Kerry (avatiakh) loves to read in 2023 #2

É uma continuação do tópico Kerry (avatiakh) loves to read in 2023.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

Aderi ao LibraryThing para poder publicar.

Kerry (avatiakh) loves to read in 2023 #2

1avatiakh
Editado: Dez 28, 2023, 3:32 am



I'm Kerry from Auckland, New Zealand. I joined LT in 2007 and signed up for the 75 group a year or so later and never looked back. Before I had happily participated in a books group on a local trading site which had been a lot of fun. I love keeping tabs on my reading and joining the book conversations from time to time here. I've been quieter these past couple of years and had a few reading funks but this year my reading seems to be going well.

Currently Reading:

Shogun by James Clavell - audio
Stolen by Ann-Helén Laestadius - stalled
Limberlost by Robbie Arnott - stalled
Maror by Lavie Tidhar

2avatiakh
Editado: Abr 12, 2023, 10:49 pm



My 2023 Category Challenge:
My categories:
1) Local - Australia & New Zealand
2) Translated fiction with focus on French novels
3) General fiction
4) Crime & Romance
5) Scifi & Fantasy
6) Juvenile - children's & YA
7) Illustrated - manga, GNs & picturebooks
8) Nonfiction
9) Focus - Holocaust literature
10) tba - if any new category comes to mind
Dropbox - anything that slips through the gaps

3avatiakh
Editado: Ago 11, 2023, 6:22 pm


Goals for 2023

a repeat of my unsuccessful 2022 ones!

Includes the books I vouched for over on the Club Read 2022's HOPE TO READ SOON: a tribute to Rebeccanyc -
Aira, César. The Seamstress and the Wind
Bergelson, David. The End of Everything
Rufin, Jean-Christophe. The Abyssinian
Rufin, Jean-Christophe. The Siege of Isfahan
The 2023 HOPE TO READ thread is here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/346710

also ongoing is my read of the winners of the UK Carnegie Medal in Children's Literature‎. See post #11 on my previous thread -

4avatiakh
Editado: Abr 12, 2023, 10:52 pm

_____

Holocaust Literature - Last year Lisa (labfs39) and I started a Holocaust Literature group which anyone is welcome to join -

so many worthy books I've still not read -
This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Borowski
Lovely Green Eyes and others by Lustig
Brodeck's Report by Philippe Claudel
Memory by Philippe Grimbert
The Last of the Just by Andre Schwarz-Bart - READING
If not now, when? by Primo Levi

My Holocaust Literature reading thread: https://www.librarything.com/topic/338441#n8014630

5avatiakh
Editado: Dez 17, 2023, 7:17 pm


Some of the series and trilogies that I'm concentrating on -

Captain Alatriste by Arturo Pérez-Reverte - 2/7

Crime -
Rebus by Ian Rankin - 24/24
Cormoran Strike by Robert Galbraith - 6/7
Pepe Carvalho by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán - 5/23 - reading what I can find
Kramer and Zondi by James McClure - 1/8
Nina Borg by Lene Kaaberbøl - 3/4
Avi Avraham by D.A. Mishani (4/4)

Scifi
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson - 3/4
Arkship trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton - 3/3
Murderbot by Martha Wells 6/6
Poseidon's Children by Alastair Reynolds 0/3

Fantasy
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch 6/9 - need to get back to this one
Thraxas by Martin Scott (Millar) - 12/12
Temeraire by Naomi Novik - 3/9
The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop - 0/3

Children's/YA
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome - 1/12

Manga:
Buddha vol.1 by Osamu Tezuka 1/8
Vagabond vol 1 VIZBIG Omnibus Edition Series by Takehiko Inoue 3/12

6avatiakh
Editado: Abr 12, 2023, 10:57 pm

Updating my Reading Plans for April -

I seem to have accumulated a lot of one-word title books on my current tbr pile and there is a one-word title TIOLI challenge, so these will be my priority plus a couple of other library books.
Conviction by Dror Mishani
Loki by Melvin Burgess
Victorious by Yishai Sarid
Limberlost by Robbie Arnott - Reading
Malice by Keigo Higashino - discovered that I read this in 2017
Stolen by Ann-Helén Laestadius - Reading
Transit by Anna Seghers
Creation by Gore Vidal

Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton - decided to return this and read at a later date.
Why we took the car by Wolfgang Herndorf
The Rose Revived by Katie Fforde

and still going on The Children's Book

7avatiakh
Abr 12, 2023, 10:59 pm

April reads from my last thread -
__
59) Conviction by D. A. Mishani (2022 English) (2021 Hebrew)
crime
Avi Avraham #4. Two unrelated cases crop up for police inspector Avraham. A Swiss tourist has gone missing from his hotel and a newborn baby has been found abandoned near to a hospital.
Enjoyable Israeli crime writing that quietly gets the job done.
I'm now up to date in this series.

60) The Rose Revived by Katie Fforde (1995)
romance
This was a comfort type read that Suzanne reread recently and became a BB for me. Three young women all urgently needing well paid work, turn up for interviews at a cleaning agency. May lives on a canal boat and has hefty mooring fees overdue, Harriet has finally runaway from her overbearing grandparents, and Sally needs to earn enough to pay for a new flat so she can leave her hostile boyfriend behind.

61) Book Lovers by Emily Henry (2022)
romance
Slightly entertaining story set around books, publishing and bookstores. I've waited ages in the library queue for this book. Nora is a workaholic literary agent and a New Yorker through and through. Her sister insists on taking her to a small country town near Ashville NC for a summer vacation.

8PaulCranswick
Abr 12, 2023, 11:14 pm

Happy new thread, Kerry.

I must go and check my progress on series reading.

9avatiakh
Abr 12, 2023, 11:15 pm

A browse through the library sale table today, each book was 50c -
Educated by Tara Westover - many LTers have read this one
Wolf on a string by Benjamin Black - love the title
Before the feast by Saša Stanišić - had borrowed this recently but didn't get it read
Parallell Stories by Péter Nádas - Hungarian heavy tome, looks like some reviewers loved it, others thought it was hard work.

Library pickups:
Alice's Book: How the Nazis Stole My Grandmother's Cookbook by Karina Urbach - Holocaust read
The Witches of Vardo by Anya Bergman - Norwegian historical fiction

10avatiakh
Abr 12, 2023, 11:18 pm

>8 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul - I keep adding ongoing series to my list as I don't seem to target the ones I first put up.

11quondame
Abr 12, 2023, 11:59 pm

Happy new thread Kerry!

12FAMeulstee
Abr 13, 2023, 6:59 am

Happy new thread, Kerry!

I love the cat and book pictures you use.
I started reading Stolen today.

13figsfromthistle
Abr 13, 2023, 7:17 am

Happy new one!

14avatiakh
Abr 14, 2023, 12:07 am

>11 quondame: Hi Susan. Thanks for visiting.

>12 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. I googled images of cats reading, there are some hilarious ones available. My own cats don't do photogenic stuff with books.
I must get back to Stolen it was quite captivating but I got sidetracked by library book due dates.

>13 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita #2 Thanks for visiting.

15avatiakh
Abr 14, 2023, 12:21 am


I'm currently reading a few mangas. I saw a delightful hardcover of She and her cat by Makoto Shinkai in a bookstore some weeks ago, I think it's a short story collection. Anyway when requesting it from the library I got sidetracked into the manga adaption of one of the stories and then looked for more manga works by Makato Shinkai who is more known for being a director of anime. He's a director, writer, producer, animator, editor, cinematographer, voice actor, manga artist and former graphic designer.

16labfs39
Abr 14, 2023, 10:25 pm

I see you are currently reading The Last of the Just. I look forward to your thoughts. I loved it.

17WhiteRaven.17
Abr 14, 2023, 11:28 pm

Happy new thread Kerry! >15 avatiakh: I also wanted the beautiful hardcover of short stories of this book, but when I ordered it I ended up getting the manga version instead that I read earlier this year. I thought it was a nice story and enjoyed it, but not my favorite work. I had no idea the author was that prolific, interesting, and now I have some light researching to do. I did enjoy the short little prequel anime for the manga, even if it was a bit tearful.

18drneutron
Abr 15, 2023, 9:02 am

Happy new thread, Kerry!

19avatiakh
Abr 15, 2023, 5:34 pm

>16 labfs39: I'm only a few pages in but determined to read this one.

>17 WhiteRaven.17: Oh what a shame, Kro. I love the Japanese cat books, they all look so adorable and I've read a far few of them. I read the manga version of She and her cat and then The garden of words, gave up on your name. 1. There's also A Sky Longing for Memories: The Art of Makoto Shinkai which I looked through. My daughter has watched some of his anime so appreciated me getting these from the library.

>18 drneutron: Waves to the Dr.

20avatiakh
Abr 15, 2023, 5:56 pm


Sadie on a plate by Amanda Elliot (2022)
romance
DNF - another bust. I don't usually read chick lit so it has to be fairly convincing to get me past the first few pages. Sadie ends up on a cooking competition show, her speciality is modern takes on Jewish traditional cooking. I thought it might be fun to read a romance set around a reality cooking show but I only lasted 40 or 50 pages, looked at all the books I'm surrounded by and thought I can do better.

I've made a start on The Car Share by Zoe Brisby which is not a romance and looks to be one of those feel good reads, anyway I'll push on with it. Car sharing: Two strangers on the road to Belgium. One has Alzheimers and the other suffers from depression. Another road trip novel that I found on the library shelves yesterday - naughty me, I brought home 4 books when I'm meant to be limiting my library borrowing.
I also picked up recently from the library:
Esther's Notebooks: tales from my ten-year-old life by Riad Sattouf - GN, I've read some of his Arab of the Future GNs.
The note by Carly Schabowski - looks to be a popular fiction set around the Holocaust, I'll give it a go - she does have a reference list at the end of the book.
Steal Big & The Big Caper by Lionel White - crime omnibus
The Lost Love Song by Minnie Dark - Aussie romance, last of my random library tries

from my own shelves I've plucked out Hiroshima Joe by Martin Booth, I've enjoyed at least three of his books and this one has been in my home since long before LT was a thing. I have to finish the GN Barefoot Gen vol. 1 first.

21labfs39
Abr 15, 2023, 7:21 pm

>20 avatiakh: a reference list at the end of the book

I look for that as well, or a personal connection.

I'm curious as to your impressions of Barefoot Gen. I read the first three volumes several years ago. To be honest, the parent-child and teacher-student brutality was shocking to me. It did help explain a few things that I had read in Kamikaze though. I recently read Taken Captive: A Japanese POW's Story by Ooka Shohei, author of Fires on the the Plain. It was an excellent memoir about his experience. I also read Hiroshima Diary, the Journal of a Japanese Physician, August 6-Sept 30, 1945. I can highly recommend that as well, if you are looking for more after Hiroshima Joe.

22avatiakh
Abr 15, 2023, 9:07 pm

>21 labfs39: I'm starting to find Holocaust fiction featuring barbed wire on the cover a bit of a turnoff before I even start reading.

I'm going to read Barefoot Gen today as it's due back at the library along with another book that I can't locate in the house and feel sure I've already returned. Thanks for those recommendations, I have Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse on my tbr, I picked it up recently at a used bookstore.

23labfs39
Abr 16, 2023, 9:00 am

>22 avatiakh: I'm starting to find Holocaust fiction featuring barbed wire on the cover a bit of a turnoff before I even start reading.

Is there a particular book you have in mind? My copy of The Last of the Just has a flying bird on the cover.

