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Currently Reading

Thomas Cromwell: A Life
Diarmaid MacCulloch, David Rintoul
Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea
Teffi, Irina Steinberg, Anne Marie Jackson, Robert Chandler, Elizabeth Chandler, Edythe C. Haber
Thomas Cromwell: A Life
Diarmaid MacCulloch
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee, Bob Reed
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection
Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry
The Woman In White
Wilkie Collins
Merlin Trilogy
Mary Stewart
Progress: 612/928 pages

Recently Added

Richard of Bordeaux: A Play in Two Acts - Gordon Daviot
The Wrath and the Dawn - Ariana Delawari, Renee Ahdieh
The Raven Tower - Ann Leckie
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." ― Mae West


"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." ― Mark Twain


"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." ― Robert A. Heinlein


"Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else." ― Judy Garland
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BL-opoly: Scottie Dog Selection (Square #9) -- Please pick my next book!

Hot Sur - David Colacci, Laura Restrepo, Roxanne Hernandez Like Water for Chocolate - Laura Esquivel, Yareli Arizmendi The Raven Tower - Ann Leckie The Wrath and the Dawn - Ariana Delawari, Renee Ahdieh

 

* Laura Restrepo: Hot Sur

* Laura Esquivel: Like Water for Chocolate

* Ann Leckie: The Raven Tower

* Renee Adieh: The Wrath and the Dawn

 

UPDATED July 21: The votes are in: The Raven Tower it is.

Reblogged from Themis-Athena's Garden of Books

Less Than What It Could Have Been

Skeletons: The Frame of Life - Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams

OK, so I admit I didn't check on the authors' scholarly credentials before picking this up -- if I had, I might not have been so disappointed to find that this is not, after all (not even in part) a book dealing with the way in which skeletons help the creatures populating today's world live their lives the way they do.  (The authors are paleobiologists.)  So that one is probably down to me alone, but it still made for more than a bit of a deflating discovery.

 

(Not that I don't like paleobiology.  It just wasn't what the book's title primarily suggested to me; and even less so, the subtitle.)

 

That aspect aside, though, as Elentarri already noted, this is chiefly an overview of the different types of skeletons that have ever existed on Earth; and here's where I really expected more -- more depth, that is, decidedly not more breadth.  Chapters 2 and 3 in particular (the book's two longest individual chapters) are essentially a run-down of every major type of skeleton-equipped creature in existence, all the way back to the Cambrian explosion and forward again from there, which only resulted in making my head spin.  Rather than going on, in the subsequent chapters, to extend the definition of "skeleton" to things not typically associated with that term (pretty much everything from trees to medieval iron-plated armour and space exploration rovers like Curiosity) and trying to prove the validity of that broad definition, I would really have appreciated it more if the authors had (1) limited themselves to a few meaningful examples showing the development of exoskeletons (chapter 2) and endoskeletons (chapter 3) over time, and (2) used more of the available page space explaining how their respective skeletons worked for these animals in particular, and how they evolved to adapt to the changing conditions of their environment.  By the time we got to chapter 7 ("Flying Skeletons") especially, I was hoping for just this type of contents, as for once the chapter title sounded specific enough to suggest just this, but again, unfortunately, the same approach as before prevailed.  Equally disappointing -- though perhaps tell-tale as to the authors' approach -- was the fact that they kept trotting out that generalizing "birds are dinosaurs" line without any sort of explanation or qualification whatsoever.

 

That said, there is no question that this is a book written by two scientists who not only know but truly care about their stuff, and who can write about it without resorting to rhetorical fireworks all the time -- which made for a very nice change compared to some of our recent Flat Book Society reads.  In fact, my disappointment with the superficiality of the contents stems precisely from the fact that these are authors who very well could have provided more depth if they had chosen to; and they could have done so without wasting half the available page space on hyperbole.

 

So in summary, if you're just looking for an overview of all the types of skeletons and skeleton-equipped creatures that have ever existed, plus a bit of (sketchy but factual) biographical information on some of the past heroes (and heroines) of paleobiology and geology, this is your book.  Just don't expect much of the information being provided to be extended to the creatures populating todays world, and none of it to focus on how the skeletons of today's creatures equip them for their respective lifestyles -- let alone, how precisely the human skeleton evolved to its present makeup and what (other than well-known factors such as our brains, erect gait and opposable thumbs) has allowed us to gain such preeminence that we've pushed pretty much every other mammal to the sidelines worldwide and are in a fair way of achieving the same even with creatures that have so far always vastly outnumbered us (such as insects).

 

Three final takeaways:

 

* Note to self: If you want to know about present-day life on earth, don't read a book written by paleobiologists.

 

* After all these millions and millions of years, it still all comes down to plankton.  Kill off the plankton in our oceans, and we're doomed.  (Not the planet as such.  Just us, and pretty much any and all other currently-existing creatures, too; regardless whether landlubbers or oceanic.)

