Helenliz turns 50 pages

Discussie2022 Category Challenge

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Helenliz turns 50 pages

1Helenliz
okt 18, 2021, 1:02pm

It's no good, I can resist no longer. My idea has formed and my thread is up.

I'm Helen and I'm a quality manager in a small firm that makes inhaler devices for delivery of drugs to the lung. And in 2022 I turn 50. Gulp. That's a nasty shock to the system I can tell you. I don't feel how I think 50 feels (well apart from sometimes when I feel about 150). I'm not sure what to do about turning 50, whether to go all out and embrace it, or ignore it and hope it goes away. Probably the latter...

This year's challenge is taken from other things that were newsworthy, for some reason or another, in 1972. Or they simply happened in 1972, when I got a bit stuck.

The challenge categories have had a bit of a streamline, with a few low counting categories removed and a new one just for 2022 added. I intend to try and read a book from each decade and from as many different years I've been alive as I can in 2022. So this will be fun, I wonder if they've all aged as well as I have (no laughing in the back there).

2Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 15, 4:55pm

Currently Reading


Currently reading
Royal Escape
The Hidden Girl and Other Stories (audio)

Loans: To try and keep track of the library books I've got out.
Library books on loan:
The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
Demelza
Matrix
The Plague
Things Fall Apart
Shakespeare tragedies: classic BBC Radio
The Color Purple
The House at Pooh Corner

Borrowed from Cathy
✔️The Chalk Pit

Book subscriptions: To try and make sure I don't fall tooooo far behind
Tyll (MrB's May)
Winter Flowers (Pierene Press)
Outlandish (MrB's September)
Unwell Women (MrB's October)
✔️The Space Between Us (Shelterbox bookclub)
Cloud Cuckoo Land (MrB's November)
Conjure Women (MrB's December)
Black Mamba Boy (Shelterbox bookclub)

Book Bullets Who got me, with what, things I want to try and find at some point.
A is for Arsenic (Mamie got me with this one)
Love and Other Thought Experiments (The radio & Caroline)
The Man Who Walked Through Walls (Pam)
Death walks in Eastrepps (Liz - and it's one I can get a copy of!)
Why We Sleep (Jackie_K)
The Great Typo Hunt (Cindy)
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Stacy)
Cain (Annamorphic)
I will never see the world again (Charlotte)
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill (Charlotte - again).
Whitefly (DeltaQueen)
Wakenhyrst (Susan) (again)
Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible JackieK
Your life in my hands JackieK (again she's got me with the non-fiction)
A Jury of her Peers (Liz - and this one's not in the library - or at least not the short story)
The Seventh Cross, (Charlotte - a prolific bulleteer!)
Rummage: A History of the Things We Have Reused, Recycled and Refused to Let Go by Emily Cockayne (another hit by Susan)
From Crime to Crime by Richard Henriques (Deadeye Susan) (check title)
Life in a Medieval Village (Tess because it's local)
Endell Street (Susan)
What is not your is not yours (Elizabeth M)
The Dictionary of Lost Words (Richard D)
Light Perpetual (Susan)
A Fatal thing happened on the way to the forum (rabbitprincess amongst others)
Migrations (Caroline)
The eternal audience of one (Richard D)
How Iceland changed the world (RP)
The Echo Wife (RidgewayGirl)
The Fell (Caroline, after she caught me with Moss' previous novel)
56 Days (Richard D)

3Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 21, 4:36am

The List

January
1. Murray Walker Incredible!, Maurice Hamilton, ***
2. To Serve Them All My Days, RF Delderfield, ***
3. The Chalk Pit, Elly Griffiths, **.5
4. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, ****
5. The Girl in the Train, Agatha Christie, ****
6. The Affair at the Victory Ball, Agatha Christie, ***
7. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, ***
8. The House at Pooh Corner, AA Milne, *****
9. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, Ken Liu, ****
10. The Incredible Theft, Agatha Christie, ***

4Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 20, 2:42pm

Challenge 1: 50 years of reading

Me, aged 4 months. Taken in 1972.

I probably won't manage to read 50 books, each published in a different year of the last half century, but it will be interesting to see how far I do get. It will also be interesting to see what it tells me about the last half century.

1972 To Serve Them All My Days, RF Delderfield
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981

1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991

1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001

2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011

2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017: The Chalk Pit, Elly Griffiths
2018
2019
2020: The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, Ken Liu
2021: Murray Walker Incredible!, Maurice Hamilton

2022

5Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 21, 4:36am

Challenge 2: Women authors


Rose Heilbron was the first woman judge to sit in the Old Bailey in January 1972. She was a bit of a trail blazer, also being the first woman to lead a murder trial. She retired in 1988 and died in 2005. Her daughter, also a Barrister, wrote a book about her life, Rose Heilbron. Into this category will go my books by woman authors.

1. The Chalk Pit, Elly Griffiths
2. The Girl in the Train, Agatha Christie
3. The Affair at the Victory Ball, Agatha Christie
4. The Incredible Theft, Agatha Christie

6Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 20, 2:42pm

Challenge 3: New Authors


There are plenty of other people with whom I share a birth year. Some of them are even authors. The gentleman pictured is Jan Costin Wagner who was born in 1972 and is not an author I have read. I will put that right and put other new authors in this category.

1. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
2. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, Ken Liu

7Helenliz
Bewerkt: okt 18, 2021, 1:24pm

Challenge 4: Translations


Thomas Cook, the travel agent, started with a rail excursion in 1841 and grew from there. It opened its first shop on Fleet Street in 1865. It was nationalised, along with the railways, in 1948 and returned to private hands in 1972 (which is how come it fits here - I said they might get a bit tenuous). If you're my age you'll remember the jingle for their adverts, "Don't just book it, Thomas Cook it.". The firm went out of business in 2019. For years this was how Brits traveled abroad. I will use this to collect books traveling in the reverse direction - those translated into English.

8Helenliz
Bewerkt: okt 18, 2021, 1:27pm

Challenge 5: Book Subscriptions


This is a first day cover. They're a presentation envelope with all of the series of special stamps that are issued for a limited period of time and franked on the first day they were available to buy. I had a whole collection, as my Grandad used to work at the Post Office and he arranged me to receive them by post. As my book subscriptions come by post, this is where I will store those books that I don't pick.

9Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 15, 4:57pm

Challenge 6: Heyer Series Read


I'm reading Heyer's romances and period novels in publication order. Lady of Quality was published in 1972 and is one of very few of the Heyers on my shelf that is younger than I am - I inherited Mum's almost complete collection.

Heyer romances:
(r) Set in Regency Period
(g) Set in Georgian Period
(h) Set in prior historical Periods.

