authors and it's been my experience that nearly all of them who have a decent number of books written and published, vary in their works.

Of course, here we assume that, we the readers, are always consistent....right? :-) Reading a book while on vacation or in bed might offer different experiences than reading on lunch break or a noisy subway car.

And lest we forget the over-eager publishers wanting more of the same thing or rushing publication....

I recently came across in my LT library the Canadian author Jane Urquhart, who I had once followed and enjoyed (prior to 2006 and LT). Why did I stop?* I didn't have a good answer, so I ordered two of her newer books and am enjoying her once again...

*Answer: left the bookstore job and immediately got into books in translation.

huhtikuu 1, 11:46 am

>193 avaland: I tend to follow authors too but have recently been disappointed in a couple of favorites - Ian McEwan being the main one. The ones that have disappointed tend to be those who are at the end of their careers.
>192 nohrt4me2: I haven’t been disappointed with Kazuo Ishiguro yet but he’s mid-career.

I find it sad when a writer who I once relied upon for a good read goes off. I remember Doris Lessing losing it toward the end.

I read a tweet by reviewer John Self about needing a new set of writers because the tried-and-true ones we had were fast. dying out. Depressing.

huhtikuu 1, 7:27 pm

>194 kjuliff: That's too bad. Perhaps going off some authors as their work declines in our estimation allows us to add newer or younger author to the list :-) It certainly is untenable for some of us to continue reading everything from every interesting writer....

huhtikuu 1, 8:46 pm

>194 kjuliff: Ishiguro is nearly 70. I guess I wouldn't call that mid career exactly.

huhtikuu 2, 9:25 am

I'm not sure that I follow authors, although if I liked someone's last book I'll definitely have an eye out for their next. Whether I actually get around to reading it is another story. There are some whose work I just don't prioritize the way I used to—thinking of Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Munro, Louise Erdrich—but that's as much about my tastes morphing as their writing changing. The only author I consciously "broke up" with was John Irving, and that was a long time ago.

huhtikuu 2, 11:02 am

>197 lisapeet: Are you sure you are done with Irving? He had a new novel out last October... something about a chairlift... (now doesn't that whet your literary appetite? :-)
227 members, 10 reviews, 17 editions, 5 hits, 3.71 stars

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 2, 11:17 am

>198 avaland: ... and 900 pages! This is my main issue with Irving. "Dickensian" is fine, but you can do that in under 500 pages if you try, or at least if you talk to your editors.

Also, I read The World According to Garp when I was 15 or so and it really changed me as a reader in terms of understanding plot and structure, and I'm just not sure anything else will ever live up to that. Granted, I've never read The Cider House Rules or A Prayer for Owen Meany, which lots of people seem to like. But... that's OK.

huhtikuu 2, 11:21 am

>199 lisapeet: I loved him till Cider House Rules which was way over packed with pages. Book was ok, but movie adaptation cut out all the stuff like a good editor with and really made it so much better.

huhtikuu 2, 2:46 pm

My "breakups" are most likely to grow out of my fondness for series mysteries. As a series gets longer, some writers fall into a rut. All of the crimes start to feel the same; the murderers continue to have precisely the same motives or character flaws; the detectives themselves never change or learn anything. I remember abandoning both of the Kellermans (married writers Jonathan and Faye, each of whom has a long-running series character) at about the same time; that was 15 or 20 years ago, and both series are still running, so clearly plenty of people think they never flattened out.

An author who makes it to a dozen books without the series going stale has accomplished something, and my mind is boggled by folks like Marcia Muller and Archer Mayor, whose series have carried on for more than 30 volumes without fizzling into mediocrity.

huhtikuu 2, 2:52 pm

I suspect I am inclined to hold certain authors to a higher standard. Ian McEwan was a favourite, then I wandered off, thinking "how detached can an author be from the subject?" The Children Act brought me back.

Probably my own biggest disappointment has been with William Boyd. His later books just seem to have been written to fulfill a schedule, lacking the tension and humour of the earlier ones. At first I thought it was just an off book, which everyone will do sooner or later, but somehow it never got better.

>193 avaland: Good point about 'consistent readers'. I will consider that more as I read. Also the genre as >189 AnnieMod: says, which I hadn't thought about.

>197 lisapeet: I was thinking the same thing as >198 avaland: are you sure you are done with Irving?
I've only read him sporadically over the years, and not that many of his works, but each one has been at the right time. I will look for the new one. Last Night in Twisted River and Until I Find You stand out..

huhtikuu 2, 2:53 pm

>201 KeithChaffee: Some of those long series can flatten out as you say. The Bernie Gunther books did for me.

huhtikuu 2, 4:50 pm

'Scuse me while I drag my soapbox over here.

The quickest way for a writer to lose me as a reader is to welch on the contract. And I'm lookin' at you, James Patterson. (Touchstone omitted purposely.)

I really enjoyed the first few Alex Cross books. And then there was one where Cross discovered that his previous-book girlfriend had given birth to a child he knew nothing about. The rest of the book is involved with him finding and retrieving the baby. (Mommy's dead by this point.) He gets the baby back, is driving home with it, and on literally the last page, he gets T-boned and the bad guys jump out of their car, snatch the kid, and drive off into the sunset.

Okay, that's welching on the contract. The contract is ... you (the writer) say: "Come over here. Sit down. I'm gonna tell you something important. Or amusing. Or interesting. I promise you it will be worth your time." And me saying "Okay." That's it. That's the contract. Telling me half of a story breaks the bargain.

I'm not talking about those multi-volume sagas that overpopulate the fantasy field. Fantasy readers know how that contract differs from general fiction. And besides, even George R. R. Martin tends to deliver a beginning, middle, and end for each volume, even if there's another (500) plot thread(s) left dangling for the next entry in the series. I'm talking about Literatus Interruptus.

Fool me once -- shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I'll take my time and my money elsewhere, thankyouverymuch.

--End of rant.--

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 3, 12:59 am

>196 nohrt4me2: I hadn’t realised that. Yes definitely not mid-career. But still going well.

huhtikuu 2, 7:17 pm

>195 avaland: I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was talking about favorites. And I think we do have to replace our favorites eventually, as they eventually reach their peak or leave this life. I wasn’t suggesting. I would only read a set of authors limited by my liking of some of their earlier novels.

huhtikuu 2, 8:34 pm

>193 avaland: "A 'reputation' sets up expectations, doesn't it?

That could be my answer too, although wouldn't have put it so nice and concise. I feel expectations make the reading experience poorer. Well, if I think it through, that's an exaggeration. But, in general, my most enjoyable reading experiences are good books I start with my mind curious, but also blank and open.

huhtikuu 5, 9:09 am

Moving along with the seasons:

huhtikuu 5, 2:40 pm

>206 kjuliff: So noted

huhtikuu 5, 2:41 pm

>207 dchaikin: Well said!
Tämä viestiketju jatkuu täällä: QUESTIONS for the AVID READER Part III.