Monday, 29 December 2008

Next Step

I finished editing!!!

And now... I've got to tackle the electronic MS, entering all those edits, fixing dialogue, typing up linking bits... oh, and, um, writing the last couple of pages.

6 pages per day - I should be able to do this, but if willpower fails, there's always the Mission girls!

The goal is to finish by 1 February, since I've got about 10 beta readers lined up! I gave the first chapter to friends and family back in August - the chapter's changed since then, thankfully, since I got no feedback whatsoever... Non-writers!

Thursday, 25 December 2008

And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programme

Three days and eighteen pages left to go on the editing, and I'm getting a little discouraged... Seems I really ran out of steam in the last few chapters - lots of loose ends to tie up and dialogue to fix and description to add.
I love Austin and Kedi and their story but I wish... I'm not sure. Time alone with a computer? More hours in the day?
Whatever it is, though, I'd like to figure it out before the new year (remember the Charlie Brown when Lucy enters Linus in the New Year pageant? and Linus gets all stressed? I tried to find a link of some sort but Google didn't turn anything up this time...) comes in - and then institute a regimen of some sort (sorry, had to use that word - just caught someone trying to use it but saying regiment instead, without understanding the difference) and then stick to it.
Sven is still going strong, so he might provide some incentive...

Monday, 22 December 2008

Oh, Okay, I'll Play Too

Blogs and mailing lists I follow are all into the Bookworm Meme (find the nearest book, open it to page 56, and read the 5th sentence (why page 56?)).
*looks around*
Ha! The day I finally decide to play I'm at the office with no books and I don't even have my commuting book with me cos I'm editing my own novel on the train... Here you go...

From The Face of A Lion (the fifth sentence is kinda short. Therefore I'm just going to give you the whole of page 56):

"But why me?"
"All those who are chosen for such tasks ask that very same question. It is a mark of your humility that you should wonder at your own capabilities." Kedi's whiskers still tickled his knee. "The presence of such humility, couple with a dedication to the task before you, is precisely why you are suited so completely to this undertaking. Parua scintilla saepe magnam flamum excitat - a small spark often ignites a great flame."
Kedi's words swam in his head. As far as he could fathom, he'd been judged worthy to attempt a task no adult could accomplish, but he was no nearer to understanding just what qualities he could possibly have. His stomach gurgled again, reminding him of the dinner he'd shared with Nectan. Nectan the celt. Why should Nectan's people matter less than the Romans?

You know what? I do have books here - the library I started at the office! Let's see, what's a good one... Aha!

From It Shouldn't Happen to A Vet by James Herriot (again, the entire paragraph, cos it's fun!):

With increasing alarm I saw the two vehicles abreast and bearing down on us only a few hundred yards away and not a foot of space on either side of them. Of course the old car would pull in behind the lorry - it had to, there was no other way - but it was taking a long time about it. Tristan jammed on his brakes. If the lorry did the same, the other car would just be able to dodge between. But within seconds I realized nothing like that was going to happen and as they thundered towards us I resigned myself with dumb horror to a head-on collision.

He survived, of course, but with one entire side of Tristan's car ripped off...

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Books Read in 2008 Part VI

Forgot two more!
Sweet and Savoury Bites - an Australian baking book - and Tartans, both birthday presents :-)
Now I can make lamingtons! Thanks Sim! If you had a blog I could tag you...

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Books Read in 2008 Part V

Addendum 2:

Of course, none of the statistics below take into account any of the beta reading I've done, of my own novel or others' novels... Not to mention Letters from Home, monthly exercises, and so on, over at the Compuserve Books and Writers Forum, the best writers' hangout on the web!

Books Read in 2008 Part IV

Two books that are missing from the list:
Britannia Mews by Margery Sharp
Cost of Freedom by Carol Spradling
I don't know what happened to Britannia Mews; I read it back in August, so must have forgotten to add it to the list... Cost of Freedom I just started!
So that makes 104 books over 50 weeks if I finish the Pink Fairy Book this weekend...

