Sunday, 25 March 2012

Comox Valley Charity Book Fair

This weekend was the Comox Valley Charity Book Fair at the Comox Mall. It ran for 3 days, well, in fact, today is the last day, from Friday thru Sunday. We had a similar fair in November so I went on Friday with some trepidation. I couldn't see how there could be much variety after the previous one. I was most pleasantly surprised and managed to find 20 books for $.50 each. I could have bought more, but I was trying to be good. :0) Having said that, I'm trying to persuade the missus to join me for the last day as you can buy a bag of books for 50 cents as they try to clean off their shelves. There may be some design/ decorating books as I never got to that section.

Anyway, what did I manage to find during my search. I tended to focus on mysteries/ adventure/ SciFi/ and straight fiction. So let's go through them. Let me know if any interest you or if you've read before.

The Baron and the Stolen Legacy

John Creasey - The Baron and the Stolen Legacy. From the impregnable confines of a prison cell, the extraordinary ex-jewel thief know as The Baron, plans to save his reputation and solve a baffling crime by pulling all the right strings to unravel the complicated and insidious plot around the Stolen Legacy.
John Wyndham - Chocky. At first they thought Matthew was just going through a phase of talking to himself. And, like many parents, they waited for him to get over it. But it started to get worse, not better. Matthew's conversations with himself grew more and more intense. It was like listening to one end of a telephone conversation while someone argued, cajoled and reasoned with another person you couldn't hear. Then Matthew started doing thing he couldn't do before. Like counting binary-code mathematics. So he told them about Chocky - the person who lived in his head. Whoever or whatever Chocky was, it wasn't childish imagination. It was far too intelligent and frightening for that.
 Val McDermid - The Distant Echo. It was a winter morning in 1978, that the body of a young barmaid was discovered in the snow banks of a Scottish cemetery. The only suspects in her brutal murder were the four young men who found her: Alex Gibney and his three best friends. With no evidence but her blood on their hands, no one was ever charged. Twenty-five years later, the Cold Case file on Rosie Duff has been reopened. For Alex and his friends, the investigation has also opened old wounds, haunting memories - and new fears. For a stranger has emerged from the shadows with his own ideas about justice. And revenge. When two of Alex's friends die under suspicious circumstances, Alex knows that he and his innocent family are the next targets. And there's only one way to save them: return tot he cold-blooded past and uncover the startling truth about the murder. For there lies the identity of an avenging killer..
Precious Blood
Jane Haddam - Precious Blood. Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Deadly Friday. Former FBI agent Gregor Demarkian is doing a friend a favour when he shows up in Colchester, New York. The Cardinal Archbishop has a problem: A young woman has been most mysteriously murdered, and one of his parish priests had the strongest of reasons for wanting her dead. But Father Andrew Walsh isn't the only one with a motive. It seems that quite a number of parishioners shared a damning past with the deceased. Something happened here twenty years ago. Something that's leading a desperate soul to break the deadliest commandment. And when the good Father himself keels over in the middle of High Mass, Gregor knows he needs a miracle.
Rudyard Kipling - Puck of Pook's Hill. Two children, Dan and Una, acting out their version of A Midsummer Night's Dream in a Sussex Meadow, miraculously conjure up Puck himself. Small, blue-eyed Puck, as old as Time itself, brings back the past for them to witness. He recreates a Roman centurion, a Norman knight, a Renaissance craftsman and the villages of times gone by and, in doing so, gives Dan and Una a clear sense of history and their own heritage.

