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Everything posted by Hayley

  1. Read-a-thons 2022

    Yes! Are you joining in? I’m about to try to finish ‘The Dead’ by James Joyce (from the Penguin short story collection)
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

    Definitely agree, would love to hear your thoughts as you go, it doesn’t matter if we’ve posted on that part already
  3. Had the same thought on
  4. What are you eating just now?

    Was it so he could eat all the milk chocolate ones? I had blancmange yesterday for the first time in years. It was lovely!
  5. Storygraph

    That’s hilarious . I think that’s the only explanation. That or the person who categorised it had a really bad experience with cats
  6. Read-a-thons 2022

    So you basically did the read-a-thon unknowingly! I’m going to be starting today by reading the occasional page of Silence in the Age of Noise between work (since I won’t be finished until 8). I’m quite close to the end of the book, so might finish it over the weekend. I also started reading the next story in my Penguin Book of English Short Stories so I want to finish that too.
  7. It doesn’t sound familiar to me either. Would it have been a children’s book?
  8. Ooooh have you all seen the new teaser video for Amongst our Weapons?? Any predictions? Do you think the mask… https://twitter.com/ben_aaronovitch/status/1492092298557067266?s=21
  9. 100 Books Bucket List

    I was going to post this on my own book log because I got this list as a Christmas present (it's actually a 'scratch off' poster by Gift Republic) but I thought I'd post it here instead, just in case anybody else feels like joining in the challenge! (Sorry that the picture is terrible, it's very springy so I had to weight it down with books so it didn't roll back up) I've actually read about a quarter of the books before but I still haven't decided whether to scratch off the ones I've already read now, or to re-read them before scratching them off. I do think it's cheating a little that they've included entire series/trilogies as one entry! (Listed in the order they appear on the poster, by rows running right to left, although I can't see any actual purpose to the order they're in...) 1. American Gods - Neil Gaiman 2. Lord of the Flies - William Golding 3. Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse 4. Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder 5. A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking 6. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott FItzgerald 7. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee 8. Matilda - Roald Dahl 9. The Complete Art of War - Sun Tzu 10. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick 11. Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela 12. Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie 13. The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat - Oliver Sacks 14. Noughts and Crosses - Malorie Blackman 15. In Cold Blood - Truman Capote 16. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley 17. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carrol 18. The Secret History - Donna Tartt 19. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte 20. Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell 21. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck 22. Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami 23. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest - Ken Kesey 24. The Man in the Iron Mask - Alexandre Dumas 25. The Colour Purple - Alice Walker 26. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson 27. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov 28. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens 29. Harry Potter (series) - J.K. Rowling 30. His Dark Materials (trilogy) - Philip Pullman 31. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway 32. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde 33. The Road - Cormac McCarthy 34. Ulysses - James Joyce 35. Bad Science - Ben Goldacre 36. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith 37. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson 38. Les Misérables - Victor Hugo 39. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger 40. Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame 41. Wild Swans - Jung Chang 42. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 43. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - John Le Carré 44. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky 45. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver 46. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain 47. Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift 48. The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells 49. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy 50. Freakonomics - S. Dubner S. Levitt 51. A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin 52. The Help - Katheryn Stockett 53. Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes 54. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou 55. American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis 56. Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson 57. Macbeth - William Shakespeare 58. The Lord of the Rings (trilogy) - J.R.R Tolkien 59. A History of Venice - John Julius Norwich 60. The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins 61. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood 62. A Wild Sheep Chase - Haruki Murakami 63. Schindler's Ark - Thomas Keneally 64. London Fields - Martin Amis 65. The Hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 66. My Man Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse 67. The English Patient - Michael Ondaatje 68. The Mill on the Floss - George Eliot 69. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas 70. The Commitments - Roddy Doyle 71. Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman - Gladys Aylward 72. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie 73. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy 74. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne 75. Hamlet - William Shakespeare 76. Goodnight Mister Tom - Michelle Magorian 77. Dissolution - C.J. Sansom 78. The Time Machine - H.G. Wells 79. Winnie the Pooh (complete collection) - A.A. Milne 80. Animal Farm - George Orwell 81. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank 82. The Enchanted Wood - Enid Blyton 83. Dracula - Bram Stoker 84. All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque 85. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding 86. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini 87. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen 88. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf 89. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden 90. Misery - Stephen King 91. The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis 92. Watership Down - Richard Adams 93. The Odyssey - Homer 94. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy 95. Bird Song - Sebastian Faulks 96. Tell No One - Harlan Coben 97. Moby Dick - Herman Melville 98. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens 99. Middlemarch - George Eliot 100. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  10. Your Age?

