One Book a Week Club 2021

Everything except LibriVox (yes, this is where knitting gets discussed. Now includes non-LV Volunteers Wanted projects)
Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » February 1st, 2021, 2:11 pm

I thought I'd post each month separately. So here are my books completed in February.

6 This is Going to Hurt; by Adam Kay. Extracts from the diaries of a doctor in the NHS (mostly when he was in gynaecology and obstetrics). Despite the humour, the book makes it painfully obvious why so many of the front-line staff are leaving the NHS; long hours (many unpaid), poor pay; appalling behaviour by hospital managament/PALS and by politicians. A fascinating but massively uncomfortable read. (++++)
7 The Sorceress of Karres - Eric Flint, Dave Freer. Third in the series that started with The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz. Light science fiction; the series is enjoyable, but this one has what feels like an over-complicated storyline. (+++)
8 The Wizard of Karres - Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, Dave Freer. Second in the Karres series. My mild dislike of one of the main protagonists (Pausert), whom I find dull, stodgy, and relatively humourless, colours my feelings about the series, but the stories are light and fun. (+++)
9 Ghost Trees - Bob Gilbert. The author lives in a large parish (Poplar) in the East End of London, and has spent a lot of time wandering through his streets, learning about the fauna and flora. He talks about the trees of the area, stirred in with the history of Poplar. Mildly interesting, easy to read, and made me want to dig out a map of the area to follow him. (+++)
10 A Study in Sorcery - Michael Kurland. Randall Garrett wrote a number of stories about an alternate world where Richard the First survived (and John never became king, and the Plantagenets still rule), and 'the science of magic has displaced the magic of science'. Lord D'Arcy is Special Investigator for the court, with the assistance of Master Sean O'Lochlainn, forensic sorcerer. After Garrett's death, his friend Mike Kurland wrote two more novels set in that world; this is one of them. The series is set in a beautifully realised world, with magic and love and humour. Sherlock Holmesian investigations of murder and mystery. (+++++)
12 The Witches of Karres - James H. Schmitz. The first in the science fiction/fantasy/humour series. A reread after a few years (I had to buy a new copy). I still don't like the main character much; the Karres girls, plus practically everyone else (after he leaves his home planet of Nickeldepain) have more interesting and complex personalities than Pausert. But I do enjoy the story (+++)
13 Snuff - Terry Pratchett, Re-read. Sam Vimes, commander of the Watch, on holiday in the country with his wife. Luckily for his peace of mind, he finds conspiracy, aristocracy, and murder ... otherwise, he'd be bored to tears and desperate to get back to his constabulary duties in Ankh-Morpork. (++++)
14 Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages - Tom Holt. An unusually confused and pointless (which is saying a lot, given how rambling and confusing many of his stories are), and mildly humorous novel. I'd hoped it was another about the sorcery consultants, J.W. Wells and Co., but it wasn't. (++)
15 The Infernal Device - Michael Kurland. Set in the Sherlock Holmes world, a novel about the much-maligned Professor Moriarty, criminal consultant. Very enjoyable. Isaac Asimov said "... has made Moriarty more interesting than Doyle ever made Holmes." (+++++)
16 The Fifth Element - Terry Bisson. I liked the film (which has one of the most enjoyable villains of any film I've seen), and only recently found out that a novel had been written, based on it. It's a shallow, uninvolving reflection of the film, which made me realise how skillful that the authors that I like are (I think of C.J. Cherryh, for example, where environments are strongly described, and the reader understands the thoughts and emotions of the characters). It does give the villain a chance to survive, though, where I think that in the film he dies in an exploding space station. (++)
17 The Shaman of Karres - Eric Flint, Dave Freer. A recently published continuation of the Karres series. Fun, with a relatively straightforward story. In my opinion, at least as good as Schmitz's original story ... possibly because Captain Pausert comes over as a more interesting character. This feels like the end of the series, but it may not be. (++++)
18 Death By Gaslight - Michael Kurland. The second Professor Moriarty novel. Excellent .... as long as you're not a devotee of the Holmes-is-perfect myth (I've seen criticism of these novels on Amazon, on that basis). (++++)
Peter
Last edited by Peter Why on March 12th, 2021, 2:21 pm, edited 24 times in total.
"I think, therefore I am, I think." Solomon Cohen, in Terry Pratchett's Dodger

KevinS
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Post by KevinS » February 1st, 2021, 2:21 pm

Peter Why wrote:
February 1st, 2021, 2:11 pm
I thought I'd post each month separately. So here are my books completed in February.

