places_and_books

Andy reads a lot ๐Ÿ“š Bookstagram - UK ๐Ÿ“– A Writer's Diary, by Virginia Woolf - 84/52 ๐Ÿ’ฌ "Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." Omar Khayyam http://www.placesandbooks.com/
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How's your year going? ๐Ÿค”
miles ahead, miles behind, or just about on target? i think i'm a ways behind if i'm honest. i've not done half the things on my list, partly because i was overly ambitious and partly because work just takes up too much of my time and energy. ๐Ÿคจ
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i have managed to cycle sa colobra in majorca this year (posted in my story) which was one highlight, and to saunter up skiddaw and catbells in the lake district, and pen y fan in the brecons. โ›ฐ
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i've also changed jobs, managed two visits to hay on wye, read 84 books so far and done a cross harbour swim. so not all bad. and the family are all doing well. so all in all it goes down as a decent year, despite the failures. ๐Ÿ“š
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and my picture: just a bunch of penguin poets to lighten your day. don't say i do nothing for you!
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"forgive, o lord, my little jokes on thee,
and i'll forgive thy great big one on me."
robert frost
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#robertfrost #penguinpoets #vintagepenguins #hölderlin
#johndonne #2018 #yearend #hayonwye #sacolobra #majorca #lifegoals #poetry #booksilove #booklover #whatiread #bibliophile #oldbooks #aehousman #hilairebelloc #robertgraves

comment 41 star 406 22 hours ago

What do you do with your unwanted or duplicate books? ๐Ÿ“š
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i'm featuring a slightly different version of the penguin poets today, which i appear to have come by almost by accident. i'll probably put these ones up for sale soon to make a bit of book space (and book money!) so i thought i would post a picture of them quickly before i did. ๐Ÿ“ธ
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normally my excess books get passed on to friends and family, taken to charity shops or my favourite book swap cafe. but these are a nice set and it would be a shame to break them up. ๐Ÿ“š
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not that you get much for old books on amazon or ebay, but it feels like one was of guaranteeing that they will go to a happy home and be well loved. ๐Ÿ‘
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#penguinpoets #vintagepenguins #robertfrost #poetry #johnmilton #williamblake #byron #johnkeats #elizabethbarrettbrowning #poetry #christmastree #booksforsale

comment 61 star 609 Yesterday

What is your most unusual book?
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this is mine. the cover is a kind of rough leather, like felt or something, with a bas-relief picture. ๐Ÿ“š
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this is also one of my very favourite thomas hardy's. at one point or another i seem to have read all of hardys novels, and while i love tess, the return of the native and far from the madding crowd, i usually say my favourite is under the greenwood tree or the woodlanders, or sometimes if i'm feeling contrary a pair of blue eyes. ๐Ÿ“š
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i love his prose style, his characterisation, his plotting and even his gloom! ๐Ÿ“š
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do you have a favourite hardy?
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#thomashardy #oldbooks #booklover #apairofblueeyes #tessofthedurbervilles #farfromthemaddingcrowd #returnofthenative #undetthegreenwoodtree #thewoodlanders #victorianliterature

comment 62 star 427 2 days ago

I have a little fun quiz for you today. read on...
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i've done a fair bit of re-reading this year, including the two books pictured today, both written by remarkable women and published only a few years apart in 1811 and 1817. ๐Ÿ“š
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these lovely clothbound editions are published by oxford university press and are two out of a beautiful set of twenty. oup aren't on insta but you can find them on facebook: facebook.com/oxfordworldsclassics
or just google them to see the rest of their clothbound editions. ๐Ÿ“š
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and now the quizette...
i have five quotes below, two taken from frankenstein, two from sense and sensibility and one rogue one. see if you can correctly attribute them. .
โ—"life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and i will defend it.”
โ—"how nearly can what we most despise and hate, approach in outward manner to that which we most venerate!"
โ—"i wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way."
โ—"when falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness?"
โ—"to wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect."
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happy guessing! ๐Ÿ˜
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and finally here's a list of my re-reads so far this year. any favourites?
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1. frankenstein by mary shelley
2. sense and sensibility by jane austen
3. heart of darkness by joseph conrad
4. matilda by roald dahl
5. tess of the d'urbervilles by thomas hardy
6. north and south by elizabeth gaskell
7. the count of monte cristo by alexandre dumas
8. the prisoner of zenda by anthony hope
9. asterix the gaul by goscinny and uderzo
10. the odyssey by homer
11. dracula by bram stoker
12. a picture of dorian gray by oscar wilde
13. mrs dalloway by virginia woolf
14. mike and psmith by pg wodehouse ๐Ÿ“š
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#oxfordworldsclassics #clothboundclassics #senseandsensibility #janeausten #maryshelley #frankenstein #reread #bookquiz #bookquotes

