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Everything posted by babelbel

  1. I always wondered what that jumble of letters meant. Thanks for asking NSA. I think you should be able to edit your own signature in the Your settings area - unless Bill has barred you from there!
  2. It was the only way I stayed sane! Thanks are due to whoever it was posted the Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel link. It has to be a classic and I now have it all!
  3. I'm about half way through but the thing that struck me about this was the forensic science aspect. I wondered how developed the skill was at the time Conan Doyle was writing. I've read the Sherlock Holmes books before and I've always found the character rather arrogant but somehow likeable. I think that probably has to do with the fact that Watson likes him. He finds him frustrating and infuriating at times but generally holds him in high regard. Does anyone have any thoughts about the use of Watson as the narrator? I think this works because Watson is painted as the more 'normal' character. I don't think the stories would have been as readable if Holmes were narrator.
  4. Hurrah! Thank you all for reintroducing me to Radio 4. When I was a full time mum I would listen to it almost constantly but these days I don't seem to be around a radio when the programmes I want to listen to are on. As a result of this thread I've visited the website and found I can listen to most of them whenever I want!! Have spent the evening listening to a selection of old favorites and am looking forward to becoming a regular listener again. The highlight of my listening however, was a programme called '84 Book Crossing Road' which was about the 'wild' release of 84 copies of the book 84 Charing Cross Road - which has to be one of my favorites - around London and New York. Well worth a listen with a combination of extracts from the book and the stories of those who found them.
  5. Thanks Bill. Someone mentioned reading it on line at www.thefreelibrary.com and I have it as an e-book if anyone wants it that way.
  6. Isn't a Lulu a real disaster area - as in Lucille Ball being a bit of a scatterbrain? .......................or don't you know who Lucille Ball was?!?!?!
  7. Apologies to all those who missed the poll.............I thought repeating myself in the title would make it stand out! I hope you haven't missed the poll for themes its here and its open until the 1st of October so go and vote! Megustaleer - how can you possibly be slow at typing! I can recommend a rather wonderful tutor called Timon & Pumbas Adventures in Typing which will teach you to touch type. Its based around the Disney characters and is aimed at 8 year olds but it was ideal for me. I will never make a living at typing but it means I can type and look at the screen at the same time. I take your point about a real time discussion not being there for posterity. I've had a brief look at the chat room and I can't see any facility to save a conversation. We could do that if we used something like messenger but I don't know if there is a limit to the number of people you could have in the conversation. Does anyone out there know? It sounds like it might be worth having a trial run anyway. (though not after midnight ChrisG - Does your body clock refuse to accept GMT?) I am happy to organise and be a chair as long as no one sits on me too hard. As for going 'off topic' I think that often adds to the discussion. In a some of the discussions we have already had there have been little tangents which have been interesting in themselves - the whole science fiction thing when we were discussing Cloud Atlas for example. More thoughts please and I'll post something on this once the forum for Study in Scarlet gets going.
  8. A Study in Scarlet Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. If you are buying the book can you do it through the links on the site. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in using the chat room on the site for a 'real time' discussion on this choice. I thought we could perhaps set a date and time where we could have a virtual get together. Any thoughts?
  9. Well done Angel! It's good to hear what people felt and it looks like we all got a little something out of this one. So in that sense it was a worthwhile exercise.
  10. Sorry ChrisG. These authors are all among my favorites too! I will make a note to make 20th Century American Fiction a category in the next round of options!
  11. I'm posting this poll but I think I can predict the outcome before the results are in! (the chapter on probability helped with that) Did anyone actually get to the end of this? I managed the first 4 chapters which I thought was pretty good but I'm afraid it was to much work to be enjoyable. What did everyone else think?
  12. Right – we’ve now exhausted the original themes …………so I need suggestions for the next 3 rounds. The poll has quite a lot of choices and I’ll take the top three for our next set of themes……… You can vote up to 3 times (I’ll trust you not to vote more than that!) I’m going to leave this poll open for a little longer than the book choice so that everyone gets a fair go at it – two weeks instead of the usual one. ………….and I’m still looking for volunteers to take on a round. (Lizzy I’ve got you on my list already – I’ll be in touch soon).
