Pamelad in 2022

Forum2022 Category Challenge

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Pamelad in 2022

1pamelad
Bearbeitet: Nov. 12, 2021, 7:43pm

I'm Pam, a retired chemistry and biology teacher, living in Melbourne. I've always been a dedicated reader, and now that I don't have to waste good reading time on going to work, I can read even more.

My main reading goal for 2022 is to read widely from a range of genres, eras and countries. The Category Challenge really helps with that. In 2021 I've read three times as many books as usual so in 2022 I'm going out more and choosing fewer, better books.

Because I've been missing the Cinematheque, I've chosen some classic films to illustrate this year's categories. I'm fatally attracted to subtitles, and to films that were made before I was born.

2pamelad
Bearbeitet: Okt. 29, 2021, 5:35pm

1. Non-fiction

A documentary classic from 1929.

3pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 18, 4:15am

2. Africa, Asia and the Americas



Asia

Mongolia: The Blue Sky by Galsang Tschinag
Japan: Secret Rendezvous by Kobo Abe

The Americas

Jamaica (setting) and Dominica (author's birth) : Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

4pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 3, 6:26pm

3. Australia and New Zealand



Not Meeting Mr Right by Anita Heiss

5pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 16, 2:26am

4. Europe



I've been doing the Europe Endless Challenge since 2010, and am down to the last few countries. I aim to finish in 2022.

CROATIA Zagreb Noir edited by Ivan Srsen
CYPRUS Death Customs by Constantia Soteriou (Winner of Commonwealth Short Story Prize, 2019) https://granta.com/death-customs/
LIECHTENSTEIN
LITHUANIA Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
LUXEMB0URG The Luxembourg Run by Stanley Ellin Completed December, 2021
MALTA Death in Malta by Roseanne Dinglii
MONTENEGRO
SAN MARINO Twilight in Italy by D. H. Lawrence
SERBIA Hidden Camera by Zoran Zivkovic
VATICAN CITY The Popes by John Julius Norwich

Best European Fiction 2011 has stories from Montenegro, Cyprus, Liechtenstein and Lithuania.

The Rest of Europe

UK
England My Dog Tulip by J R Ackerley
England The Executor by Margaret Oliphant

France We Always Treat Women Too Well by Raymond Queneau

6pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 18, 4:12am

5. Decades



1851 - 1860

1861 - 1870

The Executor by Mrs Oliphant

1871 - 1880

1881 - 1890

1891 - 1900

1901-1910

1911-1920

1921-1930

Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh

1931-1940

Mr Finchley Discovers His England by Victor Canning

1941-1950

We Always Treat Women Too Well by Raymond Queneau

1951-1960

My Dog Tulip by J R Ackerley
Dead Men Don't Ski by Patricia Moyes

1961-1970

The Religious Body by Catherine Aird
Death on the Agenda by Patricia Moyes
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

1971-1980

Secret Rendezvous by Kobo Abe

1981-1990

1991-2000

The Blue Sky by Galsang Tschinag (first publication, in German)

2001 - 2010

Not Meeting Mr Right by Anita Heiss

2011 - 2020

2021 - 2022

The Way It Is Now by Garry Disher

7pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 3, 3:43pm

6. CATs and KITs



CATWoman

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante Planned

ShakespeareCAT

Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson Planned

AuthorCAT

Not Meeting Mr Right by Anita Heiss
The Blue Sky by Galsang Tschinag

8pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 7, 8:48pm

7. Book Lists



I'm working my way through the Guardian 1000 with side trips into 1001 Books and assorted lists of classic crime fiction.

Possible Reads

Claudine at School by Colette
Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
Silence Shusaku Endo

10pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 11, 4:38pm

9. Books I Own



Most of these are on my Kindle and Kobo, and I keep buying more. Better read the ones I have.

Bought For Fifteenth LT Anniversary

We Always Treat Women Too Well by Raymond Queneau
The Way It Is Now by Garry Disher

Books I've Already Started

A Young Doctor's Notebook by Mikhail Bulkagov
The Novel of Ferrara by Giorgio Bassani
The History of Philosophy by A. C. Grayling
The Popes by John Julius Norwich
The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton
Noise by Daniel Kahneman

11pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 6, 7:12pm

10. Prizes


Won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Aiming for 10 different prizes.

