Chatterbox Welcomes 2021: Act II

Dette er en fortsættelse af tråden Chatterbox Welcomes 2021: Act I.

Snak75 Books Challenge for 2021

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Chatterbox Welcomes 2021: Act II

Redigeret: maj 6, 11:29pm

The image above is of a painting by one of Canada's Group of Seven painters; "Lone Lake" by Franklin Carmichael.

Why I Wake Early
by Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Redigeret: maj 6, 4:14pm

So, I've finally made it to (a) a second thread and (b) a post-vaccination life, such as it is. The jury is still out on the latter!

I'm "reading" a lot of audiobooks as I grapple with migraines and other stuff, but also reading a lot of non-fiction in recent weeks; I hope that continues. I've had a couple of excellent novels as well, but am still struggling to find the attention span required to devote to literary/imaginative worlds. Fingers/toes crossed.

While I am still reading a lot, I had a very slow month in March (which I blame on the first dose of the Moderna vaccine, which knocked me for a loop, and on having to have some surgery to remove moles from my back.) So I'm not terribly confident I'll meet my (admittedly ambitious) goal for 2021.

The two resident cats continue to enliven my existence. Sir Fergus the Fat's lifetime ambition is to devour every single cat treat in existence, while Minka the Velveteen Kitten is (sadly) following in her adoptive brother's pawsteps on that, jumping up beside my head at 4 a.m. to cry for treats. I have created two feline monsters.

The new ghostwriting business is slowly getting off the ground, which is wonderful. Two projects on the go right now, and I've got a third client in my sights...

The Athenaeum is slooowwwly reopening; people can book individual desks to work at, and we can go in and browse to pick up books. Woot!

I'll continue list the books I read here, but I just don't have the bandwidth/energy to do mini-reviews on everything. I'll flag the books I find most entertaining, appealing or compelling -- or disappointing. My ideal book? Anything in which I can completely immerse myself, and at the end, wish I hadn't read it, so that I could read it again for the first time... Which is why I like to re-read some favorites each year. If you want my thoughts on anything I've read, feel free to ask! Every year, I set out to imagine my thread as being a cyber version of my ideal literary salon would be like, and in this year, well, there ARE no real salons. I think of LT as a better kind of Zoom, because I don't need to make sure I'm camera-ready.

A reminder of the existence of the non-fiction challenge!!! You can find links to what our group has been reading on the list Jim assembles of key threads/groups.

As always, the only "rules" of the road for this thread: please treat each other and everyone else's views with courtesy, civility and thoughtfulness, and leave the politics and drama for other kinds of social media. Pretty please and thank you very much.

Redigeret: jun 9, 11:56pm

I always read far more than 75 books a year and so just keep a single ticker to track my total reading. I'll start new threads when possible. I will try to keep the list current but keeping up with mini-reviews of the books I read, with capsule comments, has defeated me. So, once again I will simply acknowledge that it's not possible.

This year I'm setting my goal at what for me is a relatively modest level: 401. I just topped that in 2020, so hopefully will succeed in doing so once more in 2021

If you want to see what I have been reading in real time, your best bet is to go to my library on LT, and look at the dedicated collection I've established there, under the label "Books Read in 2021". As I complete a book, I'll rate it and add it to the list. I'll also tag it, "Read in 2021". You'll be able to see it by either searching under that tag, or clicking on

I do have some reading objectives -- I refuse to call them challenges or targets or anything else -- ranging from specific books to themes and even authors I plan to re-read. I'll note those down in the coming posts.

My guide to my ratings:

1.5 or less: A tree gave its life so that this book could be printed and distributed?
1.5 to 2.7: Are you really prepared to give up hours of your life for this?? I wouldn't recommend doing so...
2.8 to 3.3: Do you need something to fill in some time waiting to see the dentist? Either reasonably good within a ho-hum genre (chick lit or thrillers), something that's OK to read when you've nothing else with you, or that you'll find adequate to pass the time and forget later on.
3.4 to 3.8: Want to know what a thumping good read is like, or a book that has a fascinating premise, but doesn't quite deliver? This is where you'll find 'em.
3.9 to 4.4: So, you want a hearty endorsement? These books have what it takes to make me happy I read them.
4.5 to 5: The books that I wish I hadn't read yet, so I could experience the joy of discovering them again for the first time. Sometimes disquieting, sometimes sentimental faves, sometimes dramatic -- they are a highly personal/subjective collection!

Here's the list, with the most recent books first...

The May list:

120. An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helen Tursten (finished 5/2/21) 4.5 stars
121. *The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey (finished 5/3/21) 4.8 stars (A)
122. Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty by Maurice Chammah (finished 5/4/21) 4.7 stars (A)
123. The Freedom Line: The Brave Men and Women Who Rescued Allied Airmen by Peter Eisner (finished 5/5/21) 4.2 stars (A)
124. Notre-Dame: The Soul of France by Agnès Poirier (finished 5/6/21) 4.15 stars
125. The Premonition: A Pandemic Story by Michael Lewis (finished 5/7/21) 4.2 stars (A)
126. A Noel Killing by M.L. Longworth (finished 5/8/21) 3.75 stars
127. Two Old Men and a Baby by Hendrik Groen (finished 5/8/21) 3.85 stars
128. *Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station by Dorothy Gilman (finished 5/9/21) 3 stars
129. City of Schemes by Victoria Thompson (finished 5/9/21) 3.9 stars
130. The Summer House by James Patterson (finished 5/10/21) 3.7 stars
131. Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha by Dorothy Gilman (finished 5/12/21) 3.15 stars (A)
132. The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed by Wendy Lower (finished 5/13/21) 4.2 stars
133. *Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson (finished 5/14/21) 4.85 stars (A)
134. The Spider: Inside the Criminal Web of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell by Barry Levine (finished 5/15/21) 3.7 stars (A)
135. The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett (finished 5/15/21) 4.35 stars
136. *Valentina by Evelyn Anthony (finished 5/17/21) 3 stars
137. The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth (finished 5/18/21) 3.4 stars
138. The Royal Secret by Andrew Taylor (finished 5/19/21) 4.2 stars
139. Nives by Sacha Naspini (finished 5/19/21) 5 stars
140. Dishonour and Obey by Graham Brack (finished 5/20/21) 3.25 stars
141. Death With a Double Edge by Anne Perry (finished 5/20/21) 3.2 stars (A)
142. Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu (finished 5/22/21) 4.3 stars
143. The Happy Traitor: the Extraordinary Life of George Blake by Simon Kuper (finished 5/23/21) 4.15 stars
144. *The Trinity Six by Charles Cumming (finished 5/24/21) 4.2 stars (A)
145. Daughters of Sparta by Claire Heywood (finished 5/25/21) 3.65 stars
146. Middlemarch by George Eliot (finished 5/28/21) 4.3 stars (A)
147. The Dream Weavers by Barbara Erskine (finished 5/29/21) 3.7 stars
148. A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver (finished 5/30/21) 3.4 stars
149. The Anglo-Saxons by Marc Morris (finished 5/30/21) 4.6 stars
150. Not At Home by Doris Langley Moore (finished 5/31/21) 4.4 stars

