It's An Even Longer List

Monday, 15 October 2012

My 'to be read' list is getting very long.


These three are the books I am reading at the moment.
Full Dark House is the first in a series of crime novels featuring the splendidly named detectives Arthur Bryant and John May who work for the London based Peculiar Crimes Unit. It's a bizarre, darkly comic tale of theatrical types set against a backdrop of blitz-torn London in 1940. Must get on and finish this because it is due back at the library soon.

Corduroy, on the other hand is a peaceful evocation of farming in Suffolk countryside in the 1920s  before the advent of mechanisation changed farming in this country forever. Adrian Bell was the father of  the broadcaster and politician Martin Bell. It isn't a page turner but it is beautifully written.

Stormy Petrel is a romantic mystery set on a fictional island in the Inner Hebrides. It's an undemanding but enjoyable read.


The four books above are on the top of my pile. 
The Knot by Jane Borodale was recommended on several book blogs including Cornflower Books who mentioned that it was now only £6 from Amazon which isn't at all bad for a newly released hardback. I naturally snapped it up. The knot of the title refers to an Elizabethan knot garden and you can read more about it here on the author's website. Can't wait to start reading it.

The Blackhouse was recommended to me because I enjoyed Ann Cleeves' Shetland Quartet. This is the first of a trilogy of crime novels set on Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. You will notice I have a thing about books set on Scottish islands.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Speaks for itself.

The Hobbit by Tolkien. I want to reread this  (after a gap of about 35 years) in advance of Peter Jackson's film due out in December. George and I are going to see it together because we are the Tolkien fans in our house. I love this edition with Tolkien's own illustrations and cover design.


Four PD James mysteries found at our local charity bookshop. I've read a couple before but would like to read more. I'm very fond of literary crime fiction. I like the familiarity of reading about the same characters -the detective and colleagues, but I also like a new story and I love a puzzle, something to stretch the brain a bit. I also like a conclusion. This in essence is why I enjoy detective dramas on telly but don't enjoy soap operas (however well they are acted).


These five are a bit random.
The Elizabeth Goudges (bought second hand via Amazon) I am saving for when I've had enough murder and need something sentimental and uplifting.

 Dark Matter is Charlie's given him by George for his birthday after I heard Steve Backshall talking about it on Radio 4's A Good Read (Tuesdays 4.30). It's a ghost story set in the Arctic and Charlie reckoned it was really good although George thought it was a bit too scary.*

The last two in the photo are rereads from my childhood. Alan Garner wrote weird fantasy stories for young people. If you remember the 70s tv programme The Children of the Stones you will know the kind of thing I'm talking about. The Owl Service was dramatised for tv as well now I come to think of it.



More Mary Stewarts. Absolute bargain from the Book People. £5 for ten books. Unfortunately they have now gone up to £9.99 but that's still not bad.  I've read a few of these before and they all feature capable, young heroines who know how to look after themselves. I always imagine them to look like Grace Kelly. The stories are always set in some fabulous location, often an island, often in the Mediterranean, Mary Stewart does sense of place very well.  The stories have an old-fashioned feel which is part of their charm. Danger, mystery and romance await the heroine around every corner. Interesting facts; Mary Stewart's maiden name was Rainbow and she is now 96 and lives in Edinburgh.


Ah, the Persephones I couldn't get into. One day I will read all these. I've dipped into Few Eggs and No Oranges quite a bit, but I didn't get very far with the others and I had to give away Cheerful Weather For the Wedding I disliked it so much. I've read and enjoyed all the Whipples, the Mollie Panter Downs, The Homemaker, Family Roundabout and A fortnight in September and I shall be putting the 100th Persephone  book on my birthday/Christmas list but these Persephones need to be read, I am sure I will enjoy them if I could just get round to reading them.


These last four books are abandoned books. Not forever I hope. I definitely want to finish A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and London Belongs To Me. I was reading them in the summer but I got distracted by In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden** which is a fantastic book, and then when I'd finished that I somehow forgot about them. I'm not sure about the Dickens or The Necropolis Railway though. I wasn't gripped by the latter and I fear reading Dickens feels a bit too much like reading for homework. I'm sure it shouldn't.

So, that's my very high reading pile, enough to keep me going for a long while but somehow there are always more books to buy or borrow, and you should see my wishlist; it's even longer.


