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      February Supporter Giveaway   02/07/2019

      February already! And with February comes the next supporter giveaway. This month, with great thanks once again to www.thestorygift.co.uk , we have a brilliantly bookish set of 'storyteller' pencils (featuring famous first lines) and a retro library card notebook!      As always, you'll be automatically entered into the giveaway if you support the forum on patreon, or if your pre-patreon membership is still active. If you want to be involved in the giveaway but don't currently support, you can join the patreon at any point in February here:  www.patreon.com/bookclubforum . 
willoyd

Willoyd's Reading 2019

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On 17/01/2019 at 1:59 PM, Hayley said:

 I have seen raptors while on holiday around the UK but never from my garden, I would be very impressed with that one!

We're lucky in having really good views 5 or 6 miles across the Wharfe valley near Otley so we get to see a fair bit.  Red Kite is ubiquitous round here -we see at least one from the house every 2 or 3 days, quite often more, often drifting directly over the house.  Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel have all flown over or within sight within the past year, whilst neigbours had a pair of Tawnies roosting in a tree in their garden last winter - they've been known to sit on our chimney pot (the owls, not the neighbours)!  We're plum in the middle of residential housing, although fields and moors are nearby.  Really excited to see a pair of Barn Owl in the fields last spring, but sadly they didn't breed successfully.

Edited by willoyd

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It's lovely seeing or hearing owls, we never get them where I am - too built up and not enough trees - but when we were in Cornwall last year we looked out onto a river and then fields and woods, and heard at least one owl pretty much every night, I'm assuming it was a tawny owl as it was the classic "woo woo" call, which you say is the tawny's call in your earlier post.

Edited by Madeleine

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On 18/01/2019 at 10:22 AM, Madeleine said:

I'm assuming it was a tawny owl as it was the classic "woo woo" call, which you say is the tawny's call in your earlier post.

 

Yes - a male.  Woman from the BTO was on Radio 4 Today programme this morning, talking about their Tawny Owl survey.  Trying to better establish how many there are as there is a fear that numbers are falling (as most of bird population in the UK is).

Edited by willoyd

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Thanks, it was lovely to hear, I think there might have been two of them one night.

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January summary

In raw terms, a pretty dire month, with just the one book completed, Stephen Moss's The Wren - my lowest total ever  (for any month!) since I started recording my reading.  I'm also about half way through another, admittedly the chunky The Way We Live Now, some 800+ pages worth, but even allowing for that, it's only just over 600 pages of reading for the month.  Not a lot! In fact, very little. 

 

This is primarily because I've just been too busy doing other things - not least writing this annual bird report.  It's been a far bigger exercise than I anticipated, largely because it's been the first one and I've had to do a lot of sorting out first, and have not had time to get any systems in place to make this work properly - I'm already plotting for next year!  As I said before, fascinating stuff though.

 

I'm not overly bothered by all this, partly because I want to do this project (unlike the rubbish I had to do teaching, when so much was a waste of time), and partly because I said from the word go that this year was about concentrating on fewer, bigger books.  They don't get that much more substantial than a chunky Victorian classic (although LesMis is in a different league!), so that at least has got off to a good start.

 

Book acquisitions have also slowed down this month: with just 7 books added to the library (and more removed from it).  Four have already been listed in an early post, the other three are:

 

The Favourite by Ophelia Field (the book upon which the film was based - great film too!)

In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin (a nice Folio Society edition in a sale)

Along the Divide by Chris Townsend (99p Kindle purchase)

 

All non-fiction. I've virtually given up buying fiction, using the libraries more and more instead, and catching up on my own TBR. 

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How are you finding The Way We Live Now? It's a book that's been on my to-read list for quite a while.

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On 08/02/2019 at 2:10 PM, Hayley said:

How are you finding The Way We Live Now? It's a book that's been on my to-read list for quite a while.

  In short, I'm loving it.  I'm around 650 pages in, with around 200 to go.  It's taken me longer than I expected because I've had a fairly huge project on, and been reading less than I've done for quite a few years. However,I've sent all the paperwork in today, so should be able to get back into it. 

 

It's quite like Dickens, with multifarious subplots, and of course all the Victorian characteristics (and the propensity to write big books!), but in this instance I find his characters more 'real' (Dickens tend to caricatures), especially his women.  Dickens couldn't really write real women, and it's interesting that all those in my reading group - I'm the only man - said that Trollope was one of the few male writers who 'got' the female gender. 

 

The language, whilst still Victorian - which I like - is rather less convoluted.  That''s neither good nor bad, just a characteristic (and I actually like the Victorian tendency to prolix).  It's also a bit more satirical and a bit less worthy.

 

None of which makes him better or worse than Dickens.  Dickens is a long held favourite, Trollope is coming up on the rails.  Whether Trollope matches him, or even gets a nose in front, I don't know, and actually don't really care, but what I'm glad about is that there's an awful lot more of him out there to read!

 

 

Edited by willoyd

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I love Dickens, particularly for his multifarious subplots, so this sounds like just my type of book! Extra satire and more realistic characters can only be a good thing.

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It's taken just over a month, but have at last finished The Way We Live Now.  A great book, a monumental read, even if, perhaps, not quite making it onto the favourites list (so, 5 out of 6 stars).  We had a brilliant discussion at my book group about it - almost two hours back and forwards, especially as so much remains relevant today - the mark of a real classic I suppose.   Have now started something completely different, Jim Flegg's Time to Fly - an introduction to bird migration.

Edited by willoyd

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Was there a particular reason The Way We Live Now didn't make it to the favourites list, or was it just a matter of not quite loving it as much as the others on the list? 

 

I hope you enjoy your new book just as much!

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