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Mediations
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Needed the summer break to find time for an 832-page read, but Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries was worth it. Also finished my Barcelona read, Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind, which is close to the book I would gave written if only I had the talent. ‘Paris requires... Continue reading
Posted 15 hours ago at To Be Read...
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The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, by Sloan Wilson On my TBR pile for years - why did I wait? Interesting take on corporate PR in the just pre-Mad Men era. 9/10 The Grand Banks Cafe, by Georges Simenon, trans David Coward 6/10 Barney's Version, by Mordecai Richler Montreal... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at To Be Read...
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The Double Silence, by Mari Jungstedt, trans Tina Nunally Back to Gotland for Ander Knutas' seventh outing. Disappointing; too much plot, too little about the core characters. 6/10 The Sabre Squadron, by Simon Raven Enjoyed returning to the Alms for Oblivion series. 8/10 Roseanna, by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at To Be Read...
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Satantango, by Laszlo Krasznahorkai, trans George Szirtes 8/10 A complex, difficult, gripping, Hungarian Western. Best May read. Look Who's Back, by Timor Vermes, trans Jamie Bulloch 6/10 Hitler wakes up... in modern Germany. Brave effort, nice one-liners, but the conceit hasn't the legs to compete against the monster. I scrutinised... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2014 at To Be Read...
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Almost by accident I read three books by Belgians in April, and one has every chance of being my book of the year. One was by a Walloon (well, a Walloon with a touch of Tyneside and Eire), one was Flemish, and one was half Walloon, half Flemish and synonymous... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2014 at To Be Read...
I have been meaning to read Cloudstreet for a while and this persuaded me to buy it, so thanks Alan, and thanks for Prime Cut which I read and enjoyed a couple of years ago (when working in Sunderland).
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Interesting list - not often I want to read all the shortlisted nominations for a literary prize. Thanks for your reviews, Kim!
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The Farm, by Tom Rob Smith 7/10 The Yellow Dog, Georges Simenon, tr Linda Asher 7/10 Lock 14, by Georges Simenon 6/10 What Lot's Wife Saw, by Ionna Bourazoupalou, tr 8/10 “Dr Fabrizio.” “The Doctor is looking after his dying caterpillars,” she explained. Fabrizio’s hobby was to order insects, although... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at To Be Read...
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Blue Hour, by Alonso Cueto (Peru, Global Challenge 1/21) A successful lawyer confronts the awful legacy of his father's past, and the atrocities he committed fighting Shining Path revolutionaries. Similar territory to Santiago Roncagliolo's excellent Red April, if a little less gory. 8/10 ‘The people round here aren’t like people... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2014 at To Be Read...
I completed six novels and an excellent critical biography of George Orwell, by Robert Colls. The novelists came fom five different countries, but following my own perverse rules, I won't count them towards the 2014 Global Reading Challenge, nor will The Chatelet Apprentice, by Jean-Francois Parot begin at the 2014... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2014 at To Be Read...
In 2013 I visited 9 countries through 33 crime, mystery or spy novels, and four made my select list of five star reads. (In 2012 I visited 15 countries through 25 crime novels, including two five star reads). I like series, not least because they are often more than the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2014 at To Be Read...
I read 60 novels from 15 countries in 2013, with the most being by British authors (31), followed by USA (8). This compares to 69 novels from 36 countries in 2012. One of my 2013 Reading Resolutions was to be more focused, to complete trilogies or series, and to explore... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2014 at To Be Read...
Reading Extreme Metaphors, an impressively edited collection of interviews with JG Ballard, made me want to search out my own encounter with one of Britain's greatest novelists. Here is an expanded (& rough) version of a piece based on a telephone interview with Ballard, prior to the publication of Rushing... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2013 at To Be Read...
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A rather different map of January reads.... Just one country, the United States. Having thoroughly enjoyed two Global Reading Challenges (and my own Read the Walk to Johannesburg), I have decided to give them a miss for a while. The upside of Challenges was that I read many books by... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2013 at To Be Read...
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Medicine in the mid-Eighteenth Century was not for the faint-hearted. "Cures" could be as unpleasant as illnesses, and surgery in a time well before anaesthetics was agonising, and by no means guaranteed to succeed. Those attempting to relieve suffering had to be preparted to inflict great pain.... and for Tristan... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2013 at To Be Read...
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As Mark Lawson observed in the excellent Radio 4 series Foreign Bodies, crime fiction is a splendid vehicle for literary tourism, and in 2012 I visited 15 countries through 25 crime novels. Two made my select list of five star reads. Three Stars: Worth reading Divorcing Jack, by Colin Bateman... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2013 at To Be Read...
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I read 69 novels in 2012, quite a few by my usual standards, and including 32 to meet various Challnges and thus, most likely, titles I wouldn't have read in the usual course of things. They came from 36 countries, with the most being by British authors (18), followed by... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2013 at To Be Read...
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At the start of the year I decided to tackle four reading challenges. I had enjoyed discovering new countries with the 2011 Global Reading Challenge, so decided to give it another go, and was also committed to trying to sutrvive until April 1 without buying a book. I also came... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2013 at To Be Read...
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December was mostly about finishing challenges... which is a reason I probably won't be doing challenges again in 2013! Assuming I have half an hour to spare this evening, I will finish The Last Gift, by Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah, which takes me to the South African border and the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2012 at To Be Read...
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Our morning paper, Sydsvenskan, has published its list of the top 100 Swedish crime novels, as voted for by a panel of journalists, critics and bloggers. Top of the the list is Blackwater, by Kerstin Ekman, first published in 1993, and highly recommended. The next three all come from Maj... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2012 at To Be Read...
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I am two countries closer to completing my Read the Walk trek to Johannesburg and quite a lot wiser. I had forgotten the Red Terror trauma the Derg brought to Ethiopia after the fall of Haile Selassie and was deeply shocked by the British treatment of the Mau Mau in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2012 at To Be Read...
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Mediations added a favorite at Teaching PR
Nov 28, 2012
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October took me a little closer to my Read the Walk destination of Johannesburg, crossing Sudan with Leila Aboulela's splendid Lyrics Alley, and east to Uzbekhistan with The Railway, by Hamid Ismailov (completing an Asian trio for the 2012 Global Reading Challenge) . I had been looking forward to Liza... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2012 at To Be Read...
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Johanna Fawkes comments: "The first paper I wrote was called Max Clifford the Honest Liar?, presented to PREF meeting in 1995 following a talk he gave to University of Central Lancashire students. I wondered if his unapologetic pragmatism gave better insight into profession than mealy mouthed ethical claims. My main criticism was that he uses his ego to decide who's good, who's bad, covering up for the former, exposing the latter according to his own, somewhat unexamined whim. V interesting person and presenter.... Trouble is, tweets show main conclusion students draw is still 'whatever works is OK', which is depressing...
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The Tuareg are pastoral nomads who speak Tamasheq, a Berber language written in an ancient alphabet and script called Tifinagh. They are distributed through desert and Sahel regions of parts of Libya, Algeria, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria. An estimate from 1996 put their numbers at one million and a half.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2012 at To Be Read...
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