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Eleven adventures from the crowded life of Sherlock Holmes including The Final Problem to close the career of his famous detective. But Holmes was a match for his creator and twelve more stories follow in The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes.
Ellis Peters - A Morbid Taste for Bones (Cadfael I). In the twelfth century, Benedictine monastery of Shrewsbury, Brother Cadfael has settled down to a quiet life in charge of the herbarium after an adventurous - and far from monastic - youth. But when his prior determines to acquire the bones of a saint from a remote Welsh village, Cadfael's worldly experience becomes vitally important. It is fortunate indeed that his skills as a herbalist are matched by his prowess as a detective, since the obstacles to the expedition include murder...
Ellis Peters - The Summer of the Danes (Cadfael XVIII) - In April 1144, Brother Cadfael leaves his monastery once more, this time in the company of Heledd, a young woman desperate to escape from an arranged marriage, and the youthful Brother Mark, who is representing the bishop on a matter of church diplomacy. Cadfael does not foresee trouble on their errand, but then the travellers become entangled in the conflict between Owain Gwynedd and his treacherous brother Cadwaladr, who has allied himself with a Danish mercenary fleet in order to vanquish Owain..
The Life of Charlotte Bronte
Elizabeth Gaskell - The Life of Charlotte Bronte. Charlotte Bronte was by situation and temperament a recluse, with an almost paranoid desire for self-effacement: the public knew little about her during her brief  and tragic life. However, only weeks after her death, following a request from Charlotte Bronte's father, Mrs Gaskell was at work on this 'official' biography. As one of Charlotte's few close friends, she was herself anxious to make known the facts of that 'wild, sad life, and the beautiful character that grew out of it.' The resulting Life has long been established not only as one of the greatest of English biographies, but also as one of the finest achievements of an author whose fiction by itself has placed her in the first rank of English writers.
Margery Allingham - Death of a Ghost. For John Lafcadio, it was just another annual exhibit of his paintings, a typical event in the course of his life. What was not quite so typical was the note he left for his wife before his sudden disappearance, in which he predicted her acquaintance with his own ghost. Albert Campion is summoned to the unhappy household of the great painter when further bodies begin to turn up, corpses that all are somehow linked to the artist. Among the list of suspects are Tennyson Potter, the failed artist who lives in jealousy of Lafcadio's legacy, Donna Beatrice, a model whose fading beauty has been supplemented by a disturbing fondness for the occult, and Lafcadio's own wife Belle, devoted through thick and thin - or is she?

Roderich Alleyn mysteries
 Ngaio Marsh - Hand in Glove. The April Fool's party had been a roaring success for all, it seemed - except for poor Mr Cartell who had ended up in the ditch - for ever. Then there was the case of Mr Percival Pyke Period's letter of condolence, sent before the body was found - not to mention the family squabbles. It was a puzzling crime for Superintendent Alleyn. A case of fish on someone's fingers and some gauntlets fit to kill...
Ngaio Marsh - Artist in Crime. It started as a student exercise, the knife under the drape, the model's pose chalked in place. But before Agatha Troy, artist and instructor, returns to the class, the pose has been re-enacted - in earnest. The model will never move again. It's a difficult case for Inspector Alleyn. He's in love with Troy, but no one can be above suspicion.
D.H. Lawrence - The Prussian Officer. The sick sadism of a Prussian officer drives his orderly towards a bloody reckoning... In this book, his first book of stories, Lawrence makes an imaginative leap into the psychological maelstrom of German militarism. The other tales, including the classic Daughter of the Vicar, focus on the more familiar themes of class conflict and the dark forces of the heart. Sensuous, sometimes undisciplined, yet always passionately intense, these stories probe previously uncharted depths of feeling and experience.

Murder at Madingley Grange
 Catherine Graham - Murder at Madingley Grange. When Simon Hannaford is left temporarily in charge of his aunt's 20-bedroom Gothic pile he know he must be able to make a profit from it somehow. Murder, he decides, is the only way to do it. For Madingley Grange is the perfect venue for a 1930's mystery weekend and, before long, he and his long-suffering sister have set the stage for money-spinning mayhem. From the conservatory to the contents of the claret cellar the clues are sprinkled like pot pourri, and the hired retainers Gaunt and Bennet provide the finishing touch. but when the guests arrive it is obvious that the business of murder is bound to run off course. For neither Derek, who refuses to relinquish his deerstalker, nor Mrs Gibbs, a card-sharping grandmother, nor Gillette, the 30s fiend complete with ukulele, nor any of the other ill-assorted bunch is happy to play the victim. And when a body does appear, it hardly takes a Hercule Poirot to guess it is not a volunteer. The game of detection must begin in earnest.

A Small Town in Germany

John Le Carre - A Small Town in Germany. It is the recent future in Bonn - a time of student riots, critical Foreign Office negotiations, and a resurgent neo-Nazism. Turner, a formidable security officer, races against time to find Leo Harting, who has vanished from the British Embassy with certain secret files, before Germany's past, present and future collide in a nightmare of violence and death.
John Brunner - Manshape. The interstellar Bridge System was the greatest invention in the long history of cosmic humanity. Spread through dozens of planets, men and their societies had drifted apart in isolation until the Bridge came to link together humanity's multifold worlds.. and had affirmed once more that all men were brothers and sisters under the skin. But the far away world of Azreal was the exception, the one dissident world that refused the Bridge. It became the task of two agents, a man and a woman, to bring Azreal back into manshape unity, to ferret out the hidden reasons for the stubborn refusal. The problem, with its high risks, was to involve more than just secrets, for MANSHAPE is a John Brunner novel that deals with the very fabric of civilisation.

