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50 Book Challenge 2018 Part Six

southeastdweller · 05/06/2018 08:12

Welcome to the sixth thread of the 50 Book Challenge for this year.

The challenge is to read fifty books (or more!) in 2018, though reading fifty isn't mandatory. Any type of book can count, it’s not too late to join, and please try to let us all know your thoughts on what you've read.

The first thread of the year is here, the second one here, the third one here, the fourth one here, and the fifth one here.

How're you getting on so far?

OP's posts:
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Piggywaspushed · 07/06/2018 08:26

Of course I have the physical book! I am addicted to book buying! It is a lovely cover.

I just find her style very intricate and it needs proper concentration.

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Ratcarguy407 · 07/06/2018 09:19

Hi guys first post for me Blush wasn't sure if there was an introduction section...couldn't really see one.

Started trying to read more again after quite a turbulent personal year. Only been a few only have 1 under my belt so far....

1: The Long Ride Home: Sydney to London - Nathan Millward

I have listed this in bold as it's my current favourite book. This must be the third or fourth time I have read it.

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ScribblyGum · 07/06/2018 09:24

But after doing a bit of satisfying hard reading you can close it and then mindlessly marvel at the lovely shiny cover. I liked tilting it in the sun.

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ScribblyGum · 07/06/2018 09:27

Welcome to the thread Ratcarguy Smile. No intros necessary, just tell us about the books you’ve read/are reading.

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Ratcarguy407 · 07/06/2018 09:55

Thanks ScribblyGum. In that case...I'm also currently reading...

Strongman: My Story - Eddie "The Beast Hall
The Old Man and the Sand Eel - Will Millard

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StitchesInTime · 07/06/2018 11:50

Bringing my list over, and thanks for the new thread :

  1. Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh
  2. The Sixth Extinction by James Rollins
  3. Sky Key by James Frey
  4. Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
  5. The Reproductive System by John Sladek
  6. Malice by Keigo Higashino
  7. Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  8. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
  9. The Atlantis Plague by A. G. Riddle
  10. Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino
  11. Disclaimer by Renee Knight
  12. Walk by Shoto Radford
  13. Accidents Happen by Louise Millar
  14. Departure by A.G.Riddle
  15. Angel of Storms by Trudi Canavan
  16. Anxiety for Beginners by Eleanor Morgan
  17. Exposure by Aga Lesiewicz
  18. The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman
  19. The Power by Naomi Alderman
  20. Haunting Christmas Tales
  21. Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
  22. Uniquely Human by Dr Barry M. Prizant with Tom Fields-Meyer
  23. Impact by Adam Baker
  24. The Very First Damned Thing / When A Child Is Born / Roman Holiday / Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings / The Great St. Mary’s Day Out / My Name is Markham by Jodi Taylor
  25. Lies, Damned Lies and History by Jodi Taylor
  26. The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah
  27. Starlight by Melissa Landers
  28. The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  29. Autism and the Stress Effect by Theresa Hamlin
  30. Zero Day by Jan Gangsei
  31. Empire Games by Charles Stross
  32. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
  33. The Spark by Kristine Barnett
  34. The Girl Before by JP Delaney
  35. Lily Alone by Vivien Brown
  36. The Expats by Chris Pavone
  37. My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon
  38. Rules of the Game by James Frey
  39. My Not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
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StitchesInTime · 07/06/2018 12:07

Terpsichore my local library is still using Overdrive for e-books. Although they have changed their provider for digital magazines recently.

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virginqueen · 07/06/2018 12:21

Thanks for the thread. When you talk about bringing a list over, do you mean cut and paste ? Or do we have to type it all again ? I'm a bit of a luddite when it comes to computers ! Anyway my latest are;
24. Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
An interesting read about a young woman attempting to escape her mother's domination.
25. Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell
The last one she wrote, not her best, but still a wonderful author.
26. The Sell out by Paul Beatty
I wanted to like this more than I am. Extremely wordy and seems to hammer home his point. But I will probably finish it.

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StitchesInTime · 07/06/2018 12:30

40. The Apartment by S.L. Grey

Holiday house swap goes badly wrong, complete with malevolent supernatural entity.

41. Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb

Book 3 of Fitz and The Fool.
I’m not going into detail about the plot, except to say that this final book brings in characters from the Liveships trilogy and the Rain Wild Chronicles. I found myself dipping back into those several times while reading Assassin’s Fate to remind myself about the history of those characters.

I loved this book. Thoroughly absorbing, emotionally wrenching in places, and I’m sad to have finished it and have none of it left to read.

This isn’t one for readers new to Robin Hobb though. Definitely best to start at the beginning with Assassin’s Apprentice, the first book featuring Fitz, and to read on from there.

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Cedar03 · 07/06/2018 12:48

Tanaqui - the mystery of the haybox oven! This seemed terribly strange when I was a child. I am still not convinced that it would work although it is clearly the same idea as a slow cooker. Toward the end of the book there is a terrible worry about how they are going to manage for clothes as they have all grown and don't have any money. But there is their parent's money there, just not given to them except for a small amount. It's also interesting that they don't have any domestic help at the start of the book but they somehow have the money for two airfares to Europe. If you could afford to fly in 1930 something I would have thought you could afford a cleaner.
Anyway, clearly overthinking a children's book Smile

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clarabellski · 07/06/2018 13:25

Hi new thread!

  1. Why Mummy Drinks by Gill Sims.
  2. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  3. Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie.
    4 Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie.
  4. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.
  5. "Blink" Malcolm Gladwell.
  6. "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pirsig.
  7. "Persepolis RIsing" by James SA Corey.
  8. “Guernica” by Dave Boling.
  9. “Harvest” by Tess Gerritsen.
  10. "Grit" by Angela Duckworth.
  11. "The Hive" by Gill Hornby.
  12. "The Nix" by Nathan Hill.
  13. "That's My Boy" by Jenni Murray.
  14. "The Dispossessed" by Ursula K Le Guin.
    16. "Room" by Emma Donaghue. Picked up for 10p discard as vague memory of wanting to read it back when it came out and never did get around to it. Whilst horrific and fantastical I found the premise fascinating and [SPOILER] wished the author had spent more time in the room.
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Cedar03 · 07/06/2018 15:26

29 Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
In which Rindwind the wizard and Twoflower the Disc's first tourist continue their adventures having fallen off the planet in the first book. Lots to enjoy, including some silly jokes/puns. A re-read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

30 The Floating Admiral by the Detection Club
Slightly odd book. Written in the 1930s by various members of the Detection Club which is/was a club for the writers of detective fiction. Each member wrote a chapter of the book and then passed it forward to the next one. This book contains chapters written by Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers and G K Chesterton among others. The book is slightly uneven because of the different writing styles. And I think it became a bit confusing in places because each author had a different idea for the solution. The various solutions are posted at the back. I am giving nothing away by saying that Agatha Christie's proposed solution involved the main female character turning out to be her long lost brother dressed up as a woman which sounds preposterous. The main plot is that a boat is found early one morning floating upstream containing the body of an admiral who has been stabbed. Whodunnit and why. I quite enjoyed it but the plot was over plotted.

31 The Chateau by William Maxwell
This is a very good book. An American couple visit France shortly after World War 2 and spend some of their time as paying guests at a Chateau. The book is about their worries about how they are perceived by their hosts. There are misunderstandings - large and small. It is very well written. The author describes the stresses and uncertainties of travel in a country where you don't speak the language well - the generosities and kindness, the snubs and rudeness. Very much enjoyed reading this - I'd never heard of the author before and picked it off the shelf at random in the library.

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Dottierichardson · 07/06/2018 16:00

Cedar really interested in your thoughts on Maxwell, he's been on my wishlist for a while, I thought that one sounded good, but wasn't sure.

Do you listen to Backlisted Podcast? If not, you might enjoy it. I started because they'd covered a few of my favourite books and it got me hooked. They do a fortnightly show online, each one highlights a particular book - always from the past - as well as other reviews. The last one was on Willa Cather's My Antonia with her biographer Hermione Lee as a guest. It's a bit like a radio show with guests, a bit of gossip and reviews, headed by Andy Miller who did The Year of Reading Dangerously. They cover a surprisingly wide range of books from Hubert Selby, Ian Fleming, Georgette Heyer to Barbara Comyns, George Saunders and Hilary Mantel.