June list:

151. The Norman Conquest by Marc Morris (finished 6/1/21) 4.2 stars (A)
152. *Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition by Paul Watson (finished 6/3/21) 4.8 stars (A)
153. The High Girders: Tay Bridge Disaster 1879 by John Prebble (finished 6/4/21) 4.15 stars (A)
154. In the Shadow of the Empress by Nancy Goldstone (finished 6/5/21) 4.2 stars
155. Mantel Pieces by Hilary Mantel (finished 6/5/21) 4.5 stars
156. The Noose's Shadow by Graham Brack (finished 6/6/21) 3.4 stars
157. Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams (finished 6/6/21) 3.6 stars
158. An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed by Helene Tursten (finished 6/7/21) 4.3 stars
159. The Bombay Prince by Sujata Massey (finished 6/7/21) 3.9 stars
160. The Cover Wife by Dan Fesperman (finished 6/9/21) 4.2 stars
161. *Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (finished 6/9/21) 4.2 stars (A)

(A) -- audiobook
* -- re-read

Redigeret: maj 6, 4:26pm

The January & February lists:

The January list:

1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (finished 1/1/21) 3.8 stars
2. The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike (finished 1/1/21) 4.1 stars (A)
3. Paper Bullets: Two Artists Who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazis by Jeffrey Jackson (finished 1/2/21) 4 stars
4. Third Girl by Agatha Christie (finished 1/3/21) 3.4 stars (A)
5. *Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon (finished 1/4/21) 4.2 stars (A)
6. Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson (finished 1/4/21) 5 stars
7. Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power and History's First Global Manhunt by Steve Johnson (finished 1/6/21) 4.2 stars (A)
8. Away With the Penguins by Hazel Prior (finished 1/7/21) 4 stars
9. The Finisher by Peter Lovesey (finished 1/8/21) 4.1 stars
10. The Last by Hanna Jameson (finished 1/9/21) 4.2 stars
11. *Divine Comedy by Elizabeth Pewsey (finished 1/10/21) 4.1 stars (A)
12. When She Was Good by Michael Robotham (finished 1/10/21) 4.2 stars
13. *Unholy Harmonies by Elizabeth Pewsey (finished 1/12/21) 4.1 stars (A)
14. *Unaccustomed Spirits by Elizabeth Pewsey (finished 1/14/21) 4 stars (A)
15. A Matter of Life and Death by Phillip Margolin (finished 1/14/21) 3 stars
16. *The Ghost by Robert Harris (finished 1/15/21) 4.2 stars (A)
17. When You See Me by Lisa Gardener (finished 1/17/21) 3.7 stars
18. The Great Secret: The Classified World War II Disaster That Launched the War on Cancer by Jennet Conant (finished 1/18/21) 4.1 stars
19. The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World and Globalization Began by Valerie Hansen (finished 1/19/21) 4.3 stars
20. Katharine Parr: The Sixth Wife by Alison Weir (finished 1/20/21) 3.7 stars
21. *Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin (finished 1/21/21) 4.2 stars (A)
22. Butcher's Crossing by John Williams (finished 1/22/21) 4.7 stars
23. A Prince and a Spy by Rory Clements (finished 1/22/21) 4.2 stars
24. The Only Living Witness by Stephen Michaud (finished 1/23/21) 4 stars
25. *The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin (finished 1/23/21) 3.85 stars (A)
26. *Vertigo by W.G. Sebald (finished 1/24/21) 4.35 stars
27. Red Widow by Alma Katsu (finished 1/25/21) 3.15 stars
28. *Grave Goods by Ariana Franklin (finished 1/26/21) 3.8 stars (A)
29. The Silver Collar by Antonia Hodgson (finished 1/27/21) 4.2 stars
30. Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy by Anne Sebba (finished 1/28/21) 4 stars
31. *A Murderous Procession by Ariana Franklin (finished 1/28/21) 4.1 stars (A)
32. Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano (finished 1/30/21) 4 stars
33. Stop at Nothing by Michael Ledwige (finished 1/31/21) 2 stars (A)
34. Dark Salt Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town by Lamorna Ash (finished 1/31/21) 4.3 stars
35. *The Darcy Connection by Elizabeth Aston (finished 1/31/21) 3.8 stars (A)

The February List:

