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    • Hayley

      January Supporter Giveaway   01/16/2019

        I'm thrilled to (finally, sorry for the delay!) announce the January giveaway, with a Sherlock Holmes theme! Supporters can win a beautiful little hardback edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as well as a stylish a5 print by www.thestorygift.co.uk/, featuring some witty advice from the great detective.     As always, if you support on patreon or if you supported before patreon (and did so less than twelve months ago), you'll be entered into the giveaway automatically. If you're not a supporter but want to take part, you can support for this month here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum .   The winner will be selected at random on January 31st. Good luck!  


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Everything posted by Angury

  1. It's interesting that you mention Man Booker prize winners. I've recently started reading some of the prize winners and those shortlisted. There are a fair few (although not as many as I first thought) who I just don't 'get' and can't seem to understand why they marked so highly on the judges list. But this is where I find reviews quite helpful. People who did enjoy the book will talk about why they enjoyed it and why, in their opinion, it deserves all the publicity. I've noticed that not only has my breadth of reading grown, I am also now more appreciative of different writing styles and can admire works which I would have previously put down. In a way, reviews have given me a new pair of eyes.
  2. Since I started using Goodreads I've relied heavily on book reviews. When I come across a new book to read the first thing I do is look through the reviews people have written. If the reviews are awful - not just one or two but a consistent pattern - then it's unlikely I'll pick up the book. Likewise, if I come across a book that's not really 'my thing' but notice a lot of excellent reviews, I'll probably read it. It's only recently I've noticed how detrimental this can be. I've become quite interested in Northern Irish authors and bought a collection in Waterstones. The minute I read through the reviews I was disheartened. Not a nice word to be said about the novels. Despite this, I continued with the reading and was pleasantly surprised to find that the novels were actually well-written and a joy to read. I am curious to hear other peoples' thoughts on book reviews. Do they skew your opinion before you've even read the book? Do you use them when you're looking for a new novel to read? Or do you avidly avoid them?
  3. Just finished this novel yesterday as well. Absolutely loved it - decided to do a bit of googling around Arundhati Roy and couldn't believe that she hadn't studied English Literature/Creative Writing etc at Uni. Gives me hope.. I have just started reading Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. Really getting into the SE Asian flow..
  4. Hayley's Reading 2019