Finished
✔️ The Black Moth (g) 1921 Finished 01Jan18, ****1/2
✔️ Powder and Patch (g) 1923 Finished 05Feb18, ***
✔️ The Great Roxhythe (h) 1923 Finished 30Apr18, ***
✔️ Simon the Coldheart (h) 1925 Finished 7May18, ***
✔️ These Old Shades (g) 1926 Finished 31May18, ***
✔️ The Masqueraders (g) 1928 Finished 17Jul18, ****
✔️ Beauvallet (h) 1929 Finished 08Sep2018, ****
✔️ The Conqueror (h) 1931 Finished 25Dec2018, ****
✔️ Devil's Cub (g) 1932 Finished 31Jan2019, ****
✔️ The Convenient Marriage (g) 1934 Finished 12Mar2019, ****1/2
✔️ Regency Buck (r) 1935 Finished 08May2019, ****1/2
✔️ The Talisman Ring, Georgette Heyer Finished 10Aug2019, ***
✔️ An Infamous Army, Georgette Heyer Finished 13Oct2019, ***
✔️ Royal Escape, Georgette Heyer Finished 14Feb2020, ***
✔️ The Spanish Bride, Georgette Heyer Finished 28Mar2020, ***
✔️ The Corinthian, Georgette Heyer Finished 17Jun2020, ****
✔️ Faro's Daughter, Georgette Heyer Finished 25Aug2020, ****
✔️ Friday's Child, Georgette Heyer Finished 10Oct2020, ****
✔️ The Reluctant Widow, (r) Finished 24Jan2021, ****
✔️ The Foundling (r) 1948 Finished 21Apr2021, ****
✔️ Arabella, (r) 1949 ****1/2 Finished 19Jun2021
✔️ The Grand Sophy, (r) 1950, **** Finished 25Jul2021
✔️ The Quiet Gentleman (r) 1951, ****1/2 Finished 24Sep2021

To be Read
Cotillion (r) 1953
The Toll Gate (r) 1954
Bath Tangle (r) 1955
Sprig Muslin (r) 1956
April Lady (r) 1957
Sylvester, or The Wicked Uncle (r) 1957
Venetia (r) 1958
The Unknown Ajax (r) 1959
Pistols for Two (short stories) 1960
A Civil Contract (r) 1961
The Nonesuch (r) 1962
False Colours (r) 1963
Frederica (r) 1965
Black Sheep (r) 1966
Cousin Kate (r) 1968
Charity Girl (r) 1970
Lady of Quality (r) 1972
My Lord John (h) 1975

10Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 1, 5:18am

Challenge 7: Non-Fiction


Mastermind is surely a key leader in fact based quiz shows. Not frills or fuss, 90 seconds on a specialist subject, 2 minutes general knowledge - what do YOU know? It was first broadcast in 1972 and is still going strong with Clive Myrie the latest presenter (although Magnus Magnusson remains a soft spot in the memory). I will put all my non-fiction in here.

1. Murray Walker Incredible!, Maurice Hamilton

11Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 21, 4:37am

Challenge 8: Short works and other stories


The statue is John Betjeman, and is standing on the concours at St Pancras station. In 1972 he was made the Poet Laureate. As poems tend to be short works, I will put any poetry, short stories or other short works in this category.

1. The Girl in the Train, Agatha Christie
2. The Affair at the Victory Ball, Agatha Christie
3. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, Ken Liu
4. The Incredible Theft, Agatha Christie

12Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 18, 1:37pm

Challenge 9: CATs


When googling things to do with cats in 1972 I came across this epic piece. IN 1972, Marvel comics launched a new character, The CAT. Not sure how long she lasted, it seems only until 1973, but this was just too good to miss! I will put any CATs and KITs I decide to read into the category.

AphaKIT
January: R and H Murray Walker Incredible!, Maurice Hamilton; To Serve Them All My Days, RF Delderfield
February: A and B
March: P and S
April: L and J
May: O and D
June: Q and C
July: E and T
August: M and F
September: K and I
October: V and N
November: G and U
December: Y and W

RandomKIT
January: Home Sweet Home. The House at Pooh Corner, AA Milne
Reminder - I'm hosting in April.

13Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 20, 2:43pm

Challenge 10: Bingo Dog


Having found something so brilliant for CATs, it was only fair that I try the same for BingoDog. And so we have the cover of the last album by the Bonzo Dog Doh Dah Band (yes, really), released in 1972. This will house my BingoDog card.

The categories are:
1. An Award Winning book
2. Published in a year ending 2
3. A modern retelling of an older story
4. A book you'd love to see as a movie (maybe starring your favourite actor)
5. A book that features a dog
6. The title contains the letter Z
7. Published the year you joined LT
8. A book by a favourite author
✔️9. A long book (long for you) To Serve Them All My Days, RF Delderfield
✔️10. A book you received as a gift Murray Walker Incredible!, Maurice Hamilton
11. The title contains a month
12. A weather word in the title
13. Read a CAT
✔️14. Contains travel or a journey The Girl in the Train, Agatha Christie
✔️15. A book about sisters or brothers The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, Ken Liu
16. A book club read (real or online)
17. A book with flowers on the cover
18. A book in translation
19. A work of non-fiction
20. A book where a character shares a name of a friend
✔️21. A book set in a capital city A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (London)
✔️22. A children's or YA book The House at Pooh Corner, AA Milne
✔️23. A book set in a country other than the one you live Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
24. A book by an LGBTQ+ author
✔️25. A book with silver or gold on the cover The Chalk Pit, Elly Griffiths

14LadyoftheLodge
okt 18, 2021, 1:25pm

>1 Helenliz: Turning 50, no biggie. You are just getting started on the best part of life, in my opinion! Just enjoy it.

15Helenliz
Bewerkt: okt 18, 2021, 1:39pm

>14 LadyoftheLodge: mmm. I'm feeling 50 a lot more than I worried about 40. But I'm sure it'll be fine. And, anyway, what exactly can I do about it??

16Jackie_K
okt 18, 2021, 1:45pm

What a fantastic theme, so inventive! As someone of a similar vintage, I really enjoyed this trip down memory lane! It occurred to me when remembering "Don't book it, Thomas Cook it" that a possible theme for another year could be based on old ad slogans - I'm sure there are people here who could get a category out of things like A Finger of Fudge..., or Do the Shake'n'Vac..., or a Mars a Day..., or For Mash get Smash, etc. They don't make ads like they used to, do they?

17Helenliz
okt 18, 2021, 1:55pm

>16 Jackie_K: Thank you! Ohhh! Now there's an idea for putting away for another year. The Nescafe coffee adverts and the Bisto gravy family also spring to mind. No, they really don't write ads like that any more!

18Jackie_K
okt 18, 2021, 2:21pm

>17 Helenliz: Don't forget Ready Brek too!

19DeltaQueen50
okt 18, 2021, 2:48pm

Congrats for being the first to dip your toe into 2022! Great theme.

20Helenliz
okt 18, 2021, 3:46pm

>19 DeltaQueen50: Thank you. Nothing like a party where everyone is standing around wondering if they can be first to the buffet. Now you can all dive right in. >;-)

>18 Jackie_K: On breakfast cereal theme, was it Shredded wheat that you couldn't manage 3 of?

21Jackie_K
okt 18, 2021, 3:49pm

>20 Helenliz: Yes, I think it might have been (I couldn't manage 1 of them, but that's another story!).

22pamelad
okt 18, 2021, 3:51pm

Happy fifty thread, spring chicken!