6 This is Going to Hurt; by Adam Kay. Extracts from the diaries of a doctor in the NHS (mostly when he was in gynaecology and obstetrics). Despite the humour, the book makes it painfully obvious why so many of the front-line staff are leaving the NHS; long hours (many unpaid), poor pay; appalling behaviour by hospital managament/PALS and by polititicians. A fascinating but massively uncomfortable read. (++++)

Peter
Here in America, we're told everything is perfect with UK healthcare.

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » February 1st, 2021, 2:47 pm

The NHS works surprisingly well for the patients, but only at the expense of insanely long hours for junior doctors. They apparently have to sign a document allowing their employers to ignore a European directive which restricts the hours employees have to work.

I've seen the way the hospital management handle disciplinary proceedings against their employees (not me .. I was called as a witness); brutal, callous and heavy-handed. And here's a quote from the book about the PALS (Patients' Advice and Liaison Service): "PALS are the hospital's complaints department. They take 'the customer is always right' to bizarre new heights and no matter how trivial the complaint, would gladly have doctors turn up at patients' houses carrying a bouquet of flowers and wearing a hair shirt."

That was certainly how PALS was viewed by the doctors and other staff that I worked with.

Peter
Last edited by Peter Why on February 20th, 2021, 4:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
"I think, therefore I am, I think." Solomon Cohen, in Terry Pratchett's Dodger

ColleenMc
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Post by ColleenMc » February 1st, 2021, 3:42 pm

Peter Why wrote:
January 1st, 2021, 3:14 pm
I'll try to keep my record up to date this year. Let's say 60 books.

Completed in January
1 Lock Picking for Complete Beginners & Intermediates; author Charles Prince. (about 85 pages .. they're not numbered) If the subject interests you, don't bother with this book; there *must* be better ones on the subject (in fact, the booklet I received with a set of practice locks was much better produced and infinitely more helpful)! Not well edited. (-)
2 Unnatural Issue - by Mercedes Lackey. One of the Elemental Masters series. A re-read. Magic, necromany and romance in London around the early 20th Century and WW1. An involving read, weakened a little by the infatuation-at-first-sight of the main protagonist. (+++++)
3 Going Postal; author Terry Pratchett. A re-read. Another Ankh-Morpork story, our first encounter with confidence trickster Moist von Lipwig. Von Lipwig, without his knowledge, is set against against a group of what might be called "entrepreneurs" who, by embezzlement and use of legal loopholes, have taken over the semaphore "clacks" system which had been created by enthusiast engineers who have no protections against the manipulations of their financiers. (+++++)
4 The Pinhoe Egg; author Diana Wynne Jones. A re-read for light entertainment. One of her novels set in the Chrestomanci universe. After we first encounter Cat in Charmed Life, there are a couple of novels and a few short stories which tell us how his powers are developing. (+++++)
5 The Hidden Life of Trees; by Peter Wohlleben. A forester in Germany shares his feelings and his knowledge about trees, and the need for ancient woodland to be preserved and created, untouched by "forest management". Involving, interesting and written by someone who had the best interests of trees and the environment at heart. (+++++)


Current or planned books:
Ghost Trees - by Bob Gilbert.
On Having No Head - by D.E. Harding
The New Hite Report - by Shere Hite
London Vagabond, the life of Henry Mayhew - by Christopher G. Anderson

Peter
Oooh, I have the Hidden Life of Trees in my TBR too -- it went on $1.99 ebook sale on Amazon recently. I'm a sucker for those deals!
Also I've been listening to the London Labor and London Poor series intermittently so I'm curious about the bio of Henry Mayhew!

Colleen
Colleen McMahon

No matter where you go, there you are. -- Buckaroo Banzai

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » February 4th, 2021, 5:53 am

Colleen, I've started on Mayhew's biography. I'll put a little more effort into getting it read. I'm not impressed by his father so far! I'll explain why, later.
Peter
"I think, therefore I am, I think." Solomon Cohen, in Terry Pratchett's Dodger

gowrishreevalli05
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Post by gowrishreevalli05 » February 4th, 2021, 10:20 am

Hai everyone.
Am a new reader to librivox. I have loved and read books ever since i understood what books are. Reading for audio books is my first time. I don't have serious goals since i have a long way to go and this is my 1st year, 1st month. For the 2021 goal:Doing even one solo would be so great. Few dramas, a lots of collaborations. I can already see a fun filled future ahead😁 :9:

JayKitty76
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Post by JayKitty76 » February 13th, 2021, 11:34 am

I’m going to shoot for 100 novels this year. We’ll see how far I get as I’m not very good at bookkeeping.

