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Janet's Reading 2012

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Thanks, Paula. :)

 

I acquired four books today - two from the library where my Mum lives which she got out for me - Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill by Dimitri Verhulst (which I read this afternoon!) and Oscar and the Ladies in Pink by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt,

Pied Piper by Neville Shute which I borrowed from my Mum and Boy by Roald Dahl which I found in a charity shop for 50p!

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I would give Mistress Masham’s Repose about 3/5, I think. It wasn’t bad… just not as good as I’d anticipated. There are other books that I would consider children’s classics that I enjoyed much more than this. Things like Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden, Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce (one of my favourites), Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier, Gobbolino the Witch's Cat by Ursula Williams (another favourite!) – and this just didn’t live up to them.

The above quote came from the Reading Circle post about Mistress Masham's Repose. Today I went to the hospital in Bath - they had a book sale in aid of Friends of the RUH and I found Carrie's War for 10p! I gave 20p - would have given more but that was all the change I had in my purse!) - I haven't read this for years!

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I like all the different colours in your posts Janet .. very pretty :smile:

I haven't read Carries War but I saw the drama some years ago and enjoyed it.

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Thank you! :D

 

Initially I was going to colour co-ordinate it so that I set a standard throughout my posts , so for example, this colour for fiction, this colour for non-fiction, this colour for children's/YA books, this colour for plays etc, but it never quite happened and instead each post is different, although usually this colour! :giggle:

 

There was a serial version of Carrie's War on the BBC when I was about 9 or 10, I seem to remember, and I also saw the remake a few years back with Alun Armstrong (I love him as an actor) and Pauline Quirke (I like her too!) which was very good, although it's been so long since I read it that I don't know how accurate it was - so it will be interesting to find out. :)

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I finished book #9* last night - Boy by Roald Dahl. What a cracking book - I really enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

*This means I am now behind with 9 reviews. :( So much for being better organised in 2012

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Initially I was going to colour co-ordinate it so that I set a standard throughout my posts , so for example, this colour for fiction, this colour for non-fiction, this colour for children's/YA books, this colour for plays etc, but it never quite happened and instead each post is different, although usually this colour!

That would've been nice but I like it as it is anyway :smile: I do like this colour best ... though all your other colours are favourites too.

There was a serial version of Carrie's War on the BBC when I was about 9 or 10, I seem to remember, and I also saw the remake a few years back with Alun Armstrong (I love him as an actor) and Pauline Quirke (I like her too!) which was very good, although it's been so long since I read it that I don't know how accurate it was - so it will be interesting to find out.

Yes that's the one I saw and it was very good as I remember .. I sniffled through a lot of it. The little girl playing Carrie was good too .. she used to be in a sitcom .. At Home With the Braithewaites .. don't know if you saw it, it was a while back now with Peter Davidson and Amanda Redman.

I finished book #9* last night - Boy by Roald Dahl. What a cracking book - I really enjoyed it.

Oh hurrah :smile: I'm so pleased .. you'll be wanting to read the sequel too now .. like me :D

 

Don't stress about the reviews :friends0: If you haven't got time to do them just give us a few words ... something like (and you can copy and paste this ;))

 

Janet loves :D .. go beg, borrow or buy

Janet hates :angry: .. avoid like the plague

Janet likes :smile: .. worth a look

Janet is indifferent :unsure: .. please yourself

 

I'm telling you a Janet loves would be all I'd need to start searching the bookshops :smile:

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Yes that's the one I saw and it was very good as I remember .. I sniffled through a lot of it. The little girl playing Carrie was good too .. she used to be in a sitcom .. At Home With the Braithewaites .. don't know if you saw it, it was a while back now with Peter Davidson and Amanda Redman.

 

Oh hurrah I'm so pleased .. you'll be wanting to read the sequel too now .. like me :D

Ah! I did watch At Home with the Braithwaites when it was shown, but I hadn't associated the younger daughter with the girl in Carrie's War. Now you've said, it's blindingly obvious and I wonder how I missed it! :giggle:

 

Yes, I definitely want to read Going Solo now! :D

 

Don't stress about the reviews If you haven't got time to do them just give us a few words ... something like (and you can copy and paste this ;))

 

Janet loves :D .. go beg, borrow or buy

Janet hates :angry: .. avoid like the plague

Janet likes :smile: .. worth a look

Janet is indifferent :unsure: .. please yourself

Hehe - it might come down to your suggestion! I was going to try to do a couple today but I've just been too busy!

