The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

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message 1: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.), Founder (last edited Sep 02, 2010 08:41AM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
My name is Chris, I am 54 years young, and I live in Santa Clarita, just north of Los Angeles, California. I am married with four children and three grandchildren.

I have always been a reader and lover of books, but now that I am in my mid-fifties I am finding that I am truly interested in reading the really 'good stuff' these days. Consequently, I have tended to concentrate on the great books and poetry of the British, American, French, and Russian canons from the 1700s on. I truly believe that I am reading some of the best books of my life right now. I am also really lucky in that I spend about two hours a day commuting on a train; so I have loads of reading time!

About two years ago I jumped into blogging about books and poetry. I am having a lot of fun with that too. If you're interested, please feel free to have a look at my scribblings at http://www.lonebearimagesprose.blogsp....

I am also an enthusiastic amateur landscape photographer. I have always loved the challenge of trying to make a photograph that captures the beauty of the world around us. I maintain an on-line collection of my landscape photography at http://photo.net/photos/lonebearimages.


message 2: by MadgeUK (last edited May 16, 2011 04:59AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments I am Madge from Hertfordshire UK. I am a 78 year old widow living with my 21 year old black cat Cleo and a couple of weekday lodgers whom I rarely see. I have four children and six grandchildren, two of whom live nearby.

As my background has been in politics, I read a lot of the sort of political books and articles that most people find boring and don't want to discuss but I also like classic novels of the period this bookclub will be discussing. I am not a great fan of modern lit but do try to keep up with it via the various prizewinning novels which come to my attention. I also have a keen interest in (and knowledge of) social history and look forward to discussing this aspect of English literature.

My hobbies are gardening and taking 'jaunts' to the gardens of Britain and Europe. Supplementary to this, I take lots of photographs of gardens and use these to make birthday cards and calendars for my family and friends. I am also an insomniac and to while away my wakeful hours I spend a lot of time - too much! - on the computer talking about gardening and books.

I do not have a blog - I do all my blogging in book clubs! :):) Nor do I belong to any social networking websites.


message 3: by Joy (new)

Joy (joylnorth) Hello, my name is Joy, and I'm a bibliophile. However, I think am in good company here! I currently live in hot-as-Hell Phoenix, AZ with my wonderful husband and our black lab Riley.

My literary interests range from Jane Austen to Kurt Vonnegut, and everything in between as long as it is well written and engaging. However, the genre I am particularly interested in is Victorian Literature, and I hope to go to grad school to further study the many great authors and works of literature from that period. I am also interested in the theory of the novel, both as a literary genre and cultural product. Therefore, I think that looking at poetry and works of non-fiction along with novels in this group will be interesting as well as enlightening.

I look forward to reading and discussing books with you all!


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Hello, I'm David and I live in remote Mid Wales along with my wife and an old horse (he lives in the 8 acres behind the house). I delight in my five grandchildren whom i see regularly although both my children live in the SE of England.

I enjoy good food, good wine and good conversation, and we both enjoy visiting other countries and imbibing a bit of culture.

My main reading ambition is to get to know the works of the winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature in the firm belief that they will give me a good understanding of what makes the world tick. Hence I am currently reading Henryk Sienkiewicz's With Fire and Sword: Volume 1 and enjoying it immensely.


message 5: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments It is good to see you here David! I think some of the authors we read here will be pre-Nobel prize but no doubt you can point us in the direction of others:).


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi everyone, my name is Sharon and I am from southwestern Ohio. I am a 50-something administrative assistant for the sales department of a global foodservice equipment manufacturer. I have two adult daughters and two granddaughters (age 2 1/2 and 11): one of my daughters and the grandchildren live with me. I also share my home with 6 cats, a dog, and approx. 1500 books!

I have been an avid reader since early childhood. I enjoy reading a wide variety of good literature, but especially books written during the 19th century and early 20th century. I also love history, so I am interested in non-fiction books about the authors discussed here as well as political/cultural topics.


message 7: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Hello Sharon - what a wonderful household! I look forward to sharing some political/cultural titbits with you since most folks like to avoid the subject:D.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you for the welcome, Madge!


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
I, too, wish to welcome Madge, Joy, David, and Sharon to the group! I look forward to getting to know each of you better here. I think we shall have great fun! Cheers! Chris


message 10: by Grace Tjan (new)

Grace Tjan I'm Sandy and I live in Jakarta, Indonesia, with hubby, daughter, son and our Mini Schnauzer, Max (it's him up there in my avatar!).

I've always been a bookworm (aren't we all?), but have only begun to delve into the classics in these past two years, since joining GR. I'm also a history buff and love historical fiction.


message 11: by Grace Tjan (new)

Grace Tjan MadgeUK wrote: "Hello Sharon - what a wonderful household! I look forward to sharing some political/cultural titbits with you since most folks like to avoid the subject:D."

