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chesilbeach

Your Book Activity - December 2017

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Welcome to the December book activity log!

 

I read an easy M. C. Beaton book yesterday called Duke's Diamonds, and I've now started How To Be A Heroine by Samantha Ellis which is a non-fiction book looking at how the heroines of the books she read growing up actually stack up to scrutiny as a grown up, and whether they should be heroines in today's society.  It's brilliant so far, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

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Finished listening to The Summer Seaside Kitchen by Jenny Colgan this afternoon, and I'm halfway through How To Be A Heroine which is fantastic.

 

Spent a bit of time this morning planning some reading lists for next year.  There's a few authors I'd like to read more of as well as starting some lists based on some book podcasts I listen to, so I've been starting getting some lists together. :) 

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Completed Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson early today.  A book to which I need to return to get the most out of it, especially as I was reading it most evenings on the verge of sleep.  It needs (demands!) more from the reader!

Started Arnold Bennett's The Card.  A much lighter feel to this than my two earlier Bennet reads this year - The Old Wives' Tale and Clayhanger.

 

 

Edited by willoyd

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On 06/12/2017 at 8:38 PM, willoyd said:

Started Arnold Bennett's The Card.  A much lighter feel to this than my two earlier Bennet reads this year - The Old Wives' Tale and Clayhanger.

 

And finished - a quick, easy read.  Moved on to Roger Knight's doorstopper biography of Nelson, The Pursuit of Victory - I promised myself at least one historical biggie this year, and haven't got around to it - running a bit short of time now (it's not as big as John Sugden's two-parter though!)  !  It promises much, but my hardback copy is fairly (!) chunky and untransportable, so have also put Elizabeth Taylor's Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont in my bag to read when travelling round, although, knowing me, I'll need to finish what I've started and will struggle to sustain two books simultaneously.

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I'm halfway through Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. It's not Christmas reading but I'm loving it. 

 

This is is my third Austen (after P and P and Emma) but this - so far - is my favourite. I'm finding it really engaging and can't wait to have a chance to pick it up. Just wish December wasn't so busy and I could devote more time to it! 

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I'm just past the halfway mark with The Man With a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes, and it's REALLY good!  If anyone's looking for a Christmassy, snowy, murder mystery, then this one gets two thumbs up.

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Currently reading Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie.  Sent my daughter to the library for me last week when I was sick and she came back with this (and a few others).  She chose well.

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Round Robin Challenge for 2018

Madeleine and I would like to invite you to join in on a new challenge for 2018 - one designed to help you make at least some inroads into any 'to read' book list/pile/shelf/shelves that you might have.  Please see the post I've put up in the Reading Challenges area - here.  It's a bit wordy, but it's trying to explain reasonably comprehensively how the challenge works.

 

Please feel free to ask any questions on that thread - and to sign up if you'd like to take part!

Edited by willoyd

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I am hoping I can get a good few books read this month, as the past two have been very slow. I have decided to read a couple of Christmassy novels. 

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I just finished the fourth Kim Stone novel by Angela Marsons. Very good. Now reading Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon.

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Finished The Card (Arnold Bennett) in fairly quick time - an easy, rather inconsequential but fun read.  Now seem to have found myself reading three books!  First of all started Roger Knight's chunky biography of Nelson, The Pursuit of Victory.  Well written and very interesting but physically too big to read in bed at night (especially when lights are out and I don't have a Kindle edition!), so started Patrick O'Brian's The Fortunes of War, the next book in the Aubrey-Maturin series that I'm reading (but haven't made much progress on this year).  Then, for some reason, got going on Jim Crace's Harvest, the first book for the newly formed reading group I've started with (am in two now).  All good reads so far, but am not used to juggling this many books!

 

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Despite having planned to not buy any more books until after Christmas, I found a copy of a book on my wishlist in the charity shop yesterday, so came home with a very good condition of Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans. :) 

 

Plus, in rather awesome news, my books are coming out of storage and we're filling the bookshelves in our newly (partially) decorated living room!  I was hoping to be in my Christmas, but the plumber isn't coming to install the new radiator until the New Year, so we've decided to put the books back now and decorate the shelves for Christmas, but just not use the room as a living room yet.  The only problem is we've haven't bought him anywhere near all the boxes of books home yet, and the shelves are nearly full already - how did that happen???  Will need to do a serious cull and get rid of some to the charity shop when we organise them properly.