comment 86 star 592 3 days ago

Read any of these? ๐Ÿค”
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as you may know my main reading focus this year was on women writers since 1918, and virginia woolf. a few in those categories here, in september's pile... ๐Ÿ“š
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๐Ÿ“šhow to be a woman (caitlin moran) – funny, honest, helpful and surprisingly bright, this book pulls no punches and avoids no subjects. a pretty complete dictionary on the subject. 4*
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โ—in the winter dark (tim winton) – you cannot read a page of tim winton and not notice. his prose grabs your attention. it is poetic and unsettling. this is a visceral tale of a small lonely outback community stalked by something supernatural, or is it more human, or even psychological? 4*
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โ—mrs dalloway (virginia woolf) – once attuned to her style, woolf’s writing can be very rewarding. this is very good, though i marginally prefer to the lighthouse still. 4*
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โ—the ballad of the sad café (carson mccullers) – to be honest i struggled to relate to this book, as beautifully, musically written as it is. unusually for mccullers (the heart is a lonely hunter is brilliant) i felt the characters were two dimensional and lacked humanity. it’s still an interesting, operatic piece of small town american observation, and worth a read however. 3*
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โ—the god of small things (arundhati roy) – beautifully written but difficult and unrelenting. not a happy book for me. 3*
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โ—frenchman's creek (daphne du maurier) - cheesy, adventurous, cheesy, fun and cheesy. daphne du maurier pulls it off, just. i thoroughly enjoyed it, but it's not going to trouble virginia woolf's work in terms of quality. 3*
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โ—the hours (michael cunningham) – three linked stories interwoven, each that leaves you pondering. this is excellently written, occasionally mimicking woolf’s style in mrs dalloway to perfection. to be honest though, the section of fictionalised biography of virginia stood out for me as much more interesting than the rest. 3*
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have you read any of those? did you agree with my opinion? ๐Ÿค”
#virginiawoolf #oldbooks #daphnedumaurier #michaelcunningham #carsonmccullers #bookstack #virginiawoolf #caitlinmoran #yearofreading #whatiread

comment 80 star 671 4 days ago

Which is your favourite bookshop?
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tough call right? like choosing which of your kids you love best! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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i recently posted a blog about my favourite bookshop (click the link in my bio for a proper tour!), which has sadly been closed for over a decade. in that time it has developed mythical status in my mind, like a creation of #carlosruizzafon . ๐Ÿ“š
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the musty smell, the creaky floorboards, the vaulted ceiling and dusty air, and best of all, the ancient tomes. ๐Ÿ“š
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i have so many books on my shelves from that shop, including the ones in my picture today. ๐Ÿ“š
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do you have a mythical bookshop in your mind? .
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#alexandredumas #charlesdickens #vintagebooks #janeausten bookspines #dustytomes #georgeeliot #victorhugo #johnbunyan #williamshakespeare

comment 56 star 501 5 days ago

In some parts of the world it's #tribandtuesday but in my world it's phoebe, my younger daughter's 18th birthday ๐ŸŽ‰
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so it's a short post today, as we are out tonight, like responsible parents, for cocktails with the newly legal drinker! ๐Ÿน๐Ÿฅ‚
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i could rattle on about a gorgeous superstar she is, but i won't, so you'll just have to take my word for it. ๐Ÿ˜Š
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in other news i hope you are enjoying the #tenfilmstendays picture i'm putting on my stories. someone tagged me and i lost who it was. sorry. ๐Ÿ™ˆ
do feel free to have a go. always interesting to see what people's favourite films are. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
do you have a favourite film?
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#books #classiclit #lovereading #classicliterature #happybirthday #marcelproust #vintagepenguins #vintagebooks #gilbuhet #albertomoravia #reader #ernesthemingway #irismurdoch

