Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Greedy Reading

I am an unashamed bookaholic. After I described myself that way on an earlier post Snowbrush told me that in fact I am a bibliophile.  Perhaps.  But bookaholic is an accurate description of my obsessive need for books.
 
If I am pretending to be couth and sophisticated I might talk about eclectic or omnivorous reading tastes.  Greedy is more truthful.


I read fiction, poetry and non fiction and from a wide range of genres.  I read literature and lighter fiction (agreeable trash?).  There are ones I prefer, but few I won't attempt.  I read every day and frequently neglect other things to do so.   


I cannot remember not being a member of the local library but also have many, many books of my own.  I do cull and recycle books (not often enough) but acquire more very quickly.  With the exception of the bathrooms and the toilet there is at least one bookcase in every room.  All of them are full, and several are stacked two and three deep. 

These are some of the very different books which I have devoured recently.  


This was a gem and having read it I went back and got the next in the series very quickly.

Elizabeth has a new after school job in a library.  She rapidly learns it is a library like no other.  A library where powerful and mysterious items are available for loan (think cloak of invisibility and seven league boots).  When some of these precious objects start to disappear of course she has to investigate...

And how I wish I had access to that library.



This was a gift from the lovely dinahmow, who knows of (and shares) my love of words.  Margaret Mahy is a poet from New Zealand - and most certainly a word witch.  Limericks, haiku, bouncing, dancing rhythms.  And fun.  Lots of fun.  And wisdom. 

This excerpt is the first verse of Puck's Song.
'I'm in love with the wind, and the sky and the sea;
I am part of the earth, and the earth's part of me.
I love the green hills that for ages gone by
Have stood with their crests in the blue of the sky'.



The smaller portion is planning another jaunt overseas.  He is talking of travelling part of the Silk Road so when I spotted this book at a recent Lifeline bookfair I bought it for him.  And read it first - because I am like that.

The author originally travelled to Khiva in Uzbekistan (which is on the route of the silk road) to write a guidebook.  He got sidetracked and stayed, immersing himself in a world of silk and forgotten 15th Century carpet designs, and where he set up a workshop employing locals from a depressed economy to remake those carpets - and with the assistance of those locals designed and created others.

An early snippet from the book cited a note posted in the staff room at his old school.
'Beware C. Alexander.  Jumps in deep end and cannot swim!'
And a very prophetic note it was.  When first he went to Khiva he knew no-one and had been learning the language for three months.

He survived.  And thrived.  When he was banned from re-entering Uzbekistan in 2005 he grieved.  And this book shows why.  He found family there.  And meaningful work.  Reading his book I learnt about carpet making, Uzbekistan's history, culture and food, and more.  And applauded his efforts.

Everywhere he went he met with the kindness and generosity which has also characterised my smaller portion's dealings with Islamic people.

When the book was written (published in 2010) he was still in contact with friends/family/workers from the carpet workshop but lived in the Pamir mountains on the Tajikistan/Afghanistan border running 'Yak-Yak', a project combing yak-down from the numerous yaks of the High Pamirs to be spun and knitted into fair-trade knitwear.

I strongly suspect that recent events in Afghanistan mean that he is no longer there - but feel certain he has  again jumped into a deep end.  And hope he has learnt to swim. 


And now for something different.  Rumble on the Bayou was Jana DeLeon's first novel - and was a hoot.  It was another I picked up at the bookfair - where I was sucked in by the blurb. 
'Deputy Dorie Berenger knew it was going to be a rough day when the alligator she found in the town drunk's swimming pool turned out to be stoned.  On heroin.'

Definitely a rough day.  Not boring, but challenging.  Which sums up the book.  It keeps a fast pace, is unpredictable (except for the outcome of the love interest) and is a heap of fun.  Racy and rollicking.  Another book which led me to immediately read another by the same author. 


 And the last is different again.  It is strongly reminiscent of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series - but I think deeper and somehow more human and moving because of the additional depth. 

Angel Tungaraza runs a small business baking cakes in Rwanda's capital Kigali.  Family disasters mean that she and her husband have the care of both their son's and their daughter's children.  As Angel's customers tell her their stories she realises that each of them has things to mourn as well as things to celebrate.    Which is true of her too.

