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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
willoyd

Willoyd's Reading 2019

Recommended Posts

Thread Contents

 

Post number

02.  Book List 2019

03.  Favourite books

04.  Favourite authors

05.  Tour of the United States

06.  Doorstoppers: Fiction and Non-Fiction

07.  Classic fiction:  Dickens, Hardy, Zola

08.  Fiction:  O'Brian, Sansom, Leon, Simenon 

09.  Reading lists:  1000 Books, 1001 Books, 100 Best Novels

10.  Some stats

11.  spare

12.  spare

13.  spare

14.  spare

15.  2018 review, 2019 preview

 

 

Edited by willoyd

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Book List 2019

Previous book lists: 2009, 2010-2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

January

01.  The Wren, A Biography by Stephen Moss ****

 

February

02.  The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope G *****

03.  How To Be Right by James O'Brian ***

04.  The Big Necessity by Rose George ***    

05.  The Widow by Fiona Barton G *

 

March

06.  The Art of Not Falling Apart by Christina Patterson G **

07.  The History of Modern France by Jonathan Fenby ***

08.  Miss Buncle's Book by DE Stevenson *****

09.  Land of Plenty by Charlie Pye-Smith ****

 

April

10.  Signed, Picpus by Georges Simenon ****

11.  Advise and Consent by Allen Drury U *****

12.  Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller ******

13.  At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier G ****

 

May

14.  The Body in the Dales by JR Ellis **

15.  The Butterfly Islands by Patrick Barkham ****

16.  How To Read A Novel by John Sutherland **

17.  The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd U ***

18.  Origins by Lewis Dartnell ****

19.  Maigret Gets Angry by Georges Simenon *****

20.  A Game of Ruff and Honours by Annie Green ***

 

June

21.  Barring Mechanicals by Andy Allsop ****

22.  Daughter of the Desert by Georgina Howell G ******

23.  The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Jeff Volek ****

24.  Beside the Ocean of Time by George Mackay Brown G *****

25.  The Rhine by Ben Coates ****

 

July

26.  Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer ***

27.  The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz ****

28.  The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey ***

29.  I See You by Clare Mackintosh G *

30.  I Claudius by Robert Graves G ****

31.  Six Lives of Fankle the Cat by George Mackay Brown *****

32.  Mrs Moreau's Warbler by Stephen Moss ****

 

August

33.  Stasiland by Anna Funder ****

34.  Dynasty by Tom Holland X **

35.  A Walk Along the Wall by Hunter Davies ****

36.  A Death in the Dales by Frances Brody ***

37.  The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry ***

38.  The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald *****

39.  Felicie by Georges Simenon ****

40.  Pandemic 1918 by Catharine Arnold ***

41.  This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay G ***

42.  Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse GT ***

 

September

43.  The Ionian Mission by Patrick O'Brian ****

44.  Whose Body? by Dorothy L Sayers ****

45.  The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens ***

46.  The Eight Week Blood Sugar Diet by Michael Mosley ***

47.  Inspector Cadaver by Georges Simenon *****

 

October

48.  Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier GMT ******

49.  Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton TU ****

50.  The Making of the British Landscape by Nicholas Crane ***

51.                

              

Ratings
* Ugh: disliked this (probably a lot), likely to be unfinished.
** Disappointing: didn't really engage with this, may be unfinished.
*** OK: solid and enjoyable enough read, but not unputdownable.
**** Good: into the realms of not wanting to put it down.
***** Excellent: outstanding, even if not quite a favourite.
****** A favourite: something makes this special, even if only personal to me.


A=audiobook, G=Reading group read, M=Thousand Books To Read Before You Die (Mustich) R=reread, T=Thousand and One Books To Read Before You Die (Boxall), U=USA States Challenge read,  X=unfinished

Edited by willoyd

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Favourite Books
A record of the 126 books and series to which I've given my top rating.  These aren't necessarily the best literature I've read, but the books that are personal favourites, that, for whatever reason, struck a special chord in my reading. Individual books within a series are likely to have scored less, but the rating is for the series as a whole. The lists are divided into

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Children's Fiction

Fiction (78)
Ackroyd, Peter: Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem
Ackroyd, Peter: Hawksmoor
Atkinson, Kate: Case Histories
Austen, Jane: Sense and Sensibility
Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice
Austen, Jane: Emma
Bronte, Charlotte: Jane Eyre
Buchan, John: John Macnab
Carr JL: A Month in the Country
Carr JL: The Harpole Report
Chaucer, Geoffrey: The Canterbury Tales
Chevalier, Tracey: Falling Angels
Childers, Erskine: The Riddle of the Sands
Collins, Norman: London Belongs To Me
Cooper, Susan: The Dark is Rising
Cunningham, Michael: The Hours
Davies, Martin: The Conjuror's Bird
Dickens, Charles: A Christmas Carol
Dickens, Charles: Bleak House
Dickens, Charles: David Copperfield

du Maurier, Daphne: Rebecca
Dunant, Sarah: In the Company of the Courtesan

Eco, Umberto: The Name of the Rose
Eliot, George: Middlemarch
Elphinstone, Margaret: The Sea Road
Elphinstone, Margaret: Voyageurs
Ewing, Barbara: Rosetta
Fforde, Jasper: The Eyre Affair
Goscinny, Rene: Asterix in Britain
Greig, Andrew: The Return of John Macnab

Guareschi, Giovanni: The Don Camillo series
Haddon, Mark: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Hardy, Thomas: Far From The Madding Crowd
Herbert, Frank: Dune
Heyer, Georgette: The Grand Sophy

