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About Tay

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    Does anyone actually write reading in here? :-), cats, going to gigs, dreaming.
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    Travel, gigs, politics.

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  1. Ah, there are many times when reading threads here on BGO that I wish David was still with us and able to contribute. Never more so than now. I have recently finished Barnaby Rudge and would love to discuss it with him. Personally I found the book slow to begin with (like many of Dickens' novels, the characters and story take time to take shape together) but once it got going I loved this book. Barnaby Rudge is surely one of the great literary creations. And talk about a story for recent times when a wealthy man uses his money and position to turn his own personal bigotry to influence a populace to self destruction. I read this as an audio book performed by Jason Watkins. An absolute triumph, one of the best narrations I've ever listened to. Made even more impressive by the knowledge that Mr Watkins suffers from dyslexia and this audio book lasted 31 hours. I posted on Twitter how much I enjoyed the book and Mr Watkins did me the courtesy of responding, thanking me and providing a link to a Facebook page where he explained the efforts he had to go through to complete the reading. I think David, as per quote above, is right that this isn't the novel to start with if you've never read Dickens, but once you have embarked on the highly rewarding journey of exploring the never the ending linguistic ingenuity of Dickens then this is a novel I would recommend. Be interested to hear what other fans of Dickens think of this novel.
  2. How about books by solo travellers, yes they will meet up with people on their journeys but they will also have a lot of time on their own. Time for restrospection, for reallignment of their priorities. Dervla Murphy - Full Tilt - but lots of others by her - off on her bike cycling round remote parts of the world. Even books where more than one in the travel party, Polar expeditions. Plenty of solitude and isolation there. Robinson Crusoe of course. Life of Pi
  3. I have recently finished The Pyramid, the book of 'earlier' stories as reviewed by Dan previously in this thread. I had enjoyed the Swedish TV series but felt the Branagh version was too full of colour. I always had it in mind to try reading the books eventually and then found the Pyramid book in a charity shop and thought it would be the one to start with. I loved these stories, Wallander comes across as a very real character, full of ordinary flaws and ordinary daily troubles. He makes mistakes, but as previously said by other contributors he doggedly keeps going until he gets a result. The translation by Ebba Segerberg and Laurie Thompson produced an easy flowing read. Looking forward to working my way through the novels over the next few years.
  4. Books 25 - The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan - unfinished (audio) 24 - Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup - unfinished (audio) 23 - The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas - unfinished (audio) 22 - The Disappearance of Adele Beleau by Graeme Macrae Burnet - unfinished (audio) 21 - Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - unfinished (audio) 20 - The Dark Tower by Stephen King re-read 19 - Smiley's People by John Le Carre (audio) re-read 18 - A Dying Breed by Peter Hannington (audio) 17 - 24 Hours in Ancient Rome by Philip Matyszak (audio) 16 - The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin (audio) 15 - Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens (audio) 14 - Songs of Susannah by Stephen King re-read 13 - An Air That Kills by Andrew Taylor (audio) 12 - The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell (audio) 11 - The Choice by Edith Eger 10 - Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan (audio) 9 - The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (audio) 8 - A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond 7 - Life of Pi by Yann Martel (audio) re-read 6 - The Pyramid by Henning Mankell 5 - The Boy Who Followed His Father Into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield (audio) 4 - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (audio) re-read 3 - CultyBraggan WW2 Prison Camp History 2 - The Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak 1 - The Help by Kathryn Stockett (audio) Films 1 - JoJo Rabbit - cinema 2 - A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood - cinema 3 - The Runaways - Keswick Film Festival 4 - Amanda - KFF 5 - Aga - KFF 6 - The Tobacconist - KFF 7 - For Sama - KFF 8 - The Farewell - KFF 9 - No Fathers in Kashmir - KFF Gigs, theatre, exhibitions etc 1 - Bowie Experience - Perth - 25/01/20 2 - The Musical Box - Edinburgh - 08/02/20 3 - The Classic Rock Show - Dundee - 15/02/20 4 - Russian State Orchestra - Puccini's Madame Butterfly - Perth - 06/03/20 5 - King Creosote & band accompaning the film From Scotland With Love - 11/03/20
  5. Tay

    Have a Rant!

