Reading the 20th Century discussion

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message 1: by Nigeyb (last edited Oct 11, 2017 05:11AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 9337 comments Mod
Please use this thread to say hello and tell other group members a bit more about you.


message 2: by Nigeyb (last edited Oct 11, 2017 05:11AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 9337 comments Mod
Hello, I help to moderate this group


Here’s a bit about me...

I have a lifelong passion for reading. I enjoy pre-WW2 English literature (e.g. Patrick Hamilton, George Orwell, Norman Collins, Julian Maclaren Ross etc.). I set up The Patrick Hamilton Appreciation Society here at GoodReads to wax lyrical with kindred spirits.

I am also increasingly drawn to literature set in the post-WW2 period, especially the Cold War, and - more generally - the 1960s and 1970s. I love music, and reading music memoirs.

I run a real world book group that is still going strong after 12 years. Other stuff that makes me happy includes photography, socialising, football, dancing, walking with my family and my dog, volunteering, & real ale.

I am very excited about the opportunity to explore and discuss the 20th Century with this group.


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Hi, I am also one of the moderators. My name is Susan and I live in North London. I am a passionate reader and I help run an online book group outside of Goodreads, plus I help moderate another Goodreads group, along with my fellow moderator, Judy. This group, Reading the Detectives, revolves around our love of Golden Age mysteries; including authors such as Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh et al.

I am interested in the fiction, history and culture of the 20th Century and look forward to sharing my interest with the other members of the group.


message 4: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4527 comments Mod
I'm another moderator, Judy, from Ipswich in Suffolk. Yet another passionate reader - 19th-century literature was my first love, but I'm now fascinated by early, mid and increasingly late 20th century writing too. As Susan has mentioned, I moderate a detective story group with her and love reading Golden Age mysteries.

As well as books, I'm a big fan of classic films, especially from the 1930s-50s, and I also try to keep up with some new films too! Looking forward to reading together with other group members and learning from one another.


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Good to see that we already have some members to our new group! Welcome everyone. Please feel free to write a little bit about yourself here.


message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Hello, all,

Well, that's fun to be part of a completely new group! I am Jessica, 34, living in the Netherlands but I try to be in London or anywhere else in Great Brittain at least twice per year.

I read a lot... I do not have a particular genre I stick too, but I do have some genres that I avoid: horror, vampire stuff and generally anything too grizzly.

Other pastimes include: making music (playing piano, sax and carillon) and writing snail-mail. Right, epistolary novels! I love those. I hardly watch TV series or movies and tend to lose track of discussions that compare books to their screen adaptions ...

Looking forward to reading with you! :-)


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Welcome to the group, Jessica :)


Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 395 comments Hello all,

I live in Gurgaon, India. Love to and have always loved to read. I enjoy all sorts of genres: detective fiction and mysteries, historical fiction and non-fiction, history of science, children's literature, humour, classics, nature and wildlife, popular science and maths.

Looking forward to reading together with everyone and discovering some new authors and books.


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Hello Lady, glad you joined us :)


message 10: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4527 comments Mod
Jessica and Lady C, great to see you both over here.

Thanks for joining and for telling us a bit about yourselves and your interests.


message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Nice to see that we already have a few members! I have posted a little bit on how the group works on another thread. For our new members, we are going to have a vote every month for a group read, which will centre around a particular theme, or decade, within our time period. When we vote for a book, we will read it in two months, which gives everyone time to get hold of books - we hope. So, we will have our first vote in November, for our January 2018 group read.

We will also have an alternate Mod-Led read, nominated by one of our three moderators. In order to 'get us started,' we will have a Mod-Led read in December and we will give you the title of that first read soon. After that, we will announce the Mod-Led books alongside our vote winner, so the first month where we have 2 group reads will be January, 2018.

Members are welcome to join in with one, both, or neither of the monthly reads. There will be lots to chat about, even if you don't have time to read the group books.


message 12: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 318 comments Thank you, Susan, for the invite!

I'm Bronwyn. I'm in Ohio, USA. I mostly like non-fiction about the early to mid 20th century (and random subjects from earlier). I did my graduate work on film reception in the teens and then during WWII, so I like that sort of stuff too: Hollywood, newspapers, etc. I don't read too much fiction, but am always looking for some to try. I like Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh's novels. I mainly use audiobooks these days, as with an infant it's hard to find time to read a physical book. I tend to gravitate to European subjects, but really enjoy the US in the teens and 20s as well.

