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What are you reading now?

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default What are you reading now?

Post by MrsNesbitt on 16th November 2009, 8:42 am

"The Little Stranger" by Sarah Waters.

Review
'Sarah Waters's masterly novel is a perverse hymn to decay, to the corrosive power of class resentment as well as the damage wrought by war . . . (Waters has) a perfect understanding of her period . . . She deploys the vigour and cunning one finds in Margaret Atwood's fiction, the same narrative ease and expansiveness, and the same knack of twisting the tension tighter and tighter within an individual scene . . . THE LITTLE STRANGER operates in the queasy borderlands between the supernatural and the psychopathological, and it is territory in which Waters moves with an air of supreme ease . . . It is gripping, confident, unnerving and supremely entertaining . . . Its allusions, its implications softly gather and fold themselves into the spce in the mind that the book has made for itself, falling into place with a soft hiss, a rustle like phantom silks' --Hilary Mantel, Guardian


Review
`A gripping story, with beguiling characters . . . As well as being a supernatural tale, it is a meditation on the nature of the British and class, and how things are rarely what they seem. Chilling' Kate Mosse, The Times, Summer Read
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Post by Compostwoman on 16th November 2009, 10:02 am

That sound really interesting Mrs N...I have not read that one of hers..

I am re- reading Diana Gabaldon "Cross stitch" series right from the start ( for the umpteenth time...I have just finished "Echo in the Bone " and need to start them from the start again...have probably re read them 12 or more times now I think!

Also "Call the Midwife" about an East End Midwife in the 1950s...brilliant 3 books..I have read them all before from the library but have just been given them as a present.

Also "Nation" by Terry Pratchett which I kep picking up and then having to put down again..

Plus numerous text books on child psychology and education theory and stuff like that...as well as (now) the adult lecturing equivalents...

I took a few ID books out yesterday into the wood to make sure my I D skills were still ok, as well!

And I wonder why I wake up with "braine whirr" in the middle of the night...!

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 16th November 2009, 10:10 am

Re-reading Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun.

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Post by Aberlemno on 16th November 2009, 12:30 pm

I've only read one of Sarah Waters' novels: The Night Watch, which was well written, but not really "me". At present I'm dipping into several books, including another biography of Thomas Hardy which I got last week, and for light bedtime reading it's Gervaise Phinn's "The Other Side of the Dale" which a friend loaned me.

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Post by MrsNesbitt on 16th November 2009, 4:52 pm

Oooooooh!
Library van came this afternoon with 2 more requests...

Wesley, The Story of a Remarkable owl by Stacey O'Brien

Written with the same heartwarming sentiment that made the memoirs Marley and Me and Chosen by a Horse runaway bestsellers, biologist and barn owl expert O'Brien chronicles her rescue of an adorable, abandoned baby barn owl - and their astonishing and unprecedented nineteen-year life together.

Wesley the Owl is a love story that begins when a young, compassionate biologist adopts a baby bird--and unknowingly embarks on a relationship that will last almost two decades.

Told with both wit and wonder, this memoir relates the touching, frustrating, and funny events of Wesley's "growing up." After being rescued from a fall that ensures he will never be able to survive in the wild, Wesley finds a new home with biologist Stacey O'Brien. With affection and a scientist's eye, O'Brien narrates Wesley's growth from a helpless ball of fuzz to a playful and clumsy adolescent--and finally to a macho adult owl who admires himself in the mirror, eats up to six mice a day, and objects to any other male (animal or human) invading "his" territory. Along the way, Wesley's caretaker makes important discoveries about barn owl behavior, intelligence, communication skills, and emotions. Ultimately, the biologist who saved the life of a helpless baby bird is herself rescued by the insistent love and protective strength of this wild animal. O'Brien's anecdotes are enhanced by wonderful photos of their life together.

By turns playful and informative, Wesley the Owl is a surprising story of a complex non-human being capable of reason, communication, love, and loyalty--it is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.

STACEY O'BRIEN is a biologist, wildlife rescuer, and animal rehabilitation expert specializing in owl research. She lives in California.

and "Where was I? The World According to Terry Wogan
For the first time the nation's most popular presenter, Terry Wogan, shares his life story beginning with his childhood in Ireland to his rising fame all over the UK.

It's an intimate and eye-opening look back over both his personal and professional lifetime and it's clear to see why he is one of Britain's most loved presenters - he hasn't let success go to his head for starters.

Wogan's light-hearted story is delivered with self-depreciating humour, which will be greatly missed in his retirement from Wake Up To Wogan.

Although this is a laugh-out-loud read, it is written with enough poignancy that you might want to keep a box of tissues to hand, just in case.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm! A few good reads this week me thinks!
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Post by MrsC on 16th November 2009, 9:25 pm

Mrs N - not read the latest Wogan yet, but recently got Wogan's Eleven from a charity shop and loved it! crylaugh

Review on my blog if you're interested.