    Wow, what a view! I can see why it’s your favourite!
  11. Read-a-thons 2022

    Realised this afternoon that it should have been the February read-a-thon weekend! I wouldn't have been able to do much reading anyway (ended up working two 12 hour days on Friday and Saturday) and I'm assuming others didn't have a chance to participate either, as there were no posts here, so would everyone be happy to move the read-a-thon to this coming weekend??
  12. On Chesil Beach

    I will keep an eye out for it
  13. On Chesil Beach

    I actually felt the same way, she was very annoying, but I still remember enjoying it overall. I was at least impressed by the ending! On Chesil Beach sounds quite different to what I usually read but so many people have given it brilliant reviews it’s made me want to try it!
  14. Seasonal Poems

    Maybe think of it as an extra early prophecy
  15. Bookish New Year Resolutions

    I'm looking forward to following your progress on that! I don't think I would remember either! I might wait to see which ones you think are the best
  16. A Very Murderous Christmas 3.5/5 - I really liked it This selection of Christmas-themed crime stories really was a mixed bag. It includes a variety of styles (though most could fairly be described as cosy crime) and, to my surprise, even featured a couple of familiar faces (like Sherlock Holmes and Morse!). There is an element of humour in a few and I thought that worked particularly well (like 'Camberwell Crackers', where the suspect is the owner of a Christmas cracker factory). I also really liked 'A Problem in White' by Nicholas Blake, which wasn't quite like anything I've read before. Almost more of a puzzle than a traditional story, the characters are described largely as though they are nameless pieces on a game board. The ending then asks the reader 'whodunnit?' and you can turn to the next page for the solution (I'm sure there's a name for that 'solution on the last page' style but I don't know what it is). Others fell a bit flat for me and were just very unmemorable. But they were a minority. It is definitely an entertaining seasonal read and I'm glad I picked it up. Also glad I managed to finish it (just!) before the end of January!
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

    Oh, I didn't know that! That does make sense now. I thought the point of that might have just been to show us the true forms of the black riders, which can only be seen with the influence of the ring? Although I wasn't sure whether putting the ring on helped them to see Frodo, and that's how they knew who to try to stab. In which case, I guess we could read it as another betrayal by the ring? Good old Strider to the rescue though Agreed, you have to watch it once we're done with the first book Brian! I had a thought after I posted about Tolkien reassuring us about the ponies - he actually always gives animals voices, thoughts and emotions. It starts with the fox who thinks about it being strange to see three hobbits travelling at night. Does anybody else feel like there's a slight fairy-tale feeling to those moments? Also... Fatty Lumpkin is my favourite pony name
  18. Seasonal Poems

    With it being the first of February and having seen loads of snowdrops while walking the puppy this morning, this felt very seasonally appropriate Many, many welcomes, February fair-maid, Ever as of old time, Solitary firstling, Coming in the cold time, Prophet of the gay time, Prophet of the May time, Prophet of the roses, Many, many welcomes, February fair-maid! The Snowdrop - Tennyson
  19. Seasonal Poems

    Has to be one of the greatest lines in poetry I didn't know that!
  20. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