36. *I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (finished 2/2/21) 4.35 stars (A)
37. The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla (finished 2/4/21) 3.35 stars
38. *Mr. Darcy's Daughters by Elizabeth Aston (finished 2/4/21) 3.65 stars (A)
39. The Velvet Rope Economy: How Inequality Became Big Business by Nelson Schwarz (finished 2/5/21) 4.1 stars
40. The Nine: The True Story of a Band of Women Who Survived the Worst of Nazi Germany by Gwen Strauss (finished 2/6/21) 4.3 stars
41. *To Shield the Queen by Fiona Buckley (finished 2/7/21) 4 stars (A)
42. The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed Mahmood (finished 2/7/21) 4.7 stars
43. *The Doublet Affair by Fiona Buckley (finished 2/8/21) 3.9 stars (A)
44. The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War by Jonathan Daniel Wells (finished 2/9/21) 4.1 stars
45. Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March (finished 2/10/21) 3.7 stars
46. *Queen's Ransom by Fiona Buckley (finished 2/10/21) 3.85 stars (A)
47. The Mercenary by Paul Vidich (finished 2/13/21) 3.75 stars
48. The Exploits & Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy by Elizabeth Aston (finished 2/13/21) 3.65 stars
49. Hitler: Downfall 1939-1945 by Volker Ullrich (finished 2/14/21) 4.5 stars
50. The Old Enemy by Henry Porter (finished 2/16/21) 4.1 stars
51. *To Ruin a Queen by Henry Porter (finished 2/17/21) 3.5 stars (A)
52. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (finished 2/20/21) 4.3 stars
53. M, King's Bodyguard by Niall Leonard (finished 2/22/21) 4.2 stars
54. *Vox by Christina Dalcher (finished 2/22/21) 4.3 stars (A)
55. You Don't Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War by Elizabeth Becker (finished 2/24/21) 5 stars (A)
56. The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (finished 2/24/21) 3.3 stars
57. *The Janus Imperative by Evelyn Anthony (finished 2/25/21) 3.4 stars
58. Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker (finished 2/26/21) 4.35 stars
59. The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (finished 2/27/21) 5 stars
60. *Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst (finished 2/27/21) 4 stars
61. Five Little Indians by Michelle Good (finished 2/28/21) 4.7 stars

(A) -- audiobook
* -- re-read

Redigeret: maj 6, 4:26pm

The March & April lists:

The March List:

62. Death and the Maiden by Samantha Norman/Ariana Franklin (finished 3/2/21) 3.7 stars
63. A Beautiful Spy by Rachel Hore (finished 3/3/21) 3.2 stars
64. The Voter File by David Pepper (finished 3/5/21) 3.3 stars
65. *A Place of Execution by Val McDermid (finished 3/6/21) 4.3 stars (A)
66. The Moscow Rules by Antonio Mendez (finished 3/7/21) 3.75 stars (A)
67. Behind Closed Doors by Catherine Alliott (finished 3/9/21) 4.1 stars
68. Citizens of London by Lynne Olson (finished 3/10/21) 4.2 stars (A)
69. Fallen by Linda Castillo (finished 3/13/21) 3.9 stars
70. *The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye (finished 3/16/21) 3.5 stars (A)
71. The Brandons by Angela Thirkell (finished 3/17/21) 3.45 stars
72. The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn (finished 3/19/21) 4.4 stars
73. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (finished 3/20/21) 4.1 stars
74. Wedding Station by David Downing (finished 3/23/21) 3.8 stars
75. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (finished 3/24/21) 4.45 stars
76. *Pen Pals by Olivia Goldsmith (finished 3/25/21) 3.7 stars (A)
77. *Farthing by Jo Walton (finished 3/26/21) 4.15 stars
78. The Consequences of Fear by Jacqueline Winspear (finished 3/27/21) 3.6 stars
79. *Ha'Penny by Jo Walton (finished 3/28/21) 4.2 stars (A)
80. Aftershocks: A Memoir by Nadia Owusu (finished 3/28/21) 4.8 stars
81. *Half a Crown by Jo Walton (finished 3/28/21) 3.65 stars (A)
82. Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie (finished 3/29/21) 3.75 stars (A)
83. Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream by Mychal Denzel Smith (finished 3/30/21) 4.4 stars
84. Travels With Epicurus by Daniel Klein (finished 3/31/21) 3.75 stars

The April list:

85. *The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman (finished 4/1/21) 3.6 stars (A)
86. The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale (finished 4/2/21) 4.3 stars
87. The Socrates Express by Eric Weiner (finished 4/3/21) 4.2 stars (A)
88. The Plague Year by Lawrence Wright (finished 4/3/21) 4.1 stars
89. Miss Kopp Investigates by Amy Stewart (finished 4/4/21) 4.1 stars
90. *The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman (finished 4/4/21) 3.5 stars (A)
91. Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy (finished 4/5/21) 5 stars
92. *Queen of Ambition by Fiona Buckley (finished 4/5/21) 3.6 stars
93. *Venetia by Georgette Heyer (finished 4/7/21) 3.7 stars (A)
94. Turn a Blind Eye by Jeffrey Archer (finished 4/8/21) 3.6 stars
95. End of Spies by Alex Gerlis (finished 4/9/21) 3.9 stars
96. Death in Delft by Graham Brack (finished 4/9/21) 3.65 stars (A)
97. Look What You Made Me Do by Elaine Murphy (finished 4/10/21) 3.75 stars
98. Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters by Andrew Morton (finished 4/10/21) 3.7 stars
99. The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson (finished 4/11/21) 4.1 stars
100. The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray (finished 4/11/21) 4.2 stars
101. You Can Run by Karen Cleveland (finished 4/12/21) 4 stars
102. Northern Spy by Flynn Berry (finished 4/12/21) 4.1 stars
103. Untrue Till Death by Graham Brack (finished 4/13/21) 3.6 stars (A)
104. Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson (finished 4/14/21) 4.1 stars (A)
105. Another Time, Another Place by Jodi Taylor (finished 4/15/21) 4.2 stars (A)
106. The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA's Final Showdown with the KGB by Milton Bearden & James Risen (finished 4/17/21) 4 stars (A)
107. Triple Cross by Tom Bradby (finished 4/18/21) 3.95 stars
108. The White Ship: Conquest, Anarchy and the Wrecking of Henry I’s Dream by Charles Spencer (finished 4/20/21) 4.35 stars
109. Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age by Annalee Newitz (finished 4/20/21) 4.15 stars
110. Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig (finished 4/21/21) 3.85 stars
111. *Mrs. Pollifax on Safari by Dorothy Gilman (finished 4/22/21) 3 stars (A)
112. The Lost Pianos of Siberia by Sophy Roberts (finished 4/23/21) 4.3 stars
113. The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda (finished 4/26/21) 4.75 stars
114. Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Girlhood by Cheryl Diamond (finished 4/27/21) 4.15 stars
115. The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women's Rights by Dorothy Wickenden (finished 4/28/21) 4.85 stars
116. *Dictator by Robert Harris (finished 4/28/21) 4.35 stars (A)
117. Mudlark: In Search of London's Past Along the River Thames by Lara Meiklem (finished 4/29/21) 4.4 stars
118. *Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart (finished 4/29/21) 3.75 stars (A)
119. The Left-Handed Twin by Thomas Perry (finished 4/30/21) 4.1 stars

