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Janet

Janet's Log - Stardate 2018

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Happy Reading in 2018. :)

 

Ooh, I love the Provincial Lady books, and the Rosalind Lehman one. 

 

What a brilliant idea going to all the Waterstones ! I can see that doing well as a memoir. ;)

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10 hours ago, Little Pixie said:

What a brilliant idea going to all the Waterstones ! I can see that doing well as a memoir. ;)

 

I would read that :)!

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20 hours ago, Little Pixie said:

Happy Reading in 2018. :)

 

Ooh, I love the Provincial Lady books, and the Rosalind Lehman one. 

 

What a brilliant idea going to all the Waterstones ! I can see that doing well as a memoir. ;)

 

10 hours ago, Athena said:

 

I would read that :)!

Thanks, both of you.  :)

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The best Waterstone's in Central London is the branch in Gower Street - it's in a lovely Victorian building with turrets etc.  There's also a huge one near Piccadilly Circus but I've never had the time to go down there, probably just as well really!

Edited by Madeleine

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On 1/22/2018 at 4:36 PM, Janet said:

Thanks, Gaia.  :)

 

I went into Bath today to meet @chesilbeach, @poppyshake and Alan for coffee Coffee 2.gif (and cake might have been involved... cake.jpg )

 

We met in Waterstones, so I spent some of my Christmas money on Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (which has just come out in paperback) and Caravel by Stephanie Garber (which is for my book club).  I was going to try to find one with blue coloured page edges (this one has red - apparently yellow is available too) but wanted to get a stamp on my £10 card and couldn't find anything else I fancied.

 

We had a lovely time - I'm looking forward to seeing them next time.   :wub:

 

 

It was so good to see you and Claire, Janet :hug:Happy Reading in 2018! :yahoo:I hope you enjoy both your books. I'm so tempted by Caraval .. might wait though and see what you think of it :D  Fingers crossed that you like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine as much as I did and more than Claire did :lol: 

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7 hours ago, Madeleine said:

The best Waterstone's in Central London is the branch in Gower Street - it's in a lovely Victorian building with turrets etc.  There's also a huge one near Piccadilly Circus but I've never had the time to go down there, probably just as well really!

I have done both of those!  :D    The Gower Street one is gorgeous.  My blog entry is here - I struggled to cut down the photos as I took so many!  The one near Piccadilly Circus is their flagship store - it's great too, as is Hatchards, which is a bit further along Piccadilly from there and is also owned by Waterstones.  :)

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3 hours ago, poppyshake said:

It was so good to see you and Claire, Janet :hug:Happy Reading in 2018! :yahoo:I hope you enjoy both your books. I'm so tempted by Caraval .. might wait though and see what you think of it :D  Fingers crossed that you like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine as much as I did and more than Claire did :lol: 

 

Good to see you both too! :hug:I'm sure you'll enjoy it more than me ... I'm a grumpy gus!  Looking forward to hearing what you think of Caraval too. :) 

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3 hours ago, poppyshake said:

It was so good to see you and Claire, Janet :hug:Happy Reading in 2018! :yahoo:I hope you enjoy both your books. I'm so tempted by Caraval .. might wait though and see what you think of it :D

We're meeting on 28th Feb, so I'll probably start it around 14th. :)

 

3 hours ago, poppyshake said:

Fingers crossed that you like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine as much as I did and more than Claire did :lol: 

Yes, fingers crossed!  :)  Two of my Book Club members loved it, so I'm hopeful.  :)

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1 hour ago, chesilbeach said:

 

Good to see you both too! :hug:I'm sure you'll enjoy it more than me ... I'm a grumpy gus!  Looking forward to hearing what you think of Caraval too. :) 

I'm already looking forward to next time!  I'll let you know about the book.  :)

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5 hours ago, Janet said:

I have done both of those!  :D    The Gower Street one is gorgeous.  My blog entry is here - I struggled to cut down the photos as I took so many!  The one near Piccadilly Circus is their flagship store - it's great too, as is Hatchards, which is a bit further along Piccadilly from there and is also owned by Waterstones.  :)

 

Wow, just beautiful. :D Why don`t Waterstones do interior design as well ?? :)

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What time were you there, I've never seen it so empty!  I think it's linked to the University of London next door as well.

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13 hours ago, Little Pixie said:

 

Wow, just beautiful. :D Why don`t Waterstones do interior design as well ?? :)

It's lovely, isn't it :)

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1 hour ago, Madeleine said:

What time were you there, I've never seen it so empty!  I think it's linked to the University of London next door as well.

About 2.30pm on a Saturday (the August bank holiday weekend). The weather was amazing so maybe everyone was outside enjoying the sun? :)

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I am currently reading Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne. I know this probably sounds really silly, but I am struggling with it, not because of the writing, but because the thought of what they are doing is really freaking me out. :o

 

I really want to finish it, but part of me is thinking I might pick something else up to read alongside it, then I'm worried I won't want to go back to it. :hide:

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2 hours ago, Janet said:

I am currently reading Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne. I know this probably sounds really silly, but I am struggling with it, not because of the writing, but because the thought of what they are doing is really freaking me out. :o

 

It doesn't sound silly to me at all - I find science fiction set in space a struggle, and also can't watch some science programs about space and cosmology, as I just find it so hard to comprehend the enormity of anything not on our own planet :dunno: 

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Thanks, @chesilbeach:) It's the whole being underground thing - the writing is so good that I feel suffocated - I'm scared for the protagonist and the other characters!  :blush:  I don't even like the idea of potholing!  :ph34r:

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Sorry, @chesilbeach - I tried to add to my post to say that I find the whole idea of space humbling and mind-blowing, but my computer is having a funny five minutes five hours and keeps crashing.  Grrrrr!