I read Black Rain ages ago and should probably reread it, as it is such a classic. I recently acquired Fallout: the Hiroshima cover-up and the reporter who revealed it to the world and am looking forward to reading more about the American gag order during the post-war occupation, something I only learned about in Hiroshima Diary.

24avatiakh
Abr 17, 2023, 6:16 pm

25labfs39
Abr 17, 2023, 9:54 pm

>24 avatiakh: You inspired me to look at my own book covers, and you are right, many of them feature barbed wire. It hadn't registered until you mentioned it. The other popular motif is train tracks.

Thank you for posting the book lists too.

26avatiakh
Abr 18, 2023, 9:40 pm

>25 labfs39: Yes, the train tracks too. I started noticing this with childrens and YA reads to begin with.

A bit of a book haul today as I went to the CBD and used some of my credit with Jasons Books - all are used copies.
The Sierras of the South: Travels in the Mountains of Andalusia by Alastair Boyd - I know this region of Spain fairly well
To Calais, in ordinary time by James Meek - tried reading this when it first came out
The Hill Station by J.G. Farrell - his last & unfinished novel.
A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick - would like to complete all his works.

Library Sale Table:
This Life by Karel Schoeman Ping-Pong Heart by Martin Limón - crime
Prague Nights by Benjamin Black - historical crime

Library Borrows:
Yoga by Emmanuel Carrère - memoir, I think
Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis - romance
Saint by Adrienne Young - YA
River Spirit by Leila Aboulela - historical fiction set in Sudan

27avatiakh
Abr 18, 2023, 9:50 pm

At Jasons I saw a copy of Elixir: In the Valley at the End of Time by Kapka Kassabova. I really enjoyed her book about her Tango obsession and see that she has also written To the Lake: A Balkan Journey of War and Peace. I must make time to read more of her work, I have her Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe.

28Berly
Abr 23, 2023, 11:54 pm

Happy new thread! Interesting about the barbed wire and train track themes on the Holocaust covers. Thanks for that. : )

29PaulCranswick
Abr 28, 2023, 9:11 pm

>24 avatiakh: Interesting, Kerry, and - like Lisa - I need to go and look at some of my own Holocaust literature collection.

30PaulCranswick
Maio 14, 2023, 9:14 pm

Quiet here, Kerry.

Happy Mother's Day. xx

31avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 9:49 pm

>29 PaulCranswick: >30 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul thanks for visiting while I took a break. I haven't picked up a book in a couple of weeks. We've had Covid race through our household, all six of us came down like skittles, one after the other. My husband is last to succumb. No one was terribly sick just needed to sit it out and get over the sore throats and lethargy.
I'm now interested in picking up a few books and reading again, though lots of library books have had to be returned unread. I put them out in the car so they had several days in isolation before I took them back.

>28 Berly: I think it's a fairly prolific type of coverart.

32avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 9:56 pm

So I'm back in a long library queue for I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki, about 54 people ahead of me. I should get Yoga by Emmanuel Carrère fairly soon as I'm second in line for it.
I have a few books to post about, I'll try to do that this afternoon.

33avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 10:04 pm

The Ockham NZ Book Awards were a few days ago and the headlines all read that a magpie won it, which is because Catherine Chidgey's The Axeman's Carnival won the best fiction award. Looks like I'll be reading this one soon.

34PaulCranswick
Maio 22, 2023, 10:08 pm

>31 avatiakh: Glad to see you are all on the mend and didn't suffer too much with the dreaded COVID.

>33 avatiakh: She seems to be a pretty prolific writer, Kerry. I hope that one becomes available in Malaysia.

35avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 10:22 pm


62) The Garden of Words by Makoto Shinkai
manga
A strange little story. A high school boy skips class to sit in a corner of a park. He meets a young woman who also seems to be taking time out, she reads him a poem and becomes his muse for his shoe making designs. Better than it sounds.

36avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 10:38 pm

Crime here is ever expanding and growing, we really need to throw this lot out of power as they seem to care more about the neglected childhoods of the crims than they do about the victims of the crimes.
Yesterday a post & lotto shop closed after 20 years in business as the owners have been robbed so many times it is pointless for them to stay open.
Today's news is especially annoying as we all hear about brazen copper thieves but this time they took advantage of scaffolding put up for remedial work on the Stardome Telescope and stripped half the copper from the dome.
The EWB Zeiss telescope was once used to assist NASA with the moon landing and is one of only about 25 of its type in operation around the world. Sounds like it will take a long time to fix this theft that should never have happened.


https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/490483/auckland-s-stardome-telescope-targete...

37avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 10:44 pm

>34 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul - you were quick to visit! I'm still coughing but overall 100% improved on a week ago when my throat felt on fire. My daughter and I had our first cafe visit in a couple of weeks this morning and though my latte was just too bitter, it felt good to do a normal activity again.

I own Chidgey's magpie book but haven't picked it up as yet. I did read a book narrated by a galah earlier in the year that was a fairly good read so I'm hoping to like this one too.

38avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 10:49 pm


63) She and her cat by Makoto Shinkai
manga
This and the manga above have been adapted from Shinkai's writing. This is about a young woman who lives alone with her cat. Another quiet story that details a daily life.
I have Shinkai's short story collection with the same title out from the library so should try to read it sooner.

39avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 11:03 pm


64) Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima, Volume 1 by Keiji Nakazawa
manga
A while since I read this now. It definitely deserves its place in the canon of Hiroshima books and I'm really pleased that my library bought this replacement copy so users can read from volume 1 in this series again.

40avatiakh
Editado: Maio 22, 2023, 11:24 pm


65) The Car Share by Zoe Brisby (2017)
fiction
A light entertaining read that didn't charm me as it could have. An old woman books a car share ride to Belgium. She leaves her retirement village home and jumps in a car owned and driven by a depressed young man. Misreading her actions, this car share ride is considered an abduction by police, media and the leadership of her retirement village. Meanwhile the oddball couple are driving through the countryside, having adventures with each hoping to change the other's life.

41avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 11:32 pm


66) Broken Strings by Eric Walters & Kathy Kacer (2019)
children's
I enjoyed this, I'm a fan of the musical, Fiddler on the Roof, and this tells a Holocaust story that is brought to light around the staging of the musical at a New Jersey school soon after 9/11.

42avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 11:46 pm


67) Victorious by Yishai Sarid (2022)
fiction
Quite a provocative read. The main character is a military psychologist whose life seems dedicated to turning soldiers into killing machines. Her ability to dedicate her professional life to lecturing the military leadership falters somewhat when her own son signs up for an elite paratrooper unit. Her father was also a psychologist but abhorred his daughter's dedication to the army. A great follow up to The Memory Monster.

43avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 11:52 pm


68) Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis (2021)
romance
A chicklit read that sound good on the premise but did nothing much for me. Two strangers share a car for eight hours during a snow storm that stops all traffic on a highway. They have a connection but it takes the rest of the book for them to realise their lives are more linked than they first thought.
I'm not the target audience for these light romances, I keep trying them as I want to read something happy.

44avatiakh
Maio 22, 2023, 11:59 pm


69) Hotel Pastis by Peter Mayle (1993)
fiction
A light entertaining read. It's dated and while I find it amusing to read these books that don't date well, others might be more irritated with the treatment female characters receive at the author's pen. Anyway, a successful London-based advertising executive takes the plunge to create a boutique hotel in the middle of rural Provence by renovating an old building.

45avatiakh
Maio 23, 2023, 12:06 am


70) The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Man Is to Get Lost by Alain Guillot (2023)
fiction
I noticed this Europa Edition book at Unity Books and requested it from the library. I'm into reading road trip novels and this title made it look like a fun read.... Anything but, was how I found it. A man having a middle age crisis is not my idea of entertaining reading, and this book just didn't seem to have a point.

46avatiakh
Editado: Maio 23, 2023, 12:17 am


71) Esther's Notebooks: Tales from my ten-year-old life by Riad Sattouf (2021)
graphic novel
I loved Sattouf's Arab of the Future books, I think I've read three of them, so I dived into this one with high expectations. Highly enjoyable vignettes from a ten year old girl's daily life. The illustration style is so fun, the characters are mostly working class Parisian from a variety of backgrounds.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/apr/01/riad-sattouf-the-real-girl-who-nar...

47avatiakh
Maio 23, 2023, 12:19 am

So that's my recent reading caught up to date. I haven't read much of anything these past few weeks. I picked up the latest Orphan X book at the library today so might let that on jump to the top of the pile.

48PaulCranswick
Maio 23, 2023, 12:28 am

>36 avatiakh: That is shocking. Governments need to get a grip on things again and bring some order to law abiding people's lives.

49labfs39
Maio 23, 2023, 1:55 pm

Sorry to hear your family suffered from the dreaded Covid, but am glad you are all on the mend. When I first read Barefoot Gen, I was as shocked by the familial violence as by Nakazawa's descriptions of the atomic bomb. I wasn't prepared for it. I read the first three books in the series, I think.

50avatiakh
Maio 23, 2023, 4:47 pm

>49 labfs39: Hasn't been a pleasant few weeks. I want to continue with Barefoot Gen but will wait a few months as I'm not enjoying reading much at all at present.

51avatiakh
Maio 23, 2023, 10:34 pm


72) Why we took the car by Wolfgang Herrndorf (2010 German) (2014 English)
YA
I loved this one. An oddball couple of 14 year olds take off on a road trip in a stolen Lada and have a bunch of weird adventures on the way. Mike feels like the most boring kid in his class while Tschick is a delinquent Russian refugee, together they become a team.

52avatiakh
Maio 24, 2023, 4:38 pm

A bit sad to learn that author Wolfgang Herndorf took his own life when struggling with a terminal brain tumour back in 2013 just as he was having success with his writing.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/24/why-took-car-wolfgang-herrndorf-re...

53avatiakh
Maio 29, 2023, 10:49 pm


73) The Ancient Magus' Bride vol 1 by Kore Yamazaki
manga
My daughter has flown through the first 6-10 in the series while I've take weeks to read the first volume. Quite engaging and I would read on except that I have the Berserk vol. 1 omnibus home from the library and she liked that one as well.
A young orphan girl is sold as a slave to an unusual mage. Her life becomes interesting with interactions with magic and dragons but then the mage is expecting her to marry him as well as become his apprentice.

54avatiakh
Editado: Maio 29, 2023, 11:11 pm

May will not go down as a great reading month. I just took back One hundred Saturdays which was looking like an interesting Holocaust read but I started it too late. Anyway I have it on hold at the library again so will read it in June.
I've picked up a novella, The Buddha in the Attic to read while I'm out and about, it's quite engaging about Japanese mail order brides.
Yesterday I bought a few old books from the charity shop where I'm more likely to drop off my culled books to.
The EUP Learn Polish (English University Press) - from 1948, my son is becoming quite fluent in Polish, he reads books and watches lots of Polish tv on Netflix/youtube. I thought this would be a novelty for him.
The Great Siege: Malta 1565 by Ernie Bradford (1961)
The Backward Sex by Ian Cross (1960) - NZ writer of The God Boy which I really liked
All Alone in the World by Johanna Spyri (1958) - lesser known book by Spyri
I put back quite a few including one that was falling apart by Gene Stratton Porter. The Malta book didn't have a price tag and I thought the woman at the counter might destroy the book in her efforts to find one.
I also got a cute Hornsea vinegar jug, quite collectable for $4. I look out for Totem Portmeirion items ever since I dithered over a set in a local charity shop and it got sold the day before I went in to buy it.
_

55FAMeulstee
Maio 30, 2023, 7:39 am

>51 avatiakh: Thanks to your review, Kerry, I got a copy from the e-library, and finished it yesterday. It was a good read.

