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rwmg

rwmg

Joined May 2017

Mainly mysteries, SF, history (fact and fiction)
review
rwmg
Rockets Versus Gravity | Richard Scarsbrook
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Mehso-so

To lose one wedding ring may be unfortunate, but to lose four? The rings pass through Toronto showing us how strangers are unknowingly or knowingly tied together.

A little too clever for its own good.

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rwmg
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Mehso-so

There is another coffee shop for aspiring time travellers, this one in Hakodate rather than Tokyo, but the rules are the same. The book follows the same format of four interlinked stories but it is starting to feel a little forced and lacking the freshness and interest the first two books had.

9 likes1 stack add
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rwmg
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Apparently the one in Tokyo is not the only cafe for aspiring time travellers. Here I am in a local cafe. I wonder where I should be sitting.

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rwmg
Rockets Versus Gravity | Richard Scarsbrook
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rwmg
On the Beach | Nevil Shute
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Pickpick


This 1957 novel was very readable if rather dated in its understanding of the aftermath of a nuclear war and the characterisation of the two main women characters.

As time went on I found the book had quite a deep emotional impact, with a deepening sense of despair in the second half which carried over into my general outlook and in the final chapter floods of tears as each character met their inevitable end.

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rwmg
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Pickpick

After leaving his Yokohama high school, Yuki Hirano drifts along with no initiative or motivation until his parents enrol him in an apprenticeship programme and he is sent to Kamusari, a tiny mountain village in the back of beyond, to learn forestry. 👎

rwmg Charming tale of city boy maturing and learning skills in the countryside.. Although I don't find forestry as interesting as lexicography, I learnt a lot from this possibly romanticised view of the Japanese forestry and timber industry. I will certainly keep an eye open for the sequel, but having watched the trailer on YouTube, I will probably give the film a miss. 4d
22 likes1 comment
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rwmg
Untitled | To Be Confirmed
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rwmg
On the Beach | Nevil Shute
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Kamusari villagers are really easygoing, especially those living deep in the mountains.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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rwmg
Dog is in the Details | Neil S Plakcy
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Pickpick

When a local rabbi's brother from several states away is murdered, Steve Levitan offers to help find out what he had been doing in the area. Is the murder related to the murder of a Holocaust survivor and his rabbi in the late 1940s?

A quick enjoyable read but with a somewhat darker background than the usual cozy.

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rwmg
Dog is in the Details | Neil S Plakcy
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rwmg
It's My Birthday | Helen Oxenbury
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🎵 It's My Birthday and I'll Buy Books If I Want To 🎵

AmyG Happy Birthday 🎁🎂🎈 Enjoy your books! 7d
kspenmoll Happy birthday 🎈🎉🎁 7d
TheLudicReader Happy birthday. 7d
See All 8 Comments
Deblovestoread Happy birthday 🎂 🎈 7d
Ruthiella Happy Birthday to YOU! 🥳🥳🥳 7d
fredamans Happy birthday! 6d
rwmg @fredamans Thank you 5d
20 likes8 comments
review
rwmg
The Inheritors | William Golding
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Pickpick

Lok and the people are moving to their summer camp. As they settle in they become aware of new people in the neighbourhood.

An imaginative telling of what happens when Neanderthals meet modern humans from the Neanderthals' point of view. The author really brings you into a completely different way of experiencing the world.

This ebook was a re-read but the cover has change since the last time I read it. I preferred the oldy cover (shown).

21 likes1 stack add
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rwmg
The Inheritors | William Golding
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rwmg
The Persian Boy | Mary Renault
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I don't usually go in for these but I couldn't resist this one.

1. YES

2. The tagged book is the middle one of Mary Renault's Alexander Trilogy (4th century BC). I would also highy recommend Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series (1st century BC) and for those wanting a standalone book Gore Vidal's Creation (6th/5th centuries BC).