Gambit (Nero Wolfe)
 Rex Stout - Gambit. Jerin was a mental freak - one of those eerily brilliant geniuses who could play a dozen games of chess at once and win every one of them. Blount was a millionaire fanatic with a fiendishly ingenious plan for beating Jerin at his own favourite pastime. It was up to Nero Wolfe and Archie to prove that Blount's plan hadn't included murder.
J.J. Marric - Gideon's Fog. What was the connection between a series of savage assaults in a pea-soup London fog.. a strangled girl in a secluded park.. a seemingly senseless slaying on a deserted highway.. a crackpot anti-sex protest movement.. and a queen's ransom in stolen jewels? there was just one way for Commander George Gideon of Scotland yard to find the maddeningly elusive answer: Gideon had to put his own life on the line in the most dangerous gamble of his career.
Kathy Reichs - Bones to Ashes. The discovery of a skeleton in Acadia, Canada, reawakens a traumatic episode for forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan: could the young girl's remains be those of Evangeline Landry, Tempe' friend who disappeared when Tempe was twelve? Exotic, free-spirited, and slightly older, Evangeline enlivened Tempe's summer beach visits.. then vanished amid whispers that she was 'dangerous'. Now, faced with bones scarred with inexplicable lesions, Tempe is consumed with solving a decades-old mystery - while her lover, detective Andrew Ryan, urgently needs her attention on a wave of teenage abductions and murders. With both Ryan and her ex-husband making surprising future plans, Tempe may  soon find that her world has painfully and irrevocably changed once again.
Kathy Reichs - Spider Bones. When Tempe Brennan is called to the scene of a Quebec drowning, shocking discoveries await: the victim - identified as one John Lowery - was engaged in a bizarre sexual practise when he died; and the same John Lowery was an American soldier declared dead in 1968, after a Huey crash in Vietnam. Who then, Tempe sets off to find out, is buried in the vet's North Carolina grave? Exhuming the remains and having them analysed at a military compound in Hawaii gets complicated when Tempe's ex, Detective Andrew Ryan, appears.. and when a Honolulu ME consults with her on who or what lethally attacked a young victim - a shark, or a more sinister predator? And when Lowery's dog tags turn up linked to yet another corpse, Tempe must deconstruct a twisting tale of death that spans years, continents, and too many tragic losses.

Well, there you go, a successful outing in my 'books'... :0)

(Editor's Note: I went back this morning (that would be Sunday 25 Mar 2012, btw) for the final day as they were selling a bag of books for $2.00. I didn't find that many, but picked up a few mysteries -
Minette Walters - The Tinder Box
Agatha Christie - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (a Hercule Poirot mystery)
John Mortimer - The Trials of Rumpole
Patricia Highsmith - Deep Water
Ellis Peters - The Rose Rent (the XIII Cadfael Chronicle)
Dashiell Hammett - The Maltese Falcon
Ngaio Marsh - The Nursing Home Murder (we saw the TV adaptation in England over the Xmas holidays)
        - Colour Scheme (both are Roderick Alleyn mysteries)
Winston Graham - Fortune is a Woman. )

Monday, 19 March 2012

Book shelves - The Den

The Den/ Computer Room
I have previously done a Blog on how I organise or, at the very least, try to organise my books. I'm going to feature the shelves in our den today. Normally when I come home from work, if I find the missus in the den on the computer, I'll sit in the easy chair behind her and read for half an hour or so until Jeopardy is on. The other day, as I sat there, I looked around the room, enjoying how comfortable it is and just checking out the books on the shelves.

I've got to say, I love books, everything about them. I love reading, I love wandering through book stores and just looking at them and smelling them. As I sat there in the orange chair you see, it felt good. Over the years I've bought and read many, many books and it's so nice, now that I'm basically retired, to be able to enjoy them in my own home. Anyway, that's why I decided to do today's blog, to focus a bit more on how the shelves are organised. I give most of the credit to the missus; she has such a lovely way of displaying the books and our other items to make it so homey looking. And it is...

