Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by megustaleer

  1. To do that you have to have a book in mind. No discovering amazing books because someone has started a thread on it. Would never have read This Thing of Darkness, The Children's War, Lonesome Dove or many other fantastic book if it had not been for the individual threads on them. Which is how feel. What I will miss about BGO mostly is the people I have engaged with through the forum - many I have been missing for a while, and some I have mentioned on the "Memories of BGO" thread. I wouldn't expect any other forum to fill that gap, even BGO doesn't do that any longer.
  2. The Quiet Life by ALEXANDER POPE Happy the man whose wish and care A few paternal acres bound, Content to breath his native air In his own ground. Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread, Whose flocks supply him with attire, Whose trees in summer yield him shade, In winter fire. Blest who can unconcern'dly find Hours, days and years slide soft away, In health of body, peace of mind, Quiet by day, Sound sleep by night; study and ease, Together mixt; sweet recreation; And innocence, which most does please With meditation. Thus let me live, unseen, unknown, Thus unlamented let me die, Steal from the world, and not a stone Tell where I lie. The Quiet Life - Alexander Pope
  3. Yes, it is very slow. I've had some editing problems and can't add links. Book reviews are difficult to find, and don't seem particularly active. Active threads seem mainly to be personal book blogs, and feel a bit exclusive. Don't know if BGO really has a better format, or if I have become set in BGO ways after 16years, either way, Book Club Forum isn't doing it for me.
  4. I am finding Book Club Forum unsatisfactory, so withdraw any recommendations I made earlier. I was misled by wishful thinking, and a similar appearnce to BGO - as they had recently transferred to the same host (Invision). The problems evident at that time have not been dealt with, and I suspect that the administrator has taken on more that she can cope with, or has not managed to gather a sufficiently competent team. It is a shame, but I will not be doing much more than popping in there now and again.
  5. Repeating poems is not usually a problem, after all 143 pages is a lot to check through. I have often repeated favouite poems, sometimes more than once - but not usually within 24hrs!
  6. Oops, missed that, went straight to the last page!
  7. His golden locks time hath to silver turn'd; O time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing! His youth 'gainst time and age hath ever spurn'd, But spurn'd in vain; youth waneth by increasing: Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen; Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green. His helmet now shall make a hive for bees; And lovers' sonnets turn'd to holy psalms, A man-at-arms must now serve on his knees, And feed on prayers, which are age his alms: But though from court to cottage he depart, His saint is sure of his unspotted heart. And when he saddest sits in homely cell, He'll teach his swains this carol for a song: "Blest be the hearts that wish my sovereign well, Curst be the souls that think her any wrong." Goddess, allow this aged man his right, To be your beadsman now that was your knight. His Golden Locks Time Hath To Silver Turn'd - Anon Sir Henry Lee (1530-1610) had in 1559 made a vow to defend Elizabeth's honour against all challengers in an annual tournament to be held on her birthday. By 1590 he was too old to tilt, and this song represents his complimentary and graceful withdrawal. This work has been attributed by some to George Peele 1558–97
  8. 1995 Talking It Over - Julian Barnes The Piano - Jane Campion & Kate Pillinger Cat’s Eye - Margaret Atwood Stone Diaries - Carol Shields Passing On - Penelope Lively Fatherland - Robert Harris Metroland - Julian Barnes The Robber Bride - Margaret Atwood Woe To Live On - Daniel Woodrell Moon Tiger - Penelope Lively (re-read) Not That Sort of Girl - Mary Wesley Private Papers - Margaret Forster (re-read) A Postillion Struck by Lightening (Bio) - Dirk Bogarde Snakes and Ladders (B) - Dirk Bogarde Second to The Right and Straight On Till Morning (YA) - Lance Salway Down All The Days - Christy Brown The Blue Afternoon - William Boyd The Children of Men - P.D. James Dancing In The Dark - Joan Barefoot A Thousand Acres - Jane Smiley Glittering Images - Susan Howatch A Matter of Honour - Jeffrey Archer Sphere - Michael Crichton Mustn’t Grumble (essays?) - ed: Lois Keith A House By The Shore - Alison Johnson