 

* Scientists love science fiction movies, because they love to point out where the "science" in those movies fails.  It's still a good thing, though, that they're neither in charge of movie making nor of public safety, at least not in any scenario even remotely like those typically portrayed in science fiction movies.  Because I really don't believe it would go down well -- either in a movie or in real life -- if in the face of an attack by swarms of giant spiders, or similar exoskeleton-clad monsters, public safety officials were to tell people, "Relax, we just need to wait until they're going to moult ... then we'll get them.  Until then, it's probably a good idea if you don't leave your houses (ever), because yeah, these are man-eaters and they're bigger than us and they're out there to get you.  And no, we don't think they're all going to moult at the same time, either.  But hey, it can only be a matter of time until they do, right??"

 

Around the World in 80 Books Mostly by Female Authors: Master Update Post

[World map created with Mapchart.net]

 

The aim: To diversify my reading and read as many books as possible (not necessarily 80) set in, and by authors from, countries all over the world.  Female authors preferred.  If a book is set in a location other than that of the author's nationality, it can apply to either (but not both).

 

On the map I'm only tracking new reads, not also rereads.

 

The Books:

Africa

Nigeria

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Purple Hibiscus (new)

 

Egypt

Elizabeth Peters: Crocodile on the Sandbank (new)

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Nile (new) and Death on the Nile (revisited on audio)

 

Zimbabwe

Alexandra Fuller: Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight (new)

 

Morocco

Laila Lalami: The Moor's Account (new)

 

Rwanda

Clea Koff: The Bone Woman (new)

 

Ghana

Kofi Annan: Interventions: A Life in War and Peace (new)

 

Sierra Leone

Aminatta Forna: The Memory of Love (new)

 

 

 

 

 

Americas

USA

Michelle Obama: Becoming (new)

Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Red Lamp (new)

Nevada Barr: Track of the Cat (new)

Louise Erdrich: The Plague of Doves (new)

James D. Doss: The Night Visitor (new)

* Puerto Rico

Rosario Ferré: The House on the Lagoon (new)

 

Canada

Stef Penney: The Tenderness of Wolves (new)

Margaret Atwood: Hag-Seed (new)

 

Brazil

Clarice Lispector: The Hour of the Star (new)

 

Curaçao

John le Carré: The Night Manager (new)

 

Dominican Republic

Julia Alvarez: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (new)

 

 

 

 

 

Asia

China

Xinran: The Good Women of China (new)

 

Japan

Shizuko Natsuki: Murder at Mt. Fuji (new)

 

North Korea

Hyeonseo Lee: The Girl with Seven Names (new)

 

South Korea

Min Jin Lee: Pachinko (new)

 

Sri Lanka

Michael Ondaatje: Anil's Ghost (new)

 

Turkey

Elif Shafak: Three Daughters of Eve (new)

 

India

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: Sister of My Heart (new)

M.M. Kaye: Death in Kashmir (new)

 

Kyrgizstan

Chingiz Aitmatov: Jamilia (new)

 

Philippines

Laurence Bergreen: Over the Edge of the World (new)

 

 

 

 

 

Australia / Oceania

Australia

Joan Lindsay: Picnic at Hanging Rock (new)

 

New Zealand

Ngaio Marsh: Vintage Murder and Died in the Wool (both revisited on audio)

Witi Ihimaera: The Whale Rider (new)

 

 

 

 

 

Europe

United Kingdom

Lorna Nicholl Morgan: Another Little Murder (new)

Stephen Fry, John Woolf, Nick Baker: Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets (new)

P.D. James: A Taste for Death (revisited on audio)

Agatha Christie: The Big Four, Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, The Unexpected Guest, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary (twice), Parker Pyne Investigates, and The Mysterious Mr. Quin (all revisited on audio; The Unexpected Guest also in print); The Lost Plays: Butter in a Lordly Dish / Personal Call / Murder in the Mews (new)

Elizabeth Ferrars: Murder Among Friends (new)

Barbara Pym: Excellent Women, Quartet in Autumn, and An Unsuitable Attachment (all new)

Terry Pratchett: Equal Rites (revisited on audio), Mort, and Sourcery (both new)

Georgette Heyer: Why Shoot a Butler?, They Found Him Dead, and A Blunt Instrument (all new)

Nicholas Blake: A Question of Proof (new)

Joy Ellis: The Murderer's Son and The Fourth Friend (both new)

Peter Grainger: An Accidental Death (new)

Elizabeth Gaskell: My Lady Ludlow (new)

Various Authors / Contributors: Agatha Christie Close Up: A Radio Investigation (new)

Virginia Woolf: The String Quartet (new)

John Buchan: The 39 Steps (revisited on audio)

Oscar Wilde: Lord Arthur Savile's Crime (new)