@TheSpineView

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rwmg
The Angel of History | Rabih Alameddine
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Bailedbailed

A gay Yemeni living in San Francisco in the 1990s checks himself into a psychiatric clinic having lost too many friends and his lover to AIDS. In the meantime Satan is interviewing Death and the saints known as the Fourteen Holy Helpers about him.

I wanted to like this book and kept thinking it was on the verge of becoming something really good but a third of the way through I have to admit it's just not happening for me. DNF.

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rwmg
The Angel of History | Rabih Alameddine
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rwmg
On the Beach | Nevil Shute
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John Osborne laughed. “It‘s not the end of the world at all,” he said. “It‘s only the end of us. The world will go on just the same, only we shan‘t be in it. I dare say it will get along all right without us.”

BarbaraBB Fantastic quote. But I do have a weak spot for the book. 1w
21 likes1 comment
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rwmg
The Sun Goes Down | James Lear
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Pickpick

Mitch is called to Gozo in 1932 by a friend from medical school to help a young soldier on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Is the story one of a sordid affair of blackmail and suicide or of murder made to look like suicide?

The usual parody of Agatha Christie mixed with extra-curricular activities dear Dame Agatha never dreamed of. Fun but probably a good idea to bring the series to a close with this the 4th book before the joke wore thin.

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rwmg
How to Stop Time | Matt Haig
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Pickpick

Tom Hazard has anageria - since puberty he has aged very slowly, about one year bodily aging every fifteen actual years. Always moving on to keep it a secret, he has been looking for his daughter since his wife told him on her deathbed in the 17th century that she had inherited the condition.

Very enjoyable mix of historical and speculative fiction with reflections on how things stay the same even when they don't.

32 likes2 stack adds
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rwmg
Wolf Hall | Hilary Mantel
Ruthiella An amazing author. 😢 2w
DrexEdit she was a *monster* writer. I will miss not being able to anticipate her new books anymore. 😢 6d
22 likes2 comments
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rwmg
How to Stop Time | Matt Haig
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There is no possible way of living in a world without books or trees or sunsets. There just isn't.

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rwmg
How to Stop Time | Matt Haig
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I am old. That is the main thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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rwmg
How to Stop Time | Matt Haig
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YasmiNova Love this 2w
19 likes1 comment
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rwmg
Lavinia | Ursula K. LeGuin
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Pickpick

Lavinia, a Latin princess, has many suitors but she is not interested in any of them until Aeneas arrives from Troy.

Another woman from legend gets the chance to tell her own story, but she herself also reflects on whether she actually exists outside the story as told by Vergil. Enjoyable but if even the main character isn't sure whether she exists it's difficult to feel any emotional involvement in what's going on.

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rwmg
How to Stop Time | Matt Haig
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rwmg
The King Must Die | Mary Renault
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Pickpick

Just as much a page-turner as it was when I read it as a teenager and again 15 years ago. Even if it's been overtaken by archaeology in places it's still the way things ought to have been. And who wouldn't want to be a bull-dancer?

Bookwomble I've had this tbr for aeons! Glad to hear it's a pleasure I have in store 😊 We visited Knossos a few years ago and it was literally awesome! 🐂 2w
16 likes1 comment
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rwmg
The King Must Die | Mary Renault
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rwmg
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Pickpick

Fascinating life of Mary Benson, who was called the cleverest woman in Europe. The wife of a Victorian Archbishop of Canterbury, she also had a series of women lovers. Five of her six children survived into adulthood to become prolific writers and they all seem to have been gay or lesbian.

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Paradox Bound | Peter Clines
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Mehso-so

Eli Teague has met the mysterious Harry three times over 20 years when a faceless man comes to the bank where he to question him about her. Eli decides its time to find Harry himself and maybe join her on her quest, whatever it might be.

It had its moments but I suspect would be far more enjoyable for an American reader. I'll give it a So-So because it doesn't deserve a Pan but I'm just not the intended audience.

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rwmg
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Paradox Bound | Peter Clines
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rwmg
The Dream of Scipio | Iain Pears
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Pickpick

Three parallel stories set in a small area of Provence at times when the world or at least civilized life seemed to be coming to an end (the last years of the Western Roman Empire, the Black Death, WWII) look at issues of cultural memory and how ideas survive and recognising and choosing the lesser of evils.