The reason I brought it up now is that they did one on William Maxwell and his So Long, See You Tomorrow it was quite a good episode and included a reading of one of his stories.

The next one's up in a few days: Angela Carter. But all the old episodes are online:

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Sadik · 07/06/2018 16:05

Cedar - I haven't read The Children who live in a Barn, but I have used a haybox oven :) You bring things to the boil, then put them in the haybox and they cook in the retained heat, it works really well. Works for pulses (except you have to boil them hard for 10mins first), rice, soup/stews etc etc - I've never used a slow cooker but I guess it's the same principle.

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Dottierichardson · 07/06/2018 16:39

Virginqueen re: lists, I don't know how others do it, I just have a list on my laptop, when I post I update it, and I copied & pasted the most recent version into a post when everyone else starting posting theirs. Word numbers it automatically so no major computer know-how needed!

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Cedar03 · 07/06/2018 16:41

Thanks Dottie. I've never heard of that podcast, will check it out.

Sadik ah so a haybox oven is a real thing then!

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Toomuchsplother · 07/06/2018 17:07

Welcome @Ratcarguy407

83. The Children's Act - Ian McEwan
The love /hate thing strikes again!!!
The premise of this book is good. The central character is a female judge who specialises in Family Law and making moral and ethical judgements. E.g should Siamese Twins be separated against wishes of parents, etc. I find these dilemmas fascinating and wish the book had more of this. It focuses on the case of a young boy, almost 18 (this is important) who has leukaemia. He and his parents are Jehovahs Witnesses and therefore opposed to the blood transfusion that could save his life. Fiona (central character) has to rule on this. Meanwhile her marriage is in crisis. I was actually enjoying this until about 2/3 of the way through. And then McEwan makes the main character do something so bizarre that I was actually angry! It was a catalyst for the climax of the book but unnecessary and unbelievable in my opinion. It undermined everything that went before and made his character unbelievable.

On another note I see Home Fire has won the Women's Prize. I enjoyed this one but want my stand out from the short list.

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Tarahumara · 07/06/2018 17:10

Here's my list so far:

  1. White Teeth - Zadie Smith
  2. According to Mark - Penelope Lively
  3. Conversations With Friends - Sally Rooney
  4. Grief is the Thing With Feathers - Max Porter
  5. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
  6. The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting - Kevin Zollman and Paul Raeburn
  7. Out of Time - Miranda Sawyer
  8. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
  9. Gut Symmetries - Jeanette Winterson
  10. Farenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
  11. Born A Crime - Trevor Noah
  12. The Silence Between Breaths - Cath Staincliffe
  13. A Girl is a Half-formed Thing - Eimear McBride
  14. Shadowlands: The True Story of C.S.Lewis and Joy Davidman - Brian Sibley
  15. The Pedant in the Kitchen - Julian Barnes
  16. City of Friends - Joanna Trollope
  17. The Position - Meg Wolitzer
  18. A History of Britain in 21 Women - Jenni Murray
  19. With the End in Mind - Kathryn Mannix
  20. I Am, I Am, I Am - Maggie O'Farrell
  21. Amsterdam - Ian McEwan
  22. Bookworm: a Memoir of Childhood Reading - Lucy Mangan
  23. The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
  24. Burial Rites - Hannah Kent
  25. The End We Start From - Megan Hunter
  26. We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
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Terpsichore · 07/06/2018 18:55

Thanks Stitches. I suppose it varies from library to library but it's frustrating as I've only recently managed to get Overdrive to work, and fiddled around downloading the app etc. Grr.

Cedar I loved The Chateau too. A perfect little gem of a book.

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SatsukiKusakabe · 07/06/2018 19:19

Welcome ratcarguy Smile Just join in the chat wherever you are interested, and post a short review of what you’ve read when you’ve finished.

