Alberta’s TBR pile – tottering still

So many after such a long period away from these pages. This week I will put up some of the non-fiction I have collected still waiting patiently on my TBR pile.These I began to write this post about last April but illness has kept me away from posting. I am sad to report they are still on my TBR pile – the shame:(

Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane: which is a book mainly about the language of landscape, but the author wishes to entice us to engage more with the natural world and includes personalities past and present who have done so with good effect. Think it will be very interesting, and lists of new words, what’s not to like?:)

On the Map by Simeon Garfield: who will apparently be taking me on a ride through cartography from early explorers through the medieval period to Google. On the way taking in the colourful characters involved. Sounds good to me. I like a good map.

I Think You’ll Find It a Bit More Complicated Than You Think by Ben Goldacre:  Ben Goldacre is a doctor, writer, academic and broadcaster who is a mission to expose the fraudulent and unreliable scientific claims abounding in our world.  It promises to be a good read if disturbing.  As a science minded person with faith in my doctor I do also maintain a cynical attitude to business and the delight of money and fame that inflicts so many.

I must do better. Reduce the pile before it crashes to the ground to begin new piles!:)


I grounded the car for bad behaviour!: Friday Finds

FRIDAY FINDS  from adailyrhythm showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).



You had all better sit to receive this next bit of news – I did NOT BUY any books this week — yes yes that’s correct, no money was exchanged this week on books.

Can hardly believe it myself.

It is such a rare event.

I cannot claim any virtue in this state of affairs, I was going too. Wednesday is book group day – held in a bookshop! Yeah all you addicts know what that entails:) however on Tuesday the car began to behave badly. What? I couldn’t decide it sounded like not just exhaust but maybe clutch problems at the same time. I do hope it isn’t either, or both. I have an appointment with the garage tomorrow and in the meantime I have grounded the car for bad behaviour.

I never made the book group = never bought any books:) I didn’t even turn to the Internet because if my worst fears are realized it will be a long time before I can afford any more books – sigh:)

I do have some new reads though. The Tuesday saw me at the library book group – so have next month’s book and three others I borrowed at the same time.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (next month’s read. I have seen the film and am hoping the book is much better!

Mr G by Allan Lightman (this one sounds intriguing – great hopes for it)

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (have been meaning to read this for ages)

Wise Words and Country Ways by Ruth Binney (It is always fun reading what our forbears believed in and this book promises more – whether there is any truth to old wives tales and the origins of some of the others. A good cherry-pick book)

Gone GirlMr g: A Novel About The CreationOn Chesil BeachWise Words And Country Ways


So four new reads – can’t be bad:)

One day I will write ‘no books! :Friday Finds

FRIDAY FINDS  from adailyrhythm showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).


I already had the book choice for next month at the last reading group, and far to many fictional books on that tottering pile . I wasn’t going to take home any more books.

I wasn’t.

I did.


Anyway I wandered over to the non fiction section and found these three. I’m an avid reader of The New Scientist magazine so I had no hesitation in picking those two up

Non fiction

This Changes Everything by Naomi Aklein which is apparently provides a historically refined expose of ‘capitalism’s drift toward monopoly’ and more.

Chance ed Michael Brooks (New Scientist) The science and secrets of luck, randomness and probability

Question Everything ed Mick O’Hare (New Scientist) – 132 science questions – and their unexpected answers


All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr which was recommended to me a few weeks ago. A Second World War story but from a different perspective – it sounds like a good read.

So as you can see I haven’t been good – yet again!!

I am determined one day to write- NO BOOKS this week !:)

Identity theft & Musing Monday

reading passion

I have another rant today – it is I am sure a very personal one. I do have foibles concerning identity and permission to be private. I complain if other people read a postcard addressed to me, let alone a letter. I know postcards are open and therefore ‘anyone’ is entitled to read them – I have heard it all before – I happen to disagree.

What has this to do with books?

Well I have this feel for personal privacy and identity for others as well. ‘Joe public’ does not have the God-given right to know everything there is to know about another person, nor do they have the right to make things up about other people either.

Ourselves, our inner selves not the public front we present, is ours. If we wish to share, fine. If we go to our graves having not shared, that too is fine, and nobodies business except ours.

Wait for it, I am coming to books, honest.

I am not a great fan of most ‘historical’ fiction, not since I grew old enough to hold these opinions. Some are okay, but mostly they are ruined, for me, because authors will bring in ‘real’ historical figures and ‘invent’ situations and conversations pertaining to come from them. This, in my opinion, is so wrong. It is a form of identity theft in my eyes.

There is no way on earth anyone can know what someone 50 years ago may have said or done let alone someone 300 years ago. If the readers do not read non fiction or have access to the historical evidence they may well go to their graves believing the fictional history.

History is already riddled with unreliable narrators; the winners of battles, the authorities who decide what history is presented, please don’t make it worse. Do not put thoughts into dead people. Rely on the research for reality. People the books with fictional characters for sure.

It is akin to collecting names of church records and baptizing dead folk into a different religion – how can that be right, and that is from someone without religion.

I am ranting because I have recently finished The Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell a book group read.

I was looking forward to reading it. The premise looked fascinating, and it was, the character’s sounded interesting and they were, very. A book said to be the longest suicide note in history.

