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      Important Announcement!   07/28/2018

      Dear BCF members,   This forum has been running now for many years, and over that time we have seen many changes. Generalised forums are nowhere near as popular as they once were, and they have been very much taken over by blogs, vlogs and social media discussions. Running a forum well takes money, and a lot of care and attention, as there is so much which goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.   With all of this in mind, and after discussion within the current moderator team, the decision has been made to close this forum in its current format. I know that this will disappoint a lot of our long term members, but I want to reassure you that it's not a decision which has been taken lightly.    The remaining moderator team have agreed that we do not want to lose everything which is special about our home, and so we are starting a brand new facebook group, so that people can stay in touch, and discussions can continue. We can use it for free and should be easier for us to run (it won't need to be updated or hosted). We know not everyone has FaceBook, but we hope that those of you who are interested will join the group. We will share the link, and send invites as soon as we are ready to go. Added: We may as well get this going, find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195289821332924/   The forum will close to new registrations, but will remain open for some time, to allow people to collect up any information, reading lists etc they need to, and to ensure they have contact details for those they wish to stay in touch with.    The whole team feel sad to say goodbye, but we also feel that it's perhaps time and that it feels like the right choice. We hope we can stay in touch with all of you through our new FaceBook group.   I personally want to thank everyone who has helped me moderate the forum, both in the past and the present, and I also want to thank every single person who has visited, and shared their love of books.. I'm so proud of everything we've achieved, and the home we built.   Please visit the new section in the Lounge section to discuss this further, ask questions etc.
frankie

Frankie reads 2016

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Hmmm, doesn't sound like Finding Audrey is going to tempt be back to Kinsella then.  I'd forgotten it was a YA book, which doesn't bother me, but I'm going to try and reduce the volume of children's and YA books I read this year, as I had a bit of overkill on them last year, so I'm only going to read the ones I think will be good.  Thanks for reading this one for me, frankie, now I know I probably won't bother! :lol:

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6. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

 

Blurb: "It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of time," Milo remarks as he walks dejectedly home from school. But his glumness soon turns to surprise when he unwraps a mysterious package marked ONE GENUINE TURNPIKE TOLLBOOTH. Once through the Phantom Tollbooth Milo has no more time to be bored for before him lies the strange land of the Kingdom of Wisdom and a series of even stranger adventures when he meets the watchdog Tock who ticks, King Azaz the Unabridged the unhappy ruler of Dictionopolis, Faintly Macabre the not so wicked Which, the Whether Man and the threadbare Excuse among a collection of the most logically illogical characters ever met on this side or that side of reality. 

 

 

Thoughts: Back in 2010, Kylie got me a copy of this at the magical Book Fair in Canberra. She made it sounds like a book I could not pass by, and I do trust her tastes. Thank you for the copy Kylie!  :flowers2:   I know I've given her grief for not having read the book earlier... :blush::giggle: I've promised her many a time that I would soon get to it, but there's always been stress or something. And the two occasions when I did pick the book up, I enjoyed it but then lost my mojo. I'd gotten far enough, though, in the novel to know that I would really like it and so I wanted the timing and my mood to be perfectly right.... 

 

I don't think anything I could say could really do justice to the novel. Unfortunately enough I could sort of relate to Milo's sentiments in the beginning... :blush: Sometimes life can seem a bit dreary and nothing feels much like anything. But then it all took off... 

 

The writing in this novel is just too much!! It was so clever that I would stop mid-sentence, in awe. And time and time again, Juster kept surprising me with how he could continue with the most amazing wordsmithery I've come across with in a novel. I mean, I've not gone through all the books I've ever read in my life, to check, but I wouldn't hesitate to argue that this book is so cleverly written that it's most likely the most clever book, words-wise, I've ever read! 

 

I also liked the storyline, how it started, how it took off, and where it went. One tiny niggle that I have is that as I was so concentrated on spotting all the wittiness of the book, I was on a few occasions lost regarding where the story was going. But that's a teeny tiny niggle!

