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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2021, 13:10 
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Fifth Form!
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I've just read DJ Taylor's "The Windsor Faction" which is mild alternative history (Mrs Simpson dies, Edward VIII does not abdicate). It's well-written and readable but the reason I'm here is two late mentions of GO literature.

Our heroine, captured and imprisoned, finds and reads a copy of "The Snackboat Sails at Noon" (Nancy Breary). A synopsis of the book is given (I don't know whether it is accurate as I don't have this one) and there's some musing on the comparison between life (and people) as portrayed in the book and real life. Later on the heroine thinks about the other GO literature that she's read, comparing the activities of "Dimpsy (sic), Maeve and Peggy" to her current situation (although I can't remember any of these characters escaping detention via a home-made rope or derailinng a nature walk but the situations do sound familiar).


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 30 Jun 2021, 17:52 
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Lamenting over the Middles' behaviour
Lamenting over the Middles' behaviour
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I think I'd be willing to wager some of next week's pension on David Taylor having read some GO fiction. He's a very well read man and a very clever writer.


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2021, 12:02 
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Fifth Form!
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I'm not conscious of ever having read anything by him before but he certainly seemed to know his GO!


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2021, 15:53 
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Being a disappointment to Miss Annersley
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I did a trawl of the local charity shops the other day looking for books in suitable tatty condition that I could take to the Bookbinding Group for the learners to practise on. I came back with half a dozen. The tattiest one of all was a slim volume called "Love for Seven Dolls" by Paul Gallico. I picked it up and found I couldn't put it down until I'd read it from cover to cover. What an absolutely delightful story. A kind of adult fairy tale. Needless to say I've repaired and rebound it myself and it's not leaving the house!


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2021, 21:36 
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Attending the Fifth Form Evening
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I recently read the Snow Goose by Paul Gallico and the writing was lovely. I'll need to look out for this one too.

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2021, 22:41 
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My favourite Paul Gallico is Jennie, it's a cat story, and another cat story is Thomasina


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2021, 11:48 
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Fifth Form!
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Just read "Square Haunting" by Francesca Wade. I'm not sure I am as enthusiastic about it as the reviewers but I was intrigued to realise that Eileen Power had a sister Rhoda with whom she wrote some mediaeval things for children. Sure enough, Rhoda Power turned out to be the writer of my beloved "Redcap Runs Away" which I first read at 8 or 9. I acquired my copy when the school threw it out.

Currently reading "The Secret Life of Books" by Tom Mole which would appear to be a book for People Like Us although I have a slight suspicion that he's a bit pretentious (and patronising).


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2021, 17:37 
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Having Miss Annersley for Civics
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Seeing what Victoria has written about a beloved childhood book has made me wonder whether there would be room for a thread on just that?

My Gold, Silver and Bronze candidates would be "The Heart of a Rose" by Patricia Robins,1947, "Castle Rhanby" by Meta Shaw, published in 1949, and "Trouble at Timpetill" by Henry Winterfield, written in 1933.

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2021, 20:40 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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I'd never be able to pick just three :lol: , but if anyone wants to start a new thread on the subject, it'd be very interesting to see what people choose.

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2021, 10:54 
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Lamenting over the Middles' behaviour
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I agree - why not start one, cestina?


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2021, 11:41 
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Attending the Fifth Form Evening
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I'm so curious to see people's choices!

I know there's several EJO fans on here. I've just started reading the abbey books for the first time. I've really been enjoying them until Jen of the Abbey School. I just finished it. I like the characters and Rocklands school. But oh, it's so snobbish!!! It's almost putting me off continuing although I've had fun with all the rest so far.

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Book blog: https://GiltAndDust.WordPress.com


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2021, 13:42 
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Fifth Form!
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brie wrote:
I'm so curious to see people's choices!

I know there's several EJO fans on here. I've just started reading the abbey books for the first time. I've really been enjoying them until Jen of the Abbey School. I just finished it. I like the characters and Rocklands school. But oh, it's so snobbish!!! It's almost putting me off continuing although I've had fun with all the rest so far.


Oh dear. I've just bought a "fat orange" copy of that. I'm not the greatest fan of the Abbey books but I find the early ones okay to read (and Girls of the Hamlet Club was a revelation!) so I assumed this one would be all right. I might put it to the bottom of my new TBR pile (the old one disappeared during the pandemic).


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2021, 14:12 
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Taking Lower IV A for Prep
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Victoria wrote:
brie wrote:
I'm so curious to see people's choices!