(A) -- audiobook
* -- re-read

maj 6, 4:07pm

Room for lists

Redigeret: maj 19, 8:59pm

Reading Plans for 2021


The Silver Collar by Antonia Hodgson Read
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner
A Noel Killing by ML Longworth Read
The Blitz Detective by Mike Hollow
Cold Kill – Rennie Airth
Salt Lane – William Shaw
Bad Blood in Meantime by Murray Davies
Entry Island by Peter May
Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano Read
The Royal Secret by Andrew Taylor Read
A Match Made for Murder by Iona Whishaw
A Million Drops by Victor del Arbol
The Budapest Protocol by Adam LeBor
Play the Red Queen by Juris Jurjevics

Canadian Content

Blaze Island by Catherine Bush
Five Little Indians by Michelle Good Read
The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart
The Finder by Will Ferguson
First Snow, Last Light by Wayne Johnston
Reproduction by Ian Williams
Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Close
Lost in September by Kathleen Winter
Consent by Annabel Lyon
The Wagers by Sean Michaels
Greenwood by Michael Christie
Five Wives by Joan Thomas


Demagogue by Larry Tye
A Sound Mind by Paul Morley
Water, a Biography by Giulio Boccaletti
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
The Churchill Complex by Ian Buruma
Mythos by Stephen Fry
The White Ship: Conquest, Anarchy and the Wrecking of Henry I’s Dream by Charles Spencer Read
The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science by Seb Falk
Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener
North by Shakespeare by Michael Blanding
Big Dirty Money by Jennifer Taub
Ravenna, Capital of Europe by Judith Herrin
The Anarchy by William Dalrymple
The Socrates Express by Eric Wiener Read
Ghostways by Robert Macfarlane
Dark, Salt, Clear by Lamorna Ash Read
Austen Years by Rachel Cohen
On Corruption in America by Sarah Chayes
The Lost Pianos of Siberia by Sophy Roberts Read
Sovietistan by Erika Fatland
The New Map by Daniel Yergin
War: How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret Macmillan

Redigeret: jun 8, 8:34pm

More Reading Lists for 2021

New-To-Me Authors

Deacon King Kong by James McBride
White Ivy by Susie Yang
The Talented Miss Farwell by Emily Gray Tedrowe
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Pilgrims by Matthew Kneale
Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March Read
Nightshade by Annalena McAfee
Red Widow by Alma Katsu Read
Shelter in Place by David Leavitt
Blue Ticket – Sophie Mackintosh
Virginia Woolf in Manhattan by Maggie Gee
The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed Masood Read
The Editor by Steve Rowley
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Red Pill by Hari Kunzru

Historical Fiction

The Honey and the Sting by EC Freemantle
The Mask of Apollo – Mary Renault
The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne by Elsa Hart
Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas
Dark Matter by Phillip Kerr
First Actress C.W. Gortner
Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
The White Russian by Vanora Bennett
Resolution by A.N. Wilson
Tsarina by Ellen Alpert
The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike Read

Short Story Anthologies

The Decameron Project by various New Yorker contributors
The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans
Here the Dark by David Bergen
A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth by Daniel Mason
One Point Two Billion by Mahesh Rao
Pack of Cards by Penelope Lively
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel

Series & Sequels

Karolina and the Torn Curtain by Maryla Szymiczkowa
You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes
Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith
The Brandons by Angela Thirkell Read
The Heights by Parker Bilal
The Red Horse by James Benn
The Cold Way Home by Julia Keller
Impolitic Corpses by Paul Johnston
Hold your Breath, China by Qiu Xiaolong
Hammer to Fall by John Lawton
Kit’s Hill by Jean Stubbs
I Saw Him Die – Andrew Wilson
The Prince of Bombay by Sujata Massey Read
A Winter’s Promise – Christelle Dabos

Redigeret: maj 19, 9:01pm

And more reading lists...

The TBR of Shame

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny
Trio by William Boyd
The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin
The Glass Kingdom by Lawrence Osborne
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman
Mother Land by Leah Franqui
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett Read
These Women by Ivy Pochoda
Independence Square by A.D. Miller
A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millett
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdich
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
Writers & Lovers by Lily King

Reading Globally

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (India)
Transcendant Kingdoms Yaa Gyasi (Ghana/USA)
The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan (Australia)
Retour Indesirable by Charles Lewinsky (Switzerland)
Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe)
Biografi by Lloyd Jones (New Zealand)
Soviet Milk by Nora Ikstena (Latvia)
The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany)
Nives by Sacha Naspini (Italy) Read
Are You Enjoying? by Mira Sethi (Pakistan)
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (Japan) Read
The Death of Comrade President by Alain Mabanckou (Congo)
The Republic of False Truths by Alaa al-Aswany (Egypt)
The Secret Sister by Fotini Zalikoglu (Greece)
The Immortals of Tehran by Ali Araghi (Iran)
The Frightened Ones by Dima Wannous (Syria)
Brotherhood by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr (Senegal)
The Second Rider by Alex Beer (Austria)
Sacred Darkness – Levan Berdzenishvili (Georgia)
Katalin Street – Magda Szabo (Hungary)
The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia)
The Convert by Stefan Hertmans (Belgium)
2084 by Boualem Sansal (Germany/Algeria)
Priceless by Zygmunt Miloszewski (Poland)
10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World by Elif Shafak (Turkey)
Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Ireland)

Lighter Stuff

Escaping Dreamland by Charlie Lovett
Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer
Flowers of Darkness by Tatiana de Rosnay
Camino Winds by John Grisham
Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
Behind Closed Doors by Catherine Alliott Read
A Springtime Affair by Katie Fforde
Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig Read
Mum & Dad by Joanna Trolloppe
The Liberation of Brigid Dunne by Patricia Scanlan
The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag
A Beautiful Spy by Rachel Hore Read

maj 6, 4:07pm

Final reserved post...

Redigeret: maj 6, 4:49pm

Saved just in case

maj 6, 5:20pm

Happy new one, Suz.

