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Claire's Book List 2017

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Current reading status:

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: Providence by Anita Brookner (page 89)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories

Audible: Just One Damned Thing After Another (dramatisation) finished

 

Worked late last night, so listened to the end of JODTAA. I did like it, but nowhere near as much as reading the book or listening to the audiobook, and if they dramatised the rest of the series, I probably wouldn't bother listening to them.

 

Managed to read quite a bit of P, which is my second Brookner, and her second novel, since I'm trying to read them in order. This one has a much lighter touch, with similar themes and central character, and I'm enjoying it a lot. Will probably finish it today.

 

At least one book to collect from the library, with two others of the five I've reserved in transit, so hopefully maybe two or three will be there by the time I get there, and I can then go back to the Wainwright long list for my next book this weekend.

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Current reading status:

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: Providence by Anita Brookner (finished)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories

Hardback: The January Man by Christopher Somerville (page 41)

 

Finished P today, and it was so good.  I can't believe I've never read any Brookner before this year, but the two I've read have been so good, and I'm surprised as how much I've enjoyed them as they are very much character led with little plot, and that's really not my sort of thing usually.

 

Picked up TJM by Christopher Somerville from the library, and bought myself Love Madness Fishing by Dexter Petey, both from the Wainwright long list, and I've started reading TJM already. :)

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Current reading status:

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories

Hardback: The January Man by Christopher Somerville (page 184)

 

Halfway through TJM now, and I'm enjoying it, although still not as good as The Running Hare from the longlist.  Hopefully, I'll finish tomorrow evening, but I'm going to be busy all day, so doubt I'll have any reading time until late afternoon.  I'll probably start a new audio book during the day, but not sure which one yet, as I've got a few lined up. :) 

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Current reading status

 

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories

Hardback: The January Man by Christopher Somerville (page 219)

Audiobook: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (6 hours 8 mins remaining)

 

Been at work today, and after finishing all my podcasts, I started listening to EOiCF.  Very interesting, but not sure where it's going yet.

 

Have read another chapter of TJM since I got home, and might try to squeeze another in this evening.

 

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Current reading status

 

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories

Hardback: The January Man by Christopher Somerville (finished)

Kindle: The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell

Audiobook: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (1 hour 13 minutes remaining)

 

Finished TJM yesterday evening, so that's four out of twelve books on the Wainwright long list finished, and I started TCS at lunch time, but was a bit distracted and gave up after a little while, but it was a promising start to a MG book.

 

Listened to some more of EOiCF which as it's progressing, I've been predicting what's going to happen, but it's so well written and engaging, I don't care!  Looking forward to finishing it tomorrow.

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Current reading status

 

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories

Kindle: The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell (37%)

Audiobook: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (finished)

 

Finished EOiCF and a bit disappointed with how predictable it was.

 

TCS is very good, and enjoying a little middle grade diversion from the a Wainwright books. :)

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Current reading status

 

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories

Kindle: The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell (finished)

Hardback: Love Madness Fishing by Dexter Petley (starting)

Audiobook: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (18 hours 20 minutes remaining)

 

Although I worked late last night, I still had some reading time at lunchtime, and also I was enjoying TCS so much, I ended up reading it late last night and finished it just after midnight.  

 

I've also made a start listening to LM which is a Shadowhunter novel which is good so far.

 

Next up, it's time for another Wainwright book, so I'm starting LMF today.

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Looks like your reading is going really well this year!

 

I had read a few Brookner novels in years gone by and enjoyed them, so when they started to be reissued (after her death?) I began to read them in order, too.  I think I have missed a couple, though, as they weren't available when I was ready to buy a couple more, so I will need to check whether I can get hold of those yet.  I have fourteen of them altogether, with one still to read; I really like to have one or two waiting now, so I can start right away if I am in the mood for her writing.

 

I remember getting through The Go-Between fairly quickly, but I think that was because I left it in the office as my 'lunch hour' book, so there was nothing else to distract me from it!

