Current reading matter

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, and is NON CH related - chat about the weather, or anything else that takes your fancy.

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YadaYada
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by YadaYada » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:09 pm

Also highly recommend One Day which I read in the summer holidays.
Just about to start Landfalls by Tim Mackintosh-Smith - the third of his books on the legendary traveller Ibn Battutah who is quite possibly the person I would most like to spend an evening with.

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by SAS » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:18 pm

I do like this thread; it is so civilised. Heavenly.

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by MW224 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:19 pm

If you enjoyed 'One Day', try 'Starter for Ten' by the same author. Absolutely brilliant and an easy read. I am currently reading ' the 100 year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared'. It's a very funny and altogether different read. I think it will be this year's Christmas present to my friends! And SAS, just seen your post, yes I do like this thread too!

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by kerrensimmonds » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:32 pm

Do not try 'A Casual Vacancy' by the celebrated JK Rowling. It is appalling even though at the top of the Best Sellers. People must have bought in because of her Hairy Potter reputation. Goodness knows what any young HP fan would think, if they were to read it 'by mistake'...
a) it is very badly written. There are huge chunks, some more than a Kindle page long, presented in parenthesis - illogically
b) there is gratuitous terribly bad language throughout - and a plot which .... at the moment (24% through) .... I am struggling to keep my head around
c) it contains explicit scenes of teenage sex (both apparently in practice as well as in the imagination of smutty boys) and explicit scenes of adult drug abuse

How on earth did it get published? Or am I a dinosaur, pedant and prude???!!
Kerren Simmonds
5's and 2's Hertford, 1957-1966

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by anniexf » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:26 pm

Thanks for the tip, Kerren! I didn't bother with Fifty Shades ... because a friend reported that it was atrociously written. I don't have the time to waste on rubbish! At the moment I'm reading The Private Patient by P.D.James, well up to her usual standard though perhaps a bit over-descriptive. Previously I'd been reading Amos Oz's A Tale of Love and Darkness, but had to give up because the print is so tiny. Next up is a collection of short stories by William Trevor, A Bit on the Side, but he is usually so bleak that I'm already nervous!

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by kerrensimmonds » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:46 pm

I haven't been anywhere near any of the Fifty Shades books either. But I think they might be a bit different from JKR? They are presented (as I understand it....) as 'mummy porn' - whereas 'A Casual Vacancy' is much more 'complicated', tortuous - and explicit in terms of teenage sex and drug abuse. But it is similarly very badly written! As far as I understand it, there is a fairly simple plot in the 'Fifty Shades.....' series. This is not the case with 'A Casual Vacancy' - as far as I can see at the moment.
Let's move on to something more erudite! A friend has lent me the Robert Graves' anthology of Greek Mythology. I have only thus far read the first section, but I can see that it will be interrrresting"
Kerren Simmonds
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by icomefromalanddownunder » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:23 am

I'm reading A Casual Vacancy, and agree with Kerren's comments. The conversation that the person sitting behind me on the train this morning was having with her mother (on her mobile) was of more interest than Ms Rowling's plot, and after, once again, trawling back to find an opening bracket (to ensure that there hadn't been a proof-reading oversight), I closed the book and listened to an opinion on the possibly inefficient practices of a newly formed cat rescue group.

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by SAS » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:32 am

If you enjoyed 'One Day', try 'Starter for Ten' by the same author. Absolutely brilliant and an easy read.
I have and it was brilliant. Made me laugh aloud. Read it when it first came out so knew I would enjoy One Day, but the sheer amount of blubbing took me by surprise.

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by pinkhebe » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:02 pm

I'm reading 'Moon over Soho' by Ben Aaronovitch. Not exactly highbrow, but enjoyable modern fantasy.

SAS - You'd never read Jane Austin? :shock: She's still one of my favourite authors, P+P is a desert Island book for me

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by fra828 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:25 pm

pinkhebe wrote:I'm reading 'Moon over Soho' by Ben Aaronovitch. Not exactly highbrow, but enjoyable modern fantasy.

SAS - You'd never read Jane Austin? :shock: She's still one of my favourite authors, P+P is a desert Island book for me
Desert Island books-that would be a good thread! My DI book would be 'Survive the Savage Sea' by Dougal Robertson, an incredible true story of resilience and survival against all the odds. Edna O'Brien's 'Country Girls' books are also favourites. She is a brilliantly descriptive writer.