23Crazymamie
okt 18, 2021, 4:18pm

Helen, I love your theme! Very fun and look at you leading the way for the rest of us.

24dudes22
okt 18, 2021, 4:21pm

I really like the idea of a book for each year of your life. I'll be waiting to see what you pick.

25NinieB
okt 18, 2021, 4:51pm

I love the book a year for your life! Looking forward to seeing what you read in 2022.

26Tess_W
okt 18, 2021, 6:54pm

Congrats! What lovely CATS!

27hailelib
okt 18, 2021, 8:21pm

It will be interesting to see how many books you find for those years.

Congrats on the new thread.

28Helenliz
okt 19, 2021, 2:51am

>22 pamelad: Thank you. It might look like that, it doesn't feel like it.

>23 Crazymamie: Why, thank you, Mamie. Not very often I'm a trend setter.

>24 dudes22:, >25 NinieB:, >27 hailelib:. I'm not expecting to read one per year, just a sprinkling will do the job.

>26 Tess_W: Thank you. The Cat was a real find!

29MissWatson
okt 19, 2021, 4:42am

Congrats on being the first to open a thread, Helen. Such a great theme, too! I'll be interested to see what books you find for those fifty years.

30Helenliz
okt 19, 2021, 11:35am

>29 MissWatson: Someone has to be first, may as well be me. I think it was me last year as well, it's clearly a tradition in the making.

31rabbitprincess
okt 19, 2021, 8:06pm

Hurray for being first! I'm about 85% settled on my choice of theme but will wait until Remembrance Day probably before setting it up.

32katiekrug
okt 20, 2021, 4:47pm

Love, love, LOVE your theme, Helen! Well done.

Looking forward to another year following along with you.

33Helenliz
okt 21, 2021, 1:20am

>31 rabbitprincess: Happy to fill that role. Looking forward to seeing your thread.

>32 katiekrug: Thank you, Katie. Nice to have you along for the ride.

34majkia
okt 21, 2021, 9:02am

Great theme! I wish I was turning 50 in 22. I'll be turning 75.

I wish you great reading for 2022!

35Helenliz
okt 21, 2021, 9:37am

>34 majkia: Goodness - happy 75th in 2022. Take this how you like, but it's intended to be complimentary - I would never have guessed that from your reading. That probably says more about me than you. The same wished are returned.

36VivienneR
okt 21, 2021, 1:06pm

Congratulations on being first! Also for a fabulous theme, I just love it - and you were such a beautiful baby! Looking forward to sharing your reading in 2022.

37sallylou61
Bewerkt: okt 21, 2021, 1:14pm

>34 majkia: I continue to be pleasantly surprised when I hear how old some of our members are. I'm also in my 70s, but older than you. I'm turning 78 next month. Billie Jean King and I are very close together in age.

38hailelib
okt 21, 2021, 1:38pm

>34 majkia: and >37 sallylou61:

50 sounds really young to me as I am 75. Anyway the first thread started each year is an inspiration for me to decide what I want to do for mine.

39Tess_W
okt 21, 2021, 3:17pm

Happy 50th, Helen. You are just a babe!

40VictoriaPL
okt 21, 2021, 6:31pm

I'll be turning 50 in a few years so I’m not far behind you. It's just a number. Enjoy your birthday for all that it is. I'll enjoy reading along with you. 😊

41Helenliz
Bewerkt: okt 22, 2021, 3:53am

>36 VivienneR: thank you! I'm always slightly dismayed when people accurately identify my baby photo as being me, then say I've not changed. I should think I have!

>37 sallylou61:, >38 hailelib:, >39 Tess_W: What can I say? 50 feels old to someone whose coming up on it, I imagine it's not to someone whose been there and seen it's not worth the bother.

>38 hailelib: It's nice having posted, so I can enjoy watching all the other threads appear. Hope inspiration strikes.

>40 VictoriaPL: It's odd, 40 didn't phase me at all, 50 is messing with my head. Wont stop me reading though.

42MissWatson
okt 22, 2021, 5:24am

>41 Helenliz: I think it's the "half a century" part. It feels so momentous, as if one suddenly were a part of history. At least that's what I thought, and then nothing bad happened and the feeling passed.

43VivienneR
okt 23, 2021, 3:09am

>41 Helenliz: I found 30 was my worst birthday: I went back to an old job that day and while I'd been away they had hired a lot of what seemed to be teenagers. I felt like their mother. 40 and 50 were much better.

44Helenliz
okt 23, 2021, 5:28am

>42 MissWatson: I think there might be something in that. It is a milestone, no matter how you look at it. I also wonder if it has to do with the fact that both my parents died relatively young (Dad was 56, Mum 64) and at 50 I'm getting close to both of those. I know genetics doesn't actually work out like that and I probably have more than 10 years left, but it's certainly a milestone that's messing with my head, for whatever reason.

>43 VivienneR: ouch, that's not a nice surprise! Glad that 40 & 50 felt better.

45thornton37814
okt 26, 2021, 7:28am

My 2022 theme isn't quite as concrete as yours yet. It's still in development. It might be further along if I were not acting program chair for a large state genealogical society. I've told them I don't have time for that position and won't be doing it in 2022.

46mstrust
okt 27, 2021, 2:04pm

Love your theme and I'm looking forward to seeing all the stuff from 1972 that you come up with. Enjoy your year! Turning 50 is a lot better than not turning 50 ;-D
If you can believe it, my most anxious birthday was when I turned 22. I felt old that day, but then I was working in Hollywood and 30 there is old.

47Helenliz
okt 27, 2021, 2:59pm

>46 mstrust: thank you. I was thinking I could just lie about my age for ever more and stick at, oh, 25/26? Maybe??
22! oops!! I had a wibble the year I turned 25, as you've moved up an age bracket, no longer 18 to 24, you're in the 25 to 44 bracket with the actual grownups! But that wasn't the birthday, just later in the year when that nasty realisation dawned.

>45 thornton37814: Hope they find someone to take that role off you. It's incredible how much time voluntary positions like that take out of your life.

48Jackie_K
okt 27, 2021, 3:52pm

I just told people when I reached 40 that I was going to start counting down instead of carrying on going up. So now I'm 52, I can kid on I'm actually 28. Which I probably am in mind, if definitely not in body!

49Helenliz
okt 27, 2021, 4:37pm

>48 Jackie_K: ha! That's a plan. I've just alternated between 25 and 26 since I hit 40. 25 in odd years, 26 in even, so I'm currently 25. I liked 25/26 ish. I'd worked out who I was, was comfortable in my skin and was enjoying life. I'm still enjoying life, but various bits complain more often than they used to.

50Kristelh
okt 31, 2021, 7:23am

>44 Helenliz:. That's exactly how I felt when I turned 50. Such a milestone and my parents had died young. Take it from me, I am now 68, enjoy the milestone!!!

51Helenliz
okt 31, 2021, 9:00am

>50 Kristelh: Thank you! I feel better for that. >:-)

52thornton37814
nov 11, 2021, 2:03pm

>47 Helenliz: I told them I would only seek re-election on the board of trustees IF someone else chaired programs. I told them what I was willing to do from a time perspective.