Flour Babies (Ch) - Anne Fine City of The Mind - Penelope Lively Best Seller (NF) - Claud Cockburn Caring For Maria (B) - Bernard Heywood A Taste For Death - P.D. James Breathing Lessons - Anne Tyler An Artist of The Floating World - Kazoo Ishiguro The Past Is Myself (B) - Christabel Bielenberg The Piano - Jane Campion Jericho - Dirk Bogarde The Clan of The Cave Bear - Jean M. Auel My Antonia - Willa Cather Murder on The Menu (SS) - ed: Peter Haining The Birds of The Innocent Wood - Deidre Madden Saint Maybe - Anne Tyler The Kitchen God’s Wife - Amy Tan We That Were Young - Irene Rathbone Running Away - Titia Sutherland The Woman In White - Wilkie Collins Theory of War - Joan Brady The Diaries of Jane Somers - Doris Lessing Other Women - Margaret Bacon A Fringe of Leaves - Patrick White Woman’s Hour Book of Short Stories A Change of Climate - Hilary Mantel Love Unknown - A.N. Wilson 500 Mile Walkies - Mark Wallington The Ex-Wives - Deborah Moddach Consider The Lilies - Iain Crichton Smith Who Will Run The Frog Hospital? - Lorrie Moore Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow - Peter Høeg Devil By The Sea - Nina Bawden Circles of Deceit - Nina Bawden I Heard The Owl Call My Name - Margaret Craven White Butterfly - Walter Mosley A Girl of The Limberlost (C)- Gene Stratton Porter Matilda’s England (SS) - William Trevor The Great Fire of London - Peter Ackroyd Second Best - David Cook The Comforts of Madness - Paul Sayer Some Die Eloquent - Catherine Aird An Ordinary Man (B) - Dirk Bogarde
  9. 1994 Come Hell or High Water (B) - Clare Francis A Dark Adapted Eye - Barbara Vine The English Patient - Michael Ondaatje My Autobiography (B) - Charles Chaplin Where Angels Fear to Tread - E.M. Forster The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side - Agatha Christie Honour Thy Father - Lesley Glaister Shake Hands Forever - Ruth Rendell The Wimbledon Poisoner - Nigel Williams Have the Men Had Enough - Margaret Forster Towards Zero - Agatha Christie The British Museum Is Falling Down - David Lodge Johnny I Hardly Knew You - Edna O’Brien Frost In May - Antonia White Two Lives - William Trevor Wild Swans (B) - Jung Chang The Fire Dwellers - Margaret Lawrence Live Flesh - Ruth Rendell The Ghost Writer - Philip Roth Mystery Mile - Marjory Allingham The Abbess of Crewe - Muriel Spark A Few Green Leaves - Barbara Pym Sacred Country - Rose Tremain No Talking After Lights - Angela Lambert Full Tilt (Bi/Tr) - Dervla Murphy A Five Year Sentence - Bernice Rubens (R) Still Glides The Stream Flora Thompson Advances - Anita Burgh A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs - Ellis Peters The Girls of Slender Means - Muriel Spark The Well of Loneliness - Radclyffe Hall The All of It - Jeanette Haien The Pumpkin Eater - Penelope Mortimer (re-read) Black Dogs - Ian McEwan The English Patient - Michael Ondaatje The Birds on The Trees - Nina Bawden The Color Purple - Alice Walker The Shipping News - E. Annie Proulx Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks The Old Devils - Kingsley Amis The Buddha of Suburbia - Hanif Kureishi They came From SW19 - Nigel Williams Bliss - Peter Carey The Hound of Death (SS) - Agatha Christie Poetry Please (P) - Patricia Jordan Ash on a Young Man’s Sleeve (B) - Dannie Abse Brazzaville Beach - William Boyd Friends and Lovers - Mary Bernard Frankenstein - Mary Shelley The Silence of The Lambs - Thomas Harris The Season of The Rainbirds - Nadeem Aslam Deafness (B) - David Wright Remembering Babylon - David Malouf The Ice Palace - Tarjei Vesaas A Good Man In Africa - William Boyd Gabriel’s Lament - Paul Bailey The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim Soul Music - Terry Pratchett The Progress of Love - Alice Munro
  10. 1993 Damage - Josephine Hart Girl In A Swing - Richard Adams The Wychford Murders - Paula Gosling Gentlemen and Ladies - Susan Hill The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov No More Meadows - Monica Dickens The Day of the Storm - Rosamund Pilcher The Tax Inspector - Peter Carey Wreath of Honesty - Pat Burden The Silent world of Nicholas Quinn - Colin Dexter Days - Eva Figes The Birds of The Innocent Wood - Deirdre Madden Sisters by a River - Barbara Comyns Out on The Plain - Frankie Finn Gorky Park- Martin Cruz Smith The Settlers of The Marsh - Frederick Grove Abracadaver - Peter Lovesey The Cruelest Month - Hazel Holt Internal Affairs - Jill Tweedie A Word Child - Iris Murdoch The History Man - Malcolm Bradbury The Battle for Christabel - Margaret Forster Noah’s Ark - Barbara Trapido An Unsuitable Attachment - Barbara Pym Mr Wroe’s Virgins - Jane