URSULA LE GUIN – The Earthsea Quartet

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Acquired via BookCrossing 28 Oct 2006 – at the meetup

Comprising “A Wizard of Earthsea”,”The Tombs of Atuan”,”The Farthest Shore”,”Tehanu”

I read Wizard when I was about 11, at school, and remember loving it. I don’t remember much else, but then it’s been pointed out to me that I’ve read about 2,000-3,000 books since then!

Anyway, a wonderful series, in a fully realised and marvellous world. Wizards, witches, dragons, baddies – this has it all and again so much better than Harry Potter. Lovely women characters, too, and Ged the amazing hero.

I will be having a look through the archives for the year tomorrow morning, but at the moment this should make my Top Ten of 2006.

JOHN CARTER – ABC For Book Collectors

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From Bham Uni Library 19 Dec 2006

This was read for research for my new position rather than fun, but it was the most fun so far (the other one I’m reading is dry.as.dust and will not get finished in 2006). This is quite light-hearted at times and makes a slightly complicated subject clear – a useful work of reference.


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Acquired via BookCrossing 28 Oct 2006 – at the meetup (by request)

Hm – this biog was really not very good; there were all sorts of repetitions, inaccuracies and even things said about particular films which were then refuted later on. But the pics were nice.

Not making the 2006 Top Ten. Saving for Weebly so she can look at the nice pics too!

I appear to be able to knit…

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Thank you to LindyB28 for the idea, wool and needle loan, to Nordie for teaching me, to Bridget for helping me start the 3rd row and Gill for getting me out of a small mess part way through.

I’m going to try again today and see if I can still do it…

JANE GARDAM – A Few Fair Days

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Bought 14 Oct 2006 – charity shop

I can’t get enough of Gardam. A children’s book set in the usual Northern seaside town put into short chapter episodes full of adventures, sand and eccentric aunts. Lovely, and a nice easy post-Christmas read!

CHARLES HANNAN – Almost An Englishman

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Acquired via BookCrossing 11 Oct 2006 – at the Book Fest Meet The BookCrossers (non) event

Odd little memoir of a Jewish boy escaped from wartime Germany and living in England – he goes through school and the Army in this volume, ambivalent about England and Englishness, Jews and Jewishness. Interesting of its kind and a good afternoon-on-the-sofa read.

MAEVE BINCHY – The Return Journey and Other Stories

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Acquired 07 Oct 2006 – shamelessly pinched from the box of books for BookCrossing I swapped with the Church book sale lady for a box of Mills & Boon

Two sets of short stories (one Christmas-themed!) set in England, Ireland and America. All really short and pretty well all of them really good, with her customary excellent voice, sharp observation and enough plot twists to satisfy without being over-clever.

It’s done

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Wow – for the first time in ages I woke up without that meal hanging over me! It went as well as could be expected. There was a bit of a timing issue with the others which affected my timing, but I’m a decent cook, and what might have been ruined was pretty well salvaged. Only the broccoli was a little soggy, and people still ate it.

My reward – more biscuits! but very kind, and some nice presents. I’ll post a list of at least all the Christmas book gifts later…

Thanks everyone who thought of me yesterday!

KIRAN DESAI – The Inheritance of Loss

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Acquired via BookCrossing 25 Nov 2006 – Bookring

I have to say that I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I would. There were moments of excellent description and evocativeness, but not much really happened and I thought some of the writing was a bit overblown for the sake of it. I can see why it won the Booker – it’s political, it relates the political to the personal, it’s very literary, but I felt it was a little self-conscious.

I mean, it wasn’t bad – there was a palpable sense of building tension and the relation between the cook and his son was well done, but I didn’t feel I knew and loved any of the characters.

DAWN ANNANDALE – Call Me Elizabeth

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Acquired via BookCrossing 07 Oct 2006 – at the Cambridge meetup

I picked this up because of the title, then the book looked interesting…

This was interesting, going back through her traumatic childhood to seek the roots of why she would do such an extreme thing as turn to prostitution when she gets into very bad debt, to protect her children. You can’t really blame or castigate her – she tells the story bluntly and truthfully and there is quite a lot of “detail” in it (will have to do a ring or a private RABCK for it I think!) but not prurient, just to explain how it all works. Interesting and pretty well told.

Oh – and never call *me* Elizabeth. Well, Heaven-Ali is allowed to sometimes…

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