 

 

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Thanks @Ooshie:)

 

According to Fantastic Fiction, she wrote 26 novels:

 

A Start in Life (1981)
Providence (1982)
Look At Me (1983)
Hotel Du Lac (1984)
Family and Friends (1985)
A Misalliance (1986)
A Friend From England (1987)
Latecomers (1988)
Lewis Percy (1989)
Brief Lives (1990)
A Closed Eye (1991)
Fraud (1992)
A Family Romance (1993)
A Private View (1994)
Incidents in the Rue Laugier (1995)
Altered States (1996)
Visitors (1997)
Falling Slowly (1998)
Undue Influence (1999)
The Bay of Angels (2001)
The Next Big Thing (2002)
The Rules of Engagement (2003)
Leaving Home (2005)
Strangers (2009)

 

I have to admit, before I started listening to the Backlisted podcast, I'd only heard of Hotel du Lac and I'm surprised that was only her fourth novel.  I do love a nice matching series of books, but I'm not keen on the Penguin reissues, as they use the same typeface that would have been used in the original editions, and they seem very low quality, in that the paper is very thin too.  I do like the look of the covers, a clean white cover with a simple title and picture so they all match, but I think I might start looking out for second hand editions too, to see if they're any better quality.  It's not a hard and fast challenge for me, but I can see it might be come one in the future, so I will keep an eye out for them and see how it goes.

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Current reading status

 

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories (page 161/477)

Hardback: Love Madness Fishing by Dexter Petley (page 54/169)

Audiobook: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (17 hours 12 minutes remaining)

 

Loved picked up TPBoSS again yesterday, and read some fantastic writing.  It's definitely going to become a bible for looking up future book suggestions!  I definitely want to read more Katherine Mansfield and E. M. Delafield, both of whom I've read other books by already, but I've now discovered Dorothy Parker as well, and I'll definitely be looking up more of her writing too! :D

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55 minutes ago, chesilbeach said:

Current reading status

 

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

 

I'm really looking forward to reading your comments about the Counties challenge, and perhaps comparing notes, but this seems to have been put on to the backburner after your surge earlier in the spring.  Is it the reading or the book itself?  (Must admit, although I enjoyed it overall, it was a bit heavy going in places).  You're almost there!

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23 minutes ago, willoyd said:

 

I'm really looking forward to reading your comments about the Counties challenge, and perhaps comparing notes, but this seems to have been put on to the backburner after your surge earlier in the spring.  Is it the reading or the book itself?  (Must admit, although I enjoyed it overall, it was a bit heavy going in places).  You're almost there!

 

I wasn't in the mood for it on a particular day, and then the Wainwright list came along, and I'd really like to finish them all before the winner is announced as last year I lost a bit of interest at that point, so I've just been concentrating on them with lighter reads in between for the moment :)

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40 minutes ago, chesilbeach said:

 

I wasn't in the mood for it on a particular day, and then the Wainwright list came along, and I'd really like to finish them all before the winner is announced as last year I lost a bit of interest at that point, so I've just been concentrating on them with lighter reads in between for the moment :)

 

Well that's definitely understandable! That Wainwright list does look a good one. As they all do it seems - I've just tracked back through previous lists to the first one in 2014, and have to say that every year looks good - especially the shortlists.  I've read a fair few on these lists, and got others to read on my shelves, and of the ones I've read, there's not been a bad 'un.  I think it's likely to be a stronger point of reference for my reading in the future - but over a longer period of time. What you're doing is a bit too tight a timescale for me, but more power to your reading elbow!

 

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I've been a bit more organised this year with the one on-one off approach, which I'm hoping will get me through the whole list before the winner is announced :)

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On 25/06/2017 at 9:36 AM, chesilbeach said:

 

According to Fantastic Fiction, she wrote 26 novels...

 

...I have to admit, before I started listening to the Backlisted podcast, I'd only heard of Hotel du Lac and I'm surprised that was only her fourth novel.  I do love a nice matching series of books, but I'm not keen on the Penguin reissues, as they use the same typeface that would have been used in the original editions, and they seem very low quality, in that the paper is very thin too.  I do like the look of the covers, a clean white cover with a simple title and picture so they all match, but I think I might start looking out for second hand editions too, to see if they're any better quality.  It's not a hard and fast challenge for me, but I can see it might be come one in the future, so I will keep an eye out for them and see how it goes.