Hill, Reginald: On Beulah Height
Holtby, Winifred: South Riding

Horwood, William: Stonor Eagles, The

Horwood, William: Skallagrig
Hulme, Keri: The Bone People

Ivey, Eowyn: To the Bright Edge of the World
Japrisot, Sebastian: A Very Long Engagement

Le Carre, John: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Lee, Harper: To Kill A Mockingbird

Leon, Donna: The Brunetti series

Mantel, Hilary: Wolf Hall
Melville, Herman: Moby Dick
Miller, Andrew: Pure

Miller, Andrew: Now We Shall Be Entirely Free
Mitchell, David: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Monsarrat, Nicholas: The Cruel Sea
Moorcock, Michael: Mother London
O'Brian, Patrick: The Aubrey-Maturin series
Pears, Ian: An Instance of the Fingerpost
Penney, Stef: The Tenderness of Wolves
Perry, Sarah: The Essex Serpent
Proulx, Annie: The Shipping News
Rushdie, Salman: Midnight's Children
Seth, Vikram: A Suitable Boy
Simenon, Georges: The Maigret series
Smiley, Jane: A Thousand Acres
Smith, Dodie: I Capture the Castle
Steinbeck, John: Of Mice and Men
Stephenson, Neal: Cryptonomicon
Stevenson, Robert Louis: Kidnapped
Swift, Graeme: Waterland

Taylor, Elizabeth: A View of the Harbour
Thomas, Dylan: Under Milk Wood
Thompson, Harry: This Thing of Darkness
Tolkien JRR: The Lord of the Rings
Tolstoy, Leo: War and Peace

Waugh, Evelyn: Brideshead Revisited
Willis, Connie: To Say Nothing of the Dog
Woolf, Virginia: Mrs Dalloway
Woolf, Virginia: The Years
Woolf, Virginia: To The Lighthouse
Woolf, Virginia: Between the Acts
Woolfenden, Ben: The Ruins of Time
Zafon, Carlos Ruiz: The Shadow of the Wind

Non-fiction (40)
Blanning, Tim: The Pursuit of Glory
Brown, Hamish: Hamish's Mountain Walk
Clayton, Tim: Waterloo
Cocker, Mark: Crow Country
Dawkins, Richard: The Blind Watchmaker
Fadiman, Anne: Ex Libris
Frater, Alexander: Chasing the Monsoon

Gogarty, Paul: The Water Road
Hanff, Helen: 84 Charing Cross Road
Harding, Thomas: The House By The Lake
Hastings, Max: All Hell Let Loose
Holland, James: Dam Busters
Hoskins, WG: The Making of the English Landscape

Howell, Georgina: Daughter of the Desert
Huntford, Roland: Shackleton
Jamie, Kathleen: Findings
Junger, Sebastian: The Perfect Storm
Lee, Hermione: Virginia Woolf

Lewis-Stempel, John: The Running Hare
Liptrot, Amy: The Outrun
Longford, Elizabeth: Wellington, The Years of the Sword
MacGregor, Neil: Germany, Memories of a Nation
Moore, Richard: In Search of Robert Millar
Nichols, Peter: A Voyage for Madmen

Nicolson, Adam: The Seabird's Cry
Pennac, Daniel: The Rights of the Reader
Pinker, Stephen: The Language Instinct
Rackham, Oliver: The History of the Countryside
de Saint-Exupery, Antoine: Wind, Sand and Stars
Salisbury, Laney and Gay: The Cruellest Miles

Sands, Philippe: East-West Street

Schumacher, EF: Small is Beautiful
Simpson, Joe: Touching the Void
Taylor, Stephen: Storm and Conquest
Tomalin, Claire: Pepys, The Unequalled Self

Tree, Isabella: Wilding
Uglow, Jenny: The Pinecone
Unsworth, Walt: Everest
Weldon, Fay: Letters to Alice on first reading Jane Austen
Wheeler, Sara: Terra Incognita

Children's Fiction (8)
Berna, Paul: Flood Warning

Bond, Michael: The Paddington Bear series
Kipling, Rudyard: Puck of Pook's Hill/Rewards and Fairies
Milne, AA: Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner
Pullman, Philip: Northern Lights
Ransome, Arthur: The Swallows and Amazons series
Sutcliff, Rosemary: The Eagle of the Ninth
White, TH: Mistress Masham's Repose

Edited by willoyd

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Favourite authors
To qualify for this list, I have to have read at least three books by that author (amazing how many where I've just read two, especially non-fiction!), so no one-book wonders (it's the book then, not the author!). None of the books themselves need to have reached a six star rating, but they do need to have been rated consistently highly. Authors may be listed under both fiction and non-fiction.  I've only included authors of adult books - for favourite children's authors, see favourite book list, as the two lists are pretty much the same.

Fiction
Jane Austen
JL Carr

Charles Dickens
Sarah Dunant
Margaret Elphinstone

Thomas Hardy
Donna Leon
Patrick O'Brian
Georges Simenon

Virginia Woolf

 

Non-Fiction
Tim Clayton
Lisa Jardine
Jan Morris
Simon Schama
Claire Tomalin
Jenny Uglow

Edited by willoyd

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A Tour of the States
My experience of American literature being much narrower than I would like, I decided to take a tour of the states in a similar way to our own English Counties challenge: 51 books, one set in each of the American states (including Washington DC).  In fact, the English Counties was modelled on an American States challenge here, but in the spirit of broadening that experience, I have amended it using these rules: a. it must be fiction; b. an author can only appear once; c. nothing before 1900; d. no children's books; e. no rereads. Inevitably some great books and authors will have been left off, but the process itself has already helped identify those holes, and I aim to fill them in as additional reading!  Blue means read, bold blue means read this year.