    I have just finished The Big Sleep by Chandler (only book I have read by him and never read anything by Stark) and whilst the writing was good and the story ok it contained homophobic and racist comments. I appreciate that it was considered acceptable for these comments to be made openly when the book was written but it spoilt the book for me. So in relation to Momac's comments I'd rather have inclusive and real aspects of LGBT community within books than the bigotted overtures of earlier times. I fully understand that for some this is an emotive subject and one they would rather not be confronted by but for me I don't consider it my place to criticise others as to how they find their solace. We live in troubled times and surely the acceptance of love in all it's varieties (legally and between consenting adults of course) is something writers of current fiction should include. As to the graphic nature of the content, again I would consider that down to individual taste and advise skipping those pages if they make the reader uncomfortable.
  6. I'm currently reading Fleshmarket Close, one of the Rebus books. Still trying to work my way through all of those. Once I've finished one of his books I often wonder if I'll bother reading another one because in some ways they are very similar but immediately I start one the characters are so alive that I'm hooked back in. If and when I finish all the Rebus books I'll start on his other books, like this one. Thanks for the review Luna.
  7. I really like John Wyndham's books. Good stories, well told.
  8. Thanks Luna. I think I may be ditching this one.
  9. This sounds very interesting Luna, thank you for your review, I have added this to my TBR. Makes me think of English Journey by J B Priestley and his tour round some of the poorest places in Britain in the 1930's.
  10. I am currently reading this and found the first part very interesting. The Binding. The laying down of memories, the release from pain because of memories and then the revelation that the sometimes the memories are removed for nefarious circumstances. The whole concept of memory and ownership, of erasing as a form of escaping emotional upset or punishable actions leads to multiple questions. The suggested voyeurism, the expolitation and sexpolitation, the idea of memories being used as pornography, the connections with modern day journalism and who owns memories once related to a media outlet or social media. All these ideas are there under the surface of the narative and were what kept me reading but then in the second part the author turns it into a teenage love affair, and not a very believable one at that. Absolutely none of this part worked for me. I have just started part three and now no longer enjoying the book or caring about the characters. This novel is reviewed as a Gothic novel but so far for me it is filled with cliched and poor imitation characters from Dickens. Struggling to find the inclination to finish it. Is it worth carrying on?
  11. Thanks Luna, don't seem to be able to get Book Crawler on android so I've gone one called My Library. But now I have the huge task of getting all the books onto the thing, it's just a scan the barcode job but still time consuming.
  12. I don't set a target, live is too variable to hold myself to a number, I just read when I can. But, as I have relayed on this site before, I do have a reading plan. Years ago I found I would buy lots of books that I wanted to read but would actually avoid reading them. Various reasons, too long, too hard etc. So I wrote out a list of genres etc which goes something like fiction old (pre 1960) biography, fiction new, travel etc it is a list of sixteen topics and some of them are repeated and within it I have 'own choice' in case a book appears that I can't wait to read. Within the categories I will either read in alphabetical order or chronological order if a specific author. I know most people would hate this but I like having my next book already decided and by alternating between fact and fiction I don't have that thing where a great work of fiction stays with you and affects the next work of fiction you try to read. I have also, because of this system, tackled and enjoyed a lot of those books that were just languishing on my shelves. What is the App you use Luna? Apologies if I have asked you that before and my aging brain has decided to delete the information 🙂
  13. I read this as a teenager whilst still at school. Not as part of the curriculum. Friends had started reading Russian literature and so I gave it a go. I still have the small hardbacked copy in some boxes of books I've not unpacked since my move. If I remember correctly the book also included a story called White Nights about a love affair gone wrong. As for 'Notes' I doubt if understood half of it back then (and definitely wouldn't have been able to articulate it as well as you Luna) but it sowed a love of Russian literature which has stayed with me through all the years.
  14. Bryan Gallagher is a retired headmaster who has spent his whole life living in the county of Fermanagh, Ireland, near the beautiful shores of Lough Erne. He used to be a regular contributor to the Radio Four show Home Truths presented by the late John Peel. Barefoot in Mullyneeny is a collection of short reminiscences from his time growing up in the 40’s and 50’s. On the face of it these are simple stories of a simpler time but like all stories of people’s lives there are truths that we all share. The pains of growing up, misunderstanding the world around us. Imbibing wisdom from the local characters of country life. Stories about hob nail boots for sale, swimming to Rabbit Island, playing in a dance band, learning about “coping the lea” and the philosophical cobbler who would recite poetry while he worked and who as age started to take its toll he would answer the enquiry of “How are you, Jimmy?” with “If I felt any better I’d have to see a doctor.” Or “Movin’ up in the queue.” “Between the two big ones,” And asked what are the two big ones he would reply “Birth and Death. A short book that made this reader smile and laugh more than once. If you need something to brighten your day take a dip into this book.
  15. On Friday evening at Toppings Bookshop in St. Andrews, Markus Zusak spoke with wit and intelligence about the writing process. How he creates his books, where his ideas come from and the editing process. He was entertaining and informative, openly receptive to questions and gave (what seemed like) very honest answers. He talked briefly about his family life and then the Book Thief and finishing with his new book Bridge of Clay. At the end of the talk he took up a seat behind a desk and started signing books. There was a sizeable audience that evening and it took approximately an hour for the signings. We were the last customers to have our books signed and he was still engaging and chatty. Answering further questions from us and at all times remaining interested and polite. A true gentleman. If he does a book signing near you I would recommend you go along.
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