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I've started The Bear and the Nightingale this morning.  Need to read it for my book group meeting early next month, and it sounds like an interesting read, but thought I'd better read it now before I get distracted by Christmas books! :D

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I finished The Man With a Load of Mischief.  Urrrrgh, I retract my two-thumbs-up.  The reveal/conclusion was botched and unconvincing.  It would have been a 4-star read otherwise.

 

Now on to Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh -- and after that I think I might take a break from murder mysteries for a wee while!  (Unless I get tempted by Poirot again.)

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I've started Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King. I managed to borrow it from the library and I'm enjoying it so far. :)

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Started The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa and loving it so far ...but I know it’s going to get sad 😞 Recently listened to the audiobook of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol ....an absolute must for this time of year. I’ve watched a film adaptation too :D Also recently listened to Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend ... very enjoyable. I’d like to read something wintry but haven’t really got anything that fits the bill. Was going to buy Mr Dickens and his Carol by Samantha Silva yesterday but Waterstones had sold out! :rolleyes: Thwarted! 

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I just finished reading the debut novel by Katherine Arden and heartily recommend it. I am now reading The Girl In The Tower (book2 of the trilogy) and even though I am only 50% complete I give it a 10 rating. Michelle, I think you would really like the books.

 

Praise for The Bear and the Nightingale

“Arden’s debut novel has the cadence of a beautiful fairy tale but is darker and more lyrical.”The Washington Post

“Vasya [is] a clever, stalwart girl determined to forge her own path in a time when women had few choices.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“Stunning . . . will enchant readers from the first page. . . . with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Utterly bewitching . . . a lush narrative . . . an immersive, earthy story of folk magic, faith, and hubris, peopled with vivid, dynamic characters, particularly clever, brave Vasya, who outsmarts men and demons alike to save her family.”Booklist (starred review)

“An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale . . . The Bear and the Nightingale is a wonderfully layered novel of family and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic.”—Robin Hobb

“Haunting and lyrical, The Bear and the Nightingale tugs at the heart and quickens the pulse. I can’t wait for her next book.”—Terry Brooks

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On 10/12/2017 at 1:28 PM, willoyd said:

Round Robin Challenge for 2018

Madeleine and I would like to invite you to join in on a new challenge for 2018 - one designed to help you make at least some inroads into any 'to read' book list/pile/shelf/shelves that you might have.  Please see the post I've put up in the Reading Challenges area - here.  It's a bit wordy, but it's trying to explain reasonably comprehensively how the challenge works.

 

Please feel free to ask any questions on that thread - and to sign up if you'd like to take part!

 

Just a bumping of this invitation.  Six of us have signed up, which makes it viable, but more would be even better!  Anybody else interested in having a go?  See the thread here for more details.

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1 hour ago, chaliepud said:

Hi everyone, I've not been on here much this year, but was just wondering if anyone has started the BCF Book Awards 2017 thread yet? :) 

 

Nope, I don't think anyone's started a thread yet. Feel free to make it if you want to :).

 

Speaking of book activity, I didn't do any reading today (in a book), but I have been offline working on my 2018 upcoming log and statistics sheet :).

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On 14.12.2017 at 3:17 PM, chesilbeach said:

I've started The Bear and the Nightingale this morning.  Need to read it for my book group meeting early next month, and it sounds like an interesting read, but thought I'd better read it now before I get distracted by Christmas books! :D

 

I've ordered this one as a christmas present for myself :D

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Finished A Maigret Christmas last night.  As good as ever, with more tension than usual, so perhaps even better.  Started Georgette Heyer's A Christmas Party.  Got off to a good start - better than I remember previous efforts at reading her detective stories (have always loved the Regency novels).

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On 16/12/2017 at 2:08 PM, muggle not said:

I just finished reading the debut novel by Katherine Arden and heartily recommend it. I am now reading The Girl In The Tower (book2 of the trilogy) and even though I am only 50% complete I give it a 10 rating. Michelle, I think you would really like the books

 

I’m reading this at the moment @muggle not, and finding it a bit of a chore.  I can only read a couple of chapters at most before I have to put it down.  The only reason I’m going to keep going is because I’m reading it for my next book group meeting. I’m just about to start part three, so another 100 pages to go.  

 

I desperately want to finish it soon and concentrate on the other book I’m reading at the moment, The Dark Is Rising which I’m re-reading as part of a Twitter read-a-long that started on Wednesday (Midwinter’s Eve) as that’s the same day the story starts.  It’s a coincidence but both stories are set in winter and have a basis in folklore but for me, TDIR is totally compelling to read and I’m forcing myself to put it down after one or two chapters and savour the reading experience of it! 

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