56avatiakh
Maio 30, 2023, 6:20 pm

>55 FAMeulstee: Oh good, I wondered if you had read it. Sad that the author died so young, reminds me of another German writer I liked who also died too young, Jakob Arjouni.

57PaulCranswick
Jul 7, 2023, 7:38 pm

Missing you terribly around the threads, dear Kerry. I hope all is well and that your family's health is back to normal.

58labfs39
Jul 27, 2023, 9:13 am

Hope you are doing okay, Kerry. Thinking of you

59avatiakh
Ago 3, 2023, 6:34 am

>57 PaulCranswick: >58 labfs39: Thanks for thinking of me. I'm keeping up with a couple of threads and reading very little.
I've been planning a trip to visit my daughter in London and that has grown into a fairly epic adventure that my son and I'll be embarking on in a few weeks time. I'll be in New York, London & Singpore with many stops inbetween these cities. My husband and I built this trip sector by sector rather than just buying a return airfare to London so it was quite an effort hunting out the best combinations and cheapest fares. We will be travelling extremely light for the first part of the trip, another challenge. We'll stay with my daughter and her partner in London and then three weeks later they will join us for a weekend in Rome.

I hope to update my dismal reading record before August is over. The book I loved most of late is The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman, featuring two spinster sisters who manage to involve themselves in much Regency-era adventure. I loved reading it and excited that there has to be a sequel.
I'm enjoying my current two reads are House on Endless Waters by Emunah Elon & Traced by Catherine Jinks, though taking my time with them. Lost my way on a few books, decided not to continue with Lessons in Chemistry, not one for me after 80 or so pages read. A few I'd like to read but have run out of time and they've gone back to the library - The Seventh Heaven: travels through Jewish Latin America by Ilan Stavans & Linda Rondstadt's Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands which has beautiful photographs.
I'm still enjoying The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka just a slow read for me. I really like how it is written, putting multiple experiences into just a few words, very effective. I have this one in my handbag and only pull it out occasionally.
I hadn't listened to any audiobooks all year till last week when on a drive to visit my brother a couple of hours from home. I put on the 3rd book in A Hole in the Sky Arkship trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton and since then I've listened most days. I have an hour left in this scifi adventure.

Now have to figure out how we vote in the upcoming elections while we are away. Not wanting to waste my time in a queue anywhere - my son's vote will cancel out my vote so there's that to consider.

60PaulCranswick
Ago 7, 2023, 1:11 am

>59 avatiakh: Nice to read your updates, Kerry and I hope you get that impressive reading mojo back soonest.

Have a wonderful and safe trip to Europe. xx

61avatiakh
Ago 7, 2023, 1:35 am

Thanks Paul. I'll update the few books I've read later this week. I'm just starting out on an epic 56 hour listen to Shogun, I've made it to chapter 2 so there's hope.
I picked up Hopeland by Ian McDonald from the library a couple of days ago and started reading it at a cafe, looks like one I could get into.

62PaulCranswick
Ago 7, 2023, 1:40 am

That is good timing as I am in the process of trying to update my books read stats.

63labfs39
Ago 7, 2023, 9:45 am

When will you be in NYC, Kerry? I will be there Aug 17-20 and would love to see you if the dates just happen to coincide.

64avatiakh
Editado: Ago 7, 2023, 6:25 pm

Oh no. I'm there September 23-28. Last time I was in NYC was 1982 so it's been a while!

65avatiakh
Editado: Ago 11, 2023, 4:33 am


74) One Enchanted Evening by Katie Fforde (2023)
chick lit
A predictable romance story that was an easy enjoyable read. We meet Meg and eventually her two friends who have both had their moments in previous books. This is a 'trilogy' that I've ended up reading in reverse. Meg goes to a rural hotel to help out her mum as most of the staff have left when the owner must travel to France.

66avatiakh
Editado: Ago 11, 2023, 4:44 am


75) She and her cat: stories by Makoto Shinkai (2022 Eng)
fiction
Annoying that this LT booklink includes the graphic novel as well as Shinkai's book. This was a lovely read about three young women and their cats, they all live near to each other and both them and their cats are linked in different ways.
I've also read the graphic novel of the same name earlier this year, Tsubasa Yamaguchi is the illustrator.

67avatiakh
Ago 11, 2023, 4:50 am


76) 5 Centimeters per Second by Makoto Shinkai (2007)
manga
Possibly the anime is more well known than the manga. It's been a while since I read this but I remember enjoying it as I read it. Two school kids are just beginning a friendship that could lead to a love match, but one has to move to another city with their family. They exchange letters but grow apart and while their lives move on, they each wonder what could have been.

68avatiakh
Editado: Ago 11, 2023, 4:56 am


77) Spy x Family vol.1 by Tatsuya Endo (2020)
manga
Waited ages for this from the library and just picked up vol. 2 this week. A fun read about a spy, very successful in his field but his next mission means going undercover as a family to infiltrate a school. After a few blunders he unwittingly ends up with a fairly lethal 'wife' and a telepathic 'daughter' and together they make an awesome team.

69avatiakh
Editado: Ago 11, 2023, 5:01 am


78) Berserk deluxe edition vol.1 by Kentaro Miura
manga
A well known manga that didn't do much for me. My daughter really enjoyed this but my preference woud be for Vagabond. This is a combo of the first three volumes and I'll leave it there and not continuing this horror filled nightmare.

70avatiakh
Ago 11, 2023, 5:07 am


79) A wedding in Provence by Katie Fforde (2022)
chick lit
The second book about the three friends who met at a cooking school in London. The books are set in the 1960s and this one is about Alexandra who jumps at the chance to take a temporary position as governess in a rundown chateau rather than going to live with her boring Swiss relatives. Love blossoms of course, but this was delightful with the children stealing the show. Probably my favourite of the three books.

71avatiakh
Ago 11, 2023, 5:22 am


80) A ceiling made of eggshells by Gail Carson Levine (2021)
children
A very interesting read about the lead up to the expulsion of Jews from Spain.
Loma, a young Jewish girl who is approaching the age for marriage, is taken by her grandfather on his travels. He is one of the men from the Jewish community who negotiate with the court and their Highnesses, Isabella & Ferdinand. He hopes that the presence of his grand daughter will soften the hearts of their Majesties.
Levine's father changed his name from Carasso to Carson when he arrived in the USA, and she has always been interested in the heritage of her family, Turkish Sephardi Jews.
An interview with Levine about writing the book:
https://jewishjournal.com/culture/326439/a-middle-grade-book-on-the-1492-expulsi...

72avatiakh
Editado: Ago 11, 2023, 6:51 am


81) The Apothecary Diaries vol. 6 by Natsu Hyuuga (2022)
manga
My favourite manga series. Maomao is quite the sleuth and solves mysteries around the palace. She is now under the protection of the mysterious Jinshi who she believes is a eunuch due to misunderstandings when they first met.

73avatiakh
Ago 11, 2023, 5:36 am


82) Running with Ivan by Suzanne Leal (2023)
YA
A time slip novel that takes Leo from his Australian modern-day home to Prague and Jewish Ivan as WW2 is about to happen. I warmed to this as I got further into the book, and it has a good ending. Leal was inspired to write this book after hearing stories about Theresienstadt camp from her elderly landlord.

74avatiakh
Ago 11, 2023, 5:41 am


83) A wedding in the country by Katie Fforde (2021)
chick lit
The first about the three friends. Set in the 1960s this covers their time at the cooking school and how they come to live in Alexandra's London home. The romance this time is for Lizzie who is escaping from her parents, especially her mother, who want to see her married off to a suitable man. Light but enjoyable.

75avatiakh
Ago 11, 2023, 5:49 am


84) Going Dutch by Katie Fforde (2007)
chick lit
My last Fforde read, can't take too many of these predictable reads though the attraction here is that the women come to live on a barge in London. This was quite a nice read as there are two romances, one for Dora who has run away from a wedding that she realises she never really wanted and the other for Jo, the recently divorced mother of Dora's best friend.

76avatiakh
Ago 11, 2023, 5:58 am


85) Murder in the Marais by Cara Black (1999)
crime
Aimee Leduc Investigations #1. Not sure how I came to this series. There's been a murder in the Marais of an old woman and it links back into the murky past of collaborators and betrayal when the Jews of the Marais are being rounded up for transportation to the camps. I enjoyed meeting Aimee Leduc and will read more. The ending is rather over the top but quite spectacular so all was forgiven.

77avatiakh
Ago 11, 2023, 6:01 am


86) The Midnight Babies by Isabel Greenberg (2023)
picturebook
I've enjoyed Greenberg's graphic novels so was excited to see her new picturebook. It's a delightful story about the babies who refuse to go to sleep.

78avatiakh
Editado: Ago 11, 2023, 6:53 am


87) The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman (2023)
fiction
The Ill-Mannered Ladies #1. I loved this, a Regency adventure featuring two spinsterish sisters. Augusta (Gus) has never married and has now reached the ripe old age of 42, while her twin sister lost her fiancee in a riding accident and has never really recovered. They spend their time helping friends out of difficult circumstances. On route to their latest escapade they are held up by a highwayman who ends up helping them.

79avatiakh
Ago 11, 2023, 6:14 am


88) A Boy, His Dog and the Sea by Anthony Browne (2023)
picturebook

I noticed that Browne had a new book out, I haven't seen his work for some years. Not sure if it does anything for me. The boy goes to the beach to play with his dog. The dog ends up rescuing the boy's brother in the sea. The book is getting praise but all I got was alarm bells - who lets their boys 1) go to the beach alone with a dog 2) go swimming in the sea on their own

80avatiakh
Ago 11, 2023, 6:22 am


89) The girl with the red balloon by Kathryn Locke (2017)
YA
This book held up my reading last month as I took forever to read it and it was my TIOLI challenge pick so I didn't want to ditch it.
A time travel story. Ellie travels from modern day Berlin to 1988 East Berlin, a few months before the Wall comes down. There is a group using magic and red balloons to get people across the Wall. She realises that the first traveller was her grandfather when he was taken out of a train bound for Auschwitz. But now apart from the problem of getting Ellie back to the future, there is sabotage within the group.

81avatiakh
Ago 11, 2023, 6:26 am


Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands by Linda Rondstadt & Laurence Downes, Bill Steen (photographer) (2022)
nonfiction
Can't count this as I read very little text. The photographs are beautiful, there's songs, recipes and stories of Ronstadt's childhood. A lovely book.

82avatiakh
Editado: Ago 11, 2023, 6:55 am


90) Queens Of An Alien Sun by Peter F. Hamilton
scifi
Arkship trilogy #3. My first audiobook for the year. I've been listening to musicmost of the time.
This was another great adventure that wrapped up an enjoyable scifi trilogy. 500 years into the Arkship's voyage to the New World and there's a battle to be won against the aliens who've hijacked the flight.

83avatiakh
Editado: Ago 11, 2023, 6:56 am


91) Traced by Catherine Jinks (2023)
crime
This was another good read that I'd waited ages for my library to get. Jane does contact tracing during the Covid epidemic. She's talking to a possible contact when she realises that the woman's fiancee is the man that Jane and her daughter have spent years undercover to escape from. Really well done with alternating chapters covering the back story leading to her daughter's escape and the present day as they hope that he hasn't found them.

84FAMeulstee
Ago 11, 2023, 7:07 am

>66 avatiakh: Congratulations on reaching 75, Kerry!

That was a large update with books read! Are you up to date now?