I love Madge's tidbits! ;)


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Sandybanks wrote: "I'm Sandy and I live in Jakarta, Indonesia, with hubby, daughter, son and our Mini Schnauzer, Max (it's him up there in my avatar!).

I've always been a bookworm (aren't we all?), but have only be..."


Oh, Sandy, I am so glad that you are here with us too! Welcome aboard!


message 13: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Ooooh!


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi everyone. I'm Kate. Madge invited me over here and I have to say this looks like a great idea for a group. I read bits and pieces of everything, but if someone was to pin me down and sit on me I'd have to admit that the 19th century poetry and literature are my favorites.

As for me, I live on the west side of Puget Sound with my husband and a varying number of pets. I enjoy good food, good books and interesting conversation, so I look forward to trading ideas with everyone.


message 15: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Lovely to see you here Kate!


message 16: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Hello from Australia. I'm Jan from Perth. I'm a 54 year old grandmother who led a very active life until recently. I ice-skated on Mondays, tap-danced on Tuesdays, rollerbladed on Wednesdays, went for walks on the beach or in the bush on Thursdays and did the housework on Fridays, visited the grandchildren and caught up with a large extended family on weekends. But 3 months ago I fell backwards at rollerblading and broke my left arm. I couldn't do much. Couldn't even sleep properly. So I started using the computer, and when I tired of researching fractured humerus...I started looking around. I joined facebook and although it was eye-opening, it only kept my interest for 5 minutes a day. About two months ago I decided I wanted to list all my books. Then I discovered Goodreads. Not only have I made a start on listing my books, I've started reading novels again...I'd been stuck in biographies and nonfiction for years. In addition I've started writing poetry and stories again after a 30 year gap. I've made friends all over the world.
Today my thermo-plastic cast came off after 14 long weeks, so I thought I would celebrate the day by joining this group with friends old and new. Sometimes on the radio they've spoken about 'finding your tribe'...the people who are on the same wavelength. I've found my tribe, and in the process reconnected with my creativity and my love of good books. And...I'm having so much fun!


message 17: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Hello Jan - great to see you here and Congratulations on being a free woman again! You forgot to say that your particular tribe hails from Hardy's Wessex!:) I hope you will be able, in between all those incredible activities, to tell us about some great Australian literature. Sometimes I think we are too focussed on British and American novels and that we ought to look beyond the Atlantic ocean and beyond the English Channel.


message 18: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Madge, that's my matrilineal side...you see when they arrived in Australia, everyone mixed and I also have ancestral links to Bristol, Hull, Nottingham, Bedford,Sunderland, Scotland and Sweden.
But what I was referring to above was "tribe" in terms of group of people that you have something in common with ...not ancestral...in this case it's our love of good books.


message 19: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Yes, I realise that you meant that you and I, and others here, are now part of a tribe Jan - I was just teasing you:).


message 20: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Well, I fell for it ...hook, line and sinker!


message 21: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Sorry, I guess it must be my English sense of humour:(. But I love the idea that you might be descended matrilineally from Hardy or folks that Hardy knew.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "Sorry, I guess it must be my English sense of humour:(. But I love the idea that you might be descended matrilineally from Hardy or folks that Hardy knew."

Interestingly enough, but from the Hardy biographies I have read (Tomalin's and Millgate's), members of Hardy kith and kin did periodically leave Dorset and emigrated to Australia and/or Canada. Cool, huh?

A big hearty welcome to you, Jan! I am delighted to make your acquaintance, and truly look forward to getting know you better. I am so glad to have another poet among us too! I bet you are so glad to get the cast off of your poor arm too! Cheers! Chris


message 23: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments There you are Jan - can I have your autograph please?:)


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
And what a wonderful 'Tribe' we are becoming! ;-)


message 25: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments OK Madge...please pass your autograph book, thankyou*selects a nice pen, opens a page in Madge's autograph book and proceeds to write*:

For Madge

She's not a fan of facebook
She's not a fan of nooks
She likes politics and gardening
And reading lots of books.

She's into social history
She doesn't have a blog
And you'll hardly ever find her
Sleeping like a log.

While up all night she's finding
Websites educational
One thing's for sure...our Madge
Is truly sensational!

signed by Jan


message 26: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.), Founder (last edited Sep 02, 2010 08:06AM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Jan wrote: "OK Madge...please pass your autograph book, thankyou*selects a nice pen, opens a page in Madge's autograph book and proceeds to write*:

Jan, this is simply awesome, and ever so true! Hear, hear! Lovely, lovely poem! Jan, I do believe that you have just donned the mantle of this group's Poet Laureate!

Cheers! Chris


message 27: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Thankyou thankyou Chris and Ami.


message 28: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Oh my Jan - what a wonderful tribute!! Thankyou so very much! I shall print that out and put it on the wall beside my computer. And from a descendant of Thomas Hardy too:D:D.


message 29: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments Good day to everyone! I am a 30 year old Accountant from Trinidad and Tobago, who goes by the name of Kester. I have a great interest in classic literature and I am looking forward to interesting discussions and meeting all you fellow bookworms.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Kester wrote: "Good day to everyone! I am a 30 year old Accountant from Trinidad and Tobago, who goes by the name of Kester. I have a great interest in classic literature and I am looking forward to interesting d..."

