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    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

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  1. Hi BB! I haven't written a review since March so no way I can catch up either Ah well! Nice to see your belated book log and you've been reading an interesting selection. How was Nothing to Envy? I have it on my pile and have no conception at all about how it will go. Ominous that you also (as well as Willoyd) abandoned The Pilgrim - reckon I might leave that one languishing on the shelf a little longer...
  2. I have not been around much recently... but still reading! I'm just cracking open 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. It is one of my Round Robin Challenge books and given I have 12 out of 18 still to go, I better get going
  3. Oh dear! I was planning to read as part of the Round Robin challenge - let’s hope I have better luck with it and your luck turns rapidly!
  4. It sounds really interesting Janet. Like you, I loved Rebecca (definitely on the favourites list!) so will look out for this too.
  5. You’ve had a good month Some very interesting reviews too, and have added both The Shell Seekers and Battle Cry of Freedom to the old wishlist
  6. I’m a third of the way through The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - so close to 400 pages in I owe you (half?) an apology @Madeleine for picking this as your round robin challenge book - it’s over 1000 pages! But if it helps, I’m really enjoying it...
  7. Great reviews Janet - you’ve been powering through them Jane Eyre is on my list this year (Round Robin challenge) so I shall definitely attempt A Wide Sargasso Sea after that following your review.
  8. Hi Willoyd, I find these stats really interesting I too seem to have found myself reading bigger books this year - two 650 pagers done already and three more in the pipeline. Good to see your quality is also high as well as page count! Your focus us on non fiction is also encouraging me to pick up more from my own shelves and all your recently acquired sound intriguing!
  9. I’m halfway through another of my round robin challenge books (fifth to date) - Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and it’s entering unputdownable territory. I was most irate to get to work this morning and have to put it away
  10. Wow Janet, what a terrible time you’ve had Glad to read you are on the mend and hope you are back to something resembling 100% very soon. I rrad Noel Streatfeild’s books as a child and I was only thinking about a possible reread of them last week. The autobiography sounds great - like you I love social history - so I must look out for that one. I am also impatiently waiting for the fourth Strike! The BBC adaptations have not made the wait easier
  11. This is brilliant, and an idea I am definitely stealing when I next go for highlights
  12. Thanks Athena! I find I arrive at work much more relaxed after a period of reading rather than battling idiots on the motorway. Thanks Madeleine! I hope you enjoy them when your TBR allows you to
  13. I read that one for South Korea as well. I can remember absolutely nothing about it at all (!) so I went and had a look. According to my world challenge thread: “a plodder but well written and thought provoking”. Well clearly not that thought provoking given I can remember no thoughts at all! Plodder sounds more like it.
  14. Heresy by S J Parris Synopsis: Giordano Bruno was a monk, poet, scientist, and magician on the run from the Roman Inquisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and that the universe is infinite. This alone could have got him burned at the stake, but he was also a student of occult philosophies and magic. In S.J. Parris's gripping novel, Bruno's pursuit of this rare knowledge brings him to London, where he is unexpectedly recruited by Queen Elizabeth I and is sent undercover to Oxford University on the pretext of a royal visitation. Officially Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe; unofficially, he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen. His mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of grisly murders and a spirited and beautiful young woman. As Bruno begins to discover a pattern in these killings, he realizes that no one at Oxford is who he seems to be. Bruno must attempt to outwit a killer who appears obsessed with the boundary between truth and heresy. (From Goodreads) Thoughts: This was my second book for the Round Robin Challenge and a great pick - this (and the sequel!) has been sat on my bookshelf for years. Our hero, Bruno, actually did exist, and his journey from Italy to Oxford fleeing persecution is one of the more interesting aspects of the story. I don't know a good deal about continental Europe in this period so I can't speak to the accuracy of how Bruno is portrayed, but this historical novel is written in a very modern style and clearly designed to give the gore modern readers have come to expect from these types of novels. However, It is rather slow in places and there is a lot of religion involved (as to be expected, given he is visiting religious college in Oxford). The murders don't start til quite a way in, but I actually found the scene setting one of the more interesting parts of the book. The dinner conversations revealing the thoughts (and ignorance) of the era were very well done. In fact, the murder-solving is the less interesting part for me, with the context and tensions between Catholics and Protestants the really interesting thread. However, solve the mystery Bruno does (of course) and it's a satisfying enough ending. I am intrigued enough to read the second in this series and see how amateur detective Bruno gets on. 3.5/5
  15. Well, my plan to keep this better updated is not going well so far Thank you for all your comments, interesting to read thoughts on Stephen King especially. I came to him via 11.22.63, because I am fascinated by American history and love books on time travel - which is a bit weird because I hate most traditional sci-fi and fantasy novels! I absolutely loved that and as a result tried some of his others, even though like Janet I am not a big fan of horror. I really enjoyed The Shining and Different Seasons is very interesting. It's a collection of four novellas - including Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption and The Body (made into the movie Stand By Me). Only one of those is really crime ridden, although that one is a bit disturbing! I intend to read The Stand at some point... I am six books behind in terms of reviews, although I think only four will actually end up getting full reviews. I think the weekly reading reviews are definitely the way to go! In life related news, I start a new job next week. It's in the city centre, which means I am back on the train rather than driving. I've really missed that 30 minute each way read before work. It's been two and a half years of driving and I am ready to kiss that goodbye. More reading time is always good!
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