 

 

Good to know I still have a quite a lot to go!  Those I have read so far are marked in green:#

 

A Start in Life (1981)
Providence (1982)
Look At Me (1983)

Hotel Du Lac (1984)
Family and Friends (1985)
A Misalliance (1986)
A Friend From England (1987)
Latecomers (1988)
Lewis Percy (1989)
Brief Lives (1990)
A Closed Eye (1991)
Fraud (1992)
A Family Romance (1993)
A Private View (1994)
Incidents in the Rue Laugier (1995)
Altered States (1996)
Visitors (1997)
Falling Slowly (1998)
Undue Influence (1999)
The Bay of Angels (2001)
The Next Big Thing (2002)
The Rules of Engagement (2003)
Leaving Home (2005)
Strangers (2009)

 

and I still have The Next Big Thing on my TBR pile.

 

I agree with you about the quality of the paper and the typeface, though I have checked the older editions I have (with the coloured covers) and they don't seem to be of better quality; hopefully you will manage to track down some nicer ones.  Like you, I do prefer the covers of the reissues but, much as I would like to, I don't think I will replace those I have with the coloured covers unless the price drops very significantly! 

 

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Current reading status

 

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories (page 175/477)

Hardback: Love Madness Fishing by Dexter Petley (finished)

Kindle: Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine (finished)

Kindle: Class by Jenny Colgan (39%)

Audiobook: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (1 hours 54 minutes remaining)

 

Haven't updated for a little while.  Finished LMF and it was my least favourite of the Wainwright books so far, but it was fine.  Followed it up with PAF which I enjoyed a lot, and decided to stick with something lighter, so have started Class and enjoying that too.

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Current reading status

 

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories (page 175/477)

Kindle: Class by Jenny Colgan (finished)

Hardback: The Otters' Tale by Simon Cooper (starting)

Audiobook: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (finished)

 

Really enjoyed C - modern day Mallory Towers but with added bonus of the teachers lives too.  Also finished listening to LM which I was also surprised to find I enjoyed too, as I'm not usually keen on American narrators - nothing against our American friends, it's only because obviously when I read to myself, even if it's a book set outside of England and with non-English characters, they're always English in my head, so it just feels strange listening to an American accent, but this was such a good story, that I soon got over it :D (although a certain English county was mentioned a couple of times, and the pronunciation of it was just odd to my ears, and took me out of the story a bit).

 

Need to get the tree books under control and want to press on with Wainwright books this month, so next up will be TOT to read, but not sure what audiobook I'll start next.

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You're rampaging through the books at the moment Claire :D

 

Class sounds very intriguing - the phrase 'modern day Mallory Towers' almost certain to pique my interest!

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20 hours ago, Alexi said:

You're rampaging through the books at the moment Claire :D

 

Class sounds very intriguing - the phrase 'modern day Mallory Towers' almost certain to pique my interest!

 

It does look that way!  I think it's because the workspace is out of action at the moment, so I can't really do any craft stuff, and after a bit of a drought towards the end of last year, I've been on a book high so far this year, and trying to keep it that way. :lol:

 

I'll write some proper thoughts on Class soon, but it was just like a mix of the old and new, with a Cornish castle school setting, girls haven't changed much over the years, but it's got some more modern sensibilities and is a bit more PC :giggle2:

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Current reading status

 

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories (page 175/477)

Hardback: The Otters' Tale by Simon Cooper (page 81/274)

 

Started TOT today, and it's wonderful, absolutely loving it so far. :smile2:

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Current reading status

 

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories (page 175/477)

Hardback: The Otters' Tale by Simon Cooper (finished)

Hardback: Sky Full of Birds by Matt Merritt (starting)

Audiobook: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (15 hours 29 minutes remaining)

 

Finished TOT yesterday evening and it's probably my second favourite after The Running Hare from the Wainwright long list so far. :)  That means I'm halfway through the 12 books now, and I've got two more from the library to read, so I'm going straight into another one and starting ASFoB next.

 

Started listening to Thandie Newton reading JE and she's wonderful, very engaging.

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Current reading status

 

Kindle: The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (16%)

Paperback: The Persephone Book of Short Stories (page 175/477)

Hardback: Sky Full of Birds by Matt Merritt (finished)

Hardback: The Nature of Autumn by Jim Crumley (page 34/248)

Audiobook: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (14 hours 19 minutes remaining)

 

Finished ASFoB this afternoon, and absolutely loved it.  It didn't make the Wainwright Prize shortlist, but it would definitely have made my shortlist, and I've only read seven out of the twelve long listed books so far.  Found a copy of TNoA in the bookshop today, so I bought it as it's not available in the library and I haven't been able to find a copy locally, and decided to plough on with that one and keep the momentum going on the Wainwright books.  Good start so far.