 

I'm telling you a Janet loves would be all I'd need to start searching the bookshops

 

Bless you. :friends3::flowers2:

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I read Carrie's War by Nina Bawden in the bath today (two baths in one day - it must be Christmas! :giggle: ) - it was excellent. :) Reading it made me realise just how good the most recent TV adaptation was!

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I finished book #9* last night - Boy by Roald Dahl. What a cracking book - I really enjoyed it.

 

Excellent! :)

 

Yes, I definitely want to read Going Solo now! :D

 

I actually read Going Solo before Boy. I have to say, I enjoyed Going Solo far more. I can't remember much of Boy (except that I enjoyed it too), but I remember bits of Going Solo, which says a lot for what I thought of the book, given my bad memory and the length of time since I read it!

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I actually read Going Solo before Boy. I have to say, I enjoyed Going Solo far more. I can't remember much of Boy (except that I enjoyed it too), but I remember bits of Going Solo, which says a lot for what I thought of the book, given my bad memory and the length of time since I read it!

I'm keeping an eye out for it. I've been pretty lucky with charity shops recently - I have found, over the last three days, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me for 20p and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator and The Fantastic Mr Fox all for 50p each!

 

I also got The BFG and George's Marvellous Medicine for my niece who has also decided to collect them (as I already had those titles) also for 50p each.

 

Gotta love charity shops! :D

 

Since I last posted I have finished Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (loved this!) and Oscar and the Lady in Pink by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt.

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Since I last posted I have finished Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (loved this!)

Ooh that's good to know :smile:

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Does Rivers of London have a really cool maze-type cover? I've seen it around a bit and wondered if it would be as good as its cover. :)

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Does Rivers of London have a really cool maze-type cover? I've seen it around a bit and wondered if it would be as good as its cover. :)

It does! I love the cover - it's so interesting! :D

 

I forgot to say that as well as the Roald Dahl books, I also bought The Merchant of Venice for me - I was a stage hand at a school production of this many moons ago - and (for my Mum) King of the Cloud Forests by Michael Morpurgo.

 

Hubby and I had a day out together yesterday because I had this weekend off work. We went to Malmesbury to visit the abbey - we got there about 11.15am and headed straight for a coffee shop and when we came down it was horrible - chucking it down with rain and really miserable, so we did three charity shops (that were near the coffee shop) and the abbey and that's all we saw of Malmesbury, so we'll have to go back! We then drove to Tetbury to have a look round, but by the time we arrived there it was torrential, so we didn't stop! We briefly stopped at Wooton-Under-Edge to buy some lunch, which we ate in the car park at Chipping Sodbury and then we popped in to see Peter's big brother and our sister-in-law and then came home! :lol:

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Keep up, Frankie.

 

Impossible! I’ve given up.

 

They are. I don’t think it’s catching..! :P

 

…and yet you are sticking out your tongue as you speak!

 

:lol:

 

My daughter does Spanish at school – should get her to read it to me! Oh dear about Mansfield Park – it’s sitting on the shelf in front of me! I might put that one off for a bit longer!

 

I’m sure your daughter would be delighted to come to your bedroom every evening at, say, 9 PM and read the book to you out loud for about an hour, translating the difficult words for you as she goes along :D

 

I shall keep my fingers crossed and hope you like MP :)

 

I’d better make sure it’s not connected to the mains before I start licking it! I hope that I do bond with it – I’m sure Peter will start to notice I’m not using it much and it was so thoughtful of him to buy it for me.

 

I’m sure you’ll be more comfortable with the Kindle with time and will notice all the different ways in which it’s handier than a treebook.

 

Yes, it didn’t take long, did it!

 

I should’ve known and just kept my mouth shut :D

 

Completely coincidentally I found a copy of Boy by Roald Dahl (his autobiography - part 1 of 2 I think) in a charity shop this morning for 50p so I snapped it up!

 

Score! :smile2:

 

Initially I was going to colour co-ordinate it so that I set a standard throughout my posts , so for example, this colour for fiction, this colour for non-fiction, this colour for children's/YA books, this colour for plays etc, but it never quite happened and instead each post is different, although usually this colour!