85avatiakh
Editado: Ago 11, 2023, 8:18 am

>84 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. I finished the 75th book in early June. I haven't been reading much and taking painfully long to finish each book. Doing the update was helpful. I log all my reading on goodreads, so even when I don't update here I know what I read.

Currently reading and enjoying a book set in Amsterdam, House on Endless Waters by Emunah Elon.

86avatiakh
Ago 12, 2023, 3:44 am


92) House on Endless Waters by Emunah Elon (2016 Hebrew) (2022 Eng)
fiction
A really good read. A successful Israeli writer has always been told by his mother to never visit Holland, the country of his birth. After she passes he accepts an invitation to a literary event in Amsterdam and then on a visit to the Jewish Museum he sees a pre WW2 image of his mother with a baby that calls for explanations that his older sister can provide only from her childhood memories. He decides to write his next novel in Amsterdam and the narrative then alternates between his time there and his interpretation of the past as he writes notes for his novel.
The descriptions of Amsterdam and its many museums and art galleries is very evocative. The back story is compelling covering the treatment of Dutch Jews during the war.
I have another novel by Elon on my kindle app and will definitely have to read it soon.

87avatiakh
Editado: Ago 12, 2023, 4:30 am

Library visit: I picked up a nonfiction about walking through the forests of Wales and read the introduction already and think I'm going to enjoy this one, Return to my trees: notes from the Welsh Woodlands by Matthew Yeomans.
I'll keep going on my scifi library book, Hopeland by Ian McDonald.I also have a few e-books on the go that I should get on with. I'm not a fan of e-reading so these books suffer.

Lately I bought a few kindle books, more than I normally would but I will be travelling:
Pet by Catherine Chidgey
Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture by Apostolos Doxiadis
The Time Regulation Institute by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar
Seek the Fair Land by Walter Macken
The Bastard Factory by Chris Kraus
Fame and Fortune (The Glittering Prizes Book 2) by Frederic Raphael
The Reivers by William Faulkner
The Silk Merchant's Son by Peter Burke
The People on the Beach: Journeys to Freedom After the Holocaust by Rosie Whitehouse
The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott

I also bought a hardback copy of 50 of Tel Aviv's Most Intriguing Streets; The Lives Behind the Names by Miryam Sivan as a present for my husband.

88alcottacre
Ago 12, 2023, 10:41 am

Just trying to catch up, Kerry!

>87 avatiakh: Looks like lost of good reading for on your travels! I hope you enjoy them all.

89labfs39
Ago 12, 2023, 10:55 am

Lovely to read all your reviews and get caught up, Kerry. I created two records for >66 avatiakh: and tried to separate what I could. There are a lot of foreign editions that I can't suss out easily, however. Hopefully the disambiguation notes will help going forward.

90avatiakh
Editado: Ago 12, 2023, 5:28 pm

>88 alcottacre: Hi Stasia - many more unread books on my devices in addition to the above. I should begin by completing the ones I've already started. Must catch up on your threads.

>89 labfs39: Thanks for doing the fix. I do tidy up a lot of books or ask the combiners group to do ones that are beyond me. Can't go past a book without an author name attributed when doing an LT search.

I started a light romance read set in Tennessee, Twice Shy. I could easily fling it but might as well continue as I'm just coming out of my book funk and these light reads help. I was looking for fiction set in the Nashville area but nothing much appealed. I also have Last ride to Graceland out from the library.

91avatiakh
Ago 13, 2023, 1:13 am


93) Spy x Family vol. 2 by Tatsuya Endo (2019)
manga
The fun continues as the 'family' continues on with the mission involving the elite Eden Academy where Anya has been admitted as a student. There's a side story bonus featuring a vist to an aquarium, it's meant to be a family outing to impress their neighbours but Twilight gets given a job to do involving a penguin and microfilm.
This is a fun series, I won't continue reading it but have enjoyed these first two volumes.

92quondame
Ago 15, 2023, 2:46 am

>68 avatiakh: My daughter Becky adores this series. I may check it out.

93avatiakh
Ago 15, 2023, 5:18 pm

>92 quondame: It's very popular, I had to wait ages for my library request.

94avatiakh
Editado: Ago 16, 2023, 5:12 pm


94) Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle (2021)
romance
Underwhelming read. I kept on reading for no reason. When Maybell inherits her late aunt's rundown mansion in the Smoky Mountains she finds out on arrival that there is a catch. Her aunt has only made her a co-inheritor, the other being the gardener that has lived there for several years. Both have people problems, Wesley suffers from extreme social anxiety while Maybell doesn't know how to stand up for herself.
I wanted to read a book set in Tennessee and there were slim pickings at my library. I have The Reivers on my kindle app so will give that a spin soon.

Next up is Rizzio by Denise Mina. It's the first book of the 'Darkland Tales' series 'where Scottish authors focus on a historical event and view it through a modern lens.'
https://birlinn.co.uk/the-darkland-tales/

95Whisper1
Ago 16, 2023, 5:09 pm

Hi Kerry..I found your thread and will now visit often. In reading what you've read this year, I see that you continue with a rich blend of various genres, YA, historical background, and illustrated books.

I send all good wishes. For now, I've added

96avatiakh
Ago 16, 2023, 5:18 pm

Hi Linda - lovely to see you visit my thread. I've slowed down a lot with my reading this year. I really liked The House on Endless Waters though it gets mixed reviews due to the alternating timelines not being clearly defined. A factor I enjoyed yet others found confusing.

97Whisper1
Ago 16, 2023, 8:43 pm

>96 avatiakh: Kerry, Aren't we glad that there are so many good books to read. Our opinions are varied and this group is great because I'm not aware of anyone telling another they don't like their reading habits!

98PaulCranswick
Ago 16, 2023, 10:48 pm

Well done on passing 75 and then some, Kerry!

>97 Whisper1: Isn't part of the joy the fact that friends read different things and share their experiences so that it can give pointers (or not) to our own reading. It is also a joy that we can compare our own impressions of a book with the opinion of someone whose views we know to be generally reliable!

99avatiakh
Ago 19, 2023, 5:03 am


95) The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka (2011)
novella
I've been slow reading this for some weeks even though it is a novella. Mostly read when I was out. Anyway I really enjoyed the writing style of including collective experiences to describe the lives of Japanese 'picture' brides who came to the US between the two World Wars. Their grooms were mostly not the men they expected - flowery letters had been written by others, photos were of them or not, but of much younger specimens.


96) Rizzio by Denise Mina (2021)
novella
Darkland Tales #1. 'Scottish authors focus on a historical event and view it through a modern lens.' Mina chooses to tell the tale of the 1566 murder of Rizzio, the Secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots. Quite a bloody tale that at first I had to put down due to the details of his death.

Now picking up Hopeland by Ian McDonald and Return to my trees: notes from the Welsh Woodlands by Matthew Yeomans. I also have Too far from Antibes by Bede Scott and only two weeks to get through all these library books before I leave on my trip. Should be possible but with my current ability to read books not sure.
Two chapters in (plus the prologue) on Shogun, can't see myself getting though this 54 hour audiobook in a hurry either.

100avatiakh
Ago 21, 2023, 3:48 pm

I can't see myself finishing Hopeland that quickly so will take it back to the library after only reading about 30 or so pages. I'd need more patience than I have at present to race through this one before I leave.
I'm sorting through books to donate and that always throws up my own books that I'd like to read.

101labfs39
Ago 25, 2023, 4:21 pm

>100 avatiakh: I'm sorting through books to donate and that always throws up my own books that I'd like to read. Or worse, I donate them then have second thoughts and rebuy them!

102alcottacre
Ago 25, 2023, 4:27 pm

>99 avatiakh: I would have sworn that I read The Buddha in the Attic but no, it is just in the BlackHole. I really must dig it out!

103avatiakh
Ago 27, 2023, 7:04 am

>101 labfs39: I've started on Gidget, an old paperback copy I've owned for a long while, quite an engaging story. I didn't realise that it was written by the father of the real life Gidget, so even the story of the book and its initial reception is interesting.
All library books are now at library and my holds are frozen - all apart from e-loans.

>102 alcottacre: I think you'll enjoy the Otsuka book, I've noted another of hers to read.

I haven't been reading much of late, too busy getting my house in order before I leave. So happy that the local Rotary Club's Bookarama is finally accepting books for their October bookfair and I have been able to offload a large number of culled books that were put aside during the Covid years when all activities were curtailed.

104labfs39
Ago 28, 2023, 10:20 am

I'm so excited for you and your big trip. Which countries will you be visiting? Will you be checking in here at all, or should we not expect you until December?

105avatiakh
Editado: Ago 28, 2023, 8:04 pm


96) Gidget by Frederick Kohner (1957)
fiction
Had this one on the pile for a long while. The story is based on the real life of Kohner's 15 yr old daughter who became surf-mad and then a little boy crazy during a Malibu summer. While dated it is a worthwhile read if you remember Sally Field in the tv series or have seen the Sandra Lee film. Worth a mention is Richard Dreyfus playing Durf the Drag "Ego-a-Go-Go" in the tv series, must be one of his early outings as an actor.
Lots of slang and memorable nicknames in the book. Gidget is a short form of girl midget, a nickname she earns on the first day hanging out with the surf bums.
I enjoyed this and it reminded me of the summer I spent hanging out with my surfie boyfriend at Raglan on NZ's west coast and also Whangamata on the east coast.

106avatiakh
Ago 28, 2023, 8:07 pm

>104 labfs39: I'll post about my trip in the next couple of days. We leave on Sunday and at present I'm doing home chores to make the place as liveable as possible while I'm away.

107PaulCranswick
Ago 28, 2023, 8:10 pm

>101 labfs39: That really made me smile, Lisa. We are all as bad as each other. x

108klobrien2
Ago 29, 2023, 10:32 am

>105 avatiakh: I think I might have read Gidget a long time ago, but since I can’t remember, it wouldn’t be a crime to reread it, right? Thanks for the memory poke. And I might have to track down the TV show.

Karen O

109avatiakh
Ago 29, 2023, 4:33 pm

>108 klobrien2: Hi Karen - I hope you enjoy a reread. I'm not sure if I ever saw the tv show, just have some vague memories from around the time our family finally got a tv. I do remember Sally Fields in The Flying Nun. I searched for a clip of Dreyfus as Durf but have yet to find anything.

What interested me about Gidget is that Kohner wrote such a spot on book based on his daughter, a detail I gleaned just before I started reading it. He was a scriptwriter and the family fled Nazi Germany in 1936. From wikipedia - "During the Nazi era, Kohner was not credited for his contributions to the screenplay Viktoria, an adaption of a novel by Knut Hamsun."

>101 labfs39: >107 PaulCranswick: I just have too many books and know I can't read them all. I sort through them, leave the culled books aside for some months then go through them again. This gives me my second chance to pull some out. I go through cycles of what I want to read, so important to not just sort and take.

110avatiakh
Ago 31, 2023, 5:06 am

So I treated myself to a few books before I leave. I went to local independent bookshop, Poppies, and browsed the NZ books in the children's section as I like to support NewZealand children's literature.
__
Iris and Me by Philippa Werry
Children of the Rush by James Russell
Bits of string too short to use by Jennifer Beck
The Werry book is YA verse novel about writer/poet Robyn Hyde (Iris Wilkinson was her real name), who stopped in China on her way to England in 1938 and became one of the first woman war correspondents. I've enjoyed all the books I've read by Werry and looking forward to this one for when I get back from my trip. I must must read Hyde's The Godwits Fly. My daughter read her Passport to Hell for a NZ literature paper at uni.
It was the runner-up for the NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize 2022, and won the Young Adult Fiction Award at the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2023.