    A Discworld series re-read - that sounds like a holiday in luxury to me! I found your reading order interesting - do you read through the series based on when they were published? And if so, is it easy to move from one character to the next? I guess each book can be read on its own, but I've always read them as a sub-series of novels based on characters e.g. the Death Novels, The Witches, The Watch etc. Anyway, very comprehensive reading list there - I wish you a joyful reading year!
  5. Glad you enjoyed The Wasp Factory - I agree with your comments, I thought it was a very clever commentary on human nature. Looking back, I also find it incredible how Banks was able to create such dark scenes through such simple writing. He really had the reader captivated with his character arc and writing.
  6. No worries, quite a lot of people read Augury instead - mainly because of Runescape. I've only read three books so far but it has been a great start to the year. Each one was different yet made me want to read more. 1. Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett I love, love, love Terry Pratchett - he is by far one of my favourite authors. His wit and intellect make his writing so easy to read that you forget just how much talent this man must have had to keep the Discworld series going for so long and at such a high level. Moving Pictures is definitely one of the top books of the series for me. I've been trying to follow the Chronology found here: Moving Pictures is start of a new series and imo on par with the Death novels. Great characterisation, cliches that don't come across as cliches (no idea how Pratchett does it) and a plot which holds your attention. Definitely planning on returning to the series again - my next Discworld book will be Feet of Clay (I'm currently on The Watch novels at the moment but was distracted by Moving Pictures instead). 2. Writing at the Margin: Discourse between Anthropology and Medicine by Arthur Kleinman Arthur Kleinman is an American Psychiatrist and Medical Anthropologist. He is famous for being part of a group of people who introduced the concept of narratives and culture to medicine i.e. the idea that medicine is made up of more than diagnoses and treatment, and that people present with symptoms and perceive their illnesses based on their culture and societal beliefs. Kleinman has a unique way of writing; he is able to combine the clarity of academic style with the creative flow of narrative writing to tell a story. This book is a collection of his essays that he published throughout his career; what makes it particularly interesting is that he is able to reflect back on these essays in the context of new critiques and a changing world. Yet no matter how long ago these essays were written, I find them to be highly relevant to healthcare today. I am a big admirer of Kleinman and his work, and if I'm ever struggling in my job, I turn to his narratives and remind myself of why I do what I do. 3. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy This is apparently a very popular book that I only found out about recently. I came across this novel while looking for South Asian writers and novels set in India. I noticed that a lot of my reading is very 'Western' and based in Europe. I have now found myself a new author to place on my 'Top Authors' list (it is growing far too long now..). Roy's writing is detailed and cinematic; she describes the world of India in an elaborate style while acknowledging the poverty and lifestyles that many people there still lead. The novel is focused on the caste system told through the eyes of a pair of young twins. You are already told the end of the story at the very beginning, and spend the rest of the book following the twins as they grow up and begin to realise the reality of the community of which they live in. Roy is a very good story writer; she offers you one piece of the puzzle in every chapter, encouraging you to fill in the gaps but still wanting more. For those of you who haven't heard of her, I would highly recommend this novel. And for those of you interested in such things (which I am!), this novel also won the 1997 Man Booker Prize. It feels rather cathartic having written those three reviews - I feel like I've properly digested those books now and am ready to move on. Funny how books can do that to you. At the moment I am currently making my way through Sylvia Plath's Collection of Poems in chronological order (despite her stereotypical image I enjoy her poetry and her way of writing in general - it's very inspirational) and am about to start reading Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. I also have Anna Burns' Milkman on my to-read list and plan to buy Normal People by Sally Rooney once it comes out in paperback. It's refreshing to see Northern Irish writers entering the literary world (not that they weren't there before.. *cough* Seamus Heaney). I am also getting on well with my writing; I am just about to start Chapter 7 of my novel just as it starts to get interesting, and have surprisingly started writing some poetry. This was by no means planned. I basically had some pretty tiring days at work (emotionally) and let them all out on the page. It's amazing how well the words just flow out and tie together when you're not really thinking. Anyway, would love to hear everyone's thoughts on the books I've just reviewed.. or the books I'm about to read.. or on life in general!
  7. Angury's Reading & Writing Log 2019 Hola everyone. Welcome to my Reading & Writing Log for this year.As a reader I enjoy a variety of genres but you’ll find that my to-read list falls into three broad categories: Fiction, Medicine/Anthropology and Philosophy.My to-read list isn’t a list of every single book I want to read (which is several pages long) but just a list of books that are on my radar for the upcoming months. I also aim to post a review for every book I read this year. I invite you to offer your own thoughts on these novels or even suggest something new - my aim is to enter into stimulating discussions and look at the novels I read in a whole different light - your ideas are very much welcomed! I am also in the process of writing two 'novels,' more as a hobby than anything else. The Writing Log is an attempt to make me accountable and hopefully enjoy the process as well. Currently reading: Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie Collection of Poems by Sylvia Plath Books Read in 2019January Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett (5/5) Writing at the Margin: Discourse between Anthropology and Medicine by Arthur Kleinman (4/5) The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (4/5)
  8. Some interesting points raised. I've noticed this in general on forums that I visit. There has been more of a drive towards reducing negative feedback to a topic, even if it is well-meaning and offers some discussion. I find reviews are helpful in giving me a general idea of whether the book is something I would enjoy - it's accurate quite a lot of the time. Rather than focusing on one review, I tend to look for a pattern. So if I notice several negative reviews mentioning 'too many details' or the writer 'going on and on' I know it's a book I'll probably like because I enjoy writing that is detailed. More recently I've been trying to widen my reading - particularly writing styles. Many of these are books that I find difficult to get going as it's not a type of style that I'm used to reading. But once I read through the reviews and understand what other people enjoy in these types of novels, I become more appreciative of the author, the writing style and the book as a whole.
  9. Fyodor Dostoevsky

    I am just about to start this book. Would you say it is better than Th Brothers Karamazov? I really struggled with that book, and am a bit apprehensive about picking up another Dosteovsky novel..
  10. Charles Dickens

    This is exactly what I was looking for - thanks Hayley! I will add Dickens to my growing list of books to read.
  11. Rupi Kaur

    Any fans of Kaur here? I only discovered her works recently despite her name being on the New York Bestseller's List twice and her poetry displayed across Waterstones. She has been called the 'Modern Poet' because of her background; she made a name for herself through Instagram and then later self-published while a student at uni. I bought her most recent work, The Sun and her Flowers, and really enjoy her writing. It is simple and easy to read but tugs at the heartstrings. What also made her stand out to me is her South East Asian background - something that is much needed in the literary world. Here are some examples of her works: “do not look for healingat the feet of thosewho broke you” - “Our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry” - “i am not a hotel room. i am homei am not the whiskey you wanti am the water you needdon't come here with expectationsand try to make a vacation out of me” - “i want to apologize to all the women i have called beautifulbefore i’ve called them intelligent or bravei am sorry i made it sound as thoughsomething as simple as what you’re born withis all you have to be proud ofwhen you have broken mountains with your wit from now on i will say things likeyou are resilient, or you are extraordinarynot because i don’t think you’re beautifulbut because i need you to knowyou are more than that”
  12. New Year's