Possibilities:
1. Miles Franklin The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey
2. Booker International/Independent Foreign Fiction Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald
3. Booker
4. Stella
5. Nobel
6. Costa The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
7. Samuel Johnson/Baillie-Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
8. Edgar The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
9. PEN Translation Prize Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
10. Women's Prize for Fiction When I lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant
11. Desmond Elliot Prize Saraswati Park by Anjali Joseph
12. Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize
13. Betty Trask Award
14. Romance Writers of Australia Long Romance of the Year Award
15. Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger
16. Ngaio Marsh Award
17. Melbourne Prize for Literature Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin
18. Tanizaki Prize

12pamelad
Bearbeitet: Okt. 29, 2021, 7:10pm

11. Wish List


I have wish lists on LT, Open Library, Overdrive, Amazon, Kobo, The Book Depository and probably others that I've forgotten. I plan to use them as a source of inspiration rather than a black hole.

13pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 8, 4:10pm

12. New Authors


One I haven't seen yet.

Secret Rendezvous by Kobo Abe
We Always Treat Women Too Well by Raymond Queneau

14pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 18, 2:59am

13. BingoDOG



1. An Award Winning book The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey Miles Franklin
2. Published in a year ending 2 Death on the Agenda by Patricia Moyes 1962 Completed
3. A modern retelling of an older story Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys Completed
4. A book you'd love to see as a movie The Blue Sky by Galsang Tschinag Completed
5. A book that features a dog My Dog Tulip by J R Ackerley Completed
6. The title contains the letter Z The Lost City of Z by David Grann
7. Published the year you joined LT Half of a Yellow Sun 2006
8. A book by a favourite author Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh Completed
9. A long book (long for you)
10. A book you received as a gift
11. The title contains a month
12. A weather word in the title
13. Read a CAT
14. Contains travel or a journey Mr Finchley Discovers His England by Victor Canning Completed
15. A book about sisters or brothers
16. A book club read (real or online)
17. A book with flowers on the cover Oh William by Elizabeth Strout
18. A book in translation Secret Rendezvous by Kobo Abe Completed
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
22. A children's or YA book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
23. A book set in a country other than the one you live The Religious Body by Catherine Aird Completed
24. A book by an LGBTQ+ author
25. A book with silver or gold on the cover The Way It Is Now by Garry Disher Completed

15pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 1, 2:32pm

14. Everything Else

16pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 7, 2:54pm

18rabbitprincess
Okt. 29, 2021, 7:09pm

Looking forward to following along with your reading in 2022! I love that poster for Man with a Movie Camera.

19NinieB
Okt. 29, 2021, 7:09pm

Great posters--looking forward to following along!

I do notice there's no historical romance category . . .

20DeltaQueen50
Okt. 29, 2021, 7:14pm

I love classic films and you've chosen some interesting ones to highlight your categories. Looking forward to following along with you next year.

21pamelad
Okt. 29, 2021, 7:25pm

Welcome, fellow readers!

>18 rabbitprincess: It's a great film, too. Well worth seeking out.

>19 NinieB: I don't want to encourage them. They just take over.

>20 DeltaQueen50: So many to choose from. Have you run across the film site Kanopy? It's free if your library subscribes.

22majkia
Okt. 29, 2021, 7:58pm

great posters! Good luck and happy reading.

23hailelib
Okt. 29, 2021, 7:58pm

A great theme and some interesting movie choices.

24pamelad
Okt. 29, 2021, 9:33pm

25DeltaQueen50
Okt. 29, 2021, 10:29pm

>21 pamelad: I haven't seen Kanopy before - but now I will have to check into it!

26Tess_W
Bearbeitet: Okt. 29, 2021, 11:48pm

Great posters! Will probably "steal" some of your Australia reads (one of my CATS)

I don't know if this will help with San Marino or not, but Goodreads has a list of books set in San Marino: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/647483-san-marino

27VivienneR
Okt. 30, 2021, 1:22am

Wonderful theme! I'll be getting film bullets as well as BBs.

When I did the Europe Endless challenge I downloaded a history of San Marino by Theodore Bent from Project Gutenberg. It was quite interesting and not too long as far as I remember. If you enjoy D.H. Lawrence he travels through Italy including San Marino in Twilight in Italy, probably a better choice than Bent.

28Jackie_K
Okt. 30, 2021, 5:30am

What great posters - I especially love Cat People!

