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 Post subject: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 23:00 
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I'm starting a new thread because the previous one is 50 pages and keeps on crashing the CBB iPhone app!


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 23:25 
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Well, I am reading Death And The Maiden, by Frank Tallis - might be of interest to some here. Turn of the century Vienna, crime, psychology, music and food, all combined into one splendid series. The prose can be a little turgid, but Tallis knows his stuff (he's a psychologist by profession) and he loves his music, and loves Vienna and it comes across beautifully. Death And The Maiden is my favourite because my all time favourite composer, Gustav Mahler, gets an actual substantial role, rather than just wandering past in the distance as he does in the other books :D But they are a series with a definite plot trajectory, so if you fancy them, it's worth starting at the beginning (I didn't, but I started early enough to get the gist). The first is Mortal Mischief. They're all really good and tend to delve into a somewhat murky aspect of fin de siècle Vienna's society. Really fascinating :)

To temper my YA/crime fic binge, I am also reading Anna Karenina, my first 'serious' novel in a very long time. I'm really enjoying it! I was told Tolstoy's prose reads like he's writing a soap opera, which is not quite fair, but it's all very readable, and I'm thoroughly enjoying reading a 'serious' tome for once. I'm also just enjoying having my ability to read restored to me! It's been a long time since I read novels properly, and to read several all at once is especially thrilling.

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 15:46 
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I read "Anna Karenina" in my Russian author phase at age 15 or so, and remember finding the stuff about estates very slow. On a recent re-read, I was surprised to find "Anna" very irritating and all the stuff about farming much more interesting!

I'm re-reading "War and Peace" and finding it a lot less slow and difficult than I remember it.

Clearly age matters.


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 23:08 
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Yes, I'm finding Anna a smidgen annoying - not entirely, but Alexey Alexandrovich is getting a larger share of my sympathy atm! I wouldn't call it the greatest novel ever written, not yet, and I'm halfway through - but it's enjoyable - and I, too, am enjoying the bts about the estates. Dear old Levin! Whereas Vronsky - what a boor and a pig! Any decent man would have known where to get off, and wouldn't keep hounding a woman who's already said 'no'!

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Outskirts Of The Twenties: Polari

Non-CS fic: Late Back (Good Omens)


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 20 Jul 2014, 00:01 
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Just read The One-Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared. So funny and fantastic! Just the kind of book I'd like to write one day. I loved it. I seem to be finding so many wonderful books at the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 20 Jul 2014, 00:47 
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Abi wrote:
Just read The One-Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared. So funny and fantastic! Just the kind of book I'd like to write one day. I loved it. I seem to be finding so many wonderful books at the moment.


I've just read this and would heartily recommend it too


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 20 Jul 2014, 09:00 
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I finished Murder Most Unladylike and definitely recommend it. This week I've also read The Windermere Witness by Rebecca Tope which I enjoyed particularly because I recognised the places featured and Chiltern School by Mabel Esther Allan which was really good (with a lot of similarities to the Drina books).


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 22 Jul 2014, 14:45 
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Having Miss Annersley for Civics
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abbeybufo wrote:
So I'll be helpful & do the link instead - I have wasted spent many hours reading this blogger's posts since Gil pointed me in that direction a few weeks ago :devil:

And Mary R wrote:
And now I've just done the same, Ruth! :D Thanks, cestina!

Apropos the above from the previous What we're reading thread - we'll have that blogger on here shortly. He's just confessed to succumbing to three more CS books :D

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 22 Jul 2014, 19:04 
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Has anyone read 'A Knight of the Royal Oak' by Blanche Winder? It's subtitled, A story of the battle of Worcester. One of my long-cherished books and I'm about to reread it. Told from the POV of a 13 year old French girl, niece of a dancing master in Worcester. Taught me all I ever knew about the battle of Worcester! Other book I'm planning to reread at the same time (ish) is Knight's Fee by Rosemary Sutcliff, my favourite of her non-roman books.

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2014, 14:00 
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Picked up five Heyers for a pound each in a charity shop, including a few mentioned here: Frederica, Sweet Charity, My Lord John, Black Sheep and something else.