Ellis Peters: The Hermit of Eyton Forest, Dead Man's Ransom, The Leper of Saint Giles, St. Peter's Fair, The Virgin in the Ice, and Monk's Hood (all revisited on audio)

Patricia Wentworth: The Alington Inheritance, The Gazebo, The Benevent Treasure, Anna, Where are You?, The Key, The Ivory Dagger, Out of the Past, The Silent Pool, The Catherine Wheel, and The Fingerprint (all new)

Dorothy L. Sayers: Whose Body? (twice) and The Five Red Herrings (both revisited on audio)

Martin Fido: The World of Sherlock Holmes (new)

Ian Rankin: In a House of Lies (new)

John le Carré: Our Game and A Murder of Quality (both new)

Martin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher: Furry Logic (new)

The Detection Club: The Floating Admiral (reread)

Tony Medawar (ed.) & var. Golden Age mystery writers: Bodies from the Libary (new)

Peter Lovesey: The Last Detective (new)

Colin Dexter: Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories (new)

Miles Burton: The Secret of High Eldersham (new)

Ngaio Marsh: The Nursing Home Murder (revisited on audio)

Ellen Wilkinson: The Division Bell Mystery (new)

Ronald Knox: The Three Taps and The Body in the Silo (both new)

Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility (revisited on audio)

Frank Froest: The Grell Mystery (new)

Julian Symons: The Belting Inheritance (new)

Israel Zangwill: The Perfect Crime, aka The Big Bow Mystery (new)

Richard Hull: The Murder of My Aunt (new)

Elizabeth George: Deception on His Mind (revisited on audio)

Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (new)

C.J. Sansom: Tombland (new)

Winifred Holtby: South Riding (new)

Wendy Moore: Wedlock (new)

J.K. Rowling: The Casual Vacancy (new)

Ruth Rendell: A Sleeping Life and The Monster in the Box (both new)

Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman: Good Omens (revisited on audio)

 

Ireland

Tana French: The Witch Elm (new)

 

Greece

Stephen Fry: Mythos (new)

Madeline Miller: Circe (new)

 

Sweden

Astrid Lindgren: Die Menschheit hat den Verstand verloren: Tagebücher 1939-1945 (A World Gone Mad: Diaries, 1939-45) (new)

 

France

Emmuska Orczy: The Elusive Pimpernel (new)

 

Croatia

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express (revisited on audio)

(Note: Yugoslavia at the time of the writing -- but the action is set after the train has passed Vinkovci, aka "The Gateway to Croatia".)

 

Spain

Dolores Redondo: El guardián invisible / The Invisible Guardian (new)

 

Italy

Andrea Camilleri: The Shape of Water (new)

 

 

 

The "Gender Wars" Stats:

Read to date, in 2019:

Books by female authors: 83

- new: 57

- rereads: 26

 

Books by male authors: 33

- new: 30

- rereads: 3

 

Books by F & M mixed teams / anthologies: 4

- new: 3

- rereads: 1

 

 

 

The Reading Lists:

AFRICA: 

http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/974/africa

 

LATIN / SOUTH AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN: 

http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/975/latin-south-america-and-caribbean

 

EAST / SOUTHEAST ASIA AND OCEANIA: 

http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/981/east-southeast-asia-and-oceania

 

MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA: 

http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/977/middle-east-and-central-asia

 

EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE: 

http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/978/eastern-and-central-europe

 

WOMEN WRITERS (global list):

http://themisathena.booklikes.com/post/1618777/women-writers-reading-list

BL-opoly: Master Tracking Post

Status Quo of Bank Account: $143

Novelty Cards I'm Currently Holding:

* The Race Car

* The Robot

* The Scottie Dog

 

Currently Reading for:

The Stay-Cation, #9:

A book including a visit to a museum, concert, library or park, or whose author's name begins with a letter in R - E - L - A - X.

 

Book:

Selection via Scottie Dog novelty card currently ongoing.  Options:

Laura Restrepo: Hot Sur

Laura Esquivel: Like Water for Chocolate

Ann Leckie: The Raven Tower

Renee Adieh: The Wrath and the Dawn

 

 

 

My marker is based (of course) on my little assistants and good luck charms, Sunny and Charlie, who are again helping me pick my books.

  

 

My Progress Spreadsheet

 

 

The Books and the Board

The Questions

Who?: Ellis Peters: Monk's Hood - finished July 2, 2019.

Why?:

How?: Julia Alvarez: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents - finished May 26.

Douglas Adams: The HItchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - finished June 27, 2019.

Wendy Moore: Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match - finished July 11, 2019.

When?: C.J. Sansom: Tombland - finished July 1, 2019.

 

The Railroads

The Silk Road:

The Patagonia Star:

The Cape-to-Cairo Railway: Kofi Annan: Interventions - finished May 30, 2019.

Aminatta Forna: The Memory of Love - finished June 16, 2019

The Nordic Express: 

 

School's Out For Summer

#1: Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility - finished June 3, 2019.