It is a gentle and charming book, which touches on tragedy and shows how the human spirit, perhaps particularly when pushed to its limits, endures.  And unifies us.  A tribute to kindness and hope.


118 comments:

  1. EC I love reading books, too. But full time working means no time to do it. I usually reads on holidays in English and Polish. But lately I prefer English ones so can you suggest me what I should read...

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    1. Gosia k: What type of books do you like reading most? If you let me know I will tell you some of my favourites from that genre.

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  2. I like reading but not to your extent. I'm reading a book of short stories by Val McDiarmid. I could read a hell of a lot more than I do but I choose not to. I'm not a bookaholic. The best author I have read so far is Stephen Leather. He's great and if you ever get the chance to read one of his books, I'd love to know what you think of him.

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    1. Treey Stynes: Thank you. I always love learning about new to me authors. I will track some Stephen Leather down next time I visit the library.

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  3. Well, once again, you've sent me off to the library with a list of requests.
    (I may have another book to be harnassed to a snail - once The Man has read it)

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    1. dinahmow: Which ones took your fancy? And ooh and thank you on the snail mail front.

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  4. I'll bet it was good reading EC.

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    1. Bob Bushell: It was. I am so grateful to writers. And to my parents for instilling the reading bug.

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  5. Your list tickles me. I am happy there is no dearth of books for you. I don't know anyone that reads as much as you.

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    1. donna baker: Perhaps if I read less I would get more done...

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  6. And another one who will be perusing the online catalogue. A very timely post EC because I turned the last page of a book last night. Of course there are others waiting but then you never know what I might find of 'yours' if you follow my meaning lol

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    1. Cathy: I do indeed follow your meaning. So many books, so little time.

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  7. As I was reading I couldn't stop laughing . Bookaholic! hahahah Well, I am a bookholic as well! I do not have bookcases in all the rooms, but I have closets. And all of them have different kind of books. The living room does not have a bookcase, but has tables and sofas! The kitchen has a breakfast counter... and there are at least 2 books there all the time.

    These authors and titles are not familiar to me. I will take note and will give them a try.

    Yesterday I picked up "A carpet ride to Khiva" because you had mentioned it in one blog. I had requested "The best of Adam Sharp" by the Australian (I had to mention his nationality!!!) Graeme Simsion. I am not sure if I mentioned him in one of my comments. I love the way he writes. The Rosie Project and the Rosie Effect... marvelous books.

    How one can influence another across the big pond!!! I love this technology! How did we do it when we were young girls?!!! : )))

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    1. Caterina: I thoroughly enjoyed the Rosie Project. I was less fond of the Rosie Effect - but finished it. And will almost certainly read his next book too.
      I hear you on the closet front. Growing up the linen closet was reserved for books. The linen was squished in other places.
      And isn't the blogosphere wonderful. Education and delight.

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    2. I'm so envious of people who have linen closets, there aren't any in these flats I live in. 110 flats, not one linen closet, unless there's one in the original house which has been converted into several flats, but even then only one would have the linen closet.

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    3. River: The house I grew up in did have a linen closet. Or at least that is what my mother called it, despite never using it for linen.

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  8. Just love books. Enjoy libraries and the smell of the old books being opened. Now I don't have as much time to read but there are times I return to old favorites and get lost among the pages.

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    1. Rasma Raisters: I feel a bit guilty (because of the trees) but I MUCH prefer books (real books) to electronic devices. The weight, the scent, the feel...

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  9. Ohh! I love to hear what other people are reading. Thank you for all these tantalizing suggestions....At the moment I have my nose in the middle of "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed and loving it. Next up is a novella by Fredrik Backman (I totally hear you on reading one book by someone and racing out as soon as you finish to find more by the same!) Aslan means lion. I'm picking up several Arabic words from my addiction to two Turkish TV shows. However it'll be a long while before I can carry on a conversation! Subtitles are a path into so many cultures....