Children of the Rush is about New Zealand's goldrush, set around 1861. Looks to be selfpublished and was shortlisted for a book award so thought it worth a look. The typeface is dyslexic friendly which is another plus. Looks to be book 1, with book 2 out in September. Russell has written a few books about dragons which have been popular.

As I was leaving the shop I noticed the Jennifer Beck memoir and immediately rushed to get it. I was aquainted with Beck during my time working for NZ children's literature and we'd often stop to greet each other when out walking as we live local. Haven't seen her for a few years since the Covid restrictions. I adore her picturebooks and she's worked with some wonderful illustrators.

111avatiakh
Ago 31, 2023, 5:40 am

Ok, a little about my trip. It started out as a trip to the UK to visit my daughter and grew from there as my husband took charge of the planning and we had fun discussing all the possibilities and then became more realistic. I wanted Munich or Berlin and Krakow but in the end had to give up on these as my son was keen to go to Athens and our relative in Munich is not in a good health condition to travel to Poland with us.

I'm travelling with my son, Yaron, and we are spending almost 4 weeks in the US, mostly in Tennessee & Virginia with a few days in New York before we fly to London and spend time with my daughter and her partner. We have a few days in Dublin and a quick trip to Northern Ireland to visit the area my grandfather came from in County Down. Borrowing my daughter's car we will drive around the UK before flying to Europe for about a month. Daughter will fly out to Rome to spend a weekend with us there. Fly from Naples to Tel Aviv for 10 days and then home via Bangkok, Singapore & Melbourne.

I'll be away for three months so my days currently are more focused on getting my house in order than thinking about the trip.
We are travelling really light so most of my reading will be e-books, though I'm hoping to pack a few old paperbacks to read and discard.

Just started reading a children's book by Mollie Hunter, Patrick Kentigern Keenan, a fun read about a man who thinks he's smart enough to outwit the fairy folk. This was Hunter's first book, I've read and enjoyed others by her and have a small collection of her books.

112FAMeulstee
Ago 31, 2023, 6:03 am

That is a long trip you have planned, Kerry, when will you leave?
Safe travels, and enjoy!

113avatiakh
Ago 31, 2023, 9:32 am

>112 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita - We leave on Sunday afternoon, a 14hr flight to LAX then a long wait and fly on to Atlanta.

114quondame
Ago 31, 2023, 10:35 pm

>112 FAMeulstee: >113 avatiakh: It looks like you'll miss the rain in LA - it's forecasted for tomorrow and gone by Sat eve.

115labfs39
Set 2, 2023, 7:34 pm

>110 avatiakh: I'll look forward to your review of "Bits of string too short to use" when you get to it.

>111 avatiakh: Around the world and home again. What a wonderful trip to share with your son. I hope you have a fabulous time!

116PaulCranswick
Set 11, 2023, 9:33 am

Safe, safe journeys, Kerry.

117thornton37814
Set 15, 2023, 3:00 pm

It was so nice to meet you and your son last night!

118cbl_tn
Set 15, 2023, 4:38 pm

>117 thornton37814: What Lori said! Enjoy the rest of your travels!

119cbl_tn
Set 15, 2023, 4:56 pm

>105 avatiakh: Oh, I didn't know that Gidget was based on a real person! Or that the movies were based on a book!

120avatiakh
Editado: Set 15, 2023, 8:44 pm

>115 labfs39: We've had fun these first 10 days and even managed a Tennessee LT meet up with Lori & Carrie.

>116 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. I've managed to read 5 books already as well as lots of looking around.

>117 thornton37814: >118 cbl_tn:. Thanks. It was great to have a meet up at short notice.
>119 cbl_tn: Ha. Was same for me and made reading it more interesting knowing the background.

121avatiakh
Set 15, 2023, 9:37 pm

I've managed to read five books so far.
A cup of tea by Amy Ephron
The Honey Siege by Gil Buhet
Fragments: memories of a wartime childhood by Binjamin Wilkomirski
The Evening of the Holiday by Shirley Hazzard
Clash of Civilizations over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous
and am halfway through The Jew Store by Stella Suberman

122PaulCranswick
Set 15, 2023, 10:05 pm

I am impressed, Kerry and a little jealous that you got to meet up with Carrie and Lori.

123labfs39
Set 16, 2023, 9:08 am

So nice to hear that your travels are going well so far. Hooray for meetups!

124cbl_tn
Set 16, 2023, 7:30 pm

>120 avatiakh: I really enjoyed meeting you and your son. I'm glad that your travels brought you to East Tennessee!

125avatiakh
Set 27, 2023, 9:40 am

I'm too tired and busy to update. We're in New York and have walked our feet off going up and down Manhatten. Yes we're catching the subway as well but walking is our preference even in the rain.
Today it's finally not raining and we're going out bit late probably to Central Park.
I'm currently reading Diary of a Lonely Girl by Miriam Karpilove and a short story collection for children by David Hill.
I've visited Strand Books and Kinokuniya. At Strand despite my pledge not to buy books I picked up two small ones - Concentration Camps a very short introduction and Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall. I photographed the covers of lots of books to research more at home.
Yesterday I had an appointment in the Research Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. There were 5 boxes of Miriam Karpilow's manuscripts, correspondence,photos and scrapbooks etc. We were able to photograph items of interest, many. We were joined partway through by Miriam's great nephew and his wife. He spotted photos of his parents and identified family members in other photos. After we went for lunch nearby and chatted for 3 hours. He's a 'cousin' of my husband whose grandmother was a Karpilow.
Last week a new translation of more of Karpilow's work was launched at the museum, The Provincial Newspaper and other stories. The Yiddish translator, Jessica Kirzane had made me aware of the contents at the Yivo which is part of the museum.
There was an interesting exhibit about Palestinian Yiddish. When Hebrew was being introduced there was opposition by those who wanted Yiddish to be the official language and it got violent at times. Something to read more about.

126labfs39
Set 28, 2023, 4:44 pm

>125 avatiakh: It sounds like you are having a wonderful visit in NYC. I hope the weather stays dry for you. Isn't the Strand wonderful? Since I was only flying to Maine, I did purchase far more than I needed.

I learned a lot from the one VSI that I have read, The Palestinian Israeli Conflict, and I have one on the samurai waiting for my attention. I have read around the question of the choice of Hebrew as the official Israeli language, but not directly. Let us know if you find some good sources on this.

Safe travels!

127avatiakh
Out 9, 2023, 3:55 pm

Hi Lisa We were lucky to leave NY the night before all that flooding. Since then I've been staying with my daughter in London and had a few days in Dublin. I've borrowed her car and we are on an 8 day road trip around the UK at present.
Made some headway with The Last of the Just and hope to finish it before I get back to London.

128johnsimpson
Out 9, 2023, 5:00 pm

Hi Kerry, how long are you going to be in York my dear, i am about 35 miles away in Wakefield.

129labfs39
Out 9, 2023, 5:28 pm

Oh, I really enjoyed The Last of the Just. On a sadder note, I hope that any family and friends you have in Israel-Gaza are safe and well. Take care

130avatiakh
Out 9, 2023, 6:05 pm

Hi John, a flying vist I'm afraid. Will be off to Whitby in the morning.

Hi Lisa - I'm enjoying The Just. I put it aside to read The Mermaid from Jeju but am reading it again now.

The news out of Israel is devastating, am spending my free time following the news as it unfolds.

131alcottacre
Out 9, 2023, 6:27 pm

I am glad you are getting some reading on during your travels, Kerry. It gives me hope that I will get some done on my upcoming trip - and I am only going to be out of town for 2 weeks, lol.

I hope your travels continue to be safe!

132avatiakh
Out 17, 2023, 12:38 pm

Hi Stasia - haven't read much these past few days but did get to Sir Walter Scott's home Abbotsford when in Scotland. Went to Greyfrairs in Edinburgh and patted the statue of Grefairs Bobby a couple of times. We looked in the church's cemetery for Tom Riddle's gravestone as read that this was where JK Rowling found some of her character names when taking a break from writing her first Harry Potter book.

133avatiakh
Out 17, 2023, 12:40 pm

We're back in London after a couple of days in Wales. Visited Salisbury, Old Sarum and Stonehenge yesterday.

134labfs39
Out 18, 2023, 11:34 am

Sounds like you are having an amazing trip, Kerry!

135avatiakh
Out 19, 2023, 1:45 pm

Now in Prague.

136labfs39
Out 19, 2023, 7:59 pm

Lucky Duck! One of my favorite cities.

137avatiakh
Out 20, 2023, 7:37 am

This morning we visited the memorial for the paratroopers who hid in a church crypt after the assassination attempt on Heydrich in 1942. I remembered quite a lot of the story but couldn't remember the book. It was HhHH by Binet. We were able to enter the actual crypt. The small museum is free and informative.
After we went to Globe Books, a small English bookstore with Cafe. I purchased Karel Capek's The Gardeners Year, a slim volume which is all I can afford to add to my luggage. I lusted after a tote bag but managed to hold back.

138labfs39
Out 20, 2023, 8:40 am

I loved HHhH. The memorial and museum must have been interesting.

139PaulCranswick
Out 21, 2023, 1:31 am

Vicariously enjoying your travels, Kerry. Did you visit Clifford's Tower in York as it was the site of one of the worst atrocities against the Jews in England in 1190 and it still has a disturbing air to me?

When will you get back to NZ and its new government and probably Rugby world champs?

140avatiakh
Out 21, 2023, 5:14 am

Hi Paul. We did go there, I'm reading Last of the Just and I'm pretty sure the book starts there.
Yesterday we also visited the Kafka Museum.

141avatiakh
Out 21, 2023, 5:16 am

Sorry no photos, I have to figure an easy way to load some but all on my phone. We set up a family group on discord and share our trip there.

142avatiakh
Out 24, 2023, 2:00 pm

Now in Vienna. Reading The Sheepfarmer's daughter by Elizabeth Moon & Father's Son by Frank O'Connor

143avatiakh
Out 24, 2023, 2:07 pm

Visited the State Room at Austria National Library. Beautiful and you could walk the entire length of the room. They are still reshelving after doing a major reclean last year.
I read about the Czech National Library and you can't enter it, just get to see it from the door in timed intervals.

144avatiakh
Out 24, 2023, 2:11 pm

We also visited the Trinity Library and Book of Kells exhibition in Dublin. Trinity is currently being cleaned so most books have been removed though still enough there to get an idea of how the library would look normally.

145figsfromthistle
Out 24, 2023, 2:27 pm

>142 avatiakh: How are you enjoying Vienna? Another noteworthy library is in stift Melk ( Melk Abbey) It's about 1.30 hours away from Vienna. Worth the trip.

Glad you are having a good time and able to read a bit as well.

146quondame
Out 24, 2023, 7:52 pm

>142 avatiakh: Paksenarrion is a favorite of mine!

147avatiakh
Out 29, 2023, 8:51 am

>146 quondame: I've already made a start on the second book. Just the type of read I need.
Also making my way ultra slowly through Diary of a lonely girl. I've also decided to try Lavie Tidhar's Maror.
Today we are in the Jewish Quarter of Budapest, sitting in bookshop cafe, Massolit Budapest. Has lots of new and old books in English.

148avatiakh
Out 29, 2023, 8:55 am

>145 figsfromthistle: oh I'm reading the wrong guidebook for sure. We decided not to spend a day in Bratislava and just enjoy Vienna on Austrian National Day. We enjoyed the gardens of Schloss Schonbrunn and had late lunch at Israel eatery, Miznon.