*Out of all my children George is the reader. He hates not having anything to read. He began with Harry Potter when he was about eight and hasn't looked back. He favours fantasy but has read quite widely from the modern classics and is the only person I know who has read Homer (although that was required reading). He is currently reading those whopping Game of Thrones books by George RR Martin. 

Katie was delighted to find a new copy of Twilight for £2 at a charity shop but has only read the first paragraph (a good thing I feel).  Jacqueline Wilson is more her thing but she prefers the audio versions -lazy girl.

Tom doesn't read stuff unless he has to.

**
Virago Modern Classics are reissuing several Rumer Goddens including In This House of Brede in February 2013. All with gorgeous covers.



85 comments:

  1. I love to see what people are reading!

    I do a post about the books I've read each month at the end of the month. For crime I highly recommend Stephen Booth. I've started reading his books this year as they're set in the Peak District, an area I know well. The first two have been 'reviewed' (I use the term loosely) on my blog already and the third one I have just finished and thoroughly enjoyed. I have been reading Alan Garner too as he's another local author and I just love to read stories set in places I know.

    The books set in Scotland sound very interesting. It looks like you have a good stash in for the winter months!

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation Louise.

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  2. Oh wow and I thought my reading list was big :-) I'm intrigued with the crime novels you are planning to read, Stormy Petrel and Full dark House, I might have to track those down they look fascinating I love crime stories. Good luck with the reading :-) enjoy.
    Kind Regards Kay

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  3. My daughter lent me Miss Pettigrew earlier in the year and I loved it. then I found the DVD of it in a charity shop and that was good too.

    I am so frequently torn between reading books I have not read before, and re-reading old favourites. There just is not enough time!

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  4. Try reading the Norman Collins book around December time.I think there are winter books and summer books and this is a winter book.

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    1. Thank you. Yes, I think you are right about books for the season. A wonderful summer read is One Fine Day by Mollie Panter Downes.

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  5. There was I thinking my reading list was long. It's nowhere near yours!
    Do you know, I knew I'd love The Dark is Rising sequence (bought on your recommendation) because once I'd bought it Amazon suddenly started recommending Alan Garner (a childhood favourite).

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    1. Yes! The same sort of thing. There was a lot of it about in the 70s.

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  6. "It's an even longer list"
    Love your sense of humour!

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  7. Of all of those (so far unread by me), the one I'm going for is The Scent of Water because there is a blog of that name, so I feel that would square the circle nicely and that dust jacket looks nice.

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    1. I confess I was taken by the jacket. This is the front of the cover.

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    2. Yes I saw a nice copy on Abebooks. I'm reading The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton. Excruciatingly good.

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  8. Dear Sue
    I love your book list - what an interesting and eclectic mix. I have just bought Sister of the Angels by Elizabeth Goudge which is another story about some of the characters from A City of Bells, and is definitely a Christmas story. My mum wanted a hard back copy for Christmas and I have managed to track one down for her too. As for the Dickens, if you haven't read A Christmas Carol, try that one first, as it is far superior to any adaptation I have yet seen, and is a concise and beautifully described story. The descriptions of the Christmas shop displays are mouth-watering. Great Expectations is a wonderful story but does need a little concentration and I must admit that I find some Dickens rather meandering and sometimes a little annoying! (Probably tantamount to treason to say that!) I loved Miss Pettigrew which is a light and frothy story for when you have had too many murder mysteries. Enjoy your lovely stories.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie, A Christmas Carol is in fact the only Dickens I have read and yes, I agree with your description of it. I have a very good audio version (Anton Lesser) of it which I listen to whilst doing the Christmas cooking.

      I didn't know Sister of the Angels was connected with A City of Bells. Have you read Henrietta's House which is a children's sequel to A City of Bells?

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  9. You have some very good things there!

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  10. I love the Bryant and May books !! And I used to love Elizabeth Goudge many years ago ...
    The rest of your pile(s) looks very tempting . Now it's getting chilly , it's definitely sofa , good book and cup of tea time ... you're very well prepared !

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  11. I love Mary Stewart. Mum introduced me to her ;) And Elizabeth Goudge and Alan Garner too...
    I shall have to look into some of the others :)

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  12. I get so cross with myself when I abandon books that I'm enjoying - but I can never resist the new arrival, whether I've bought it or found it in the library. And then, of course, I've lost the thead of the first one. All too often there is no going back.
    I bought a huge stack of Elizabeth Goudges for 10p each including City of Bells. (I think I was getting it confused with Towers in the Mist which I absolutely adored when I was at school.) But I left them at the seaside and still haven't read them.
    I did finish Greenery Street but found all that self-conscious charm immensely irritating. But I couldn't have abandoned The Village. Or Saplings.
    The Blackhouse is completely gripping. If you can stomach it.