I know there's several EJO fans on here. I've just started reading the abbey books for the first time. I've really been enjoying them until Jen of the Abbey School. I just finished it. I like the characters and Rocklands school. But oh, it's so snobbish!!! It's almost putting me off continuing although I've had fun with all the rest so far.


Oh dear. I've just bought a "fat orange" copy of that. I'm not the greatest fan of the Abbey books but I find the early ones okay to read (and Girls of the Hamlet Club was a revelation!) so I assumed this one would be all right. I might put it to the bottom of my new TBR pile (the old one disappeared during the pandemic).


It certainly isn't one of EJO's best - it was written to connect the Rocklands books (Go-Ahead Schoolgirl and Tickles) with the Abbey series (so that Betty could be brought into that main series) and it suffers from that. The attitudes to Rose - both in terms of her disability and her family situation are certainly not comfortable reads these days.

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2021, 14:27 
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Attending the Fifth Form Evening
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I loved Girls of the Hamlet Club. It's really what made me start reading the series. I'd read The Abbey Girls a few years ago and wasn't sure but when the ebook became available for Girls of the Hamlet Club I thought I would give the series another go and I loved it and I loved The Abbey Girls when I re-read it after.

I can't honestly recommend Jen of the Abbey School Victoria, but my plans for today fell through and I started The New Abbey Girls and I am enjoying it much more so far. So I am going to consider Jen a blip! It was a shame though, I've managed to get most of the others as ebooks but I had to source a physical copy of Jen and after all that I don't think it'll be one I re-read. Typical.

I agree Abbeybufo it was definitely the attitudes to Rose and Archie and their presents in particular that made me squirm. Interestingly though I did think EJO managed to introduce all these other previously established characters pretty well for someone like me who hadn't read the Rocklands books. Are they worth trying to get hold of? I'm all at sea with EJO there are so many books and they all seem to interconnect. I hardly know where to start.

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She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain - Louisa May Alcott

Book blog: https://GiltAndDust.WordPress.com


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2021, 14:59 
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Having Miss Annersley for Civics
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Noreen wrote:
I agree - why not start one, cestina?

Done it :-)

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2021, 15:20 
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Sub-prefect!
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Victoria wrote:
brie wrote:
I'm so curious to see people's choices!

I know there's several EJO fans on here. I've just started reading the abbey books for the first time. I've really been enjoying them until Jen of the Abbey School. I just finished it. I like the characters and Rocklands school. But oh, it's so snobbish!!! It's almost putting me off continuing although I've had fun with all the rest so far.


Oh dear. I've just bought a "fat orange" copy of that. I'm not the greatest fan of the Abbey books but I find the early ones okay to read (and Girls of the Hamlet Club was a revelation!) so I assumed this one would be all right. I might put it to the bottom of my new TBR pile (the old one disappeared during the pandemic).



Jen of the Abbey School was cobbled together from 3 short books, Girls of Rocklands School, Second Term at Rocklands and Third Term at Rocklands, which in turn were mostly composed of several short stories from annuals with a few changes and extra bits. So it was never intended as one book, and this shows. It has good parts, and introduces Jen to Betty who then appears in the main Abbey series, as do Rena and Lisabel.


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2021, 08:38 
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I've just read Hamnet and thoroughly enjoyed it. Also recently completed a re-read of the Bruno Chief of Police series which I love.


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2021, 14:56 
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Fifth Form!
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A wholehearted recommendation for the delightful "Ex Libris" by Anne Fadiman. This is a slim collection of essays subtitled "Confessions of a Common Reader" and I feel most (of not all) of us here will find similarities with ourselves.

In talking about combining her and her husband's book collections and how you shelve books:

" Some friends of theirs had rented their house for several months to an interior decorator. When they returned, they discovered that their entire library had been reorganised by color and size. Shortly thereafter, the decorator met with a fatal automobile accident. I confess that when this story was told, everyone round the dinner table concurred that justice had been served. "


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2021, 18:22 
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Hemming sheets
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Good God! SLOC immediately agreed the decorator deserved his/her fate.

I have just finished the Memoirs of Lady Trent (5 volumes). Totally trashy but enormously enjoyable.
I wonder if anyone but Marie Brennan could entertain me so with tales of yak herding.

Now embarking on Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel. I got a second hand hardback very cheap, but it is enormous and very heavy. Not a book for bathtime.

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading III
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2021, 19:19 
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Fifth Form!
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Joined: 17 Nov 2011, 02:45
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Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell was one of those books where I enjoyed the setting up but found the actual story a bit of letdown.

It's a problem that I come across in fantasy and science fiction writing not infrequently : many authors' ability to worldbuild doesn't seem matched by their ability to write a good story or to provide a resolution that doesn't feel like a letdown.


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