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Everything posted by Ben

  1. You nearly had it, almost eight months without a post.
  2. Gosh, there might actually be a winner for this some day soon...
  3. I was all for Kylie winning, to be fair.
  4. Cold. Snow, rain, wind.. the usual. Has been like this for weeks. *sigh*
  5. You'll have good fun with Cannery Row too. Aye, well even if Frankie does Birdsong - I'm not sure what she's had recommended already - I'll do Human Traces. I didn't start out with the intention of doing all my suggestions as well, but as there's only a couple I've read, I think I'll do them. Also, I notice people have already read some of their Round Robin challenge books - are we going to post/talk about our reads here? Or are people just intending to use their main reading threads? (I only ask because I haven't bothered to make one this year - at least not yet.)
  6. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Woops, sorry Claire, was clearly still going off your 2017 TBR list. Not to worry, as you can imagine I had more than one choice for most people. So, I'll go with The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Not usually my cup of tea, YA, but the pretty much universal acclaim for this has made me pay attention to it. Hope it's as good as the ratings suggest.
  7. Right, sorry for the delay folks, here are my challenges as follows. Enjoy! @willoyd: I'm going to go for La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. I thought I remembered you saying you enjoyed the His Dark Materials books, so checked your ratings and I see you're a fan of Northern Lights. I thought this was a really enjoyable addition to the series - prequels, 'equals', whatever he wants to call them - and am looking forward to seeing what he has to offer with the rest of The Book of Dust novels. @Madeleine: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Has been on my list for, well, ages, and it seems like one that's easy to bypass when it comes to the old TBR lists. I'm hoping that this may prompt me to get to it as well during 2018. @chesilbeach: Hi Claire, was going for The Essex Serpent until I saw that Alexi had made that terrific choice. I reckon you'll love it. As for my choice, I'll go with Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner simply because I've been meaning to read it to, and this might tempt me into action. @karen.d: I was going to pick Ulysses but I don't think I have it in me. So, I'll go with Bram Stoker's Dracula. Enjoy. (Great list by the way, can't go far wrong with a lot of those choices...) @Alexi: The Beach by Alex Garland. I've heard good things about this and will read myself now I'm making you. @chaliepud: Right you, time to read some Steinbeck. I'm going with East of Eden because it's a masterpiece... but I deliberated for a long time and you have a lot of great books on that TBR of yours, not just by Steinbeck. @Little Pixie: Don't see your list of challenges in the main thread, so I hope nobody has suggested this already... but, The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier. Mainly because Rebecca is an all-time favourite of mine and I still haven't read anything else by her. (Unforgivable!) I will read this as well. If you need a different suggestion, drop me a message. @frankie: I'm going to go with Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong but if it has already been suggested, Human Traces. (I'll read too, in that case.) @More reading time required: So glad Frankie has suggested East of Eden, can't wait to see how you get on. I'll go with Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd and again I'll join you with it. -- If anyone needs different suggestions for any reason, let me know! Happy reading, all.
  8. Thanks, Hayley! Great choice - have heard nothing but great things for this. Oooh, good one, and you're dead right, I've already been passing it over quite a bit since I added it to the list. Fingers crossed it's good for us both. Thanks, Karen. Nice! I've only ever read Wide Sargasso Sea but have been meaning to get to this for a while. Thanks, Claire. Thank you! Hobb has been on my list for years and years and I've just never got around to any of her work. Thanks for making me do so. On another note, I'll get everyone's challenges to them by the end of the week. Sorry for the delay, has been a busy few days.
  9. Benji's Challenge Lists Challenges to me 1. Willoyd: SPQR by Mary Beard 2. Madeleine: Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres 3. Claire: Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys 4. Karen: Watership Down by Richard Adams 5. Alexi: The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig 6. Chaliepud: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah 7: LP: 8. Frankie: 9. MRTR: Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb Challenges from me: 1. Willoyd: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman 2. Madeleine: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel 3. Claire: 4. Karen: Dracula by Bram Stoker 5. Alexi: The Beach by Alex Garland 6. Chaliepud: East of Eden by John Steinbeck 7: LP: The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier 8. Frankie: Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks 9. MRTR: Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  10. That's great. Is my Goodreads 'want to read' list okay? It's not an exact TBR but I own, or am able to get hold of, the vast majority of the list. If that suffices, it can be found here. Very much looking forward to being involved. Shall check out everyone's lists shortly and get my challenges to you all.
  11. Is it too late to join this? Seems like a lovely way of reading something from your TBR that you might not have ordinarily picked out. The year is well under way and I see you already have a healthy number of people partaking, so I'd understand if I'm a bit too late to the party...
  12. Ben