29dudes22
Okt. 30, 2021, 6:25am

Looking forward to your reading this year - especially your Australia category.

30MissWatson
Okt. 30, 2021, 11:21am

Great theme and some wonderful movies! Happy reading!

31pamelad
Okt. 30, 2021, 5:02pm

>26 Tess_W: Thanks Tess. I was tempted by Smoke into Flame, but it's only available as an elderly paperback from overseas. Very happy to push Australian authors and Australian films, too. Beneath Clouds is directed by the indigenous film maker, Ivan Sen, and has a largely aboriginal cast. I also recommend his films Toomelah, Mystery Road and Goldstone. Toomelah, in particular, is a real eye opener.

>27 VivienneR: Thank you for the San Marino suggestions. I'm going with Twilight in Italy, which saves pretending that San Marino doesn't exist.

>28 Jackie_K: An entertainingly over the top poster for an understated horror film, which is scarier because you have to imagine the things it doesn't show.

>29 dudes22: Welcome! My favourite Australian crime writer is unlikely to appear here because I've read nearly every book he's written, but I wouldn't want you to miss him. I highly recommend Garry Disher's Challis and Destry series, which begins with The Dragon Man, and the Paul Hirschhausen series, beginning with Bitter Wash Road.

>30 MissWatson: Thank you! I'm sort of looking forward to returning to the cinema, but it's going to take a lot of nerve.

32dudes22
Okt. 30, 2021, 6:03pm

>31 pamelad: - I'll put him on the list although I really don't need any more series.

33japaul22
Okt. 30, 2021, 6:35pm

Always enjoy following your reading!

34pamelad
Okt. 30, 2021, 7:40pm

>33 japaul22: Welcome, and I yours.

35christina_reads
Nov. 1, 2021, 10:36am

Just stopping by and leaving my star! Count me among those who love the "Cat People" poster. :)

36pamelad
Nov. 2, 2021, 2:35pm

>35 christina_reads: Subtlety is so overrated! Glad you like the poster. I also like this comment on the Pride and Prejudice poster: When pretty girls t-e-a-s-e-d men into marriage.

37pamelad
Nov. 4, 2021, 4:07pm

Fellow film fans, Mubi is having a sale this weekend. I watch on the TV using Chromecast, which isn't ideal, but it's an excellent source of classic films that are hard to find.

38pamelad
Nov. 5, 2021, 3:35pm

It's Noirvember on Kanopy.

39VictoriaPL
Nov. 6, 2021, 11:00am

>38 pamelad: ohhhhhh. Noirvember. I love it!

40mstrust
Bearbeitet: Nov. 9, 2021, 11:42am

Wonderful theme! Count me as a fan of Das Kabinet des Dr. Caligari, it's amazing!

41pamelad
Nov. 10, 2021, 5:46pm

>39 VictoriaPL: Happy Noirvember!

>40 mstrust: It's so arty and strange. Those fabulous sets!

42thornton37814
Nov. 11, 2021, 2:13pm

Hope you enjoy your 2022 reads!

43pamelad
Nov. 12, 2021, 6:57pm

44pamelad
Dez. 4, 2021, 8:30pm

It's good to have at least one big, ambitious read on the list, so I'm thinking of the 922 page The Books of Jacob by the Polish Nobel Prize winner, Olga Tokarczuk. The English translation has just been published.

45dudes22
Dez. 5, 2021, 7:21am

>44 pamelad: - That is a chunkster! I read her book Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead last year and I just picked up Flights to read next year. I'll be looking forward to seeing what you think of it.

46davidpoole4
Dez. 5, 2021, 7:47am

Dieser Benutzer wurde wegen Spammens entfernt.

47pamelad
Dez. 5, 2021, 2:28pm

>45 dudes22: I really liked Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, and will be interested to hear what you think of Flights. I reckon that if I could read Ulysses I can manage The Books of Jacob, but I am hoping to like it a great deal more than I did Ulysses!

48psutto
Dez. 16, 2021, 2:51pm

I also miss the cinema. Great theme. I watched Lagaan in India on Christmas day in 2001 in the house of someone who'd been driving us around for a few days - our host dressed as Santa (a thin Indian Santa) and cooked us a feast!

49pamelad
Dez. 16, 2021, 3:44pm

>48 psutto: A memorable experience! I also have wonderful memories of hospitable Indian people, and watching The Life of Brian in Haryana on New Year's Eve.