Mrs C

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Mr C and my other project, UK Nature Blog: http://www.uknatureblog.com
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Post by Compostwoman on 16th November 2009, 10:21 pm

Am now reading the PTTLS textbook...food for thought, indeed!

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Post by Sparhawk on 17th November 2009, 7:47 pm

I have just finished reading "On The Plot with 'Dirty Nails'" by Joe Hashman, which is an absolutely fabulous book about wildlife friendly allotmenting/gardening unfortunatly tis a tad on the pricy side at £12.99 (but I managed to get mine from fleabay for about £5 :bounce:

I have just started reading a new book in the Green Guides series "Compost" by Rachelle Strauss, (steady CW Laughing ) I haven't picked up the plot yet but I have a suspicion its a bit dirty... £8.99 new published in 2009 bought from charity shop for 99p Cool

And my "bedtime" reading is "Shackleton's Forgotten Men the untold tale of an Antarctic Tragedy" by Lennard Bickel, about what happened to Shackleton's other party whilst he was completing his amazing feat of survival & endurance...
Oh yes that was £2 from a charity shop too...


Last edited by sparhawk on 17th November 2009, 7:51 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to add a price...)
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Post by Compostwoman on 17th November 2009, 7:55 pm

sparhawk wrote:I have just finished reading "On The Plot with 'Dirty Nails'" by Joe Hashman, which is an absolutely fabulous book about wildlife friendly allotmenting/gardening unfortunatly tis a tad on the pricy side at £12.99 (but I managed to get mine from fleabay for about £5 :bounce:

I have just started reading a new book in the Green Guides series "Compost" by Rachelle Strauss, (steady CW Laughing ) I haven't picked up the plot yet but I have a suspicion its a bit dirty... £8.99 new published in 2009 bought from charity shop for 99p Cool

And my "bedtime" reading is "Shackleton's Forgotten Men the untold tale of an Antarctic Tragedy" by Lennard Bickel, about what happened to Shackleton's other party whilst he was completing his amazing feat of survival & endurance...
Oh yes that was £2 from a charity shop too...


Thats alright, Rae asked me for some advice when she was writing it! ...

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Post by Sparhawk on 17th November 2009, 8:01 pm

Cool
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Post by Compostwoman on 17th November 2009, 8:04 pm

sparhawk wrote:Cool

IIRC it was about making compost tea, plus a few other bits and bobs.... Cool She lives quite close to us.... Smile

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Post by Sparhawk on 1st December 2009, 10:00 pm

Now finished the Compost book, very good, breaks everything down to small easy to understand bits... definately one to reccommend & keep on my bookshelf...

My new "work time" reading is "Survival Gardening" by Edward Hyams which is about how to be self sufficient with Veg, Herbs, Fruit, Nuts, Wine & Tobacco in garden & allotment, written in 1975 but full of interesting information, & also this quote: "Do not let compost making become a mania..." it is an old book CW Laughing , so not all information is up with modern thinking £1.99... From Charity shop...

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"the luxuries of civilisation satisfy only those wants which they themselves create..."
The Worst Journey In The World - Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1922)

"Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar, Galactica,
leads a ragtag, fugitive fleet, on a lonely quest—for a shining planet known as Earth."
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Post by Compostwoman on 1st December 2009, 10:31 pm

I am not manic about compostmaking...oh deary me no..

badger, if you are reading..as Billy has a musical emoticon as does jelly, can I have a compost making one just for me? please?

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Post by Snoopka on 5th December 2009, 1:07 pm

Mrs. N. - thanks for the Sarah Water's "The Little Stranger" review - I shall look out for it, as I rather enjoyed The Night Watch, and Tipping the Velvet.

Just read "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian", a delightful, bittersweet little novel about Eastern European immigrants - by Marina Lewycka:

"Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blond Ukrainian divorcée He was 84 and she was 36. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade..."
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 5th December 2009, 2:11 pm

Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as a Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-maker and Apprentice to a Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford.

I am enjoying it more than I have enjoyed any book for ages. Keep not wanting to put it down, but don't want to gorge myself on it all at once or it will be over too soon... hmmm dilemma dilemma

Snoopka - I read 'A Short History...' a while ago. I thought the poignant bits were much better than the humour bits - which came across rather like one of those Radio 4 comedies which are inevitably made by Sweet Talk productions, like Hut 33 and that tedious police one Lynne Truss did.

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Post by Snoopka on 5th December 2009, 4:57 pm

Wilhelm, unfortunately I can no longer get Radio 4 or British TV either, so I have lost touch, but I probably would agree with you in principle - I don't usually do slapstick.