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The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock 

 

Synopsis: (from waterstones.com)

Alaska, 1970: growing up here is like nowhere else. Ruth wants to be remembered by her grieving mother. Dora wishes she was invisible to her abusive father. Alyce is staying at home to please her parents. Hank is running away for the sake of his brothers. Four very different lives are about to become entangled. Because if we don't save each other, how can we begin to save ourselves? Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock's extraordinary, stunning debut is both moving, and deeply authentic. These intertwining stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation on the edge of America's Last Frontier introduce a writer of rare and wonderful talent.

 

Review:

I was drawn by the cover of this YA book, and also by the fact it was set in Alaska and in the 1970s (when I grew up) and it seemed an unusual setting, so I thought I’d give it a go.  It was a powerfully evocative story, with a wonderful sense of time and place, and the lives of these young people was unusual and made for an engrossing read.  The characters lives are heartbreaking at times, and the period makes it feel like a lifetime away and a world away from everything we know.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to those who enjoy YA books set in the real world.

 

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Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk 

 

Synopsis: (from waterstones.com)

The year I turned twelve, I learned how to lie.

 

I don’t mean the small fibs that children tell. I mean real lies fed by real fears – things I said and did that took me out of the life I’d always known and put me down hard into a new one.

 

It all begins in the summer of 1943, in a place a long way from war and yet haunted by it, in a community hiding prejudice and fear.  Annabelle has lived in Wolf Hollow all her life: it’s a quiet place where Anabelle has never had any reason to be afraid.  But when cruel, manipulative Betty arrives in town, Annabelle's calm world is shattered, along with everything she's ever known about right and wrong.  Then Betty disappears and suspicion falls on strange, gentle loner Toby, a shell-shocked veteran.  As Wolf Hollow turns against him, and tensions quickly mount, Annabelle must do everything in her power to protect Toby - and to find Betty, before it is too late.

 

Review:

I read this book as it was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children's Book Prize, and was amazed at the strength of the story.  I can’t imagine having read a book this powerful and real when I was 10 years old, and yet it’s a fantastic story to allow children into the world of war and the impact on society.  It brings those big ideas into a small town, while also dealing with bullying and effect on a child, but how she deals with it, but it forces her into a coming-of-age period in her life.  The story had a big impact on me,  but the shortlist was an incredibly strong one this year, and I could have easily picked one of three books to win, including this one, but unfortunately, none of them won!

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The Little Paris Bookshop (from Waterstones.com) by Nina George

 

Synopsis: (from Amazon.co.uk)

A somewhat lost soul presides over a floating ‘literary apothecary’ on the Seine, a man masking the pain in his own heart by prescribing the appropriate volume to heal the wounds of others. A revelation from the past prompts him to up-anchor and begin a singular journey of discovery toward a resolution that is genuinely life-affirming. 

 

Books about books can so often run toward the twee, but George’s skill renders this tale as a sweeping, grand romance. With a cast of winsome, slightly-fractured companions - the bookseller Jean Perdu; the enigmatic Catherine, the woman who unlocks his past; and Max Jordan, the blocked, suffering author who accompanies him on his quest - The Little Paris Bookshop is a pitch-perfect, bittersweet tale that effortlessly repeated the bestselling success of its release in Nina George's native Germany in the UK.

 

Review:

I must admit, I felt the cover of this book felt like it was going to be a bit of a rom com and a feel-good story, but I was completely wrong.  That’s not to say it was a work of literature that will be a classic for future generations, but it had more depth than I thought it would.  Having said that, it’s still a fairly easy read, and I do have a fondness for stories of people who leave behind their lives to go on a journey, and I enjoyed reading it a lot.  As Jean’s story unfolds, you realise how grief has affected his life, and how long the emotions have been buried and the effect it’s had on his life.  I wasn’t entirely sure about the inclusion of Max’s story, as it took a long time for me to have any patience with him, but I guess that’s probably my fault!

 

As always, I always wish there was more about books in a story about bookshops, but as these go, this one didn’t do too bad a job.  Certainly no twee-ness as the mentioned by Waterstone’s in their synopsis, and overall a warm and engaging story.

 

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