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    1. Molly Bon: Christopher was born in Turkey which is how he got his middle name. And the Uzbekians found it much easier to say, so he was often known as Aslan. Isn't a window into other cultures a wonderful thing? It certainly enriches my world. And yes, Wild is a book I will get to. Sometime. Soon(ish).

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  10. Thank you so much for taking me through you reading joys. I used to be an avid reader.

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    1. Martin Kloess: I still am. What stopped your avidity? I hope you can still revisit favourites.

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  11. They sound like such interesting books and so varied. I too have a stack I am working through this summer. I always look forward to book club in the fall as well.

    Are you in a book club, EC.

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    1. Marie Smith: I haven't (yet) joined a book club. Some day. Perhaps. In the interim I am finding more than enough to inspire me.

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  12. Thanks for these books EC. They all look lik very interesting reads.

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    1. Denise inVA: They were. Very different, but all had charm.

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  13. I haven't read any of the mentioned authors, but will surely check them out. Thanks for sharing and warm greetings!

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    1. Blogoratti: Thank you. I hope you can find something to enjoy.

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  14. The description of Rumble on the Bayou makes it irresistible. Oh, it is one of the more expensive ebooks at $6.

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    1. Andrew: That is expensive. I paid less than that for the paperback (albeit second hand). Louisiana Longshot (the second of hers I read) was a free ebook.

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  15. Thank you for sharing these

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    1. Cloudia: My pleasure. It has been too long since I have put a post up about books.

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  16. I want every single one of those. Ooops...now I sound greedy.

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    1. only slightly confused: No, no, no. Not greedy. An eclectic or omniverous reader.

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  17. Thank you for all these reviews...heads-up...on the books, EC. They all sound interesting and wonderful in their individual way.

    In particular..."Rumble in the Bayou"...it sounds like it's a bit of a hoot!

    I love books. I love having books and I love reading books. I hate parting with them, but I did give 10 or 12 books from my shelves to a lady the other day...she's off to spend time in hospital, and then quite a while thereafter recuperating, so I decided to bite the bullet, and chose a few to give away. It was difficult to do, but I'm glad I did.

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    1. Lee: That was a lovely thing to do for your friend. Giving up books is never easy. I hope her hospital stay and recuperation go well.

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  18. Thank you for these tidbits. I'll check them out, some more quickly than others. You definitely ARE eclectic in your reading! :-)

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    1. DJan: I refuse to close doors. I have preferences, but there is very little I won't read.

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  19. From one bookaholic to another, thank you for the reviews. Baking Cakes in Kigali especially appeals to me from this list. I have to admit to being a fussy reader. My husband is more like you - he will read anything going, and I don't think he has ever NOT finished what he starts. I just gave up on a book yesterday that I felt wasn't worth any more of my precious reading time. There are too many good books out there I could be reading :)

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    1. jenny_o: I think you will like Baking Cakes in Kigali. I hope so. I usually finish books once I have started them, but not always. Sometimes walking away is the only option.

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  20. I don't read as much as I used to, no where near as much, I blame the computer of course, and the need for sleep. For some reason I seem to need much more sleep than I used to, so the computer stuff gets done and the books pile up around me. I thought having days off, Tuesdays and Saturdays, would mean time to catch up, but I find I'm using those days to schedule other posts. It's a no-win situation. But I've written down the books and will search for them at my local library.

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    1. River: Sleep is super important. I suspect if you are needing more, your body has a reason. And it is usually sensible to listen. The reading can wait.

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  21. Have you read The Changeover by Margaret Mahy? It's one of my favourites.

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    1. River: I hadn't even heard of it, and after a very little research am confident I would really like it. Thank you.

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  22. I love having the opportunity to come into your world and see the varied books that you enjoy, and they give me some new ones to try. We can call our love of books many things, but it is still related to traveling to different worlds, learning new languages, meeting new friends,or escaping into a fairy tale. Of course, the books keep piling up somewhere in our house, too. (lol) Hugs...

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    1. RO: No arguments from me. I read for comfort, for education, for entertainment and for escape. And sometimes find all of those things in the same book.

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  23. I love the variety of your books and the covers quickly draw you in. So now you've given me several new books that I need to add to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. Mason Canyon: I am glad that I can tempt you -as you so often tempt me.