As much as I loathe stereotypes and generalisations, the few Ukrainians I have come across definitely bore similarities to the ones in "A Short History..."
As for the poignant bits, I would have liked them to be a little more probable.
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Post by Compostwoman on 5th December 2009, 5:21 pm

Nation by Terry Pratchett

really good and very thought provoking book! I am resisting it at the momet as I have too much work to do...had a bad migraine last night and still got it now, so had a sleep this morning and am now totally behind with everything...

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 5th December 2009, 5:52 pm

compostwoman wrote:am now totally behind with everything...

like Gina Lollobrigida?

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Post by Compostwoman on 5th December 2009, 7:35 pm

Don't actually understand......how does she fit in with me being behind?..... bigthink

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Post by Aberlemno on 6th December 2009, 7:22 am

Perhaps a reference to her derriere CW? Although I always thought she could give Jane Russell a run for her money with her front . . .

I am still reading the Thomas Hardy biog (A Guarded Life, by Ralph Pite), and have Old Wive's Tales and a wonderful American book by Jeannette Walls: Half Broke Horses. The latter is unputdownable;

Lily Casey Smith is a sassy, straight-talking heroine for whom saving lives, taming wild horses and beaching ranch hands at poker are all in a day's work. Born in 1901, in a dirt house in the rolling gritty grassland of Texas, at age six she is helping her father break horses. At fifteen she leaves home to teach in a town five hundred miles away, riding there on her pony, all alone. Lily handles everything that life throws at her - flash floods and tornadoes, the Great Depression, the most heartbreaking personal tragedy - with immense courage and determination and a wide smile. (She was the author's grandmother . . .)

Old Wive's Tales:

The woman healer is as old as history. For millennia she has been doctor, nurse and midwife, and even in the age of modern medicine her wisdom is handed down in the form of old wives' tales. Using extensive research into archives and original texts, and numerous conversations with women in city and countryside, Mary Chamberlain presents a stimulating challenge to the history of orthodox medicine and an illuminating survey of female wisdom which goes back to the earliest times.


Last edited by Aberlemno on 6th December 2009, 7:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typos!)

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Post by MrsNesbitt on 6th December 2009, 10:07 am

After quite a wait on the waiting list at the localI now have the new thriller by Dan Brown

Six years in the writing, The Lost Symbol is Dan Brown's extraordinary sequel to his internationally bestselling Robert Langdon thrillers, Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code.

Nothing is ever what it first appears in a Dan Brown novel. Set over a breathtaking 12 hour time span, the book's narrative takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through a masterful and unexpected landscape as Professor of Symbology, Robert Langdon, is once again called into action.

Expertly researched and written with breakneck pace, The Lost Symbol once again demonstrates why Dan Brown is the world's bestselling thriller writer.


I also have The Quickening Maize by Adam Foulds

Foulds was becoming the pin-up boy of contemporary poets...this beautifully described novel suggests he's equally a master of prose'. --Radio Times

'rich in its understanding and representation of the mad, the sane, and that large overlapping category in between' --Guardian
:clown:

And The Sound of laughter by Peter Kay!
So....I had better get on with the housework so I can begin my reading session!

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Post by seileasdar on 6th December 2009, 10:42 am

I am reading Dan Simmons Ilium. A very nice read, although it took me about 90 pages to get into it.
But now I enjoy it and will probably need to reread it to get the most of it.
Will have a look in charity shops for more Simmons in the future.
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 6th December 2009, 11:16 am

I am a big fan of Dan Simmons, Seils. Ilium and Hyperion are high on my faves lists.

Can't say the same of Dan Brown, I'm afraid.

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Post by Snoopka on 6th December 2009, 1:02 pm

Dan Brown not my cup of tea either.

Now started on "Little Children" by Tom Perrotta..... Seems OK so far
"like an American Nick Hornby: companionable and humane, lighthearted and surprisingly touching" (Newsweek)

"Little Chilren centres on a group of parents in suburban America, whose social lives are determined by the sleeping and eating habits of their offspring..."

and an odd booklet that was just given to me: "Gardening with the enemy" by Janet Thomson "A guide to rabbit-proof gardening"... Very Happy
Not very useful to me here, as I have yet to see a rabbit around.
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Post by Aberlemno on 6th December 2009, 1:13 pm

I enjoyed Dan Brown, especially Angels and Demons, which was a real page-turner for me. I loved the symbolism bit, as I did something similar for my dissertation, decoding the equine iconography of the Pictish symbol stones in Scotland.

You can keep the Sci-Fi though - not my genre. Hyperion was also a racehorse foaled in 1930 incidentally, little chestnut chappy, VERY fast and very Araby looking in his later years . . .


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