The next IM read

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The next IM read

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dec 13, 2012, 10:39 am

Lucy, are there any "rules" here for choosing a book to read? You had mentioned wanting to read one IM per month, or something along that rate. Do you still have that in mind? Peggy is reading The Time of the Angels; maybe there are others who will join--planning to start after the New Year, perhaps (since, as Peggy reminded me yesterday, "It seems that Christmas is coming,"--although the holiday affects people's time for reading differently, I'm sure. For me, I have more time).

I'd like to do the same, maybe read one IM every month or two, and I'm wondering how people here want to proceed? I don't think it matters if some of us (I'm hoping others will join us) are reading the same book, do you?

I don't have any particular direction that I plan to follow--probably I'll just pick one out at random. Perhaps I'll read The Sea, The Sea; I'm very interested to hear what you think of it, Lucy.

I know that some have suggested reading the novels chronologically. Although that sounds like a very interesting project, I doubt that I'll read that many of them, so I think I'd probably rather read her mid-to-later novels. I think I'll check out the "favorite" thread here in this group to see where I might go next.

I just mainly wanted to ask--do the rest of you think it's okay if several of us are reading the same book at the same time, or do you want to stay clear of that? I wouldn't want someone to feel, for example, like The Black Prince was "taken." I'd love to see what other people think of it; so, as far I'm concerned, there's no need to wait until I've finished if someone else wants to take it up. I don't know if I'm being clear.

Thoughts, anyone?

dec 13, 2012, 12:55 pm

May I just mention that if you choose to read The Bell I would love to pick your brains and reviews for information for my research project. With your permission, of course, although I do have Tim's blanket permission to look at LT reviews ... Thank you!

dec 13, 2012, 2:12 pm

>2 LyzzyBee:. Well, that sounds like a good enough reason to choose The Bell for my next IM read. Thanks, LyzzyBee!

dec 14, 2012, 12:04 pm

I might do that too, Liz. And, Becky, I think that if it turns out that two or three people are reading the same book, that's great. As far as I'm concerned, the whole idea was for coincidental serendipity.

dec 16, 2012, 9:29 pm

I have absolutely no plan at all. In fact I totally like the idea of people simply moving in the direction that draws them or conversely, is practical for them..... The two I own presently are The Sea, the sea and The Bell - it sounds as though quite a few others are going to read The Bell and as I'll probably read that next, in January, I'll have company. I love the things that happen when there is no plan. She wrote a lot of books and I thought I would read one a month more or less by feel - as I get to know her and her work I may get ideas about which books I want to read? The little I know of IM, I suspect she would heartily approve this plan.

dec 16, 2012, 9:30 pm

I mean non-plan.

dec 17, 2012, 11:18 am

Ah yes - allowing contingency to rule rather than looking for patterns - her characters would heartily approve, at least. And the most "good" character in the whole of IM has the messiest kitchen ... Not to cast any aspersions, I just like to be reminded of that from time to time!

dec 17, 2012, 2:55 pm

She was legendary, no, for hopeless housekeeping? Execrable cooking? I do think the 'recipes' in The Sea, the sea are the funniest thing in it. I've read a few of the worst dinners aloud and get laughs.

dec 17, 2012, 4:04 pm

I just watched Iris, the 2001 movie with Kate Winslet (young Iris) and Judi Dench (old Iris). I probably wouldn't have cared too much for the movie if I didn't have an interest in IM. The scenes that show the home of "old Iris" make her house look like a hoarder's nightmare. The books in piles on the stairs made me laugh--I really must go tidy up a bit.

dec 17, 2012, 8:53 pm

>9 labwriter:: I watched that movie before I'd read any of her books. I loved it, and thought Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent were great. Then I went directly to the bookstore and picked up a couple of her novels.

Redigeret: dec 31, 2012, 8:26 pm

I too, loved the movie. I thought it was cast wonderfully and it moved me to laughter and to tears. I loved the beach scene though it broke my heart. I am looking forward to reading The Bell at some point in January.

jan 1, 2013, 9:44 pm

From the John Bayley I'm aware of how much Iris loved to swim - was particularly aware of it in The Sea, the Sea where the main character loves to swim.

jan 6, 2013, 6:21 pm

Lots of swimming and not in the last section of this one, Lucy!

jan 7, 2013, 9:39 pm

I started Bruno's Dream today. I bought this when I read that they were going to make a movie about her. The plan was to read one of her novels before I saw the film. Soooo.... a dozen years later I'm starting it. The first chapter is the musings of a elderly man. He seems very real in an unexpected way. My copy has a very lurid 60s paperback cover. I assume we're either going to switch to his younger self or younger people that he knows. Bonnie

Redigeret: jan 8, 2013, 6:50 am

Welcome, Bonnie! Would you like me to make a Bruno's Dream thread for you? I might do it anyway...... and you can post there if you like?

