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Everything posted by JaphyRyder

  1. I have ordered my copy of Maltese Falcon from Amazon Marketplace, looking forward to reading it, has been in mind to read for a long time. I read Brave New World in my 20s too, but I suspect I will have to read again to refresh my memory - look forward to contributing to my first bookgroup reads. Cheers Richard
  2. I might have an interesting take on things here. I studied A Level Eng Lit at night school when I was 24, just for the enjoyment - I had always wanted to do it, but other things got in the way of choices. My set texts at A Level were: Shakespeare - A Winter's Tale Othello Others - Handmaid's Tale General Prologue to Canterbury Tales Under Milk Wood I really enjoyed the whole course, and my tutor mentioned it was interesting to have an "older" more world wise view on the texts (although it was night school, most students were 6th form age). I particularly enjoyed the Chaucer, but could see right away how had I done it at a younger age, it would have been hard work! Under Milk Wood I just fell in love with - it is many years now since that course, but I still pick it up at least once a year and just browse, you can do that it is do easy to dip into and so evocative and engaging. As it happen's, I "got" but didn't really like Atwood's book, but I probably still am not a great fan of dystopian novels so maybe not too much of a surprise. Cheers Richard
  3. David - thanks for that. I look forward to joining in the debate once the books are selected. I have picked up a copy of Tony & Susan (which I had not come across until I read about it on here) and will be reading that shortly, so I will aim to post a message on that book by way of getting into the swing of things. Whilst I usually read around 40 books a year (and aiming to increase) I am not in the habit of commenting on them (I did do an A-Level in Eng Lit at night school a few years ago, and enjoyed it immensely, but not since), and I am really looking forward to being challenged to read more deeply and carefully. Thanks again Richard
  4. Hi all, I haven't posted since I joined last month, but have lurked with much frequency, just to get a feel for things. I am really interested in getting involved in the BGO Book Group though. I didn't vote in the poll (as I feel like I shouldn't yet) but I am interested in the themes that have been selected. Really this is a quick query about how the group works (as I couldn't find a posting explaining it - apologies if there is one). Can I join simply by reading the relevant books and then posting my comments, or is the group more select (notice there do not seem to be that many involved based on how many voted). Thanks Richard
  5. (My first posting so treat me gently!) I agree that The Riders is Tim's weakest book (as long as you don't mind his highly stylised early novels. I have always tended to think that the Booker Prize does a very good job of missing a great book, and then trying to make up for it by short-listing the authors next book. This is a case in point. Winton's previous book "Cloudstreet" is his masterpiece and I highly recommend it - totally different to The Riders (well, The Riders is totally different to his other stuff) - it is a magical, heart warming, totally unsentimental, but life affirming story of how normal people cope with the difficulties that life throws at them and the courage they need to get through. Like many a great book, the characters will stay with you long after you finish. Anyway, just thought I'd throw that in, as I don't disagree that The Riders was weak - Winton is capable of much better. Cheers Richard
  6. Hi all - I am new to this forum, but it might just be the think I have been looking for for ages! I read a good bit (c 50 books a year) and have always felt I'd like to be in a book group but having issues with time and availability due to work it never seemed to come off. You might guess from my username that I am a bit of a Kerouac fan! I tend to read modern literature (last 20 years) in the main, and am not a great fan of the classics, but do stretch as far back as Thomas Hardy (who I tend to consider a "modern" author anyway, in as much as he wrote about modern issues, and the impact of the modern world). Some personal favourite authors are: Thomas Hardy, Jack Kerouac, Milan Kundera, Michael Ondaatje, and Tim Winton. I just made the big 4-oh, come from Newcastle and I am married with 2 boys. My main interests alongside reading are cycling, walking (Lakes hills and Scottish Munros), listening to all kinds of music and playing guitar and trumpet which I have just started learning, good food and wine. I am interested in politics and have a deep concern for environmental issues, as well as an interest in personal spiritual issues, in particular Buddhist thought. So - that's me! Hope to get my head around diving into stuff soon! Cheers Richard
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