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SatsukiKusakabe · 07/06/2018 19:20

Enjoying all the reviews and haybox oven chat, too lazy to contribute Grin

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ChessieFL · 07/06/2018 20:12

My list, hihglights in bold:

  1. Jacob’s Room Is Full Of Books by Susan Hill
  2. Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
  3. The Dry by Jane Harper
  4. Best Friends by Jacqueline Wilson
  5. Oh My God What A Complete Aisling by Emer McLysart
  6. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
  7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  8. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
  9. Mrs de Winter by Susan Hill
  10. The Rebecca Notebook And Other Memories by Daphne du Maurier
  11. Wuthering Heights According To Spike Milligan
  12. The Growing Pains Of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend
  13. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  14. All She Wants by Jonathan Harvey
  15. Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott
  16. The Trouble With Goats And Sheep by Joanna Cannon
  17. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  18. Confusion by Elizabeth Jane Howard
  19. The Outcasts Of Time by Ian Mortimer
  20. The Power by Naomi Alderman
  21. How To Stop Time by Matt Haig
  22. The Secret Library by Oliver Tearle
  23. Close To Home by Cara Hunter
  24. Arrowood by Laura McHugh
  25. Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years by Sue Townsend
  26. Pemberley by Emma Tennant
  27. When She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
  28. The Child by Fiona Barton
  29. The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
  30. Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan
  31. Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson
  32. Casting Off by Elizabeth Jane Howard
  33. Timekeepers: How The World Became Obsessed With Time by Simon Garfield
  34. The Hiding Places by Katherine Webb
  35. Dangerous Days In Elizabethan England by Terry Deary
  36. Nelly Dean by Alison Case
  37. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  38. The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory
  39. The Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leanda de Lisle
  40. All Change by Elizabeth Jane Howard
  41. Britain By The Book: A Curious Tour Of Our Literary Landscape by Oliver Tearle
  42. Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes
  43. Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory.
  44. The Runaways by Ruth Thomas
  45. Under The Duvet by Marian Keyes
  46. The Bookshop That Floated Away by Sarah Henshaw
  47. Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain by James Bloodworth
  48. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Tales From The Crematorium by Caitlin Doughty
  49. The Vanishing Of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase
  50. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  51. Odd Child Out by Gilly Macmillan
  52. Relight My Fire by Joanna Bolouri
  53. Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman Of Pleasure by John Cleland
  54. Before You Die by Samantha Hayes
  55. In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
  56. Turn Right At The Spotted Dog: And Other Diversions by Jilly Cooper
  57. The RMS Titanic Miscellany by John D T White
  58. Quiet Power by Susan Cain
  59. The Reunion by Samantha Hayes
  60. Quiet by Susan Cain
  61. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  62. America’s Back Porch by Daniel Jeffreys
  63. Notes From The Sofa by Raymond Briggs
  64. Saturday Requiem by Nicci French
  65. Never Greener by Ruth Jones
  66. Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
  67. This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
  68. A Wild Life by Martin Hughes-Games
  69. Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister
  70. The Years She Stole by Jonathan Harvey
  71. Posing for Picasso by Sam Stone
  72. Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  73. Five Children On The Western Front by Kate Saunders
  74. The Corpse Bridge by Stephen Booth
  75. Bookworm: A Memoir Of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan
  76. The Time Traveller’s Guide To Restoration Britain by Ian Mortimer
  77. Sunday Morning Coming Down by Nicci French
  78. Victoria Wood: Comedy Genius - Her Life And Work by Chris Foote Wood
  79. A Piano In The Pyrenees by Tony Hawk
  80. Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
  81. The Lido by Libby Page
  82. Our House by Louise Candlish
  83. The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower
  84. The Greedy Queen: Eating With Victoria by Annie Gray
  85. The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
  86. The Betrayals by Fiona Neill
  87. Need You Dead by Peter James
  88. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
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ShakeItOff2000 · 07/06/2018 21:04

Thanks for the new thread, South, bringing my list across.

  1. The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette De Bodard.
  2. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout.
  3. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.
    4. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.
  4. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin.
    6. The Outrun by Amy Liptrot.
  5. The Story of the Lost Child (Book 4 of the Neapolitan novels) by Elena Ferrante.
  6. The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake novel 4) by Laurell K.Hamilton.
    9. The Three Body Project by Cixin Liu.
    10. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.
  7. Small Island by Andrea Levy.
  8. The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo.
    13. The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman.
  9. The Places In Between by Rory Stewart.
  10. The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch.
    16. The War on Women by Sue Lloyd-Roberts.
    17. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Audible narration by Simon Callow.
  11. World of Trouble (The Last Policeman Book 3) by Ben H.Winters.
    19. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann.
  12. The Risk of Darkness (Simon Serailler Book 3) by Susan Hill.
  13. SPQR by Mary Beard.
    22. Tess of the D’Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy.
  14. Bloody Bones (Anita Blake Book 5) by Laurel K Hamilton.
  15. Autumn by Ali Smith.
  16. Malice by Keigo Higashino.
    26. The Crow Road by Ian Banks.
  17. In a dark, dark wood by Ruth Ware.
  18. The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry.
  19. The Endless Summer by Madame Nielsen.
  20. Red Sister (Book of the Ancester, Book 1) by Mark Lawrence.
  21. To Be a Machine by Mark O’Connell.
  22. La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. Excellent narration by Michael Sheen.