53charl08
dec 8, 2021, 3:38pm

Great theme Helen. I forgot you guys are so organised! I'm so behind...

54threadnsong
dec 12, 2021, 12:26am

Hello Helen, congrats on turning 50! It was a milestone birthday for me as well, and it can be tough. My dad died at 52, and I had several friends die in their mid-50's. It seems to be one of those ages where you are looking backwards as well as forwards. Gives one perspective.

Great site, and look forward to visiting it and you in the new year!

55Helenliz
dec 13, 2021, 1:35pm

>53 charl08: ha! I'm many things, but organised is only occasionally one of them.

>54 threadnsong: Thanks for the understanding.

56lyzard
dec 31, 2021, 5:39pm

Hi, Helen - loving your new thread and looking forward to your milestone reading! :)

57Helenliz
jan 1, 5:11am

Book: 1
Title: Murray Walker Incredible!
Author: Maurice Hamilton
Published: 2021
Rating: ***
Why: Christmas present
Challenge: 50 years, Non-fiction, CAT, BingoDog
TIOLI Challenge #3. Read a book with pictures (photos or illustrations)

Murray Walker, the legendary F1 commentator, died in March of 2021. This books functions as a remembrance of a man who was for over half a century intricately associated with the sport. Told in chronological order, there is nothing much in here I didn't already know the outline of, but it was good to hear the tales from a variety of voices and to have some of his commentary transcribed. I met him once, at a book signing, I admit to being utterly tongue tied.

58Helenliz
jan 1, 5:22am

HI Liz, nice to see you popping by.

59thornton37814
jan 1, 6:04pm

Congrats on your first completion of 2022!

60Nickelini
jan 3, 2:01pm

Happy New Year -- you have some fun categories here

61Helenliz
jan 4, 2:31am

>59 thornton37814: It feels good to get one under the belt, even if I did read most of it in 2021.

>60 Nickelini: thank you.

62PaulCranswick
jan 4, 5:12am



Happy new year, Helen and happy birthday.

63elkiedee
jan 4, 6:56am

Just dropping by to say hi. Only 4 January and everyone's threads look dauntingly long to read already.

64elkiedee
jan 4, 7:02am

>4 Helenliz: Sounds like a good challenge - if you don't complete it this year, maybe you should carry on until you do.

65Helenliz
jan 4, 7:38am

>62 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. Although we all know that I' find abandoning a book well night impossible.

>63 elkiedee: Glad you popped by and were not put off. I must track you down.
>64 elkiedee: I know, I have that on the agenda, seeing how I do and then maybe working backwards through the rest of the century over the next few years.

66elkiedee
jan 4, 8:45am

>8 Helenliz: Ooh, that picture brings back memories. My dad's parents used to buy me collectors' items like this. Stamp and coin issues. As well as Jubilee memorabilia and various versions of the Bible or the New Testament (he was a vicar). I wonder what happened to them all? The Post Office Savings they opened for me rocketed up hugely during the 1980s, but I think I spent them at some point during the 1990s, hopefully not too unwisely. I still have a small set of children's books from my grandmother's mother.

67Helenliz
jan 5, 11:06am

Book: 2
Title: To Serve Them All My Days
Author: RF Delderfield
Published: 1972
Rating: ***
Why: It's the same age as I am...
Challenge: 50 years, CAT, BingoDog
TIOLI Challenge #2. Read a book first published in my birth year (1972), your birth year or the last year (2021 or 2022)

This is a peculiarly old fashioned thing. Set between 1917 and 1941 I suspect it would have appeared to be looking back at the life of a school master through rose tinted glasses even when first published. David Powlett-Jones was wounded in WW1 and we first meet him as he approaches a private boys school to be interviewed as a school master. He has no degree, no qualifications in teaching, he's been suggested that he try it by the medical officer at the army hospital as a remedy for his shell shock. After this slightly unusual introduction to education, it turns out that he actually has a bit of a flair for teaching and history is his subject. Through the new boy we meet the existing staff, the rather eccentric head master, the various boys of all ages. You don't meet all of them, just ones that will re-appear multiple times as the book follows him over the next 20 years or so. Along the way he acquires a wife & twins, then tragedy strikes and his life is in almost as big a mess as it was in the beginning.
By the time you reach the ending, the appeal of the various escapades that have taken place along the way have started to pall slightly. David is engaging enough, although his dealings with women cause me to shake my head at him - this is a man married to the school. The cynic in me is uncertain that schools were ever this good - certainly we don't meet enough of the masters that must be needed to teach 400 boys, so what are the other like? We seem to meet the good ones, or the ones that are good but have a character flaw of some description. Thinking back I can remember a few really good teachers, but the majority were mostly going through the motions. - and I think we knew that even then. His longevity might be surprising, except that I was taught by a teacher who had previously taught my mother at the same school, so while unusual, it's not impossible, although probably increasingly unlikely. It is also unrelentingly male, the few women that appear are David's love life, the matron and the occasional female teacher.
The ending is bittersweet. Having fought in one war, David is recording the names of old boys who have died in a second. There is then the death of a long standing teacher and the birth of a child to balance the account. The arrival of a invalided soldier as a new teacher sees the beginning in the end, although you suspect a rather different story will be played out in the next 20 or so years.

So has this aged better or worse than me? As it wasn't contemporary when it was written, I suspect it hasn't aged badly, it would have appeared to have been wearing rose tinted specs when it was new - now they look back at a time and way of life that is largely past living memory.

68Helenliz
jan 5, 11:10am

>66 elkiedee: My Grandad worked for the post office, so I was signed up to receive first day covers since I was very small. I sold my collection, which extended into the 1990s, when we cleared my parents' house. They failed my question test, so didn't make the move to our house. I did seem to come away with a pile of bibles, including the family bible, which as an agnostic is an odd thing to find that I posses multiple copies of!

69Crazymamie
jan 5, 12:21pm

Helen, was yesterday your birthday? Belated Happy Birthday wishes if so!

>67 Helenliz: I'm gonna take a pass on this one, but I liked your review of it.

70Helenliz
jan 5, 1:27pm

>69 Crazymamie: No, I'm an April baby. I'm just taking good wishes whenever I can get them >;-)

Although I have found an advantage of turning 50 - the gym membership drops by almost 1/4. Its the first advantage of age I've found, but I'll take it.

I started it and was sure I'd read it before, but it must only have been the first few chapters, as I didn't remember the rest. I've read some of his series A Horseman Riding By and that has the same rose tinted specs thing going on as well, must be a style. I can't say rush out and read it.

71Crazymamie
jan 5, 3:29pm

Hey, 25% is 25%.

72hailelib
jan 5, 5:48pm

There was a time when I read a lot of Delderfield, mostly passed along by my mother, but I don't really remember their stories.

73elkiedee
jan 6, 12:01am

Your criticisms of To Serve Them All My Days seem quite fair but I loved the book anyway, I read quite a bit of 20th century middlebrow fiction and memoirs, and would always like to read more, as well as historical fiction. It's one that I probably would have never picked up if I hadn't become hooked on a radio serial of the first book on a digital radio station which sadly folded some years ago.