comment 58 star 623 2 weeks ago

Read any of these? ๐Ÿค”
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these are my august reads.
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โ— the colour purple (alice walker) - absolutely brilliant. everyone says this is great and it did not disappoint. an almost perfect novel. i'll probably rave about this in due course but for now i'm just letting it sink in. i feel like i know all the characters like friends.5*
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โ— the year of magical thinking (joan didion) - a difficult subject (bereavement) but handled with a stunning combination of emotional intensity and precise objective analysis. very good.4*
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โ—gigi (colette) - somehow innocent and saucy, worldly-wise and wide-eyed at the same time. most enjoyable. 3*
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โ— a rose for winter (laurie lee) - even the most basic travelogue becomes a piece of poetry in laurie lee's hands and every sentence demonstrates his non-judgemental love of people. 4*
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โ—regeneration (pat barker) - i loved this because it's all about the encounters between a psychologist/psychiatrist and siegfried sassoon after his anti war declaration. it made me think a lot about conforming to the façade of society and what happens when the requirements of that society become effectively insane. is it then insane to protest, or is it actually sane. a thoughtful, straightforward novel with no real narrative gimmicks.4*
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โ— a girl is a half formed thing (eimarr mcbride) - this was a challenging book in lots of ways. unlike many, i did get to grips with the stylistic prose issues, but unfortunately what lies beneath is nasty, negative and hopeless. i am not sure what point mcbride is trying to make. the novel is unremittingly grim - and my objections are not just squeamishness. i gave it three stars as it was a literary feat and impressive, but i would not recommend it because its nasty. i've never given something 3 stars and not recommended it before.3*
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โ— three tales (gustav flaubert) - some easy, not overly ambitious stories here. it's strange to be presented with linear narratives, we are so influenced by modernism and post-modernism. he writes well, and there are some nice moments, but it's not worth rushing out to get this, in my opinion.3* ๐Ÿ“š
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did you agree with my opinion? ๐Ÿค”

comment 113 star 672 2 weeks ago

"a good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit."
john milton
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what was the last poem you read?
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for me it was some of vita sackville-west's poetry - her poem from a diary. such a simple poem of uncomplicated rural delights. i expect it won no awards, but it was beautiful and uplifting to read. ๐Ÿ“š
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written in january 1918, i'd love to know the context, as the great war's outcome was far from certain and the slaughter was at its most terrible. and yet, this poem is unscarred by the conflict. why was that? denial? pacifism? or was it painting a picture of a country and a lifestyle worth fighting for?
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these four books were all bought at my favourite bookshop, which features in my latest blog "a la recherche du bookshop perdu". click on the link in my bio to read it. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
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#bookstagram #bookish #booklover #bibliophile #books #paperback #literature #reading #igbooks #igreads #bookworm  #prosejunkie #picoftheday #bookshops #secondhandbookshops #guildford #vitasackvillewest #lordbyron #robertburns #johnmilton #emilybronte #wutheringheights #alfredlordtennyson

comment 74 star 579 2 weeks ago

What do you think about this lot? ๐Ÿค”
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here's what i read in july... ๐Ÿ“š
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โ—their eyes were watching god (zora neale hurston) homespun storytelling, a very real flawed narrator, low level adventures/experiences, a very human story. hard to compare to anything else. it haunts you. just read it. 5*
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โ— the grasmere journal (dorothy wordsworth) joyously mundane. such a simple life. long walks, neighbours, getting the post, reading shakespeare, toothache, chats with coleridge and growing vegetables. just wonderful. 4*
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โ— soul of wood (jakov lind) post wwii german author, understandably focused on h****r / n****m but also on mental health. lively, well drawn and absorbing, pleasantly confusing, with a little magical realism thrown in for good measure. 3*
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โ— atomised (michel houllebecq) unengaging, written by a man who seems depressed and does not seem to like people. characters not sympathetic. despite some interesting facts and insights i would not recommend this. boring. read fight club instead. 2*
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โ— ths autobiography of alice b toklas (gertrude stein) - brilliant and funny (stein lauding herself in the third person), a little superficial and occasionally monotonous. mostly fascinating though. 3*
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โ— the red badge of courage (stephen crane) - this was not at all what i was expecting! i thought it would be a boys' adventure story based on the cover and the fact that it is often bracketed with the likes of jack london stories. in fact in turned out to be an intelligent and involving treatise on morality and moral strength/weakness against a backdrop of battle. very impressive. 4*
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โ— the prisoner of zenda (anthony hope) - a classic adventure story with an excellent narrator. dated, but a lot of fun. 4*
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have you read any of those? did you agree with my opinion? ๐Ÿค”
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#bookstagram #bookish #booklover #bibliophile #books #paperback #literature #reading #igbooks #igreads #bookworm  #prosejunkie #picoftheday #zoranealehurston #jakovlind #gertrudestein #anthonyhope #dorothywordsworth #michelhoullebecq #stephencrane