Rogers The Millstone - Margaret Drabble Death is a Drum - Beating Forever - John Wyllie Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh A Summer Birdcage - Margaret Drabble A History of the World in 10 &1/2 Chapters - Julian Barnes Seasons of my Life (B) - Hannah Hauxwell & Barry Cockcroft Brother of the More Famous Jack - Barbara Trapido Lady’s Maid - Margaret Forster Out Of The Shadows - Titia Sutherland Memento Mori - Muriel Spark Hot Water Man - Deborah Mggach Wycliffe and The Dead Flautist - W.J. Burley Max and Helen (B) - Simon Westenthal The Missing Postman - Mark Wallington Last Seen Wearing- Colin Dexter Private Papers - Margaret Forster The Kitchen God’s Wife - Amy Tan The Waterfall - Margaret Drabble Close Company (SS) ed: C Park & C Heaton Sisters of The Road - Barbara Wilson The Innocent Libertine - Colette (Tr. Antonia Fraser) Georgy Girl - Margaret Forster The Blessing - Nancy Mitford The 27th Kingdom - Alice Thomas Ellis Mother Can You Hear Me - Margaret Forster Walter - David Cook The Dance of Anger (NF) - Harriet Goldhow The Death of The Heart - Elizabeth Bowen The Final Passage - Caryl Phillips The Pork Butcher - David Hughes Family Money - Nina Bawden Joyce- By Herself & By Her Friends (Bio) ed: Grenfell & Garnett A Glass of Blessings - Barbara Pym The Go-Between - L.P. Hartley The Bell-Boy - James Hamilton-Patterson So Much Love (B) - Beryl Reid Lantern Lecture (SS) - Adam Mars Jones A Five Year Sentence - Bernice Rubens Doctor Criminale - Malcolm Bradbury The Soul of Kindness - Elizabeth Taylor The War Between The Tates - Alison Lurie The Pumpkin Eater - Penelope Mortimer Times Arrow - Martin Amis Passenger To Frankfurt - Agatha Christie Death and The Maiden (Drama) Ariel Dorfman The Book of Evidence - John Banville Daughters of The House - Michele Roberts
  11. Reply to a post by luna, which has since been 'hidden'. I don't remember many books in our house during my childhood - other than the ones I got for Christmas every year (Blackwells Children's Classics?). Certainly there was no such thing as a bookcase, but there were a couple of big books I found in a cupboard - The complete plays of George Bernard Shaw, which I devoured between about 10 and 12yrs, and a "Family Doctor", which I used to fill in certain gaps in my education during my early teens. A bit later i discovered that my father also read - books borrowed from a lending library similar to the ones that Boots used to run. I expect I got my taste for mysteries from those books, as the books I recall, were the adventures of "Raffles" and "The Saint".
  12. 1992 The Slave Girl - Buchi Emecheta Black Baby - Clare Bingham A Legacy - Sybille Bedford Ellen - Ita Daley A Day In Summer - J.L. Carr To Love and Be Wise - Josephine Tey A Solitary Grief - Bernice Rubens Keeping Up Appearances - Rose Macaulay A Month In The Country - J.L. Carr The Ice Is Singing - Jane Rogers Beloved - Toni Morrison The Assize of The Dying - Ellis Peters Unexplained Laughter - Alice Thomas Ellis The Song Lines (NF) - Bruce Chatwin Brat Farrar - Josephine Tey Wild Nights - Emma Tennant Gallowglass - Barbara Vine Wise Children - Angela Carter King of The Castle - Susan Hill The Body Politic - Catherine Aird Harnessing Peacocks Mary Wesley Cold Showers - Clare Nonhebel A Far Cry From Kensington - Muriel Spark
  13. Key to Abbreviations used in the following lists NF = Non Fiction B = Biography, Autobiography, Memoir etc MM = Misery Memoir P = Poetry SS = Short Stories Ch = Children’s R = Re-read Tr = Travel H = History YA = Young Adult E = Epistolry
  14. I have been a reader for about 70 years. I don’t remember learning to read, it seems as though I have always done it. I do know that while in primary school I had to go to the juniors section to borrow reading books as I had read all the ones for the primary years. At the age of, approximately, 10yrs a friend and I ran a lending library for the neighbouring children. I still have a couple of books with our ‘logo’ written inside the cover. Aged about 13, I got to use the adult section of the public library, and I remember the first books I borrowed were some of the “Jalna” series by Mazo de la Roche. From then on I became what can only be called an avid reader, slowing down in recent years until now I hardly read at all - for health/physical reasons. By about 1990 I was beginning to forget what I had read, never quite sure if I had read about some books, seen TV adaptations or actually read them myself, so in 1992 I started to keep some sort of record of what I have read. For the first fourteen years I made brief notes in a little book, then