Was very pleased with the haul :)


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2014, 17:12 
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I had 6 Dornford Yates books come this morning, as far as I know all but one new to me. Guess what I will be reading for the next week or two. Thanks Bettina.


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2014, 19:38 
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Abi wrote:
Just read The One-Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared. So funny and fantastic! Just the kind of book I'd like to write one day. I loved it. I seem to be finding so many wonderful books at the moment.

Someone at work recently told me about this, must put it on my list!
I'm reading 'Written in my heart's own Blood' by Diana Gabaldon on my kindle lots of American history in it. It was published last month, and everything else that's in my pile or on my kindle has to wait :D

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2014, 21:38 
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JS wrote:
Picked up five Heyers for a pound each in a charity shop, including a few mentioned here: Frederica, Sweet Charity, My Lord John, Black Sheep and something else.

Was very pleased with the haul :)

Sweet Charity? What manner of Heyer is this pray? I know it not....

If Heyer is new to you then don't start with My Lord John. In fact, start with Frederica...

Or am I teaching my grandmother to suck eggs? :D

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2014, 22:25 
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Sorry - Charity Girl :) My mistake.

I have Frederica on my Kindle so plan to take it (her?) on hols....


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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 25 Jul 2014, 08:55 
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I hardly dare confess this on here but I am struggling with Fire and Hemlock. I adore Diana Wynne Jones and this is the first of her books I have not been immediately taken with, regardless of the age for which they are written.

But I am finding Fire and Hemlock turgid, and dare I say it, boring. I shall persevere but would like to know if anyone else feels the same about it?

*Runs away to hide from the torrent of abuse I feel may follow this post*

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 25 Jul 2014, 13:04 
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cestina wrote:
I hardly dare confess this on here but I am struggling with Fire and Hemlock. I adore Diana Wynne Jones and this is the first of her books I have not been immediately taken with, regardless of the age for which they are written.
Oh, that's a shame. For me, F&H is probably her masterpiece (as in technically the best), and a favourite in many ways, especially as it contains a minor character I very much relate to, but I haven't re-read it as often as some of her others. In any case I've never yet found an author whose books I have all liked, and I wouldn't really expect to - if nothing else, there's always the one the author loves and really wanted to write but nobody else is keen on.

If it's any consolation, I've never got into DWJ's Dalemark books and have Cart and Cwidder sitting here waiting for me to have another go. I remember being irritated by the start of F&H (and the main characters), but persevered and got sucked in, so I hope that happens for you too.


Last edited by Noreen on 25 Jul 2014, 13:12, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 25 Jul 2014, 13:07 
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I adore Fire and Hemlock, but that's probably because it's an adaptation of the Tam Lin story, which I love. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 25 Jul 2014, 15:32 
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Fire and Hemlock is one of my desert island books - it's probably the only one that is consistently on my mental list and has been for more than twenty years. However, it is quite long, and the action shifts between being very high speed and hard to keep up with, and being quite a lot slower. I can understand why, at a first read, it might seem hard going.

Incidentally, someone on the DWJ mailing list has just designed Throgmorten bookplates (also available as a cushion and a tote bag). I think that he is completely true to his description and I thought other DWJ fans on the board might be interested!

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 25 Jul 2014, 15:53 
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I think I have two main problems. I dislike (sorry Abi!) the Tam Lin story in the same way as I always hated ballads in my youth because in my experience they always end badly.

And I am finding it very difficult to warm to Polly.

It's all the odder because I am concurrently reading DWJ's Reflections on the Magic of Writing, which I love, and she goes into great detail about the creation of Fire and Hemlock. I've enjoyed those essays and came to the book in eager anticipation.....

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 Post subject: Re: What We're Reading II
PostPosted: 25 Jul 2014, 15:55 
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What a shame... sometimes books are just like that, a great disappointment. I was just talking to Ariel about Sarum, which I thought was as dull as ditchwater but she loved. It was one of those books I anticipated keenly because everyone said how good it was, and it just didn't deliver.

Fair enough about disliking the Tam Lin story (although it doesn't end badly, it ends brilliantly!) and ballads in general... I guess that would put you off a bit.

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