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LizF

It's good to read out of your comfort zone and experience other lives and other times but equally when real life is getting you down, a comfort read can be 'just the ticket' to provide relief as an elderly gentleman I used to know would have said.

I haven't read any James Baldwin so he has gone on the look-out-for list but I must get back to reading Antonia White. I read the first two books about Clara Batchelor longer ago than I care to remember but I didn't have the third and fourth until fairly recently when they turned up in a charity shop. I know that I still have the first two, somewhere, so all I have to do is find them... could take a while!

You are in for a treat when you finally read Anne Tyler. I haven't read all of them by any means but enough to know that a new one is always worth waiting for.

I have a collection of Angela Thirkell novels bought over the years but it has taken me until this week to actually start reading them. I'm not far into High Rising but really wondering what took me so long because I am loving it!

Janet

Surprisingly enough I read all of James Baldwin's books when I was a teenage, knew no African-Americans or anyone gay, yet his writing was so powerful and beautiful that they stayed with me long after I'd finished them.
Angela Thirkell is my go-to author when I need a good laugh. Someone once described her as the female P.G. Wodehouse.

Stefanie

I really need to read Baldwin sometime both his fiction and his nonfiction which I have heard is pretty amazing. As usual you have quite a variety of books on the go!

iliana

I love what you said about why we read and getting out of our comfort zone. I also have my comfort zone books but it is important to read about other lives, situations, etc. I think that helps us understand the world we live in much better. So glad you got Photobooth. I haven't started it yet but am hoping to this weekend before I have to return it unread! :)

Danielle

Oh, yes, I am all for comfort reads! I always have a steady stream of them. That's what the reread of The Crimson Rooms was all about and now I am on to the sequel, and the Thirkell also easily falls into that category, too! I should be finishing the James Baldwin today and he is really marvelous, though he does make you feel quite sad by what is happening in the story. I'm a little fearful to finish and find out just what happened, but he does prepare the reader somewhat. I think I might try Langston Hughes next. I am now reading the fourth of the Antonia White books and it is excellent. Clara is a maddening character for me, but I do love the story--it makes you think. But I do hope for her eventual happiness. And I have just barely started reading Anne Tyler's newest. Have you read it? You are right--her writing style is wonderful. It's really sort of visual--I can see these characters and the situation they are in. I know I have too many books started--I want to read them all right now, but I have to stagger my reading and am always ready to reach for that other story.... Isn't Angela Thirkell great? Sort of silly and spoofis, a little like Wodehouse maybe. I forgot, too, how much I enjoy her books. I have the next three all lined up--and maybe several more. I found a number of them remaindered at Daedalus books--they are an online bookstore (maybe there is a bricks and mortar one somewhere?) that sells mostly sale books. I hope to make my way through the Barsetshire books this year as well!

Danielle

It is silly of me not to have picked him up earlier and I don't mean to say I wouldn't ever read about lives different than my own, but I just tend to read about women's lives--a story I can imagine myself in maybe. That said, I will be reading much more of James Baldwin, and I plan on reading more diverse authors this year in general. I was just thinking that Angela Thirkell reminds me a lot of Wodehouse--glad I am on the right track! She is quite amusing and as I have collected a number of her books I will be reading more of those this year, too!

Danielle

He is wonderful and I am surprised you haven't already read him--your reading is so much more varied than my own. I am very happy to read more of him if you would want to read one of his books in tandem (and I promise whoever we pick next---I will make a better go at sticking with--poor Gilead, but I fear that is a book that might well go to the used bookstore for a new home).

Danielle

I agree and really want to read more varied authors this year and not just my typical books. I am very, very predictable when it comes to reading. And familiarity is wonderful and why I also read, but so many surprises and wonderful books I am missing out on otherwise. Time to explore more of them. The Photobooth book looks really great--so glad you mentioned it. I have a fun postcard to send to you that you will greatly appreciate, so watch your mailbox this month! :)

LizF

Yes I have read A Spool of Blue Thread and thoroughly enjoyed it. I always feel that Tyler has a deceptively easy style which draws you in so I tend to get immersed in her books.
I haven't read them all by any means but it won't surprise you to learn that they are all on my shelves!
I am still loving High Rising and you are right about the resemblance to Wodehouse though it is decades since I read any of those! I have quite a lot of the Barsetshire novels - a mixture of old hardback copies from charity shops and some very pretty Virago editions too and I think that I will probably try and work my way through them this year as a light relief to harder edged reading and life in general!

Danielle

Now I have had to put my Thirkell on the backburner temporarily--must, must finish something soon (w/out starting more new books--hah!). But I am thoroughly enjoying the Tyler and yes, you are right she is such an engaging writer. I find I don't want to put the book down even though it seems as though not much really happens. No matter, I still want to read on. And now I will be looking for all her other books--I do have some on my shelves, but if they are all this good....oh dear.....

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