Books Read in 2008 Part III


Books read: 101

Average over 50 weeks: about 2 books per week

Authors read: 69 plus a few compendiums (Folio Forewords, Stories Before Tolkien, Australian Short Stories, Stitch 'n' Bitch, Dear Canada, Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization, Panorama of the Classical World)

Most by one author: apparently it's the Alex Rider series at 5 books; next come Emily Carr and Dorothy Sayers at 4 books each

Caveat: I would have read more by Joanna Bourne and Marilynne Robinson but they've only published 2 and 3 to date, respectively

Oldest book: hmm, oldest published or oldest author? that is, Aesop's the oldest author, followed by Pliny, but the oldest original book (ie not a reprint) was Sayers, followed by Fante and Steinbeck (yay! for second hand bookshops!)

Newest book: well, many of them are reprints so it's hard to tell... Actually, it must be Joanna Bourne and Marilynne Robinson's latest, since they were released this year and I bought them straight away (oh dear, I also just got Cost of Freedom by Carol Spradling off Amazon, but haven't added it to the statistics; that's a new book as well...)

Rereads: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, The Stand by Stephen King, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis, Outlander; Dragonfly in Amber; and Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, and The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien (I reread the first two in December 2007)

Stories/Authors I didn't like: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ian McEwan, Ian Rankin and Hairball by Margaret Atwood

Pointless fluff: Robin Pilcher, Julie Anne Long and "Medina, Maiden of Ephesus" - the dangers of POD!

Fun fluff: Monty Python, the Andy Capp books

Youngest book: Franklin's Bad Day (Franklin the Turtle!) - I got a cookie recipe off this too!

Books from the 19th Century: Paul Patoff by FM Crawford, most of the stories in Tales Before Tolkien, After London by Richard Jeffries, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes, Persuasion by Jane Austen, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson, Lady Chatterley's Lover by DH Lawrence, The Temple of Diana at Ephesus by Falkener

Books from 1900-1945: 1/4 of the list!

1. Hundreds and Thousands by Emily
2. Ask the Dust by John Fante
3. Stories by John Buchan
4. Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck
5. A Dill Pickle by Katherine Mansfield
6. Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers
7. What's Wrong With the World by G. K. Chesterton
8. The Best of Roald Dahl (short stories)
9. The Travelling Rug by Dorothy L. Sayers
10. Australian Short Stories
11. Full of Life by John Fante
12. The Moon and Sixpence by Somerset Maugham
13. Stoics and Sceptics by Edwyn Bevan
14. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
15. Decline of the English Murder & Other Essays by George Orwell
16. The Clicking of Cuthbert by PG Wodehouse
17. Christian Behaviour by CS Lewis
18. Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
19. The Heart of A Peacock by Emily Carr
20. Heretics by GK Chesterton
21. Growing Pains, the autobiography of Emily Carr
22. Wet Magic by E Nesbit
23. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy Sayers
24. Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers
25. The House of All Sorts by Emily Carr

Books/Authors I'd recommend: lots! I don't usually read stuff I won't like, as odd as that sounds... so: the Dear Canada series, Tolkien, Nesbit, Dyer, Skrypuch, Jamie Oliver, Rowling, Carr, Rogan, Dahl, Chesterton, Gabaldon, CS Lewis, Buchan, Steinbeck, Thomas King, Stephen King, Robinson, Sayers, Roy, Konigsburg, the Tales Before Tolkien and Australian Short Stories collections, Dickens, Fante, Little, Fraser, L'Engle, Maugham, Zusak, Bourne, Iain Lawrence, DH Lawrence, Lowry, Orwell, Wodehouse, Graves...

Shortest book: besides Franklin the Turtle and Andy Capp and so on... The Travelling Rug by Dorothy L. Sayers and The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling

Longest book: besides the textbooks... The Lord of the Rings, Diana Gabaldon's books, Sayers... After London by Richard Jeffries (1886) felt long because it was so tedious and badly written...

Those are all the categories I can come up with right now...

Books Read in 2008 Part II

Here are all the books I read in the past year (I wish I'd kept this sort of list from the age of 10 or so...):