50Crazymamie
Dez. 24, 2021, 9:58am

LOVE your theme! "I'm fatally attracted to subtitles, and to films that were made before I was born. Me, too! I can tell I am going to get both book and movie bullets from your thread - very happy making.

Kanopy - I miss this so much. I belonged to a library that offered it, but my current library system does not offer it. So sad. I watched a lot of older stuff that you can't find anywhere else on there. And Noirvember would be right up my alley.

51pamelad
Dez. 26, 2021, 12:21am

>50 Crazymamie: That's a pain about Kanopy. Have you come across Tubi? It doesn't have the range of Kanopy and there's the occasional ad, but it's free and has some classic films. Also some ancient TV series. Do you remember Topper, with Leo G. Carroll? I also belong to Mubi, which has a selection of foreign and arthouse films. It's a paid subscription, but you can get a free trial.

52Crazymamie
Dez. 26, 2021, 11:06am

>51 pamelad: Thanks so much for that! I will investigate. I do remember Topper!

53mnleona
Dez. 26, 2021, 6:43pm

>51 pamelad: I loved the Topper movies.

54pamelad
Dez. 27, 2021, 12:51am

>53 mnleona: The 1937 film with Constance Bennett and Cary Grant? Loved it! You can't beat a screwball comedy, or anything with Cary Grant in it.

55MissBrangwen
Dez. 27, 2021, 4:24am

Great categories, and I'm especially looking forward to your Australian books!

56pamelad
Dez. 28, 2021, 8:29pm

>55 MissBrangwen: Welcome! I'm starting with Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko, Australian Aboriginal author.

57pamelad
Jan. 1, 5:12am

In the first chapter of Too Much Lip a couple of crows are having a conversation, so I've put the book aside for now and read Not Meeting Mr Right, by the Australian Aboriginal writer, Anita Heiss.

Alice is the head of the history department at a Catholic Girls' school. After attending a school reunion where all her classmates are married with children and can talk of nothing else, she makes a plan to marry before she's thirty, in two year's time. The book is about her search for her future husband. There's a lot of tedious drinking, shopping and waxing, interspersed with some interesting insights into life as a middle-class Aboriginal woman. Being Aboriginal certainly adds a degree of difficulty to the man search, and there are some amusingly scathing caricatures of hypocritical white people who want to be Kooris, and establishment bigots. The book is disjointed and sometimes didactic, unfortunately.

The first film for 2022 is Eric Rohmer's A Tale of Springtime, which features, as do most of his films, attractive French people having philosophical conversations in picturesque surroundings. Very pleasant.

58pamelad
Jan. 1, 2:49pm

I've changed my categories (already!) to add Africa, Asia and the Americas. Removed Big Books because they can fit in other categories.

59Tess_W
Jan. 1, 7:27pm

>58 pamelad: I also have Asia & Africa as well as Australia this year. Next year I'm going for Europe and North and South America.

60pamelad
Jan. 2, 5:10pm

>59 Tess_W: One of my goals this year is to read from a wide range of countries, and I'm currently reading a book by a Mongolian writer, so I added the new category as encouragement to read around the world. I'll definitely be checking out your Asia & Africa category.

61pamelad
Jan. 2, 5:26pm

BingoDOG: Featuring a dog

My Dog Tulip by J R Ackerley is the story of the writer's great love for his dog, and hers for him. The writing is dry and witty in a very English way, which is a great part of its charm, so I was saddened to see that a tasteless, tin-eared editor had made pavements into sidewalks, which made me question how much else was changed. Did Ackerley really put Tulip in an elevator, not a lift? Did he really shout at a pack of dogs to scram?

I'd recommend this book anyway, despite the tragic editing. It's an oddity.

62pamelad
Jan. 3, 12:32am

AuthorCAT: Indigenous Writer; BingoDOG: make into a film

The Blue Sky by Galsang Tschinag is narrated by a young boy, the youngest of three children in a family of nomadic herders. They are Tuvans, indigenous people living in the High Altai mountains in the far north-west of Mongolia, sharing the land with the Kazakhs. Their way of life is dying as the Soviet system takes over. The two older children are removed to a boarding school in the city, and that will be the fate of this little boy too, but for now he's helping his family and managing his own herd of sheep with the help of his devoted dog Aryslan. The most important person in his life is his grandmother, an old woman cheated and left almost destitute by her own family and taken in by the boy's.