    Currently reading Do not say we have nothing by Madeleine Thien.
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CluelessMama · 07/06/2018 21:09

Oh so long since I last posted an update, so this is a long overdue catch up...
Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris
Married couple have a relationship and lifestyle that appears 'perfect' to those around them, but all is not as it seems. Psychological thriller, this turned really quite dark and I wasn't enjoying it, but I felt like I had to bear with it to see if there was any kind of positive turn on it's way. Even when I wasn't enjoying it I could see that maybe it was doing what the author intended in making the reader feel uncomfortable. Listened on Audible and it was well narrated, just not really my cup of tea.
The Four Pillar Plan by Rangan Chatterjee
Health and lifestyle advice from the GP who appears on Doctor in the House on TV. I found this interesting - would echo a previous reviewer who said that it includes lots of common sense advice backed up by scientific research. I've read it all, but this is a book I will also dip into again and again.
The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh
A young woman in late 1800s London is left poor and alone after her father's death, so agrees to a marriage proposal and moves to live in South Africa, a kind of frontier setting where life is hard and diamond mining attracts greed and exploitation. To me, one of the key themes of this novel was the limit of options available to a young woman at this time (money, society's expectations etc.), but the main character is a bit pathetic and makes some really bad decisions which had me wishing I could give her a shake!
The Marches by Rory Stewart
This was kind of billed as the MP walking along Hadrian's Wall and exploring the border between Scotland and England with his father, against the backdrop of the Scottish independence referendum and the evolving relationship between Scotland and England. It interested me because the borderlands are my part of the world, but this wasn't quite what I was expecting. The chapters are very short so it doesn't feel like it flows, parts become bogged down in historical detail (especially around the Romans), and some parts are really a tribute to his father who had an extraordinary life. At times he speaks to local people in the borderlands and is quite critical of them personally without really explaining how he came to meet them. There are bits that will stay with me - his views on how we preserve historical sites and artefacts are interesting, as are his thoughts on the way environmental schemes are carried out. Overall a bit disappointing though.
Bring Me Sunshine by Charlie Connelly
Non-fiction book about the weather, by the author of Attention All Shipping about the shipping forecast. Enjoyable, lots in here about some of the amazing characters who have contributed to our knowledge of the weather and how it is recorded. It made me want to read more about weather so will be on the look out.
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
A true standout for me, a rare novel that I finished and wanted to almost immediately start to read again! Some of the events described are brutal and horrific, but the poetic language grabbed me early on and I became more drawn in by the characters and plot as the novel went on. I listened on Audible and thought at times that I would have liked to have been reading in print so that I could reread passages to keep track of what was going on and savour some of the particularly special descriptions and observations, but the narration was very good and probably helped me to make sense of the dialect which was really useful. Of all of the above, this is the book I would recommend!
I think that's book 22, have started Harvest by Jim Crace but too busy and tired to manage more than 5 pages a night this week...roll on the weekend!

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MegBusset · 07/06/2018 23:22

Thanks for the new thread, South :)

Continuing a run of great reads, and carrying on the Kent coast theme after Derek Jarman's diaries, we have:

24. All The Devils Are Here - David Seabrook

Somewhat of a lost esoteric classic by the Canterbury-based writer, who wrote prolifically but only had one other book published before his death in mysterious circumstances in 2009. Seabrook describes the strange, shabby Thanet towns with frequent, sometimes dizzying diversions into tales of madness, murder, and seedy sexual encounters, with occasional dark allusions to his own troubled state. A deeply odd but compelling book and a huge shame that so little of his writing survives.

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