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Old 23rd Feb 2017, 8:38   #11
Digger
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Default Re: Palimplists 2017

Lets be optimistic and think that I might a) visit here more regularly, b) not just lurk, c) read some more books...

1) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, JK Rowling. Meh. got given for crimbo, read for completeness... I think I'd rather see the play than read the play script.
2) The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry loved this, made me want to visit Colchester (while mentally eradicating the 20th century).
3) Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf I love this author, was so sad to hear of his passing and then so happy to see this his last work published. made me cry, made me happy, the writing is open and clear, just like the Colorado landscape of the plains where his works are set.
4) Barkskins, Annie Proulx, current and so far gargantuan book though as I got the hard copy... not one for travel without its own roller case!
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Old 2nd Mar 2017, 20:57   #12
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Originally Posted by Digger View Post
Lets be optimistic and think that I might a) visit here more regularly, b) not just lurk, c) read some more books... and for further clarity and an accurate reflection J1 etc are the books I'm reading with and to Jack as we begin his entry into the wonderful world of bigger books.
J1) The Last Battle, CS Lewis - finished the Narnia stories, which we read over the course of last year.
1) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, JK Rowling. Meh. got given for crimbo, read for completeness... I think I'd rather see the play than read the play script.
2) The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry loved this, made me want to visit Colchester (while mentally eradicating the 20th century).
J2) I was a Rat, Phillip Pullman - great take on the Cinderella story which I completely didn't see until the end! Jack liked all the newspaper articles and the application of a wide variety of accents for the different characters.
3) Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf I love this author, was so sad to hear of his passing and then so happy to see this his last work published. made me cry, made me happy, the writing is open and clear, just like the Colorado landscape of the plains where his works are set.
J3) The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster - one of my absolute favourites. Jack picked the Mathmagician to be for Book day.
4) Barkskins, Annie Proulx, current and so far gargantuan book though as I got the hard copy... not one for travel without its own roller case!
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 21:17   #13
gil
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Default Re: Palimplists 2017

Joining the gang rather belatedly, but heartened by a display of mild enthusiasm, here goes, in no particular order, and whittled down by failing memory:
1. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome - for the umpteenth time, these books evoked my earliest pleasure in reading. In this case, and in the case of Winter Holiday, I was reading the actual battered books I first owned in the 1940s, and have dragged around 35 or more homes, in many countries, ever since. I admit to nostalgia. The star ratings reflect this, but they are great books for children.
2. Swallowdale - Arthur Ransome
3. Winter Holiday - Arthur Ransome
4. The Miernik Dossier - Charles McCarry - The first of a series of spy novels which are more in the le Carré genre than the Ian Fleming. These were written in the era of the Cold War by a CIA analyst. Subtle and dark, this first documents a rather haphazard inter-agency espionage case.
5. The Tears of Autumn - Charles McCarry - Yet another slant on the JFK assassination.
6. The October Men - Anthony Price - More spy stuff. This book is one of Price's weaker efforts, but full of casually delivered historical authenticity.
7. The Emperor's New Mind - Roger Penrose - A staggering work of philosophy aimed at demonstrating that AI will never surpass human intelligence. It includes a detailed historical summary of Classical, Relativistic and Quantum Physics, with worked examples in multiple dimensions, which reduces me, a BSc Hon Physics and Astrophysics graduate, to a quaking jelly. A book more to be admired than enjoyed.
8. X - Sue Grafton - Slick detective novel, 24th in her alphabet series. I begin to hope that she and I may survive to write and read, respectively, Z.
9. 3 Men in a Boat - J K Jerome - Remarkably fresh humour, and really hard to realise from the language that the book dates from 1889. I don't think I ever read it in its entirety before. I do remember reading Harris's account of the Hampton Court Maze in a book of my Aunt's called something like "The Popular Humorous Reciter", which volume also contained Albert and the Lion, and the Great Montgolliper. There was also one in which Harris (from 3 men in a boat) was bathing in the sea, when he was suddenly seized from behind and ducked. When he was released and rose the surface, the young man who'd attacked him apologised profusely and said he'd mistaken Harris for a friend. Harris later said "I hate to think what he'd have done if he'd mistaken me for a relative."
10 The Secret Lovers. Charles McCarry. Very slow getting to the point. Includes a truly weird love relationship. Not my favourite.
11 An Event in Autumn. Henning Mankell. A sort of stray novelette in the Wallander series of Swedish police procedurals. Well-written, as always.
12 The Terrorists (the last of the Martin Beck series) by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. Set in the 70s. Owes more to Ed McBain than to Inspector Morse. Not the best in the series, to be honest.
13 The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. Having read his The Windup Girl last year, I hoped for geat things. It's well-imagined, a bit violent for my taste, but really gets to the problem the USA will have with water reserves.
14 Matter by Iain M Banks. My review. It's so long ago that I read Matter, it was almost like reading a new book. Posthumous treat from Iain M Banks RIP.
15 Dead Lagoon by Michael Dibdin. An Aurelio Zen mystery. I much regret the early death of Dibdin. He wrote some wonderfully ironic novels.
16 Sharpe's Waterloo (about Waterloo, you may have guessed) and...
17 Sharpe's Devil (about the Chilean revolution and Admiral Crichton) by Bernard Cornwell. I've read all the Sharpe novels over the past six years or so. They are not especially good literature, but the history is detailed and well-researched, and, as far as I know, quite accurate, and that is what I have found most fascinating. Inserting a fictional hero into a historical situation is not, of course, a new idea. It could be argued that it's as old as Homer. Between Sharpe, Hornblower and Aubrey I have learned a great deal about the Napoleonic wars, and I have really enjoyed the experience, as well as being horrified by the bloodshed and the privations of 18th and 19th century soldiers and sailors.

Last edited by gil; 15th Apr 2017 at 14:34.
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