My next Iris will be another one that I found lurking in my shelves..... it has something medievally looking on the cover..... can't remember the title. But not until Februrary. I've very nearly finished The Bell. What a wild ride at the end!

jan 8, 2013, 11:22 am

Thanks for the welcome . I haven't done a group read before. I don't want to be on a thread by myself. I won't do spoilers on this thread.

Redigeret: jan 8, 2013, 11:49 am

The way this is working, Bonnie, we just read what we want to - this is not formal group reading month-to-month - The Bell happens to be a book that many of us had in our houses so we went with that. My February book will be The Green Knight for the simple reason that I already own it and I'm trying very hard to clear out my tbr shelves a bit! You won't be by yourself, exactly, as I expect I and some of the others may well be reading Bruno's Dream sometime or other this year and commenting there as well. I have set up a thread. Perhaps I will just set up threads for all the books, in fact...... Someone has posted a review of Bruno's Dream already - from when she read it a few years ago. The thread is HERE .

jan 8, 2013, 8:26 pm

I don't know what I'll read next; I think I own all of them following a real IM obsession in the 80s. I'm thinking though that I'll try one of the big ones in February, The Philosopher's Pupil or The Book and the Brotherhood - I don't know. I just may stick in my hand and see what leaps out, or one of you may convince me to try what you're reading. Anyway, I'm letting The Bell settle and won't try again until next month!

Redigeret: feb 27, 2013, 9:53 pm

I only own 4 Iris Murdochs: The Bell, Henry and Cato, An Unofficial Rose, and The Sea, the Sea. So those will see me through April & then I will be off to the library for reading her the remainder of the year as I don't want to add more books to my shelves. (Don't we all say that? lol!~!)
I am looking forward to reading Murdoch with others and the discussions are very interesting. 'She' was very interesting.

jan 17, 2013, 7:07 am

Which one do you think you'll read next month, Belva? I'm going to poke around local libraries a bit and see who has what. I'm thinking of The Severed Head but it hardly matters. I'm going to let The Green Knight wait, I think, as it is so late in her oeuvre.

jan 18, 2013, 2:50 am

Lucy; I think I will go for The Sea, the Sea. So many of you have read it and I really want to read all of your comments on it so I will probably go for that one.

jan 18, 2013, 7:07 am

I will eagerly await your reactions.

Redigeret: jan 22, 2013, 8:09 am

I found a PBS copy of A Severed Head, I hope it will be here for the beginning of the month. Our library has one, can't remember the title now....running off.......chuff, puff......I'm back. The Sandcastle.

Redigeret: jan 22, 2013, 10:48 pm

I have A Word Child on my shelf. I think I'm skipping January and will read something in Feb. Has anyone read this one?

jan 23, 2013, 1:34 am

Ooh A Word Child is amazing - fate, love, and the London Underground!

jan 23, 2013, 6:57 am

Hmmmm Maybe I'll trot over to PBS and see if that one is available....

Redigeret: jan 23, 2013, 9:38 am

>24 labwriter:, 25: oh I have that one on my Kindle, almost forgot about it! Prolly won't get to it in Feb but need to move it up my TBR, especially on Liz's strong recommendation.

Redigeret: jan 23, 2013, 12:49 pm

I have changed my mind (a woman's prerogative, you know), on beginning my reading of Iris Murdoch by choosing Henry and Cato over The Bell and The Sea, the Sea. It was suggested that this may be a good one to begin with and I am enjoying it a great deal. She writes beautifully but I am having to go slowly with it or I find myself rereading passages. Thank you Peggy for the suggestion.

jan 25, 2013, 5:36 pm

Becky, I've read it too, and I think it's a good one - especially for a beginning Murdochian.

feb 1, 2013, 12:04 pm

I do believe that I'm going to try The Philosopher's Pupil. It's one of the larger ones that I haven't read, and Laura says it's her favorite - at least, I think it's Laura. Anyway. It's now official.

feb 1, 2013, 12:33 pm

I've decided to go with A Severed Head - although I am still waiting for it to show up from PBS.