Why make it into a film?

Majestic snowcapped mountains, lush forests, endless steppes. Yaks! Yurts! I imagine a film that is mainly slow, meditative and elegiac, but with intervals of Tuvan celebrations and dramatic incidents.

63Tess_W
Jan. 3, 1:10am

>62 pamelad: been on my WL for sometime

64pamelad
Jan. 3, 1:18am

>63 Tess_W: It’s available from the Open Library. Worth reading.

65hailelib
Jan. 3, 8:24am

>62 pamelad:

I may look for this.

66pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 4, 5:51pm

>65 hailelib: I can recommend it. It's short, and you don't come across Mongolian writers very often.

67MissBrangwen
Jan. 5, 2:29am

>62 pamelad: That's a BB for me, too! I love watching documentaries about Mongolia and would definitely watch the film you have envisioned.

68ELiz_M
Jan. 5, 12:13pm

>62 pamelad: This sounds interesting and would be a nice addition to my global reading challenge. Bonus, my library has a copy!

69pamelad
Jan. 5, 3:37pm

>67 MissBrangwen: I am missing the Melbourne International Film Festival, where every year I'd watch slow, meditative films from exotic places. Maybe next year? In the meantime, enjoy The Blue Sky.

>68 ELiz_M: That's a good library. They don't always hang on to books that aren't borrowed very often.

70pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 5, 3:55pm

8. Crime
BingoDOG:23. A book set in a country other than your own

The Religious Body by Catherine Aird is the first book in the Calleshire Chronicles, which feature Inspector Sloan and Detective Constable Crosby. A nun is found dead at the bottom of the cellar stairs. It wasn't the fall that killed her; she'd been murdered. Sloan's investigation is complicated by the religious practices of the nuns, who aspire not to notice most of what's going on around them and to trample any signs of individuality. Interesting.

A competent, traditional mystery from the sixties. It's available, along with the rest of the series, with Kobo Plus.

71pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 7, 4:23pm

2. Africa, Asia and the Americas
12. New Authors
13. BingoDOG: a book in translation
15. Hope to Read Soon: a tribute to RebeccaNYC

Secret Rendezvous by Kobo Abe

A woman is taken away in the middle of the night by ambulance, although she is not ill. Her husband traces her to a huge, underground hospital and finds that she disappeared from reception before being officially admitted. No one is prepared to tell the man where his wife has gone. Is she lost or imprisoned in the labyrinths of the hospital? Is she dead? Has she escaped? Has she arranged her own disappearance? The man is employed by a bizarre individual, who seems to be half man, half horse, to find the woman. The man must report his investigation in a journal, which has to be written in the third person. The book consists of the man's three journals.

Secret Rendezvous seems to be operating on many levels. (I say "seems' because I'm not at all sure what I've just read.) There's the aspect of surveillance, with the hospital full of bugs and hidden cameras that send data to a central security system. There's an indictment of a hospital system where patients enter and cannot leave, doctors tout for business and recruit patients to specialties without reference to their symptoms, doctors and nurses use patients for their own entertainment and perform strange sexual experiments on them; the head of security sells the tapes for profit. There's a confusion of identities, an inability to know who people really are: a man who acts as though he is a horse, who is actually a doctor and the deputy director; doctors who are patients and patients who are doctors; a girl whose shape changes because of a bone disease; the man's wife, who might not be the woman he thought he knew. There's a thread about masculinity and erections, femininity and orgasms, and an awful lot of masturbation. Some reviews describe this as an erotic novel, but with all this sex being about violent experimentation and power machinations, it didn't seem that way to me.

Reading Secret Rendezvous was like being plunged into someone's nightmare. I felt the claustrophobia, the panic, the confusion and the powerlessness, but I didn't quite understand what was going on.

72pamelad
Jan. 7, 8:36pm

Going well for variety so far. 5 books, 4 different countries, 5 different decades, 5 different genres. No historical romances.

73pamelad
Jan. 8, 4:04pm

9. Books I Own
12. New Writers

We Always Treat Women Too Well by Raymond Queneau is a parody of No Orchids for Miss Blandish, a best-selling 1939 crime novel in which a passive, drug-addicted, suicidal young woman is raped and degraded by the depraved gangster who has abducted her. Queneau is not alone in his disgust, as this article by George Orwell shows.

