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Episode Discussions > Episode 81; Welcome to Thomas

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message 1: by Louise (last edited Aug 27, 2013 01:43PM) (new)

Louise | 154 comments Welcome Thomas :-)
You'll have to post some dog pictures now won't you!

Which Somerset Maugham book is your favourite?


message 2: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Thanks Louise. I have big shoes to fill. Somerset Maugham wrote so many good novels it is hard to narrow it down. The Razor's Edge maybe, or The Painted Veil...of course Of Human Bondage is a great one. The only one I didn't like was kind of a quasi spy thriller, but I forget the name of it.


message 3: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Thanks for starting this thread Louise!
I'd also like to say welcome Thomas, and I'm thrilled to see you're from one of my favorite places! My kids both went to college there and my daughter still lives in the district, so we visit quite a bit.

I have a question about your favorite used books stores in the area. I love both Second Story Books, and Capitol Hill Books, but are there any others you can recommend? I love old books the best, so any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


message 4: by Elizabeth☮ (new)

Elizabeth☮ I am eager to hear the podcast Thomas. Welcome to the readers. I can't wait to hear your contribution to the the book based banter podcast and also to hear your recommendations.


message 5: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Tracy, I find Second story books a little pricey for paperback fiction. About five blocks away towards Georgetown is a charity bookshop that has a smaller but better selection and is way cheaper. Good trade paperbacks are usually $3 or less. Also, The Lantern in Georgetown is good and a charity shop as well. bartleby Books in GTown is good for antiquarian stuff. And I loooove Capitol Hill Books, but I am convinced that some of those fiction piles on the second floor are structural.


message 6: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Thanks Elizabeth. I can't wait to record the next one.


message 7: by Juliette (new)

Juliette | 6 comments Welcome Thomas! You reminded me how much I love Barbara Pym....I had to go dig out an old copy of Excellent Women to reread. I think you and Simon will do well together.


message 8: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Thanks for the recommendations Thomas, and I totally agree with you about Capitol Hill Books, one hard slam of the door and the whole thing collapses! What amazes me is if you ask for a title they can tell you exactly where it is, my kind of store!


message 9: by Marie (new)

Marie | 5 comments Thomas, welcome! I really enjoyed your first episode, & though the tone will be different with you than with Gav -- and there's now an American accent! -- I think you and Simon are a good fit, and will develop your own kind of banter. :-)

A few random thoughts: I love that you love E.M. Forster! When we set up our wifi network here at home, I actually named it "howards end"!

I just peeked at your Goodreads books and saw a couple titles by Edith Wharton, another of my favorites -- do you like her as well?

And lastly, have you read Middlemarch, and if so, what did you think of it? I'm hoping that you like that, too, so that maybe next year Simon will feel motivated to try it again. Of course it's long, and life gets in the way of reading, and it's better not to force a book if the time isn't right, but I do hope he hasn't abandoned it forever, as it's so beautiful. :-)

Looking forward to future episodes! Cheers!


message 10: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Marie, you are so right, I should have said Edith Wharton. I love her work in so many ways. I have never read Middlemarch. Mill on the Floss, but never MMarch.


message 11: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Juliette, Pym is even better on a re-read.


message 12: by Louise (new)

Louise | 154 comments Thomas wrote: "Thanks Louise. I have big shoes to fill. Somerset Maugham wrote so many good novels it is hard to narrow it down. The Razor's Edge maybe, or The Painted Veil...of course Of Human Bondage is a gre..."

I'm a huge fan of his short stories, they're so funny and observant


message 13: by Chris (new)

Chris Wolak (chriswolak) Thomas--What a fun surprise that you're the new cohost and to hear your voice. When you were naming favorite writers I was willing you to say Willa Cather but apparently that wasn't meant to be. ;) I look forward to being exposed to more new-to-me writers like Pym.


message 14: by Aurora (new)

Aurora | 22 comments Welcome Thomas, I hope you are settling into your new position. I look forward to hearing all about your reading!
I have a question for Simon.
What process did you go through when considering a new co-host? Did you have lots of people offering to join you or did you offer the position to likely candidates? Did you ever ponder doing the show alone?