feb 1, 2013, 12:33 pm

One of my favourites, too!

feb 1, 2013, 1:08 pm

My first IM was A Severed Head and oh boy what a ride. It was a short book but almost every chapter was OMG or OH NO SHE DIDNT. My next read will be The Black Prince.

feb 1, 2013, 1:18 pm

Hmmm do we need to make any new threads?

feb 1, 2013, 6:32 pm

I'm going with The Bell for my Feb. IM.

feb 2, 2013, 6:31 am

>30 LizzieD:: Hm, it wasn't me, Peggy ...
Although I really liked A Severed Head!

feb 2, 2013, 6:47 pm

OH! It must be Liz then. I haven't read more than 2 pages yet, but (now get this!) it begins with a married couple arguing on the way home from a social event!

feb 4, 2013, 8:57 am

>Peggy; I am shocked and appalled that any book's narration could begin in that manner! Weren't you? lol!~!

feb 4, 2013, 10:14 am

oh my yes - we forged a rule early on that in public we wouldn't cause the other to lose face and there've been (only a few, rilly) occasions when the doors of the cars close and KABLAM! All bets are off.

Was very amused, rewatching The Descendants this weekend - one of the best movies of the last five years in my opinion - when Clooney barges into the house of his best friends and you can hear them arguing upstairs and one of them comes out on the landing when he shouts up at them and says, "Oh, come on in, we're just fighting."

feb 25, 2013, 7:32 pm

In the mail today came 3 Murdochs: The Good Apprentice, Jackson's Dilemma and Something Special. All in nice hardcovers that were surprisingly cheap. YAY! I am drawn I think to The Good Apprentice. So I will make a thread for it.

Redigeret: feb 27, 2013, 10:05 pm

I was invited over to this 'project' and upon arrival only owned four Murdochs.
Henry and Cato,
The Sea, the Sea,
The Bell and
An Unofficial Rose.
I began by reading Henry and Cato last month and it removed some of my fears. Then I took out one from the library, Something Special, which I've yet to review. And someone mentioned that PBS had a lot of Murdochs listed so I raced over there and I think that by today most of them have arrived plus I found Iris Murdoch: A Life by Conradi which I am most excited to get into and will be reading in March.
So now I have the four listed above plus the bio, which was recommended here within the group and looks really good and.......:
Jackson's Dilemma,
The Green Knight,
The Good Apprentice,
The Sacred and Profane Love Machine,
Under the Net,
A Severed Head, and
Nuns and Soldiers.
That looks like a year's worth to me unless I hit one that I am just unable to take in. So perhaps I should find a couple more just in case. But I do feel much better now knowing that I won't be scrambling for a Murdoch when I need one.

feb 28, 2013, 1:53 am

Hooray! And all good ones, too. Well, Jackson is quite upsetting as it's her final one - I would save up Something Special to read after it. And it has an excellent horse and some poetic features - I was more reconciled to this book after an excellent presentation at the IM Conference.

feb 28, 2013, 7:50 am

That does look like a good solid selection.

mar 1, 2013, 6:27 pm

Yes, Belva. You have a couple of my favorites from of old: *Sacred & Profane* and *Nuns & Soldiers*. It has been so long since I read them that I guess I have to reread everything. *sigh*

mar 2, 2013, 11:13 pm

Ahhhh Peggy, I'm sorry. But you know you revel in her works. love ya gal!

maj 16, 2013, 6:22 pm

I am having no luck at all getting into the IM biography, the P.Conradi one that Becky went a few rounds with. In my defense, it's hard when the main things I'm reading are Vol.3 of LBJ and *Borgias*. I suspect that come June I'll be in the mood for some fiction, and Nuns and Soldiers is calling my name. If I do it, I'll start a thread.

maj 16, 2013, 7:35 pm

I can't imagine trying to read three biographies at the same time.

jun 7, 2013, 11:35 am

I have chosen The Nice and the Good for my next IM read. Can't face the bio.......

jun 20, 2013, 7:57 pm

I read "A Word Child" about 20 years ago when I first got sober and can't even recall now whether I even finished or not. I remember having a stress headache most of the time while reading it because I couldn't figure out what was going on. Reading it now (at about 70%) I have great clarity with it and really love it. I'm going to start over with "Under the Net" once I've finished with this one...and "Crime and Punishment"...yes, I'm a multi-reader.

jun 20, 2013, 9:19 pm

Delighted to have you on board Tom - we make threads here for the books and post and read comments as inspired.... I had a similar experience with Murdoch, just couldn't wrap my head around her when I was younger.