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    1. Oh dear that sounds a bit ominous! I must say Greenery Street wasn't really my cup of tea but I was enjoying both Saplings and The Village until I got distracted by something else.

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  13. Love the Bryant and May books and rereading the Mary Stewarts this summer - I find the reissued titles sold as sets on The Bookpeople a great source of enjoyment. I read so fast I like to have a nice waiting pile.

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  14. What an interesting collection. I remember watching the Owl Service, and reading it - it scared the life out of me when I was a child! I will have to try some Mary Stewarts if I come across any - they sound good. The only crime-type novels I can manage at present are the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child; once I start one, I can't put it down.

    I love Phillipa Gregory's historical books, fiction and non-fiction, as well as Katie Fforde for some light relief. Rosamunde Pilcher's Winter Solstice is a beautiful book, and I promise myself to find more of her books but haven't done so yet.

    The gentle Mma Ramotswe books are another favourite series, and I share your feeling for Scottish islands as I have a collection of Lilian Beckwith books from long ago which I read now and again. I also bought a set of Miss Read novels from the Book People some years ago and enjoy re-reading them - thrift and genteel poverty - things don't change.

    Sorry for going on - I do LOVE books!

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  15. That's quite a stack! I used to love Mary Stewart when I was growing up - I read all of my mum's tatty 1970's paperback copies. My personal favourite was Nine Coaches Waiting, which doesn't seem to be on that heap, but I adored the exotic locations in all of the books(I wonder if it influenced me in becoming a confirmed nomad?)

    I've read most of those Persephone too - Saplings I found strangely dispiriting, but I enjoyed Miss Pettigrew lives for a day.

    I'm heading to the bookshop this morning, so I'll keep an eye out for the Knot, in particular.

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  16. We have different reading tastes, but that is as it should be. The Knot sounds intriguing. I too have a large pile of Persephone books that are as yet unread, they are so beautiful, what can you do.

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  17. I used to read Elizabeth Goudge and Mary Stewart years ago. You've made me want to read them again. I have a lot of books waiting to be read, but I can't seem to settle to reading these days, I probably have too many other things taking up my time. I like Joanna Trollope, Maeve Binchy, Rebecca Shaw.

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  18. Love the book list. Thank you. You really must give Dickens another chance. Yes, he meanders a lot, but the good bits are so good that they make it all worth while. Love P.D. James. She's almost the only modern mystery writer I enjoy. I prefer the old ones from around the 30s and 40s. And tell George I love Homer.

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  19. Me again - well done on winning the frys chocolate giveaway!

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    1. What?! I won chocolate! how exciting :)

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  20. You will adore rereading The Hobbit. I'm doing the same before the film comes out!

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  21. Hmmm I am ashamed to say that I am with you on Dickens but love b it's of his novels. I loved 'Dark Matter' wonderfully written and I was scared! I don't read really as much as I used to - I want to read more this winter x

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  22. Thanks for sharing your list, I've added The Knot and Full Dark House to my own reading list. I tried to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn over the summer but found it too slow-paced, although I think it was more that I wasn't in the mood for that kind of story at the time. It was a library book so had to go back - maybe I'll try it again at some point.

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  23. Oh I so know what you mean about soaps, no resolution at all; just constant rows, endless marriages and affairs. I love Rumer Godden's 'In this House of Brede'. It's wonderfully evocative and the characters are beautifully drawn. Can I suggest Barbara Hambly for some amazingly descriptive pieces (equal to Thomas Hardy in my mind), intricate plots and wonderfully drawn characters; or Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel trilogy for some equally sumptuous books. Have a wonderful winter reading.

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  24. Mrsbrispie7:20 pm BST

    My "to be read" list plagues me daily! I can never get through it quicker than I can add books on! As if that weren't enough the library reminder has just told me I have to take one back tomorrow. I haven't even started reading it yet!! Oh well will have to put the ironing on hold!

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    1. Reading Not Ironing!

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    2. Mrsbrispie9:20 am BST

      Definitely Sue! Reading trumps ironing every time!! Half way through it now so hopefully won't have huge fine by the time I return it!