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I managed six books in January - I'm happy with that.

 

Yesterday I finished Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne.  It was truly awesome - maybe even a 5 out of 5! (I'm trying to eliminate halves if I can).  It was so atmospheric that I felt claustrophobic at one point and reading certain parts actually scared me!  :hide:

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Anything to do with underground and caves gets me claustrophobic too -  I was watching something the other day where they went through some very narrow tunnels to get to a hidden part of Naples, and the presenter was getting nervous as he didn't like it either, and I could really feel it too! 

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19 hours ago, Janet said:

I managed six books in January - I'm happy with that.

 

Yesterday I finished Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne.  It was truly awesome - maybe even a 5 out of 5! (I'm trying to eliminate halves if I can).  It was so atmospheric that I felt claustrophobic at one point and reading certain parts actually scared me!  :hide:

 

I noticed on Goodreads that you were reading this and I'm so glad you enjoyed it as I loved it when I read it a few years ago.

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11 hours ago, Brian. said:

I noticed on Goodreads that you were reading this and I'm so glad you enjoyed it as I loved it when I read it a few years ago.

Yes, it was a real surprise, although I don't know why as I loved Around the World in Eighty Days  :)  I'm definitely going to read more.

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004-2018-Jan-13-A%20Redbird%20Christmas_

 

Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

 

The ‘blurb’

Oswald T. Campbell, aged fifty-two, down-and-out in a Chicago winter, is given only months to live unless he moves South... He finds himself in the small town of Lost River, Alabama, where the residents are friendly if feud-prone and eccentric to a fault. One of them, Roy, keeps a red cardinal, a once wounded bird called Jack. Patsy, a sad, sweet little kid with a crippled leg, from the trailer park up in the woods, takes to dropping by the store - and falls in love with Jack.

 

Oswald T Campbell, is urged to move South by his doctor, who is convinced the patient will not survive another winter if he doesn't relocate to warmer climes. Oswald has no ties in Chicago – he lives in a hostel and his only relative is his ex-wife who is now happily remarried. Due to a series of bizarre circumstances, Oswald ends up in Lost River, Alabama, where he boards with a woman called Betty. He quickly becomes involved in the lives of the other townsfolk, including the shopkeeper Roy - who has a pet Cardinal bird called Jack - sisters Frances and Mildred, and postman Claude. A little girl called Patsy starts visiting from a trailer park and she falls in love with Jack, whom she visits on a daily basis. She soon endears herself to everyone, so when she needs help the townsfolk rally together, but when things start to go wrong she loses hope. What they need is a miracle to put things right…

 

This is a rather schmaltzy tale of a man, a town and a pet Redbird. It was chosen for our Christmas read for my Book Club and was enjoyed by all, even if it's rather predictable and so perfect that it's too good to be true. It's fair to say that this is in no way high literature, but is a lovely, warm Christmas read, so suspend disbelief, sit back and enjoy it!

 

004-2018-Jan-13-Redbird_zps4eqrozsx.jpg

(Photo from Wikipedia, taken by Stephen Wolfe, and used with permission under Creative Commons licence)

 

The paperback edition is 224 pages long and is published by Vintage. It was first published in 2004. The ISBN is 9780099490487.

 

4/5 (I enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 13 January 2018)

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005-2018-Jan-23-England%20England_zpsqnl

 

England, England by Julian Barnes

 

The ‘blurb’

As every schoolboy knows, you can fit the whole of England on the Isle of Wight. Grotesque, visionary tycoon Sir Jack Pitman takes the saying literally and does exactly that. He constructs on the island 'The Project', a vast heritage centre containing everything 'English', from Big Ben to Stonehenge, from Manchester United to the white cliffs of Dover. The project is monstrous, risky, and vastly successful. In fact, it gradually begins to rival 'Old' England and even threatens to supersede it...

 

One of Barnes's finest and funniest novels, England, England calls into question the idea of replicas, truth vs fiction, reality vs art, nationhood, myth-making, and self-exploration.

 

When Martha was a young girl she used to enjoy doing a 'Counties of England' jigsaw (very appropriate for this reading challenge!) with her father… but that was before he left Martha and her mother. When she grows up Martha goes to work for businessman, entrepreneur and megalomaniac Sir Jack Pitman. Sir Jack has a vision – he wants to recreate the UK on the Isle of Wight. Not all of it. Oh no - he doesn't want the 'bad' bits - just the major tourist attractions. That way, he reasons, tourists will have all the attractions in one handy 380 km² package. Sir Jack's planning gathers momentum, and as people are afraid of saying no to him it seems nothing can stop him. But will this vision of Utopia really be a good thing – will it change things for better or for worse…

 

Having already read the County Challenge choice for Isle of Wight (The Day of the Triffids) I decided to read this book instead. It was written in 1998 and is set in an undisclosed time period in the near future. I guess in that respect it's a little like Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four – and reading it post-EU Referendum it sometimes feels that Barnes has predicted Brexit!

 

I don't think I've read anything as satirical as this book before and I found the writing style rather odd to start with and wasn't sure whether I'd be able to get to the end, but once it got going I enjoyed it, despite the fact that none of the characters were really very nice! It's certainly an interesting premise, and I loved the end of the book. Despite the unpleasantness of some of the main characters, and particularly Sir Jack, they were very well written, and very convincing. In terms of the Counties Challenge, this fitted the bill perfectly, as so much of the action took place on the Isle of Wight. I haven't read any books by Julian Barnes before. I'm not sure if this is typical of his style – or if indeed he has a style, but I am curious to try another for comparison.

 

The paperback edition is 272 pages long and is published by Vintage. It was first published in 1998. The ISBN is 9780099526544.

 

3/5 (I enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 23 January 2018)

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