TBR shelf (To Be Read)

At the bottom left, you find my TBR books (at least about 75% of them). I try to organise them alphabetically and then chronologically by author, but you can see some stacked on top. The books are two deep and on the bottom, stacked two high as well. So as you can guess, when I new ones, it would mean trying to squeeze them in somewhere behind and/ or below other rows. So I only re-organise every two or three months now, when I get a fit of energy. It means pulling them all out and starting from scratch. Not that I don't like doing that, as it does remind me of books I'd forgotten as they are hidden in back rows. Off to the far left are the Buffy magazines I used to collect back when the TV show was still on.

Behind the Secret Door
Another group of TBR books, those that are too big or are the lower end of the alphabet are behind the doors, just to the right of the TBR shelves. Also in that location are some of my SciFi/ Fantasy paperbacks that have never made it out on display but that I don't really want to trade in.

It's difficult to differentiate from a photo, but I've read the first four or five on the left, the remainder on the top shelf and all on the bottom are part of my TBR section. (The remaining 10% or so of my TBR's are scattered throughout the house. But I know where they are, thanks to a suggestion from the missus.. To finish off this photo, on the top shelf, behind the books shown are the remainder of the SciFi/ Fantasy books I mentioned earlier.

Secret Door Number 2

While I've got the doors open, behind the second set of doors you find my overflow mystery/ adventure/ spy type novels. I've read all of them, but there really isn't room to display them on the other book shelves. You can see on the top shelf the Sue Grafton Kinsey Milhone series; I've read up to P is for Peril so far but the others are upstairs in the master bedroom, awaiting my perusal. :0) I enjoy that series, Kinsey is a great character and her mysteries are always interesting. The remainder are a mixture; you can see Tanya Huff and Martin Cruz Smith on the middle shelf. That is another excellent series, if you like mysteries. Smith wrote the Arcady Renko series; a Russian police officer, dealing with the politics of modern Russia. The first in the series is Gorky Park. All of them are excellent.

Hidden behind the orange chair
 Staying on the bottom of the book case shelves are those books found on the far right, somewhat hidden behind the chair. The top row features many of Jo's design books. She brought quite a few over from England with her when she moved here to be with me. :0) I've purchased her a few over the years as well; some may be there, but they are also scattered throughout the house. They are nice books, well-presented, lovely photographs.

The bottom row contains more mysteries, authors such as Giles Blunt, Nevada Barr, Edmund Crispin and an assortment of many others. If I enjoy the author and his style, I do like to keep them and I will find a place to put them. The bottom shelf is stacked two deep as well. I vetted recently so will be visiting one of my used book stores with offerings one of these days. I don't like giving up books, but if they are going to be hidden away and never read again, at least, this way someone else can enjoy them.

Reference Books

Just above the TBR shelves are two shelves mostly containing various reference books. there are other books as well; you can see in the middle my Harry Potter books.

There are a mixture of reference books. On the lower right, a book I found at one of our local antique shops; a King's English Dictionary, from the early 1900's, a Family Atlas of the World on the far left. On the top shelf are two or three of our most used reference books; The Virgin Film Guide and two books containing UK Hit singles. Both Jo and I are pop culture fanatics and we often search through them when are watching movies, picking music.

Stephen King and Others
 Moving up another two shelves and the focus is on Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. My hard cover Laurell K. Hamilton books, the Anita Blake vampire hunter series are on the far left. The paperbacks in the series are in the lounge. I also have a mix of Stephen King novels on the far right; The Stand, It and Pet Cemetery (some of my favourites). representing SciFi are JG Ballard, Iain Banks, David Brin and John Wyndham. To flesh it out, a few other horror and fantasy novels; PN Elrod's vampire detective books, The Strain, by Guillermo del Toros and The Time Thief by Linda Buckley-Archer. I've enjoyed them all. Excellent reading.


Front and centre are my Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. I've had them since university, back in the mid-1970's. It was a great series. The other books are a mix; I think Jo liked how the colours played off. Free Reign is the first in a mystery series set in Toronto by Rene Aubert. It features a fallen judge, issues with drink and other matters, who finds himself investigating mysteries. It's a well-crafted story, quite enjoyable. Off to the left of the shelf, you can see how Jo has mixed and matched on each shelf. I collect books, she collects perfume bottles. They do look lovely on display. :0)

Some favourites here
 The shelf above is definitely a mix and match, but all favourite books of mine. You find from left to right; Audrey Niffnegger's Her Fearful Symmetry, Rohinton Mistry's Tales from Ferosha Baag and Family Matters, Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog at Midnight, Niffnegger's first The Time Traveller's Wife, Nevil Shute's An Old Captivity, VS Naipaul A House for Mister Biswas, Iain Banks The State of the Art and holding them all up, Richard Bachman (AKA Stephen King) The Regulators. An excellent mix of stories. Rohinton Mistry's stories are standouts for me and The Time Traveller's Wife is fantastic.