    Free Books

    Hi Brian, noticed that you rated The Rookie highly on Goodreads and I'd be interested in reading it myself - sounds right up my street. I notice your wishlist is empty at the moment, though...
  13. It's not Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown, is it? Remembered a publishing friend on Twitter going on about it upon release. Had a quick look and it sounds similar to what you're after...
  14. So, I don't really know this best place to put this, but I'm probably not going to be around much for the foreseeable. Been hit for six by something I didn't see coming and it's going to take me a long time to recover - if I ever do. I might keep the first bit of the thread updated with books I've read, but I don't know. Just thought I'd mention it.
  15. Hey pontalba, many thanks - and you too! It's been a great start to the year, here's hoping it carries on... Yep, like many others I've made the reading log much more simple this year, and that goes for reviews too! I'd rather just put less pressure on myself and write when I want to write. Reading is first and foremost this year. The rest will come or it won't.
  16. Sounds like a sensible idea to me, Claire! Strange weekend for me so far. Went out for lunch with the girlfriend yesterday as she was going out with some work friends during the evening and I wouldn't be seeing her. It was nice but I've really been suffering this week with some horrible, splitting headaches. They come over me all of a sudden and nothing will help, not even painkillers. Think I might need to book in for the opticians, as something definitely isn't right... Spent Sunday morning with my book and the tennis, and now I'm not sure what to do as my head is leaving me just wanting to sit in a dark room and do nothing. Will probably try flick through a book before the football later, but we'll see.
  17. Ben


    THE GOAT. #18
  18. I definitely think you'd like The Tenant, Claire. There's a lot of humour and a wonderful cast of - not particularly nice! - characters. I'm more interested in getting to Agnes Grey now as well. Oh and I'm sure they'll wait just fine.
  19. I'm all for character development over plot as well. As I Lay Dying very much on the list.
  20. Me too! You don't hear of it half as much as Jane Eyre but I definitely enjoyed it.
  21. Sorry about the lack of updates, folks! In all honesty, I'm only just recovering from the illness I've had lately and although I have still been reading, I haven't been all that enthusiastic about logging in and posting updates. I'm also super behind on reviews - some of them are ear-marked for full-blown reviews, others not so much. *shrugs* So I've finished a couple of books since I last posted: Pet Semetary by Stephen King I really, really enjoyed this. I've always been a bit unsure about Stephen King. I've never been disappointed with anything of his that I've read, but I'm not big on supernatural books in general. Thankfully, with King, his writing - that perfect blend of horror, building creepiness, deft wit and humour - does enough for me to not worry about how far-fetched everything is. Pet Semetary is no different. There's the inevitable supernatural aspects, but there's something real about King's writing that makes you swallow it easier, and indeed look about you now and again in the early hours of the morning when the wind is rattling at the windows and the darkness full. I tend not to get scared with horror fiction, but King is a master of his craft and you can't help but feel unnerved. For me, this was a fabulous exploration of a seemingly perfect life, and what one person will do to keep things just right. Louis Creed - physician father, rational man - may just have to reconsider his whole world to keep his family safe. (Also, anyone who has read this and remembers it well, I need to DISCUSS SOMETHING.) ★★★★☆ The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë So last year me and the OH decided to do the '2016 Classics Challenge', which is basically the idea of reading one classic book every month in an effort to expand your reading and perhaps read some books you might not have done. The girlfriend and I did this successfully throughout 2016, each reading the same book - chosen alternately by both of us. As it went so well, we decided to do it again. (Although Charlie might be struggling to actually do this month's... but that's another story.) I'm woefully ignorant of the Brontë sisters work - which is tragic, considering they lived most of their lives five minutes from where I live. I've read Charlotte's Jane Eye and Emily's Wuthering Heights, but haven't explored any of the lesser known works. After reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, I'm delighted that I partly resolved my ignorance. This is a fantastic book - a 'story within a story' that unravels at just the right pace, with a surprising amount of humour and a narrative that, although slow in places, captures your attention for most of its almost 600 pages. One of the first prominent works of feminist fiction, The Tenant of WIldfell Hall has a fantastic cast of characters - not many of which you would like to bob down to the pub with for a pint, admittedly - but all of which have an individual voice and are well-drawn. I didn't find anyone particularly likeable, but I don't necessarily need that from my fiction: there were some delightful téte-á-téte's throughout the novel, and again I found myself chuckling a surprisingly frequent amount. Once again our decision to do the 'classics challenge' has resulted in another enjoyable book that I may have left festering on my TBR pile. Very chuffed. ★★★★☆
  22. Glad you enjoyed this so much on the re-read, willoyd. Great review. Think I need to get to it again sooner rather than later - like you I loved it.
  23. Looks lovely, peace. So glad the offer was accepted and you can start thinking about plans.
  24. Well okay then. To be fair though, I'm not against those kind of books that are a bit more introspective, character-driven rather than plot-based (in fact some of my favourite books are those creepy, intense atmosphere-building novels that don't concern themselves much with a narrative). Just not this one, apparently. *shrugs* Ah well, plenty more books on the pile.
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