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  25. Arriving in Worcester Saturday (from U.S.). First stop is book store to get new Kate Morton..then more leisurely shops to see what else is out that we don't get in the US for AGES!

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  26. Ooh yes, you've got a good pile of books there. I had a bit of a Mary Stewart moment in the summer, which I remembered from my teenage years, and it's good to go back to old favourites. Preterably with a coffee and a biscuit or two...

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  27. Have you had a chance to visit the Scottish islands Sue? It's so wonderful up there, and given the dramatic scenery it's easy to understand how they've spawned a mystery or two.

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    1. Not yet, but they're on my 'to visit' list.

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  28. A very interesting and eclectic mix, I love seeing what others are reading. Like George I am currently reading A Game of Thrones, about halfway through the first book and have just ordered the 7 book box set so I reckon I am set for a while to come. Linda xxx

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  29. Do try and get Touch not the cat by Mary Stewart. S'good!
    TTFN, Mrs GH.

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  30. Granny Dot10:37 pm BST

    This posting feels like a slightly guilty, but satisfying, snoop on your bedside table / heap of books on the bedroom floor. Unsurprisingly there's an interesting mix there. I think you might have inspired some of us to try dipping into some of these titles.

    What about 'Wildfire at Midnight' another Mary Stewart and set on the Isle of Skye? I enjoyed that in the 1970s. 'Die Nadel' or 'The Eye of the Needle' is a film starring Donald Sutherland and features a lonely Scottish island during the Second World War. The film is based on Ken Follett's 'Storm Island.' I haven't read any Ken Follett but this might be worth a try as another of your Scottish Collection.

    I so enjoy rereading books I've savoured in the past yet there are so many new books to try. How to get round them all. As I've got older I've stopped believing I have to complete a book just because it MIGHT improve. If it doesn't satisfy fairly quickly, then I don't read.

    So far the dreaded ereader hasn't been mentioned in the comments. At the risk of inviting wrath, I confess to having been given a Kindle at the weekend. I love REAL books but think this is a possibility worth exploring. Any thoughts?

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    1. I see why people like Kindles and I can see some situations in which a Kindle may be better than books -when you've run out of bookshelves for example! They aren't for me though. I like a book to hold, also this post would have had less interesting pictures if I had all those books on a Kindle :)

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  31. Starting a reading group forced me back into reading after the distractions of raising children. The risk is that you occasionally have to read a book you really dislike, but I've had many a pleasant surprise. Out last one was Aldous Huxley's Crome Yellow which bored me silly. Our next one's Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami which sounds strangely promising.

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    1. I failed miserably when I joined a book group. I hated every single book. When I don't get on with a book I simply stop reading it so I was a bit useless when it came to discussing the book.

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  32. Anonymous11:25 pm BST

    I just love your reading list. Dickens is a favourite of mine and I would love to read more of his. I have read about half of his books (way back when before I had a child or four), but haven't read any for years (cue aforementioned kids!) You definitely need time to read Dickens - he is not an author to just read a chapter, put it down and pick up again a few days later. I guess I'm just going to have to wait until the chicklets all leave home?
    Aside from that, do like a good detective novel myself. A wonderful book, though, that I read recently was 'Miss Garnet's Angel'. I've a feeling that would be right up your street.
    Kim

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  33. Gosh, is Mary Stewart still going?! My Mum started me on her books as an introduction to adult fiction when I was about 13.

    Fascinating post! I should share my pile, in fact it would be lovely if all the bloggers I read shared theirs. You should start some kind of challenge.

    We have one title in common by the way, The Black House, which I'm nearly done with.

    Happy Reading :D

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  34. That's quite a list of books to read, but oh the pleasure of it all! I curl up in bed at night with my 'Dandelion' coffee and read for half an hour, a little special spot of me time.
    I have been without internet for a little while so have just caught up with your writings. You must have really pressed a button with 'that' person for them to comment like that. I take from blogs what I will, some I resonate with, others I don't, but that is what makes us interesting, makes us expand our thoughts. I admire what you do and how you put foods together, not always my cup of tea, but that is irrelevant. You are not out to please us, just sharing parts of your life, if people don't like it, then don't read it.
    Your flowers were (are) beautiful.
    xo Sandi

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  35. Oh my what a list of books to catch up on! And i thought that I was bad at putting things on a waiting list. I'm sure you are going to enjoy getting through them all though. I've thought about getting a Bryant and May book before but now I'm sure that I will. Thanks for that.