Nice reminder of the sure and gentle touch of the late Mary Oliver above. x

maj 6, 6:17pm

Happy new thread, Suzanne!

maj 6, 7:22pm

Happy new thread!

maj 7, 12:00pm

Happy new thread! and I'm glad you're getting traction on the ghostwriting.

Your book lists are mind-boggling to me. Very impressive.

Redigeret: maj 7, 9:19pm

Found and starred!

I love the lake picture...

maj 8, 12:25pm

Book on sale in Daedalus catalogue or online:

ON THE CLOCK What Low Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane...

Redigeret: maj 8, 2:34pm

I liked your review of Let the Lord Sort Them from your previous thread so I took a Book Bullet. I had seen other reviews of the book, but they didn't strike me as something I would be interested in reading. Your review changed my assessment so I added it to the book list.

I thought the jobs report that was released on Friday was very interesting. I am also reading and listening to assessments of that job report and like the experts, wondering what it means for the country. I think that some it is caused by the fact that wages are too low and businesses of all kinds don't want to increase wages in order to get people to work. We are having trouble at UA with retention among employees. The University pays $10.00 per hour to start and we haven't had a pay raise since 2016 and a pay raise is not in the works for this year either. Even with good benefits we have had lots of people retire early or quit because the pay isn't keeping pace with child care needs.

maj 8, 10:13pm

>17 m.belljackson: That was a good one -- I think I gave it five stars or nearly.

>18 benitastrnad: A friend of mine who's an economist posted quite a sarcastic and pointed critique of those who get annoyed by the failure of folks now collecting unemployment (which translates to about $26k a year maximum, a princely sum) in exchange for earning about half that through work. Her point being that consumers and companies are profiting at the expense of the working poor, but that the former really haven't thought through the fact that they are paying as well, indirectly, via higher state taxes to pay for everything from Section 8 housing to food stamps -- things that are going to people who still fall below the poverty line while working all the hours they can, often at two or even three jobs. Basically, her point was that our system is NOT fair and it's not even a "free" market because companies are able to outsource part of their potential wage costs to government via the benefits system, which taxpayers must fund. So returns are privatized and costs are made public, one way or another. Also as she points out, when wages and products are priced fairly, we can at least then have the choice of what to consume and how often. We can decide, nope, I'm going out for dinner twice this month, not four times; I don't need three versions of this sweater, just one, and I'm going to look after it. And be glad that the folks around us are being properly compensated for their work and productivity.

OK, rant over.

Had a Zoom call with my father, my ex-SIL and my niece and nephews today. It was a joy to see the teenagers, who all are so grown up. Julie will be starting college for public relations; Connor -- the most outgoing and curious of them -- wants to become a history teacher, and is applying to university. Jamie, who had his 16th birthday today, is finishing grade 10 and very into photography and art. My father is not doing that well; the Parkinson's is very visible now.

maj 15, 6:47pm

Oof. My final shift at my retail side hustle is done, thank heavens. Was supposed to put in another 4 hours plus today, but someone else was looking for hours and I knew that today was going to be tricky. By the time I wrapped up the day yesterday, my right ankle (arthritis...) was so bad all I could do was shuffle and I had a migraine. Ho hum. Now, 24 hours later, I'm finally doing a bit better, but walking up and down stairs is not fun. Whine whine whine.

On the plus side, I'm about halfway through an absolutely delightful and whimsical mystery, The Windsor Knot, featuring the Queen and her Nigerian/British assistant private secretary. Turns out that the Queen has always been a sleuth (she's learned over the decades to pay keen attention to people and has good judgment) and has gotten involved in stuff previously. Now she's 89 and after one weekend gathering at Windsor, a promising young pianist ends up dead. Was it really a deep-cover Russian FSB agent planted among the royal household? Her Majesty thinks not...

This has been such a frothy and entertaining (while well-written) novel that even while reading it, I set out to see if I could get book #2. Turns out it's not due until NOVEMBER, and I can't even locate an e-galley on either NetGalley or Edelweiss. Grrrr. I actually had trouble even locating either book on either the US or UK Amazon sites. If anyone needs/wants a link, let me know. The follow-up in the series is The Three Dog Problem. (no touchstone available; sigh).

maj 16, 9:51am

>20 Chatterbox: Sorry, but I absolutely hated The Windsor Knot - so did Mr SandDune, although he only got to about page 15 whereas at least I finished it. We read it for my RL book club and we had the author join us via zoom (her husband does some volunteering with one of our members) so I did feel obliged to finish the book so I could ask educated questions. I’m an ardent anti-royalist though - so probably not the target audience. But you’ll be pleased to know that there are going to be lots more. I can’t remember the exact number, but she had a book deal to write quite a few.

maj 16, 12:41pm

>20 Chatterbox: and >31 The Windsor Knot was on Kindle offer recently - it was one of the few books I've resisted. I've got so many books I really really want to get to and of course I'm still looking at new books by lots of authors whose other work I've read and liked. I really hate the way every book now has to have a tagline - the one for this book is for fans of The Thursday Murder Club.

maj 16, 1:00pm

>22 elkiedee: Well Mr SandDune enjoyed The Thursday Murder Club but hated The Windsor Knot ...

maj 16, 1:18pm

>23 SandDune: have you or he tried Elly Griffiths at all? Sorry if you have and I don't remember but I thought The Postscript Murders was delightful at the end of last year - it was one of a batch of books which helped me get back to more regular reading, which is important as I feel better when I'm reading a bit a day. Anyway, Elly Griffiths is a much more relevant recommendation. The setting is a retirement complex with home carers coming in rather than a residential home.

Redigeret: maj 16, 7:37pm

I'm not a rabid anti-royalist, but I'm definitely NOT in favor of hereditary monarchy and the cult that surrounds it, although in some ways I kind of appreciate having some kind of (nominally) apolitical ceremonial head of state. (For instance, until our recent problems with the governor general of Canada, I liked that institution, post-repatriation of the Constitution; it means, I think that loyalty to a country can be divorced more from loyalty to a head of state; I can't see Commonwealth members succumbing to Trumpism or Putinism, for instance.) On TV, I just find "The Crown" boring and depressing. I did like the character of the assistant private secretary in The Windsor Knot. I bogged down with The Thursday Murder Club but I think that may be because of the narrator (I got the audiobook) and I do intend to try again. I LOVE Elly Griffiths as a writer -- she captures complex characters well, gives them distinctive voices and does a more-than-decent job of plotting and world-building.