 

I have so many quotes I want to write down on my notebook... I don't think my wrist could take writing them all down :blush: There's this one particular one I'd like to present to you but I can't find it at the moment... I'm going to Goodreads and see what they have on there and copy+paste a good one! 

 

-

 

“Whether or not you find your own way, you're bound to find some way. If you happen to find my way, please return it, as it was lost years ago. I imagine by now it's quite rusty.” 

 

-

 

“Let me try once more," Milo said in an effort to explain. "In other words--"

"You mean you have other words?" cried the bird happily. "Well, by all means, use them. You're certainly not doing very well with the ones you have now.” 

 

-

 

“But why do only unimportant things?" asked Milo, who suddenly remembered how much time he spent each day doing them.

"Think of all the trouble it saves," the man explained, and his face looked as if he'd be grinning an evil grin--if he could grin at all. "If you only do the easy and useless jobs, you'll never have to worry about the important ones which are so difficult. You just won't have the time. For there's always something to do to keep you from what you really should be doing, and if it weren't for that dreadful magic staff, you'd never know how much time you were wasting.” 

 

(This speaks to me :blush::lol:

 

 

For more, you have to read the book yourself! :smile2: Recommended!! 

 

 

5/5

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Hmmm, doesn't sound like Finding Audrey is going to tempt be back to Kinsella then.  I'd forgotten it was a YA book, which doesn't bother me, but I'm going to try and reduce the volume of children's and YA books I read this year, as I had a bit of overkill on them last year, so I'm only going to read the ones I think will be good.  Thanks for reading this one for me, frankie, now I know I probably won't bother! :lol:

 

I would say this is my second least favorite of Kinsella's books, and I've read quite a few of the standalone ones (as well as the Shopaholic ones). I'm pretty sure you've read more YA than me, so you'd know more about it, but in my opinion there are just so much better YA novels out there! (Well, not that you were looking forward to reading it as a YA novel, as you just said you'd forgotten it was such a novel, but anyways... :lol:

 

You're welcome, I'm happy if I was of any service :D In case you will start doubting your opinion, go and read Athena's review of the novel, she's also read the book and I think she liked it better than I did :) 

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The other niggle is that, as far as I'm aware, the 'it', the 'big thing', 'the catalyst event', that led Audrey to the state she was in was never revealed in full detail!!!! It was the one thing I was most looking forward to in the novel and then there were only hints of what might have happened, and even those were very tiny, tiny hints. I was so p*ssed off when I finished the novel realizing I didn't know what had happened! :thud: (Or did I miss something????? Athena, I know you've read the book. Did I miss something???)

 

I can't quite remember but I don't think it was revealed in detail.

 

I would say this is my second least favorite of Kinsella's books, and I've read quite a few of the standalone ones (as well as the Shopaholic ones). I'm pretty sure you've read more YA than me, so you'd know more about it, but in my opinion there are just so much better YA novels out there! (Well, not that you were looking forward to reading it as a YA novel, as you just said you'd forgotten it was such a novel, but anyways... :lol:

 

You're welcome, I'm happy if I was of any service :D In case you will start doubting your opinion, go and read Athena's review of the novel, she's also read the book and I think she liked it better than I did :)

It's not my favourite by her either. I liked it a lot while I was reading it but after I finished it (and after writing the review), it didn't really stay with me like some of Sophie Kinsella's other books did. I have that sometimes, while I'm reading it a book is nice but once I finish it and move on to other things, some just stay with me more than others (do other people have that too?). But I don't want to go back and re-rate all the books I rated in the past (this year I'm doing no ratings). The book could definitely have been better, but I did enjoy reading it.

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I can't quite remember but I don't think it was revealed in detail.

 

 

Thank goodness, because I'd started to wonder if I'd read through the revelation and didn't remember a single thing about it :lol: 

 

But on the other hand....  :motz:  for not telling the reader what had happened. :rolleyes:  :banghead:

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Thanks Jessi! :smile2:

 

I had to abandon a book last night... Yes, it's happened before, but it's usually not such a sad case. This novel, however, was one that I really wanted to love, and it's about books, too. But after droning on for 70 pages, it been boring and melodramatic, I had to put the book down and decide it was not for me. The book I'm talking about is The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. :( I'm so sad. (I won't say it's just a really, really bad book. If I find others have liked it on here, at least members whose tastes are similar to mine, I'm willing to think that it might have been the English translation that sucked, in my opinion. Who knows, maybe it might sound a lot better in Finnish.)