message 15: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Chris, oh golly now you are really starting to show the problems with having to name a top 5 anything on the spot. Willa Cather should definitely have been in my top 5. The Professor's House is one of my all time favorites plus I loved Shadows on the Rock, My Antonia, Oh Pioneers, and everything else I have read by her. Maybe I need to come up with a Top 15.


message 16: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Aurora, thank you, i look forward to it. You can add another follow up question: "Simon, if you had to do it over, would you still have picked Thomas?" :)


message 17: by Aurora (new)

Aurora | 22 comments I'm sure the answer will be "Yes"!!
On the subject of Neville Shute, I devoured his books years ago and have not heard mention of him in a long time. Is this a new discovery for you or is it re-reads? I will have to get my hands on a few and revisit them myself.


message 18: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Louise wrote: "Welcome Thomas :-)
You'll have to post some dog pictures now won't you!

Which Somerset Maugham book is your favourite?"


Louise, I forgot to mention there are lots of photos of our Lucy on my blog. Just go to myporchblog.blogspot.com and put "Lucy" in the search window.


message 19: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Aurora, I read On the Beach about 30 years ago but then started reading his other fiction in about 2006. Since then I have read about 11 of his books. Thankfully I still have some to discover for the first time.


message 20: by Karen (new)

Karen Brown (khbrown) | 19 comments Welcome Thomas! What a surprise to find another fan of the author D.E. Stephenson. Looking forward to future podcasts.


message 21: by Carol (new)

Carol (ckubala) | 70 comments Hello Thomas and welcome. Truly enjoyed your interchange with Simon and look forward to the next podcast. I wondered how long it would take Simon to mention Rebecca? I'm glad he didn't disappoint me.

As for crime stories, I, too, like those that explain the why when knowing the who. Can I think of one at the moment? No! but if I do I'll be certain to mention it to you. Perhaps someone else can name a few where knowing the killer does not spoil the fun in the least.


message 22: by Louise (new)

Louise | 154 comments I've read a few where you discover at the end, that the narrator was the murderer - and that if you go back you can spot the deviations, where he lies to the reader or omits things - nice if the writer can pull it off!


message 23: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments Karen: Thanks. Glad to know there are more of us out there.

Carol: We just recorded episode 82 and I am pretty sure Simon mentioned Rebecca again. I think The Talented Mr. Ripley is one of those where you wonder if he will get away with it. Unfortunately I found Highsmith's prose not to my taste.

Louise: That is the ultimate unreliable narrator. The one who would not only lie to you, but kill you...

And here is a thought: Would anyone consider the lengthy classic American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser a mystery? There is the big question, will he get away with it.


message 24: by Ruthiella (new)

Ruthiella | 272 comments Carol wrote: "Hello Thomas and welcome. Truly enjoyed your interchange with Simon and look forward to the next podcast. I wondered how long it would take Simon to mention Rebecca? I'm glad he didn't disappoint m..."

The Secret History is a good example of a book where you know whodunit from the beginning but it doesn't spoil the rest of the book.


message 25: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments I read The Secret History years ago. Oddly I never thought of it as a mystery.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Welcome on board, Thomas.

I was surprised that when you were talking about a crime series that you might actually enjoy, Simon did not mention Susan Hill's Simon Serailler books. Your co-host is a big fan of hers, as you may know, although I seem to recall that he struggled a bit with the first of the Serailler series, The Various Haunts of Men. Hopefully he was not completely put off.

Why do I think you might like this series? Well, it's very English for a start, being set in a fictional cathedral city - the sort of place that Americans would think of as a town rather than a city. Also, the series is as much about Serailler's personal and family life as it is about his police work. That too would seem to strike a similar note to the type of novel you enjoy.

I wonder if Ashenden was the Somerset Maugham "quasi-spy thriller" you could not remember the title of? Apparently it was one of Ian Fleming's influences when he created James Bond.


message 27: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments David, it was Ashenden, clever of you to know that. Or did he only write one like that? I just looked at Wikipedia to discover it is a collection of loosely linked stories. I feel a little silly that I didn't pick up on that when I read it. No wonder I didn't get much out of it.

I'll have to keep my eye open for that mystery series. On my first trip to the UK in 1989 I visited 17 different cathedral cities.


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