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About willoyd

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  • Reading now?
    SPQR by Mary Beard
  • Location:
    Wharfedale, Yorkshire
  • Interests
    birding, cycling (mainly touring), running, walking, family history.

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  1. Frankie reads 2018

    I've always taken Umberto Eco's line on this (quoted in Black Swan) - it's simply a library of knowledge that I've yet to tap into. His attitude was that read books are far less valuable than unread ones. So, the TBR list was very similar before - almost all of the books I disposed of were books I'd read. Most of the TBR list is non-fiction.
  2. Your Book Activity - July 2018

    Yes, I will. It's not great literature by any means (not intended to be after all!), but it was entertaining, the central character definitely has mileage in him, and my impression is that the history is pretty credible. It's the sort of book I'd read as relief after a big read or to while away a journey. I'm also particularly intrigued to read the third one as it's set at Fountains Abbey, which is near here.
  3. Frankie reads 2018

    Only that I'm a compulsive acquirer of books! I'm having to really work at not accumulating more, but find them near irresistible. Recently, I've done a huge amount of thinning out and downsizing, but still have some 1400+ on the TBR list, and around 3000 books on the shelves.
  4. Frankie reads 2018

    Frighteningly little time in my case!!
  5. You probably know this already, but, just in case, it's well established that women tend to read predominantly female authors, and men read mainly male authors. However, it's more likely that a woman will reverse that than a man (i.e. fewer men read more female than women read more men - by a big margin too. Also, when men do, it's mainly because they are reading female non-fiction writers. It's a rare male that reads predominantly female fiction authors).
  6. Frankie reads 2018

    Then probably not worth it - I use mine a lot when travelling round home on bus or train - but then I'm neurotic about damaging books, especially paperbacks (I just hate any creases in covers!), which I find difficult to avoid if keeping a book in a bag. The other thing I like about the Kindle is the ability to change the font size - too many paperbacks (mostly non-fiction) have typefaces that are just too small to read pleasurably, especially in lower light (and my Kindle has a built-in light). But, and it's a big but, there is nothing more satisfying than settling down with a book in my hand - Kindle just can't compete on that one!
  7. Frankie reads 2018

    Know how you feel. I have found a Kindle useful though - great for keeping in bag and reading in odd places, whilst travelling, after dark in bed (I have a Paperwhite, so the light doesn't disturb OH's slumbers!) etc.
  8. Frankie reads 2018

    Don't worry - mine's over 1400! Mount TBR is a good description!
  9. Willoyd's Reading 2018

    It's a funny one, and as I said, 'resentment' is far too strong a word, something like a mild irritation is probably closer to the truth. There have been, in fact, a fair number of book group choices I've thoroughly enjoyed. Your question has made me think rather more about this. I belong to two groups, of which one is fine - there are 1/2 star books but there are plenty of 4+ star ones as well. When I look closer, the issues are with the other, and I think it's the way we select books. This is done from a list of books held in sets for reading groups by the local library network (the group is part of the local library). Each cycle we each choose one, and then they turn up in randome order. Unfortunately, the list (around 200) is, from my perspective, distinctly uninspired and rather samey - generally books that seem to have been deemed worthy of discussion (I think some have been chosen from nominations by longer standing groups) - a lot of literary or general fiction with a smattering of others (e.g. a fair number of crime, around dozen non-fiction, mostly memoir, and half a dozen classics). I've read about 20% of the list already; a majority of the others are books I had already chosen not to read. I've also realised that my reading tastes are completely the opposite of most of the group, so whilst that means I'm reading books I wouldn't have perhaps otherwise read (a good thing - half the point of a book club after all), I'm finding the majority of choices hard work, at a time when there is a large number of other books I really do want to read. Equally, I think that the majority of the group found my two choices to date very hard work - distinct minorities enjoyed them! OTOH, I love discussing books with other readers, whether we agree or not (and it's often best when we don't). Hopefully, it'll work out in the wash - there are rumblings of choosing other books beyond the list for instance. I'll see how it pans out. It may just be that the sort of reading I want to do doesn't fit comfortably with this sort of book group, or the chemistry doesn't quite suit me - need to wait and see!
  10. Your Book Activity - July 2018

    Finished The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson. An entertaining, easy read of a crime story set in the eighteenth century. The setting of the Marshalsea (horrendous) and the mixing in of real characters were the most intriguing distinctive aspects. ***
  11. Little Pixie`s Bookshelf 2018

    No, but they will still be longer than others - I read a Paddington book in just under an hour the other day! (Counterbalanced a bit by my longest book this year, Battle Cry for Freedom, which I reckon was almost exactly 24 hours of actual reading time!).
  12. Little Pixie`s Bookshelf 2018

    Number of books can be just a bit misleading though!
  13. Your Book Activity - July 2018

    Finished The Women Who Shaped Politics by Sophy Ridge. An easy read, full of insight ****.
  14. Willoyd's Reading 2018

    Three books finished in the past 24 hours (it's too hot to do much else!): Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland ***** Paddington Helps Out by Michael Bond ***** Maigret by Georges Simenon **** The first was a reading group choice that split the group up more than any previous book, with two of us absolutely loving it, one rating it strongly, and the other eight hating it - no middle ground at all! It's a complex book to review, and will need to think about this, so a full review to comer later. A 5* book, not least for some of the discussion and ideas it provoked, even if I sort of understand some of the arguments from those who really didn't like it. The other two are both books in series that I'm reading. Paddington was one of my favourite reads as a child, and is still one of the few characters that can make me laugh out loud (I have a childish sense of humour, I know!). A couple of years ago, I aqcquired a lovely box set of the full series in hardback, so, prompted by Michael Bond's death last year and the approaching publication of his last book, I decided they needed a gradual reread. I'm also reading the Maigret series in order of publication, using either the French omnibus editions (Touts Maigrets), of which I have the complete seit, or the attractive Penguin reprint series (one a month). Not sure what next! Both are six star series, so it seems a bit pointless giving individual books ratings, but FWIW, I've given the Paddington 5* and the Maigret 4* (almost 5*).
  15. Your Book Activity - July 2018

    Just finished Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland, read as a book group choice. Looking at Goodread reviews, it's very much a marmite book; Amazon reviews are generally more positive. Whilst there are some holes and faults, overall I loved it and found it a profoundly thought provoking read. Of the ten of us sat round the table, two of us loved it, one found it fine but in small chunks, whilst the other seven hated it. Their antagonism towards it mystified me, but it's a group where few read non-fiction, and few read anything other than narratives, and this in some places challenges our thinking and is definitely no narrative! It's going to take some thought writing the review!