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  36. With you on the Scottish Island books, and just working my way through Ann Cleeves at the moment.I'll certainly check out the Peter May. I can't wait for the film, but don't think I can re-read The Hobbit - though i do re-read LOTR every few years, and am resolutely resisiting regular offers to replace my battered and tattered 1969 edition!
    Ah, PD James, I have all of hers, though I fear she is going off the boil, and she doesn't ranslate very well to audio, I want to shout 'oh for God's sake get on with it, too much lengthy description!'
    I love Elizabeth Goudge, and City of Bells is a favourite, I had NO IDEA there was a sequel, thank you to Ellie Foster, I will look this up. I read her first as a post-natally depressed young mother who could not bond with my little first-born son; one of her characters taught me that to act out the lve would eventually see that love developing, and you know, it did too.
    So many of your other choices are firm favourites - it is indeed pleasurable when you find other folks enjoy 'your' favourites too. And that's two to look for for me...thanks, Sue!

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  37. Many books I've already read in the extensive list and some I fancy reading now, thanks. I have just finished The Book of Fires and The Knot by Jane Borodale, I did enjoy them both but perhaps 'The Book of Fires' most. The Knot was interesting because we had visited Lytes Cary Manor whilst on holiday.

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  38. 'Tis a nice long list you've got yourself there. I always feel deeply comforted when I've got plenty of books to read. Friends of mine run the (ahem) "largest second hand bookshop in the Midlands" - it's on an old farm belonging to the Arbury estate (George Eliot connections) and I go there more often than is seemly and buy a ton of books. They also buy back stuff I don't want to keep. Anyway, I too bought the Mary Stewart novels from the Book People. I enjoyed Stormy Petrel and one or two others but then abanonded them as I have a thing about first person narratives. I adore Goudge. I want to be a Goudge heroine. I love the sound of the detective novel and the nice 1920s pastoral - right up my alley. Enjoy your reading!

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  39. This is what I need: a whole big HEAP of books! I am currently doing what feels like a penance reading NW by Zadie Smith. I so much wanted to love this book, but it is wearing me down. I think it is too "real". I like fiction I can escape into, rather than feeling like I am enduring a sentence for something I didn't know I had done.
    Persephone Books are soemhow too "worthy" as a whole - I have enjoyed a few, but most leave me listless.
    I had forgotten that Elizabeth Goudge wrote adult books - I loved her children's books. I think the Scottish Island crime books will do my mother nicely for Christmas - thanks for that! And now I am going to load up my reservations list on the library website!
    :)

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    1. The Little White Horse was my favourite book when I was 12 but I can't interest my daughter in it at all.

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  40. I too love to see what other people are reading! I admit to having a 'Kobo' & find I can get through more books faster than on paper - don't know why this is. Of course I still love the feel & smell of books, new or old. I agree that PDJames went off the boil a bit but still go back to her for 'comfort' reading. I love all the Scandi stuff at the moment and am reading everything Jo Nesbo has ever written! UK authors in the same vein - ie cops/forensic/thriller are Peter James & Peter Robinson (DCI Banks). Dickens is too much like hard and very boring work to me. Mary Stewart - once you've read one.....
    As others have said we all have our likes & dislikes, but READING is an important skill and we should all be doing it (instead of ironing especially).

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  41. That is one hell of a tbr list!! Glad I stumbled across your blog. I love reading about people's favourite books! I love that edition of the Hobbit too :) x

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  42. I love to find out what people I like are reading! Thanks so much for listing these. I loved The Homemaker and wish I was a Tolkien fan.

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  43. I love to find out what people I like are reading! Thanks so much for listing these. I loved The Homemaker and wish I was a Tolkien fan.

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  44. Wonderful list. I recently reread every Mary Stewart I could find and they held up beautifully.
    The two Alan Garner books I reread are "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" and "The Moon of Gomrath," its sequel. Much more accessible than "The Owl Service." Your George may like them. I will look up your mysteries, they are new to me. I have inherited my father's PD James but hadn't read them.

    You have some of my favorite authors on this list! It makes me want to curl up and read read read.