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling (lovely!)
Hundreds and Thousands by Emily Carr (lovely; lots of good advice on creativity, among other tidbits; yesterday was the 137th anniversary of Emily Carr's birth; I wish I could have been her friend))
Ask the Dust by John Fante (Has anyone else read this? What'd y'all think? It wasn't as much fun as Full of Life)
StitchnBitch Nation (Birthday Gift from Helen! Sooo many patterns to choose from!)
Hindsight by Barbara Rogan (read it! read it!) (
Stories by John Buchan (the Folio edition; our erstwhile Governor General!)
Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck (still very relevant!)
First Folio (collection of forewords from 15 Folio Society books)
This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski (short story; very affecting)
Borders by Thomas King (short story; love his works)
Hairball by Margaret Atwood (short story; her stories always leave a sour taste)
A Dill Pickle by Katherine Mansfield (short story; the kind I'd like to be able to write)
One of These Days by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (short story; I don't know what it is, I seem to have a mental block/aversion where he's concerned; this story simply didn't *conclude* for me)
Home by Marilynne Robinson (how could I resist breaking the book ban to buy this? I saw it at the airport bookstore and held it for ever so long until I finally broke down and took it to the cash register...Ah, Jack. It's been two days and I'm still crying over this)
If You Could See Me Now by Cecilia Ahern (cute story that's been very badly/quickly edited)
Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers (Guinness is good for you)
What's Wrong With the World by G. K. Chesterton (I can't believe all these things were Right There in 1910 and no one worked on fixing them, Now what's wrong with the world has been compounded a hundredfold)
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (pure poetry!)
In Between the Sheets by Ian McEwan (Ick ick ick. And kinda pointless too.)
The Best of Roald Dahl (short stories) (So deliciously creepy!)
Paul Patoff by Crawford, F. Marion (Francis Marion) (1899) (Fun adventure/romance - but first cousins!!!)
Garden in the Wind by Gabrielle Roy (I should have read the French original, but someone let me this collection of four short stories... first time I've read this brilliant Canadian author!)
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (reread)
Tales Before Tolkien Anthology selected by Douglas Anderson (some exciting SF in here!)
After London by Richard Jeffries (1886)
The Birth House by Ami McKay
The Travelling Rug by Dorothy L. Sayers
An Ocean Apart by Robin Pilcher (Son of Rosamunde Pilcher. Anyone for head-hopping?)
The Iron Wolf and Other Stories by Richard Adams (how'd you do cube roots?)
Pliny's Natural History Books I and II
Prisoners in the Promised Land by Marsha Skrypuch (Hi Marsha!)
The Stand by Stephen King (reread; 1980 Signet paperback edition)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (reread; it is a far far better thing that I do now...)
Australian Short Stories
Full of Life by John Fante
Hats Off Andy Capp by Smythe
Hurray For Andy Capp by Smythe (I should coco!)
Somebody Else's Summer by Jean Little (Bilbo the parrot!)
Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser (did you know that the 19th Century was raunchy?)
Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes (don't know why I never read this before, but I'm reading it now so I can read the Flashman books!)
Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle (just what I needed for motivation)
Persuasion by Jane Austen (my first Austen; I was pleasantly surprised; it could have been written yesterday!)
The Moon and Sixpence by Somerset Maugham (next up, The Razor's Edge)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (read it!)
My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne (Get it! Get it! Get it!)
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Lord of the Nutcracker Men by Iain Lawrence
The Fables of Aesop (Folio Edition)
Monty Python's Big Red Book (hilarious! duh!)
Eyes of the World by Rob Palmer (first thriller I've read in a looong time - it was worth it! Unexpected but believable characters and a good pace - none of this shoot 'em up every two pages nonsense)
One For the Money by Janet Evanovich (oh no! I'm hooked! *Thirteen* books to go!)
Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich (first "light" book I've read in a while... A couple of copy editing errors, but overall, lots of fun and with great characters. If you're heading to a beach, bring it with you!)
The Perils of Pleasure by... I forgot (a not-so bad Romance. But you really can't read too many in a row, can you, or they all start to sound the same... Except Jo Bourne, of course - I could read a book of hers every week!)
Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson
Stoics and Sceptics by Edwyn Bevan
Dear Bill, Remember Me? by Norma Fox Mazer
Ready or Not by Mary Stolz
The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis (all 7; reread before the release of Prince Caspian the movie)
On Writing by Stephen King (if you haven't read it yet, do!)
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (3rd reread)
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (3rd reread)
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (3rd reread)
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (go! read it!)
Franklin’s Bad Day
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Decline of the English Murder and Other Essays by George Orwell
The Clicking of Cuthbert by P G Wodehouse
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D H Lawrence
Scorpia (Alex Rider) by Anthony Horowitz
Skeleton Key (Alex Rider) by Anthony Horowitz
Eagle Strike (Alex Rider) by Anthony Horowitz
Point Blank (Alex Rider) by Anthony Horowitz
Stormbreaker (Alex Rider) by Anthony Horowitz
Christian Behaviour by C S Lewis
Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
The Temple of Diana at Ephesus by Falkener (1865)
The Heart of A Peacock by Emily Carr
Claudius the God by Robert Graves
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
Heretics by G K Chesterton
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (see review in blog)
Ms Zephyr's Notebook by kc dyer
Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
The Naked Chef Takes Off by Jamie Oliver
Cook with Jamie Oliver
The Spymaster's Lady by Jo Bourne
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion by Hammond and Scull
Growing Pains, the autobiography of Emily Carr
The Return of the King (reread)
Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI
Short Stories of Ian Rankin (read the first story only)
Wet Magic by E Nesbit
Panorama of the Classical World (skimmed)
Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization
The Romans, their Daily Life and Customs (skimmed)
Medina, Maiden of Ephesus
Brothers Far From Home: The World War I Diary of Eliza Bates by Jean Little
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy Sayers
Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers
The House of All Sorts by Emily Carr
Dear Canada: A Season for Miracles (short stories)