    Working nights tonight. Let's see how busy it gets.. Hope the rest of you have something nice planned - and stay safe!
  13. Charles Dickens

    I am very tempted to start reading Dickens this year. From what I've heard about his writing style (verbose & detailed) I think I would enjoy his novels. Do you guys think his novels are the types of works which stay with you after you've finished them? In other words, do they reflect things about humanity/society that make you see the present world in a different way? Perhaps a bit of an odd question, but am very curious!
  14. Most underrated series you have ever read

    The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. Not sure how it's viewed by critics but I'm always surprised at how it's not more popular. It's written in a style that I haven't come across very much (multiple footnotes with another character offering their own opinion to events as they unfold) but works very, very well. It's well-written, funny and offers a plot that is both action-packed and engaging but also makes you think. More importantly, it doesn't play to cliches. Would highly recommend.
  15. Thought I'd prepare early for the new year. I can't believe it's the end of the year. It's refreshing looking back at my old logs and reading through my previous reviews. I notice I didn't write as many reviews during my 2018 log, so that's something I'm going to aim for in the new year. I'm currently reading Terry Pratchett's Moving Pictures. Every time I feel I'm getting into a reading slog I turn to Pratchett and find my love of novels returning. I wish everyone a very happy 2019 filled with joyous books!
  16. Writing Log Current Projects 1st Novel (Chapter 7) 2nd 'Draft' Novel (Chapter 2) Goals Re-read Chapters 1-5 Finish Chapter 6 of 1st Novel Finish Chapter 7 of 1st Novel Finish Chapter 8 of 1st Novel Progress January - Chapter 6 completed - 3 Poems written - Chapter 7 completed
  17. Best Books of 2019 ..once I've done some reading! Best Authors of 2019 ..and some more reading Previous Reading Logs Reading Log 2018 http://www.bookclubforum.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/15218-angurys-reading-writing-log-2018/ Reading Log 2017 http://www.bookclubforum.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/14553-angurys-reading-diary-2017/
  18. To-Read Fiction • Abe, Kobo - The Woman in the Dunes • Bukowski, Charles - Tales of Ordinary Madness • Bulgakov, Mikhail - The Master and Margarita • Byatt, A.S. - Possession • Calvino, Italo - If One Winter's Night a Traveller • Camus, Albert - The Plague • Catton, Eleanor - The Luminaries • Christensen, Kate - The Epicure's Lament • Eliot, George - Daniel Deronda • Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - Demons • Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - The Gambler and A Nasty Business • Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - The Idiot • Faulkner, William - As I Lay Dying • Gide, Andre - The Immoralist • Hall, Sarah - Daughters of the North • Hall, Sarah - Haweswater • Hardy, Thomas - The Return of the Native • Hesse, Herman - Journey to the East • Hesse, Herman - Narcissus and Goldmund • Hesse, Herman - The Glass Bead Game • Jelinek, Elfriede - Greed • Johnson, Denis - Train Dreams • Kavenna, Joanna - Come to the Edge • Lish, Atticus - Life is with People • Morrison, Toni - The Bluest Eye • Nabokov, Vladimir - Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle • Nabokov, Vladimir - Pale Fire • Nutting, Alissa - Tampa • Quincey, Thomas de - Confessions of an English Opium-Eater • Remarque, Erich Maria - All Quiet on the Western Front • Sartre, Jean-Paul - The Age of Reason • Singh, Khushwant - Train to Pakistan • Thackeray, William Makepeace - Vanity Fair • Thomas, Michael Ford - Suicide Notes • Zweig, Stefan - The Royal Game Medicine, Psychology & Anthropology • Bateson, Gregory - Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution and Epistemology • Brewer, John D. - The Public Value of the Social Sciences: An Interpretive Essay • Cantacuzino, Marnia - The Forgiveness Project • Carel, Havi - Health, Illness and Disease: Philosophical Essays • Cooper, Rachel - Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science • Diamond, John - C: Because Cowards Get Cancer Too • Gifford, Fred - Philosophy of Medicine • Kahneman, Daniel - Thinking, Fast and Slow • Kleinman, Arthur - The Illness Narratives: suffering, healing and the human condition • Kleinman, Arthur - Rethinking Psychiatry: from cultural category to personal experience • Laing, Ronald D. - Wisdom, Madness and Folly: The Making of a Psychiatrist 1927-57 • Levi-Strauss, Claude - Myth and Meaning: Cracking the Code of Culture • Mishler, Elliot G. - The Discourse of Medicine: Dialectics of Medical Interviews • Ofri, Danielle - What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine • Osler, William - A Way of Life: An Address to Yale Students, Sunday Evening, April 20, 1913 • Perry, Sarah - Every Cradle is a Grave: Rethinking the Ethics of Birth and Suicide • Phillips, Adam - On Kindness • Reynolds, Richard - On Doctoring: Stories, Poems, Essays • Selzer, Richard - Letters to a Young Doctor • Sigerist, Henry E. - Medicine and Human Welfare (Terry Lectures) • Skultans, Vieda and Cox, John - Anthropological Approaches to Psychological Medicine • Sontag, Susan - Illness as Metaphor • Storr, Anthony - The Integrity of the Personality • Svenaeus, Fredrik - The Hermeneutics of Medicine and the Phenomenology of Health: Steps Towards a Philosophy of Medical Practice • Tallis, Raymond - The Black Mirror: Looking at Life through Death • Woolf, Virginia - On Being Ill Philosophy • Alain de Botton - Status Anxiety • Aristotle - The Art of Rhetoric • Aurelius, Marcus - Meditations • Burton, Neel - Plato: Letters to my Son • Dewey, John - How We Think • Jaspers, Karl - Philosophy of Existence • Kierkegaard, Soren - The Concept of Anxiety • Merton, Thomas - Thoughts in Solitude • Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli - Indian Philosophy Volume II • Russell, Bertrand - The Analysis of Mind • Tallis, Raymond - In Defence of Wonder and Other Philosophical Reflections • Wittgenstein, Ludwig - Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Literature & Writing • Prose, Francine - Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them • Eagleton, Terry - How to Read Literature • Eagleton, Terry - Literary Theory: An Introduction • Huxley, Aldous - Literature and Science • Midgley, Mary - Science and Poetry • Thomas, Francis-Noel - Clear and Simple as the Truth: Writing Classic Prose Other • Atkinson, Charles Francis - Art and Artist: Creative Urge and Personality Development • Bevan, Aneurin - In Place of Fear • Debord, Guy - The Society of the Spectacle • Orwell, George - Down and Out in Paris and London • Rosseau, Jean-Jacques - Confessions • Tolstoy, Leo - What is Art?
  19. Excellent review - you've mentioned all of the reasons why I love this novel as well. It's difficult to explain to people why this book is so good when the plot sounds so 'simple' but this book has stayed with me even months later. Glad you enjoyed the book just as much as I did.
  20. Hayley's Reading in 2018

