Goodreads and Me

I just don’t know what to do with my bookshelf?

(with apologies to the late Dusty Springfield)

A few days ago I mentioned [https://bookheathen.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/novel-priorities/]that Amazon had transferred some of my ‘data’ from an old platform to Goodreads. I’ve been having a look at what they’ve done:

It’s a bit of a jungle. Every entry has the same date, April 11, 2016 so I really can’t be sure now when – or why – I added some of the books to my bookshelf list. There are a few of my reviews there, most of them already posted on WordPress in one form or another. Just as many books were not even marked as read (my fault  I guess) and as many again read but not reviewed.

So, what is to be done? I haven’t decided between deleting everything and forgetting I was ever there or, being thorough by going through the list and bringing it up to date. Meantime, I thought I would post today about two books on that Goodreads list (from 2011/2012) that I DO remember reading and enjoying:

Margaret Atwood – In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination

atwoodscifi

This is what I said about it at the time –

‘Like Margaret Atwood, I have been fond of science fiction since I was a child – though, unlike her, I have not written any (yet). Her latest book is a romp through the genre, a nostalgic review of the work she has most enjoyed and a perspective on her own SF work. The various chapters are actually essays so there is some repetition. But that does not really matter. This book brought back to me memories of many happy days in my childhood and teens reading about superhuman action heroes and mysterious lands that time forgot.’

I gave this book four stars. Having read it again since then, I would probably (though I actually dislike assessing books in this way) give it five.

Doris Lessing – The Grass Is Singing

lessing

This is what I said about it at the time –

My mother was born and spent her childhood in South Africa so I was immediately drawn in to the descriptions of landscape and climate. At first, I empathised with Mary, wondering if my grandmother’s experience as a stranger in a new land was in any way similar to that of the book’s main character. As the story progressed, however, I began to lose my affection for her as the tragedy of her situation became clearer. This was Southern Rhodesia -Zimbabwe before independence – and the harsh realities of the isolation of ‘white’ Europeans and the horrors of the ‘colour bar’ are wonderfully evoked as the narrative moves to its inevitable climax. Sometimes, the long descriptive passages do not sit well with the modern reader but the novel is short enough for this not to matter too much.’

I gave the book four stars and have no reason to change my opinion. – (see however comment above)

The following are the books from my Goodreads list I will be looking at again over the next few days –

Tom Holland – In the Shadow of the Sword

Jae De Wylde – The Thinking Tank

George RR Martin – A Game of Thrones

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