comment 45 star 517 2 weeks ago

To re-read or not to re-read? ๐Ÿ“š
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given that we have a finite time on this island earth before we shuffle off our mortal coil, we have to be selective in the things we choose to do. and that includes what we read. ๐Ÿ“š
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for me there are three reasons to re-read:
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1. comfort reading. something you know will give you a guaranteed feeling. for me this is any of my top three, plus the first three harry potter books. my ultimate feel good book though is nick earls' zigzag street. laugh out loud every time. brilliant. ๐Ÿ“š
2. guaranteed quality. you know it's going to be good. like the pile in this stack. every one a winner. gaskell, bronte, austen, stendahl, cervantes, hugo, dostoievsky. job done.
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3. because you can't remember a book, though you've definitely read it. this happens a lot to me. sometimes it's over 30 years since i first read a book. i'm a different person now to who i was then. i might like a book now that i didnt like then (this has happened). watch out though. you could ruin the memory of a book you liked just as easily. ๐Ÿ“š
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but i'm so nerdy i thought it would be fun to devise a re-read formula. #presidentofthenerds here. how about one book for every ten you read, plus two more for each decade you are above 20. so for me, reading eighty books a year and being fifty years old, that would make 14 re-reads and 66 new books out of 80 books. feels about right. ๐Ÿ˜Ž
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can you improve on that formula booknerds?
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#bookstagram #bookish #booklover #bibliophile #books #paperback #literature #reading #igbooks #igreads #bookworm  #prosejunkie #picoftheday #reread #elizabethgaskell #charlottebronte #cervantes #victorhugo #fyedordostoyevsky #janeausten #stendhahl

comment 133 star 822 2 weeks ago

Read any of these? ๐Ÿค”
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after a couple months gap in reviewing my year's reading month by month, i return... with june. looking at this pile it was a pretty eclectic month! here's what i read... ๐Ÿ“š
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โ—testament of youth (vera brittain) – a brilliant and emotional female perspective on world war i, duty, loss, social insight. quite devastating. it peters out in a little at the end but it's really very good. 5*
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โ— the body in the library (agatha christie) – a very enjoyable mystery. you know there will be twists but goodness they are well executed. such deftness, such slight of hand. 4*
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โ—the prelude (william wordsworth) – a little prosey for my taste, but some moments of beauty and real poetry. 3*
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โ—the dubliners (james joyce) - brilliant writing, much more accessible than much of his work. short stories from all angles of dublin. insightful, wistful and a pleasure. 4*
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โ—women and power (mary beard) - feminist, unflinching, balanced and thoughtful, this written lecture can leave no one in any doubt as to the conscious gender war that has been waged by men against women for millennia, although it is a little weak in conclusion. great feminist re-appraisal of classical civilisation though. 4*
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โ—asterix the gaul (goscinny and uderzo) – a nostalgia trip - returned to after i did a #historyofmyreadingflife on my blog - 13 books which defined landmarks in my reading life. this was an early one, on the list because i always headed straight for the asterix and tintin box at the library when i first started going as a child. a very enjoyable re-read. 4*
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โ—night and day (virginia woolf) – subtle, slow, studied, not a masterpiece but better than most george eliot. 3*
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have you read any of those? did you agree with my opinion? ๐Ÿค”
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#bookstagram #bookish #booklover #bibliophile #books #paperback #literature #reading #igbooks #igreads #bookworm  #prosejunkie #picoftheday #virginiawoolf #asterixthegaul #marybeard #jamesjoyce #agathachristie #verabrittain #williamwordsworth

comment 83 star 617 2 weeks ago