Queneau transposes the action to Dublin in 1916, the Easter Rising, where a group of amateurish rebels has occupied the Post Office. They've cleared out most of the British workers unharmed, have shot two, and are settled in to return fire with the British and die nobly for their cause - an Ireland free of British rule - when they discover Gertie Girdle, who'd been hiding in the lavatory. Some of the rebels want to kill Gertie, but their leader thinks that brutalising an innocent female postal worker would tarnish their reputations, and that Gertie must remain alive and unsullied. After she is raped by one of the rebels, Gertie manages to ensure her survival by seduction, and she is hard to resist. She's the antithesis of Miss Blandish.

We Always Treat Women Too Well shouldn't be funny. The Easter Rising isn't funny; the violence is gruesome; Gertie is raped many times; there's even an instance of necrophilia. Perhaps it's the exuberance of the violence that makes it impossible to take seriously, plus the awareness that the bad taste is the point. The absurdity piles on: the ineptitude of the rebels with their catch-cry of "Finnegan's Wake!"; the fact that the Irish names and places all came from Ulysses; the British officer named Mountcatten.

We Always Treat Women Too Well was an entertaining read. As an introduction to Raymond Queneau it probably wasn't the best choice, so I'm planning to read another. I can't find a copy of his most famous book, Zazie in the Metro, so will go with The Sunday of Life.

74pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 9, 9:58pm

9. Books I Own
13. BingoDOG Travel

Mr Finchley Discovers His England by Victor Canning

For decades Mr Finchley has worked as a solicitor's clerk, and has never had a holiday. When the firm is sold, Finchley's enlightened new boss demands that he take a holiday and gives him three weeks off. Plump, bald, forty-five year old Mr Finchley, a man intimidated by his landlady, decides to go to Margate, an unadventurous seaside resort, but on the way he is inadvertently kidnapped by gangsters, and his exciting holiday begins. Mr Finchley travels around England on foot, by bicycle, by train and bus, and even in a smuggler's boat. He makes friends with the people who take to the roads: gipsies, itinerant workers, a travelling vicar, an artist, an escaped lunatic. He sleeps by the side of the road, in barns, in tents and even in a mansion. The naive and trusting Mr Finchley gets along with everyone.

This cheerful, gently humorous, optimistic little book was a best seller in England in 1934.

75Tess_W
Jan. 10, 6:02am

>74 pamelad: A BB for me!

76pamelad
Jan. 11, 4:35pm

>75 Tess_W: The Kindle version is only $1.43 US.

9. Books I Own
13. BingoDOG: Favorite author

The Way It Is Now by Garry Disher starts with a flashback to January 2000, when Charlie Devarin's mother was murdered. Charlie is back now in his childhood home, suspended from the police force for an altercation with an incompetent superior. His marriage broke down because he made no effort, spending his free time investigating his mother's murder and sparing too little attention for his wife and daughter. Now Charlie is in the early stages of a relationship with Anna, a juror on the rape case that led to his suspension, but he is still consumed by the investigation of his mother's murder. Charlie's father, Rhys, a retired policeman, is still suspected of killing his wife, and Charlie's brother Liam thinks he did it. Charlie wants to prove his dad is innocent of the murder, but he suspects that he is guilty of something else.

I've read better books by Garry Disher, but this was pretty good. It's as much to do with relationships as with crime. It's set mainly on the Mornington Peninsula, but is a stand-alone, not part of the Challis and Destry series. The Melbourne bits are set near to where I live, so the familiarity adds a layer of interest and enjoyment, and knowing the demographics of the suburbs Disher mentions tells me something about the characters.

Recommended.

77Tess_W
Jan. 11, 7:22pm

>76 pamelad: LOL went to Kindle and they told me I had already purchased it in 2019--yep, already have the ebook. Now to just read it.

78pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 12, 4:45am

>77 Tess_W: Happy reading!

13. BingoDOG: Favourite author
Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh

Waugh's first novel, published in 1929, is an exuberant comic satire. Paul Pennyfeather is studying theology at Oxford in preparation for becoming an Anglican priest when he is caught up in the annual Bollinger celebration and expelled, through no fault of his own. In need of money he takes a job at a fourth-rate school in Wales where he meets Pendlebury, a former rector with religious doubts; Grimes, an old Harrovian whose public school background has saved him from jail, and worse; Philbrick, a butler with a shady past and a fabulously inflated present. These three reappear, singly and together, when least expected. One of Paul's students, Peter Beste-Chetwynde (pronounced Beast-Cheating) plays an important role because it is his mother, the beautiful, exciting Margot, who leads to Paul's decline and fall.