I look forward to seeing what all this group chooses to read!


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Welcome to the group, Bronwyn :)


message 14: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4527 comments Mod
Welcome Bronwyn, great to see you over here. :)


message 15: by Jill (new)

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 615 comments Hi, I am Jill . I live in Essex in the UK. I like all types of genres, but mainly crime. I do stay away from romance though, unless there is a story behind it other than the romance.


message 16: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) | 236 comments I am Rosina. I've been reading steadily since the early 1950s. I will have tried lots of literary fiction - I'm currently reading Rebecca West's The Fountain Overflows - but my tastes tend to be on the lighter side.

My bookshelves show lots of Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Dunnett, Reginald Hill, Patrick O'Brian, Terry Pratchett. And a whole shelf of Dornford Yates!

I'm looking forward to discussing at least some of these over the coming years.


message 17: by Emma (new)

Emma (keeperofthearchives) Thanks for the invite, Susan.

Sounds like a fun idea!

I’m Emma, from Peterborough in the UK. I was a bookseller for 10 years so I was able to access lots of different types of books, it’s the thing I miss the most now I work in a different field (apart from the massive discount). Hopefully this will act as my new recommendation service and as an interesting place to talk about reading with fellow book lovers.

Looking forward to getting stuck in....


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Welcome to Jill, Rosina and Emma. Great that you joined us.

We will have a Mod-led read in December, Emma, if anyone is impatient for a group read :) We will also have a vote next month, so members can nominate books around a theme or decade.


message 19: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 4865 comments Mod
Hi everyone, I'm RC in London. I'm another eclectic reader and wouldn't really rule out any genre though tend to gravitate towards 'literary' fiction and crime/mysteries.

In terms of C20th books, I'm currently obsessing about Henry James (though I know he only just manages to squeeze into the century!). Other favourites include Fitzgerald (Zelda as well as Scott), Colette, Nancy Mitford, DH Lawrence, Sylvia Plath, Simone de Beauvoir.

Looking forward to lots of book chat!


message 20: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Welcome, Roman Clodia - glad you joined us :)


message 21: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 4865 comments Mod
Rosina wrote: "My bookshelves show lots of Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Dunnett"

I'm a crazy Dunnett fan, too, Rosina! Have discovered Heyer fairly recently and am enjoying her a lot.


message 22: by Lady Clementina (new)

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 395 comments Rosina wrote: "I am Rosina. I've been reading steadily since the early 1950s. I will have tried lots of literary fiction - I'm currently reading Rebecca West's The Fountain Overflows - but my tastes..."

Dornford Yates- what fun. I love his Berry books. Have a Chandos one waiting to be read as well.


message 23: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (bibliohound) | 503 comments Hello all,

I'm Pamela, from Swindon in the UK. I also like most genres, except horror and romance. I'm looking forward to reading more 20th Century books - I've read and enjoyed Waugh, Somerset Maugham and Muriel Spark. And lovely to be reminded of Dornford Yates, he was a big favourite of my late father and we used to read the Berry books together years ago.


message 24: by Tania (new)

Tania | 983 comments Hi. I'm Tania, living in the Cotswolds.

I read all sorts of books, but have been reading quite a lot of early to mid 20th century books lately. I have been enjoying a lot of the Virago Modern Classics (Rosina, I loved The Fountain Overflows) and Wodehouse and Agatha Christie have been favourite Authors since my teens.

Hoping to get to more Heyer books too.


message 25: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Hi Pamela and Tania - welcome to the group :)


message 26: by Penny (new)

Penny Hi
I'm Penny - I read lots of different genres always have!
thanks for invite Susan


message 27: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4527 comments Mod
Welcome Jill, Rosina, Emma, Roman Clodia, Pamela, Tania and Penny! It's great to see you all joining on our first day. Looking forward to our discussions! :)


message 28: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Hi Penny! Great you joined us - a great response for our first day :)


message 29: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 88 comments Hello, my name is Ivan

A bit about me:

I am an autumn baby – I love the crisp weather, the yellows, oranges and reds of autumn, the falling leaves.

“Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring.” ― Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I have eclectic tastes in art, theatre, music, literature, weather, food and landscapes. I don’t want a steady diet of anything.

I love browsing in old bookshops, libraries and bookrooms. When I enter a stranger’s house I naturally gravitate to their bookcase.

I facilitate “The Novella Club” here on Goodreads – or rather provide the meagre artificial respiration that keeps it alive from month to month. 706 members with four or five who actually participate. Novellas or short novels are my favorite – I like a strong story succinctly told. I have no preference as to subject matter, though I am least fond of dystopian or nihilistic (overly bleak) material.

I am an impulse reader. I find it hard to read “on demand” – it’s always been a chore and a challenge for me. I read solely for pleasure. I’m always reading. I read slowly. I read every word. I do not skim. I have to ‘want’ to read the book, I have yet to cultivate the talent of forcing myself to read what I am not interested in (though I will make an effort). I do not always participate in group discussions for this reason – though I am always keen to read the discussion boards of the groups I’m in.

As for 20th century literature – it is certainly what I’ve read most of. I am well-read comparatively speaking, but realize I’ve only brushed the powdery top snow from the tip of the iceberg.

I thank Nigeyb for the invite – I always find his posts insightful, interesting and a pleasure to read.


message 30: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Hi Ivan, wonderful to see you have joined the group.


message 31: by Haaze (last edited Oct 22, 2017 06:39PM) (new)

Haaze | 146 comments Thanks for the invitation, Nigey!

This sounds like a vibrant and interesting theme for a reading group. I also have the feeling that we are in the hands of great moderators so I await a storm of refreshing 20th century books and discussions around them.

I hail from California as well as Sweden with the consequence that I enjoy both pickled herring and bagels with cream cheese although not at the same time. Books have gravitated towards me my whole life so they have piled up in my house in the most interesting places and are currently mushrooming here and there below the bookshelves. I moderate several reading groups here at GR with a focus on European (non-British), Russian as well as Scandinavian Literature, but there is always room for more - especially in the realm of England. I'm very interested in history as well as social and cultural perspectives although I would not pinpoint a specific period as I'm as happy in prehistory as in the Renaissance or the 20th century (ah, all those wars). At the same time I'm fond of art as well as the sciences (I'm an avid birder and spend much time pondering ecology, environmental issues as well as invertebrates). Anyways, I'm looking forward to the discussions in this group. Thanks for creating it!

Greetings from the realm of the coastal redwoods!




message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9817 comments Mod
Welcome to the group, Haaze. We hope you enjoy the group :)


message 33: by Haaze (last edited Oct 22, 2017 09:58AM) (new)

Haaze | 146 comments Ivan wrote: "Hello, my name is Ivan

A bit about me:

I am an autumn baby – I love the crisp weather, the yellows, oranges and reds of autumn, the falling leaves.

“Aprils have never meant much to me, autumn..."


Hi Ivan! Nice to see you here. I enjoyed our Maugham conversation! :) Besides, I gravitate to bookcases as well (as long as they are there). I shiver if I cannot find any.


message 34: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 146 comments Susan wrote: "Welcome to the group, Haaze. We hope you enjoy the group :)"

Thanks Susan!


message 35: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 88 comments Haaze wrote: "Ivan wrote: "Hello, my name is Ivan

A bit about me:

I am an autumn baby – I love the crisp weather, the yellows, oranges and reds of autumn, the falling leaves.

“Aprils have never meant much ..."


There is a great John Waters quote about people without books - a bit too crude to share here.


message 36: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 146 comments Perhaps there is a 64 GB iPad packed with digital classics in the house....? ;-)


message 37: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 88 comments Haaze wrote: "Perhaps there is a 64 GB iPad packed with digital classics in the house....? ;-)"

It's just not the same.


message 38: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 4865 comments Mod
Haaze wrote: "I gravitate to bookcases as well (as long as they are there). I shiver if I cannot find any. "

Haha! I'm sure you're in good company with your shelfless phobia here!


message 39: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 146 comments : - )


message 40: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 146 comments Roman Clodia wrote: "Hi everyone, I'm RC in London. I'm another eclectic reader and wouldn't really rule out any genre though tend to gravitate towards 'literary' fiction and crime/mysteries.