And oh yes, I absolutely LOATHE the "for fans.of this book and that author" added to a book's title. At least 75% of the time they are wrong, and it's battening on to the fame of some other writer/book. It's reasonable for a reviewer to do that, but when publishers do it, it makes me a bit crazy. And it happens more and more. I have to look past that on Amazon in order to make a decision.

I think I got The Windsor Knot via KIndle sale, too. Doubt I would have paid full whack for it. (Which is why I was looking for e-galley of book #2...) My pet loathing recently is a series of books featuring two female matchmakers in post-WW2 London. Read book #2, then tried the debut to see if it was sophomore slump. Sigh; it wasn't.

maj 16, 7:42pm

The books that I really haven't liked as much on re-reading this year have been the Mrs. Pollifax novels by Dorothy Gilman. They are free to me on Hoopla, a saving grace, but while I still enjoy a handful of her stand-alone books (although they too strike me as dated now), the references to "Oriental" eyes and other such nonsense is so passé and offensive. Clearly my critical instincts have been sharpened over the last 35/40 years! I've got one more freebie audiobook borrowed via Hoopla and may finish it during my next migraine since it requires little attention, but meh.

For now, I'm finishing Nives by Sacha Naspini; Europa Publishers just released this Italian novel/novella, about a women who essentially adopts one of her chickens as a companion after her husband's death, and realizes that Giacomina is better company than her husband. At least, until the hen becomes hypnotized/stunned while watching a Tide detergent commercial, which prompts a phone call to her old friend/town vet to diagnose the symptoms, which leads into revisiting complex memories of old times and uncovering possible hauntings by women mistreated by the town's menfolk, etc. etc. It's complex and lovely.

maj 16, 9:16pm

>26 Chatterbox: Clarice Lispector has a nifty short story, 'Chicken', of a family making a pet of a chicken after the hen's desperate bid for escape from the kitchen.
Nives sounds interesting.

maj 16, 11:12pm

>27 avatiakh: I think you'd enjoy the Italian novel; I've never read anything by Lispector, and am clearly overdue...

maj 17, 9:24am

>26 Chatterbox: do not get the appeal of the Mrs. Polifax series though some of the movies have been watchable. (though NOT the Roz Russell one)

Dated as a dodo and Mrs. P. is not half as clever or half as charming as she (or the author) thinks she is.

maj 17, 2:56pm

>26 Chatterbox: >29 magicians_nephew:
I haven't read any of the Mrs. Polifax books, but they were highly recommended to me by several faculty members in the College of Education. Usually, I have liked the books that they recommended but since I haven't read Mrs. Polifax I can't say the professors are infallible. I may have to read the first two books to find out for myself.

maj 17, 11:25pm

>29 magicians_nephew: I hadn't even known that they had been made into a TV series...

Some books age well and I'm delighted to revisit them. Others... not so much!

maj 18, 3:15pm

>25 Chatterbox: I would go for a sort of Irish solution, where the head of state is elected but is ceremonial, rather than part of the political process. Left to me, I’d let the Queen serve out her days and then abolish the whole thing.

>24 elkiedee: >25 Chatterbox: I have read Ellie Griffiths but only the Ruth Galloway books. We were talking about The Thursday Murder Club book with my mother who has also recently read it. She didn’t enjoy it - a little too close to home perhaps - but at least she’s still reading at 99.

>26 Chatterbox: Nimes sounds great. I’ve added it to the wish list.

maj 18, 8:21pm

>32 SandDune: The other series of books that might be too close to home for the elderly elderly (word repetition intentional, vs the merely mildly elderly in their 60s and 70s) consists of books by a Dutch writer, Hendrik Groen. I just read the galley of his newest one, in which the author's best friend accidentally kidnaps a baby. It appears to be a prequel to The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen and On the Bright Side, both of which involve Hendrik and his buddies in a senior's home doing battle with aging, nursing home staff and people who disrespect older folks. Two Old Men and a Baby wasn't as good, but still entertaining.

I worry about an elected/ceremonial head leading us to someone like he-of-the-orange-skin. But I agree with you re the aftermath of the Queen. It's not terribly encouraging. I do look at the smug young generation of royals and want to send them out to earn a REAL living (versus glamor jobs and/or peddling their titles and connections...) that said, in some way I feel sorry for them -- they are indeed in a bind, born into a world where they'll struggle to be anonymous. Which is a pity. Suspect the kids and grandchildren of Princess Anne and Princess Margaret get away with it a bit better.

maj 20, 8:38pm

>28 Chatterbox: I'm doing a year long listen to Clarice Lispector: complete stories. Meant to listen to 1 or 2 each week but don't, every few weeks I binge on 5 or 6. The book uses different narrators for the stories and they are in publication order, so you follow her development as a writer from late teens through to old age. The introduction was really good too.

maj 23, 1:15am

>34 avatiakh: Thanks for the suggestion! I'm always eager to find ideas for books that really WORK on audio -- it's a good book, the narrator is perfect for the task, etc. It's tough! I could listen to Juliet Stevenson or John Lee forever and ever (in fact, I sometimes will add something to my wishlist/library just because it's read by Stevenson.

One of the reasons I consume more via audiobook (something that really has surprised me...) is that my eyesight has been getting steadily worse in the last year. Finally went in for an eye exam last week, and hope to pick up my glasses (first pair ever...) by the end of the month. There literally have been books that I want to read or re-read that I physically can't now -- the print is too small, or the lines of type set too closely together. And when I try, I can spend less time reading "real" books because of eyestrain. Glad I finally acted on this.

maj 23, 6:32pm

>35 Chatterbox: I know the woes of not being able to reread books. A few weeks ago I tossed a bunch of books, some of which had that mysterieously shrinking, tiny print. To think I read Moby Dick in a typical small paperback all those years ago!