In the middle right, you find some of our collectibles. Some were my mothers, which she gave to me. On the top right, you see our old family bible, weather worn, but still lovely.  Below it is her Lutheran Evangelical Hymn book. At the very bottom is a German bible that her parents brought with them when they emigrated to Canada in the early 1900's. The dark black book above is a collection of the poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (the book has an inscription from 1899 inside the cover) that I bought for the missus one Christmas. That book, plus the three you see together on the left; a series of the works of George Elliot, were purchased at one of our favourite antique / collectible stores in Courtenay. Unfortunately the owner passed away a couple of years ago and the store was closed. It was a lovely place with many lovely items within. You can see more of the missus' perfume bottles placed between the books. She has such a nice collection.

 Above that shelf are mostly autobiographies, with a few other books thrown into the mix. You can see autobiographies of Dawn French, Simon Cowell and Martha Stewart. Also is a book on Leading Men of Hollywood. Barely visible on the left is a book that Jo got me for Christmas one year, The Professor and the Madman, by Simon Winchester. It's basically about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary, but featuring two of the main characters involved. Dry, you might think, but in actuality, a fascinating history that I could hardly put down. Of the remaining books on this shelf (there is a white and black colour theme as you may have noticed. :0)) are Stephen King's Desperation, Gregory Maguire's Wicked and one of Jo's design books, White Hot.

A nice mixture
 On the top right, just to the right of the ivy, you find some favourite paperbacks; a mix of mystery and fantasy. On the top right is World War Z, by Max Brooks, a history of the Zombie wars. Close together are four Georges Simenon Inspector Maigret mysteries, a special Harcourt publication. Some of my Scandinavian mysteries are featured, books by AC Baantjer and Haaken Nesser, as well as a variety of British mysteries. On the shelf below, besides the edition of Lord of the Rings that I bought in high school (1973/74) are some histories; The Family of Spies, The Gathering Storm by Winston Churchill and Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain (excellent book). It's a nice mix of favourites.

The radio
 The final shelf mainly features the antique radio that Jo bought me five years ago or so. It's lovely and in fact still works. I do have a thing for old radios not that I have a big collection, but they look so very nice. The books are a mixture; an old Pears encyclopedia, my daughter Jennifer's Master's dissertation, 501 Must See movies and some design books. The fit in nicely beside the radio. :0)

Anyway, there you go, a trek through our den bookshelves. I hope you enjoyed.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Currently Reading and Genre Challenge for March

I'm having lots of fun with my Reading Group challenges this year. It's my second year taking part in various reading challenges from my Goodreads book groups and I am having so much fun. I've carried over some challenges, such as the A-Z challenge and the Around the World in 80 books as they are longer term, but the annual 12 + 2 is going very well and the others that I take part in as well.

Reading Group Challenge - 12 + 2

In my 12 + 2 challenge (basically select 12 books plus 2 alternates for completion in 2012), I'm doing very well, having completed six of my selections so far. At the moment, I'm about 3/4 of the way through my 7th selection, Canadian author Robertson Davies' The Rebel Angels. During my university years, back in the mid-70's I had read his Deptford Trilogy; Fifth Business, The Manticore and World of Wonders. It was a fascinating series, magical in fact and I had enjoyed very much. Having said that, I never had any desire to follow on and explore his other novels. Tastes move on, I guess. Recently, I rediscovered him, purchasing the first in the Cornish trilogy from an on-line book store that was having a sale. When I was selecting my books for the 12 + 2 challenge I added The Rebel Angels and I'm so glad I did. What an excellent novel so far. The story is narrated by two individuals, Maria Magdelena Theotoky, a part-gypsy, university student, working for a professor she loves. The other narrator is another university professor, Simon Darcourt, an Anglican priest, who teaches classics and develops his own love for the beautiful Maria. Binding these narratives is the bequest of a collector of antiquity; paintings, manuscripts, etc, the eccentric Francis Cornish, who designates 3 professors as executors of his estate. This description only touches on the intricacies of the story. It deals with romance, philosophy, gypsy magic, love and so many other things. It's well-written; Davies has a wonderful way with words, his ideas become intricately woven into the story. And the story is interesting, developed lovingly and I can't wait to finish!!