The reviews garnered are positive

It is about the three surviving sisters of a dysfunctional family of Jews living in America – their family history goes back a few generations to Europe – to the early 1900s. It is going to include Nazis and pogroms, it’s inevitable and these were handled well.

Whats not to enjoy?

On all that I would have marked it  highly. The writing was excellent, it combined loss, sorrow, fear, love happiness with fine detail and mists of dark humour and wit. A story about the perceived faults passed down through generations, perceived guilt of previous generations.

On the face of it, as I read it, I should have been yelling

‘What a brilliant book.

It is a brilliant book and unless you have the same scruples as me I highly recommend it. Without a fatal flaw I would have ranked it high on my list of want to read again books


The author has gone in for identity theft in a big way. She has based some of the characters on real people; giving her characters the discoveries and accolades of the real people. She has mixed the real, such as Einstein, with the fictional and invented new situations and conversations where none exist in any records. She has lifted a letter written by a real person and allowed it to be written by a fictional. All this she tells us at the end of book – it should have been at the front! She isn’t hiding anything, and I know most people reading the book will not mind in the slightest, especially as she is so honest about it. But for me it turned a splendid book into one I don’t ever want to read again.

How dare anyone take anything away from the dead and hand it over to a fictional being. It brings us down to the level of those meddlers of history, those who can and do. There should be a stricter code of ethics to fiction writing. It should not be ‘anything goes’. Don’t mess with the dead. Don’t change their histories.

As I said it is a personal feeling of outrage.

So rant over and I will try not to bring another one here for a while – blame it on the weather, that’s always a good excuse for stuff.


Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION:  Do you read more than one book at once? Why, or why not?

Now do I read more than one book at a time? Nowadays not as much as I used, I don’t go out so very much. I always have a fiction and non fiction going side by side. The non-fiction is my dip-in-to book, for the shorter periods of time. Occasionally I will start a small book if I’m reading a huge one and need to go out anywhere, as it is essential never go out without a book. So the last few days while I have been reading I Am Pilgrim all 800+ pages, I have started Our Endless Numbered Days because I needed a book to fit my bag.

When I was young and cutting edge I would have one on the go at work, one next to my bed and one in the bathroom. Ah, those were the days, when I could lie in hot water – topping up when needed- with a book, music and coffee and read until my skin resembled a brain! Just to be able to get in and out of one would be nice these days:)

There was always, and still is, at least one in the car at all times ‘just in case’.

Drowning in Books: Musing Mondays


I am drowning in books.
Order is needed.
Order and self control!

Last year I began to put all my fictional books into an a-z order, tidied them up however I was left feeling dissatisfied. Non fiction was already in a different place. The I pulled out all the short story collections and the poetry putting them into two distinct sections.

Was that better?
It didn’t feel so.
So I left it.

Sometimes one needs to know when to walk away and let ideas stew a bit. Should I leave the rest of fiction together. I found that I, a person not known for her love of labels of any kind, who dislikes ‘genre’ and ‘sub genre’, whose sense of order is erratic to say the least, I wanted more order in these hundreds of books.

How much order did I want?

Did I separate the fantasy into plain fantasy and urban fantasy? Was the sci fi to be separated into dystopian and straight forward sci fi? Did I want the magic realism with the reality fiction or in a patch of its own? Indeed should the fiction be divided into continents, should the continents be sub divided into say North and South America the UK and the rest of Europe? What about translations? What about character driven literature as opposed to plot driven,’ should sagas and series go together or stay with the a-z? What about detective or mystery?

There was no end of bothersomeness:)

Then there was the non fiction.

Well I had moved all the philosophy and ethics into one section already and due to my studies at university food had its own section. Now should I divide science into evolution, general science, should the natural world come under science or should that be divided into its own natural divisions.
And so it goes on, the more one regards this momentous collection the more the problems multiply. I had at one time separated my parents books from mine but then I put them all together, only keeping established classics apart, then I mixed the classics with the A-Z as well, but, should the classics be kept separated?

So far I have separated fiction into short stories, fantasy/urban fantasy, magic realism, sci fi, hard backs, paperbacks, a-z by author and poetry.

Why do I bother? Well it may make it easier when I die of course, easier to get rid of to the correct places. That’s not, I fear, why I want order. I want it for me it is just that I am not very practised in the art!

How do other people do it?

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What do you do with your books once you’ve read them?

It was sheer coincidence that this question ties up well with the post with all my puzzlement as how to order my books. The inevitable thought comes up – why do I have so many? Why not use the library? Well, I do use the library, always have, but I am an addictive book buyer. I am also a book re-reader and if I have a sudden desire for a certain book it is too frustrating to wait until

A) The library is open
B) To find it is out on loan for next six weeks!

Every house move I make I do shed some of the load to libraries , charity shops etc but that is getting harder as my books age. also I cant stop buying books!

I try not to buy books, I do try, but like all addicts it is very difficult. I saw two yesterday at the supermarket, on their second hand stall, which looked really interesting, by an author I do not know. It used to be a second hand book stand for charity, donations that one thought was fair.  I had managed not to look at it for months in an attempt not to buy any more so I hadn’t noticed it had changed to a book exchange stand. Now there was a thought, could I find some books I know I will never want to read again, could I bring some books here each week to leave for others to read. I would only take back if something interesting came up:) Maybe it is worth a try. Wont reduce the piles tottering in the book room by very much but a drip of water eventually can wear away rock.

But. . But. . Do I have a few million years:)