I listened to the last Sue Grafton book this past week, read by Judy Kaye, who was excellent, I thought. I don't know what else she has recorded, but I would be confident getting an audiobook she has recorded.

maj 23, 8:35pm

>36 ffortsa: Yes, it's the type that's shrinking! Nothing to do with our eyes at all... *grin*

Out front currently are three boxes full of books unsold during this weekend's yard sale. All are mass market paperbacks I'll never read again, because, well, small typeface. Many were Agatha Christie -- some from my grandfather, some that I bought in the early 1970s, etc. Speaking of good narrators, I found that I really like Hugh Fraser's narration of the Poirot books, to the extent that I tracked down several of them to listen to for the first time.

Another fab narrator is Kobna Holbrook-Smith and his version of The Rivers of London and its sequels by Ben Aaronovitch. I actually prefer the audiobooks to the "real" versions. Also like Bronson Pinchot's voice for reading books like Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes. And some just grate on me. I wanted to "relisten" to Connie Willis's time traveling novels set against the background of the Blitz, but the narrator is so deeply annoying that I just can't.

maj 24, 7:28pm

I generally don't notice a narrator unless I find then annoying and if they annoy me that's it. I stop listening almost immediately. They can ruin a good book.

maj 25, 4:49pm

Oh well... After a few excellent fictional retellings of the siege of Troy from the POV of the women affected (The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes), I probably hoped for far too much from Daughters of Sparta by Claire Haywood. I should have waited for Barker's next book... or read Pandora's Jar by Haynes. Or just read Euripides.

This new novel (just released in the US; out earlier in the UK) ascribes language, thoughts and ideas to Klytemnestra and Helen that are simply too modern and jarring (lotsa relationship angst!) and offers too rapid and glib a canter through the events leading up to the Trojan War. (OK, some things are unavoidable -- since we're seeing the story through through the eyes of the two sisters, it's plausible that we might not know what Heywood thinks the whole Trojan Horse thing is about, but to end the book where it did? With Elektra leading a funeral procession? Sigh.

It's just a pale imitation of Homer, or more talented novelists. So you can probably live without it.

maj 25, 4:59pm

>39 Chatterbox: I have both Daughters of Sparta and The Women of Troy on my Netgalley TBR.

maj 27, 9:52am

>40 elkiedee: I'm very very much looking forward to the Pat Barker sequel! I was turned down for the NetGalley, but have a lot more to read anyway, so it won't kill me. I think publication date is next month?

Meanwhile, have been listening to Middlemarch on audiobook, read by Juliet Stevenson. I'm still struggling to read, and it's another week or so until I pick up my glasses, so audiobooks and Kindle stuff will dominate.

Reading Hilary Mantel's collection of essays -- Mantel Pieces. Avoid this on kindle, as it includes facsimiles of handwritten postcards, letters, e-mails, etc., all of which are in terribly small print that can't be enlarged (I'm just skipping those...) They're very good, although diligent LRB readers may well have already consumed at least some of the more recent ones. A reminder of what a great stylist Mantel is as an essayist, and the intellect that underlies all her writing.

maj 27, 11:15pm

Are you able to access Natalie Haynes Stands up for the Classics in podcast form? She's just started a new series on BBC Radio 4.

maj 27, 11:28pm

>42 elkiedee: Yes! Found it on Spotify. There's also a version I could buy on Audible if I like it enough. And I can stream Radio 4 if I know what time it's on in the UK and figure out the time difference correctly, LOL. Thanks!!

OK, who else has discovered/read any books published by the imprint with one of the most delightful names imaginable: Furrowed Middlebrow? I stumbled across them when they (re)published a novel for adults by E. Nesbit, and then read some of the books by Elizabeth Fair. Some of the titles by D.E. Stevenson (author of Miss Buncle's Book are published by them, and I've found one or two other fun books. A whole bunch just landed in Kindle Unlimited, so I plan to chomp my way through a few. Books by women, mostly English, mostly set in the 1920s to 1960s. As the imprint suggests, very middlebrow but also entertaining. Period pieces, but with above-average writing.

maj 28, 4:25am

>43 Chatterbox: I've been reading these for a while and haven't found one I disliked (yet?). There is a new batch due to be published on 7th June, which I'm looking forward to very much. They've been just the right sort of book for me over the pandemic period as I read more but didn't feel up to anything 'challenging' and these are usually light (and humourus) enough but still worth some effort. So far my favourites have been: The House Opposite, Much Dithering, Not at Home (and all the others by Doris Langley Moore), Miss Carter and the Ifrit and all the Margery Sharps. I'm just about to start on some Stella Gibbons.

maj 28, 4:46am

Furrowed Middlebrow (as you say, delightfully named) has a big following on the Virago \Modern Classics group. I've got a few including some that were offered as freebies, but need to start actually reading some.

A lot of Radio 4 programmes are on 2 or 3 times over a week, plus a lot of the comedy gets taken over to R4 extra as well. I'll try to find the Natalie Haynes times for the current series.

maj 28, 7:00am

>43 Chatterbox: wow! Love all of E. Nesbit's books for children never knew she ever wrote for adults.

Making a beeline

maj 28, 2:40pm

>46 magicians_nephew: This one isn't a fantasy -- The Lark.

>44 CDVicarage: The one that I'm reading at present (thanks to Kindle Unlimited...) actually is Not At Home by Doris Langley Moore. I was fascinated to read the biographical note in the intro, about her career in fashion/design! The novel itself thus far (I'm 50 pages into it) is a real hoot. I can't wait to see how Mrs. Bankes fulfills our main character's worst possible fears about sharing a home with her... (And I like the details about botanic prints, since I have a very very small collection of 18th century prints, by Trew, Ehret and William Curtis, as well as more recent versions of some Redouté prints)

Still listening to Middlemarch. I'm not enraptured, though I find Eliot's authorial voice sometimes very compelling and with timeless "messages". I do find it a bit repetitive. For instance, we KNOW that Rosamund Lydgate is an acquisitive, witless beauty from the time we meet her, and the point is hammered home to an extent that I find irksome. Some of the most intriguing characters are the secondary ones, IMO.