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  24. these look great.. I'll keep an eye open for them at my local library...

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    1. Anna: Good luck. I hope when/if you find them you enjoy them.

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  25. Dear EC
    I like the sound of the Grimm Library - a bit of magic is always exciting. I am re-reading 'Wives and Daughters' (Mrs Gaskell), which is one of my favourites. I watched the BBC version on DVD (Michael Gambon, Bill Paterson, Justine Waddell) which is a very good adaptation of the book. My favourite line? "I won't say she was very silly, but one of us was and it wasn't me". I share your bookaholic tendencies - not enough shelves here, either!
    Best wishes and happy reading
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: Strictly speaking The Grimm Library was aimed at an age group I left behind (chronologically speaking) decades ago. And I don't care, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Love that you to reread old friends.

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  26. There was a time in my life that there was always a book in my hand. "Annie, get your nose out of that book and join the rest of us!" Now I don't have the ability to sit still long enough to read so I listen to audio books. Maybe today I will sit down and enjoy a few favorites.

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    1. Grannie Annie: I haven't (yet) succumbed to audio books. Quiet is important to me. Some day - and in the meantime you are still reading. Just differently.

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  27. The book set in Uzbekistan sounds amazing. They actually banned him? Wow.

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    1. Sandi: He was probably lucky that banning him was all they did.

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  28. I have always enjoyed a good book but now my eyesight is giving me problems and reading has become difficult. I do better on my iPad as I can enlarge it but sometimes I can't focus.

    Your smaller portion is certainly an adventurer and takes trips to unusual places. He must have some wonderful stories to tell you. Does he write about them?

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: My eyes give me trouble from time to time too. Which always scares me.]
      Himself loves his trips away, and is certainly not a mainstream traveller. He does have some incredible stories (and probably some he hasn't shared). He doesn't write about them though - stores them in his head and heart.

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    2. Remember page magnifiers that clipped onto a book in a similar way to book lamps? They were a good idea. I wonder if they're still available.

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    3. River: I had forgotten those - and they would come in very handy some days.

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  29. It is a noble thing to hook the younglings before they know what's coming.

    :)

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    1. Author R. Mac Wheeler: I was certainly hooked early and it is an addiction I have never tried to break.

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  30. I love it when you review books ... you have the courage to venture out into different literary worlds and, when I follow you, I am always delighted. I will be starting with Grimm Legacy as soon as I finish my current read. Like you, I love to read, but don't have the wherewithal to find new avenues without the guidance of someone so well versed in the art of bookaholicism (a new word I believe). Thank you for your patient and loyal following of my blog as I am not good at returning the favor ... I do appreciate what you do and say and look forward to having the time to share with you. Australia is still on my bucket list ... if I live long enough, perhaps we will meet :)

    Andrea @ From the Sol

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    1. Andrea Priebe: As I said to Ellie Foster, the Grimm Legacy was written for a much younger age group. I didn't (and don't care) and enjoyed it anyway. I hope you do too. And I do hope you can get to Oz.

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  31. Yes, I agree with greedy being the best choice of words. I squeezed in a visit to my main library yesterday, but now on your highly inviting opinion of The Grimm Legacy I have to go back! Thank you!

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    1. Karen S.: You will have to go to the children's section - but I think it is worth the trip. Aren't libraries wonderful places?

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  32. I understand bookaholism. When I have a lot to do, I don't pick up a book. I'll stay up way too late reading. But, I give myself an hour in the evening to read.

    Such good stories you have listed. I am going to buy two. The one set in Uzbekistan and the one set in Rwanda. I love to travel as I read. I'm sure I am a direct descendant of Marco Polo.

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    1. Ann Bennett: When I have a lot to do I shouldn't pick up a book. I often do so just the same. I hope you enjoy both of the ones you have selected. Very different books but I benefited from reading both.

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  33. Excellent reviews EC, I'm giving Rumble on the Bayou a look, it sounds like one I may enjoy for grins if nothing else, I spend between 1-2 hours reading every night and like you mentioned I read across all genres.