 

I thought I'd lost my mojo, too, but then I picked up One of Us by Åsne Seierstad and realized that no, it was just TLPB that was getting in the way of getting any enjoyment out of reading. 

Edited by frankie

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Awww, that's not nice :(. It could well have been the translation, sometimes a bad translation can really make a book seem less enjoyable than the original version. I've had that happen before (though I don't remember any specific book titles).

 

I hope you enjoy One of Us :).

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I honestly don't normally mind abandoning books, because I do want to enjoy whatever I'm reading at a time. I probably abandon 50 books per year on average. I abandon books so often that I've even kept count. This year as I'm doing a little experiment with a reading plan, I'm also trying to remember to keep a list of abandoned books, just out of curiosity.

 

I digress... Yes, normally I don't mind abandoning books at all, but this one stung a bit because I had been looking forward to reading the book and I'd expected to love it. :( But I'm now happy I've put it down because I'm reading a far more interesting book at the moment and it's going good :smile2: 

 

Will also soon start reading Just William for the group read... It's been ages since I last read the book and I'm kind of nervous to see how I'll like it this time around! 

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I'm sorry I'm late to the party (I have *so* many blogs to catch up with  :blush:  ) but I just wanted to wish you a happy reading in 2016 year.  :D

 

I love the idea of visiting all those libraries.  Which libraries are they?  I.e. do you have counties in Finland and they're in your county?  :)  Please, forgive my ignorance.  :)

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I honestly don't normally mind abandoning books, because I do want to enjoy whatever I'm reading at a time. I probably abandon 50 books per year on average. I abandon books so often that I've even kept count. This year as I'm doing a little experiment with a reading plan, I'm also trying to remember to keep a list of abandoned books, just out of curiosity.

I do this too- life is too short and there are too many books to read a drag of a book!  I tried doing an abandon count last year, but I abandoned it :P

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I'm sorry I'm late to the party (I have *so* many blogs to catch up with  :blush:  ) but I just wanted to wish you a happy reading in 2016 year.  :D

 

I love the idea of visiting all those libraries.  Which libraries are they?  I.e. do you have counties in Finland and they're in your county?  :)  Please, forgive my ignorance.  :)

 

I hope you have a lovely reading year, too, Janet! :) 

 

The libraries listed are all Helsinki city libraries. Nothing to do with counties :)  Helsinki being quite small square-foot-wise, I think all the libraries are within 15-20 kilometers from my home. 

 

I do this too- life is too short and there are too many books to read a drag of a book!  I tried doing an abandon count last year, but I abandoned it :P

 

Hahahah :lol: Touche! :lol: 

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So sorry I am so late Frankie, but I just wanted to wish you a massive congratulations on the new job :) It sounds fantastic!

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Thanks Alexi! :smile2: Three days before it starts  :hide:   Time has just flown by. 

 

I have a few books waiting for me at the library, if I could just stop lazying about the apartment I could go and pick them up and maybe visit another new-to-me library today... 

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8. One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Åsne Seierstad

 

From Amazon: On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb outside the Norwegian prime minister's office in central Oslo, killing eight people. He then proceeded to a youth camp on the wooded island of Utøya, where he killed sixty-nine more, most of them teenage members of the country's governing Labour Party. In One of Us, the journalist Åsne Seierstad tells the story of this terrible day and its reverberations. How did Breivik, a gifted child from an affluent neighborhood in Oslo, become Europe's most reviled terrorist? How did he accomplish an astonishing one-man murder spree? And how did a famously peaceful and prosperous country cope with the slaughter of so many of its young?