This was published in the year of the author's death from cancer, aged about 60, and I wonder if this gave his last novel an oddly nostalgic feel. For me, being of its time and place is very much part of a book's appeal.

74Helenliz
jan 6, 1:30am

>72 hailelib: I think that's fair. I can remember a sense of place from the ones I read, rather than a plot.

>73 elkiedee: I enjoyed it - 3 stars for me rates a solid "Good" and it almost got 4, but I didn't love it. And I would agree that it certainly captures something of a time and place - just one that I'm not sure about. The timing is interesting, that would put him as a student in the early part of the time frame in which this is set. Maybe you are right about the source of the rose tints.

75elkiedee
jan 6, 3:49am

I just looked up Wikipedia and apparently he had a mixed upbringing in Bermondsey, Croydon and then Devon - and in Devon he attended first a grammar school and then a small independent school called West Buckland. Apparently in his memoirs he wrote he had used this experience at his last school in at least 3 novels, not counting To Serve Them...., and so it must have earned back his school fees 3 times over. I think that one of the reasons I enjoyed the novel is that I'm really interested in experiences of education - I imagine that his background was slightly more middle class and upwardly mobile than that of his teacher from a very working class background originally and students from much posher origins.

76Tess_W
jan 6, 6:30am

>67 Helenliz: Happy birthday in advance, I will never remember until April! I have that book on my TBR and from what I've heard from other reading friends, I think your assessment is spot on. I will read it when I need a nostalgic read.

77Helenliz
jan 6, 12:58pm

>75 elkiedee: The foreword does say that he'd been at a number of different schools and taken something from them. Several novels is an interesting return on investment!

>76 Tess_W: Thanks >:-)

78threadnsong
jan 6, 7:37pm

>67 Helenliz: I remember this book being on my mother's shelves probably from the time of its publication. The title was one that I turned over and over in my childhood brain. I'm glad to know what it was all about - thank you for the thorough review!

79Helenliz
jan 7, 3:13am

>78 threadnsong: happy to help. >:-)

80Crazymamie
jan 7, 7:57am

Happy Friday, Helen!

81Helenliz
jan 9, 4:53pm

Thanks Mamie.

Not a lot going on around here. He had a positive LFT today, although has no symptoms. I have what feels like a cold and had a negative LFT, so I'm going with it's a cold. We both had a PCR test at the local drive in centre this afternoon. That was fun. Both isolating until we know for sure, to be on the safe side.

So lots of not going out. Managed to book a grocery delivery for tomorrow, which is our usual shopping day, meaning we're not going to starve any time soon. Maybe the enforced in time will mean that I finish a book; you never know, stranger things have happened...

I feel like I ought to put a big red cross on the front door, here be plague... >;-)

82Crazymamie
jan 9, 4:56pm

Crossing my fingers for the both of you, Helen. Hoping it's just a cold for y'all and that you won't be needing that big red cross.

83rabbitprincess
jan 9, 6:16pm

>81 Helenliz: Hope you and he are both feeling better soon!

84Tess_W
jan 9, 7:27pm

Here's to good health--well maybe tolerable health!;)

85DeltaQueen50
jan 9, 8:05pm

Sending you "good health" vibes, Helen. We have one daughter and her household that has tested positive and are in isolation mode. Luckily they are all vaccinated and have only felt like they are battling a nasty cold.

86MissWatson
jan 10, 3:37am

Crossing my fingers for you that it's just a cold. Staying in is only fun if it's your own choice...

87charl08
jan 10, 4:02am

What everyone else said, Helen. Hope you have enough books...

88Helenliz
jan 10, 10:25am

Thanks all.
Yesterday's PCR test positive for both of us. We're both still pretty symptom free, I still have what feels like a mild head cold, while he's a bit tired and running a bit of a temperature. But that's it so far (fingers crossed). Grocery delivery happened OK, so while we might get bored with just the 4 walls for company, we're not going to starve. And I am not, in any way, shape or form, going to run short of books. >:-o Just imagine!! I'd have to isolate for several years before that was a risk. >;-)

89beebeereads
jan 10, 10:42am

>88 Helenliz: Sorry to hear you are both positive. I wish mild symptoms with lots of reading time for you this week.

90katiekrug
jan 10, 10:48am

>88 Helenliz: - Well, poop. I am glad you are both mostly symptom-free, though. Take care of yourself!

91mstrust
jan 10, 11:34am

Wishing you both a speedy recovery!
I had it last year in March and my version was easier than a regular cold. Hope yours is a breeze too, and that you gets lots of reading in.

92hailelib
jan 10, 11:40am

I hope it's as bad as it's going to get! With lots of books at least you have some entertainment.

93majkia
jan 10, 12:39pm

>88 Helenliz: Take care of yourself.

Our family is mostly down with covid. Luckily, Mr Majkia and I avoided them physically over the Christmas Holiday (granddaughter, husband and kids not vaccinated) so we are fine. Not too bad symptoms for them, but I'm now seriously glad we took the safe path, both of us 74, we don't need to take chances.

94DeltaQueen50
jan 10, 1:44pm

Sorry that you and your husband tested positive. Take care of yourselves!

95Helenliz
jan 10, 1:47pm

Thank you all. It's annoying, but I suppose it was largely a question of when we'd get it, not if. At least we're double jabbed and boosted, so have done the best we can.

In other, more interesting, news, I finished a cross stitch. Unfortunately, due to an amateur error of arithmetic, it is too big for the charity I stitch for, so it has been surrounded with some patchwork and is now a cushion cover. I'm not sorry to see the back of this one; although it is effective design, the pattern was really annoying to actually stitch. But I will do it again, and hopefully moan about it less.

96MissBrangwen
jan 10, 2:05pm

>88 Helenliz: My best wishes for dealing with this situation, and it's good to hear that you were able to have a food delivery!

>95 Helenliz: That is really cute!

97pamelad
jan 10, 2:44pm

It's good to have an excuse to read all day, but no one would choose COVID. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

98RidgewayGirl
jan 10, 2:50pm

I feel your pain, Helen. We sailed through, covid-free, but my daughter was in contact with a friend who tested positive and now she has, as well. No symptoms, but she's in her room, putting off her return to college and my husband and I get tested tomorrow.

>95 Helenliz: That cow is delightful!

99charl08
jan 10, 3:43pm

>95 Helenliz: I love this. It reminded me of the work of an artist near me who has lovely animal pictures including cows, they're really charismatic. I especially like the highland cow. https://jamesbartholomew.co.uk/prints/animal-prints/cow-prints/

100charl08
jan 10, 3:43pm

And of course, hope that the symptoms are mild and you and the SO have a quick recovery.

101Helenliz
jan 10, 4:18pm

Thank you for the cow love.

>97 pamelad: ahh, if only that were the actual case. I will be working from home again. I was always split home and office, covid just sent me home full time. I'd just gone back to twice a week in the office again. Oh well, never mind.

>98 RidgewayGirl: I figured that if he was positive, the chances are I would be too, so we both got a pcr test on sunday even though my lft was negative at the time. Hope that the daughter doesn't get too ill and that you're both OK.