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    1. Jimmy: Across most genres and across targetting age groups. With no shame, and plenty of benefits. I hope you enjoy Rumble on the Bayou. I found it fun.

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  34. Authors everywhere treasure you for your eclectic greediness! There's something for everyone on your list. :)

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    1. River Fairchild: No horror in this list (other than the true horrors alluded to in two of them). But yes, a wide range. Which suits my stay at home self.

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  35. You have such wonderfully eclectic taste. You draw on so many different genres. I always feel a little sad that not everyone enjoys books. They are such a wonderful way to escape the mundane and the negatives that come our way.
    Thanks for sharing these. I wasn't familiar with them.

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    1. Sandra Cox: A love of reading was probably the very best thing my parents gave me. I am endlessly grateful. Education, comfort, escape.

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  36. You've done well and I envy you the capacity to read so much! The first of them appeals the most to me, but a good selection all in all without doubt.

    The Silk Road?! By the Small Gods! Well, the good news is, he'll be in much better health if capable. *nods* Not that that won't stop the worrying from your end of course x

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    1. All Consuming: I think travelling the various 'stans will keep him occupied and interested for several trips to come. Yes, I will worry, but that is one of my skills. And so far he has met almost nothing but kindness on this travels.

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  37. What an excellent variety of books. I, too, am a bookaholic.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie Junebug: Welcome and thank you. It is an excellent addiction to have isn't it?

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  38. I love books more than anything else in the world - I always love your recommendations. These look wonderful.

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    1. Lynn: Bookie love is a truly wonderful thing isn't it? I am so very grateful that you introduced me to Karin Slaughter. And hope she is busy writing at the moment.

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  39. Books and sewing are my twin loves. Try the series Sweet Potato Queens. Read them in order. Let me know if you like the first one.

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    1. Practical Parsimony: This isn't a series I know, but a quick google suggests I would thoroughly enjoy them. Thank you. In the fullness of time I will get to them. And probably earlier than that.

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    2. Sweet Potato Queens? That's a great title. off to google...

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    3. River: Isn't it a great title?

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  40. Hi Sue,

    You most certainly like an eclectic variety of books. It's been ages since I actually managed to focus enough to read an entire book.

    Thanks for your post, Sue.

    Gary

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    1. klahanie: Dear Gary, you have had a lot (too much) on your plate for a very long time. I hope your poor eye is better too.

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  41. What a wonderful selection. "Rumble on the Bayou" definitely grabbed my attention. And I'm right there with you...I've been reading for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, my mother made my 'pay' for video game time with book reading (an hour of reading for 15 minutes of game time). I even used to volunteer at my local library for several years. It's a passion that just doesn't ebb.

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    1. Robert Bennett: It is a gift which keeps on giving doesn't it? A woman I worked with had a stroke and lost the ability to read and write. Which still gives me the horrors.

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  42. Thanks for the reading tips! The last one and the one about the Silk Road sound particularly good.

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    1. Lady Fi: Both of them were very, very good.

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  43. Always good to hear recommendations. I'm almost out of reading stock right now, having gone through three grocery sacks of books I got at the little library on the coast, that also sold its excess, $5 for a grocery sack full.

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    1. Strayer: $5 for a bag of books is excellent value. I hope you find similar deals. Soon.

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    2. Your list of books sounds interesting. And I believe that would not suffice for a bookaholic. I envy people who reads too much.
      Anyways, have a nice read.

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    3. dumcho wangdi: You are so right. This isn't enough for a bookaholic. It is a very small drop in the bucket.

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  44. I only know of Margaret Mahy from her children's book, The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate is one of my all time favourites. Thanks for enlightening me

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    1. Kim: I can see I am going to have to track down her children's books. River told me of another which sounds right up my (very broad) street.

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  45. Hi EC - definitely A Carpet Ride to Khiva has enticed me - sounds an amazing read ... will try the library for it ... just then there's a deadline for the return date! Sounds so informative and educational ... Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: A Carpet Ride to Khiva was fascinating. I learnt lots of things I had no idea about. And have now started a memoir about a year in Tibet. I am barely past the first chapter and learning already.