 

As in her international bestseller The Bookseller of Kabul, Seierstad excels at the vivid portraiture of lives under stress. She delves deep into Breivik's childhood, showing how a hip-hop and graffiti aficionado became a right-wing activist, a successful entrepreneur, and then an Internet game addict and self-styled master warrior who believed he could save Europe from the threat of Islam and multiculturalism. She writes with equal intimacy about Breivik's victims, tracing their political awakenings, teenage flirtations and hopes, and ill-fated journeys to the island. By the time Seierstad reaches Utøya and relates what happened there, we know both the killer and those he will kill. In the book's final act, Seierstad describes Breivik's tumultuous public trial. As Breivik took the stand and articulated his ideas, an entire country debated whether he should be deemed insane, and asked why a devastating sequence of police errors allowed one man to do so much harm.


 


Thoughts: I think I found about this book when I was going through the 2015 list of the books read on the First Tuesday Book Club show. I'd never been keen on reading it, but when I saw a copy of it at the library, I borrowed it anyway. 


 


I've read my fair share of true crime books, but this one was different for me. The serial killers I've read about have all been Americans (as far as I can remember), and their crimes took place either before I was even born, or at least well before I even became knowledgeable of the fact that such things as serial killers existed. It's felt very 'safe' to read about people and events that took place in far away continents and way before my time. But with Breivik, all that changed. 


 


This man is from Norway. He's a fellow Nordic. He killed all those people only 5 years ago, and he's only two years my senior. I remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard of the attacks. It was a beautiful summer's day and it felt really unreal! And most of his victims were young kids... Who had nowhere to escape. 


 


This was a really harrowing read. I never should have read it late at night in bed, I should've had another book on the side for that. One of the things that makes the story all the more unique is that Breivik didn't commit suicide at the end, but surrendered. He wanted to live to tell his tale and get his spot in the lime light. 


 


And would you believe it, he's now actually studying at the Oslo university. Yes, he got accepted. No, he doesn't attend the classes, he does everything online in the prison. 


 


In the last part of the book the author told us what hardships Breivik comes by in the prison. He doesn't like it that he doesn't have his wardrobe and all his clothes with him. He has to ask the guards for an extra shirt if he's cold. And they will bring him just a random shirt, which is most likely one of his Lacoste shirts which are expensive and very good shirts and he doesn't like to wear them out. He also doesn't like how his food plates and cutlery are collected so soon, feeling he needs to rush his meals. He doesn't like how the doors are slammed and he feels like the other inmates listen to music too loudly, in order to anger him. 


 


Yes, the real struggles of life... His victims will never be able to listen to music or eat a meal or go to uni or anything. But that probably doesn't cross his mind... 


 

4/5

Edited by frankie

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The last day of January! 

 

I've had a pretty good reading month :smile2: I've read 3 books off the TBR pile and not acquired any books! :smile2:

 

I've also read two books off the First Tuesday Book Club reading challenge (Summer House with Swimming Pool and One of Us).

 

Ratings-wise it's also been a very good month: 


1/5: - 
2/5: -
3/5: 5
4/5: 2
5/5: 1

 

 

And a look at the actual books: 

(I've become curious about the number of books I abandon per year and this year I thought I'd write them down, too, whenever I remember)

 

read books

 

 

January

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig - gift and topical/seasonal + TBR

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch -  library loan

Bream Gives Me Hiccups & Other Stories by Jesse Eisenberg - library loan - didn't have the time

Mykkä tyttö by Michael Hjorth & Hans Rosenfeldt

- The Square by Rosie Millard - library loan

- Tyttö vailla nimeä by Gunnel Beckman - TBR 

- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster  - TBR 

- Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella  - library loan

- Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight - library loan - abandoned

A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan - library loan - abandoned

Secrets by Jacqueline Wilson - library loan - abandoned

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani - library loan - abandoned

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George - library loan. Totally abandoned it, what a melodramatic and boring piece! 

One of Us by Åsne Seierstad  - library loan 

Just William by Richmal Crompton - group read - currently reading

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Of those books that you abandoned, are there are any that you might want to revisit. Like, with the library loans, did you abandon them because they had to go back to the library, or perhaps because you weren't really in the mood, but you know you might be at another time?

