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Chrissy

Your Book Activity - March 2021

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After finishing a very short book last night I’ve chosen my next proper read, Amistad by David Pesci.

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On 02/03/2021 at 8:29 PM, Hayley said:

I've loved the first two books and can't wait to buy the others. I don't know why but I sort of expected them all to be about the same length, I'm intrigued that the sixth is particularly long!

 

Sorry I missed this.  Yes, this one is about 600 pages long.  It's good and is the usual format of photographs and story.

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Finished Artemis Fowl and Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer. Started this book in October 2020, then didn’t get into it recently, but loved it in the end. 5 out of 5.

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I’ve had a relaxed afternoon so I’ve read about 100 pages of Amistad and so far it’s really good.

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Just completed The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike, the book for Rhode Island in my Tour of the USA.  Easy enough read, distinctive style, but never fully engaged me.  3/6. Still deciding what to move on to.

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On 20/03/2021 at 7:24 AM, willoyd said:

 Still deciding what to move on to.

 

Chose to read a book that's sat a while on my shelves: Touche, by Agnes Poirier, a look at the differences between French and English society and culture from the perspective of a French ex-pat living in London. Disappointing, based on very limited, London 'bourgeois' experience, bathed in stereotyping. Just scraped 2 stars out of 6, as didn't positively dislike it.

 

On to Richard Mabey's biography of Gilbert White.

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Finished What Abigail Did That Summer this evening. Great read, and I'm really glad that Aaronovitch is still producing cracking stories!

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I unexpectedly finished a book this evening...

 

I say unexpectedly because my Kindle told me I still had 19% to read when I started, but it turned out the last 10% or so was acknowledgments and an index.

 

The book in question was Charlie Brooker's I Can Make You Hate, a collection of articles from his Guardian column (and some other bits from Screen Wipe etc) from waaaaaay back in 2012.

 

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Just finished The Bookwoman Of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. Very interesting novel based on the Blue Fugate people of Kentucky, who carried a very rare recessive gene that turned their skin blue and a group of mostly women who trekked over miles of rural areas to deliver reading material to the locals. 

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Recently, I read more google than books... Cant find nothing interesting. I am glad to join you! I see a lot of familiar interesting works in the post. :D

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Two books finished in quick succession (interleaved with one unfinished):

 

First off was Richard Mabey's biography of Gilbert White. Well up to Mabey's high standards, a slim, fascinating book, somewhat of a contrast to the increasing tendency for substantial biographical bricks. Excellent 5/6. 

 

I then started Philippa Gregory's Tidelands, the choice for one of my book groups this month.  I didn't get very far, barely 60-70 pages in. By then I was already thoroughly bored, and could see it heading down a highly predictable path (which, according to reviews, is exactly what it does apparently). Not being in that sort of mood, I decided to cut my losses - I decided I needed to do this more readily nowadays - there are far too many books crying out to be read to spend my time on books I really don't want to read. As I didn't positively dislike it, it gets 2/6 (Disappointing) and, as I hadn't read enough of it, it doesn't count to me totals.

 

Then on to The Stubbon Light of Things by Melissa Harrison, a collection of her monthly Nature Diary for The Times.  I was going to read an entry a day, but simply couldn't put it down and gorged on it instead in 3-4 sittings.  Simple, lucid and wonderfully written - loved every second if it.  That makes it the first 6/6 non-fiction book for almost 2 years (I've read plenty of really good ones, but none that have quite qualified for 'favourite' status).

 

Which takes me to another major personal reading landmark, The Stubborn Light of Things being the 100th book I've read in the past 12 months, the first time, as an adult, that I've ever reached that figure in a year (and the first time I've reached 25000 pages in the same period)!  A small cause for celebration!  Am so pleased to have done so with such a great book.

 

Next book is Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, for another book group. Looks far more promising than the Gregory.

 

Edited by willoyd

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On 3/23/2021 at 8:40 PM, poppy said:

Just finished The Bookwoman Of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. Very interesting novel based on the Blue Fugate people of Kentucky, who carried a very rare recessive gene that turned their skin blue and a group of mostly women who trekked over miles of rural areas to deliver reading material to the locals. 

I finished reading The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek tonight. It sounds like I probably enjoyed the book more so than you as I thought it was very good reading. The book took place in about 1936 in the very mountainous and remote areas of Kentucky. The Book Women rode horses / mules to deliver all types of reading material to the hill people.

 

I am reading some very good books this year. probably about 4 or 5 that I would rate a 5/5. 

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On 3/10/2021 at 7:18 AM, lunababymoonchild said:

The House of the Dead, Dostoevsky

How are you doing with the book. I am struggling a little with The Brothers Karamozov (spelling). :)

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5 minutes ago, muggle not said:

I finished reading The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek tonight. It sounds like I probably enjoyed the book more so than you as I thought it was very good reading. The book took place in about 1936 in the very mountainous and remote areas of Kentucky. The Book Women rode horses / mules to deliver all types of reading material to the hill people.