#3: Frank Froest: The Grell Mystery - finished June 5, 2019.

#4:

 

The Stay-Cation

#6:

#7: Miles Burton: The Secret of High Eldersham - finished May 21, 2019.

      J.K. Rowling: The Casual Vacancy - finished July 14, 2019.

#9: John Le Carré: A Murder of Quality - finished June 19, 2019.

      Chingiz Aitmatov: Jamilia - finished July 3, 2019.

 

Beach Week

#10:

#11: Julian Symons: The Belting Inheritance - finished June 6, 2019.

#12:

 

Mountain Cabin

#15: Louise Erdrich: The Plague of Doves - finished May 23, 2019.

        Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman: Good Omens - finished July 16, 2019.

#16: Ellen Wilkinson: The Division Bell Mystery - finished May 28, 2019.

        Georgette Heyer: A Blunt Instrument - finished June 8, 2019

        Ronald Knox: The Body in the Silo - finished June 21, 2019

#18: James D. Doss: The Night Visitor - finished July 5, 2019

 

The Lake House:

#19: Margaret Atwood: Hag-Seed - finished May 25, 2019.

#20: Winifred Holtby: South Riding - finished July 10, 2019.

        M.M. Kaye: Death in Kashmir - finished July 19, 2019.

#22: Richard Hull: The Murder of My Aunt - finished June 24, 2019.

 

The Summer Blockbuster

#25: Witi Ihimaera: The Whale Rider - finished May 31, 2019.

#27:

 

The Summer Romance

#28:

#30:

 

European Vacation

#33: Ronald Knox: The Three Taps - finished May 31, 2019.

#35: Israel Zangwill: The Perfect Crime, aka The Big Bow Mystery - finished June 16, 2019.

        Andrea Camilleri: The Shape of Water - finished July 20, 2019.

#36:

 

The Novelty Cards

The Race Car: Picked up on May 24.

The Robot: Picked up on July 2.

The Cat:

The Dog: Picked up on July 2 and July 19; used on July 19.

 

The Four Corners

GO: Collected $20 on May 20; and $5 each on:

May 24 - June 1 - June 9 - July 1 - July 2.

 

Jail:

Free Parking:

Go to Jail:


 

BL-opoly: Scottie Dog Selection (Square #9) -- Please pick my next book!

Hot Sur - David Colacci, Laura Restrepo, Roxanne Hernandez Like Water for Chocolate - Laura Esquivel, Yareli Arizmendi The Raven Tower - Ann Leckie The Wrath and the Dawn - Ariana Delawari, Renee Ahdieh

 

* Laura Restrepo: Hot Sur

* Laura Esquivel: Like Water for Chocolate

* Ann Leckie: The Raven Tower

* Renee Adieh: The Wrath and the Dawn

 

UPDATED July 21: The votes are in: The Raven Tower it is.

BL-opoly: Dice Roll #18

The Shape of Water - Andrea Camilleri, Mark Meadows

So, I finished M.M. Kaye's Death in Kashmir and am allowed to roll again, and what shall I say -- whenever it's an "oh, I'll just quickly do this before going to bed" situation, it's raining doubles and extras like there's no tomorrow.

 

 

My first roll ends up being doubles, which land me on the Scottie Dog card -- which I pocket (for the moment) and get to roll again twice; once for the doubles and once for the novelty card.

 

So my next roll (thankfully not doubles again) takes me to to square 35: The European Vacation -- read a book set in Europe, by a European author, or that involves travel by boat or has a ship on the cover.

 

Then I pass go and finally land on square 9: The Stay-Cation -- read a book including a visit to a museum, concert, library or park, or whose author's name begins with a letter in R - E - L - A - X.

 

 

Both of these are squares I've visited before, and since I'm also holding one Scottie Dog card already (picked up on July 2), it kind of seems a bit overindulgent to keep both of them.

 

So for square 35 and in honor of Andrea Camilleri, who just died the other day -- R.I.P. -- I'll be reading the first Inspector Montalbano novel, A Shape of Water.

 

But for square 9, I'll be using one of my two Scottie Dog cards -- separate post to follow.

 

And until the votes on square 9 / Scottie Dog are in, my two little helpers get another snack time break!

 

 

Reading progress update: I've listened to 100%.

Death In Kashmir - M.M. Kaye Death in Kashmir: A Mystery - M.M. Kaye, Shibani Ghosh

Well, that was somewhat more of a slog than I had expected -- and only in a minor part owing to M.M. Kaye herself; even though she does rely more on "dark and stormy night" scenarios than I would have liked to see, as well as on characters, including protagonists, behaving TSTL to such an extent it's a wonder they don't all get killed in the first chapter. 