149labfs39
Out 29, 2023, 8:57 am

>147 avatiakh: I enjoyed visiting Budapest back in '88. Such an interesting history. I imagine the city has changed a lot since then.

150avatiakh
Out 29, 2023, 8:59 am

Now in Budapest for a few days. Yesterday we came across a lovely bronze of Hungarian poet, Attila Josef. He's seated holding hat between his knees and looking over the Danube. Very nice and made me want to sample his works.

151avatiakh
Out 29, 2023, 9:02 am

>149 labfs39: Yes, would have been different. I was here in 1993 and also about 10 years ago. Changed but still very appealing.

153quondame
Editado: Out 29, 2023, 4:01 pm

>147 avatiakh: Do not approach the end of Divided Allegiance without having time to read more and Oath of Gold ready to hand. Just don't.

154avatiakh
Out 30, 2023, 3:06 am

>153 quondame:. I got all three books so will be able to jump straight into book 3. Some trilogies are like that, really should be one doorstopper read.

Last night I picked up Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall and read it in one sitting. It's a Holocaust read based on the experience of Izolde Regensberg. This was one that I got at Strand Books in New York.

Then I started on I have lived a thousand years by Livia Bittern-Jackson which is a Holocaust memoir. I got this one in Alnwick, UK at Barter Books.

Our onward flight out of Israel has been cancelled by Royal Jordanian so now have to find another flight to Bangkok. This means we won't be going to Israel and will be flying out from Rome instead and earlier than planned. Need to get all this sorted asap.

155labfs39
Out 30, 2023, 9:37 am

>154 avatiakh: I read I Have Lived a Thousand Years and thought it very good.

Good luck sorting out your travel plans. A true round-the-world experience.

156quondame
Out 30, 2023, 9:48 am

>154 avatiakh: The copy I have is the Omnibus Deed of Paksenarrion, so that after ½ hours cry, ½ a box of tissue, I dove right back in.

157avatiakh
Out 30, 2023, 5:08 pm

All flights and accom is now sorted thank goodness. We end up with much more time in Bangkok and a few extra days in Naples and Rome.

158avatiakh
Nov 1, 2023, 8:00 am

>155 labfs39: Lisa, I finished the thousand years book. Very sad though lucky that her brother and mum. made it through the war. I was able to drop off book at an English language used bookshop this morning.
We are at airport, flying to Athens.

I noticed on FB which I hardly ever visit that exClub Read member, Paul Harris is in Israel. He went there a few days ago from Wales where he lives. I know that he lived on a kibbutz years ago after army service but didn't realize that it was Kibbutz Be'eri. Not sure who else is FB friends with him but I remember he was at a London LT meet up with Darryl a few years ago.

159avatiakh
Nov 1, 2023, 8:04 am

>156 quondame: I managed a couple more chapters last night. She's up in the snow with the half-elf.

160quondame
Nov 1, 2023, 5:57 pm

>159 avatiakh: Some good stuff coming then. It's all kind of fun until....

161labfs39
Nov 1, 2023, 6:49 pm

>158 avatiakh: Is that Polaris? I had heard about his connections with Kibbutz Be'eri recently from... Darryl or Dan/dchaikin.

162avatiakh
Nov 2, 2023, 7:53 am

>161 labfs39: Yes, forgot that he was Polaris on here

163avatiakh
Nov 2, 2023, 7:55 am

>160 quondame: sounds good to me

I finished Tokyo Express last night. A classic Japanese crime novella.

164SqueakyChu
Editado: Nov 6, 2023, 9:54 pm

>158 avatiakh: Kerry, I'm FB friends with Paul and I have been keeping in touch with him. I was utterly devastated at learning that he formerly lived in Kibbutz Be'eri so that many of his dear friends were affected by the horrors of October 7th. He recently spent a long time in Israel, and I was following his pictures and remembering so many of the scenes I recognized on his pictures. He then returned to Wales. After that, October 7th happened, and he is now back in Israel. As more than half of my family and very close friends are Israeli, I am terrified and heartbroken as I read the Israel news daily.

165avatiakh
Nov 7, 2023, 11:45 am

>164 SqueakyChu: I've also been following the news every day. I was stunned when I realized that that was Paul's kibbutz. I was meant to fly to Israel next week but the flights were canceled, we'd already decided not to go as felt we'd be in the way with all efforts there to support the soldiers.
My daughter read that many restaurants are closed and catering for the reservists.

166avatiakh
Nov 7, 2023, 11:59 am

>160 quondame: Raced through the second book and now immersed in book #3.

Flew from Athens to Venice yesterday. Only two nights here but we've had a lovely day.Visited the Liberiria Acqua Alta bookshop which is quite amazing. There's a gondola inside the shop which gets flooded quite often. The backdoor opens directly to a canal with water lapping on the back step. I bought a used copy of Montalban's Offside there.

167avatiakh
Nov 7, 2023, 12:47 pm

>166 avatiakh: Not a great sentence, it's the shop that gets flooded, not the gondola! I took lots of photos but it's too difficult to upload here.

168avatiakh
Nov 7, 2023, 4:56 pm

Just read an essay on childhood books in Paris Review, 'Child Reading' by Timmy Straw. It's about revisiting I am the cheese by Robert Cormier as an adult and realizing the influence it had made on his life.

169avatiakh
Nov 13, 2023, 3:37 pm

Finished Oath of Gold, final book in the Sheepfarmer's Daughter trilogy. Really satisfying read.
Currently reading Guide to the Jewish Ghetto of Rome, a fairly short informative history that I found on Kindle books.

170avatiakh
Nov 14, 2023, 3:45 am

Finished the Ghetto book and hope for one more walk through the area when we have one more day in Rome. About to train to Naples for a couple of days stay.

171avatiakh
Nov 14, 2023, 3:48 am

Back reading My Father's Son by Frank O'Connor and Diary of a Lonely Girl. Had both on the go for a while and need to finish them.

172avatiakh
Nov 15, 2023, 3:12 pm

Finished a short story / novella, A Cat in Dachau while taking a local train to and from Pompeii. Decided to read Catherine Chidgey's Pet next on my phone's kindle app.

173avatiakh
Nov 17, 2023, 1:32 am

Finally finished Diary of a Lonely Girl by Miriam Karpilove. A sensitive translation from the original Yiddish.

174avatiakh
Nov 25, 2023, 9:21 am

Also finished My Father's Son by Frank O'Connor. It's the second volume of his memoir covering his emergence as a writer, his career as a librarian and his friendships with other writers.

175avatiakh
Nov 27, 2023, 5:06 am

.... and finished Offside by Manuel Vazquez Montalban, one in the Pepe Carvalho series

176avatiakh
Editado: Nov 27, 2023, 11:18 am

Not having a lot of reading time but have made a start on several and can only read when the device is charged.
Pet by Catherine Chidgey
Thraxas #9 by Martin Millar
Skyward #4 by Brandon Sanderson
and others

177avatiakh
Dez 3, 2023, 5:43 am

So read Thraxas 9 thru 12 and am up to date with the series. Not sure if there will be any more.

178avatiakh
Dez 7, 2023, 5:33 pm

I'm finally back home and settling back into routines. Lots to keep me busy.
Reading and enjoying Pet by Catherine Chidgey & The Ten thousand things by John Spurling.
The Spurling novel was a LTSantathing gift from about 10 years ago.
I'll start listening to my audiobook again, I have 12 hours of Shogun left and would like to finish before year's end.
I'm also slowly reading Maror by Lavie Tidhar on my mobile, a chapter now and then.

179avatiakh
Dez 7, 2023, 5:42 pm

My post in Paul's War 2024 Planning thread:
I'll slowly build a list of possible reads. Out of curiosity I looked at The English Civil War and decided that I'll probably read Children of the New Forest by Captain Frederick Marryat, a book that's been on the shelves since childhood though never read.

For anyone else that likes reading children's literature, Farah Mendlesohn has an extensive list on her website from her research for Creating Memory: fiction and the English Civil War: https://farahmendlesohn.com/re-creating-memory-fiction-and-the-english-civil-war....

January: The Ancients: The Campaigns of Alexander by Arrian
February: American Revolution: Susanna's Midnight Ride by Libby Carty McNamee / Ride: The Legend of Betsy Dowdy by Kitty Griffin
March: The War of the Roses: The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson
April: War of Religions: Bar Kochba: The rediscovery of the legendary hero of the last Jewish revolt against imperial Rome by Yigael Yadin / Knight Crusader by Ronald Welch
May: Napoleonic Wars: The Battle by Patrick Rambaud
June: English Civil War: Children of the New Forest by Captain Frederick Marryat
July: Colonial Wars: The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell / Monday's Warriors by Maurice Shadbolt
August: WW2: The Jungle is Neutral by F. Spencer Chapman
September: American Civil War: The Killer Angels by Michael Sharra
October: American Follies: Red Haze: Australians and New Zealanders in Vietnam by Leon Davidson
November: WW1: The Secret Battle by A.P. Herbert / Under Fire: The Story of a Squad by Henri Barbusse
December: Spanish Civil War: Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War by Amanda Vaill

I have most of these on my shelves so they are placeholders, possible or probable reads while I look for others.

180avatiakh
Editado: Dez 7, 2023, 5:45 pm

There are a couple of Prix Goncourt books in the mix: The Battle by Patrick Rambaud (1997) & Under Fire: The Story of a Squad by Henri Barbusse (1916)

181labfs39
Dez 7, 2023, 9:01 pm

Happy Hanukkah, Kerry, and welcome home. Thanks for bringing my attention to Paul's 2024 challenge. I had participated in his Asia and Africa challenges the last couple of years and was wondering what he had planned next.

182SandDune
Dez 8, 2023, 6:04 am

>178 avatiakh: How long is Shogun? I remember reading it in 1982 - i can be so precise about the date as I remember my sister buying it for my as she felt I needed a ‘long’ book to keep me occupied on a 24 hour journey from London to Italy on the train.

183avatiakh
Dez 8, 2023, 9:11 pm

>181 labfs39: Hi Lisa, I hope you take part in the War challenge. I have many books on my shelves that fit the monthly themes.
Happy Hanukkah to you and your daughter.

>182 SandDune: Hi Rhian - the audiobook is about 36 hours long and the book is about 1200 odd pages. I'm keen to listen once again, it was an ideal audio for long stretches on the motorway when we were driving in the US.

184avatiakh
Dez 9, 2023, 12:50 am

I finished Pet last night, entertaining read. Haven't picked up an actual book as yet, I have a few digital books on the go, the main one being The Ten Thousand Things by John Spurling.

I've unfrozen a few library holds so I'll be picking up a few reads in the next week.

185avatiakh
Editado: Dez 11, 2023, 3:25 pm

An update on my reading since I haven't posted much about books since the end of August.

97) A cup of tea by Amy Ephron
98) The Honey Siege by Gil Buhet
99) Fragments: memories of a wartime childhood by Binjamin Wilkomirski
100) The Evening of the Holiday by Shirley Hazzard
101) Clash of Civilizations over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous
102) The Jew Store by Stella Suberman
103) Three Scoops by David Hill
104) The Cat and the Devil by James Joyce
105) The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn
106) The Last of the Just by André Schwarz-Bart
107) The Sheepfarmer's daughter by Elizabeth Moon
108) Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall
109) I have lived a thousand years by Livia Bittern-Jackson
110) Tokyo Express by Seichō Matsumoto
111) Divided Allegiance by Elizabeth Moon
112) Oath of Gold by Elizabeth Moon
113) Guide to the Jewish Ghetto of Rome
114) A Cat at Dachau by Elyse Hoffman
115) Diary of a Lonely Girl by Miriam Karpilove
116) My Father's Son by Frank O'Connor
117) Offside by Manuel Vazquez Montalban
118) Thraxas and the Ice Dragon Thraxas #9 by Martin Millar
119) Thraxas and the Oracle Thraxas #10 by Martin Millar
120) Thraxas of Turai Thraxas #11 by Martin Millar
121) Thraxas meets his enemies Thraxas #12 by Martin Millar
122) Pet by Catherine Chidgey

186PaulCranswick
Dez 17, 2023, 8:51 pm

>178 avatiakh: I have Pet on the shelves and hope to get to the author fairly soon, Kerry.