14/51

The Keepers of the House - Shirley Ann Grau (Alabama) *****
To The Bright Edge of the World - Eowyn Ivey (Alaska) ******
The Bean Trees - Barbara Kingsolver (Arizona) ****
True Grit - Charles Portis (Arkansas) ****
East of Eden - John Steinbeck (California)
Plainsong - Kent Haruf (Colorado)
Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates (Connecticut)
The Saint of Lost Things - Christopher Castellani (Delaware)
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston (Florida)
The Color Purple - Alice Walker (Georgia) T
Hawaii - James Michener (Hawaii)
Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson (Idaho) ****
The Adventures of Augie March - Saul Bellow (Illinois) T
The Stone Diaries - Carol Shields (Indiana) T
The Bridges of Madison County - Robert Waller (Iowa) ****
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote (Kansas) T
Icy Sparks - Gwyn Hyman Rubio (Kentucky)
All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren (Louisiana)
Empire Falls - Richard Russo (Maine)
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant - Anne Tyler (Maryland)
Ethan Frome- Edith Wharton (Massachusetts) T ****
The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides (Michigan) T
Main Street - Sinclair Lewis (Minnesota) T
As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner (Mississippi)
Stoner - John Williams (Missouri)
A River Runs Through It - Norman Maclean (Montana)
My Antonia - Willa Cather (Nebraska) *****
The Ox-Bow Incident - Walter van Tilburg Clark (Nevada)
Peyton Place - Grace Metallious (New Hampshire)
The Sportswriter - Richard Ford (New Jersey) ****
Cities of the Plain - Cormac McCarthy (New Mexico)
Underworld - Don DeLillo (New York) T
Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier (North Carolina) *****
The Round House - Louise Erdrich (North Dakota)
Winesburg, Ohio - Sherwood Anderson (Ohio) ***
Paradise - Toni Morrison (Oklahoma)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey (Oregon) T
The Killer Angels - Michael Shaara (Pennsylvania)
The Witches of Eastwick - John Updike (Rhode Island)
The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd (South Carolina) ***
Welcome to Hard Times - EL Doctorow (South Dakota)
A Death in the Family - James Agee (Tennessee)
Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry (Texas)
Riders of the Purple Sage - Zane Grey (Utah)
The Secret History - Donna Tartt (Vermont) T
The Known World - Edward P Jones (Virginia)
Snow Falling on Cedars- David Guterson (Washington) ***
Advise and Consent - Allen Drury (Washington DC) *****
Storming Heaven - Denise Giardina (West Virginia)
The Art of Fielding - Chad Harbach (Wisconsin) T
The Virginian - Owen Wister (Wyoming)

 

T = on the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die list.

Edited by willoyd

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Doorstoppers

I usually enjoy larger books, but over the past few years I seem to have shied away from them a bit, particularly non-fiction reads, although I've still accumulated the books themselves!  One aim in 2018 was to focus a bit more on these tomes, successfully achieved, but there's still room for improvement, and the backlog has mounted up even further!  I've therefore developed a list of 'doorstoppers' yet to be read on my shelves to see if that can help the focus.  Mostly non-fiction (>500 pages), but some significant fiction and biography (>700 pages), recognising that these last two are usually easier and quicker to read than the rest. Number of reading pages in brackets.

 

Non-Fiction

Dickens - Peter Ackroyd (1083)

London, The Biography - Peter Ackroyd (779)

The Noble Revolt - John Adamson (519)

The Brontes - Juliet Barker (839)

From Dawn to Decadence - Jacques Barzun (771)

The Discoverers - Daniel Boorstin (684)

The Railways - Simon Bradley (551)

The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II - Fernand Braudel (3 vols, 1149)

The Identity of France - Fernand Braudel (2 vols, 1054)

The Pleasures of the Imagination - John Brewer (665)

Margaret Thatcher - John Campbell (2 vols, 1248)

Roy Jenkins - John Campbell (749)

Alexander Hamilton - Ron Chernow (731)

The Worst Journey in the World - Apsley Cherry-Garrard (557)

The Sleepwalkers - Christopher Clark (562)

The Seven Years War - Julian Corbett (640)

Spitalfields - Dan Cruickshank (675)

Vanished Kingdoms - Norman Davies (739)

Into the Silence - Wade Davis (573)

The Pursuit of Power - Richard Evans (716)

The Civil War - Shelby Foote (3 vols)

A World on Fire - Amanda Foreman (816)

Watching the English - Kate Fox (566)

The Classical World - Robin Lane Fox (622)

The Silk Roads - Peter Frankopan (521)

A People's History of Britain - Rebecca Fraser (785)

The Thirties - Juliet Gardiner (763)

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Edward Gibbon (6 vols)

Team of Rivals - Doris Goodwin (754)

Christendom Destroyed - Mark Greengrass (680)

History of Western Science - John Gribbin (668)

Titian - Sheila Hale (736)

Nikolaus Pevsner - Susie Harries (802)

The War of Wars - Robert Harvey (926)

Catastrophe - Max Hastings (563)

Armageddon - Max Hastings (591)

Vietnam - Max Hastings (650)

High Minds - Simon Heffer (817)

The War in the West 1939-1941 - James Holland (594)

Normandy '44 - James Holland (540)

