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  1. Yesterday
  2. What song are you listening to... right NOW?

    From Sheffield I present... Captain Avery & the Cosmic Triceratops of Intergalactic Peace
  3. What song are you listening to... right NOW?

    I'm a bit late to the party, but I've just been introduced to the Portico Quartet.
  4. The Great War

    Review of [/i]The Great War[/i] by Aleksandar Gatalica, translated by Will Firth This is a sprawling novel dealing with the various fronts of World War I, starting with the doctor examinng Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in the morgue. We have the Salon Gatalica if he had so choose could have made this a 1,000 page epic but I think it showed great restraint to just settle on a 400 page novel. Really, it doesn;t need to be any longer than that. This novel has a vast amount of characters recurring in it and the novel was an excellent fictionalised stories of the war with the range of characters from the spice seller in the Ottoman Empire (whose 5 employees fought on different fronts that the Ottomon's fought), the Prussian/Russian front, Italy/Austria , the Salonika front aswell as the much focussed on Western front of the war. Often I feel when we in Western Europe talk about World War I, it is the Western front but one of the things I liked is the focus on the other fronts on this particularly the Salonika front. Spies and espionage also feature too from the singers and entertainers in London and Paris. regardless of gender, nationality or age, from all walks of life from Polish immigrants to France, seamstresses, nobility etc etc. this book is a very full read. If I have one criticism, the novel also ignores Montenegro with just a couple of mentions of it although so did the peace conferences to create the treaties settling World War I. (Until I read Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davies, I hadn't been aware of Montenegro's involvement with the war) This was a superb read. I have felt for a while I've need a good non-fiction book about World War I but why when Gatalica and Firth could do so in fiction what many would struggle to do in non-fiction. * * * * *
  5. Review of Hotel Silence by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, translated by Brian FitzGibbon The main characther of this book, Jonas is in his 50s depressed. His marriage has recently ended, as a parting blow, his now ex-wife Gundrun has told him that his daughter Waterlily is not actually biological his daughter, his mother has. His mother in a nursing home likes to talk about wars going on, fascinated by it. On the radio news report, she then listens to the death notices. He has a neighbour also fascinated by bad news stories, he has sold his business to a rival and suicide. Jonas finds his life to be meaningless, end of the genetic line of his family and passes his free time looking at ways that famous authors killed themselves and decluttering his life so that Waterlily doesn't have too many belongings to go through when he does it so he goes on holiday to die, with his tool box (as you do) Upon realising that he doesn't want his daughter to find his body, he decides to take a trip to one of the countries that his mother and neighbour keep mentioning. That description really sounds unappealling and depressing novel. It isn't. Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir has a really unique sense of humour and it is more a comedy than anything else (Her other novel Butterflies in Novmber I feel is a better novel but this is a good novel). Jonas in the war torn country finds himself a man in need and find himself helping the people of the country. Jonas is not a very talkative person, leaving most of the talking to everyone but it works I liked it, the writing was sharp and witty, characters are likeable. If it was a movie, it would be a Wes Anderson movie although I might just be saying that as he had a movie with hotel in the title). Really good book. * * * *
  6. Currently Reading

    Stoner by John Williams. I'm nearly halfway through. I'm enjoying it, but it's not knocking my socks off.
  7. Last week
  8. Song Chain

    Razzle Dazzle Rose - Camera Obscura
  9. Currently Reading

    Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa
  10. Rest in Peace

    Richard Baker, newsreader, aged 93. For those who are too young to remember : Richard Baker
  11. Currently Reading

    Started pretend I'm dead by jen beagin, which I had bought due to a BGO review
  12. Song Chain

    My Wild Irish Rose - Daniel O'Donnell
  13. Having been inspired to read Post Office by the thread on this very site (someone accused it of being 'of it's time' which instantly made it sound appealing to me) and loving it, I decided to read some Bukowski and chose Ham on Rye. I'd never actually read the guy before but he's fast becoming a favourite. I adore, the brevity, the simplicity, the honesty of his prose. It took almost no time to read this book, I just skipped through it like the pages were being blown by fan, and embraced the narrative and the grumpy yet vulnerable masculinity whole-heartedly. I haven't been this inspired by a writer for a long time. I shall seek out more of his work (probably Factotum) and bathe in his politically incorrect filth like a happy aroused pig. I read so much by-the-numbers literature these days and while a lot of it still very impressive and enjoyable, it does also suffer from being trapped by the rules of literature set down in the 19th century. People seem determined to never let that century lose its grip on the medium. Bukowski, meanwhile, felt like reading a book by someone I know, living a life I understand, today. To a 19th century writer (as well as their 20th century mimics) the sunset is a romantic veil of copper steeped in profundity; to Bukowski, it's a reminder that he has to get up for work in the morning.
  14. What song are you listening to... right NOW?