Books Read in 2008 Part I

Here are the books I probably won't finish before the new year:
Life by Richard Fortey (a history of the first 4 billion years of life on Earth)
The Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
The Agape Flower by Ilyas Halil (translation from Turkish)
Altin Yaldizli Adam by... I forgot
Der Ruf der Trommel (Drums of Autumn) by Diana Gabaldon (reading at intervals)
Yabanci (Outlander in Turkish) by Diana Gabaldon (ditto)
The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry (ditto)
Paradise Lost by John Milton (ditto)
The Divine Comedy: Hell by Dante translated by Dorothy Sayers (ditto)

I might finish The Pink Fairy Book, but the others, especially the Turkish ones, there's no chance. I haven't touched 'em in weeks!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Well That Was Depressing...

I can't believe I have to rewrite my opening. Meanwhile, here are some photos of the weather we've been having:

The view from work, last week:

Walking to the train station the next morning:

At the train station:

Trees at the train station:

A couple of days later I was on this street:

And I saw some late geese!:

As well as a frozen magnolia:

Change to Come

Nathan's chosen his winner in the paragraph contest, and commented on three trends he's seen in the 1300+ submissions. Check out pattern two:

"2) Small, finely rendered observation. This is followed by the particular shape of the moon or the wisps of grass and the particular temperature that still night or perfect sunset that lulls us into a sense of place and setting. And then we linger in that scene still longer to see one more even more finely rendered detail, and still another, leading us to the very thing the author seeks. That is, until the shocking statement."

That's me all over.
Well, guess that means I'll be completely revising my opening...

Craft Fair, New Wool

The 53rd Salon des metiers d'art du Quebec is going on right now across the street from where I work, featuring all sorts of handmade candles, soaps, leather goods, clothing, woodwork and so on. Usually there are at least two or three booths selling handknit products; one such booth this year was also selling their own wool. Of course I bought some :-)

The wool comes from the sheep on the Icelaine farm, south of Trois-Rivieres, in a part of Quebec that features a large number of interesting saints' names:

The sheep are all named:

I would love to visit this farm someday. The closest I got was the two skeins of white and two skeins of brown-black wool I purchased. The latter two became this scarf, which I finished over the weekend:

Close up of basket weave:

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Here's My Paragraph

If anyone wants to take a look, the first paragraph or so from The Face of A Lion:

Austin met the cat during his first week in Kuşadası.
Bored with helping his parents clean their villa, he set out to explore the town. Every few minutes he had to climb onto the stone wall edging the street – there were never any sidewalks in this country – when a car or bus full of tourists whizzed past on the narrow road, a stench of diesel fumes floating behind. He peered through the exhaust and added up the houses he had passed. His mum had said there were forty houses in the original village. Something had to be wrong somewhere, because he’d counted every house for the past ten blocks and already reached sixty, and there were still a few streets before he reached the ice cream shop –
An unearthly howl filled the air, drowning out the disappearing rumble of the car. It came again, close at hand, and Austin ran to the crossroads.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Comment Number 543

That's me! Right after the paragraph about a kill and right before another YA...
Nathan Bransford, blogging agent extraordinaire is hosting his 2nd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge and the deadline is tomorrow - enter while you can!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


I haven't done much real work on the novel in the past couple of months. I've been watching Jenny's progress as she ploughs through revisions on her way to the Golden Heart submission deadline - yay Jenny! for finishing. But I've been caught up with other projects, such as knitting, and general laziness, and the weight of guilt was beginning to make my shoulders sag.

