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I read And the Ladies of the Club way back in the '80s and still remember it. I was in a book discussion group and it was our summer read (we did not meet in summer). I took forever, but, back then I was a mother with two small girls to care for and was pleased that I finished it. I think you will enjoy it, Danielle, and it will be the perfect book for picking up and putting down in the manner in which you (and I) read. Love you list.


Bookstore gift cards are so good to receive! I got one this year for Christmas and went out yesterday and bought myself a Bananagrams page-a-day calendar (for my desk at work) and Open City by Teju Cole, which I've been meaning to read for ages. (Though yeah, I'm doing the TBR Double Dare right now, so won't actually read Open City until April at least!)

I've never heard of Natsuo Kirino but The Goddess Chronicle sounds interesting - I don't know any Japanese mythology. And oh, The Primary Colors sounds great!

Claire (The Captive Reader)

I am not sure any of these books - new or old - are for me but I love your three book strategy! I am not sure I could handle that many (I walk rather than drive or bus most places and books, love them as I do, can get heavy) but I love the idea.


I think my copy is a mass market reprint but I must have bought it sometime in the 90s. I've had it ages with the intention initially to read it right away, but then it was sort of forgotten on the shelf and then just recently pulled it out thinking I would start it over vacation. Haven't started it yet, but it does look like a nice long story to bask in for many long afternoons! I'm glad to hear it is one that is easy to dip into and out of. And I am glad I am not alone in my somewhat odd reading habits! :)


Yay for gift cards! I sort of wish I would have gone right away to look at calendars as a coworker showed me the coolest desk calendar she bought that has all sorts of handy things for organizing lists and addresses and such--I am sure they will be long gone by the time I get there! I have heard good things about the Cole book--I have thought of getting it as an audio book, but can't quite decide. At least you've got in a few new books (for later...) before you start the double dog dare! Natsuo Kirino usually writes crime novels, so this sounds like something of a departure, though maybe there is still a crime slant to it--I'm very curious about it! And Primary Colors does sound good--I am always on the look out for books about color--I hope to get to read that one this year!


My list is sort of a hodgepodge of subjects and stories now that I look back at it. They all have interested or intrigued me at one time or another. The ones that appeal the most I think are going to be the hardest ones to get to on my shelves (maybe that is part of their draw...the hunt?! ;) ). I don't own a car so I walk and ride the bus exclusively, and you are very right--they do get heavy. That's why I prefer to stay away from hardcovers and really chunky books tend to get left at home more often than not--why I've taken so long to get going with Camilla as it is not fun to carry. I pack my bookbag every morning and then pick it up and think I've got too much so look in and see what can be left at home! That's the problem with not having a car--I always feel like I am carrying my life with me--all the little necessities. But I can never seem to leave the house (at least going to work--errands are different--just one book is okay then...) with just a book in hand.


Many interesting titles but the two which caught my eye are Nele Neuhaus and Margaret Drabble. I wanted to read Neuhaus and had her novels in my hands (she has written a lot by now) but have you seen how chunky they are? Or, how chunky it is, as it seems there is only one translated so far, right? She is the German crime star at the moment. I should take a picture at the local book shop one of these days, just with the German crime titles. Loads and loads...
I've bought that Margaret Drabble and another one, second hand, thinking the same. I've read Byatt but not her.

Margaret Stedman

Although my beside TBR pile is huge I only ever read one book at a time. However I daily bless Mrs Davidson who taught me speed reading when I was merely 7 years old. She must have realised I would have a lifelong appetite for reading.


I just love your justification for buying books, Danielle! Probably because I use the same excuse myself -the only bit of my reading from home plan that I have stuck to so far is the not getting any books from the library bit but that is because I have used it as my excuse for buying the books if they are old ones and I can get used copies!
You have an interesting list of books as usual! Of the new ones the Thomas Cook and the two Paris related books have gone on my list.
Of the older books, I read and loved And the Ladies of the Club back in the 80's or 90's (can't remember which!) and I have also read the Meera Syal and some of Margaret Drabble's early books. I have some of the more recent ones but haven't read them as yet - no surprise there really!
I do tend to read multiple books in a vain attempt to get through my massive back-log: something relatively small in my work bag (currently one of Ken Bruen's crime novels set in Galway)and two or three at home or at the office (depending on how much work I have on!)
As I am completely up to date with Middlemarch (hurrah), I am about to start Camilla with Fanny Burney's journals as back-up and also begin to read Elizabeth Taylor's short stories as I already have that out.
I really should make a start on An Instance of the Fingerpost too as it looks quite formidable and I really do want to read Cheerful Weather for the Wedding at the end of the month as well ...
Looks like any spare time I have will be spent reading - anyone know how to stretch time?