>99 charl08: they're full of character, aren't they?

102VivienneR
jan 10, 5:58pm

I enjoyed your comment "So lots of not going out." Hope you both recover quickly.

Thank you for catching the blooper on my thread.

103Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 11, 1:27pm

Book: 3
Title: The Chalk Pit
Author: Elly Griffiths
Published: 2017
Rating: **.5
Why: need to return to Cathy...
Challenge: 50 years, Woman author, BingoDog
TIOLI Challenge #1. Read a book in which the title’s first word and last word have the same number of letters

I started this series as I know King's Lynn pretty well. However in this book it turns out to be a disadvantage. Nelson and the Serious Crime squad we follow in these books are based in King's Lynn, however they spend an awful lot of time in this book in Norwich. Which is a city, as opposed to a town, and likely more highly resourced. I find it doubtful that the King's Lynn squad would be dealing with issues in Norwich, and certainly not taking the fire brigade with them, especially considering the time it takes to get between the two places. I also found the crime in this book to be somewhat far fetched - and the starting investigation remains open.
Having said that, time spent with Ruth is never entirely wasted and this was enjoyable enough, despite the reservations above.

104AnnieMod
jan 11, 3:29am

Speedy and easy recovery!

105MissWatson
jan 11, 4:21am

Best wishes for a speedy recovery and no lasting after effects!

106katiekrug
jan 11, 8:02am

>103 Helenliz: - If I recall correctly (and my memory is generally garbage), I didn't think that was a very strong entry in the series either.

107Jackie_K
jan 11, 11:53am

Get well soon, Helen!

108Helenliz
jan 12, 4:31pm

Not going out hasn't done much for the audio book that is currently in the car (am I allowed out as far as the car?!) but a couple of evenings stitching has seen another listen done.

Book: 4
Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Published: 1843 (before I was born!)
Rating: ****
Why: later than anticipated availability from the library app.
Challenge: BingoDog
TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book by an author whose name has 2 initials or has written at least 22 books

I reserved this from the library app, intending to listen to it over Christmas, but it didn't become available until this week. So I figured why not? Re-listen done. I like it still.

109Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 14, 1:39pm

Book: 5
Title: The Girl in the Train
Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 1924 (before I was born!)
Rating: ****
Why: short and available on the library app
Challenge: Woman author, short stories, Bingo
TIOLI Challenge #18. Read a book of adventure, fiction or non-fiction

A fun listen, short and to the point.
George Rowland is estranged from his Uncle and so he leaves London in High a fit of temper and decides to take a train to a random location - he chooses Rowland's Castle as it shares a name with him, it could be his place of origin and he could claim his castle (note - it is a real place and the remains of the castle amount to a couple of blocks of masonry near the station - it's not an impressive castle and no-one knows who Rowland was). This train leaves from Waterloo and he takes the stopping train (note - from experience to stop at Rowland's Castle you take a train that seems to stop at every garden gate!). As it is about to depart a girl bursts into the carriage and begs George to hide her, which he does and so begins a wild goose chase of a story that takes place in a provincial hotel in Portsmouth. It's a tale of mistaken identity, criminals, foreign nobility and general ill deeds that George manages to negotiate his way through, more through good luck than any thing else. It all ends back on a train heading in the reverse direction, by which time George's life has changed somewhat - and he is planning a return visit to Rowland's Castle.

110lyzard
jan 13, 4:09pm

Hi, Helen - very sorry to hear you guys got hit, take care!

I wanted to check in with you about TIOLI: I was going to list Royal Escape for #13, no article in the title; does that suit you? If not, it also fits #7 (22+ books) and #18 (adventure).

>109 Helenliz:

Nice! :)

111Helenliz
jan 13, 4:14pm

>110 lyzard: Yes, challenge 13 is fine for me. Go ahead, I'll join you in a few days (she says hopefully).

And that'll be two books set where I grew up, as I think Charles ends up in Rowland's Castle while looking for a boat to sail to France, the sailors of Emsworth (my home town) fails dismally to supply. I can't help but approve. >:-)

112lyzard
jan 13, 4:21pm

>111 Helenliz:

Thanks!

Except that (as I notice one LT reviewer said) by then you *want* him to find a boat and just go away. :D

113Helenliz
jan 13, 4:29pm

>112 lyzard: *snort* And this is a book I am voluntarily RE-reading so that someone can have a shared read!!

114lyzard
jan 13, 4:31pm

>113 Helenliz:

Excuse me, I recall SOMEONE volunteering! :D

115rabbitprincess
jan 13, 8:40pm

>95 Helenliz: Awww what an adorable pattern! It looks great with the patchwork.

116Helenliz
jan 14, 1:45pm

Book: 6
Title: The Affair at the Victory Ball
Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 1923 (before I was born!)
Rating: ***
Why: short and available on the library app
Challenge: Short stories, Bingo
TIOLI Challenge ##7: Read a book by an author whose name has 2 initials or has written at least 22 books

A Poirot short story. Framed as Hastings retelling Poirot early case, this is set the night of a Victory ball. It's a fancy dress ball and the group of 6 we concern ourselves with attend dressed as the 6 characters from Commedia dell'arte. Two end up dead and the who, how and why take Poirot to get to the bottom of. He does so from a verbal report from Inspector Jaap, and a little bit a shadow play with the fancy dress costumes. It's not terribly well fleshed out, I think it relies on knowing Poirot and the way he works. That's not to say it's not enjoyable, though.

117Helenliz
jan 14, 1:47pm

>115 rabbitprincess: Thank you. I'll do it again soon, but it's time for something different now.

118Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 15, 5:31am

Book: 7
Title: Things Fall Apart
Author: Chinua Achebe
Published: 1958 (before I was born!)
Rating: ***
Why: 1001 list
Challenge: New author
TIOLI Challenge #4. Read a book that's on some Best of 2021 list

This leaves me feeling sad, no-one seems to come out of it well and you sense a downward spiral from here. Okonkwo is the son of a feckless father and so he cultivates an attitude that contrasts with that of his father - to the point of going too far and being almost incapable of feeling for his family and fellow clansmen. He also has what seems to be a hair trigger temper and an inability to listen to advice - none of which bodes well. He is hard to sympathise with, as he has no empathy for his fellows. I find the ending slightly odd, and I'm not sure it necessarily fits with the man we have followed this far - although the loss of standing may well have been sufficient driver for his actions.
Set at the time of the white scramble for Africa, it shows the start of the disintegration of the clan system and the beliefs of the indigenous people. It is all just terribly sad, at whatever level you read it at.

119Tess_W
jan 15, 6:33am

>118 Helenliz: I also just finished this book and I concur! There has been a debate as to when things begin to "fall apart." ***SPOILER ALERT: I think the author's intended time line is when the white man on the bicycle came to the village. I would argue that it was long before that--I think it started when Okonkwo killed the young man who stayed with his family for three years. Others think it was when Okonkwo was banished to another village for an accidental death. However, the first incident has nothing to do with colonialism, while the 2nd does, as he uses a gun he obtained somewhere. Many critics claim that the Igbo society was advanced and generally peaceful before the arrival of the English. Again, I disagree. The killing of twins was just sickening, amongst other things. But you are correct, all in all, just very sad.