The Birth of the Modern - Paul Johnson (1000)

Hitler - Ian Kershaw (969)

Austerity Britain - David Kynaston (632)

Seven Pillars of Wisdom - TE Lawrence (567)

Edith Wharton - Hermione Lee (756)

The History of England - Thomas Macauley (5 vols)

Reformation - Diarmaid MacCulloch (756)

A History of Christianity - Diarmaid MacCulloch (1016)

A History of the World in 100 Objects - Neil MacGregor (658)

The War That Ended Peace - Margaret Macmillan (608)

In Europe - Geert Mak (829)

Castles of Steel - Robert Massie (788)

The Line Upon A Wind - Neil Mostert (723)

Wellington - Rory Muir (2 vols, 1178)

The Middle Sea - John Julius Norwich (602)

The Sea and Civilization - Lincoln Paine (599)

Global Crisis - Geoffrey Parker (696)

Driving Home - Jonathan Raban (601)

Faust's Metropolis- Alexandra Richie (858)

The Storm of War - Andrew Roberts (608)

Salisbury - Andrew Roberts (852)

Churchill - Andrew Roberts (982)

The Penguin History of the World - JM Roberts (1187)

Twentieth Century - JM Roberts (856)

The Command of the Ocean - NAM Rodger (583)

Never Had It So Good - Dominic Sandbrook (692)

The Culture of the Europeans - Donald Sassoon (1379)

Landscape and Memory - Simon Schama (578)

Citizens - Simon Schama (875)

Elizabeth I - Anne Somerset (703)

The Germans at War - Nicholas Stargardt (570)

1914-1918 - David Stevenson (601)

Nelson - John Sugden (2 vols, 1641)

Trial by Battle - Jonathan Sumption (586)

Britain's War 1937-1941 - Daniel Todman (718)

The English and Their History - Robert Tombs (891)

Hogarth - Jenny Uglow (709)

Ideas - Peter Watson (747)

A Terrible Beauty - Peter Watson (772)

The German Genius - Peter Watson (856)

 

Fiction

The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton (832)

Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes (940)

Underworld - Don DeLillo (827)

Martin Chuzzlewit - Charles Dickens (716)

Dombey and Son - Charles Dickens (926)

Tom Jones - Henry Fielding (875)

Stalingrad - Vasily Grossman (892)

Life and Fate - Vasily Grossman (855)

Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (1432)

A Place of Greater Safety - Hilary Mantel (871)

Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry (843)

Tristram Shandy - Laurence Sterne (720)

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt (771)

The Way We Live Now - Anthony Trollope (844)

 

Edited by willoyd

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Classics fiction

Three authors whose books I want to focus more on:

  • Charles Dickens
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Emile Zola's Rougon-Macquart series

 

Charles Dickens
01. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1837) ****
02. The Adventures of Oliver Twist (1839) *****
03. The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1839) *****

04. The Old Curiosity Shop (1841) ***
05. Barnaby Rudge (1841)
06. The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit (1844)
07. Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son (1848)
08. The Personal History of David Copperfield (1850) ******
09. Bleak House (1853) ******
10. Hard Times (1854)
11. Little Dorrit (1857)
12. A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
13. Great Expectations (1861) ****
14. Our Mutual Friend (1865)
15. The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870)

The Christmas Books
16. A Christmas Carol (1843) ******
17. The Chimes (1844) ***
18. The Cricket on the Hearth (1845)
19. The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain (1846)


 Thomas Hardy
01. Desperate Remedies (1871)
02. Under the Greenwood Tree (1872)
03. A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873)
04. Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) ******
05. The Hand of Ethelberta (1876)
06. The Return of the Native (1878) ****
07. The Trumpet Major (1880)
08. A Laodicean (1881)
09. Two on a Tower (1882)
10. The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886)
11. The Woodlanders (1887)
12. Tess of the D'Urbevilles (1891)
13. Jude the Obscure (1895)
14. The Well-Beloved (1897) ***

Short Stories
15. Wessex Tales (1888)
16. A Group of Noble Dames (1891)
17. Life's Little Ironies (1894)

 
Emile Zola's Rougon-Macquart Series
01. La Fortune des Rougon ****
02. Son Excellence Eugene Rougon
03. La Curee
04. L'Argent
05. Le Reve
06. La Conquete de Plassans
07. Pot-Bouille
08. Au Bonheur des Dames
09. La Faute de L'Abbe Mouret
10. Une Page d'amour
11. Le Ventre de Paris
12. La Joie de vivre
13. L'Assommoir
14. L'Oeuvre
15. La Bete humaine
16. Germinal
17. Nana
18. La Terre
19. La Debacle
20. Le Docteur Pascal

 

Edited by willoyd

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Fiction focus

  • Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series
  • CJ Sansom's Shardlake series
  • Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series
  • Georges Simenon's Maigret books

Books in standard blue are those read in previous years; 2019 books are in bold.