In terms of C20th books,..."


Hi Roman! Love your favorite author choices! I'm hoping to go on a Henry James binge next year. I was considering going sequential, but perhaps it is better to pick and choose the golden nuggets? What do you think, Roman?


message 41: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 4865 comments Mod
I love the idea of sequential but am never quite that organised in real life. I started with a re-read of The Portrait of a Lady which I loved even more this time round, and have moved to the books that have been lingering on the shelves for too long.

James is out of copyright now so you can pick up a complete collection for free on Kindle.


message 42: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Roman Clodia wrote: "Rosina wrote: "My bookshelves show lots of Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Dunnett"

I'm a crazy Dunnett fan, too, Rosina! Have discovered Heyer fairly recently and am enjoying her a lot."


Both Heyer and Dunnett are favorite authors of mine. I have a shelf of Dornford Yates books of my mother's which I haven't read yet so I guess I have a treat in store! Other favorites include Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh and P.G. Wodehouse...

But I should introduce myself - I'm Leslie from Massachusetts, U.S.A. Like many of the previous posters, I have been a longtime reader. I like many different kinds of books but mostly fiction rather than nonfiction. My favorite genres include mysteries & suspense, fantasy, humor and historical fiction.

Left to my own devices, I tend to read more from the first half of the 20th century than the second so I am hoping to expand my horizons a bit with this group.


message 43: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Tyler (doulton) Greetings. My name is Natalie. I really love modernist poetry, such as TS Eliot and Yeats. For the Americans I like Frost and Wallace Stevens.
My favourite fiction writers include Iris Murdoch, Barbara Pym, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Taylor, Anita Brookner, and quite a few others.


message 44: by Miss M (new)

Miss M | 25 comments Hello all, and many thanks for the invitation.
I've been an obsessive reader since childhood and somewhere along the way developed a preference for British authors. My favorites have included Waugh, Pym, Greene, Spark, Brookner, Drabble, just like many of you. Lately I don't read as much literary fiction any more...mainly crime fic for relaxation and focus more on non-fiction/history for serious reading. I do still keep an eye out for undiscovered treasures though, and really appreciate Goodreads friends and groups like this to help me keep expanding my interests! I especially love memoirs and diaries, and also have a nice little collection of books about books, publishing, bookselling, etc.


message 45: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 4865 comments Mod
Natalie wrote: "Greetings. My name is Natalie. I really love modernist poetry, such as TS Eliot and Yeats."

Me too so how about expanding beyond novels and maybe doing a monthly selection of poetry, or just one or two poems? We could stick to the same decade as the main group read and nominate as usual - what does everyone else think? Moderators?


message 46: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Tyler (doulton) Roman Clodia, Thank you! I think it would be a fantastic idea. Also on my list is Thomas Hardy (he wrote most of his poems in the 20th century), Auden, Stevie Smith, Larkin, Betjemen, Graves, MacNeice, Hughes, Muldoon, Mahon, Boland, Duffy. From the USA: Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, sometimes ee cummings.

I don't know why, but I just kept reading poetry all my life. After my parents read nursery rhymes I just kept reading on my own. I would be thrilled if poetry was represented. Just to chew over a poem or two would be delightful.


message 47: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 88 comments Natalie wrote: "Greetings. My name is Natalie. I really love modernist poetry, such as TS Eliot and Yeats. For the Americans I like Frost and Wallace Stevens.
My favourite fiction writers include Iris Murdoch, Ba..."


I love Barbara Pym!!!!!

My favorite authors are Truman Capote, Edna St Vincent Millay, Arthur Conan Doyle, H. G. Wells, Tennessee Williams, Ira Levin, Norton Juster, W. B. Yeats, Christopher Isherwood, Willa Cather, Agatha Christie, E. M. Forster, Carson McCullers, Vita Sackville-West, C. S. Lewis.....


message 48: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4527 comments Mod
Welcome Ivan, Haaze, Leslie, Natalie and Miss M - great to see you all here. We have a wonderful group of members already.


message 49: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 88 comments Thanks Judy and Susan.


message 50: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 146 comments Ivan wrote: "Thanks Judy and Susan."

Ditto! :)


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