120elkiedee
jan 15, 7:46am

>119 Tess_W: I think that European colonialism in Africa predated the invention of the bicycle by hundreds of years.

I've read 4 books by Chinua Achebe including Things Fall Apart (the title comes from a WB Yeats poem) and I preferred his 2010 essay collection The Education of a British-Protected Child and a volume of short stories (borrowed from the library) to this, but I actually want to try again at some point. It's part of a trilogy and I have at least one of the other books in the series, but I'm not quite sure what I've done with it (there are so many boxes of books in the house since I ran out of shelf space a very long time ago).

121Helenliz
jan 15, 1:01pm

>120 elkiedee: This was my first by him. I could be tempted to read more by him - it was well constructed - I'm just not sure I want to read the other two in the trilogy if they are as sad as I found this. I note that Arrow of God is also on the 1001 list. I wonder if they need to be read in order, or if it is a thematic trilogy. And now I'm confused as in LT series Arrow of God is number 3, but the text has it as the second.

>119 Tess_W: At the end I did think of the saying "my end is in my beginning" and wondered if the seeds of destruction were laid very early. Things did fall apart and at many levels. I'm not sure any of it can be said to have had a single cause.

122pamelad
jan 15, 4:20pm

>121 Helenliz: It looks as though Arrow of God is second in order of publication, but third in the sequence of the story. Things Fall Apart was definitely tragic. I gave it 5 stars for the quality of the writing, the historical interest, and because it's a Nigerian author's perspective on colonialism.

123Tess_W
jan 15, 4:20pm

>121 Helenliz: I agree! I'm not sure that things would not have fallen apart regardless of the advent of the colonials. I saw Okwonko's anger management issues right off.

124pamelad
Bewerkt: jan 15, 4:28pm

>123 Tess_W: That's why it's tragic. The seeds of his destruction are in his character. I liked that Achebe has so much empathy for his flawed main character.

125Helenliz
jan 16, 6:53am

>123 Tess_W:, >124 pamelad: There is something in that. I'm not sure that Okonkwo would ever have achieved his ambitions when he seems to derail himself multiple times.

126threadnsong
jan 16, 9:23pm

>95 Helenliz: What a great design! Yes, I bet you did get tired of all that brown. I just love the look on the cow's face.

127threadnsong
jan 16, 9:28pm

And since I'm checking in here, how are you feeling? I've had friends all over the US come down with this, and sorry you are having to go through it, too.

128Helenliz
jan 17, 2:31am

>126 threadnsong: It was the pattern as much as anything. The convention is that the lightest shade is a single dot while the darkest shade is a filled square, and the others graduate between. Means you can look at the pattern and get a feel for where you are based on the tone of the pattern and the colours in the piece. This did not follow that convention and I found it made the pattern really hard to follow. Never mind, it's done.

We're both fine. He barely had any symptoms. I had a head cold that I'm half convinced was actually a head cold. He had his second consecutive negative test yesterday, I'm hoping mine follows today, meaning we're allowed out of isolation. Yippeee! Could do with some shopping.

129dudes22
jan 17, 6:43am

>128 Helenliz: - I can now understand why it would be annoying. I think all the counted cross stitch I used to do used letters to differentiate between colors.

130Helenliz
jan 18, 1:36pm

Book: 8
Title: The House at Pooh Corner
Author: AA Milne
Published: 1928 (before I was born!) (This isn't helping my 50 years challenge!!)
Rating: *****
Why: audio
Challenge: Bingo, CAT
TIOLI Challenge #11. Read a children's book published in the UK/by a UK author before 1980

Awww. Re read for the umpty millionth time (I may have lost count). This is special.
As a child one of my favourite TV programmes was Jackanory, an inspired, if deceptively simple idea, where famous names read a children's book and over the course of a week or two, the book was finished. I can clearly remember listening to Bernard Cribbins read this. He does all the voices. Listening again as an adult, this is just so lovely, but you also appreciate the skill in the reader. It is read quite slowly, and the voices are quite distinct. Kanga & Roo both have a distinctly ozzie twang, Tigger sounds a bit like a slightly dense colonel returned from India, rabbit is always in a hurry and piglet squeaks. But my favourite has to be Eeyore, who sounds just like Alan Bennett - a rather dour northerner.
As to the tales themselves, there is nothing to say that hasn't been said already. You can find all of humanity in here and when Christopher Robin faces the prospect of leaving the forest to go to school I admit to getting blurry eyed all over again. Love it. Still.

131thornton37814
jan 18, 6:14pm

You've been doing some good reading here! Sorry to hear about your COVID. Hope you are feeling better by now. My colleague who tested positive a week ago was still testing positive yesterday so she hasn't been able to return to work. I have vaccinated family members down with it for a second time too.

132katiekrug
jan 18, 6:28pm

>130 Helenliz: - Very nice comments, Helen.

133Helenliz
jan 19, 2:25am

>131 thornton37814: We're fine. Never really had any symptoms, I felt like I had a mild head cold and as I had that before I tested positive, I probably did have a head cold. We tested negative on 2 consecutive days Sunday/Monday, so were allowed out again and celebrated with a trip to the supermarket. >:-)

>132 katiekrug: It was lovely.

134Helenliz
Bewerkt: jan 21, 3:21am

Book: 9
Title: The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
Author: Ken Lui
Published: 2020
Rating: ****
Why: audio
Challenge: 50 years, New author, Short stories, Bingo
TIOLI Challenge #5: Read a book by an author who is new to you

I listened to this, and it seems to be the 200th title I have listened to.
At first it seems to be a set of individual short stories, but as you listen to more of them, it becomes more a series of connected stories, but not in chronological order. Most of them are set in the future, ranging from a not too distant to the far future. A lot of them concern the transfer of human thought from a physical to a digitised form, with the earth having to bear fewer humans as they exist in a purely digital form. There is a danger in this transition and the state of the world after this becomes a recurring theme.
There are a couple of stories that don't seem to fit this arc, both seeming to be set in either a past or a fantasy land. They seemed to knock the collection off it's axis, somehow. Overall it was a good, inventive and thought provoking set of stories.

135Helenliz
jan 21, 3:25am

Book: 10
Title: The Incredible Theft
Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 1937 (before I was born!)
Rating: ***
Why: audio
Challenge: Woman author, Short stories
TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book by an author whose name has 2 initials or has written at least 22 books

Set in the run up to WW2, Hercule Poirot is called into solve what seems to be the theft of some plans for a bomber. They have been taken from Lord Maybury's house, he's in a position of power in the government and seems to be a fictional figure in a Churchillian mould. There is the obvious suspect - who has a clear alibi, the hard up younger son, the gambling wife, the possible accomplice and a shadow seen crossing the terrace from the study. I had a solution - it turned out to be wrong. It's a tightly packaged little thing.

136Helenliz
jan 21, 7:10am

Oh dear. I took 3 library books back today - and collected 5 more. That wasn't the plan!
I really need to get through the ones I have not not just reserve stuff that's new and shiny all the time.

