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brightphoebus

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Everything posted by brightphoebus

  1. Face to Face Book Groups...

    I've been dragooned into joining two real life book clubs, as people know how much I love reading, after holding out for decades, and I'm not completely easy with them. I feel I'm being dragged away from my own book choices when I have tons and tons of waiting books. I have to concede, though, that through the groups, I've re-read, and re-evaluated some old favourites, had to defend my favourites, and also have had to read some books which I would never have chosen but were not as bad as I feared, and some better than expected. Equally, a very few were awful, because I feel I can't veto every awful book as it is meant to be a happy collaborative space and not one for me to behave like the book police. I've now decided to skim-read any awful ones to stop myself weeping with frustration. I tell myself that the social aspect is equally important as the books, and I do learn a little more about books, myself, and others. This sounds like a grumpy post but it's not really, as I'm glad it's made me less insular about my reading! It's only been made possible by retirement and having more time to read. I'd love to know how others here feel about real life groups nowadays since the last post here was Grammath's in 2009.
  2. Asymmetry

    I've been dragooned into joining two real life book clubs, Binker, as people know how much I love reading, after holding out for decades, and I'm not at all easy with them. I feel I'm being dragged away from my own book choices when I have tons and tons of waiting books. I have grudgingly to concede, though, that through the groups, I've re-read, and re-evaluated some old favourites, had to defend my favourites, and also have had to read some books which I would never have chosen but were not as bad as I feared, and some better than expected. Equally, a very few were awful, because I feel I can't veto every awful book as it is meant to be a happy collaborative space and not one for me to look like the book police! I've now decided to skim-read any awful ones to stop myself weeping with frustration. I tell myself that the social aspect is equally important as the books, and I do learn a little more about books, myself, and others. I'd love to know how you feel about it some months down the line.
  3. Asymmetry

    You're right, Binker, I did read it last year, after reading reviews which praised the writing but also homed in on the sensational back story of the real-life affair with Philip Roth. I decided to give it a go. I thought the first part showed well the nuanced power balance between the young woman and much older writer, but it was the second part (which I had not known about and came as a big surprise) that made it such a good novel. It seems to address the power of imagination of the novelist, of the ability to conjour up a life completely outside the writer's own experience and how that can enter the consciousness of the reader and create something both imagined and real for both. So what I thought might be an interesting take on an affair with Philip Roth turned out to be a meditation on writing itself.
  4. Book Chain

    Go Tell It On The Mountain - James Baldwin
  5. Book Chain

    Everything I Never Told You - Celeste Ng
  6. Book Chain

    Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple
  7. what is everyone doing?

    I'm so sorry, meg. Such worry and sadness for you all. Sending hope and all possible good wishes for the future.
  8. Book Chain

    All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
  9. Book Chain

    Snow Falling On Cedars - David Guterson
  10. Book Chain

    The Call OfThe Wild - Jack London
  11. David

    We looked forward to his posts every day. Such an intellect, and so kind and wise. Such a loss.
  12. Book Chain

    Around The World In 80 Days - Jules Verne
  13. what is everyone doing?

    Momac, I hope you get him home soon and can start on the new Dave diet. Give Charlie a hug.
  14. Book Chain

    The Well Of Loneliness - Radclyffe Hall
  15. Review of 2018

    Favourite book: A re-read of Philip Roth's The Plot Against America for my rl book group. What was once a fanciful idea of the USA turning right wing, even fascist, during the second world war turns out ot be a prophetic work of genius in the light of recent events. Brilliantly written. Favourite TV series: Joint top, Patrick Melrose (I watched it on DVD) and Killing Eve. Fantastic. Favourite Film: Roma. Ohmygosh, the best film I've seen since Manchester By The Sea. You can catch it on Netflix now, but if you can get to a cinema it's even better.
  16. Book Lists 2019

    17. Scoop Evelyn Waugh (RR) **** 16. Mothers Chris Power **** 15. Lincoln In The Bardo George Saunders (Audio) (RR) ***** 14. To Love A Woman Amos Oz ** 13. Great Granny Webster Caroline Blackwood **** 12. Putney Sofka Zinovieff ***(*) 11. Sight Jessie Greengrass *** 10. Wittgenstein's Nephew Tomas Bernhard **** 9. Family Lexicon Natalia Ginzburg *** 8. Dear Evelyn Kathy Page **(*) 7. Eight Months On Ghazzah Street Hilary Mantel ****(*) (RR) 6. Swing Time Zadie Smith **** 5. Gachar, Gochar Vivek Shanbhag ****(*) 4. Ghost Wall Sarah Moss ****(*) 3. The Yiddish Policemen's Union Michael Chabon **** 2. Periera Maintains Antonio Tabucci (RR) **** 1. Of Kids and Parents Emil Hakl ****
  17. Book Chain

    How To Stop Time - Matt Haig
  18. Book Chain

    The Book Of Evidence - John Banville
  19. Book Chain

    A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution - Orlando Figes
  20. Book Chain

    And Quiet Flows The Don - Mikhail Sholokhov
  21. Book Chain

    Go Tell It On The Mountain - James Baldwin
  22. Book Chain

    Love In A Cold Climate - Nancy Mitford
  23. Book Chain

    The Bookshop - Penelope Fitzgerald
  24. Book Chain

    Handle With CARE - Jodi Picoult
  25. The Principle

    Thanks, iff I'll put this on the TBR list right away. I really enjoyed Where I Left My Soul and The Sermon On The Fall of Rome but this one seems to have escaped me.
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