I didn't enjoy this re-read as much as the 1st time round due to illness and the RL news. But still a Pick.

Bookwomble I'm sorry to hear you're getting unwell, Robert. Hope you're feeling more comfortable soon. 3w
rwmg @Bookwomble Thanks. I had a terrible sore throat but a neg PCR test. Dr said a bad case of strep throat and gave me a week's worth of antibiotics. Then it morphed into a streaming cold. Now just a muzzy headache which hopefully is the last of it. 3w
Bookwomble @rwmg Glad it's not the 'rona, though it sounds bad enough. Fingers crossed you're coming out the other side of it now 🤞🏻🙂 3w
20 likes3 comments
review
rwmg
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Pickpick

A quick read with some laugh out loud moments.

Unfortunately those who most need to hear the message that reading is good and important (but not necessarily the most important thing in life) are least likely to read the book.

I'd love to know if HM read this and what she thought.

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rwmg
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The Dream of Scipio | Iain Pears
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Julien Barneuve died at 3.28 on the afternoon of 18 August 1943. It had taken him twenty-three minutes exactly to die, the time between the fire starting and his last breath being sucked into his scorched lungs.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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rwmg
The Dream of Scipio | Iain Pears
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rwmg
A Change Of Heir | Michael Innes
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Pickpick

A common theme of Michael Innes's standalone novels, the conman conned, comes to a satisfactory, if rather abrupt conclusion.

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rwmg
The Bloody Wood | Michael Innes
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Pickpick

Grace Martineau is dying and has invited friends and family for a farewell visit. Her eventual death is not due to disease but to murder. Fortunately Sir John Appleby is amongst the friends visiting and he agrees to investigate.

I last read this 30+ years ago but I remembered that one of the early clues was a clue even if I didn't remember who the murderer was.

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rwmg
A Change Of Heir | Michael Innes
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The Bloody Wood | Michael Innes
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Untitled | To Be Confirmed
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The Corfu Trilogy | Gerald Durrell
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Honourable mention: An Instance of the Fingerpost

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rwmg
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Mehso-so

A dog who is the beloved pet of an aspiring racing car driver looks back over his life.

I have to admit that even after watching some of the races referred to on YouTube, most of the racing metaphors went way over my head. It was a quick read, but felt emotionally manipulative. For example, it was blindingly obvious that I should not read the last 1/3 over my lunchtime Starbucks. Teetering between a So-So and a Pan

rockpools Always interesting to hear a different viewpoint. I get quite grumpy with ‘emotionally manipulative‘ - I might cross it off the tbr. Thanks! 1mo
rwmg @rockpools In all fairness I should point out that it did not strike the other members of my book club that way 1mo
21 likes2 comments
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rwmg
The Corfu Trilogy | Gerald Durrell
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Pickpick

Three books of the author's memories from the time in his childhood when he and his family spent 4 years in Corfu before the Second World War.

From this distance it sounds like an idyllic time as the budding naturalist goes off exploring the beautifully described local scenery and wildlife, for the most part by himself apart from his dogs and also once a week a local doctor, who was something of a polymath. 👎

rwmg The books are also full of hilarious anecdotes involving his family (his mother, two brothers and one sister), their visitors, and the animals the author collected. 1mo
DivineDiana Loved the television series The Durrels of Corfu! 1mo
22 likes2 comments
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rwmg
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Pickpick

What it says on the tin

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X, Y & Z: The Real Story of How Enigma Was Broken | Dermot Turing, Arkady Rzegocki
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Pickpick

Alan Turing's nephew's history of the decipherment of the Enigma coding machine focuses more on the work by a team of Poles breaking earlier versions of the Enigma codes. It does assume rather more familiarity with how the physical machines actually work than I possess, which made it hard to follow in places, but it was nevertheless fascinating.

19 likes1 stack add