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About brightphoebus

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  • Birthday December 29


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  • Interests
    I love indie and folk music, hillwalking and birding and, oh, READING!
  • How did you hear about this site?
    Came across it on Google when looking for a review on a book and found Stewart's erudite post.

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  • Current Book
    Lincoln In The Bardo - George Saunders
  1. Book Chain

    Dragon Teeth - Michael Crichton (I cheated)
  2. Definitely. I've just finished Frances Hardinge The Lie Tree, aimed at CYA and enjoyed it very much. On the radio recently I heard someone bemoan the loss of plot in novels other than crime novels, but in the best CYA you get all the characterisation and atmosphere but with great plots too.
  3. Book Chain

    To The Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
  4. Book Chain

    Stranger In A Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein
  5. Book Chain

    Love In A Cold Climate - Nancy Mitford
  6. what is everyone doing?

    Don't leave education, Hazel! It needs people like you more than ever. Find a place where you will be appreciated and where you will be able to set the agenda now you are so well qualified. Good luck.
  7. Narrator or First Person?

    There's a very illuminating chapter in James Wood's book How Fiction Works called Narrating on just this topic. He examines first person and third person - free indirect style- narration with loads of examples. It helped me see how an author inhabits and conveys character. I can't recommend this book highly enough, though I have to re-read it often to re-grasp what lies behind the alchemy that happens in a well-written book (and why awful books grate). It's dead easy to read but harder to retain.
  8. Book Chain

    Have The Men Had Enough? - Margaret Forster
  9. This novel by newcomer, Australian Sarah Schmidt spotlights the murders of Mr and Mrs Borden in the USA in 1892. The rhyme "Lizzie Borden" might jog your memories, but did she or didn't she do it? It's an honourable debut, and worth a read, just about. It's terrific at helping you feel the claustrophobia of family life, the sisters bound by the death of their mother, the love and hate felt by turns towards each other, their father and stepmother. The physicality of life held in the opressive heat of summer trapped in the house. Schmidt doesn't spare you details of the stench of people, food and animals living and dead, and indeed eventually you tire of the overblown and hyperbolic descriptions of smell however much you welcomed them at first as an antidote to 'clean' and unrealistic historical accounts. There are some annoying red herrings too, the introduction of a spurious character who ultimately has no bearing on the story. Still and all it was a good read, especially the first half and if you canter towards the end you won't miss much. ***(*)
  10. Book Chain

    A Long Way From Home - Peter Carey
  11. Are audio books the same as reading print?

    Thanks, second operation since last July and cross fingers it will all be in the past soon!
  12. Are audio books the same as reading print?

    I would normally say I prefer reading to myself, but I was recently in hospital and listened to James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man when unable to read. It was the BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, very sensitively read by the actor Andrew Scott. It was a revelation, and I honestly feel I had never properly understood the novel until it had been read aloud to me. Maybe Joyce's prose, poetic and lyrical, lends itself particularly well to being spoken aloud?
  13. Book Chain

    The Well Of Loneliness - Radclyffe Hall
  14. what is everyone doing?

    Hazel, how great to see you back on BGO. It sounds like you have laid the perfect conditions at home for your son to reach his full potential with minimal anxiety and must take such credit for that. I too have worked with children with autism, from the earliest ages until five years, but also have a niece and nephew with autism and Asperger's, and a younger brother with Down's Syndrome and autism and agree that it packs a different punch when it is in the family. Nephew with Asperger's is very happy, has two degrees and a terrific job in a bank where his particular skills are used and valued. It souds like your boy knows what he needs and wants and you and your family will be able to support him all the way.
  15. Swallowing Mercury

    Thanks, iff, I'd forgotten about this novel but will remind myself to put it on the tbr list.