  13. Sorry folks – this is a little delayed - I’m a bit snowed under at the moment. Anyway this is the poll for the next book. I’m also posting a poll for themes so once you’ve voted here please go and vote there as well! This round’s theme is 19th Century Literature choosing which titles to go into the poll was difficult in itself! There were so many wonderful suggestions but ………I had to be brutal ………otherwise the vote is spread too thin. So….here are the choices (all synopsis courtesy of Amazon): 1. The Master of Ballantrae Robert Louis Stevenson Synopsis: Set at the time of the Jacobite uprising, The Master of Ballantrae tells of a family divided. James Durie, Master of Ballantrae, abandons his ancestral home to support the Scottish rebellion - leaving his younger brother Henry, who is faithful to the English crown, to inherit the title of Lord Durrisdeer. But he is to return years later, embittered by battles and a savage life of piracy on the high seas, to demand his inheritance. Turning the people against the Lord, he begins a savage feud with his brother that will lead the pair from the Scottish Highlands to the American Wilderness. Satanic and seductive, the Master was regarded by Stevenson as all I know of the devil'; his darkly manipulative schemes dominate this subtle and compelling tragedy. This edition takes as its text the Edinburgh Edition of the novel, the last approved by the author. The introduction considers the novel's inspiration and its place as one of Stevenson's greatest studies in cruelty. 2. A Study in Scarlet Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Synopsis: Convalescing in London after a disastrous experience of war in Afghanistan, Dr John Watson finds himself sharing rooms with his enigmatic new acquaintance, Sherlock Holmes. But their quiet bachelor life at 221B Baker Street is soon interrupted by the grisly discovery of a dead man in a grimy ill-omened' house in south-east London, his face contorted by an expression of horror and hatred such as Watson has never seen before. On the wall, the word rache German for revenge' is written in blood, yet there are no wounds on the victim or signs of a struggle. Watson's head is in a whirl, but the formidable Holmes relishes this challenge to his deductive powers, and so begins their famous investigative partnership. 3. Three Men in a Boat Jerome K Jerome Synopsis: Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a jaunt up the Thames would suit them to a T'. But when they set off, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather-forecasts and tins of pineapple chunks not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J.'s small fox-terrier Montmorency. Three Men in a Boat was an instant success when it appeared in 1889, and proved so popular that Jerome reunited his now older but not necessarily wiser heroes in Three Men on the Bummel, for a picaresque bicycle tour of Germany. With their benign escapism, authorial discursions and wonderful evocation of the late-Victorian clerking classes', both novels hilariously capture the spirit of their age. 4. Daniel Deronda George Elliot Synopsis: This novel uses the hero, Deronda, to come to terms with the English Jews, a society-within-a-society. The book's heroine, Gwendolen Harleth, marries for power rather than love, uncovering a vein in human relations that could lead, through the best intentions, to despair. Daniel Deronda is a psychologically incisive investigation, probing the egoism of a spoiled girl and her increasing awareness of conscience through suffering. Gwendolen comes to regard Daniel as her moral and spiritual mentor, but chance, the revelation of his Jewish birth, and his practical and sympathetic identification with his race draw him away from her. 5 Great Expectations Charles Dickens Synopsis: A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor - these form a series of events that change the orphaned Pip's life forever, and he eagerly abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman. Dickens's haunting late novel depicts Pip's education and development through adversity as he discovers the true nature of his 'great expectations' 6. The Mayor of Casterbridge Thomas Hardy Synopsis: In a fit of drunken anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive pride and temper. Subtitled 'A Story of a Man of Character', Hardy's powerful and sympathetic study of the heroic but deeply flawed Henchard is also an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town. Right – now you’ve read what they are about –CAST YOUR VOTE!!!
  14. I had been thinking about using the chat room for the next bgo bookgroup discussion. I'd be happy to join in a chat about book groups. I think lucy is right about times though. Best time for me is after 8 at night.
  15. Like many of the people who have commented, I had read this book as a teenager. I was a bit wary of re-reading something that I had enjoyed at that time, specially since I am not a re-reader of books, however I did find it a pleasant experience. I do think this is very much a book of 2 parts with the first part being the better read. The end of the book was quite depressing and I suppose one of the reasons I didn't enjoy it was that it didn't give me an idealistic scenario. Was Wyndham being ironic? cynical? When I read this book the first time we were coming to the end of the cold war but it was still very much a part of people's lives and the threat of nuclear war felt very real and I suppose people were concerned by what might happen in a post nuclear world. As I read it this time I was struck by the inability of people to live alongside those who differ in some way. The idealist in me would have liked the Sealanders to be a tolerant race but they were fundamentally the same as the Waknuk community. Was Wyndham saying that this intolerance of those who are different is what makes us human and that essentially we are bullies? I have to say I didn't find the ending happy at all. I felt that Petra was going into a society that would use, and probably abuse, her - that David and Rosalind were only being taken because they were with Petra and that Rachael and Michael were being abandoned completely.