from 2006 posted each year’s list here on the annual Booklist threads. The notebook ones were not given any kind of score, but did have a brief comment, sometimes on the plot, or the style, or just my feeling about them. Those in the BGO Booklist threads have been star-rated, and linked to posts I have made on the books in the various forums, not all of which have survived the vicissitudes of some forum changes. When BGO was in danger of closing down completely, I listed all the pre-BGO books together, and am posting the lists here in the Central Library, which is home to all the books I have read since the BGO Booklists began. It is pure indulgence, and unlikely to be of any interest to anyone but me. Maybe they will be archived, maybe not, it's unlikely I will be looking for them should BGO be closed. In total the recorded reading years add up to half my lifespan to date, hence the thread title. megustaleer
  15. What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why, I have forgotten, and what arms have lain Under my head till morning; but the rain Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh Upon the glass and listen for reply, And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain For unremembered lads that not again Will turn to me at midnight with a cry. Thus in winter stands the lonely tree, Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one, Yet knows its boughs more silent than before: I cannot say what loves have come and gone, I only know that summer sang in me A little while, that in me sings no more. What My Lips Have Kissed - Edna St Vincent Millay
  16. Second Covid Vaccination today. Hoping for fewer side effects this time.
  17. The Woodman’s heart is in his work, His axe is sharp and good: With sturdy arm and steady aim He smites the gaping wood; From distant rocks His lusty knocks Re-echo many a rood. His axe is keen, his arm is strong; The muscles serve him well; His years have reach’d an extra span, The number none can tell; But still his lifelong task has been The Timber Tree to fell. Through Summer’s parching sultriness, And Winter’s freezing cold, From sapling youth To virile growth. And Age’s rigid mould, His energetic axe hath rung Within that Forest old. Aloft, upon his poising steel The vivid sunbeams glance — About his head and round his feet The forest shadows dance; And bounding from his russet coat The acorn drops askance. His face is like a Druid’s face, With wrinkles furrow’d deep, And tann’d by scorching suns as brown As corn that’s ripe to reap; But the hair on brow, and cheek, and chin, Is white as wool of sheep. From: The Elm Tree; A Dream in the Woods. - Thomas Hood Stanzas 5 - 9 (of 26) from Part 2. Part 1 has 27 stanzas (if I have counted correctly
  18. It is big sky and its changes, the sea all round and the waters within. It is the way sea and sky work off each other constantly, like people meeting in Alfred Street, each face coming away with a hint of the other’s face pressed in it. It is the way a week-long gale ends and folk emerge to hear a single bird cry way high up. It is the way you lean to me and the way I lean to you, as if we are each other’s prevailing; how we connect along our shores, the way we are tidal islands joined for hours then inaccessible, I’ll go for that, and smile when I pick sand off myself in the shower. The way I am an inland loch to you when a clatter of white whoops and rises... It is the way Scotland looks to the South, the way we enter our friends’ houses to leave what we came with, or flick the kettle’s switch and wait. This is where I want to live, close to where the heart gives out, ruined, perfected, an empty arch against the sky where birds fly through instead of prayers while in Hoy Sound the ferry’s engines thrum this life, this life, this life. Orkney/This Life - Andrew Greig (Scottish poet & novelist - married to author Lesley Glaister)
  19. I have added a second book to the Books You Hated category - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I didn't hate it the first time I read it, but coming to it later, as an adult with experience of working with children I read it in a completely different light. As for Books I Didn't Finish: I used to finish any book I started, even if it was a chore, but I've tried The Heart of Darkness a couple of times, and been unable to finish it. I also attempted to read Colin Thubron's The Lost Heart of Asia, and found myself hoplessly lost, so gave up on that too. There are probably others in more recent years, as realised I was wasting time that could be spent reading books I enjoyed.
