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brightphoebus

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Everything posted by brightphoebus

  1. My two favourite books were "Lowborn" by Kerry Hudson, a non-fiction account of growing up poor in the 1980s and 90s; and a re-reading of A High Wind in Jamaica by Robert Hughes. You have to ignore a couple of lines of casual racism early on, but I think it is one of the most perfect young adult books ever written.
  2. 43. A Legacy Sybille Bedford (RR) ****(*) 42. How We Lost Megan Taylor **(*) 41. Writers & Lovers Lily King **** 40. Vinegar Girl Ann Tyler (Audiobook) **** 39. The Way We Live Now Anthony Trollope ***(*) 38. Akin Emma Donoghue (Audiobook) **(*) 37. The Missing Shade Of Blue Jennie Erdal *** 36. The Topeka School Ben Lerner ****(*) 35. Your Duck Is My Duck Deborah Eisenberg ***** 34. The Improbability Of Love Hannah Rothchild (Audio) *** 33. Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead Olga Tokarczuk ***** 32. The Overstory Richard Powers (Audiobook) *** 31. Anything Is Possible Elizabeth Strout (Audiobook) ****(*) 30. Stalingrad Vasily Grossman ****** 29. Old Baggage Lissa Evans **** 28. Lost For Words Edward St Aubyn **** 27. Actress Anne Enright *** 26. The Testaments Margaret Attwood (Audiobook) **** 25. Independence Square A.D.Miller *** 24. Ten Stories About Smoking Stuart Evers **** 23. Night Boat To Tangier Kevin Barry ***** 22. Theatre for Dreamers Polly Samson *** 21. The Story Of The Night Colm Toibin (Audiobook, RR) ***** 20. The Optimist's Daughter Eudora Welty (Audiobook) **** 19. Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun Sarah Lapido Manyika ** 18. What Not Rose Macaulay **** 17. Wakenhyrst Michelle Paver ***(*) 16. Apeirogon Colum McCann **** 15. In the Memory Of The Forest Charles T. Powers ***** 14. Sleeping Arrangements Laura Shaine Cunningham **** 13. Tamara Walks On Water Shifra Horn ** 12. Middlemarch George Eliot (RR) ***** 11. Manhattan Beach Jennifer Egan **(*) 10. The Confessions of Fannie Langton Sara Collins **** 9. Red Birds Mohammed Hanif **** 8. Heartburn Nora Ephron (RR) **** 7. The Porpoise Mark Haddon ***(*) 6. After The Party Cressida Connolly ***(*) 5. The Heavens Sandra Newman ***** 4. Good Behaviour Molly Keane (RR) ***** 3. Normal People Sally Rooney ***(*) 2. Nine Suitcases Béla Zsolt ***** 1. The Fountain Overflows Rebecca West ***(*)
  3. Meg, so sorry to hear of Mr Meg's out-of-the-blue heart attack and I hope the rest of the year leaves you in peace. Will Christmas arrangements still stand, do you have lots to do? Thinking of you, momac, and hope your reading is solace for you when Mr m is not cooperating with his care.
  4. Love in a Cold Climate - Nancy Mitford
  5. That's a disappointment, MisterHG. I very much enjoyed Leaving the Atocha Station, his next novel not so much and now this...
  6. Woman At Point Zero - Nawal El-Saadawi
  7. Blimey, I go away for a few days and find that Meg and Momac have been through the wars. Please get better soon, both of you!
  8. Outrageous Acts And Everyday Rebellions - Gloria Steinem
  9. The Voluptuous Delights Of Peanut Butter and Jam - Lauren Liebenberg
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Go Tell It On The Mountain - James Baldwin
  14. Everything I Never Told You - Celeste Ng
  15. Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple
  16. I'm so sorry, meg. Such worry and sadness for you all. Sending hope and all possible good wishes for the future.
  17. All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
  18. Snow Falling On Cedars - David Guterson
  19. We looked forward to his posts every day. Such an intellect, and so kind and wise. Such a loss.
  20. Around The World In 80 Days - Jules Verne
  21. Momac, I hope you get him home soon and can start on the new Dave diet. Give Charlie a hug.
  22. The Well Of Loneliness - Radclyffe Hall
  23. 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.
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