>179 avatiakh: Needless to say as one of my favorites in the group, I am overjoyed that you'll join in next year for the War Room - your input will be essential for so many of us. One of the things I have noticed over the years is how the most awful subjects are oftentimes most powerfully conveyed in the simplest of forms. YA fiction on the depredations and cruelties of war is immensely impressive and I know of no-one with a knowledge to match yourself on the topic.

187avatiakh
Dez 17, 2023, 9:55 pm

>186 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul - I agree that some juvenile fiction can be the most affecting of reads.

I visited a number of museums on my travels and so there are a several conflicts that I'd like to know more about.
In Atlanta we visited Jimmy Carter's Presidential Library and many memorial sites for Martin Luther King. In Tennessee we visited a couple of Oak Ridge City museums that tell the story behind the Manhatten Project. In Virginia we visited many American Revolution and Civil War sites, including the Civil War Museum in Richmond as well as the Naval Museum and Battleship Wisconsin. In Washington DC, many sites including the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Vietnam Memorial.
When driving to New York from Williamsburg,VA we left extra early for a detour to visit Gettysburg and also visited the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg. In Dublin we visited Kilmainham Gaol & Troubles sites and also visited the Battle of the Boyne Heritage Centre when returning from Northern Ireland.
We did less in the UK but visited so many places with historic significance including the site of the signing of the Magna Carta. Same in Europe, so many sites of significance. In Bangkok we learnt of the war between the old capital, Ayutthaya, and the Burmese when visiting the ruins in Ayutthaya.
On the last day of our trip, in Melbourne, we chanced upon the Shrine of Remembrance in the Royal Botanic Gardens and spent time exploring the War Museum there.
So when you mentioned a War reading theme for 2024 I was more than ready.

188avatiakh
Editado: Dez 20, 2023, 7:53 pm


123) The Ten Thousand Things by John Spurling (2014)
historical fiction

I got this book from helenoel in the 2016 Christmas Swap. She sent me 5 books from betterworldbooks and I've now read 3 of them. Slowly getting there. Will try for The sound of the sundial by Hana Andronikova next year.

This was quite a good read, set in the dying years of Mongol rule in China, it is narrated by a low level administrator who retires to focus on his love of painting, though gets dragged back into the politics and fighting. The descriptions of landscape paintings, the process of creating art is a compelling part of the book.

Now able to listen to Shogun again now I've finished this one - two Asian historical novels at the same time wasn't working. I also have read a chunk of My brother Michael by Mary Stewart which I started back when I was in Athens as the book is set in Greece.

189avatiakh
Editado: Dez 20, 2023, 7:52 pm


97) A cup of tea by Amy Ephron (1997)
From memory, this was more of a novella, set in 1917 New York it was inspired by a Katherine Mansfield short story. I enjoyed this story of two different women and how their fates become entwined around one man.


98) The Honey Siege by Gil Buhet (1952)
fiction
Rather entertaining French novel about stolen honey and upset bee hives. The school teacher insists that it is the work of some of his pupils though they deny any part of it. They insist on their innocence and the teacher insists on their guilt and in the end the boys take over the ruined fort in the centre of the village, close the gate and refuse to come out.
Had this one on my shelves for a long while.


99) Fragments: memories of a wartime childhood by Binjamin Wilkomirski (1995)
Holocaust memoir

Very sad. Wilkomirski was only a toddler when the Nazis came to his home so his war memories are like fragments. His first one is of seeing his father shot by the Nazis outside his home, then hiding with older boys, his brothers. He's separated from them, spends time in camps, is rescued by a nurse who knows who he is and smuggles him to Switzerland in a group of refugee children. She abandons him at the train station and while all the other children have papers he has none and is taken to an orphanage. He doesn't even know that the war is over and he is now safe.
He learns part of his story from others as an adult.


100) The Evening of the Holiday by Shirley Hazzard (1966)
fiction

I bought this at Parnassus Books in Nashville. Worth a visit as besides having been opened by Anne Patchett, it has a really excellent selection of books. Due to my travels and airline luggage restrictions I could only pick out a novella sized read. It's about a love affair between an Italian and half English half Italian Sophie. They meet as they move in similar circles and their love is deep though short lived.

Later I found out from Lori that Nashville has other interesting bookshops.

190PaulCranswick
Dez 20, 2023, 8:07 pm

>189 avatiakh: You caught me with a couple of genuine book bullets again, Kerry.

I hadn't heard of The Honey Siege but it looks like one I would relish. Fragments also caught my eye as you know we share opinion on the importance of reading Holocaust literature.

191avatiakh
Dez 20, 2023, 8:22 pm


101) Clash of Civilizations over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous (2006)
novella
Scattered but interesting read about the migrant community in Rome. There is an investigation into the murder of a tenant that entails finding the truth from the various people living in the building.


102) The Jew Store by Stella Suberman (1998)
fictionalised memoir
Interesting read for me from a family history pov. A branch of my husband's family ended up in Nashville running a clothing store in the early 20th century. This is similar, though Suberman's father and family are pushed from Nashville to a rural town in north Tenessee to start their 'jew store'.


103) Three Scoops by David Hill (2023)
short stories, children's fiction
Three excellent stories from New Zealand children's writer David Hill.
The first one is about a boy volunteering with his friends for the Boer War, his horse bolts as it is about to be loaded on the ship for the voyage to South Africa. So while Harry goes to fight, Blaze must try to find his way back to the farm. Pulls the heartstrings.
The second story is about a magical book-elf helping a boy settle into a new community.
The third story is about the launching of a space ship and a meteor on the pathway to Earth.


104) The Cat and the Devil by James Joyce (1936)
picturebook
I read this in Dublin at the Museum of Literature Ireland (MOLI) where there was a small selection of books to browse through in one section. Now I can say I've read something by Joyce! Based on a story in a 1936 letter to his grandson the picturebook first came out in the 1980s.


105) The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn (2020)
fiction

Historical fiction set mostly on Jeju Island. This covers an interesting post WW2 period when the Japanese occupation ends and the US enters the arena. There are collaborators and betrayals and life for a young girl on the verge of womanhood is full of peril.
I've watched several K-dramas set on Jeju Island but never realised the recent history of the island was so devastating.

192labfs39
Dez 20, 2023, 9:02 pm

Lots of good titles as always. The Mermaid from Jeju in particular caught my eye.

193avatiakh
Dez 20, 2023, 10:45 pm


106) The Last of the Just by André Schwarz-Bart (1959)
fiction
A Holocaust novel that won the Prix Goncourt. The book opens in York, England with the massacre of Jews at Clifford Tower. I was able to visit the memorial when passing through York a couple of months ago. It follows the fortunes of the descendants of Rabbi Yom Tov Levy through the centuries to WW2. Quite a remarkable read though it took me time to get through it.


107) The Sheepfarmer's daughter by Elizabeth Moon (1988)
fantasy
The Deed of Paksenarrion #1. Really enjoyed this one and went on to read the other two in the trilogy almost immediately. Paksenarrion runs away from home and a marriage to a pigfarmer she doesn't want to become a soldier in a mercenary army.


108) Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall (2006)
fiction
I found this on the shelves at Strand Books in New York and left it with a used bookstore in Budapest. A Holocaust novel based on a survivor's story. The cover story is that Krall was commissioned to write the story but her work was rejected and so she proceeded to publish it as a novel. It's quite different from other Holocaust stories, one woman's desperate actions to save her husband from perishing in Auschwitz. The writing is very lyrical and I'm keen to read more of her work. I'd never come across her books before, so it was a lucky find.


109) I have lived a thousand years by Livia Bittern-Jackson (1997)
YA memoir
Another Holocaust book. This was a compelling story though I don't remember all the details now. I found the book in Barter Books, Alnwick in the UK and left it in a used bookstore in Budapest.
Bittern-Jackson was 13 when the small Jewish community in a rural Hungarian village are forced to leave and live in ghetto conditions in a nearby town. She ends up in Auschwitz, lucky to have been advised to lie about her age, and it is her that must save her mother rather than the other way around. Recommended.


110) Tokyo Express by Seichō Matsumoto (1958)
crime, novella
An intriguing murder whodunnit involving trains, timetables and alibis. I got my copy in London, at Waterstones Piccadilly which is the largest bookstore in Europe. I noted many books for future reading though this was my only purchase along with a tote bag. I slipped this novella into my luggage and crossed my fingers that Ryan Air wouldn't notice.


111) Divided Allegiance by Elizabeth Moon
112) Oath of Gold by Elizabeth Moon
fantasy
The Deed of Paksenarrion #2&3. Continues the entralling story of Paksenarrion. One of those fantasy trilogies that you just can't stop reading.

194avatiakh
Dez 20, 2023, 11:41 pm


113) Guide to the Jewish Ghetto in Rome: The places, the history and the life of Roman Jews by Paul den Arend (2015)
travel guide
This was an inexpensive kindle purchase that covered the history of Jewish life in Rome through the ages and then pointed out the highlights of the area that was once the Jewish ghetto. I was lucky to walk through this area several times during my stay in Rome.
I also purchased Arend's Quick Guide to the Roman Forum which was another useful read.
Paul de Arend is from the Netherlands, studied history and was a travel guide in Rome for several years.


114) A Cat at Dachau by Elyse Hoffman (2023)
short story
A concentration camp story told from the POV of a German soldier that I found on kindle. Max is a brutal guard who doesn't see the Jewish inmates as human, yet when a cat crosses his path he becomes besotted with the creature. Eventually he realises that the cat was probably the pet of one of the inmates. Only worth reading as it was so short.


115) Diary of a Lonely Girl by Miriam Karpilove (1916-1918) (2019)
fiction
First published in Yiddish in serial form in di Varhayt and recently translated and republished in English. The book is about a woman who is suffering from unrequited love and is pursued by other men who like the idea of 'free love'.
Can't better the book description - 'Miriam Karpilove's novel offers a snarky, melodramatic criticism of radical leftist immigrant youth culture in early twentieth-century New York City. Squeezed between men who use their freethinking ideals to pressure her to be sexually available and nosy landladies who require her to maintain her respectability, the narrator expresses frustration at her vulnerable circumstances with wry irreverence. The novel boldly explores issues of consent, body autonomy, women's empowerment and disempowerment around sexuality, courtship, and politics.'

Not my type of read usually but Karpilov was a cousin of my husband's grandmother so the family connection makes this a must read for me. When we were in New York I had an appointment at the Centre for Jewish History, in the Reading Room. We were joined by Miriam's nephew, Michael, and his wife and went through 5 boxes of Miriam's correspondence and personal papers, including many family photographs and photographed almost everything. So we now have lots of material for family history research, though it is almost all in Yiddish. Still we are able to recognise some faces in the photographs.
I thought we might get thrown out of the Reading Room as Michael's wife was so boisterous, funny and irreverent. We also looked in on an exhibit, Palestinian Yiddish: A Look at Yiddish in the Land of Israel Before 1948. After we went to the nearby Hollywood Diner and spent a good 2 hours getting to know each other without the stress of being in the Reading Room.