 

Chiefly, though, it just puzzles the heck out of me how anybody at Audible could have thought it was a good idea to let a book set firmly in the British colonial establishment, and featuring exclusively characters belonging to said establishment (with the attendant accents and attitudes) be read by an Indian narrator with a very pronounced Indian accent (whose narration moreover resembles that of an automaton, but let that be) -- and who doesn't have the first clue how to pronounce English place names and certain other English terms, to boot.  I mean, yeah, the book has "Kashmir" in the title, but it should have been some sort of clue in selecting the narrator that it was written by a British author and is set immediately before the end of the Raj ...

 

Oh well.  Onwards and upwards.  At least I finished it just in time to be allowed to roll again tonight!

Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 10: Stragglers and Addenda

Ancient Egypt - David P. Silverman A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya - Linda Schele, David A. Freidel Joseph Fouché: Bildnis eines politischen Menschen - Stefan Zweig Debt: The First 5,000 Years - David Graeber A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes - Stephen Hawking The Story of My Life: The Restored Edition (Modern Library Classics) - Helen Keller, James Berger The Gulag Archipelago Abridged An Experiment in Literary Investigation - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn An Autobiography - Robert Herrick, Agatha Christie

* 5 books that didn't seem to fit onto any other list, and

* 3 addenda which will also go, retroactively, onto the "first hand accounts", "women's history" and "literary and cultural history" lists.

 

THE STRAGGLERS

* David P. Silverman: Ancient Egypt
* Linda Schele & David A. Freidel: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya

* Stefan Zweig: Joseph Fouché
* David Graeber: Debt: The First 5,000 Years
* Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time

 

THE ADDENDA

* Helen Keller: The Story of My Life
* Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Gulag Archipelago

* Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 9: Primary Sources

This is largely a recap; most of these have already appeared on one or several other lists.  So instead of cross-referencing, this time I'm just going to put the new entries in bold.

 

(Note: These are primary sources other than first hand accounts.)

 

* Cicero: An Attack on an Enemy of Freedom (Philippicae)
* Suetonius: Lives of the Twelve Caesars
* Various Authors: Woman Defamed and Woman Defended: An Anthology of Medieval Texts
* Christine de Pizan: La Cité des Dames (The City of the Ladies) / Le débat sur le roman de la rose (The Debate on the Romance of the Rose) / Le ditié de Jéhanne d'Arc
* Moderata Fonte: The Worth of Women
* Martin Luther: Basic Theological Writings
* Elizabeth Tudor, Leah Marcus (ed.): Collected Works
* Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: La Respuesta (The Answer)
* John Stuart Mill: On Liberty
* Montesquieu: L'esprit des lois
* French Constitution of 1791 and Premiers articles de la constitution (1789)
* Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen (France, 1789)
* Thomas Paine: The Rights of Man and Common Sense
* Declaration of Independence (U.S.A., 1776)
* Constitution of the United States (1788)
* Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay: The Federalist Papers
* George Washington: Farewell Address
* Abraham Lincoln: Gettysburg Address
* Émile Zola: J'accuse
* Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Women
* Virginia Woolf: A Room of One's Own
* Dorothy L. Sayers: Are Women Human?
* Thomas Mann: Deutsche Hörer! Radiosendungen nach Deutschland aus den Jahren 1940-1945 (Listen, Germany! -- Letters to German listeners broadcast on BBC in 1940-1945)
* Charter of the United Nations

* Statute of the International Court of Justice

* Universal Declaration of Human Rights
* Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland (1949) (German Constitution)
* Martin Luther King Jr.: Letter from Birmingham Jail / A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
* Simon Sebag Montefiore (ed.): Speeches That Changed the World

Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 8: At Home and Abroad

Cross-references to my other topical lists, as always, marked with the addition "cf."

 

AT HOME: REGIONAL AND LOCAL HISTORY
* Peter Ackroyd: London: The Biography

(London through the ages, from Roman times to present day)
* Anna Quindlen: Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City

(London through the ages -- cf. list no. 7, "Literary and Cultural History")
* James Herriot: All Creatures Great and Small

(early 20th century rural Yorkshire; veterinary practice -- to be added retroactively to list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts")
* Ellis Peters: Strongholds and Sanctuaries: The Borderland of England and Wales

(Shropshire and Wales, chiefly in the Middle Ages)

* Rosemary Goring (ed.): Scotland: the Autobiography: 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw it Happen

(Scotland through the ages -- cf. lists no. 3 & 4, "First Hand Accounts" and "History of the British Isles")

* Ernest Hemingway: A Moveable Feast

(early 20th century Paris -- cf. list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts")

* Wolfgang Ribbe & Jürgen Schmädeke: Kleine Berlin-Geschichte

(Berlin from its 13th century foundation to the present day; to the best of my knowledge, unfortunately not translated.  The title translates as "A Little History of Berlin")
* Doris & Arnold E. Maurer: Bonn erzählt: Streifzüge durch das literarische Bonn von 1780 - 1980

(Bonn, 1780-1980 -- cf. list no. 7, "Literary and Cultural History")

 

ABROAD: EXPLORATION AND TRAVEL

* Laurence Bergreen: Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe

(early 16th century; Portugal / Spain / global circumnavigation)

* Samuel Johnson: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, and James Boswell: The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson LL.D.