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  45. Pati from London5:40 pm BST

    Oh I do love a good thriller... have you tried Jo Nesbo? A friend recommended his books to me but haven't read any yet. I have Persephone's "The Homemaker" waiting for me in my shelf. Was that good? I recently read Anna Gavalda's "Hunting and Gathering", a french book about 4 interesting characters living in Paris and it was lovely. Tonight is bookclub night and we've read "Gold" by Chris Cleave but I thought it was a bit of a soap opera with the lives of 3 Olympic cyclists as protagonists....It would be interesting for a discussion though! (hopefully!). My hubby did classics at Uni so we do have quite a lot of them at home. I love Aristophane's Lisistrata, which has an interesting female intake to end the Peloponnesian wars. Love books!!! Pati x

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    1. Yes The Homemaker was good, very good.

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  46. What a pile - you are ready for half-term I feel. I love Elizabeth Goudge (mine were second hand too) particularly her The Elliots of Damerosehay trilogy. Enjoy!

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  47. Really enjoyed reading about your 'book mountain', and seeing other people's suggestions. I have six shelves of books to get through - probably too many as it gets a bit overwhelming! I flick between wanting to read all my favourites first, or reading the ones I'm less interested in to get them out of the way! I've started to be more ruthless lately, and if a book doesn't grip me in the first few pages, I abandon it (unless it's one that I really wanted to read, and then I'll persevere, but if I'm not too bothered, off it goes!).

    I'm completely obsessed with Scotland and have started to build a collection of books about / set in that country, so I'm going to have a look for the ones that you and some of your previous posters mentioned, but if you have any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

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    1. My husband will not ever give up on a book even if he hates it. Sometimes I wonder if he thinks he'll get into trouble for not finishing a book. I happily stop reading if I don't like a book.

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  48. What an interesting mixture! I've always resisted joining a book group, because I fear what others may inflict on me, an inveterate abandoner of books if I don't get hooked into them, but your choices are definitely appealing!

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  49. Catherine8:05 pm BST

    Bryant and May are brilliant! All ten of them... I inherited a pile of Elizabeth Goudge from my aunt, and my sister-in law has my mum's Mary Stewart collection. We can operate a sort of cross-country family lending library of Agatha Christie and other old-fashioned murders. I still re-read Alan Garner.

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    1. So many Mary Stewart fans! Someone ought to dramatise them.

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    2. I was reading on Christopher Fowler's website that there were plans to televise Bryant and May -Michael Gambon and Derek Jacobi had signed up (not clear who would be who), there was a script and everything but none of the tv companies were interested. Seems extraordinary when you think how successful dramas like Whitechapel are.

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  50. Granny Dot9:08 pm BST

    You're right, of course, about 'real' books Sue. This blogpost is definitely enhanced by the photos of your book piles. I think ereaders ARE useful at times. How many people delight in no longer rationing the books they take on holiday, for example, because they can take so many in the Kindle?

    I have to admit to enjoying taking bags of 'one read' books or books I've just had enough of to the Oxfam shop. All the more space on the book shelves! For more books!! Also a good book cover can be so appealing. So 'yippee' for real books.

    Let's hear how you get on with the piles. How many could you finish berore the end of the year? Happy reading.

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    1. Ah yes, book covers. I really do judge a book by its cover, so much so that if an old favourite is reissued with a lovely new cover I'll buy it. I've even got a Pinterest board devoted to cover art.

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    2. And yes, I will keep you posted -I have a Reading page under my header.

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  51. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is my very favorite book. It's wonderful. I really hope you get the time to read it, you won't be sorry.

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  52. Another one here who didn't get on with Greenery Street. I read it but the main female character (Felicity?) was so darn irritating I don't think I'll ever pick it up again. I also didn't really like Miss Pettigrew. It's just a bit too whimsical for me, but the film isn't bad. However I did love Saplings, and I've just read Bricks and Mortar which was also enjoyable, and I'd also recommend Alas Poor Lady. It's not one of the Persephones that everyone raves about but it's one of those books that I can't stop thinking about - it left me wondering what my own life would have been like had I been born into that particular generation. The Winds of Heaven was also good, but then I am a Monica Dickens fan anyway. And who doesn't love In this House of Brede? It's just wonderful :)

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  53. Your reading pile is as tall as mine! It's good to have a stash of books waiting patiently I think. It's a comfort.
    I've become obsessed with Anne Enright at the moment- Irish writer, I think she's marvelous!