The translator, Jessica Kirzane, has published two more Karpilove books.
Judith: A Tale of Love & Woe
A Provincial Newspaper and Other Stories


116) My Father's Son by Frank O'Connor
memoir
Autobiography #2. The first book covers O'Connor's childhood while this one is about his working life and continuing relationship with his parents. It covers his friendships with several Irish writers such as Yeats. Was interesting enough though I found it a slow read.
I found the book in a Dublin secondhand bookshop where i was determined to buy at least one Irish book. The Last Bookshop is one of those shops with piles of interesting books and browsing is a delight.


117) Offside by Manuel Vazquez Montalban (1988)
crime
Pepe Carvalho #14. Forced to read whichever ones I find in English. I found this in Venice when visiting the amazing Libreria Acqua Alta bookshop. There were a few books in English and I spotted this one.
Not my favourite Carvalho, this was set in the world of professional football and involved the buildup to the Barcelona Olympics at the start of the 1980s.

195avatiakh
Editado: Dez 20, 2023, 11:51 pm

___
118) Thraxas and the Ice Dragon Thraxas #9 by Martin Millar (2013)
119) Thraxas and the Oracle Thraxas #10 by Martin Millar (2015)
120) Thraxas of Turai Thraxas #11 by Martin Millar (2019)
121) Thraxas meets his enemies Thraxas #12 by Martin Millar (2022)
fantasy
Continuing my read of the Thraxas series and I'm now up to date and not sure if there'll be anymore. Good escapist undemanding reads that I relaxed with in Bangkok.


122) Pet by Catherine Chidgey (2023)
fiction
I liked this one about the teacher's pet. The buildup was really good and I was entertained right to the end. The new teacher is sophisticated and charming and everyone wants to be noticed by her and become her 'pet'.

196avatiakh
Dez 21, 2023, 12:36 am

>190 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul - The Honey Seige will be a hard one to find I think. There was a film and a tv series at the time. https://theunreliablenarratives.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/gil-buhet-the-honey-sie...
...and I'm still looking out for an English language copy of War of the Buttons which has similar appeal.

The Fragments book was a very emotional read.

197avatiakh
Dez 21, 2023, 12:38 am

>192 labfs39: Hi Lisa - yes, I really got on with the story of the mermaid.

198labfs39
Dez 21, 2023, 7:23 am

I love reading the background stories of where you purchased your books while traveling and your experience Centre for Jewish Experience. Such an amazing trip. Your son must have been thrilled.

199avatiakh
Dez 21, 2023, 2:53 pm

>198 labfs39: I left home with 5 or 6 old paperbacks and was able to read all but one before leaving Tennessee. I tried hard to read as I went and bought mostly novellas. I took lots of photos of book displays so I could take note of interesting looking books. Blackwell's Books in Edinburgh had an amazing selection of Scottish fiction & several shelves of Scottish crime novels.
Chapters Books in Dublin was great for Irish fiction but the upstairs which used to be full of used books is no longer, now everything is crammed downstairs.

Barter Books in Alnwick, UK is one of the largest used bookshops in the UK but I was a little disappointed with the selection there. I'm just happy to have gone to some of these great places.
I generally look through the WW2, Holocaust sections and then the children's books. After I go to local fiction or general fiction and look for random books that catch my eye. Mostly I photograph the covers of unfamiliar titles so I can look them up online at a later date.

My son is a history and politics buff so he had a ball, though we were fairly museum-ed out in the end. Also had to discuss where we'd go all the time as entrance fees were so high. His highlight is always the British Museum though this time we also visited the Vatican Museum and that is full of amazing exhibits.

200labfs39
Dez 22, 2023, 12:22 pm

>199 avatiakh: I have started photographing book displays more too, even at the library. It's definitely a matter of my eyes being bigger than my shelf space (or wallet). I'm amazed you got so much reading done on your trip. You seemed so busy. Did you ever sleep, lol?

In bookstores I tend to look for a translated book section first, then history and Holocaust. I also enjoy the serendipitous find on sales shelves where everything is jumbled together.

I wonder if entrance fees were high because of decreased attendance during Covid? Trying to make up for lost revenue? Were the museums well-attended when you were there? I remember being wowed by the excess of the Vatican Museum. When I was there things were sometimes stacked five deep along the corridors.

201avatiakh
Editado: Dez 22, 2023, 5:36 pm

>200 labfs39: Yes, in the general fiction I'm always looking for the unusual author names as I love to read translated works. I like going to bookshops when I travel as they often have a local writer section that throws up new to me books. Most European bookshops have a small English language section. We also did the 'gift shop' visit at various museums even if we didn't 'do' the museum and they mostly had excellent book displays.
We spent an hour in the Tenement Museum Gift Shop in New York but didn't go to the actual museum as it was too expensive. They have an impressive lineup of books. It was raining and we wanted to kill some time as my son was meeting friends at the nearby Katz Deli.

I'll save posting trip photos for my 2024 thread now as I've only just transfered my photos from my phone to a hard drive.

Most museums were quite busy, don't forget that often the locals get free admission and there's always the school groups. Rome was extremely busy, even Naples & Pompei. I don't think we went to any museum or tourist stops in New York as the prices were prohibitive. Some of the best museums we experienced had free entry - the National Museum - Natural History in Dublin & National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh & of course the British Museum. We'd visited the Yeats exhibit at the Dublin State Library and then were told that we couldn't visit the Reading Rooms which had architectural merit but the attendant said to go to the National Museum next door which was basically a replica building and we ended up spending a couple of hours in there.

The new-to-me thing was having to book a time slot at a lot of places. I booked a time for the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC and when we got there, on time, went to view an exhibit not realising our entry time slot was for the actual museum, but they let us in anyway even though it was very busy.

It's quite interesting to consider the displays at museums, some want to educate more than they want to display artifacts so a lot of reading is required rather than just looking.

202labfs39
Dez 22, 2023, 6:12 pm

I had wanted to visit the Tenement Museum when I was in NY this summer, but didn't have time. When my mom went, she bought me several interesting books from the gift shop there. I had to book a time slot online for the 9-11 Museum, but was able to do it while standing outside the museum and then skipping the very long line for the ticket booth. Strange. I haven't been to the DC Holocaust Museum in a long time, but it made a deep impression on me. The Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris wasn't as large, but was well done too, I thought. I'm someone who likes to read the displays, so it takes me a while to get through museums, and I often have to prioritize exhibits, knowing that I won't be able to see everything in one go.

203ronincats
Dez 24, 2023, 1:27 pm

204johnsimpson
Dez 24, 2023, 5:08 pm

205PaulCranswick
Editado: Dez 24, 2023, 8:34 pm



Thinking about you during the festive season, Kerry

206quondame
Dez 25, 2023, 3:16 am



Merry Christmas, Kerry!

207thornton37814
Dez 25, 2023, 7:59 am

>189 avatiakh: Yes. I do love to go to McKay's on Charlotte Pike when I'm in Nashville. I used to love Davis-Kidd in Nashville, but they closed.

>193 avatiakh: The Tokyo Express looks interesting.

208avatiakh
Dez 25, 2023, 5:16 pm

>202 labfs39: We mostly just turned up and joined the queue. I booked a few places as some would only give admittance with an online booking. Times have changed, though with a mobile phone it is fairly easy.
Our longest queue was possibly for entry to the Vatican, but we went early and prepared to wait.
I've been to a number of Holocaust memorials & museums now and had been expecting to have a reutrn visit to Yad Vashem. The DC Memorial is absorbing though extremely busy which can be distracting as you feel pressed to read quickly and move on.
The Virginia Holocaust Memorial in Richmond was almost devoid of visitors and a totally different experience. I learnt that it was a group of Richmond Jewish businessmen that bought and oufitted the ship Exodus to help Jewish refugees post war.
We visited an exhibition, L'Inferno Nazista, in Rome's Jewish Ghetto. The signage was quite startling to stumble across and drew us in to a building we might have overlooked. The full name '“The Nazi Inferno. The death camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka'.

209avatiakh
Dez 25, 2023, 5:45 pm


123) My brother Michael by Mary Stewart (1959)
fiction
I was drawn to the cover art on a series of Mary Stewart's book that have been republished fairly recently and hope to read some more of them.
This one is set in Greece around Delphi. It's post war and Camilla is visiting Athens but has run out of money when she is handed the keys to a rental car in a case of mistaken identity and all she has to do is deliver it to Simon in Delphi. Simon's brother, Michael had been undercover with the Greeks during the war and had lost his life. There was some mystery to be cleared up.
I enjoyed this even though it's a bit dated, lots of cigarettes being smoked etc, the descriptions of the landscape around Delphi were quite vivid.
The back story about the Greek partisans during the war was timely as I was reading about John Mulgan a New Zealander who went undercover in Crete during WW2 and requested John Mulgan and the Greek Left from the library last week. I'd added his book Report on Experience to Paul's War Room booklist.

I've now started reading The Moonspinners which is also set in Greece
So current reads are all digital: Maror by Lavie Tidhar, The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart & Shogun by James Clavell (e-audio).
Hope to finish these by year's end.

I've pulled a number of books off the shelves since i've been home including several by Andreï Makine just got to decide which of his to start with. I don't seemed to have read any of his books as yet.

210labfs39
Dez 26, 2023, 12:14 pm

>208 avatiakh: I had no idea that it was Richmond businessmen behind the Exodus.

>209 avatiakh: I have The Cretan Runner: His Story of the German Occupation by George Psychoundakis on my shelves, waiting to be read. It's an NYRB book, have you read it?

211avatiakh
Dez 26, 2023, 4:27 pm

>210 labfs39: I haven't read that one. I've been lining up a few books set in Greece to read. I wanted to finally read Zorba the Greek on my travels but my copy was too heavy to pack.
I read The Flaw by Antonis Samarakis a few years back and recommend it though it's not about partisans or WW2.

212avatiakh
Dez 26, 2023, 5:10 pm

I'm enjoying Maror, it's my first read of Lavie Tidhar and I will definitely be reading more by him. I've decided to put it aside though and not try to finish by year's end as I need to spend time on my audiobook Shogun as I do want to finish this before the end of the year and I have less than 12 hours to go.
I'm also going to start a library book Mother's Boy: a writer's beginnings by Howard Jacobson. I saw this in a bookshop somewhere recently and immediately put it on request at the library.

213avatiakh
Dez 26, 2023, 5:40 pm

>207 thornton37814: Hi Lori - I got to visit some amazing bookshops on my travels, though your description of McKays did have me feeling like I'd missed a good one.

...and now you've reminded me of all the pikes on the road map.

214avatiakh
Dez 26, 2023, 5:41 pm

215avatiakh
Dez 31, 2023, 4:11 pm

My last read for the year:


124) The Moon-spinners by Mary Stewart (1962)
fiction
This is set on Crete and is quite an adventure. I remember in the much distant past watching Hayley Mills in the film or I remember wooden boats at night and swimming and subterfuge. Anyway despite being a little dated I enjoyed reading this. The descriptions of the countryside surronding the remote coastal village are so vivid.
I'll keep reading her books but taking a break right now to do justice to my planned reading for January.

216avatiakh
Dez 31, 2023, 4:15 pm

My top 5 reads as added to the LT Top Five Books of 2023 List

Tyger by S.F. Said
The Governesses by Anne Serre
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman
Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood by Binjamin Wilkomirski

217thornton37814
Dez 31, 2023, 7:15 pm

>215 avatiakh: I used to love her books!

218johnsimpson
Jan 4, 4:12 pm

Happy New Year my dear.