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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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Mr Cornflower

Having recently started running for pleasure and exercise I should like to read Haruki Murakami's "What I think about when I think about running". I have also seen an enthusiastic endorsement from Lindsay Bagshaw over at Booksdofurnisharoom of Umberto Eco's "Misreadings".

Peter the flautist

Dark Puss hopes that someone might give him a copy of "The Early Flute A Practical Guide", Rachel Brown, Cambridge Handbooks to the Historical Performance of Music, , 2008. To read over Christmas? I'm late with a review of "Electromagnetic Interactions and Hadronic Structure" by Close, Donnachie and Shaw, CUP, 2007 so I'd better get on with it!


I hope you're not going to get carried away with this running lark.....

Peter the flautist

J finds running helps her state of mind, so don't be too discouraging!

Peter the flautist

Have you read Eco's book "Travels in hyperreality"?, I enjoyed that too.

Dark Puss


Better you than me, Peter - it sounds as though you might need some of Will's cake to help you through that second one!

Peter the flautist

Rather you than me I think; I seriously doubt I'd be BETTER than you. I think I have bitten of more than I can chew here ...
By the way once we are providing sub-comments in edit mode, the text rather challengingly vanishes off to stage left!

Mr Cornflower

No, but thanks for the suggestion - you will be pleased to hear I will borrow it from the library...


I am hoping to read over the Christmas season, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery. I have it on good authority, from my Daughter, that this is one of the best books she has read this year, or ever for that matter. Now it is just finding the time.

Peter the flautist

Let me also recommend his novel "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana"

Peter the flautist

Please email me a slice!

Peter the flautist

Donna, unless you have a secret not yet revealed to us mere physicists, you can't "find" the time, you have to give something else up! I hope the book turns out to be as good as you expect.


Donna, I've just looked up The Elegance of the Hedgehog and it does indeed look good. I think I might disagree with Peter, in a philosophical if not a physical sense, and say it is possible to 'find time'. Good luck with it!

Lisa W

I have asked Santa to find me a good book about ravens and crows. I am intrigued by these clever birds and the mythology pertaining to them.


I wish I had one to recommend, Lisa, but perhaps someone else does.


My husband mentioned an anthology of American Food Writing to me, so now I am hoping for that.

Linda C

For bookclub discussion in early January, we're reading: The Uncommon Reader and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, rather short, lightweight books for us, but good picks for the busy holiday season. I'm hoping for a lively discussion about reading and its importance in our lives.

Mary Ronan Drew

I'm hoping to get Lincoln: Biography of a Writer for Christmas. And I'd like a chance to read Dennis Lehane's new historical novel, The Given Day, and the new Toni Morrison.


Terri - teelgee

I would love to receive Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature for Christmas. And I hope to read Sacred Hunger. I have lots of reading time, but lots of reading obligations too.


I think I would like to try a Margaret Atwood (a bit late for the book group, but nevermind) since I have read so much about her work over the years. I already have a couple so there is really no excuse.


My husband and I are taking the dogs up to Northumbria for a week in a cottage near the beach over New Year. Given it's going to be far too cold to spend too much time outside, I have big plans to snuggle indoors and finally read Neal Stephenson's huge Baroque Trilogy which I am really excited about!

Peter the flautist

For mythology of birds in general I'd recommend Vol 39 Collins "New Naturalist" series by E.A. Armstrong "The Folklore of Birds". OOP I think (published 1958) but available 2nd hand. For the raven, the more recently published book by Ratcliffe, D. "Raven" (1997). For the crow, try "Crow Country" by Cocker M., Jonathan Cape (2007).

Dark Puss (binoculars in paw)


I actually have no idea though I'd be happy if someone gave me Geraldine Brooks' The People of the Book, which has just come out in paperback. And I made the cake, by the way, and it came out really well!


I love the threaded comments - it's fun to see actual discussion.

I have two of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody novels waiting patiently until I have finished the paper that is due at the end of this week, so I'm looking forward to those.

Simon T

This is all very newefangled indeed...

I'm hoping for Decca: Letters of Jessica Mitford. In fact, I might go now and make that hope more likely, by emailing my family...


These comments are remarkable--I may have stage fright. Let me gather myself.

