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Cornflower book group

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  • Sidebar book cover thumbnail pictures are affiliate links to Amazon, and the storefront links to Blackwell's and The Book Depository are also affiliated; should you purchase a book directly through those links, I will receive a small commission. Older posts may also contain affiliate links to one of those bookshops. I am not paid to produce content and all opinions are my own.

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Peter the Flautist

On the go (but off the boil!) is still "Dr Faustus". I am now within 50 pages of the end. It has been one of the toughest books I have read (in translation I hasten to add) and I think I have lost the "plot" by now with numerous breaks. I am also reading the Kipling short stories and "Kokoro" by Natsume Soseki.

Dark Puss

rachel wild

I am a one book at a time type of gal, and I am loving Julie Oringer's How to Breathe Underwater. I've never been a big short story reader, but these quick reads are full of the complexities of youth and the common themes of water, friendship, and loss are captivating. Highly recommended!

adele geras

I have just read Portobello by Ruth Rendell in proof and am starting on her Barbara Vine book, the Birthday Present. But I had a train journey yesterday and took a suitably sensational thing with me: my first Robert Goddard. Sight Unseen. Very gripping and pageturny, but I was dizzy by the end with all the convolutions and am not sure I will read another. Every twist in the tale has yet another twist...a bit TIRING, I found. And not really well enough written to justify getting too hooked. Anyone out there a huge fan?


Hi Karen: At the moment I am reading
"Coventry" by Helen Humphreys. I think she has become one of my favourite writers. I was very surprised to learn that she is actually Canadian, because from reading her writings, I naturally assumed she was British. Although little fanfare is given her, compared to other Canadian writers such as Atwood or Alice Munroe, to me her work is as good, or better. Three of my favourites of hers are The Lost Garden, The Frozen Thames, which is a collection of very short stories, but some of which are heartbreakingly beautiful, and Coventry. My daughter introduced me to this author, and I have indeed become a fan.


Good topic, Cornflower - I now realise how promiscuous my reading habits are! Different books suit different reading times in the day and evening - and mood changes also dictate which of the current 'on the go' books gets attention. My current pile: Adam Thorpe -The Standing Pool. Annie Proulx - Fine Just the Way It Is, Alaa al Aswany - The Yacoubian Building, Zola - The Ladies' Paradise, and Helen Garner - The Spare Room (all except the Zola are by courtesy of my wonderful local library and its splendid online ordering facility!)

Mrs C

I have to say that I'm a one book at a time kind of person. If I try to start a second without finishing the first I find that I just never get round to going back to the first one. I think that I've just generally got so much going round in my head that struggle to cope with even more!


I love to have loads of books on the go and I love to read say a chapter of, or a scene from, a book I've previously read. I'm a great dipper into books. My favourite read of the moment is Catcher in the Rye which I bought at a branch of Waterstones in EDINBURGH last Saturday evening. I so love Holden Caulfield he kind of reminds me of a younger me always in trouble and failing exams. Oh dear! And I'm listening to that Dorothy Whipple on the radio like you suggested but not sure what I think of that one other than I'm intrigued by the name Aviary! Where did she get that name from?


I'm definitely a one book at a time kind of person (unless you count audiobooks). Every now and then, I might also be reading through something that isn't really a "sit down and read" book--something like Book Lust or a book of letters. And then there are books like The Ode Less Travelled, which includes poetry exercises and just can't be read in long stretches. The trouble with books like that is that I never seem to get back to them if I put them aside for more than a day or two.


I normally have two or tree books on the go at any one time, although sometimes I'll read through a shortish novel ( usually crime) in a couple of sittings. I've just finished Rose Tremain's The Road Home, which I found fascinating and enlightening. I'm also reading Kate Mosse's Sepulchre, which I'm finding more of a plod through than I expected, having enjoyed her Labyrinth. Anothet book on the go at the moment is W Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence, which I'm about half way through and only just beginning to really get into. I've also just acquired Graham Robb's Discovery of France, which I've dipped into the odd page so far - might have to fighht dear husband over this, as we are both committed Francophiles. If I'm finding a book a bit of a plod, but still want to finish the story, breaking off for a short while and reading something totally different helps re-awaken the enthusiasm fo the plod.


I am laughing out loud in my bed, alone.

The first sign of dementia?

No, I am laughing at your photo, which includes East Wind Melts the Ice.

I received an Amazon delivery the other day and in it was a small, thing, self-published book, East Winds melts the ice & Other Stories. I didn't remember ordering it. It's described as, "retelling s of narrative fragments from modern Japanese literature and journalism by a contemporary American poet.

Hmm, interesting but not really my cup of tea. How on earth did it get in my Amazon queue?

And then I saw the photo on your post and burst out laughing. Oh! It's East Wind Melts the Ice by Lisa Dalby and you were the one who recommended it in your sidebar.

Mystery solved. Foiled by American Amazon selection!

I obviously have literary Alzheimer's = and a good story to tell!


I always have several books on the go at once, and lately it has been TOO many books, so I am trying hard to whittle things down. At the moment I am reading Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates (have been reading some of her short stories--shocking and creepy), Ruth Hall by Fanny Fern, Deception's Daughter by Cordelia Frances Biddle (a mystery set in mid-1800s Philadelphia) and am trying hard to finish Les Misérables (have been reading this one all summer!). I'm envious that Adele has read the newest Rendell and will soon read the newest Vine (may have to break down and order them), and am curious about the Goddard (I like twisty turny). And Cornflower--there are several on your pile that I want too--most notably the Summerscale book and the Mitfords Letters! Reading blogs is what gets me into so much trouble--I want to read what everyone else is reading, too! :)


Mrs Woolf and the Servants - Alison Light.
Ekaterinburg - Helen Rappaport.
The Mysteries of Glass - Sue Gee.

At least a couple of these are your recommendations! Enjoying them all and, a bonus, borrowed from the library not bought.


Nice pile of books, Karen. I love covers that are that creamy ivory colour. I can only manage one book at a time. In fact, I get stressed if I have too many in my tbr pile.


The Zoe Heller looks interesting - I've been looking forward to her new book ever since I read Notes on a Scandal.
What do you make of Mr Whicher? It's a fascinating tale, isn't it?

I've got Les Mis and Cold Comfort Farm on the go at the moment, but am also making my way through my shelves and am reading The Girl in the Blue Dress on my way to and from work, so the others aren't getting much of a look in.


I have to laugh because I'm sitting at the computer with a garden column (newspaper) due and I'm taking a blog break!

I used to be a one book gal until I started reading blogs. So many books! So I started reading a couple at a time and it's mostly worked. Try to keep them quite different, though.

So, just finished "Snowdon The Biography" and "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase." Continuing on with "The Morville Hours" (ordered from UK after reading about it here), as well as "Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature," "How to Peel a Peach" and always try to have one political or current title: "The Promised Land: The Great Migration and How It Changed America."

I love your book posts and try to check out things from my library that you recommend. Just signed up for the Kate Summerscale. I'm 53 of 53 requests so it will be a few months before I get it.

PS - I have been commenting previously as Ms. Wis. and now I'm using my blog name.

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Please note

  • Sidebar book cover thumbnail pictures are affiliate links to Amazon, and the storefront links to Blackwell's and The Book Depository are also affiliated; should you purchase a book directly through those links, I will receive a small commission. Older posts may also contain affiliate links to one of those bookshops. I am not paid to produce content and all opinions are my own.


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