 

I love your challenge to visit all of your local libraries. I can't believe Finland has so many libraries! They must be well patronised and valued by their customers. :) I look forward to hearing your reports about them. Do you have a favourite one of those you've been to? 

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Anything with 'Paris' and 'Bookshop' in the title ought to be brilliant .. there should be responsibility and commitment to that title because it promises much. I'm very annoyed with it for not living up to that promise but also glad that you've told me as I've been looking longingly at it :D Great cover and great title!! But bad insides .. oh brother!! :banghead:  :banghead:  :banghead: 

 

You are abandonment Queen :lol: I need to take a leaf out of your book (  :giggle: ) because I have yet to abandon anything even when it's plodding and I'm losing the will. It's like stepping on cracks .. it's psychological and I need to break its hold on me. I'm all for giving things a fair go but reading should always be enjoyable. If not .. move on! I will try to call for help next time I'm struggling and you can give me the great big shove I need! 

I suppose those books I've put to one side is abandonment of sorts .. even though I haven't read a page of them. I intend to read a few pages and then give them up if they don't hold my interest. None of this has happened in theory though so I can't claim it as a victory yet  :blush2: 

 

I don't know how you got through One of Us .. so harrowing and made ten times worse by hearing about all his petty complaints  :censored:  :censored:  :censored:  I couldn't read about such a monster but then I'm a wimp when it comes to true crime and can only take fictional crime if it's the sort that involves fruit cake and Grandfather clocks  :blush2: 

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Of those books that you abandoned, are there are any that you might want to revisit. Like, with the library loans, did you abandon them because they had to go back to the library, or perhaps because you weren't really in the mood, but you know you might be at another time?

 

There are definitely some abandoned books that I want to give another go later on. Some were books I couldn't get into because I wasn't in the right mood. But rather than holding onto them after putting them down, I thought I'd take them straight to the library because there are just too many books to choose from anyways!

 

Some books I had to abandon also because of the due date ... This was the case with the Jesse Eisenberg book and Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight. The Jacqueline Wilson book I might read later on, as well. 

 

I love your challenge to visit all of your local libraries. I can't believe Finland has so many libraries! They must be well patronised and valued by their customers. :) I look forward to hearing your reports about them. Do you have a favourite one of those you've been to?

 

We do love our libraries :yes: A favorite one? Hmm.... I really liked the one in Laajalahti because it seemed to be all about the books. It was small and quaint :smile2: It felt like just the sort of library I'd like to work in. I also really like the Pasila one, as it is bigger but still very much about the books. I can't wait to go there again and go through the English titles section! That's my favorite part: you never know which books they have in different libraries. When I was living in Espoo, I got used to the English section there and so it felt like there wasn't much of a chance of finding something new and interesting there. Because I was there all the time and knew the section! But with all these libraries in Helsinki... I don't know any of them by heart, yet! 

 

There's one library that I like the least, though, which is kind of surprising. It's a small one near the railway station. The reason I don't much like it is that half of it is dedicated to music: CDs, vinyls, cassettes, sheet music, books on music... I love music but I listen to it on Spotify so... :shrug: There aren't that many books there, either! And they have three book stands of pocket books, and I like the variety in those, and one can find some great stuff in there, but the books can be borrowed for only 2 weeks and one cannot renew the loans. Sigh :lol:

 

It's also very techy, and seems like a place for hipsters and busy people... Not my scene. :)

Edited by frankie

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Good review of the Breivik book, I was keen to see what you thought of it when I saw you had started to read it. I might have to see if my library has a copy of it as I do like a bit of true crime.

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You had a pretty good reading month :smile2:. And while it might be a shame to abandon books, I think it is good you are focusing on what you feel like reading, and abandoning a book when you are not in the mood to read it, makes for a happier reader in my opinion :smile2:.

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Oh dear, I didn't realize I'd left a few posts 'unresponded'! :blush:
 
 

Anything with 'Paris' and 'Bookshop' in the title ought to be brilliant .. there should be responsibility and commitment to that title because it promises much. I'm very annoyed with it for not living up to that promise but also glad that you've told me as I've been looking longingly at it Great cover and great title!! But bad insides .. oh brother!! 