 

Well that colour is the best, after all!

 

Since I last posted I have finished Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (loved this

 

How did you come to read the book? It’s on my wishlist, willoyd was talking about the series in his reading blog and it seemed like something I might really enjoy.

 

Edit: What's with the silly double-lined multiquoting? :o

Edited by frankie

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…and yet you are sticking out your tongue as you speak!

 

:lol:

Oh my goodness – it is contagious! :o:giggle2:

 

I’m sure your daughter would be delighted to come to your bedroom every evening at, say, 9 PM and read the book to you out loud for about an hour, translating the difficult words for you as she goes along :D

I shall run it by her and let you know what she says! I’m guessing it will be no!

 

I shall keep my fingers crossed and hope you like MP :)

Thanks – I will let you know when I eventually get round to it – but don’t hold your breath! :giggle:

 

How did you come to read the book? It’s on my wishlist, willoyd was talking about the series in his reading blog and it seemed like something I might really enjoy.

 

Edit: What's with the silly double-lined multiquoting? :o

It was my ‘real life’ Book Club’s February choice. I’ve put the sequel on my Kindle so shall read that fairly soon – it was good fun! :)

 

No idea about the quoting – how odd!

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Book #2 of 2012

 

002-2012-Jan-10-HighSpirits-ACollectionofGhostStories.jpg

 

Collection of Ghost Stories by Robertson Davies

 

The ‘blurb’

A ghostly gathering from a master of invention. As Robertson Davies notes in his introduction to this collection of charming stories, we all need ghosts “as a dietary supplement… to stave off that most dreadful of modern ailments, the Rational Rickets.” In one tale, Mr Davies introduces the ghost of Henrik Ibsen; in another, he brings us face to face with a bust of Charles Dickens, whose “scarlet lips… parted in a terrible smile” and whose “beard stirred in a hiccup of repletion.”

 

Sixteen other apparitions manifest themselves, each rendered with Robertson Davies’ special touch – a bit of parody, a touch of true scariness – and all emanating from high spirits.

 

Canadian author, Robertson Davies was the founding Master of Massey College, and this book is made up of short stories which he wrote to be read out at the College’s annual Christmas celebration. The book was chosen as one for my Book Club. Whilst I really didn’t think much of the book, it did actually make for some good discussion over dinner, so that was good! Some of the stories were clever but some where just downright bizarre. I’m sure that if I were present at each dinner I would eagerly look forward to each telling, but as a book I found them rather dull and a bit of a struggle to get through as I didn’t’ feel like picking the book up!

 

A selection of my thoughts in abridged form under the spoiler

 

 

 

REVELATION FROM A SMOKY FIRE

A university professor sticks head up chimney and when comes back down finds man at his desk – he thinks man is ghost – man from future time thinks man with head up chimney ghost – who is right?

 

THE GHOST WHO VANISHED BY DEGREES

 

Ghost of student who had committed suicide after failing PhD comes back and takes multiple examinations to gain multiple PhDs!

 

REFUGE OF INSULTED SAINTS

 

Saints who have had their sainthood ‘cancelled’ seek sanctuary in college walls and cause chaos when there. Master ponders how to remove them.

 

THE KISS OF KRUSHCHEV

 

Russian student in choir (sings very deep bass) doesn’t want to sing Handel’s Messiah due to religious element, so he decides to sing alternative words, but comes in at wrong time. Embarrassed he rushes out and ends up turned into a frog (no idea how or why!). A bass is needed for upcoming concert and frog has to be kissed by conductor – instead ‘pretty girls’ kiss and transform him (although transformation eventually wears off) but he mucks up again and is once more frog. Nobody will kiss him so narrator wraps him in a box and sends him off addressed to Nikita Khrushchev (who I presume was already dead?).

 

THE CAT THAT WENT TO TRINITY

 

Woman named same as character in Frankenstein is new at college. Then suddenly male called Frank, who also is named after character (Frank Einstein – purlease!) arrives and pair fall in love. Narrator bemoaning the fact that the college can’t keep a cat – they all defect to Trinity (Trinity is Christian college, this one ecumenical so Frank and Liz decide to make a cat 12x the size of an ordinary cat out of ‘spare cat parts’. Cat eventually brought to life (speaks too – but the language of a gothic novel) but is jealous of Liz. When realises Frank will choose Liz over him he runs away… to Trinity.