  16. Its that time again and I'm looking for suggestions for our next read. The theme for this round's selection is 19th century literature so that's what I'm looking for. I'm also looking for suggestions for themes for the next few rounds. If I get enough suggestions I'll run a poll. Also if anyone wants to volunteer to take on a round let me know. The suggestion thread is open till 12th September - come on get in your requests!
  17. What made Eugene want to be in the house in the first place!? He just seems sooo out of place. He looks like a frightened rabbit half the time. It will be nice watching Craig squirm as he watches himself look like 'a total p***k' - to quote his 'best mate'.
  18. Much as I can't stand Craig I am beginning to get quite worried about how he is going to react when he gets out of that house. I think someone said earlier that he had the potential to be a killer and to be frank - it wouldn't surprise me. His behavior towards Anthony is deplorable. I am a newcomer to BB only having watched this series and a bit of the last and I have been struck by the cruel phychological games that get played on the housemates both by other housemates and BB. While I don't think any of the other housemates will be seriously damaged by this I do think that Craig has the potential to be seriously unhinged. Anthony has coped well with Craig's advances so far but it remains to be seen how he will react when he realises the full extent of what went on. ........as for Eugene, I was glad to see that he has pulled himself back to being a complete geek and utterly nice guy.
  19. I didn't enjoy this HP as much as Order of the Phoenix. I felt it lacked a lot in the middle and I didn't feel the characters were developed very much. All that said, I can't wait for the next one. This book does feel like a bit of a long preface to the next. I felt it has left more unanswered questions than any of the others - the whole Snape story line surely that can't be it, where (or indeed who) are the rest of the Horcrux and who the hell is R.A.B? (I still think Neville will pull through and he will be the one to do in Voldemort. )
  20. Going to pick up from the library today! Like most people here I read this many years ago - probably as a young teenager. I'm looking forward to re-visiting John Wyndham.
  21. School holidays are a bit of a nightmare for me. I've got 2 girls aged 11 and 12 and no local family to look after them while I'm at work. I worked freelance for a while so that I could be at home for them though still working but I found my work taking over my evenings and week-ends. Even though I was physically in the house with them I didn't have time to actually do anything with them! Now I work full time for one company who are great at letting me work from home when I need to during term time but on long holidays its more difficult. I take my holidays which takes care of 2 weeks. I rely on friends to look after them odd days which means I get to have their kids when I can - usually weekends. They go to their grandparents (who live 2 hours drive away) for a few days at a time. Neither kids nor grandparents can take much more than that! The rest of the time we muddle along with me working half days at home. I suppose I should mention that they do go to their father - a school teacher - who has so far managed 1 week and 'might manage another couple of days' before the end of the holidays! (I'm in Scotland so we just have 2 more weeks to go!) In this area there are afterschool clubs which run summer holiday schemes. It allows you to spread the cost of paid care over the year to some extent. Unfortunately for me my oldest is too old to go to any of these and the youngest one would have had to give up music and sport at her own school to attend the ASC. There are also playschemes which are a bit like toddler/play groups but run through the summer. They are becoming more difficult to organise because of the disclosure rules but they are organised on a voluntary basis with groups of carers getting together to spread the childcare - taking turns to help with the supervision. They get some funding from the local authority and get travel passes from the local regional transport agency to allow taking kids on outings. I could go on and on! Childcare issues are/were high on my list of priorities! I look forward to the day when they can take care of themselves!
  22. Its just one thing after the other at moment!!!! Anyway - Bill has gone offline and I am going away for a few days. If anyone has to buy the Chrysalids in order to read it can you please use the links to bookshops at the top of the index page! If anyone wants to start a discussion on it can you start a thread this forum and I'm sure Bill will move it to the right place when he gets back. See you all next week!
  23. Well............given that I already had a couple of votes in..........the final results for this poll is : The Chrysalids - John Wyndham 5 The Handmaids Tale - Margaret Atwood 5 War of the Worlds - H G Wells 4 ........which doesn't really help much. However, I am going to take an executive decision and nominate our primary book for this selection as : The Chrysalids - John Wyndham 5 (Belinda never really made clear whether or not she actually voted and I'm going to assume that she didn't but would have liked to.............pathetic reason I know!) I'm sure Bill will set up a bookshop link and forum when he gets a chance.
  24. ............but have you? The poll doesn't close till tomorrow morning - every little helps!
  25. I, Robot was also a film - was it not? - and it didn't make it to the final three. I don't remember a film of the Chrysalids, is it an old film - around the time they made The Midwitch Cukoos or The Day of the Triffids? As for War of the Worlds there have been too many film, tv, radio & music versions to count! - but the original (book) is still the best - in my opinion. ............and you never know - A Handmaid's Tale might be selected- or is that the second film?
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