Friday, 26 December 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!
team blog

I hope you're having a happy and peaceful time wherever you are and may the best of 2008 be the worst that 2009 brings to you.
Love and hugs from Lily x Read more!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


ok. i am terribly sorry that it took me so long to read tractors.
but i finished last night and it was wonderful!
is everyone done?

I am. Do you fancy getting the ball rolling, Cornbread, as I think I remember your saying you had a review more or less worked out? Next week might be a good time, it would give Stitchwhiz a chance to catch up. (Lily)

i got nothin'. (cornbread)
Read more!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

team post

Did you know that as a team member, you can not only create your own posts for the blog, but you can add to existing ones posted by other members?
This means that once the first review is posted, we can all add to that post and our thoughts will be immediately visible on the blog, instead of having to check the comments window all the time. It would look and feel more like a conversation. (We'd have to add our names before/after our contributions so we could tell who said what.)

Of course I'm not advocating tinkering with any old post, just the ones that invite co-authors. We could add 'team post' or something similar to our post titles to indicate that we'd like others to join in. What do you think guys? Practise on this one!

OOPS Cornbread has just pointed out that he can only alter his own posts. My fault - I'd forgotten to give team members administrative privileges. Have ticked the right boxes now (hopefully!) so please try again.

i shall call this post a practise team-practice. (cornbread)

There you go! (Lily) Read more!

virtual book review

have virtual book review bubbling up in brain, but will wait for the lovely josephine to finish partying and post something.

(her semester just ended!)

("dad, please don't be such a dork.")
Read more!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

is it ok if i do this, ms. lily?

hello. cornbread here. no spoilers are included and no animals were harmed in any way in the making of this post. it's more of a vocabulary thing.

when i read a book i make marks and notes in it. ((gasp)) 
pen, pencil, whatever's handy. sometimes it's just a favorite turn of phrase or line, or something i "think" might be a foreshadowing of things to come. (i'm usually wrong.) sometimes it's whole paragraphs that have a certain appeal. sometimes it's a word i either don't know or question if i know the meaning of.

this post is a list of words i came across while reading "tractors." quite a few are apparently common to the british vernacular. or maybe not. several are easy enough to get from context, but i've included them as well, along with web references and some pictures for your viewing pleasure...

like this one of secateurs (page 46 in my copy)

are you only seeing the "superior breasts"? well look again. the man is holding a pair of pruning shears. is secateurs  common nomenclature in europe? i've never heard it before. but what do i know? 

here's a clearer picture without the superior breasts. (hahaha, read the book.)
on with the vocabulary list...

j-cloth (pp. unknown) is another one i assume is british. it's basically a paper towel.
in "tractors", much to her sister's chagrin, nadia was partial to oxfam. (yeah, yeah, but i never heard of it before. and i bet josephine hasn't either.) maybe lily can show us which shop nadia most likely frequented. and while she's at it, show us where peterborough and selby are. (if i've done my sleuthing right, i think lily lives somewhere between the two.)

hrivna = about 20 cents american? i wonder if the dollar hasn't "fallen through the floor" (p. 33)  further by today. 

panopticon (p.150) i love this word. never heard or read it before that i remember. it's kinda like "big brother", huh?
and in more modern parlance, how 'bout this "little brother" use of the word? cool.

GCE (p.154) from context, i assume it's the 1st one in that list of acronyms.

primigravida (p.184) 

louche-looking (p.196) 
"louche - disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way" (Oxford Dict)

sic transit gloria mundi (p.246) 
(SIK TRAN-sit GLAWR-ee-uh MOON-dee) Latin for “Thus passes away the glory of the world”; worldly things do not last.

here's a poem of the same name by the esteemed ms. emily dickinson.

there are too many cool images here for me to choose just one, but somewhere in there is a photo of an ice berg. 
sick (sic) transit gloria mundi, indeed...

perspicacious (p.267) no matter how many times i look this word up i never seem to remember what it means. is that a tad ironic?

DIY (pp. unknown) DIY is just stupid...this must be another english thing. clearly it means, "do it yourself," but who says that??! "DIY"?

ok. i give. apparently lots of people do. a google search for DIY shows 121,000,000! results.
even how to kiss. 
for god's sake, you idiots, DIY!!!! 

(i'm sure these diy projects will change by the time you read this, but when i looked at it there really were instructions on how to kiss, but i was laughing too hard to read them. drat!)

so that's it for now, kiddies. i'm sorry if i broke any book club rules by posting without permission. and even sorrier if you already knew all there was to know about these (to me) relative  obscurities.

p.s. i am not about to proofread this long-ass post, so just tough it out. and happy reading...

Read more!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Da rules

Ok, listen up, Cornbread has fessed up to premature evaluation and has one chapter already under his belt. So to stop the rest of you falling behind, I'm setting down some rules:

  1. If you've got the book, start reading but keep schtum until you've finished it.

  2. Then leave a short post to let club members know you're done .

  3. When everyone's finished the book, we'll start discussing it.
Is everyone ok with this? Anyone got any better ideas? Anyone met my cousin, Luigi?
Read more!

