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I seem to remember I was reading Stone's Fall by Iain Pears, and I still haven't finished it, but only because I put it aside and started reading various other books and have not yet picked it up again, though I will eventually -- it's awfully long and I found it rather slow going, but I do want to know what happens. Right now I'm about halfway through a Virago Modern Classic, The Willow Cabin by Pamela Frankau, This was passed on to me by a friend who was raving about it. I'm enjoying it, but possibly not as much as she did.


I've been feeling a bit stressed lately and have hugely enjoyed two young adult novels - When I Was Joe and Almost True by Keren David. They had me absolutely gripped and proved to me yet again the power of a well told story to soothe the mind.

Mrs Red

South Riding is being steadily read in the background and I have just finished Margaret Forster's Isa and May this morning. It has given me a lot to think about so I'll chew that over while dipping into my New Yorker anthology, Fierce Pajamas. On a wild, windy and slightly gloomy Friday, James Thurber can do wonders!

Margaret @ BooksPlease

I'm reading The Clue of the Twisted Candle by Edgar Wallace on my Kindle. It's a period piece and one I wouldn't have read but for its e-book availability. Apart from that I'm between books and wondering what to read next!

Dark Puss

South Riding last 50 pages or so to finish, more of Indirect Procedures and Italo Calvino's The Castle of Crossed Destinies.


I'm wading in the murk of quattrocento Venice with Jon Courtenay Grimwood's The Fallen Blade. For light relief, Miss Bunting by Angela Thirkell. Next up will be South Riding.

Barbara M.

Skeleton Hill by Peter Lovesey. Haven't read a book by him in a long time, but I am enjoying this very much. (I think I overdosed on P.L. at one point..... found him, loved him, and read everything I could find until I was sick of him!) Now I'm back refreshed, and glad this one found me.

Corrag is up next.


Finished Susan Fletcher Eve Green an hour ago and want to finish Daniel Huws Memories of Ted Hughes 1952-1963 first now as I have only a few pages left in that too.

Susan in TX

I'm currently re-reading Northanger Abbey with one of my dds (so fun to read it with a newbie! and, yes, I made her read The Mysteries of Udolpho first ;) ), and am about 100 or so pages into Vanity Fair. I did finally get ahold of South Riding, so it is queued up next. I always enjoy reading other comments to this question!

Ruth M.

Depends on where I'm sitting. In front of the fire: A reread of Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel) for next week's book group, with indulgent nose dives into The Song of Fire and Ice fantasy series (George R R Martin) that one of my book group members got me hooked on. On the night stand: Early Morning: Remembering my father William Stafford (Kim Stafford), companioned by The Way It Is: New and Collected Poems (William Stafford).


This evening I have just finished 'On se s'endort jamais seul' by René Frégni - another attempt to improve my lamentable French and a bit of an uncomfortable read.

So to cheer me up I am starting 'The Elves of Cintra' (part 2 of a trilogy) by Terry Brooks on my Kindle, which is sworking fine, now it is released from it's case.

How is it that some books have violence which doesn't seem real and it's acceptable, whereas others dont necessarily have actual violence but the themes are more distressing?

Dark Puss

Sandy there are books, some excellent some trash, where the violence is realistic, horrible and very frightening and in the excellent books it is "acceptable" and in the trash it's another form of low-grade pornography.

Is your question rhetorical? My answer would be "that's writing for you" (substitute films, theatre, etc. for books as you see fit).

B R Wombat

These Friday reads are so interesting. I've now read the second of Rosemary Sutcliff's Roman Britain books, The Silver Branch, which was excellent (I was on the first one last time). Now I'm gradually getting through South Riding which I'm thoroughly enjoying. Amongst this I'm very slowly making my way through Daniel Barenboim's Music Quickens Time - a wonderful Christmas present from my cousin in Canada.


No it's not rhetorical - I thought maybe someone who wrote could tell me how they go about staying on one side or the other of the line.

adele geras

I have just finished the truly excellent THE MAN IN THE WOODEN HAT by Jane Gardam, who is one of my favourite writers. She doesn't put a foot wrong in her writing I reckon: elegant, spare, full of feeling and no trace of sentimentality. Wonderful! I've now started on another 'spare' writer's memoir of his life: John McGahern's MEMOIR. Fantastic. Fantastic. Deeply sad.

Julie Fredericksen

Am starting South Riding tonight. I think I will get through a large chunk of it on Sunday when others are watching the Super Bowl


Just this minute finished Wait for Me! by Deborah Mitford. Loved it.


I am persevering with The Finkler Question, despite finding it a bit mean-spirited. I am probably missing something, but it's not earth-shatteringly good so far. On the back-burner: Jo Shapcott's winner Of Mutability and Seamus Heaney's latest Human Chain

B R Wombat

Yes, mean-spirited is a good comment on The Finkler Question. Whilst finding some of it funny, I was appalled at how the female characters are sidelined and treated as male adjuncts. I wonder if all Jacobson's works treat women like this, but I'm unlikely to open another one to find out.


I'v finished Yiyun Li's Gold Boy, Emerald Girl (which lived up to my initial very positive impression) and after a hard working week have started a much frothier book, Sylvester by Georgette Heyer.


Last Friday, I was reading Battle of Britain - a day by day chronolgy by Patrick Bishop, which provided a good understanding of the events as they unfolded and gave some insight into the German viewpoint.
Saturday's read is 'The bridge of San Luis Rey - a fast but memorable read. Fast forward a few days and I am reading 'Brief garlands' by Stanley Middleton. This would be one of his last books before he died. He writes very insightful novels about relationships between couples and friends and can dig into the matters that should be 'talked about' rather than 'talked over'.
I picked up a copy of 'The Blade' from the library on Friday night following your enthusiastic post. Thanks for the tip.

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