 

Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series
01. Master and Commander
02. Post Captain
03. HMS Surprise
04. The Mauritius Command
05. Desolation Island

06. The Fortune of War
07. The Surgeon's Mate
08. The Ionian Mission
09. Treason's Harbour
10. The Far Side of the World
11. The Reverse of the Medal
12. The Letter of Marque
13. The Thirteen Gun Salute
14. The Nutmeg of Consolation
15. Clarissa Oakes
16. The Wine-Dark Sea
17. The Commodore
18. The Yellow Admiral
19. The Hundred Days
20. Blue at the Mizzen

 

CJ Sansom's Shardlake series

01. Dissolution (2003) ****

02. Dark Fire (2004)

03. Sovereign (2006)

04. Revelation (2008)

05. Heartstone (2010)

06. Lamentation (2014)

07. Tombland (2018)

 

Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series

01. Death at La Fenice (1992) ****

02. Death in a Strange Country (1993) ****

03. The Anonymous Venetian (1994) ****

04. A Venetian Reckoning (1995) ****

05. Acqua Alta (1996) ****

06. The Death of Faith (1997) ****

07. A Noble Radiance (1997) ****

08. Fatal Remedies (1999) *****

09. Friends in High Places (2000) ****

10. A Sea of Troubles (2001)

11. Wilful Behaviour (2002)

12. Uniform Justice (2003)

13. Doctored Evidence (2004)

14. Blood from a Stone (2005)

15. Through a Glass, Darkly (2006)

16. Suffer the Little Children (2007)

17. The Girl of His Dreams (2008)

18. About Face (2009)

19. A Question of Belief (2010)

20. Drawing Conclusions (2011)

21. Beastly Things (2012)

22. The Golden Egg (2013)

23. By Its Cover (2014)

24. Falling in Love (2015)

25. The Waters of Eternal Youth (2016)

26. Earthly Remains (2017)

27. The Temptation of Forgiveness (2018)

28. Unto Us A Son Is Given (2019)

 

Georges Simenon's Maigret novels

01. Pietr the Latvian ***

02. The Late Monsieur Gallet ***

03. The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien ****

04. The Carter of 'La Providence' *****

05. The Yellow Dog ***

06. Night at the Crossroads ****

07. A Crime in Holland ****

08. The Grand Banks Cafe ****

09. A Man's Head ***

10. The Dancer at the Gai-Moulin ****

11. The Two-Penny Bar ****

12. The Shadow Puppet ****

13. The Saint-Fiacre Affair ***

14. The Flemish House *****

15. The Madman of Bergerac ****

16. The Misty Harbour ****

17. Liberty Bar ****

18. Lock No. 1 ****

19. Maigret ****

20. Cecile is Dead ****

21. The Cellars of the Majestic ****

22. The Judge's House ****

23. Signed, Pipcus ****

24. Inspector Cadaver *****

25. Felicie ****

26. Maigret Gets Angry *****

27. Maigret in New York

28. Maigret's Holiday

29. Maigret's Dead Man

30. Maigret's First Case

31. My Friend Maigret

32. Maigret at the Coroner's

33. Maigret and the Old Lady

34. Madame Maigret's Friend

35. Maigret's Memoirs

36. Maigret at Picratt's ****

37. Maigret Takes a Room

38. Maigret and the Tall Woman

39. Maigret, Lognon and the Gangsters

40. Maigret's Revolver

41. Maigret and the Man on the Bench

42. Maigret is Afraid

43. Maigret's Mistake

44. Maigret Goes to School

45. Maigret and the Dead Girl

46. Maigret and the Minister

47. Maigret and the Headless Corpse

48. Maigret Sets a Trap

49. Maigret's Failure

50. Maigret Enjoys Himself

51. Maigret Travels

52. Maigret's Doubts

53. Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses

54. Maigret's Secret

55. Maigret in Court

56. Maigret and the Old People

57. Maigret and the Lazy Burglar

58. Maigret and the Good People of Montparnasse

59. Maigret and the Saturday Caller

60. Maigret and the Tramp

61. Maigret's Anger

62. Maigret and the Ghost

63. Maigret Defends Himself

 

Edited by willoyd

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Reading Lists

Up to 2018 I posted a list of all the books read in various reading lists.  None of these are being treated as a 'challenge', but I have an inveterate fascination with lists!  Unfortunately, the lists were getting to be rather long, so this year, I've abbreviated things a bit.  I've only listed books I've read this year for the Boxall list (really don't like it at all for various reasons), have listed all those books I've read from the Mustich list (far more interesting), and have retained the much shorter McCrum list in full.

 

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

Peter Boxall (ed.)

Supposedly a list of novels, the definition used for the word is, to put it mildly, idiosyncratic, and there's an awful lot that I have no interest in reading.  However, it seems to the de facto standard that people refer to, and there is interest in it, especially earlier.  The list has now been through several editions, and the 1315 figure represents all the books that have appeared. 

 

Read so far: 164 / 1315

Read this year:

Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

 

1000 Books To Read Before You Die

James Mustich

First published in 2018, this is more Anglophone, indeed American, orientated than 1001 Books, but I find the list more interesting, and the book more enjoyable, especially as it embraces non-fiction writing far more enthusiastically and overtly, and aspires more to provide a broad range of reading and appeal to the enthusiast than to set a standard. I still disagree with some of it (eg only 1 Eliot, 1 Hardy, yet it includes Gone Girl!!)

 

Read so far: 149 / 1000

Read this year:

Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier ******

 

The 100 Best Novels in English

Robert McCrum

This is a list that was developed by McCrum in a weekly series in the Observer, and then published as a book by Galileo.  It's definitely an individual's list, and I do think there aren't enough female writers on the list, but it's no less interesting for all that, as an object of (heated!) discussion if nothing else, not least because the author only allowed himself one book per writer (I disagree on his choice for several writers!).  Books read to date are highlighted in blue, this year in bold.