Redigeret: jun 21, 2013, 1:36 am

Glad to be here. I read "Under the Net" about two years ago and found some parts hilarious (I.e., stealing the dog)

jun 21, 2013, 5:46 am

I recommend Under the Net to people who think IM's books are po-faced and massive! And welcome, Tom!

jul 8, 2013, 7:57 pm

As of the moment I finished my re-reading of "A Word Child" and didn't find it nearly as painful as the first time. Hilary confused me very much. I couldn't decide if he was bi-polar or just two-faced. He certainly seemed to present two different personalities, and inner and an outer.

I then read Under The Net (also my second reading, but within two years), which I found to be very funny and enjoyable. I love all her characterisations. She obviously knew London like the back of her hand, and takes you all over it, following these misadventures. It was better the second time through.

Now on Flight From The Enchanter, on my mission to read her in order. Currently in Chapter Eight, involving Rainsborough and his job, which leads me to wonder if, as an academic (and I had this thought in A Word Child as well), Murdoch had someone's insight to how offices operate in Britain or if she was just able to imagine the office-type world? Or perhaps the type of professional life she was describing was not that far off of what the academic world is like? Very much enjoying this work.

jul 9, 2013, 4:32 am

Murdoch worked in offices in the civil service during WW2 which is where she got this understanding from. Her father was also a civil servant.

jul 9, 2013, 10:57 am

Reading your comments with interest, Tom, - all Murdochs I haven't tackled yet. I decided I needed to have a break from Iris, silly as that sounds, mainly because there are so many other novels on my shelves saying 'Me! me! me!" and I only seem able to tackle a couple of 'real' novels per month. I was toying with the idea of picking up the bio, but that hasn't gotten any further than the 'toying' phase. It feels more like a winter project, really.

jul 9, 2013, 12:02 pm

LyzzyBee, that's what I get for not reading any background on her. That explains it, of course. I love her wry take on the whole thing.

Redigeret: jul 17, 2013, 3:03 pm

I just came over here to find out what's shakin' in Murdoch Land (not much, it seems--Hi, tomwhite56) and to say that I just found The Message to the Planet in a box in the basement. Tiny Penguin font, 563 pages. I know nothing about the book, but I'll put it on the shelf in the Murdoch section.

jul 19, 2013, 5:44 pm

That's a title that hasn't even penetrated my consciousness!

jul 26, 2013, 12:23 pm

Interesting lesson in photographic printing about midway (as you see I haven't been reading non-stop).

sep 5, 2013, 12:09 pm

Yes, Tom, but you have been reading, and that's inspiring. I'll try to rejoin in October with Nuns and Soldiers or The Book and the Brotherhood.
Isn't *Message* her last novel? Liz?

sep 5, 2013, 3:58 pm

No, Jackson's Dilemma. And The Green Knight (which is excellent) came after Message.

sep 5, 2013, 4:04 pm

I've put The Book and the Brotherhood on my currently reading list..... but I haven't actually cracked the covers yet!

okt 13, 2013, 6:09 pm

Having finished B&B - took me over a month, although I didn't start it in the very beginning of September either, now I'm pondering what I'd like to read next. So I made a list - I've read nine and one memoir (the Bayley). And there are fifteen more novels!!!!! And the Conradi. The thing is, having started, I feel inclined to continue, as in, into 2014...... So I'm thinking I might have a goal of 50 -100 p. per month of the Conradi, which if I remember from Becky's description is dense (but in a way maybe I don't have to pay attention to every single word?) and then keep on choosing novels. I could even read one for September because I have the very short Something Special. The only others I have, besides the ones I've read, are Jackson's Dilemma and The Green Knight. At the very least I might be able to read all the IM's I currently have on my shelves before acquiring more........ attagirl!

okt 30, 2014, 8:13 am

I've begun a new IM - The Message to the Planet and am making a thread for it.

feb 1, 2015, 5:15 pm

It's no longer October of 2014, but this afternoon I spent quite some time getting into Nuns and Soldiers. I won't make a thread about it - at least not yet - because my fit may not last. I am, however, happy to be back in Murdochland. I liked this one very much when I read it in the 80s.

feb 4, 2015, 9:17 am

Yay! You started a new one, inspiring!

nov 27, 2015, 2:37 pm

I've just finished The Italian Girl review is posted in a thread here and on the book page.