I am hoping for Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate. I'd love it on cd for the car, but I can only find it abridged, so the real deal will be my best hope. Also would like Marisa De Los Santos's new book since Love Walked In was a pleasure.

Snowy and seven degrees in Maine this am! Happy December!


Testing, testing.......

I'm looking forward to a surprise book from my daughter who is quite brilliant at finding gems, previously unknown to me.


Another vote for Lincoln the Writer, from snowy New Hampshire.

And, not quite a book, but if it were available in a US compatible DVD, Lost in Austen -- discovered thanks to Stuck-in-a-Book Simon ( (Thank you, Simon!). It's on Youtube in bits and pieces...

Liking the threaded comments very much, Karen.


I take it your blog has also been moved to Typepad's 'new platform'? I like the comments with the little avatars (that's the right term?). I need to try that on my blog, too. I'll be getting nearly two weeks off from work for the holidays and I hope to get in lots and lots of reading. I want to read something by PD James, the newest Elizabeth George, Affinity by Sarah Waters and a book by Richmal Crompton (as yet undecided which). Of course that may change on whim. As for book gifts I'm hoping for the recent book of letters between the Mitford sisters.


Ah, I see how it works--you can repy to other commenter's comments. Cool.


Thank you Danielle. Now I think I'm getting it!


I would be interested in the etymology of newefangel. Here in New England, it is used quite often but spelled newfangled.

adele geras

I am waiting to read the collected Mitford Letters which have been sitting there for a year or more. Also LUSH LIFE by Richard Price. But the book I'm most eager to read in the New Year is the new Steig Larsson THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE. I just loved THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and can't recommend that highly enough for thriller lovers.


Yes, we use 'newfangled' too, but it comes from the Middle English 'newefangel'.


My Swedish friend, Sophie, told me about Steig Larsson, and she raves about his books, too.

Karen Beadling

I never ask for books, having way too many waiting to be noticed already, but I am on the Holds List at my library for Dennis Lehane's latest and apparently greatest. Even before my name rises to the top of that list, I can pick up Jhumpa Lahiri's (I hope I spelled that correctly) Unaccustomed Earth. Tomorrow!


Try Crow Country by Mark Cocker or Corvus: A Life With Birds by Esther Woolfson.

Margaret Powling

No one seems to want social history books ... I just love books of the 'how we lived' variety, such as Deborah Cohen's HOUSEHOLD GODS - THE BRITISH AND THEIR POSSESSIONS, or (via almost anything by Alison Adburgham, such as SHOPS AND SHOPPING (pub. 1964) or SHOPPING IN STYLE - LONDON FROM THE RESTORATION TO EDWARDIAN ELEGANCE (pub. 1979), all three of which are particularly appropriate on at least two counts: (1) we are seeing the beginings of recession and these books are how we have shopped and what we have bought, and (2) we all buy Christmas presents, so why not books about what we have bought and how we have bought them? I tend not to ask for books as presents because I always buy books as and when I want/can afford them. My latest is the book by design guru, David Mlinaric entitled simply MLINARIC ON DECORATING. Then, and because I wanted to know more about the place, I've sought out Ralph Dutton's book on HINTON AMPNER (now owned by the National Trust.) This property has quite a story: it received an appalling Victorian make-over by Dutton's grandfather. His own father did nothing to the place. When Dutton inherited he remodelled the property into a delightful neo-Georgian house over a 20 year period - the war causing the long delay - and then, just as he had it as he wanted it, it burned down. Undeterred, he immediately set about re-building (still in neo-Gerogian style) but died within a few years of its completion. But whilst I don't expect to receive any books as presents I will get down from the shelf my usual Christmas reading ... well, Christmas 'looking' for it's a book without words: John Goodall's EDWARDIAN CHRISTMAS, a delight from beginning to end.


I'm not sure about these new comments, time will tell I guess.

Reading wise, I hope to revisit some old friends by reading Trollope's Barsetshire chronicles.

As for under the tree... I'd like to see Donna Hay's new cookbook and Jill Roe's new bio of Stella Miles Franklin.

Lisa W

Thank you, Peter. You are a well informed cat!

Lisa W

Thanks Sarie! I will check out these titles.

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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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