This is a very funny book. Paul is determined to behave as a gentleman, so he barely protests when ruthless people, many of them purportedly gentlemen, take advantage of him. The reader knows what is going on, but Paul has no idea.

This is a re-read. I gave Decline and Fall 5 stars on the first read, but have subtracted half a star this time because even though I enjoyed the book greatly and it made me laugh, I didn't remember having read it!

I read it again because I came across the television miniseries, which I liked, but on its own terms. Some characters are more exaggerated in the series than in the book, particularly Grimes; Pennyfeather is a simpering twerp; there's quite a lot of slapstick; characters are combined; Peter Beste-Chetwynde undergoes a personality change. I'd recommend the miniseries, but be sure to watch it before you read the book.

79rabbitprincess
Jan. 13, 8:00pm

>78 pamelad: I'm pretty sure I read this pre-LT but have no recollection of it. I'll take your advice to watch the miniseries first; it was originally on my radar because of David Suchet.

80pamelad
Jan. 13, 8:18pm

David Suchet really hams it up and is very funny.

81pamelad
Jan. 14, 5:01am

8. Crime
Dead Men Don't Ski by Patricia Moyes is the author's first book, so it's overly full of characters and plot, but a good start. It introduces Inspector Henry Tibbett and his wife Emmy who helps with the investigation. It's set in an Italian ski resort near the Austrian border, where Henry has come mainly for a holiday, but also to keep an eye out because something suspect is going on. It starts well, with a train trip from Victoria Station to Innsbruck, but once everyone has arrived at the resort, the book slows down and takes a while to get going again.

Pros
The ski resort is a classic setting, and I'm keen on trains.
The victim is an awful man. I hate it when the victim is someone I like. (The secret of High Eldersham is the worst ever example.)
Henry and Emmy are good hearted people.
It's a fair play mystery, with the author pointing out when all the clues have been provided.
No gore.
It was first published in 1959.

Cons
Too many characters and subplots.
Solving the crime depends on two enormously long timetables.
A melodramatic interlude that seemed to belong in a different book.
At 328 pages, the book was too long. It needed to lose some characters, subplots, and about 70 - 80 pages.

Overall, a good effort. I'll read another Patricia Moyes. There are lots of them, and many are on Kobo Plus.

82hailelib
Jan. 14, 11:42am

>81 pamelad: I actually didn't mind the timetables ...

83pamelad
Jan. 14, 4:03pm

>82 hailelib: Mysteries where the puzzle is the main point aren't my favourite, so I'm not mad on locked room mysteries either. If you liked the timetables you must have excellent concentration!

84RidgewayGirl
Jan. 14, 7:09pm

Just now getting around to your thread and I love the movie posters. Last Year at Marienbad was one weird movie.

85pamelad
Jan. 15, 3:02pm

>84 RidgewayGirl: Welcome. Weird? Absolument! Last Year at Marienbad is on Kanopy now, and so is Quai des Brumes, which I had been wanting to watch for a long time but hadn't been able to find.

At the moment I'm practising French comprehension by watching Erich Rohmer's films on Mubi.

86pamelad
Jan. 15, 3:19pm

8. Crime
13. BingoDOG Published in a year ending in 2 (1962)

Death on the Agenda by Patricia Moyes

Henry and Emmy Tibbett are in Geneva, where Henry is the chair of an international committee with the goal of stopping narcotics smuggling. There's a security leak, and a translator is suspected. When he is killed, Henry is framed for the murder. Compared to Dead Men Don't Ski, the timetable was much shorter and easier to follow, so I managed to use it to guess the murderer. Henry becomes infatuated with another woman in this story, which seems out of character but is necessary for the sake of the plot. There's a bit of melodrama at the end.

I liked this one enough to continue with Patricia Moyes and have chosen Who Saw Her Die? because it was nominated for an Edgar.

87pamelad
Jan. 16, 2:21am

The Executor by Margaret Oliphant is a short story, the first work in the Chronicles of Carlingford.

