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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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  1. I really like John Wyndham's books. Good stories, well told.
  2. Thanks Luna. I think I may be ditching this one.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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 🙂
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Like others on this thread I had tried before and never finished this novel. It came up on Audible with Kenneth Branagh as the reader. He made a valiant effort but I still wasn't interested in the story but I did at least finish it this time. I've read through all the posts on this thread and I still can't see why it is considered such an important book. Given it was published in 1899 surely a lot of people knew and condoned the behaviour of colonialism? So why would it be considered so shocking, which it wasn't. Man hurts other men in pursuit of wealth ............ nothing new there then. Some of the language was impressive but on the whole the book was dull and boring and I didn't care about any of the characters. We are told Kurtz was this bewitching orator but we were given no example of his magical way with words. Sorry but this was an extremely dull, dull book and the idea of giving it to teenagers to read is just cruel!!
  11. I'm near the end of East of Eden by Steinbeck. I've read about eight of his novels and they never fail to please. This one is on the list though it could be a while before I get round to it.
  12. Thanks Luna, I loved The Heart is a Lonely Hunter so will add this to the list.
  13. I have just finished this and like others was bemused and confused by the extraneous characters and the minutae minded Christopher Banks. A lot of the novel felt more like rough sketching, creating characters to see if they fitted in, moving location to see if it woke anything in the main characters naration. Unfotunately it seems Mr Ishiguro decided these rough sketches, these partial thoughts could all be bound together to produce a pastiche, a homage to the great fictional detectives of the 1930's. A search on Google found a Q&A with the author and in it he says "What I began with was the notion of taking one of these Golden Age detectives and setting him down, completely out of his depth, in the turmoil of the twentieth century, as the world hurtles form one horror to the next. I had this rather comic idea of a detective going about high society London with his Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass, who by the end of the story is examining dismembered corpses in a war-zone, with the same magnifying glass, desperately wondering ‘who-dunnit.’". The Q&A is quite interesting but the questioner fails to raise any of the concerns raised on this thread so I am none the wiser as to why Banks thought finding his parents would avert the coming world war or even that his parents would still be alive and in the same place after 18 years. I listend to this on audio and have to praise the narator, Michael Maloney his soft toned measured pacing sat perfectly with the prose.
  14. Thursday night went to see Eleanor's Story. A one woman play performed by Ingrid Garner based on her grandmother who at the age of nine in 1939 moved with her family from USA to Berlin. An excellent capitvating performance from Ingrid gracefully capturing the various family members as she relays this story of youthful survival. Highly recomended though beware you may just have the odd tear in your eye by the end.
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