  20. I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me what is happiness. And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men. They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Desplaines river And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion. Happiness - Carl Sandburg
  21. With 70 years of reading behind me it is impossible to remember which books are the best answer to any of the questions, as in any given year I would have a different answer to most. Without reference to my reading lists, I can barely remember books that I have had a strong reaction to at the time of reading. I will attempt the questions, but the answers are what I recall today, and may be amended during the last weeks of BGO There are so many! Your Favourite book. There are so many, but for the last 60+ years Little Women and Jane Eyre have been at the top, or very near, and been re-read most times. Saddest Book you Ever Read. The one I remember being unable to read for the tears was a Sunday School prize called A Peep Behind The Scenes by Mrs O.F.Walton, published in 1877 I think I was about 10 when I was given it, but I had to ask my mother to read a certain passage to me, as i couldn't see the print for my tears. Book You Read a Paragraph or Two From Now and Again The Bible - most days Best Opening Line You Ever Read Almost certainly not the best, but the one that comes to mind every time whenever the subject comes up, and has done for many, many years - "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents" Most Overrated Book Sorry to be so unoriginal, but -The Great Gatsby. I will also add Mrs Dalloway, although I heard a discussion about that recently that made me think it might be worth reconsidering. Book You Read Because of a Review You Saw Here. There are quite a few, but This Thing Of Darkness by Harry Thompson and The Children's War by J.N. Stroyar are the two stand-out BGO recommendations for me. Books You Hated Damage by Josephine Hart. It seems that the thread for this disappeared in one of our historic breaks in transmission. Not sorry. Also The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, because Miss Brodie herself seems to be held up as a fine example of the profession, and is admired by many readers, whereas I think she is abuses her position abominably, and would hate her to be a teacher of any girl I know Favourite Line from Any Book Not recalling anything at the moment, except the old favourite "Reader, I married him" from Jane Eyre. Weirdest (Experimental) book You've Ever Read A toss up between Orlando - Virginia Woolf and Time's Arrow - Martin Amis Books You Enjoyed At The Time But Later Wish You Hadn't Read Still thinking about that one.
  22. The name of the author is the first to go followed obediently by the title, the plot, the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of, as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain, to a little fishing village where there are no phones. Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag, and even now as you memorize the order of the planets, something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps, the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay. Whatever it is you are struggling to remember, it is not poised on the tip of your tongue, not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen. It has floated away down a dark mythological river whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall, well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle. No wonder you rise in the middle of the night to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war. No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted out of a love poem that you used to know by heart. Forgetfulness - Billy Collins William James Collins is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003.
  23. I ordered this, clean wood box Square as a chair and almost too heavy to lift. I would say it was the coffin of a midget Or a square baby Were there not such a din in it. The box is locked, it is dangerous. I have to live with it overnight And I can't keep away from it. There are no windows, so I can't see what is in there. There is only a little grid, no exit. I put my eye to the grid. It is dark, dark, With the swarmy feeling of African hands Minute and shrunk for export, Black on black, angrily clambering. How can I let them out? It is the noise that appalls me most of all, The unintelligible syllables. It is like a Roman mob, Small, taken one by one, but my god, together! I lay my ear to furious Latin. I am not a Caesar. I have simply ordered a box of maniacs. They can be sent back. They can die, I need feed them nothing, I am the owner. I wonder how hungry they are. I wonder if they would forget me If I just undid the locks and stood back and turned into a tree. There is the laburnum, its blond colonnades, And the petticoats of the cherry. They might ignore me immediately In my moon suit and funeral veil. I am no source of honey So why should they turn on me? Tomorrow I will be sweet God, I will set them free. The box is only temporary The Arrival of the Bee Box - Sylvia Plath
  24. All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you — I never had a selfless thought since I was born. I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through; I want God, you, all friends merely to serve my turn. Peace, re-assurance, pleasure are the goals I seek; I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin; I talk of love — a scholar's parrot may talk Greek, But self-imprisoned, always end where I begin. Only that you now have taught me (but how late!) my lack, I see the chasm; and everything you are was making My heart into a bridge by which I might get back From exile and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking. For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains You give me are more precious than all other gains. As the Ruin Falls - C. S. Lewis
  25. While it is still Easter Sunday (just), here is another poem by Elizabeth Rooney that is suitable for the occasion 'Opening' Now is the shining fabric of our day Torn open, flung apart, Rent wide by Love. Never again The tight, enclosing sky, The blue bowl, Or the star-illumined tent. We are laid open to infinity, For Easter Love Has burst His tomb and ours. Now nothing shelters us From God's desire - Not flesh, not sky, Not stars, not even sin. Now Glory waits So He can enter in. Now does the dance begin.
  • Create New...