 

I am reading some very good books this year. probably about 4 or 5 that I would rate a 5/5. 

 

No, I really did enjoy it, Muggle. Thought the Book Women were amazing and very intrepid. Also found the background of the  Blue Fugate people fascinating and very well researched. The odds that a  French immigrant carrying the recessive gene would marry a Kentucky Hill woman carrying the same gene, are very remote, but that's what happened.

The only criticism I have is that I felt Cussy Mary was at times almost too saintly. When you're going very short of food yourself,  I think it would be very rare to give away ALL the food you were given. And some of the characters were a little inconsistent. 

But apart from that a most enjoyable read, and glad you enjoyed it too :)

 

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7 hours ago, muggle not said:

I finished reading The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek tonight. It sounds like I probably enjoyed the book more so than you as I thought it was very good reading. The book took place in about 1936 in the very mountainous and remote areas of Kentucky. The Book Women rode horses / mules to deliver all types of reading material to the hill people.

 

I am reading some very good books this year. probably about 4 or 5 that I would rate a 5/5. 

Funnily enough I finished The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes last night. It's also about the packhorse librarians though from what I've read it's a very different story. It's an excellent  read - when Jojo Moyes is good she's very good, otherwise I find her a bit meh and very saccharine, this one is easily the best since Me Before You.

 

There's been claims that Moyes "plagairised" the story as The Book Woman came out 5 months before hers, was seen and rejected by her American publisher and there are a couple of similar type incidents. Frankly, without knowing too much about it, I'd doubt it very much. Both authors used the same research material - the Smithsoniam Instittute published a paper on the Kentucky bookwomen in 2017 and it wouldn't be the first time that historical novellists have used real life events to create very similar story lines  (if you read CS Forrester, DUdley Pope, Alexander Kent, Patrick O'Brian et all they all include somewhere a small ship taking a much larger one by a trick that was actually performed by The Earl of Cochrane in about 1802 and is written up in every book about about him) and I expect that's how you get a mule knocking over someone threatening to attack a bookwoman in both books etc.

 

Also the plagairism claims ignore how long it takes to write a flipping book and get it out there. Most books are delivered to the publishers a year before they hit the shelves and even a very fast author will take a good 9 months to write a full length novel so the timing doesn't fit either.

 

Whatever, Giver of Stars is well worth reading.

 

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12 hours ago, France said:

Funnily enough I finished The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes last night. It's also about the packhorse librarians though from what I've read it's a very different story. It's an excellent  read - when Jojo Moyes is good she's very good, otherwise I find her a bit meh and very saccharine, this one is easily the best since Me Before You.

 

There's been claims that Moyes "plagairised" the story as The Book Woman came out 5 months before hers, was seen and rejected by her American publisher and there are a couple of similar type incidents. Frankly, without knowing too much about it, I'd doubt it very much. Both authors used the same research material - the Smithsoniam Instittute published a paper on the Kentucky bookwomen in 2017 and it wouldn't be the first time that historical novellists have used real life events to create very similar story lines  (if you read CS Forrester, DUdley Pope, Alexander Kent, Patrick O'Brian et all they all include somewhere a small ship taking a much larger one by a trick that was actually performed by The Earl of Cochrane in about 1802 and is written up in every book about about him) and I expect that's how you get a mule knocking over someone threatening to attack a bookwoman in both books etc.

 

Also the plagairism claims ignore how long it takes to write a flipping book and get it out there. Most books are delivered to the publishers a year before they hit the shelves and even a very fast author will take a good 9 months to write a full length novel so the timing doesn't fit either.

 

Whatever, Giver of Stars is well worth reading.

 

My wife has Giver of Stars on her kindle and she also enjoyed the book. I downloaded the book from her Amazon library to my kindle and have started to read it. I am anxious to compare the book to the Book Woman and see which I prefer. :) I started reading it this evening.

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On 17/03/2021 at 3:48 PM, Marie H said:

Finished Artemis Fowl and Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer. Started this book in October 2020, then didn’t get into it recently, but loved it in the end. 5 out of 5.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it in the end :).

 

I didn't realise it was so long ago that I was on here, oops (though I regularly read bits as guest). I hope you are all doing okay.

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One last book for this month: Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops by Shaun Bythell.  A slim little volume, almos a Christmas stocking filler type. It's a fun look at some stereotypes, and, having worked in a bookshop, I can certainly see whereh he's coming from!  I can't say I was enraptured, but it was a smile-inducing bit of fun.  3/6 stars.

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I've got 3 books on the go at the moment. The one I should finish today is Pep Confidential by Marti Perarnau Grau which is all about Pep Guardiola's first season at Bayern Munich. I'm about 60 pages into Wicked Beyond Belief by Michael Bilton which is about the man hunt for the Yorkshire ripper. This one is going to take a long time to read as it is 800 pages long. Finally, although I haven't actually started it yet is Still Life by Val Mcdermid. This is the latest book in the Karen Pirie series and I've really enjoyed all the earlier books.

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