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message 1: by Ian (last edited Oct 25, 2014 03:50AM) (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
So, what are you hoping will be under the tree this Xmas? I am wondering if Santa might bring me Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami .
Murakami is one of my favourie contemporary authors. If you like a surreal style, with twisting intriguing story lines he is for you. Favourites Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami ; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami ; 1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3) by Haruki Murakami ; Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami


message 2: by Angela (new)

Angela Hobbs | 222 comments The Lie by Helen Dunmore I would be very happy to find The Lie by Helen Dunmore under the tree!


message 3: by Helen (new)

Helen | 105 comments I would be happy to get Game of ThronesA Game of Thrones
If I start reading this series though, I think it will take a fair while, they are large books and there are a fair few of them!


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Xmas hols a good time to start though - Ive not read that series but know it is very popular. Any one else read them?


message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol Dobson | 800 comments I think anything by Alison Weir would suit me. Have only read Elizabeth of York by her, but it was very detailed and informative. Her research must take a very long time.The Six Wives of Henry VIII


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Good choice. Have you read Hilary Mantel's books Wolf Hall / Bring Up the Bodies. Thought they were superb - she has an amazing way of making history real


message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol Dobson | 800 comments No, so far I've chickened out from reading Wolf Hall. I read the few pages of it in the Times and could see that so much conversation was not quite my taste. However, I will definitely make a stab at it, as historical fiction and non fiction are my favourites.
She is another author who lives in Devon, I think. Seaton, or somewhere like that on the S. Devon coast.


message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol Dobson | 800 comments Does anyone know of a good reading scheme for children?
Grandson is at school in Belgium and is only now, at the age of 6 and a half, being taught to read, (in French). Daughter has been teaching him in English a bit at home and needs an English reading scheme, which I will give him for Xmas. I used a very good one for my children, but I cannot remember the name of it. (Senior moment again!).


message 9: by Angela (new)

Angela Hobbs | 222 comments Hi Carol - a useful starting point may be the International Literacy Centre website. You could also look at the Oxford Reading Tree scheme (it has a website). Hope that helps!


message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol Dobson | 800 comments Thanks Angela. Will have a look.


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "No, so far I've chickened out from reading Wolf Hall. I read the few pages of it in the Times and could see that so much conversation was not quite my taste. However, I will definitely make a stab ..."

Of course - maybe I can entice her onto our Group - tall order perhaps but you never know. Also, other local authors like Nick Arnold or Michael Morpurgo. I might see if I can contact them


message 12: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Out Xmas shopping? - what books are you buying/want for Xmas?


message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol Dobson | 800 comments So far I've bought one for my son who is moving from Connecticut to near Washington in the New Year, so have bought him, 'Baltimore, Anapolis and Chesapeake Bay'.
Have bought Usborne Wipe Clean books for granddaughter.
Still trying to locate a reading scheme for 6-year-old grandson. Have looked at Oxford Tree Reading Scheme, but half of it seems to consist of phonics and although I know it is heavily used in schools these days, I don't think it is useful for a French-speaking child, as it's almost like learning another language, on top of English.


message 14: by Carol (new)

Carol Dobson | 800 comments I actually prefer non-fiction to fiction, and preferably historical, so am hoping I will be given something by Alison Weir.
I particularly like literature connected with France in some way. Have just started reading Montaillou, by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, and would like something similar. What interests me always is how people lived their lives, not just the rich and famous, but everyone. Particularly like the series on TV at the moment, Secrets of The Castle. Ruth Goodman always extremely entertaining and factual.


message 15: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
What are your favourite Xmas stories and traditions? This has to rate amongst mine. Though reading A Christmas Carol with my family in the four evenings before Xmas has to rate amongst my happiest memories.

The delight on the children's faces and the way they joined in to finish sentences that they (increasingly) remembered was magical - in front of the fire, just wonderful

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/20...


message 16: by DrMama (last edited Dec 21, 2014 05:18AM) (new)

DrMama | 332 comments So far, I've bought The Kills for a friend as she likes this sort of fiction, and also added Ten White Geese (also known in UK as 'The Detour') as it is a superbly well-written and compelling mystery. For my partner I've bought Private Island by James Meek, as it's the sort of reportage he likes, plus Equal Danger and Dossier 51, as from the reviews I've read they sound like he'll love 'em, and finally The State of the Art as he is working his way through Iain M. Banks 'Culture' [sci-fi] series, since we both realised - too late, how good the books are. I'm still searching for something for another friend: our tastes don't coincide, so it may be stationary, or fun art-stuff instead!


message 17: by B J (new)

B J Burton (bjburton) | 314 comments I'm hoping for more 'Just William' audio books. They turn long car journeys into a pleasure.


message 18: by Sue (new)

Sue | 342 comments I have bought aircraft books for son, books about films for other son and Alice in Wonderland for daughter, who asked for it - at 33! My oh is getting one on Palmeston (I know he wanted one about a p,m but not sure if that is the right one - but I shall swear blind that that was the one he wanted if it isn't) I hope to have one of those Devon landscape and literature books that was mentioned here.