I just finished reading J.K. Rowling’s The Ickabog, a surprisingly dark fairytale that recalls more of the original Grimm’s fairytales than the modern Disney ones. I really enjoyed it, however, but I consider it to be even darker than the Harry Potter series. (Definitely misses the target age range of 7-9, more of a 12+.)

I’ve also been writing a lot, but reading the Bible of course and reading stuff on sites like Wattpad (very carefully.) :wink:

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » March 2nd, 2021, 4:22 am

Here are the books I've finished in March.

19 Raising Steam - Terry Pratchett. A re-read. TP's penultimate Discworld novel. The technology of the steam train arrives, with some opposition. Mechanics and politics stirring the future. One of his good ones. (++++)
20 The Great Game - Michael Kurland. I'm working my way through these novels as quickly as I can get hold of them. Very enjoyable. This one was a little confusing, as many of the characters were working under false names at different points in the story. (++++)
21 Who Thinks Evil - Michael Kurland. Another Professor Moriarty novel. They are very involving; I'm enjoying them enormously. They don't have the immediate-reread attraction that Terry Pratchett's novels did, but I'll certainly be coming back to them. (++++)
22 The Empress of India - Michael Kurland. I think this is the only remaining novel in the Professor Moriarty series. A fascinating read, made more complex by the slightly misleading blurb on the back. (++++)
23 The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks. In a way, this is a 189 page short story; love, love and the mortality that waits on all of us. I read it through in one afternoon and early evening, because I knew that if I put it down, I would find it too hard to pick up again; too painful. Many tears, and memories of the first deep love of my life. What a tangle. A beautiful story. I picked up the book because I had heard about the film somewhere, looked it up on wikipedia, and found it was based on this novel. I'm probably not going to watch the film, because if they made it well, it would hurt too much, and if they made it badly, it would dirty the memory. "... and even now I read the passages and wonder who I was when I wrote them, for I cannot remember the events of my life. There are times I sit and wonder where it has all gone." Too true; I wish that I'd kept a diary. (+++++)
24 Charmed Life - Diana Wynne Jones. A re-read (which I started immediately after finishing The Notebook, to clear my mood). The first of the Chrestomanci stories that I read (and, I think, the first to be written). (++++)
25 Young Wizards: Lifeboats - Diane Duane. A re-read. I'd forgotten how good this story was. The last, so far, in the Young Wizards series. Kit and Nita are starting to become aware of each other as closer partners than simply as wizards. They become involved in a major wizardly intervention, removing an entire population of non-humans from their planet before it's destroyed by a natural catastrophe. (++++)
26 Mudlark River; Down the Thames with a Victorian Map - Simon Wilcox. A wander down the River Thames from its origin to Southend, where it joins the sea; stirred in with literary, artistic, and historical comments. A mildly interesting read, though it was easy to return to, that only occasionally made me want to go and see some of the places the author describes. (+++)
27 The Dawn of Amber - John Gregory Betancourt. The first of a series of ?four prequels to Roger Zelazny's Amber stories. Excellent. A re-read; I'm rereading the sequence because I've just bought the fourth in the Betancourt series. (+++++)
28 Wizard's Holiday - Diane Duane. A re-read. Another in the Young Wizards series (sixth?). Nita's young sister Dairine's attempt to set up a sort of holiday on the other side of the galaxy goes slightly wrong, and she is stuck at home with three non-human visitor wizards, while Nita and Kit travel to a strangely peaceful and amiable planet far away. (++++)
29 High Wizardry - Diane Duane. A re-read. The third in the Young Wizards series. Nita's sister Dairine takes the Wizard's Oath and is pursued across the universe. (+++)
30 Wizard Abroad - Diane Duane. Fourth in the Young Wizards series. Nita is sent to Ireland by her parents because they're worried about her relationship with Kit. Not just her parents; the Powers That Be need Nita (and eventually, Kit and Dairine) in Ireland to help with incursions from the world of Irish mythology. (++++)
31 A Wizard Alone - Diane Duane. Fifth in the series. Nita is getting over the grief of losing someone close; Kit gets tangled in the mind of an autistic wizard. Not as much story as most of the series; I found myself scanning over paragraphs. (+++)
32 Chaos and Amber - John Gregory Betancourt. The second in the author's series set in Roger Zelazny's world of Amber. Involving. (++++)
Peter
Last edited by Peter Why on March 29th, 2021, 9:32 pm, edited 20 times in total.
"I think, therefore I am, I think." Solomon Cohen, in Terry Pratchett's Dodger

MaryinArkansas
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Post by MaryinArkansas » March 2nd, 2021, 8:05 am

Just a few books in February. I guess because it's a short month. :)

"Travels With My Aunt" by Graham Greene. Kindle e-book. Very good, entertaining book. I like his writing.