(18th Century, Scotland -- cf. list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts")

* Miles Bredin: The Pale Abyssinian: A Life of James Bruce, African Explorer and Adventurer

(18th century; North-Eastern Africa, especially Ethiopia)

* Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Italian Journey

(late 18th century Germany and Italy -- also to be added retroactively to list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts")

* Alexandra David-Neel: Voyage d'une Parisienne à Lhassa (My Journey to Lhasa)

(Early 20th century, Tibet / Himalayas / exploration -- cf. lists no. 2 & 3, "Women's History" and "First Hand Accounts")

Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 7: Literary and Cultural History

Literary biographies and other works on literary history -- as opposed to literary criticism.

Cross-references to my other topical lists, as always, marked with the addition "cf."

 

LITERARY HISTORY

Stanley Wells:

* Shakespeare: For All Time

* Shakespeare: A Life in Drama

* Shakespeare: An Oxford Guide

* The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare

* Shakespeare and Co.: Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, Ben Johnson, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher and the Other Players in His Story

* Coffee with Shakespeare

* Is It True What They Say About Shakespeare?

-- for all, cf. list no. 1, "Bulk Entries and Basics"

 

* Samuel Schoenbaum: Shakespeare: A Documentary Life
* Peter Ackroyd: Shakespeare: The Biography
* Stephen Greenblatt: Will in the World
* Anthony Burgess: Shakespeare
* Michael Wood: Shakespeare
* Bill Bryson: Shakespeare
* Tarnya Cooper, Stanley Wells et al.: Searching for Shakespeare
* James Shapiro: Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?
* Marchette Chute: Geoffrey Chaucer of England
* Claire Tomalin: Jane Austen: A Life

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"
* Elizabeth Gaskell: The Life of Charlotte Brontë

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"
* A.S. Byatt: Unruly Times: Wordsworth and Coleridge in Their Time
* Edna O'Brien: James Joyce and Byron in Love
* Virginia Woolf: A Room of One's Own

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"
* The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers: 1899-1936: The Making of a Detective Novelist and Barbara Reynolds: Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul

-- cf. lists nos. 2 & 3, "Women's History" and "First Hand Accounts"

* Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

-- cf. lists nos. 2 & 3, "Women's History" and "First Hand Accounts"

* Martin Edwards: The Golden Age of Murder and The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books
* Anna Quindlen: Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City

-- cf. list no. 8, "At Home and Abroad"
* Thomas Mann: Über mich selbst: Autobiographische Schriften

-- cf. list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts"
* Doris & Arnold E. Maurer: Bonn erzählt: Streifzüge durch das literarische Bonn von 1780 - 1980

(Unfortunately not translated into English.  The title translates approximately as "Bonn narrates: Forays into Bonn's Literary Life, 1780-1980".  Cf. list no. 8, "At Home and Abroad")
* Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature
* The Smithsonian Book of Books

 

CULTURAL HISTORY

* Hugh Honour & John Fleming: A World History of Art

* Charles Quest-Ritson: The English Garden: A Social History
* Jackie Bennett & Shakespeare Birthplace Trust: Shakespeare's Gardens

* Beatrice Hohenegger: Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West
* Carl Van Vechten: The Tiger in the House: A Cultural History of the Cat
* Howard Koch: Casablanca: Script and Legend
* Eddie Muller: Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir

Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 6: American History

Cross-references to my other topical lists, as always, marked with the addition "cf."

 

* David McCullough; 1776 and John Adams

(Wars of Independence / Foundations of Nationhood / First Presidents)
* Joseph J. Ellis: Founding Brothers:The Revolutionary Generation and American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson

(Wars of Independence / Foundations of Nationhood / First Presidents)
* Thomas Paine: The Rights of Man and Common Sense

(Wars of Independence / Foundations of Nationhood)

* Declaration of Independence

(Wars of Independence / Foundations of Nationhood)
* Constitution of the United States

(Wars of Independence / Foundations of Nationhood)
* Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay: The Federalist Papers

(Wars of Independence / Foundations of Nationhood)
* George Washington: Farewell Address

(Wars of Independence / Foundations of Nationhood / First Presidents)
* Abraham Lincoln: The Gettisburg Adress

(Civil War)
* John Steinbeck: The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to The Grapes of Wrath

(Great Depression -- cf. list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts")

* John Steinbeck: Travels with Charley in Search of America

(Will also be added to list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts")
* Library of America (anthology), Various Authors: Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1959-1975

(Vietnam War -- cf. list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts")

* Martin Luther King Jr.: Letter from Birmingham Jail and A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

(Civil Rights Movement)
* Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward: All the President's Men

(Watergate)

Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 5: WWII / National Socialism

Cross-references to my other topical lists, as always, marked with the addition "cf."