 

THE XEROX IN THE LOST ROOM

 

Master hopes dramatist Ibsen will turn up. At college dance, Master sees a ghost but it’s not Ibsen, it’s the ghost of a poor 18th century man who was taken in by a rich relative but treated like a servant and who was killed. Now the house he haunts in the UK (Glos) has been transferred brick by brick to Canada and set up as a type of museum – he can no longer stand haunting it. Master offers him a job doing photocopying and finds him a room that doesn’t exist! (When college plans drawn up three rooms were there that weren’t actually built). Ghost happy. Ibsen turns up at end – Master asks him to sign his book – Ibsen disdainfully says “not on your Nellie” in Norwegian and buggers off!

 

 

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I read a Mills & Boon - as a challenge on another forum. :giggle2: Oh my, what rubbish.

 

Conversely, I finished Pied Piper this evening. I've wanted to read this for years but not got round to it (it was on my parent's bookcase long before I married and I borrowed that very version from my Mum for this challenge). I don't want to say to much, but what I will say is WOW! :D

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003-2012-Jan-17-GulliversTravels.jpg

 

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

 

The ‘blurb’

Shipwrecked castaway Lemuel Gulliver's encounters with strange creatures in strange lands give him new, bitter insights into human behaviour. Swift's fantastic and subversive book remains supremely relevant in our own age of distortion, hypocrisy, and irony.

 

The story opens with the protagonist detailing his life so far, and then begins to tell of his adventures.

 

Gulliver goes on board a ship to be their surgeon, but he is shipwrecked and finds himself in Lilliput, a land of tiny people. At first they are afraid of him and they tie him down, but gradually he wins them round. They engage him to help fight with their enemies and all is going well, until an event sees him accused of treason! He escapes and returns to England.

 

After a few months he goes travelling again to a land called Brobdingnag where the people are giants compared to him. They are friendly towards him and at first he enjoys himself, but as time goes on he starts to become slightly repulsed by their enormity. Eventually the little house he lives in is grabbed by a bird which drops it into the sea, and thus ends his adventure in Brobdingnag.

 

The third section details travels to several countries – I found this section quite dull and can only remember scant details!

 

The final land is populated by intelligent horses called Houyhnhnms – they are superior to the human-like creatures known as Yahoos and at first they treat Gulliver with contempt, but as he learns their language and communicates with him, but accept him as superior to the Yahoos, but after seeing him naked they realise he’s not so different after all and they ask him to leave.

.

 

 

The book ends with him returning home where he declares the places he has discovered to be England’s colonies and he is left with a feeling of disillusionment for the human race from which he never really recovers.

 

I must admit that this book wasn’t on my ‘radar’ and I don’t suppose I’d have read it if it wasn’t for reading T H White’s Mistress Masham’s Repose, which features the Lilliputians. This book has been popular from the time it was first published. I think that originally it was considered to be a children’s book but like Mistress Masham’s Repose, I can’t see it appealing to huge numbers of today’s children, but of course, I could be wrong.

 

I enjoyed the first two sections but for me the book went downhill after then. I wouldn’t say I hated the last two sections but I was rather glad to get to the end of the book! I was amused that there was quite a lot of ‘toilet humour’ in the book, considering when it was first published. Overall quite an enjoyable read but it didn’t really live up to expectations.

 

3/5

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Recently I've finished Awkward Situations for Men by Danny Wallace, Esio Trot and The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, both by Roald Dahl and The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie.

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I've just finished The War of the Worlds by H G Wells - what a cracking book - and I don't even "do" sci-fi!!

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I'm sure I've got it on the shelves somewhere (I need your filing system Janet :smile:) .. I must dig it out. I was disappointed when reading George Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier to find him being quite dismissive of H.G. Wells' writing .. it spoilt my enjoyment of the book a little .. it seemed unnecessarily ungenerous.

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I've just finished The War of the Worlds by H G Wells - what a cracking book - and I don't even "do" sci-fi!!

Cracking book Janet. If you liked that, try The Time Machine :smile:

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