 

Read so far:  33/100

 

In chronological order

01.  The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (1678)

02.  Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defore (1719)

03.  Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726)

04.  Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (1748)

05.  Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (1749)

06.  Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne (1759)

07.  Emma by Jane Austen (1816)

08.  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

09.  Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock (1818)

10.  The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by E A Poe (1838)

11.  Sybil by Benjamin Disrael (1845)

12.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1847)

13.  Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)

14.  Vanity Fair by William Thackeray (1848)

15.  David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850)

16.  The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)

17.  Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851)

18.  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865)

19.  The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868)

20.  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)

21.  Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871)

22.  The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope (1875)

23.  Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884)

24.  Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)

25.  Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome (1889)

26.  The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (1890)

27.  The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1891)

28.  New Grub Street by George Gissing (1891)

29.  Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (1895)

30.  The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (1895)

31.  Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)

32.  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1899)

33.  Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (1900)

34.  Kim by Rudyard Kipling (1901)

35.  The Call of the Wild by Jack London (1903)

36.  The Golden Bowl by Henry James (1904)

37.  Hadrian the Seventh by Frederick Rolfe (1904)

38.  The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (1908)

39.  The History of Mr Polly by HG Wells (1910)

40.  Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm (1911)

41.  The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford (1915)

42.  The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (1915)

43.  The Rainbow by DH Lawrence (1915)

44.  Of Human Bondage by W Somerset Maugham (1915)

45.  The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (1920)

46.  Ulysses by James Joyce (1922)

47.  Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis (1922)

48.  A Passage to India by EM Forster (1924)

49.  Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos (1925)

50.  Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (1925)

51.  The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

52.  Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner (1926)

53.  The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (1926)

54.  The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1929)

55.  As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (1930)

56.  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)

57.  Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (1932)

58.  Nineteen Nineteen by John Dos Passos (1932)

59.  Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (1934)

60.  Scoop by Evelyn Waugh (1938)

61.  Murphy by Samuel Beckett (1938)

62.  The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939)

63.  Party Going by Henry Green (1939)

64.  At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien (1939)

65.  The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)

66.  Joy in the Morning by PG Wodehouse (1946)

67.  All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren (1946)

68.  Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry (1947)

69.  The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen (1948)

70.  Nineteen Eight-Four by George Orwell (1949)

71.  The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (1951)

72.  The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1951)

73.  The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow (1953)

74.  Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)

75.  Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)

76.  On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)

77.  Voss by Patrick White (1957)

78.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

79.  The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (1960)

80.  Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)

81.  The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing (1962)

82.  A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)

83.  A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood (1964)

84.  In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1966)

85.  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1966)

86.  Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth (1969)

87.  Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor (1971)

88.  Rabbit Redux by John Updike (1971)

89.  Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1977)

90.  A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul (1979)

91.  Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (1981)

92.  Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (1981)

93.  Money by Martin Amis (1984)

94.  An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)

95.  The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald (1988)

96.  Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler (1988)

97.  Amongst Women by John McGahern (1990)

98.  Underworld by Don DeLillo (1997)

99.  Disgrace by JM Coetzee (1999)

00.  True Story of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey (2000)

 

Edited by willoyd

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Some Stats

 

The Last 10 Years (to end 2018)

Books read - 640  (358 in the past 5 years)

Most books in a year - 80 (2016)

Fewest books in a year - 50 (2009, 2011)

Most pages in a year - 23626 (2018)

Most books in a month - 19 (Dec 2011)

Highest average month - 13.6 (December)

Lowest average month - 3.2 (September)

% Fiction / Non-Fiction  - 70 / 30

% Male / Female author - 59 / 41

 

Star ratings

1 - 32 (5.0%, 0 rereads)

2 - 56 (8.8%, 0 rereads)

3 - 175 (27.3%, 8 rereads)

4 - 193 (30.2%, 5 rereads)

5 - 124 (19.4%, 13 rereads)

6 - 60 (9.4%, 22 rereads)

 

2018 figures

Books read - 73 (+3 insufficiently completed to count)

Most books in a month - 10 (December)

Fewest books in a month - 2 (September)

Pages in the year - 23626 (323 average per book)

Most pages - 912 (Churchill)

Fewest pages - 111 (The Postman Always Rings Twice)

% Fiction / Non-Fiction  - 58 / 42

% Male / Female author - 62 / 38

% Paper / Electronic - 80 / 20 (No audiobooks this year)

% Owned / Library - 70 / 30

 

Star ratings

1 - 5 (6.6%, 0 rereads)

2 - 7 (9.2%, 0 rereads)

3 - 21 (27.6%, 0 rereads)

4 - 24 (31.6%, 1 reread)

5 - 15 (19.7%, 1 reread)

6 - 4 (5.3%, 1 reread)

 

TBR list

End of...

2017 - 1472

2018 - 1378

Jan - 1381

Feb - 1384

Mar - 1380

Apr - 1368

May - 1345

Jun - 1348

Jul - 1348

Aug -

Sep -

Oct -

Nov -

Dec -

 

 

 

 

Edited by willoyd

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Review of 2018, Preview of 2019

Overall, 2018 has to go down as a 'good' year's reading.  In pure number terms, 73 books represents my second best year to date (2016 with 80 books tops the list), but the best year in page terms (just over 23600), in spite of the fact that in last year's review/preview I had anticipated the number of books going down (it was up one) as I wanted to focus on some of my bigger books .  This wasn't totally achieved - I expected to read more of them - but there were enough to pull the average book length up from the usual just under 300 pages up to 323, and included such tomes as Roy Jenkins's highly readable Churchill (912 pages) and James Macpherson's magnificent Battle Cry of Freedom (862); not so appreciated was Terry Hayes's dire I Am Pilgrim (910).