So when Rachel announced over on the Forum that this month's goals should be "specific [and] measurable" I jumped at the chance to finally get my fingers in gear.

I announced that I would calculate a specific number of pages to edit per day. The Face of A Lion currently stands at 200 pages (in my own quirky formatting (proper page margins, but Arial size 10 instead of TNR size 12)).

200/30 days = 6 pages a day!

That's it! I can do that! No matter how lazy I am!

And I proved it to myself too - sat down and red-penned my way through 12 pages last night. Which means I can take New Year's Eve off :-)

It also means that my January goals will have to be to type up all these revisions at 6 pages per day...

I Am A...

Got this from Nina:

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

Monday, 1 December 2008

A Fun Christmas Survey

I got tagged by Carol! And I ditto the tag on the M:A ladies...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags - with lots of tissue

2. Real tree or artificial? Real, but we haven't gotten once since that first year, because of Frodo and Sam and the whole still-cleaning-pine-needles-in-June thing...

3. When do you put up the tree? Well it would be 1 December, but see 2)

4. When do you take the tree down? – Hmm, after Twelfth Night, I suppose

5. What do you do with your tree after you take it down? See, here's the thing, I'm not sure I support all this cutting down of trees stuff anyway...

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Carol got an Etch-A-Sketch! Mine was probably Lego

7. Hardest person to buy for? Nieces and nephews - they already have everything and they're too young to read

8. Easiest person to buy for? My sister - always so many options!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? A small carved one

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both - so many people overseas!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Nothing's ever that bad...

12. Favorite Christmas movie? It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street and Charlie Brown and the Grinch and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and...

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? This year I started in June

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nah

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies, eggnog, cranberry sauce, Nina's mulled wine

16. Lights on the tree? O' course

17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh my. All the hymns. The *old* hymns. I wish Easter had this many hymns

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I would love to travel but besides that year we were in Turkey, we've never gone anywhere around this time - except up north for New Year's to Steve and Di's, which was lovely

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? While reciting 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, yes

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning. Early.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Cheeseball versions of Winter Wonderland, the fact that the stores start in with Christmas stuff in October, people who complain about the season being stressful

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Someday I'd like to try an all silver and blue theme around the house. Or a silver and red theme...

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Oh the usual. Some different vegetables would be nice, though

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? An espresso machine. An agent! A month off work for no reason...