 

* Milton S. Mayer: They Thought They Were Free

* Joachim Fest: Hitler and Der Untergang (Inside Hitler's Bunker)
* Eugen Kogon: Der SS-Staat (The Theory and Practice of Hell)
* Guido Knopp: Hitlers Helfer (Hitler's Henchmen)
* Hannah Arendt: Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil
* Martin Goldsmith: The Inextinguishable Symphony

* Erica Fischer: Aimée und Jaguar: Ein Liebesgeschichte, Berlin 1943 (Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943)

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* Anne Frank: Diary

-- cf. lists no. 2 & 3, "Women's History" and "First Hand Accounts"
* Solomon Perel: Ich war Hitlerjunge Salomon (Europa Europa)

-- cf. list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts"
* Astrid Lindgren: A World Gone Mad: Diaries, 1939-45

-- cf. lists no. 2 & 3, "Women's History" and "First Hand Accounts"
* Hans Jürgen Massaquoi: Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany

-- cf. list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts"
* Marcel Reich-Ranicki: Mein Leben (The Author of Himself: The Life of Marcel Reich-Ranicki)

-- cf. list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts"
* Library of America (anthology), Various Authors: Reporting World War II

-- cf. list no. 3, "First Hand Accounts"

* Thomas Mann: Deutsche Hörer! Radiosendungen nach Deutschland aus den Jahren 1940-1945 (Listen, Germany! -- Letters to German listeners broadcast on BBC in 1940-1945)

BL-opoly: Dice Roll #17

Death in Kashmir: A Mystery - M.M. Kaye, Shibani Ghosh

It's past midnight CEST, so having finished my very satisfying return visit with Crowley, Aziraphael and the world of Good Omens, I am allowed to roll again.

 

This takes me to square 20: The Lake House -- read a book featuring a dog, with a dog on the cover, or set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.

 

Judging by its description (and the cover of my print edition), part of M.M. Kaye's Death in Kashmir is set on a lake, so that's what it will be.

 

Length: 333 pages

=> + $3 upon completion.

 

 

 

 
 

Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 4: History of the British Isles

RECAP: ALL BOOKS BY ...
* Antonia Fraser (women's history, Tudors & Stuarts)
* Ian Mortimer (British history, particularly Middle Ages)
* Dan Jones (ditto)
* Stanley Wells (Shakespeare; everything from biography and history to criticism)
* Christopher Hitbbert (British and Italian history)
* John Julius Norwich (British and Mediterranean history)

-- for all of the above, cf. list no. 1, "Bulk Entries and Basics".

 

MIDDLE AGES
* Bede: The Ecclesiastical History of the English People
* Helen Castor: She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* Alison Weir: Eleanor of Aquitaine

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* James Reston Jr.: Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade

* Robin Whiteman: The Cadfael Companion: The World of Brother Cadfael

 

TUDORS
* Thomas Penn: Winter King

(Henry VII)

* Diarmid MacCulloch: Thomas Cromwell

* David Starkey: Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII / Elizabeth / Henry

-- for Six Wives and Elizabeth, cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* Elizabeth Tudor, Leah Marcus (ed.): Collected Works

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"
* Mary S. Lovell: Bess of Hardwick: First Lady of Chatsworth, 1527-1608

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"
* Liza Picard: Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London

 

RESTORATION ERA

* Samuel Pepys: Diary

-- cf. list no.3, "First Hand Accounts"

 

18TH CENTURY

* Samuel Johnson: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, and James Boswell: The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson LL.D.

(Scotland -- cf. list no.3, "First Hand Accounts")

* Wendy Moore: Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

 

19TH CENTURY

* Claire Tomalin: Jane Austen: A Life

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* Elizabeth Gaskell: The Life of Charlotte Brontë

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets

(Social history)
* Kate Summerscale: The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

(True crime; early days of Scotland Yard.)

 

SIDELIGHTS:

* Robert Fossier, Robyn Marsack (eds.): The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Middle Ages (3 vols.)

(Published in Britain, but covers all of Europe.)

* Carol Daugherty Rasnic: Northern Ireland: Can Sean and John Live in Peace?

(Chiefly Irish history up to Good Friday Agreement, but includes comments on the British policy for Ireland, and these days, darned near mandatory reading.)

* Rosemary Goring (ed.): Scotland: the Autobiography: 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw it Happen

(Scotland -- cf. lists nos.3 & 8, "First Hand Accounts" and "At Home and Abroad")

 

(Note: Last list for tonight.  More tomorrow, probably another 3 or 4 topics -- but again with a fair amount of overlap with tonight's lists.)

Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 3: First Hand Accounts

Memoirs / autobiographies, diaries, correspondence, and journalism.

Again, cross-references to my other topical lists are marked with the addition "cf."