message 19: by Ley (new)

Ley Holloway | 173 comments Bought myself a copy of the collectors edition of The Invention of Hugo Cabret with the DVD about Melies and automata. Also a lovely replica of the book Conan Doyle wrote for Queen Mary's Dolls House for my sister's birthday (29th Dec) and the novella by Patrick Rothfuss for my other sister who's birthday is in jan. we are both waiting for him to get on and publish that third book!


message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Ley wrote: "Bought myself a copy of the collectors edition of The Invention of Hugo Cabret with the DVD about Melies and automata. Also a lovely replica of the book Conan Doyle wrote for Queen M..."

Hadnt heard of either of them. Is the first a novel - cant quite tell from the blurb?


message 21: by Ley (last edited Dec 23, 2014 08:26AM) (new)

Ley Holloway | 173 comments The Hugo Cabret one is a rather wonderful book told partly in words and partly in beautiful drawings, written for children but I loved it. They made a film, just called Hugo, with Ben Kingsley as Melies. It's a nice film, with lovely cameo performances from Richard Griffiths and Frances De La Tour, it also has the only watchable performance from Sacha Baron Cohen. Brian Selznick has written another one in the same style called Wonderstruck


message 22: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Ley wrote: "The Hugo Cabret one is a rather wonderful book told partly in words and partly in beautiful drawings, written for children but I loved it. They made a film, just called Hugo, with Ben Kingsley as M..."

Thanks - they look like lovely stories


message 23: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Shuker (kathyshuker) | 527 comments I have no idea what books I might get for Christmas but I'll certainly be disappointed if there isn't at least one... :)
Have a happy and peaceful Christmas everyone and best wishes for 2015.


message 24: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Kathy wrote: "I have no idea what books I might get for Christmas but I'll certainly be disappointed if there isn't at least one... :)
Have a happy and peaceful Christmas everyone and best wishes for 2015."


You too Kathy - and thanks for the support you have given to the Book Club. I hope that we can meet at some point in 2015.


message 25: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Well, Santa didn't let me down. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage appeared under the tree. I am thrilled with that. I love Haruki Murakami. Once I finish The Royal Lacemaker this is next on my reading list. Will also help me with the first Book Club Challenge as Murakami was one of the members choices.

What books did you receive?


message 26: by Colin (new)

Colin Bray (colinbray) | 32 comments I have received one book - so far - 'Compartment No.6' by Rosa Liksom (a Finnish book, translated into English) from a Finnish friend.

I gave one book - 'How To Eat Out' by Giles Coren.

I like the idea of Haruki Murakami, Ian, but having been seduced by his intriguing blurb and cover more than once I have returned his books to the library largely unread. Perhaps one of these days I will learn to love him like you do...


message 27: by Kathy (last edited Dec 26, 2014 02:21AM) (new)

Kathy Shuker (kathyshuker) | 527 comments I have received two books: Gone with the Wind and Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, 18th edition (19th edition actually). The former is on my reading list (and will need a decent spell of time to read from the looks of it!) and the latter will be fascinating - I love dictionaries of every kind... Heaven.


message 28: by Carol (new)

Carol Dobson | 800 comments Have received no books at all, but gave son a travel guide to the Baltimore, Annapolis and Chesapeake Bay region, so have been reading about the history of that area before it is taken home.


message 29: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Colin wrote: "I have received one book - so far - 'Compartment No.6' by Rosa Liksom (a Finnish book, translated into English) from a Finnish friend.

I gave one book - 'How To Eat Out' by Giles Coren.

I like th..."


Fascinating how different books speak to us isn't it. I love the unique voice he brings. A completely differnet kind fo story - teller. What put you off?


message 30: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Kathy wrote: "I have received two books: Gone with the Wind and Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, 18th edition (19th edition actually). The former is on my reading list (and wil..."

Looks interesting Kathy - havent seen this before - will definitely have a look - imagine they have a copy in our local library


message 31: by DrMama (new)

DrMama | 332 comments I only received one book: a wonderful yet simple sewing handbook. It's perfect, as my lifelong, yet occasional, sewing habit seems to have quadrupled since moving to Devon - I blame the time and expense taken to travel to city Department stores... it's easier, more original (and cheaper) to make my own! But some of my sewing skills are rusty, while others were never learned, so this should improve my appearance.
This friend is the only one who ever buys me books, and usually they relate to my reading and research interests. Our literary lives have overlapped - still do - and we know each others' loves so well that it's safe to buy each other books. Otherwise most folk avoid books for me - or give book tokens - as I've either got them, read them, or wouldn't want them. Also, I have got too many books. My partner jokes that the corner of our house where I work is subsiding .... at least I think he's joking.


message 32: by DrMama (last edited Dec 26, 2014 05:36AM) (new)

DrMama | 332 comments Kathy wrote: "I have received two books: Gone with the Wind and Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, 18th edition (19th edition actually). The former is on my reading list (and wil..."