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • secret beta read! (JM)
  • If I Didn't Care by Kait Nolan
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (annual reread)
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Burning Sky by Lori Benton
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Istanbul Noir (Akashic Books anthology)
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Wedding Days: Letters from Ethiopia, India, and the South Pacific by Monica Byrne
  • Strange Street by Ann Powell (reread)
  • The Hangman by Louise Penny (short story; reread)
  • A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (reread)
  • The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (reread)
  • The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (reread)
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (reread)
  • The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (reread)
  • A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (reread)
  • Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (reread)
  • The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny (reread)
  • The Murder Stone by Louise Penny (reread)
  • The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny (reread)
  • Dead Cold by Louise Penny (reread)
  • Still Life by Louise Penny (reread)
  • A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
  • Mrs McGinty's Dead by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Still Into You by Roni Loren
  • Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Remember Me (beta read of short story)
  • Palace Pets busy book
  • Smurfs busy book
  • The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • The Murder Game by Julie Apple
  • To Get Me To You by Kait Nolan
  • Know Me Well by Kait Nolan
  • Smurfs storybook in playmat/figurine collection
  • The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • A Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • Robert Munsch Mini-Treasury One: The Paper Bag Princess, Angela's Airplane, 50 Below Zero, A Promise Is A Promise, and Pigs (reread first two)
  • On Fairy Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien (reread except for all the expanded edition bits)
  • Elephant and Piggie - Elephants Can't Dance by Mo Willems
  • Elephant and Piggie - Let's Go For A Drive by Mo Willems
  • Elephant and Piggie - There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems
  • Overdose of Death/The Patriotic Murders by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Once Upon A Coffee by Kait Nolan
  • Turn My World Around by Kait Nolan
  • Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • "I Give You My Body...": How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon
  • Fractured by Catherine McKenzie
  • The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
  • Maigret Chez les Flamands by Georges Simenon
  • Prince Wild-fire by G. K. Chesterton
  • Birthday Girls by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer
  • The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
  • No Man's Land by Simon Tolkien
  • BOSS: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - The Illustrated History, by Gillian G. Gaar
  • Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach
  • The Secrets She Kept by Brenda Novak
  • Lethal Lies by Lara Lacombe
  • The Mansfield Rescue by Beth Cornelison (skimmed)
  • beta read!
  • Killer Exposure by Lara Lacombe
  • What Makes My Cat Purr (board book)
  • Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand (love this!)
  • Things That Go (board book)
  • Peppa Pig Visits the Hospital
  • Peppa Pig and Friends
  • Ox-Tales anthology
  • Colton Baby Homecoming by Lara Lacombe
  • Traumphysik by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • The Cookie Jar by Stephen King (short story)
  • short story by R. W. (unpublished)
  • The Rose on the Ash-Heap by Owen Barfield
  • English People by Owen Barfield
  • "Come Sing ye Light Fairy Things Tripping so Gay": Victorian Fairies and the Early Work of J.R.R. Tolkien by Dimitra Fimi (essay)
  • Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by J. K. Rowling
  • A Closed World: On By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Emily St John Mandel (essay)
  • Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
  • The Summing Up by Somerset Maugham (reread)
  • The New Adventures of William Tell by Anthony Horowitz
  • Gambled Away anthology featuring Jo Bourne, Rose Lerner, etc.
  • The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Bog Girl by Karen Russell (short story)
  • Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
  • The Favour by Clare O'Dea (short story)
  • Wizarding History by J. K. Rowling (short pieces on Pottermore)
  • Jack Palmer by Amanda Palmer (essay on
  • All Fixed Up by Linda Grimes
  • One Day I Will Write About This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina
  • various haiku by R. Wodaski
  • various issues of Amon Hen
  • How do artists make a living? An ongoing, almost impossible quest by Monica Byrne (essay)
  • The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy (poem)
  • Traitor's Purse by Margery Allingham
  • Kill Me Quick by Meja Mwangi
  • A Pocketful of Rye by Agatha Christie
  • Little Miss Twins by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Mr Rush by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Mr Funny by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • The Mzungu Boy by Meja Mwangi
  • By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • secret beta read!
  • Where the Exiles Wander: A Celebration of Horror by R. B.
  • How to Write about Africa by Binyavanga Wainaina (essay)
  • A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert Gertrude Bell (compiled by Georgina Howell)
  • Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K Jerome
  • Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • A River Town by Thomas Keneally
  • Free Fall by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Heartburn by Nora Ephron
  • New Europe by Michael Palin
  • Lyddie by Katherine Paterson
  • The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie (possibly a reread)
  • Husli the Dwarf
  • Winter Birds
  • Walkabout by James Vance Marshall (reread)
  • Wish I Might by Kait Nolan (novella)
  • A Walk in the Countryside A B C (National Trust and Nosy Crow Books)
  • My First Touch and Trace 1 2 3
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Weep Not, Child by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
  • A Secret Vice by J. R. R. Tolkien (edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins)