Almost there

  1. Three of us have acquired copies of Tractors. Would it be rude to make a start or should we wait for our fourth esteemed member? I don't mind either way.
  2. I think book clubs work by everyone reading the whole book then getting together to discuss it. Of course we could make our own rules up - how about posting your ideas on how we could run ours, eg check in chapter by chapter/set a few dates to meet online and discuss however much we've read by then?
Read more!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

And the winner is..........

A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian!
(Commiserations to whoever voted for Life of Pi)

Now all we need to do is wait until everyone has a copy of the winning choice and then we can start. Over to you guys!

Taps foot impatiently... Read more!

I can't wait any longer!

My copy of A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian arrived today! As voting seems to have stopped, I've altered the poll to finish in half an hour. Hope no-one minds. See if you can spot the subtle change to the blog picture when the poll ends :-) Read more!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Vote for one of Cornbread's books

... one vote per person, mind!

Wish I'd set an earlier date for the poll vote to close - I'm keen to get started on reading the first book! Looks like Tractors is unlikely to be beaten.....think I'll take a chance and get a copy from ebay now.

Oh many to choose from! Shall I settle for a cheap paperback or shell out a bit more for the tactile pleasure of handling a hardback?.....The deed is done, I have made an offer on a hardback and am now waiting to hear back from the seller.

Yay! £3 offer accepted! I promise I won't start reading it until everyone in the book club has their own copy. Read more!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

and here we go now....

Brother cornbread has come up with the following excellent suggestions:

Life of pi by Yann Martel
"After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450 pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years. ... Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God. Can a reader reasonably ask for anything more?"

A short history of tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
"A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is set in Peterborough, where 84-year old Ukranian immigrant Nikolai Mayevskyj announces to his daughters that he's in love and will remarry. The object of his affection is Valentina, a 36-year old old Ukranian woman with a visa about to expire and a pair of marvelous breasts. She's determined to use Nikolai to achieve the Western lifestyle she's assured she deserves, and he's willing to let her while he works on his book about the history of tractors. Meanwhile, his daughters, although markedly different in outlook and lifetime rivals, band together to thwart Valentina's ambitions. Valentina's turns their family home inside out, digging up old family secrets in the process. It's a battle of wills with all the participants shaped by their own pasts through recent Eastern European history. Marina Lewycka's novel is a comic look at family bonds and Western lifestyles and has received mostly positive reviews. The Telegraph says, "Lots more happens but the plot is really a vehicle for social satire, some good jokes and an overdose of slapstick. It adds up to a clever, touching story."

Rites of passage by William Golding
"An ancient ship of the line converted to general purposes is making her way from the South of England to Australia. She carries a few guns, some cargo, some animals, some seamen, some soldiers, some emigrants and a few ladies and gentlemen. There is a clergyman of the Church of England. There is Wilmot Brocklebank, lithographer, marine artist and portrait painter. There is a young army officer.
"Representing the higher echelons of administration is young Mr Talbot, setting out with the utmost confidence towards a distinguished career. But the voyage teaches him some unexpected things. It affords him more opportunities for observing the ceremonies that mark a progres through life - more chances for a mixture of acute observation and sheer misjudgement - than he could possibly record in his journal; though, for his godfather's entertainment, he tries his best. Though Talbot is mistaken in Deverel, instructed by Mr Summers, seduced by Miss Brocklebank, and shocked by Miss Granham, he finds it unnecessary in the event to keep an eye on Mr Prettiman. But it is a sadder and more responsible man who learns from the Reverend Robert James Colley what a bitter taste there is to remorse when it is unavailing. "

Any one of these three sounds promising. Unless anyone else is desperate to get started on a different book, all we have to do now is figure out a way to make the first choice! Any suggestions?

(Taking Cornbread's lead, we could take turns at proposing three titles each which should ensure we don't stay within our comfort zones!) Read more!

Woo-hoo ... lift off!

Two brave souls have given me their e-mail addresses, so soon there will be three posters on here! Cornbread, I agree with you that it would be best to choose something we've never read before, so we come to it fresh.

There is the potential problem of all team members not being able to get hold of the same book, given that we're spread out a bit, so I thought a good way to get over this, would be to pick something from this year's Booker Prize list - I've included a link to the website in this blog. I'm going to try find 2 or 3 likely candidates and if everyone else does the same and names their choices in a post, we can have a vote on which to tackle first. Read more!

First stumbling block

I'd like to make this a team blog so that members can put their own posts up and don't have to keep checking long lists of comments to see what each other thinks about the current topic. Here's the catch....Blogger says I need e-mail addresses to create members. I realise folk may not be comfortable about this. If you're happy to let me have your details, put them in a comment - I won't publish it.

I suppose the alternative is to create a post out of each comment. Que sera, sera. Read more!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


I'd love to be a member of a book club, it would kick start my old love of reading (which has to be good thing, right?) and it would be fun and fascinating to share opinions with others. I can just imagine myself retiring to bed at a sensible hour and reading a chapter or two of the chosen book before drifting off to sleep. Much better than the current routine (11pm time check)!

The trouble is, I just don't have space in my life to fit in book club get-togethers. So I had this idea...I will create a blog where my very own book club bloggers can meet and choose books to read and discuss. What do you think? Good idea, daft idea?

Would anyone like to join me? Any thoughts on the first book?

Oh crikey, its 00:59! Goodnight x Read more!