(Editor's Updt - Finished this evening and thoroughly enjoyed. Best book I've read this year. 5 stars)

March Genre Challenge - Romance
My other current reading choice is American writer Herman Raucher's Summer of '42, a classic novel and Academy Award- nominated film. I'm reading this as one of my March Genre challenge books, that being the Romance/ Erotica category. I'm playing a bit loosey - goosey with the category, as I don't think it really qualifies under the Erotica portion, but there is a definite romantic vision in the story. The movie has been a favourite of mine, even though I didn't get to see it until many years after its release in 1971. As I read the book, I can see that Robert Mulligan, the director, was very faithful to the story and reading it has brought the movie back to me quite clearly. The book tells the story of Hermie and his friends, spending their summer vacation Nantucket Island, fending off boredom and finding love and 'sex'. In Hermie's case, the love interest is an older, married woman whose husband has gone off to fight in WWII, leaving her on her own. Ultimately, his distant admiration/ lust brings them together for a fateful evening. I won't say more, but the story is excellent; humorous (laugh out loud moments, in fact) and well-crafted. I am so enjoying the book and await impatiently the crucial scene, as it is so well-directed and presented in the movie. A great story so far.

March Genre # 1
 The March genre challenge wasn't one for which I had voted. In fact, I selected westerns, but Romance/ Erotica won out. I've purchased 4 books to choose from in the category and Summer of '42 is the second I've worked on. The first I attempted was a D.H. Lawrence novella, The Virgin and the Gypsy. It tells the story of two daughters of an Anglican vicar, Yvette and Lucille, returning from school abroad and trying to bring some excitement into the boring lives they lead with their father and his old mother and bitter sister. Yvette meets a gypsy who awakens a sexual curiosity in her. She also meets a married woman who has left her husband and living with her lover.

This is a small story, but interesting. There is a hint of eroticism in it and the budding of romantic/ sexual feelings in Yvette. It was a nice teaser for the monthly challenge and an introduction to D.H. Lawrence for me. I had taken Sons and Lovers at university, but it wasn't a novel at that time that made an impression on me. I did enjoy The Virgin and the Gypsy and it may encourage me to read more Lawrence.

As a matter of interest, I also purchased three other novels that fall into the March genre category. Whether I get the chance to read one or the other in March, I do intend to attempt them this year.

  Vladimir Nabokov wrote Lolita in 1955. The novel was and is controversial. It tells the story of middle-aged literature professor, Humbert Humbert, who becomes obsessed with 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved when he becomes her stepfather. His nickname for her is Lolita.

It's a premise that makes me uncomfortable, but I may persevere as it is a classic for its time. It was made into movies twice, the first by Stanley Kubrick in 1962.  It starred James Mason, Shelley Winters, Peter Sellars and Sue Lyon as Lolita. The other was in 1997 by Adrian Lynne, starring Jeremy Irons, Melanie Griffiths and Dominique Swain as Lolita.

If I do read it, I'll let you know my thoughts..

D.H. Lawrence

The second D.H. Lawrence novel that I purchased was Lady Chatterley's Lover. It was originally published privately in 1928 and could not be openly published in the UK until 1960. It became notorious for its explicit descriptions of sex and use of, at the time, unprintable words. The story summary is as follows - (taken from back cover of this edition)

"Clifford Chatterley returns from the First World War as an invalid. Constance nurses him and tries to be the dutiful wife but begins to feel oppressed by their childless marriage and isolated life. Partly encouraged by Clifford to seek a lover, she embarks on a passionate affair with the gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors. Through their liaison, Lawrence explores the complications of sex, love and class."

There were many film adaptations, including the 1981 film version starring Sylvia Kristel and Nicholas Clay.

John Fowles

The final book that I chose for this challenge was John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman. It tells the story of Sarah Woodruff, a disgraced Englishwoman, who has been abandoned by her French lover. Charles Smithson, a 19th century gentleman, falls in love with her. The book tells the story of their love affair.

The book was adapted for film by director Karl Reisz and playwright Harold Pinter. It starred Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons and received 5 Oscar nominations, including Meryl Streep as Best Actress and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay).

So as you can see, I went a bit overboard on the March challenge. I'll let you know as I attempt and finish these books.

Keep on reading!
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