Hi Kathy, Merry Boxing Day! If you find you want to know more of the background etc of 'GWTW' once you've read it, I can recommend Scarlett's Women: Gone With the Wind and Its Female Fans by Helen Taylor (plus a lot more after that). Helen Taylor spoke at Dartington this year, and a friend of mine asked if it was true that, originally, Margaret Mitchell had intended to call Scarlett by a different name ... Turns out it was true, and the name MM had in mind was very, very different indeed. Anyone know?


message 33: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Shuker (kathyshuker) | 527 comments DrMama wrote: "I only received one book: a wonderful yet simple sewing handbook. It's perfect, as my lifelong, yet occasional, sewing habit seems to have quadrupled since moving to Devon - I blame the time and e..."
Hi DrMama. Thanks and the same to you! And thanks for the offer re GWTW though, looking at the length of it and the size of font, it might be some time...
A friend did tell me the original name - and I know it was banal and nothing like as suitable as the final choice - but I can't for the life of me remember what it was now! Shows the importance of a name when writing a character. I may not have read the book yet but I have gathered that Scarlett is pretty perfect...


message 34: by Nick (new)

Nick Ian wrote: "Well, Santa didn't let me down. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage appeared under the tree. I am thrilled with that. I love Haruki Murakami. Once ..."

If you like Murakami then you have to read both Ficciones and Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges. Not only is he the root master of the genre. But he is also the twentieth century master par-excellence. Without Borges twentieth century literature would not exist, at least not in the forms it morphed itself in to over the past one hundred odd years, and Murakami would have been a different writer.


message 35: by B J (new)

B J Burton (bjburton) | 314 comments Well, it's probably only worth reading one of them since twelve of the short stories in Ficciones are repeated in Labyrinths.
Borges was certainly an odd chap. He frequently belittled his own work ["the irresponsible sport of a shy sort of man who could not bring himself to write short stories, and so amused himself by changing and distorting (sometimes without aesthetic justification) the stories of other men"], while at the same time bitterly complaining that he'd not received a Nobel Prize for Literature.
Didn't he fall out of favour because of his right-wing views?


message 36: by Colin (new)

Colin Bray (colinbray) | 32 comments Hi Ian - re: Murakami. I have found his writing disengaged and dense which is a shame because the stories sound great in precis.

Having said that I haven't got very far with either title attempted (Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) and more patience may well have paid off.

Will put him back on the rather long list of authors to explore...


message 37: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Nick wrote: "Ian wrote: "Well, Santa didn't let me down. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage appeared under the tree. I am thrilled with that. I love Haruki Murakami by Borges a couple fo years ago but wasn't blown away. I'll add your recommendations to my list though - perhaps those are better


message 38: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Colin wrote: "Hi Ian - re: Murakami. I have found his writing disengaged and dense which is a shame because the stories sound great in precis.

Having said that I haven't got very far with either title attempte..."


Try Kafka on the Shore to start you off - a bit shorter than wind up bord (though I loved that too)


message 39: by Angela (new)

Angela Hobbs | 222 comments I was really pleased to receive Canada by Richard Ford, looking forward to reading it soon. I have also read a few Murakami novels and particularly enjoyed Kafka on the Shore.


message 40: by Carol (new)

Carol Dobson | 800 comments My birthday was on the 28th, and a friend has very kindly given me a small book, Tales from Devon Folklore, by James Whinray.


message 41: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "My birthday was on the 28th, and a friend has very kindly given me a small book, Tales from Devon Folklore, by James Whinray."

Tales From Devon Folklore looks really interesting Carol. I've not really read much of this kind of book but you have whetted my appetite


message 42: by Carol (new)

Carol Dobson | 800 comments Ian wrote: "Carol wrote: "My birthday was on the 28th, and a friend has very kindly given me a small book, Tales from Devon Folklore, by James Whinray."

Tales From Devon Folklore looks really..."

By the way, Ian, I've been looking at the Murakami books to choose mine to read. A friend has recommended Norwegian Wood, and I noticed that you gave it 4 stars, not 5. Have you reservations about it, or do you not tend to give 5 stars?


message 43: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "Ian wrote: "Carol wrote: "My birthday was on the 28th, and a friend has very kindly given me a small book, Tales from Devon Folklore, by James Whinray."

Tales From Devon Folklore ..."


I dont give many 5 stars. I liked Norweigan wood but prefered kafka on teh Shore (which I did give 5 stars to)


message 44: by Ley (new)

Ley Holloway | 173 comments I have a book token waiting for me to go to Waterstones, probably tomorrow.


message 45: by Ian (new)

Ian | 3053 comments Mod
Ley wrote: "I have a book token waiting for me to go to Waterstones, probably tomorrow."

I love that moment of anticipation. Tell us what you choose.


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