"The Shadowy Third" by Ellen Glasgow. Ebook. In the past few years she's become one of my favorite authors of books written in early 20th century. First discovered Ms. Glasgow's writing at a library sale, when one of her books was included in a taped paper bag of 10 books for $1.00. This is a book of short stories, several with a ghostly theme. Excellent writing.

"The Beginning of the Middle Ages" by Richard William Church. LibriVox download. Good non-fiction book, very nicely read by Pamela Nagami.

Edit: Also read “”When Books Went to War” by Molly Guptil Manning. Very good, interesting about the importance of books during war time.


On to the March books - two are already under way.
Mary

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” – Samuel Johnson

Marsupial's Books

MaryinArkansas
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Post by MaryinArkansas » April 4th, 2021, 7:32 pm

Here I am with my list of books read in March. I know lots of other people are reading lots of books. Not posting here, I guess. Anyhoo...

"The Notebook of Gismondo Cavalletti" by R. M. Lamming. Book from library sale. Very good book set in Florence during the Renaissance.
"The Innocent Man" by John Grisham. Audio book from thrift store. Very good non-fiction book by Grisham regarding a man wrongly convicted of murder (later found innocent)
"Bear Creek Collection Vol.1" by Robert E. Howard. LibriVox recording read by RK Wilcox. Great readings of humorous short stories by pulp magazine writer Robert Howard
"The Able McLaughlins" by Margaret Wilson. Gutenberg download e-book. Pulitzer prize winning book. I had never heard of it. Good novel.
Mary

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” – Samuel Johnson

Marsupial's Books

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » April 17th, 2021, 6:57 am

My April books:

33 The Wizard's Dilemma - Diane Duane. Sixth in the Young Wizards series. A re-read. Kit and Nita; Ponch, Kit's dog, shows Kit the way to new universes, and Nita fights illness in her family. Powerful, tearful. (+++++)
34 The Riddlemaster of Hed - Patricia McKillip. A re-read. A powerful story of love, betrayal and magic set in a fantasy world. One of those stories where, when I'm reading it, this world we live in seems less real, and that other world the world I feel at home in. (+++++)
35 Heir of Sea and Fire - Patrician McKillip. Re-read; continuation of the story. After Morgon, the land-heir of the island of Hed, vanishes, Raederle, Lyra and Tristan travel across the lands to try to discover what had happened to him. (+++++)
36 Harpist in the Wind - Patricia McKillip. Re-read; conclusion of the story ... and their world approaches destruction. (+++++)

Peter
Last edited by Peter Why on April 27th, 2021, 6:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
"I think, therefore I am, I think." Solomon Cohen, in Terry Pratchett's Dodger

mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » April 17th, 2021, 12:58 pm

I've been taking a long-desired rest this weekend to catch up on reading a few of my books. I was just able to move three of them to my "completed" list: viewtopic.php?p=1830468#p1830468 :9:

I may try to finish off Hans Brinker before the weekend is out, too. I'm getting close.

KmpltlyMe
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Post by KmpltlyMe » May 2nd, 2021, 3:15 pm

Newbie here...

It’s already May so I’m late to the party. I am going to set a reasonable goal—two books a month. So, 16 books for me in 2021. A co-worker suggested Down River by John Hart, so I will start there. I’ve been browsing the books others have I read or are reading and got some great suggestions.

K.

MaryinArkansas
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Post by MaryinArkansas » May 9th, 2021, 8:42 pm

Here I am with my list for April. A nice selection to read while looking out the window, watching the pollen drift down through the sunlight.

"The Mysterious Affair at Styles" by Agatha Christie. Ebook. Entertaining Hercule Poirot mystery (his first appearance.) I also listened to the audiobook of this in 2010.

"Elephant Company" by Vicki Croke. This was a nice thrift store surprise, as they were clearing out bookshelves and all books were 50 cents. Book is a true story of Billy Williams, who worked with elephants in Burma as part of his job with a teak company, and his efforts (and the elephants) in saving people during WWII.

"Alice the Enigma: A Biography of one of Queen Victoria’s Daughters" Christina Croft. Kindle library book. Very good, entertaining book. Combination of biography and history of British royal family

"Bear Creek Collection Vol 2" by Robert E Howard. LibriVolx recording read by R.K. Wilcox Another great reading by this reader (looks like he isn't on LibriVox anymore.) Some of the funny parts are the kind that only a kid should laugh at, but an adult still gets a laugh and snort out of them. Well, this one did.
Mary

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” – Samuel Johnson

Marsupial's Books

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