 

* Plato: The Last Days of Socrates

(Classical Antiquity, Greece)
* Pliny the Younger: Letters

(Classical Antiquity, Rome / Italy)
* Pierre Abélard: Historia calamitatum (Histoire de mes malheurs / History of My Misfortunes), and Abélard & Heloise: Correspondence

(Middle Ages, France)
* Samuel Pepys: Diary

(Restoration, London)
* Samuel Johnson: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, and James Boswell: The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson LL.D.

(18th Century, Scotland -- cf. list no. 8, "At Home and Abroad")
* Dieudonné Thiébault: Mes souvenirs de vingt ans de séjour à Berlin: Ou, Frédéric le Grand (translated as Original Anecdotes of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, and in German, Friedrich der Grosse und sein Hof: Erinnerungen an einen 20jährigen Aufenthalt in Berlin)

(18th Century, Germany)
* Voltaire: Über den König von Preußen: Memoiren

(Voltaire's memoirs of Frederic the Great's court -- I think German is the only language in which they've specifically been excerpted from the entirety of his memoirs  (The title translates as "On / About the King of Prussia: Memors.").  Together with Thiébault's account, above, probably the quintessential eyewitness account of life at Frederic's court.)

(18th Century, Germany)

* Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Italian Journey

(late 18th century Germany and Italy -- cf. list no. 8, "At Home and Abroad")
* George Sand: Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life)

(19th Century -- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History")

* Helen Keller: The Story of My Life

(late 19th / 20th century U.S., disability -- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History")

* Teffi: Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea

(Russian Revolution -- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History")
* Ernest Hemingway: A Moveable Feast

(Early 20th century Paris -- cf. list no. 8, "At Home and Abroad")
* Alexandra David-Neel: Voyage d'une Parisienne à Lhassa (My Journey to Lhasa)

(Early 20th century, Tibet / Himalayas / exploration -- cf. lists nos. 2 & 8, "Women's History" and "At Home and Abroad")

* The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers: 1899-1936: The Making of a Detective Novelist

(early 20th century Britain, mysteries and crime fiction -- cf. lists nos. 2 & 7, "Women's History" and "Literary and Cultural History")

* Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

(20th century Britain, mysteries and crime fiction -- cf. lists nos. 2 & 7, "Women's History" and "Literary and Cultural History")

* Beryl Markham: West With the Night

(British Kenya, aviation -- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History")

* James Herriot: All Creatures Great and Small

(early 20th century rural Yorkshire; veterinary practice -- cf. list no. 8, "At Home and Abroad")
* John Steinbeck: The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to The Grapes of Wrath

(Great Depression -- cf. list no. 6, "American History")
* Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Time of Gifts

(Pre-WW II Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia)

* Anne Frank: Diary

-- cf. lists nos. 2 & 5, "Women's History" and "WWII / National Socialism"
* Solomon Perel: Ich war Hitlerjunge Salomon (Europa Europa)

-- cf. list no. 5, "WWII / National Socialism"
* Astrid Lindgren: A World Gone Mad: Diaries, 1939-45

-- cf. list no. 5, "WWII / National Socialism"
* Hans Jürgen Massaquoi: Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany

-- cf. list no. 5, "WWII / National Socialism"
* Library of America (anthology), Various Authors: Reporting World War II

-- cf. list no. 5, "WWII / National Socialism"

* Jennifer Worth: Call the Midwife

(Post-WWII Britain -- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History")

* Nicolas Bouvier: The Way of the World

(Post-WWII Eastern Europe and Middle East)

* Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Gulag Archipelago

(U.S.S.R., communism / totalitarianism / Stalinism)
* Thomas Mann: Über mich selbst: Autobiographische Schriften

(Contains the text translated as A Sketch of My Life and several other bits and pieces of autobiography.  I don't think there is an  exact English equivalent.)
* Mahatma Gandhi: The Story of My Experiments With Truth

(South Africa, India, British Raj)
* Carl Zuckmayr: A Part of Myself, Portrait of an Epoch (Als wäre's ein Stück von mir: Horen der Freundschaft)

(20th century Germany and Hollywood; theatre and movie industry)

* John Steinbeck: Travels with Charley in Search of America 

(post-WWII U.S. -- cf. list no. 6, "American History")

* Library of America (anthology), Various Authors: Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1959-1975

(Vietnam War -- cf. list no. 6, "American History")

* Willy Brandt: Erinnerungen (My Life in Politics)

(Post-WWII / Cold War Germany)
* Marcel Reich-Ranicki: Mein Leben (The Author of Himself: The Life of Marcel Reich-Ranicki)

(WWII Poland, post-WWII Germany, literature)
* Rosemary Goring (ed.): Scotland: the Autobiography: 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw it Happen

(Scotland -- cf. lists nos. 4 & 8, "History of the British Isles" and "At Home and Abroad")
* Irene & Alan Taylor (eds.), Various Authors: The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists

(various countries and periods)