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Always Afternoon, by Faith Compton Mackenzie

Post by sejintenej » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:46 pm

A difficult read but performed more out of duty. An authoress in her own right this contains excerpts from various times in her life up to 1942. It is difficult to set years to chapters though I have found 1937 following 1938 itself followed by 1932. Many people are referred to only by initials - even her husband, the writer, becomes M and she occasionally refers to herself in the third person. Frustratingly, I looked for and failed to find any reference to her brother Francis whose life I am trying to research and whose house in Windsor I know she frequented.

Despite certain reservations about her writings, made I think by relatives, the book gives an intriguing view of upper class life in the 1930's. For example, in 1938 and forseeing war she had her house gasproofed - and then sat down to a Christmas dinner (her word) of "duck chosen at the market by Mabel and perfectly cooked by Chrissie" whilst warmed by a huge fire and two electric heaters. Who, in this day and age, would go into such detail or even remember it? Who, in a biography, would detail a recipe for Bitki (Russian cutlets)? Who, in those days, would refer to house servants other than by their surnames? With some hopefulness and after she decided in 1938 that war was inevitable she named another house Peace Close but didn't bother to officially tell the Post Office until war was declared - somewhat optimistic! Unfortunately, although the disagreement over The Duke of Windsor's biography is covered in some detail the more intriguing fate of an account of secret service actions in the Aegean is omitted - Official Secrets Act I suppose.

She had an interesting life being born into a family of travellers ; the earliest known ancestor was a lawyer in Jamaica whose offspring had a certain reputation. Her own mother was born in New South Wales but moved to England before she was twelve and completed her education in Paris. Faith herself lived in the Hebrides, Italy, France and at the aptly named Woodbine Cottage in the Vale of Health - I kid you not. She was one of eleven children (one adopted) with many of whom she remained very close. Her siblings were equally interesting - a broadcaster, another writer, a holder of the M.C. HRH The Queen Mother's personal chaplain ... the list is long. Her address book would have been full of the influential, of society doyens, diplomats, of those in the artistic communities and many more besides from Russia to America. Certainly there are unsubstantiated stories about those parties which did not emerge in the gossip sheets of the day :shock: :shock: :shock:

Unfortunately for the book and her memoirs it has been written "What truth there is in this remark is hard to judge as Faith was rather prone to unsubstantiated statements in her writings......."

Edit; Faith's cousin once removed (? - the family relationships are a nightmare) was a pupil at CH in the Royal Mathematical School; there was some disagreement over the family income but against the odds Owen Vidal spent 6 years there before joining the navy

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by J.R. » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:54 pm

kerrensimmonds wrote:Do not try 'A Casual Vacancy' by the celebrated JK Rowling. It is appalling even though at the top of the Best Sellers. People must have bought in because of her Hairy Potter reputation. Goodness knows what any young HP fan would think, if they were to read it 'by mistake'...
a) it is very badly written. There are huge chunks, some more than a Kindle page long, presented in parenthesis - illogically
b) there is gratuitous terribly bad language throughout - and a plot which .... at the moment (24% through) .... I am struggling to keep my head around
c) it contains explicit scenes of teenage sex (both apparently in practice as well as in the imagination of smutty boys) and explicit scenes of adult drug abuse

How on earth did it get published? Or am I a dinosaur, pedant and prude???!!

I haven't got round to this JK novel yet, but I will, being a 'Hairy' Potter fan, and not being prudish and very broad-minded !! :roll:

Youngest daughter has bought a copy of 'Fifty Shades' and has promised a lend to her Dearest Mum, so I'm sure I'll give that one a glance too, purely in the interests of literature, you understand !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by sejintenej » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:20 pm

J.R. wrote:
I haven't got round to this JK novel yet,[A casual Vacancy] but I will, being a 'Hairy' Potter fan, and not being prudish and very broad-minded !! :roll:

Youngest daughter has bought a copy of 'Fifty Shades' and has promised a lend to her Dearest Mum, so I'm sure I'll give that one a glance too, purely in the interests of literature, you understand !
John; why not follow Kit Aitken's advice which he gave about Lady Chatterley's Lover and wait for the film?

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Re: Current reading matter

Post by kerrensimmonds » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:32 pm

What film? I have not heard of one for either the Fifty Shades series, or the new JKR?????
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Re: Current reading matter

Post by sejintenej » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:25 am

kerrensimmonds wrote:What film? I have not heard of one for either the Fifty Shades series, or the new JKR?????
That was Kit's point; when Lady C came out the idea of a film of THAT book in that era was inconceivable.
From what I have read, JKR's book is said to be badly written so why bother?

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