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  54. I found "Airs Above the Ground" in a box in my grannie's basement when I was just coming into my teens. Loved that book! The other book that I have the best, fondest memories of is "Moonrakers Bride," (by an author I can't remember) also found in that old basement box. Or should I say treasure box?!?

    Would have loved to have commented on your previous posts, but my iPad seems to have a problem with blogspot comment boxes. Won't write in them, and if it will write, won't edit to add or change words. And it also thwarts me at the Select profile option. It won't acknowledge the pop-up box! Grrrr! (So the old laptop gets pulled out, plugged in, because darn it -- I'm here, I have something to say!)

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  55. My reading pile is huge. However I recently finished the Game of Thrones series (on kindle so I didn't get to appreciate how huge they are!), then the Little House on the Prairie series, for a bit of variety.

    I have a lot more non-fiction books in my to-read pile than fiction, because fiction is so much easier to read at night when I'm tired.

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  56. Grannie Annie6:44 pm BST

    From reading your list I think you might enjoy the Ruth Galloway series of archaeological mysteries by Elly Griffiths. They are set on the Norfolk coast and are very atmospheric with an appealing main character. The first one is "A Room Full of Bones".

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  57. Grannie Annie6:46 pm BST

    Sorry, the first novel in the Ruth Galloway series is in fact "The Crossing Places"....

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    1. I've had a look at those (amazon recommendation) and yes, they did appeal to me, nice to have another recommendation though, thanks :)

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  58. Ooo, what a wonderful post! I think the only thing I love more than nosing around peoples' cupboards and fridges is nosing around their bookshelves!
    If you like the "literary thriller" genre, can I recommend Sophie Hannah? I first discovered her browsing in a bookshop, when I read the first short story from "The Fantastic Book of Everybody's Secrets". It was absolutely gripping, I couldn't leave the shop without buying the book and have since devoured everything she's wriiten. She also does the "one detective in multiple cases"-style series (although the main character is an odd one). Anyway, I wholeheartedly recommend them...
    Jo x
    P.S. I recently blogged about my own Storecupboard Challenge, entirely inspired by you!

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  59. Fougasse4:25 pm BST

    Sue, your post has reminded me that Elizabeth Goudge's 'Linnets and Valerians' was one of my favourite childhood books - must try and find it! And I couldn't agree more about the wonderful 'One Fine Day' (Mollie P-D). I chose it for my book group last time round and the only problem was that no-one could find anything bad to say about it - so not much lively debate!

    On the Scottish crime front, have you read any Stuart MacBride? They're set in Aberdeen and while very hard-hitting, are also hilariously funny. I've devoured all but three of them in a very short space of time...highly recommended.

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    1. Thanks for your recommendation Fougasse, will check him out. There's a lot of Scottish crime about and I haven't tried Val McDermid or Ian Rankin yet.

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  60. I adore books and always have, it is unfortunate that I am spending too much time reading blogs (that I also adore) and so have 'lost' time for reading books, I keep having to re-borrow the library books. I now do not give time to books that do not captivate me (even my beloved Stephen King has lost his way a little).
    One of my favourite (battered now) is Elizabeth Goudge The Little White Horse (the film looked horrible so I didn't bother). Have you read her Green Dolphin Street (it's about Guernsey (I think) and New Zealand), it's a biggie and so beautifully written.
    I am currently searching the charity shops for back issue of Lee Childs and Peter Robinson (the tv version of Alan Banks is not as I 'see' the main character so it is hard to get into. And if the rumour is true that *spit* Tom Cruise is going to play Jack Reacher then the world has gone truly mad!!
    In the past experiences of my life books have saved me mentally and emotionally and I always have to have one upstairs and one downstairs even if it is only for ten minutes.
    Sorry this comment is as big as a blog post.
    Love
    Susan x

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    1. I avoided the film version of The Little White Horse as it did indeed look horrible, as did the film of The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper which sounded just dreadful.

      I've found that I only like films or tv adaptations of books if I see them before I've read them. There is apparently a tv production of Ann Cleeves Sheltland books coming up with Douglas Henshall -not my idea of Jimmy Perez at all.

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  61. Catherine8:52 pm BST

    The film of The Dark is Rising was indeed truly horrendous. I persuaded my 16 year old son to come with me as we loved the books when I read them to him years ago, and we both ended up speechless with rage. I still get cross now when I think about it.

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    1. I don't even want to glimpse even a little bit of it.

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