Welcome, Kester! We are all delighted to have you joining us here. Have fun browsing about and pitching in as the spirit moves you! Cheers! Chris


message 31: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 02, 2010 10:40AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Kester, Hello Hello Hello! I was married in San Fernando in 1978 to a Trinidadian. Sadly, he died in 1998:(). We visited your wonderful island (and Tobago) often. Only this afternoon (truly) I gave my young grandson, recently into rap, some old Calypsos I tape recorded over 30 years ago. I spent several happy hours yesterday listening to some old pan and calypso recordings so it is an utter and marvellous coincidence that you have come online today! A Big Welcome from England!

Let's have a Jump Up to celebrate (I love Pan):-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnuyIV...

And we'll sing one of my favourite Calypsos 'Progress' by King Austin, as relevant now as it was 30 years ago! I love calypsos dealing with social history:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnuyIV...

(Stay with it folks - the intro is bad)


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Welcome, Jan and Kester!


message 33: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments Thank you all for the love and good cheer! I feel most welcomed. Madge, it's great to know that you consider our tiny island such a wonderful place; I am truly proud and honored.


message 34: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 02, 2010 10:44AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments The honour is mine Kester - you have made an old Yorkshirewoman very happy today:). Now you must recommend some good Trinidadian and Caribbean novels and poems. I am fond of Derek Walcott but he of course is from St Lucia - Midsummer is a beautiful little book of poems which gives a flavour of the tropics.. And V S Naipaul is good for local Trinidadian dialect and colour, though he is rather dated now and has been somewhat discredited I think?


message 35: by Grace Tjan (new)

Grace Tjan Hi Kester! It's great that we have someone from Trinidad & Tobago here. I must confess that I know very little about T&T, except for what I learned from V.S. Naipaul's books. Is he popular there? *curious* :)


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

I used to visit San Fernando quite frequently when I sailed with Shell Tankers (UK) and I seem to remember playing cricket at the Shell Club. We were one of the first commercial ships to dry dock at Chageramas Bay (is that right?) after the US Navy had vacated that facility.


message 37: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Madge...I'm not actually a Hardy descendant. My great(x3)grandfather was a stonemason, from Langton Matravers and we know the family was in Dorset from at least the sixteenth century....possibly earlier but records before that are hard to find....I feel another poem coming on...

From "Wessex" country I descend
From Hardy I am not...
We've Brown and Marshfield, Bartlett, Phippard
Spencer, in my lot!


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Jan wrote: "Madge...I'm not actually a Hardy descendant. My great(x3)grandfather was a stonemason, from Langton Matravers and we know the family was in Dorset from at least the sixteenth century....possibly ea..."

Oh, Jan, you are just too delightful! I think we should start preserving these in a thread devoted to "Jan's Poetic Musings."


message 39: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Not just for me, maybe in the poetry corner you could have a thread for "our poems"...by members of the group.


message 40: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Jan wrote: "Madge...I'm not actually a Hardy descendant. My great(x3)grandfather was a stonemason, from Langton Matravers and we know the family was in Dorset from at least the sixteenth century....possibly ea..."

LOL Jan Laureate. You are intent on spoiling my dream:).


message 41: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Hi there Ami - WOW! Finance and Chemistry - are you aiming to become an Alchemist?!


message 42: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments Madge and Sandybanks; Mr Naipaul is well respected in Trinidad however he has snubbed this country on a number of ocassions so there is a love-hate relationship. To be quite frank I am not very familiar with West Indian authors' work as I focus heavily on classic literature and have neglected the local stuff.

Ami; wwelcome


message 43: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 04, 2010 02:59AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Well Kester, you will have to do some research because I insist (!) that we read at least one Trinidadian author here. So there! (stamps foot) :).


message 44: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Better to try spinning straw, Ami.


message 45: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments LOL. (Note to Chris: There are some strange people in this bookclub:O)


message 46: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments I'll make sure I don't 'let down my hair' anywhere near you then.


message 47: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments Madge I take that as a challenge. I will report back to you ASAP. Ami; you go girl! Finance and Chemistry together with classic literature. Quite a mix.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Hello Everyone,
I'm Nicki and I live in Virginia. Aside from reading great books, I enjoy baking, cooking, crochet, gardening, film, making beaded jewelry, and let's see, what else. . . rummaging through antique stores and used bookshops, and learning about photography (a new interest - I'm most assuredly a novice, but I'm learning).

Looks like a great group!


message 49: by Joy (new)

Joy (joylnorth) It is so wonderful to have such a wide and varied range of members. We shall have a great wealth of knowledge and perspectives to draw upon in our discussions, I am sure!

Welcome, one and all!


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Nicki, I am so glad that you've found us and joined up! Welcome aboard!


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