 

Most marked difference between this year and previous years has been the increase in non-fiction books as a proportion of my reading, up to a high of 42%.  Conversely, or maybe as a result of that, the proportion of female authors read remained below 40% (38%, with female non-fiction authors at just 31%), in marked contrast to the years before 2017.  Another big difference is the amount I'm now using libraries - we live close to the border between Leeds and Bradford, making both services eminently accessible, whilst I also took out an experimental subscription with The Leeds Library, the 250-year old subscription library based in the city centre, which has proved a revelation with stocks of so many books that neither of the public services offer, and whose shelves I love exploring.  About one-third of my reads in 2018 were library books.  In the meantime, my TBR pile has been, and continues to be, whittled away not just through books read, but also through disposal of books which are readily available in the libraries and which I'm otherwise not bothered to retain.  More progress to come!

 

Favourite books this year were roughly equally split between fiction and non-fiction, although the latter just about come out on top in this year's accolades.  At the bottom end, it was pretty much all fiction; most, if not all, of those were book group selections (as in previous years).  I really enjoy the two book groups I belong to, and there were plenty of good, indeed great, reads (both the new 6-star fiction books this year were book group selections), but with the element of personal choice removed, there will inevitably be greater variety in my own ratings! 

 

It's always a particular pleasure discovering a writer that you enjoy, and each year seems to produce at least one.  This year, that was Willa Cather, discovered through my Tour of the USA challenge, for which her My Antonia was the novel set in Nebraska.  O Pioneers if anything proved even better; her work, available in full in Library of America (stocked in the Leeds Library) cries out for further exploration!  Elizabeth Taylor continued to impress (even if Angel wasn't my particular cup of tea), Melissa Harrison looks awfully promising on the basis of one fiction at the end of this year and one short non-fiction last year, whilst Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited was perhaps 2018's biggest surprise - a book group choice of an author who had previously left me distinctly chilly.  Georges Simenon continues to be both a favourite and my most read author as I try and keep vaguely up with Penguin's monthly publishing schedule. 

 

So what about 2019?  I really do want to crack some of the bigger books on my shelves - they're starting to mount up a bit (see the relevant post above) - whilst, aside from Simenon, most of my target authors were left somewhat ignored this year- so more of them.  I've tidied up and slightly streamlined the various lists pages that precede this review, so hopefully, with fewer to focus on more will actually be read.  My USA tour has produced some great reads yet that was only advanced by 2 books last year, so that in particular needs working on.  All this probably means that I'll actually read fewer books - probably a good thing as still find myself chasing numbers occasionally. Far better to focus on enjoying as much reading as I can, and to enjoy the posts of everybody else here.  The midsummer loss of this forum underlined to me how much BCF has helped me with my reading and my enjoyment of reading over the past 10 years or so - its loss created a huge hole; thank goodness Hayley filled it, and I hope it continues to thrive as it appears to be doing at present.

 

Edited by willoyd

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Accolades for 2018

 

Non-Fiction and Overall Book of the Year

East West Street by Philippe Sands

 

Non-Fiction Runner Up (and Overall Third Place)

Wilding by Isabella Tree

 

Non-fiction Shortlist

Battle Cry of Freedom by James Macpherson

Bookworm by Lucy Mangan

The Pursuit of Victory by Roger Knight

 

Fiction Book of the Year (and Overall Runner-Up)

A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor

 

Fiction Runner-Up

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

 

Fiction shortlist

O Pioneers by Willa Cather

At Hawthorn Time by Melissa Harrison

The Surgeon's Mate by Patrick O'Brian

 

Reread of the Year

Coot Club by Arthur Ransome

 

Duffer of the Year

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

 

Duffer Shortlist

Where My Heart Used to Beat by Sebastian Faulks

Pendulum by Adam Hamdy

Darke by Rik Gekoski

The Lighthouse by Alison Moore

 

Most Disappointing

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

 

 

Edited by willoyd

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Welcome to my reading blog for 2019. This thread is now open!

Edited by willoyd

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19 hours ago, willoyd said:

 

Duffer of the Year

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

 

Oh no!! I'm pretty sure I bought that recently - only secondhand though. :lol:

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1 hour ago, ~Andrea~ said:

 

Oh no!! I'm pretty sure I bought that recently - only secondhand though. :lol:

 

My review is here.   There are no signficant spoilers - other than my rudeness about the book!  I read it in January for my book group, and it's been favourite for Duffer of the Year ever since.  Sorry!

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The Wren by Stephen Moss ****

A Christmas present, this is a companion volume to the author's earlier book on the Robin. It's fairly short, just over 180 pages, with chapters based on the months of the year, through which the evolution and life-cycle of the Wren is discussed, along with asides on the bird's place in tradition, literature, on our coinage (uniquely so in in Britain) etc, whilst the whole is extensively illustrated with samples of old prints, drawings and book illustrations, mostly in colour. 

 

It's a cracking little read, bouncing along like the energetic bird it portrays, full of insight and anecdote, with much that was new to me - I didn't know, for instance, that the Wren is the one British (actually it is resident in the whole of Europe and Asia) bird that originally evolved in the Americas, and expanded westwards across the landbridge that is now the Bering Straits, until it reached the Atlantic. It now occupies 97% of all the 10km OS grid squares and is (I did know this) the most populous bird in the British Isles, representing 10% of all birdlife here.  Moss writes with a light but sure touch (I find Simon Barnes rather more heavy handed on this front), with enough (very) gentle humour to keep the reader entertained whilst not over-egging it (Which reminds me.....apparently a clutch of six eggs will weigh almost the same as the female incubating them, that's one-sixth of her bodyweight being laid every morning for almost week!).