 

Yes, there are great expectations when it comes to books with that sort of titles. :( I'm a bit worried, though, that maybe it might prove to be a favorite among other people and it's just me who doesn't like it. I'm tempted to go and read reviews of the novel. Don't take my word for it! 

 

And what's more, I absolutely adored the cover, too. Not just the title and the blurb. :( RIP. 

 

 

You are abandonment Queen I need to take a leaf out of your book (  :giggle: ) because I have yet to abandon anything even when it's plodding and I'm losing the will. It's like stepping on cracks .. it's psychological and I need to break its hold on me. I'm all for giving things a fair go but reading should always be enjoyable. If not .. move on! I will try to call for help next time I'm struggling and you can give me the great big shove I need! 

 

:lol: I have no abandonment issues :lol: I say abandon to your heart's content!! Like you said, reading should be enjoyable and it's no use plowing through a book you're not enjoying. 

 

Mind you, there were a few other books I abandoned, than just the titles I listed, but I'd forgotten what they were :giggle: I didn't think of including a list of abandoned titles till half way through the month :giggle2: 


I suppose those books I've put to one side is abandonment of sorts .. even though I haven't read a page of them. I intend to read a few pages and then give them up if they don't hold my interest. None of this has happened in theory though so I can't claim it as a victory yet  


 May this year be victorious for you in this respect! Oh and others, too :lol:

 

I don't know how you got through One of Us .. so harrowing and made ten times worse by hearing about all his petty complaints    I couldn't read about such a monster but then I'm a wimp when it comes to true crime and can only take fictional crime if it's the sort that involves fruit cake and Grandfather clocks   

 

Fruit cake and Grandfather clocks :lol: We each like different things, and not all of us like the more detailed and more gory stuff. :shrug: But I should warn you that you will never finish the frankie 1001 Books challenge because there are some mighty disturbing books there on the list :blush: 
 

Good review of the Breivik book, I was keen to see what you thought of it when I saw you had started to read it. I might have to see if my library has a copy of it as I do like a bit of true crime.

 

Thanks! I would definitely recommend it. It was well written. 
 

You had a pretty good reading month :smile2:. And while it might be a shame to abandon books, I think it is good you are focusing on what you feel like reading, and abandoning a book when you are not in the mood to read it, makes for a happier reader in my opinion :smile2:.

 

You are 100% right! Happy readers are the best readers :lol:

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I can't believe it's Thursday already. It's my first week at my new job and I've been enjoying it. My employer is really nice and she's got a great sense of humor :smile2: I've been doing a lot of different things, like chores, and I won't go into them in detail, but I wanted to share that I've also been doing a bookcase clearance with her! :smile2: We've been going through her bookcase and the books, to see which books she wants to part with. We've been doing it every day for a while, shelf by shelf. We were finished with it yesterday, but as she wants to possibly sell some of the books to a secondhand bookshop, I 'had to' write all the titles down on a Word document. All in all, she's giving away about 150 books and so I wrote them all down today. It was fun, as I love typing things down :D She has some great books in her bookcase! There are books I've read myself, and books I'd like to read in the future. We've talked a lot about different books and what we like and don't like :)

 

She told me on Monday that if I saw any books I liked in the piles she's giving away, I could have them. I've seen maybe 5 books I've been keen on, but I don't want to be greedy :blush: Also, I vowed that I would read more books off the TBR than acquire... And so I've resisted! But today I did ask her about the Papillon book I've been eyeing (by Henri Carriére), and she said the book was good, and better than the movie, and I said it's been on my wishlist for a while and I might read the book some day, and then she said I should take the book if I'm interested. How nice and generous is that! :smile2:

 

Oh and she's been to a writing school! :o Wow!! She writes poetry. She's self-published a collection. I'm definitely going to ask her more about the writing school and what else she's been up to, when I've settled into a more of a routine and can talk and listen while working :smile2:

Edited by frankie

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What an awesome job! You seem to keep working for people who love reading, which is awesome. :) It was lovely of her to let you take any books you wanted. :) How tempting it must be! I have Papillon on my TBR pile.

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