    Great to hear you enjoyed Equal Rites. I always turn to the Discworld Series when I don't really want to read anything but am feeling a bit bored. His writing always cheers me up.
  21. Muggle Not - 2018 Books Read

    What are your thoughts on Charles Dickens? I know his stories are well known but I'm in two minds about reading his works. Would you say his writing is pretty good, or is it mainly the strength of his plots and his characters which makes him so well known?
  22. Hello!

    I've read Anna Karenina and The Death of Ivan Ilyich - which is probably my favourite work by Tolstoy. I've read two of Dostoevsky's works - The Brothers Karamazov & Notes from the Underground and have The Idiot on my to-read list. My all-time favourite author is Vladimir Nabokov - when I read his writing I feel like I'm watching genius at work. Have you read anything by him?
  23. Hello!

    Hi Dolly - welcome to the Forum. I too am a big fan of War and Peace. Have you read any other books by Tolstoy? He is probably one of my favourite writers - I find he is particularly good at character development and plot. I think I have a bit of a soft spot for Russian writers. I look forward to seeing you around the Forum.
  24. Angury's Reading & Writing Log 2018 Currently reading: Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett Books Read in 2018January If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino (3/5) The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (2/5) May Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann (4/5) June The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (3/5) Ada, or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov (4/5) July Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family by Thomas Mann (4/5) Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (4/5) August For Two Thousand Years by Mihail Sebastian (2/5) The Fountain Head by Ayn Rand (2/5) September A Heart so White by Javier Marias (3/5) A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac by Edward Shorter (3/5) Indian Philosophy: Volume 2 by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (4/5) October The Graduate by Charles Webb (2/5) The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West (3/5) The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (3/5) November The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (4/5) Life after Life by Kate Atkinson (4/5) A Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak (3/5) Moby Dick by Herman Melville (4/5) December Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (3/5) White Noise by Don DeLillo (3/5) The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (4/5) Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett (3/5) Man at Arms by Terry Pratchett (4/5)