 

It's a book I will definitely keep on my shelves to be able to dip back into it - there's too much to absorb in just one reading.  I will also definitely read its companion, and hope that more are in the pipeline - this has the makings of an excellent series.

Edited by willoyd

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Reading update, Jan 14th

 A fairly slow start to the year, not least because I've got my head down in a fairly major birding project, but having started The Cuckoo's Calling and found it wanting - it's perfectly OK but just didn't grab me - I've now started Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now, for the next meeting of my book group.  At the end of the week, I'm just over 100pp in, and it's proving a remarkably smooth read.  At 800pp it probably needs to be!

 

Books acquired since the start of the year:

Asquith by Roy Jenkins (large format paperback, Oxfam)

Aspects of Britlsh Political History 1815-1914 by Stephen Lee (paperback, Oxfam)

The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane (hardback, Oxfam)

Fishing; How the Sea Fed Civilisation by Brian Fagan (hardback, local independent sale)

 

Edited by willoyd

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I'll be really interested to see what you think about Aspects of British Political History and The Old Ways. I read a review about Macfarlane recently that suggested his writing on nature is really beautiful and special. The Way We Live Now is on my 'to-read' list too so I'm glad you're enjoying it!

 

What is your current birding project? I was excited to see a nuthatch in the garden for the last few days. I'm sure you're looking at much rarer birds but I'd never seen one so close before! Someone also told me that there's a barn owl living in the tree opposite my house. I'm not convinced about that though because I'm fairly sure barn owls make quite a spooky noise and the owl noises I hear are more like the stereotypical 'terwit … whoooo.'

 

Anyway, I hope you have a great reading year!

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On 15/01/2019 at 10:46 PM, Hayley said:

What is your current birding project?

I am writing the local area bird report,which essentially involves pulling together all the observations made in the group's area (about 8000 records!) and writing a report on each species, around 150of them.  It's a fairly chunky job, but fascinating.  In between, I've got various surveys to do and a couple of visits to lead.  All much more fun than the teaching I used to do!

 

Quote

I was excited to see a nuthatch in the garden for the last few days. I'm sure you're looking at much rarer birds but I'd never seen one so close before!

Not really.  I spent an hour or so watching birds out the bathroom window (the best viewing spot of the gardens and distant views behind the house) this morning, mostly various tits and finches, and found it fascinating; usually get around 15-20spp. I obviously enjoy seeing something rare (for instance, managed to get to see the first ever local Iberian Chiffchaff last year), I'm not a twitcher, as I don't travel to specifically see a bird - it's what's where I am that I find interesting (the IC was only 5 miles from where I live!)  Nuthatches are georgeous birds, and I never tire of seeing them.  Although the garden list is now up to 42 species, including 5 raptors, it doesn't include Nuthatch, so lucky you!

Quote

Someone also told me that there's a barn owl living in the tree opposite my house. I'm not convinced about that though because I'm fairly sure barn owls make quite a spooky noise and the owl noises I hear are more like the stereotypical 'terwit … whoooo.'

Sounds like they are Tawnies (you're right about the calls) - hope you get a look at them.  I'd be surprised if they were Barn Owls, unless you live out in the country.  BTW, you probably know, but the 'kerwick' is made the female, and the 'hoohoo' by the males.

 

Quote

Anyway, I hope you have a great reading year!

Thank you - same to you!

Edited by willoyd

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On ‎16‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 12:27 AM, willoyd said:

I am writing the local area bird report,which essentially involves pulling together all the observations made in the group's area (about 8000 records!) and writing a report on each species, around 150of them.  It's a fairly chunky job, but fascinating.  In between, I've got various surveys to do and a couple of visits to lead.  All much more fun than the teaching I used to do!

Wow, that is a huge project! I can imagine it is still considerably more relaxing than teaching though, I hope you have fun with it!

 

On ‎16‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 12:27 AM, willoyd said:

Not really.  I spent an hour or so watching birds out the bathroom window (the best viewing spot of the gardens and distant views behind the house) this morning, mostly various tits and finches, and found it fascinating; usually get around 15-20spp. I obviously enjoy seeing something rare (for instance, managed to see only the second ever Yorkshire Iberian Chiffchaff last year), I'm not a twitcher, as I don't travel to specifically see a bird - it's what's where I am that I find interesting (the IC was only 5 miles from where I live!)  Nuthatches are georgeous birds, and I never tire of seeing them.  Although the garden list is now up to 42 species, including 5 raptors, it doesn't include Nuthatch, so lucky you!

 I had to look up the Iberian Chiffchaff but what a pretty little bird! I have seen raptors while on holiday around the UK but never from my garden, I would be very impressed with that one! 

 

On ‎16‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 12:27 AM, willoyd said:

Sounds like they are Tawnies (you're right about the calls) - hope you get a look at them.  I'd be surprised if they were Barn Owls, unless you live out in the country.  BTW, you probably know, but the 'kerwick' is made the female, and the 'hoohoo' by the males.

'Kerwick' is a much better representation of the sound than my attempt. I looked up the Tawny Owl call and that is definitely it,  so thank you! Now I know! I would love to actually see them, I have tried but no luck so far. I don't live in the countryside either, I live in Birmingham, so it would have been very odd if we had Barn Owls.

 

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Congratulations on reading 73 books last year, thus making 2018 the second best year for you so far! :smile2: I hope you have a very satisfactory year of reading in 2019, as well! 

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