  • A Pocket For Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The Narrow Corner by Somerset Maugham
  • Cakes and Ale by Somerset Maugham
  • Le gout d'Istanbul (anthology) (skimmed)
  • Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  • Blue Nowruz by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
  • secret beta read!
  • The Road Home by Rose Tremain
  • The Mewlips by J. R. R. Tolkien (poem; reread)
  • Just for This Moment by Kait Nolan
  • To Err is Human -- To Float, Divine by Woody Allen (short story)
  • the collected works of Beatrix Potter (Folio Society edition, over 30 books)
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman) (only half read)
  • At Home by Bill Bryson
  • Millions of Cats by W Gag
  • Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster
  • Discovering You by Brenda Novak
  • Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson
  • Report from the Interior by Paul Auster
  • Dream Days by Kenneth Grahame
  • Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
  • The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (reread)
  • They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie
  • The Creatures of Number 37 by John Watts
  • The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter (reread)
  • A Mother's Confession by Amanda Palmer (lyrics and liner notes)
  • Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean
  • Guide to the Names in the Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, in A Tolkien Compass
  • Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay (poem)
  • For my Wife, Navid by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • An Evening in Tavrobel by J. R. R. Tolkien (poem; reread)
  • The Lonely Isle by J. R. R. Tolkien (poem; reread)
  • Bilbo's Last Song by J. R. R. Tolkien (poem)
  • Ancrene Riwle, preface, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by Percy Bysshe Shelley (poem)
  • Absence of Mind by Marilynne Robinson
  • The Peoples of Middle-earth - Book 12 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • The Tale of Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • The Young Magicians edited by Lin Carter (anthology; includes two poems by J. R. R. Tolkien and all of rumble rumble rumble rumble drum belaboured by C. S. Lewis, referred to in The Last Battle)
  • Black and White Ogre Country by Hilary Tolkien
  • The Devil's Coach Horses by J. R. R. Tolkien (essay)
  • Guido's Gondola by Renee Riva and Steve Bjorkman
  • Save Our Public Universities by Marilynne Robinson (essay in Harper's Magazine)
  • Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh
  • Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
  • Career by Yevtushenko (poem)
  • Human life in this century by Yevtushenko (poem)
  • Willow by Anna Akhmatova (poem)
  • Sonnet LXVI by Shakespeare
  • Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son (poem)
  • Fair Jenny by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • MacPherson's Farewell by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • World's End, the collected Sandman No. 8 by Neil Gaiman
  • O Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • The War of the Jewels - Book 11 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Rolling English Road by G. K. Chesterton (poem)
  • The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
  • A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four by Thomas Hardy
  • The Hierophant by Lee-Ann Dalton (short story)
  • The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
  • beta read!
  • Ode on Venice by Lord Byron (poem)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Lucky by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Trouble by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Homage to Switzerland by Ernest Hemingway (short story; reread but I really don't remember it after 20 years)
  • The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier (reread)
  • Sing a Long Children's Songs
  • Emily's First Christmas
  • Up At the Villa by Somerset Maugham (novella)
  • Telling Stories by Tim Burgess
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern
  • Sophie's Throughway by Jules Smith
  • Baby Animals (Little Golden Books)
  • The House That Jack Built (Little Golden Books)
  • Scuffy the Tugboat (Little Golden Books)
  • The Saggy Baggy Elephant (Little Golden Books)
  • Morgoth's Ring - Book 10 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Who's A Pest by Crosby Bonsall
  • Mine's the Best by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • The Case of the Hungry Stranger by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • extracts from the diary of John Evelyn (Volume 1 of 2)
  • extracts from Lord Byron's letters about Villa Diodati
  • Pippin the Christmas Pig by Jean Little
  • Ite Missa Est by Anthony Martignetti
  • The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Red Angel by G. K. Chesterton (essay)
  • Emily's Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary
  • The Boy Who Set Out to Learn What Fear Was by the Brothers Grimm
  • The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • secret beta read!
  • Preludes by Wordsworth (extracts read aloud)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves
  • Dance Me A Dream by Kait Nolan (ARC)
  • Once Upon A Coffee by Kait Nolan
  • England and Switzerland, 1802 by William Wordsworth (poem)
  • Once Upon A New Year's Eve by Kait Nolan
  • short story by Becky Morgan (
  • Blood In Blood Out by Brenda Novak (short story)
  • That Hell-Bound Train by Robert Bloch (short story)
  • Distraction by J. L. Campbell
  • Humble Bundle Peanuts collection (strips by Charles Schulz)
  • Peanuts Volumes I to VI (bought via Humble Bundle; very disappointing as it's mostly new strips -- how is that even allowed?!)
  • Sandals and Sangria by Talli Roland (short story)
  • Over the Hump by Talli Roland (short story)
  • issues of Journal of Inklings Studies and Amon Hen and Mallorn (Tolkien Society)
  • Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier
  • Babar and his Family by Laurent de Brunhoff
  • Illusions Lost by Byron A. Maddox (short story)
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • Lost My Name book for Emily (
  • Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne
  • When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • Neil Gaiman comics on Sequential app
  • Moranology by Caitlin Moran
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here
  • see the 2011 statistics on
  • see the 2011 list at
  • see the 2010 list at
  • see the 2009 list at
  • also in 2009 at
  • see the 2008 list at
  • also in 2008 at
  • also in 2008 at