137charl08
jan 21, 8:43am

>136 Helenliz: And if you work out how to do that... what are the shiny new ones?

138Helenliz
jan 21, 9:22am

>137 charl08: They're not all that new, if truth be known.
Hamlet & Julius Casear as part of my project to read (or more likely, listen to) all of Shakespeare.
The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch. Can't remember why I ordered that one.
The Winter of the Lions by Jan Costin Wagner, him who features in my new authors category - we share a birth year
The Short, the Long and the Tall short stories on audiobook for the car.

139charl08
jan 21, 9:24am

>138 Helenliz: I see what you mean. Not "old" but "classics"?

140Helenliz
jan 21, 9:27am

Ahhh. The Black prince is on the 1001 list and was published in 1973. That'll be it. Filling in my 50 years challenge.

141Helenliz
jan 21, 12:32pm

You're all going to be so proud of me - I've just DNF'd a book! It was The best short stories 2021 : the O. Henry prize winners. I like listening to short stories on audio book, as it is easier to stop and pick them up again when in the car. But I had to give this one up - just could not tolerate the reader, the accent just grated too much to want to spend any time with it.

I do like the idea of the collection, but I will have to read them, if I find them, not listen.

First DNF since 2019.

142katiekrug
jan 21, 12:38pm

>141 Helenliz: - Well done!

Who was the reader?

143Helenliz
jan 21, 12:49pm

>142 katiekrug: I'm not sure. It was narrated by a number of readers, but the one that did the introduction & foreword just got too much. And you just know that she'd reappear later on and annoy me afresh all over again. So I quit.

144katiekrug
jan 21, 12:53pm

>143 Helenliz: - *fist bump*

145elkiedee
jan 21, 1:04pm

I've borrowed the ebook (not audio) version of the O Henry short story collection from a library, b but it's only available on 2 week loan and others keep reserving it. So I have it on hold and will borrow again. At least it's very easy to borrow and return stuff, and I suppose I can just read a few stories during my next turn. I read a short story by Sally Rooney, Colour and Light which I'd previously listened to on audio

The introduction is written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie but I don't know whether she reads it herself on the audio.

146Helenliz
jan 21, 1:20pm

>145 elkiedee: no, she doesn't. It was read by the annoying voice.

147rabbitprincess
jan 21, 8:34pm

>141 Helenliz: Woo hoo, congrats on the DNF!

148Helenliz
jan 25, 1:04pm

Book: 11
Title: Shakespeare tragedies - Romeo & Juliet
Author: William Shakespeare
Published: 1597 (before I was born!)
Rating: ***
Why: audio
Challenge: CATs
TIOLI Challenge #6. Read a book you acquired in December 2021

Goodness, this is dark, isn't it? What with the focus on the star cross'd lovers you could be forgiven for thinking it a love story. It might be, but it is a blood drenched one. And it is easy to forget with an adult cast that Juliet is not yet 14 when she is married and kills herself. It might be about teenage infatuation, rather than love, with the mood swinging from great joy to the very depths of despair. The cast of adults seem curiously dense at times and so the body count rises. The only positive I think you can take is that at least it appears that the feud between the two families might be put to an end - although the cynic in me doubts even that.
I listened to this as a radio play with a young Ian McKellen as Romeo - and my does he make a lot of bother about it. It's good to have listened to it, and got another one under my belt, but I'm very glad that my love affairs have never proven as tricksy as this one.

149katiekrug
jan 25, 1:39pm

>148 Helenliz: - I had to read R&J in 8th grade (~age 12-13) and all I could think was "Why are all these people so stupid?" I am always amazed when people talk about it as a great romance (same with Wuthering Heights). Good riddance to them all, I say ;-)

150elkiedee
jan 25, 1:58pm

>148 Helenliz: and >149 katiekrug:: I can't disagree there. I think Jane Eyre is also quite questionable as a love story in places. I doubt that Shakespeare (in this case) or Emily Bronte saw themselves as presenting a romantic model, though I'm not sure about Charlotte Bronte's view on her story, and looking back, I was a bit obsessed with Antony and Cleopatra at 16 and I did read that as a love story.

151lyzard
Bewerkt: jan 25, 4:35pm

>148 Helenliz:, >149 katiekrug:, >150 elkiedee:

They've all been twisted by film and TV adaptation into something their authors never intended them to be. R&J is the easiest to misinterpret, but the other two (focus on Cathy / Heathcliff to the exclusion of all else / elimination of the Rivers material) have been turned into "great romances" against their will.

152Helenliz
jan 25, 4:58pm

>149 katiekrug: That's a fair summation. And I'm with you on WH not being a romance either.

>150 elkiedee: Jane Eyre left me sure that this marriage would be unhappy at some point down the line. No HEA there (ironically that stands for both Happy Ever After and is my initials - does that mean I get my very own HEA as HEA?)

>151 lyzard: yup, I agree. if you cherry pick the material, R&J could be a love story, but taken as a whole it's nothing of the sort. I knew that, I'm just not sure I'd realised quite how far removed the image is from the actual piece.

153Helenliz
Vandaag, 1:15pm

Book: 12
Title: Shakespeare tragedies - Hamlet
Author: William Shakespeare
Published: 1603 (before I was born!)
Rating: ****
Why: audio
Challenge: CAT
TIOLI Challenge #8. Read a book set in one of the top seven countries from the United Nations 2021 Happiness Report

You know what they say, Shakespeare wrote 2 types of plays - the one you did at school and all the others. This is one I did at school. I remember a trip to London to see a modernist staging (well, modern for the late 1980s!) with almost no scenery and costume from no particular period. Polonius in a pin striped suit is the one that I do remember. Listening to it after a gap of a good many years I was struck by how much was familiar - seems I must have paid at least a little bit of attention! There are lots of good lines in here that catch the ear, it rolls off the tongue and ties knots with words. There really is something rotten in the state of Denmark and that pervades the entire play - you can't help feeling from the beginning, with the appearance of the Ghost, that something has gone wrong and it's only going to get worse. Very few people come out of this very well, in fact very few come out of it alive. It is dark, very dark, but that's not to say that this was not an enjoyable listen.

154Helenliz
Vandaag, 3:32pm

Oh My Word.
If you are in the appropriate territory, check out the Jay Blades documentary about learning to read as an adult.
iplayer link. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0013wcj
As someone who cannot remember ever not being able to read, I cannot imagine life without the written word, it is an integral part of my life, my work, everything. I admire him for doing this in such a public manner. It helps raise awareness of something that I had no idea that was so widespread.

155elkiedee
Vandaag, 4:50pm

I apparently came home from school in tears, aged 5, because we hadn't been taught to read on the first day. I loved being told stories in any form, and I had obviously understood that reading was a way to access more stories if adults weren't available to tell me stories - whether those were about when they were children or telling me traditional fairy tales. I was apparently rather resistant to a sort of uncle's efforts to alter Little Red Riding Hood into a story with a clearer socialist and feminist message, though once I learned to read, two collections of stories about Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf were among my favourites.