    Thought the Unthanks were brilliant at this years proms. Had to have another listen
  15. Hello guys, please help me out

    Hi Rooney I had no idea about scissor lifts until your post. Now after using a wonderful tool called Google search I now know a lot more. I think you should contact firms who manufacture/sell them in your area or look for some social media around scissor lifts. Love the connection with books but think your on the wrong forum my friend.
  16. Song Chain

    Walk On The Wild Side - Lou Reed
  17. Song Chain

    Get out and walk - The Farmers Boys
  18. Book Chain

    People of the Book - Geraldie Brooks
  19. Book Chain

    A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution - Orlando Figes
  20. CASCA Are not you moved, when all the sway of earth Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero, I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds Have rived the knotty oaks, and I have seen The ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam, To be exalted with the threatening clouds: But never till to-night, never till now, Did I go through a tempest dropping fire. Either there is a civil strife in heaven, Or else the world, too saucy with the gods, Incenses them to send destruction. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar I/iii
  21. Hello guys, please help me out

    Hello guys, I run a bookstore. My wife's biggest dream is to visit London. And that dream would be fulfilled very soon. We going on a trip to London for 2 months. We would stay at her cousin's apartment during that period. My younger daughter would be in charge of the bookstore until we come back. Every day a huge amount of books arrive at the store. It would be difficult for her to lift the books into the store. When discussed this with my friend, He suggested using a scissor lift. What are the things I should consider while buying a scissor lift? Please do reply. Thanks in advance. edited to remove forbidden sales link
  22. Stephen Hawking's last book and it does give brief answers to big questions. The first one is : Is there a God? This is an accessible book fairly easy to read and cogent. Stephen Hawking comes across as a man who has a wicked sense of humour just bubbling from the surface and incapable of keeping it in. He also comes across, unlike other scientists, as a man who understands why non-scientists and ordinary people have trouble understanding what physics is about. He also doesn't seem to have a huge ego, which is refreshing. The book is interesting and entertaining, which in a science book is rare. I'd recommend it.
  23. Poetic Wanderings

    That summer bird its oft repeated note Chirps from the dotterel ash and in the hole The green woodpecker made in years remote It makes its nest--where peeping idlers strole In anxious plundering moods--and bye and bye The wrynecks curious eggs as white as snow While squinting in the hollow tree they spy The sitting bird looks up with jetty eye And waves her head in terror too and fro Speckled and veined in various shades of brown And then a hissing noise assails the clown And quick with hasty terror in his breast From the trees knotty trunk he sluthers down And thinks the strange bird guards a serpents nest John Clare - 'The Wrynecks Nest'
  24. Song Chain

    Can't Get You Out of My Head - Kylie Minogue
  25. Currently Reading

    A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness
  26. They that have power to hurt and will do none, That do not do the thing they most do show, Who, moving others, are themselves as stone, Unmovèd, cold, and to temptation slow, They rightly do inherit heaven's graces And husband nature's riches from expense; They are the lords and owners of their faces, Others but stewards of their excellence. The summer's flower is to the summer sweet, Though to itself it only live and die, But if that flower with base infection meet, The basest weed outbraves his dignity: For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds. Shakespeare, Sonnet 94
  27. what is everyone doing?

    Lots of excitement with your washing Meg, glad it turned out o.k. and you didn't have to do it all over again. Thanks for the hints about custard - I believe I've seen it in tins in the grocery store and I think the powder is still available. I'll probably do whatever is easiest at the time. Very cold here, afternoon temp was just 0 degrees and the rest of the week is not predicted to get any warmer. There was a bit of snow on the ground in the morning but it melted when the sun came out, funny to see brilliant sunshine and yet everything so cold. The gardener came and pulled out the last of the summer flowers from the two small flower gardens, put in lots of bulbs then covered them over with netting firmly anchored at each side so that the squirrels can't get in (hopefully).
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