I always plan on reading the old but the new and shiny are so distracting! I keep meaning to read Drabble sometime too but haven't managed it yet, perhaps if you get to her you will inspire me to do so as well. I read And the Ladies of the Club one summer when I was a teen and liked it. Fond memories of lugging that chunkster to the beach :)


I didn't realize the Neuhaus was a chunky book--I've only just heard of her, so I think you're right it is only the first of her books to be published. I'm always curious about Euro crime novels--especially those written in German so I might have to buy this one. Do take a photo--crime novels are very popular these days! I don't know why I've not read Margaret Drabble yet--I wonder if she is 'easier' or harder than AS Byatt. Byatt always seems so formidable to me!


I think you are wise. Now that I am well into a number of novels I'll be reading them one by one to get through them a little quicker. I just can't quite keep myself from dipping into a variety of them. Lucky you to be a fast reader--I am very slow and it feels like I spend an interminable amount of time on even the shortest books (also probably why I have so many going at once--to fulfill my need for variety and impatience to move on to other stories!).


I am SO good at rationalizations, aren't I?! I think not using the library is only going to increase m purchases. I will have to share the new pile of books I have accumulated since just before the holidays! Surely buying used books is okay--sometimes you can get them dirt cheap! And lately Amazon has been offering such good deals on hardcovers--they are almost at paperback prices! And I am like you on reading several at once--to feel as though I am making progress on my piles, but also because so many books sound good and I want to read them all Now! :) I've only got one cozy mystery under way--I think I'm going to be in need of a good crime novel soon, though am going to try and finish a few other books first. I have yet to try Ken Bruen. Yay for being caught up with Middlemarch--I've only read a little but of Camilla--need to concentrate on her tomorrow. My next short story is pretty short and I have just dipped into Cheerful Weather--it's quite short so shouldn't be much of a problem to read. Time seems to just keep going faster--how to slow it down??!


I know--so far so good, but I have been buying (!) the new in anticipation for getting them in the reading queue at least! I also have a book of Drabble's short stories, so maybe that would be a good introduction to her work. Ladies of the Club seems like a perfect summer read--I think I would like it--a good historical fiction novel--I'm still thinking about when I can read it!


I understand your propensity for lugging multiple books around. I do the same.

I would highly recommend the Morgan Llywelyn Irish series. I ploughed through the entire series a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Because you follow the generations of the same family through the years I would recommend reading them in order.


I'm glad I am not the only one! :) I do sometimes try and just take one or at most two books with me to work, but when I look at my night table each morning and decide which is going to come with me, it's just too hard to choose--especially if I am moving along at a nice pace in more than one. I just have a voracious appetite for books. Thanks for the heads up on the Llywelyn books--I was going to dig out my copy of 1949 this weekend. I wasn't sure if the books were related or not, but as I prefer to read books like this in order I'll start at the beginning. I've had that book for ages and all of a sudden it totally appeals to me to pick up and read!


I am really looking forward to Deanna Raybourn's new book! Love the idea of the setting and it will be interesting to once again compare it to a Lauren Willig novel that is coming out with a similar setting a bit later in the year.


Wow some fantastic books here. Thomas Cook is a travel agents in the UK - but he sounds like a very intriguing crime fiction writer in the US! Frances and Bernard and Lessons in French are both hugely tempting too. And the Ladies of the Club sounds like a real romp (I quite miss the 80s for those blockbusters) and like something I will have to track down, too!


I had no idea that she was working on a new book that wasn't a Lady Julia story. I hope she plans on continuing that series, though I am a couple of books behind now. I think her new one does sound really good, however, and will be getting it as soon as it is released. I think I already have the Willig on my wishlist as well. Lots of good new books to look forward to!


That's right--I've heard of the British Thomas Cook. If you've not read the author, I think you might like him (though maybe you read his Chatham School Affair?). For the moment I'm just going to let these sit in my wishlist, though I might in the end have to order one or two eventually... The 80s really were about blockbusters, weren't they? Not just books but movies, too. I hadn't thought of that. And the Ladies is a massive chunkster that I have opened and thought I'd read on many an occasion. I will get to it someday!


I will definitely be checking out Natsuo Kirino's new book, since I think it's also part of the Canongate Myth series. I recently acquired A.S. Byatt's Ragnarok which I can't wait to read too!


I had no idea the Kirino was part of the Canongate myth series--now I am even more interested. It did seem sort of a departure from her other crime novels, but maybe not so odd after all. I liked Ragnarok, though it was for me a challenging read. I think it is one I will need to reread at some point!

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