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  46. As far back as I can remember, I've always been accused of reading too much. I say there's no such thing. There are sooooo many great books in the world, and my time here is limited, so the only way to make a dent in the proverbial reading pile is by reading every day. As long as my eyes hold out, I plan to keep on doing it. I reckon that makes me a greedy bookoholic, too. (But I'm in VERY good company!)

    Your recently-read books all sound fantastic! (I want to belong to that "special" library, too...)

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    1. Susan: Welcome aboard the bookaholic train. It is a wonderful addiction. I am so very grateful to my parents for lighting the spark and have no intentions of giving up.
      Wouldn't that library be amazing? There were prices to pay to borrow those special objects, but...

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  47. I have put The Grimm Legacy on my wish list and I may have to put those last two on as well! You are such a good reader :)

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    1. mshatch: Like Susan, I have often been accused of reading too much. And don't care. A good reader? Greedy is sadly closer to the mark. I hope you enjoy the Grimm Legacy. I thought it was a very clever and original take.

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  48. I have barely read a book in years, although I still insist on thinking of myself as a reader!

    You have some interesting looking stuff here, may you live long and read widely :)

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    1. kylie: You do other things. Lots of other things. Perhaps books will return to you later.
      Not sure about living long - but reading widely is an emphatic yes.

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  49. I think Baking Cakes in Kihali sounds like a goodie! I'm a bookaholic too. Always have been, always will be. :)

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    1. mail4rosey: Baking Cakes in Kigali was excellent. I am so glad that I took a punt on an unknown author at the bookfair.

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  50. I'll be hitting the library -- again. ;)

    I like to stay up on young adult novels (must be the teacher in me) and I just finished This Was Never About Basketball by Craig Leener. It was great -- lots of fantasy, a little sci-fi, very likable characters and a story with lots of twists and turns. Right now it's only available on Amazon, but I hope it gets a wider distribution.

    I've recently gone back and re-read the Hans Christian Andersen and Grimm fairy tale anthologies that I have. Pretty cool, although I don't remember them being quite so disturbing...Must have selective amnesia. ;)

    Marty K.

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    1. Marty K: The Grimm fairy tales are just that. Grim. They freaked me out as a child. And some of the concepts still do. I read YA too, despite never being a teacher. This Was Never About Basketball sounds interesting. Thank you.

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  51. I am a voracious reader, but am now thrawted by my eyesight. I can make my kindle words huge, but it makes my eyes hurt. I long to just hold a book in my hands and read as I always have, but the words are too small. I am tackling my eye sight now that I am becoming myself again after all that has happened in the last two months. I ready everything.. from children's classics (especially caldicot and newberry awarde) to strange ebooks that I download for free. My library of real books is overspilling the one cabinet I have designated and I am wondering whether to donate or just hang on to them.

    Anyway, reading, genealogy, blogging and journaling are my favorite hobbies..in no particular order.
    Have a great day!

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    1. Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines: I hope you can get your eye issues addressed. Mine also give me grief but I can still (mostly) read. And yes, reading everything is pretty much what I do too.

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  52. It's simple!
    Books are just wonderful!

    All the best Jan

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    1. Lowcarb team member ~Jan: Definitely wonderful.

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  53. I read The Grimm Legacy a few years ago and enjoyed it (I would love the MC's job). I haven't read the second one. Thanks for the reminder. I must look for it this summer! :)
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~Jess: I didn't like the second as much as the first, but it still had quite a lot of charm. Glad to find someone else who liked The Grimm Legacy.

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  54. thanks for this post, I love to devour books too, never seem to have enough time... I share your appetite for Margaret Mahy and fairy stories.

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    1. catmint: So many books, so little time. How nice to hear of yet another Margaret Mahy and fairy tale fan.

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  55. One can 'travel' the world through books & it's such an adventure!

    I have fallen a bit out of the habit of book reading & it shows. My concentration has to be built back up again for any at-length reading.

    I'm all in for an article in a newspaper or magazine. Book reading is a bit like body building. One must keep in good shape in order to be successful, for lack of a better word.

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    1. Bea: I hear you. I sometimes need to flex different reading muscles too. Short stories or essays can help.

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