Nasty old Mrs Thompson has died and her closest relative, Mrs Christian, is expecting to inherit. The Christians desperately need the money: Mr Christian is an invalid, and the family's breadwinner is his young daughter, Bessie, who teaches music. Instead, the inheritance goes to Mrs Thompson's long lost daughter Phoebe. If John Brown, the executor of the will, does not find Phoebe within three years, he receives the inheritance. Brown is a bachelor of 46, rude, brusque and selfish, but he's not so cold that he doesn't worry about Bessie.

I should have read this story before I read the bulk of the Carlingfrod Chronicles because it has been 5 years and I remember very little. Did Phoebe turn up? I have no idea. But there is still one book I have left to read, Phoebe Junior, so I've started it and might find out.

I've enjoyed the whole Carlingford series, including The Executor. Miss Marjoribanks is my favourite.

I'll put this in the Europe category, and in its decade.

88majkia
Jan. 16, 8:32am

I'm currently reading The Doctor's Family. I'm enjoying her series as well.

89Tess_W
Jan. 16, 8:59am

>87 pamelad: I've got all the Chronicles on my Kindle....to find time in this lifetime!

90pamelad
Jan. 16, 3:08pm

>88 majkia: If Phoebe reappears, could you let me know?

>89 Tess_W: They're worth moving up the queue. Be wicked and discard something dull and worthy!

The Djokovic saga has ended for now. The Federal Government shouldn't have granted him a visa in the first place, then this whole humiliating mess could have been avoided. I hope some good comes of exposing Australia's border policies, and the plight of the asylum seekers, to the world.

I hope that's not too much politics!

91pamelad
Bearbeitet: Jan. 18, 4:17am

13. BingoDOG: Retelling

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys is the story of Bertha, Edward Rochester's mad wife in Jane Eyre. Now I've read Rhys's book, her Rochester has overcome Charlotte Bronte's and I am in complete agreement with the people on DeltaQueen's thread who thought Jane never should have married him.

Bertha is born Antoinette Cosway, the daughter of an ex-slave owner and his beautiful, much younger second wife, Annette, not long after an act of Parliament abolished slavery in Jamaica and the West Indian Colonies. Cosway dies, leaving his wife, daughter and crippled son almost destitute. A few loyal servants remain, including Christophine, from Martinique, who has been with Annette since her marriage and is the most important, trustworthy person in Antoinette's life, but the household is surrounded by hostile, dangerous people who hate the Cosways for their slave-holding history. When Annette marries the wealthy Mr Mason, he fails to take her fears and warnings seriously, and refuses to move away, so when their isolated home is deliberately set alight and the crippled boy dies, Annette refuses to forgive Mason. Treated without sympathy or care, she slips into insanity, a forewarning of what will happen to Antoinette.

Rochester, who is never named, is a younger son who has come to Jamaica to marry Antoinette for her money. The marriage was arranged by Antoinette's step brother, Mason's son, and Rochester's English family. Antoinette wants a man to love her and take care of her, but Rochester isn't he. He's a cold, cruel, selfish man who loathes Jamaica and its inhabitants, including Antoinette. He feels he's been trapped into marriage, and blames the open-hearted, trusting Antoinette.

Rhys describes a lush, beautiful place, permeated with danger and corruption. Her Antoinette has much in common with other Rhys heroines: their search for someone to take care of them; the febrile gaiety that dies to be replaced by a passive surface underlain with torment; taking solace in alcohol. But there's more to Antoinette, and even when she is locked in Rochester's attic it doesn't die. Rochester shares the thoughtless selfishness of the men in Rhys's other books, but he's worse, with a layer of viciousness the others don't have. Rhys's writing is masterly and devastating: she creates a person, a feeling, a scene, in just a few words.

This was a re-read. I'd forgotten just how good it is.

92DeltaQueen50
Jan. 18, 1:47pm

>91 pamelad: I never liked Rochester before I read Wide Sargasso Sea but now I actively despise him! I didn't mention it in my review but Rhys certainly excels in setting the atmosphere.

93thornton37814
Jan. 18, 6:12pm

>81 pamelad: I wasn't familiar with that series, but I like the setting and premise of this first installment. The second one doesn't sound as enticing plot-wise to me. I've added the first to a list which might or might not see the light of day!

94pamelad
Gestern, 2:48pm

>92 DeltaQueen50: You wouldn't want to read Wide Sargasso Sea before Jane Eyre!

>93 thornton37814: You might like Catherine Aird's books too, the Sloan and Crosby series.