    Bingo!?!? Yes, good call Tolkien Okay! - Fog on the Barrow Downs sort of merges into the Tom Bombadill chapter for me. Everything with that character has a slightly over-the-top, dream-like quality and I think it's easy to forget about the hobbits' brush with barrow-wights later! It almost feels a bit random and perhaps even unimportant compared to other events? Although it may be the first example of Frodo acting in a particularly heroic/ courageous way. - I like all of the parts set in the Prancing Pony and I think it's a clever way of showing us how widespread the evil influence is, how it's seeping in to everyday life and isn't escapable. - The Strider chapter I love. I like the way we're introduced to that character, the gradual change from a mysterious, shadowy figure into trustworthy Aragorn and the poem that goes with him. - The mix up with Butterbur and the letter I think explains the apparent carelessness of Gandalf. He didn't mean for Frodo to stay so long in the Shire, but he unexpectedly has to leave and then (for reasons we aren't meant to know yet) isn't able to return. He does try to cover the eventuality by sending the letter telling Frodo to leave soon, but because Butterbur fails to send it Frodo doesn't know how close the danger is and carries on as normal. - Sounding the horn-call of Buckland is a lovely every-day heroism moment (even if they didn't exactly know what they were doing) - I love the fact that Tolkien reassures us about what happens to the ponies! - Wraiths through the sight of the ring are even freakier.
  21. Seasonal Poems

    Just saw this one on Twitter and had to share
  22. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

    Aww no, that is rubbish! My thoughts (shamelessly copying Raven and Brian): - A Shortcut to Mushrooms is my favourite chapter of all the chapters in the audiobook, and probably still will be. It feels like the real beginning of the adventure and the moment that we can start exploring Middle Earth. Also absolutely love the opening 'He was lying in a bower made by a living tree with branches laced and drooping to the ground; his bed was fern and grass, deep and soft and strangely fragrant'. - I also love the moment that Frodo realises everybody knew far more than he realised, and planned to stick with him regardless. One of the earliest comments, I think, on the power and strength of friendship in the book. - Agree with Brian on the atmosphere of the forest and would add that I think the references to Hobbit folk lore about the forest are a brilliant touch. Without giving spoilers for later, but I think Tolkien was clever to foreshadow later events with the trees of the Old Forest. - The Tom Bombadill chapter is weird. That's the point that I gave up the first time I tried to read it. I was too young to really understand it anyway, but at that point I was so utterly confused I wondered whether Tom Bombadill was meant to be a dream. Agree with Brian again though, I think the point is to show us that there are powers beyond our (or the Hobbits) knowledge. - I find the songs a lot less annoying in the physical book than I do in the audiobook. Wasn't it Gollum's fault? I think I remember Gandalf saying that Gollum went to Mordor because he wanted revenge, and that Bilbo shouldn't have told him his name was Baggins. I think that's why Gandalf tells him the name Baggins isn't safe and he'll have to change it when he travels.
  23. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

    Just before Gandalf puts it into the fire (after they've been talking about the way the ring chose to betray Isildur and Gollum), as Frodo passes it to him 'it felt suddenly heavy, as if either it or Frodo himself was in some way reluctant to give it to Gandalf'. To be honest it could actually be that it's already getting some grip over Frodo, and so Frodo doesn't want to give it away the same way Bilbo didn't, but since we'd just been reading about the way the ring sort of chooses who to go to, that's the way I read it. Yes, that's a good point. Although the ring actually gets it badly wrong in that case doesn't it? Since Gandalf thinks hobbits are actually particularly resistant to the rings power! We could always switch to three when we get to The Two Towers?
  24. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

    Something I’ve been thinking about from the first three chapters: why do you think the ring doesn’t want to go to Gandalf? Gandalf himself obviously thinks he’d be vulnerable to the ring, since he doesn’t want to touch it, and if the ring did go to Gandalf it would have a far more powerful host - so why does it want to stay with Frodo instead?
  25. Seasonal Poems

    The days are short, The sun a spark, Hung thin between The dark and dark. Fat snowy footsteps Track the floor. Milk bottles burst Outside the door. The river is A frozen place Held still beneath The trees of lace. The sky is low. The wind is gray. The radiator Purrs all day. January by John Updike