Redigeret: maj 29, 11:06pm

For some reason, Kindle Unlimited now lets me download more than 10 books (no idea why... or what the new limit might be). So I added two more titles by Doris Langley Moore from Furrowed Middlebrow, the final book by Graham Brack the historical mystery series I've been reading, and The King of Warsaw, set in 1937 Poland, in translation. It has a compelling cover...

maj 31, 10:06am

As always enjoy peering into your reading life. I've put a few things on my WL. In particular the Osman.

maj 31, 3:07pm

>49 sibylline: The Osman is still on my TBR list, Lucy, so we'll see which of us manages to get to it first! I started it, but stalled early on.

I did finish Not At Home by Doris Langley Moore, and it was absolutely delightful. Lots of character development, and while very much of its era (published in 1948), it was still very accessible and human. No stereotypes here -- or rather, Moore set up stereotypes only to demolish them. A great pleasure, and I'll pick up more by her...

Redigeret: maj 31, 5:42pm

>3 Chatterbox: Congratulations on reaching 2 x 75, Suzanne!

maj 31, 6:02pm

>51 FAMeulstee: Thanks, I just realized that I had done so!! :-)

jun 1, 4:50pm

Woot, just won a SECOND ER book in a row. Now I just need to wait for them both to show up here... *grin* (April AND May batches...)

jun 2, 10:48pm

I'm a frequent visitor here when I'm looking for a new book to read. I always find something. I'm adding Not at Home to my must read list. Thank you!

Redigeret: jun 3, 3:16am

>54 Oregonreader: So glad to add something to your TBR list! Seriously, Not At Home was a delight. Sure, it's of its time, but then again, not really. Just the same kinds of people we know today, but transported back in time to 1945/1946. I plan to read more by this author.

For now, however, I'm stuck on a nonfiction & audio binge. I've started "re-listening" (listening to an audiobook version of a book I've already read), Ice Ghosts by Paul Watson. It's simultaneously the story of an attempted discovery (of the Northwest Passage in the Arctic by Sir John Franklin in the 1840s) and the actual discovery of the fates of the 129 men who sailed into Canada's Arctic waters never to be heard from again, and the discovery, more than 150 years later, of the fate of their ships, the "Terror" and the "Erebus". It's great, both in the history of the doomed expedition but also in the knowledge that the author has of the Inuit and the history of their encounters with these European explorers, as well as the way those hunting for Franklin discounted Inuit stories about the whole expedition. Just as compelling on audiobook.

My nonfiction binge also has taken me to the new group bio by Nancy Goldstone, In the Shadow of the Empress, about Maria Theresa and three of her daughters (Maria Christinia, Maria Carolina and, of course, Marie Antoinette). I knew relatively few of the details of Maria Theresa's life beyond the outlines, so even the geopolitical and military manoeuvering has been intriguing, and while I knew a bit about Maria Carolina (queen of Naples, buddy of Nelson during the Napoleonic wars), had little knowledge of her other daughters with the glaring exception of Marie Antoinette. The only problem I have with the book is that I can only read it on my phone, which until Glasses Day (hopefully soon?!) is a struggle. It's an advance copy via NetGalley that isn't available on Kindle, annoyingly. I dislike it when publishers do this!!

Oh, and my first ER book arrived, from the April batch. It's The Raging 2020s by Alec Ross.

At a friend's suggestion, I'm adding Romola, by George Eliot to my Hoopla audiobook download list, though I'll probably wait a week or two to get it (Hoopla gives loans for 3 weeks only, which isn't a lot for loooong audiobooks.)

jun 3, 7:25am

I was looking up a book by Canadian author Margaret Laurence for reasons I can't remember - and I can't get an affordable replacement for my damaged copy of A Bird in the House which is a series of linked short stories about the same characters and is the least known part of the Manawaka series, which includes her best known works. I have the 4 novels in the series in Virago Modern Classics but they didn't publish this book either. Anyway, I noticed that the novels are available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers here, so I'm thinking they're likely to be on your side of the Altantic too?

jun 3, 5:34pm

>56 elkiedee: Nope, in fact the handful of titles available by Laurence for Kindle in the US are actually quite pricey. Did you find A Bird in the House? I see secondhand paperbacks available; if you want me to ship one on to you that doesn't deliver to the UK, just let me know. The Kindle version is a whopping $16, which is very costly for a Kindle book here. I go to Canadian Amazon for Canadian titles on Kindle when I can, and it has some additional titles not available here (such as A Jest of God and The Diviners); most are only C$14, or about $10 US. This kind of discrepancy has always been a problem. Canadian titles can be hard or impossible to get here; US editions have become increasingly expensive in Canada.

jun 3, 6:36pm

That's a pity: this is the ASIN for the edition of the Stone Angel offered free through Kindle Unlimited here, published Apollo Library 2016. Maybe someone else has the US rights. Actually, the purchase prices aren't bargain basement but they are perfectly reasonable - I just can't justify buying more copies of the novels, whereas The Bird in the Hand doesn't seem to have had the same level of reprint interest. My copy is NEL but I don't know quite how I came by it as I think I got it pre-Amazon or visits to North America (only one holiday in Canada - Toronto, Niagara Falls and Montreal, with lots of long train trips on Amtrak and ViaRail, even a sleeper train from Toronto to Montreal).

Thanks for the offer, but no, I didn't find a reasonable edition of The Bird in the House. I have Virago and New Canadian Library editions of most of her 4 Manawaka novels - I think I found the Canadian editions in a secondhand bookshop in a suburb of Montreal which I don't think is a tourist haunt (we travelled there in 2004, staying iwth a friend in Westmount, and walked out along the main road where we found a couple of secondhand bookshops and a Korean internet cafe), and in addition, a rather nice (US) university press edition of The Diviners. In 2004 the exchange rate was rather extraordinary in our favour in Canada - more than $2 to £1. it was good in the US but not quite as good as in September 2005.

jun 4, 5:34pm

>98 Under the link to the paperback edition here, click on the used copies for sale. There's one copy for less than $2, plus $3.99 shipping. If you mail a copy here, I'll simply pop it into a new envelope and mail it on to you, if you want...

NEL had a lot of inexpensive paperbacks in Canada in the 70s/80s.

Oof, it's hot here. And we're having thunderstorms. WHAT a change from a week ago.