April 8th, 2016

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Interesting Links for 08-04-2016

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Bitter Seeds, by Ian Tregillis

Second para of third chapter:
It had begun soon after Spain, when training regimens across the board went to live-fire exercises twice per week. And the training periods with nonlethal combatants doubled in length. "For endurance," said the doctor.
I got this when offered it as part of a freebie pack a few years ago, when it was getting some buzz; there wasn't enough buzz for me to read it any sooner. It's a story where the outcome of the Second World War is altered by people with psychic powers on each side, the British and German secret services trying to control their respective paranormal resources. I wasn't hugely satisfied by it; despite the existence of psychic powers, it takes until 1940 for history to diverge from our timeline; the Soviet Union barely features and the Holocaust not at all; and as with many such novels, the paranormal extends and then stops rather arbitrarily to suit the plot. The wartime Doctor Who novel that I read last month did it all much better.

This was the most popular book on LibraryThing that I bought in 2011 and had not yet read. Next on that list is Peter and Max (a Fables novel), by Bill Willingham.


The James Tait Black Memorial Prize poll results

What you've read:

24 - 1934: Robert Graves, I, Claudius

22 - 1934: Robert Graves, Claudius the God

19 - 1924: E. M. Forster, A Passage to India
       1995: Christopher Priest, The Prestige

15 - 1984: Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus
        2000: Zadie Smith, White Teeth

14 - 1984: J. G. Ballard, Empire of the Sun

12 = 2006: Cormac McCarthy, The Road
        2009: A. S. Byatt, The Children's Book

11 = 1938: C. S. Forester, A Ship of the Line
        1938: C. S. Forester, Flying Colours
        1977: John le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy
        2005: Ian McEwan, Saturday

10 = 1952: Evelyn Waugh, Men at Arms
        1956: Rose Macaulay, The Towers of Trebizond

9 = 1936: Winifred Holtby, South Riding
       1981: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children

8 = 1928: Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man
       1982: Bruce Chatwin, On The Black Hill
       2002: Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections

7 = 1948: Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter
       1996: Graham Swift, Last Orders

6 - 1981: Paul Theroux, The Mosquito Coast

5 = 1947: L. P. Hartley, Eustace and Hilda
       1965: Muriel Spark, The Mandelbaum Gate
       1967: Margaret Drabble, Jerusalem the Golden

4 = 1922: David Garnett, Lady into Fox; 1942: Arthur Waley, Translation of Monkey by Wu Cheng'en; 1990: William Boyd, Brazzaville Beach; 1992: Rose Tremain, Sacred Country; 1994: Alan Hollinghurst, The Folding Star; 1998: Beryl Bainbridge, Master Georgie

3 = 1929: J. B. Priestley, The Good Companions; 1933: A. G. Macdonell, England, Their England; 1939: Aldous Huxley, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan; 1953: Margaret Kennedy, Troy Chimneys; 1957: Anthony Powell, At Lady Molly's; 1959: Morris West, The Devil's Advocate; 1976: John Banville, Doctor Copernicus; 1979: William Golding, Darkness Visible; 1920: D. H. Lawrence, The Lost Girl

2 = 1921: Walter de la Mare, Memoirs of a Midget; 1931: Kate O'Brien, Without My Cloak; 1954: C. P. Snow, The New Men and The Masters; 1973: Iris Murdoch, The Black Prince; 1974: Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur: or, The Prince of Darkness

1 = 1919: Hugh Walpole, The Secret City; 1925: Liam O'Flaherty, The Informer; 1926: Radclyffe Hall, Adam's Breed; 1930: E. H. Young, Miss Mole; 1949: Emma Smith, The Far Cry; 1955: Ivy Compton-Burnett, Mother and Son; 1961: Jennifer Dawson, The Ha-Ha; 1971: Nadine Gordimer, A Guest of Honour; 1972: John Berger, G; 1989: James Kelman, A Disaffection; 1991: Iain Sinclair, Downriver; 2004: David Peace, GB84; 2008: Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture

0 = 1923: Arnold Bennett, Riceyman Steps; 1927: Francis Brett Young, Portrait of Clare; 1932: Helen de Guerry Simpson, Boomerang; 1935: L. H. Myers, The Root and the Flower; 1937: Neil M. Gunn, Highland River; 1940: Charles Morgan, The Voyage; 1941: Joyce Cary, A House of Children; 1943: Mary Lavin, Tales from Bective Bridge; 1944: Forrest Reid, Young Tom; 1945: L. A. G. Strong, Travellers; 1946: Oliver Onions, Poor Man's Tapestry; 1950: Robert Henriques, Through the Valley; 1951: Chapman Mortimer, Father Goose; 1958: Angus Wilson, The Middle Age of Mrs. Eliot; 1960: Rex Warner, Imperial Caesar; 1962: Ronald Hardy, Act of Destruction; 1963: Gerda Charles, A Slanting Light; 1964: Frank Tuohy, The Ice Saints; 1966: Christine Brooke-Rose, Such; 1966: Aidan Higgins, Langrishe, Go Down; 1968: Maggie Ross, The Gasteropod; 1969: Elizabeth Bowen, Eva Trout; 1970: Lily Powell, The Bird of Paradise; 1975: Brian Moore, The Great Victorian Collection; 1978: Maurice Gee, Plumb; 1980: J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians; 1983: Jonathan Keates, Allegro Postillions; 1985: Robert Edric, Winter Garden; 1986: Jenny Joseph, Persephone; 1987: George Mackay Brown, The Golden Bird: Two Orkney Stories; 1988: Piers Paul Read, A Season in the West; 1993: Caryl Phillips, Crossing the River; 1996: Alice Thompson, Justine; 1997: Andrew Miller, Ingenious Pain; 1999: Timothy Mo, Renegade, or Halo2; 2001: Sid Smith, Something Like a House; 2003: Andrew O'Hagan, Personality; 2007: Rosalind Belben, Our Horses in Egypt; 2010: Tatjana Soli, The Lotus Eaters; 2011: Padgett Powell, You and I; 2014: Zia Haider Rahman, In the Light of What We Know

I realise I meant to separate out the two C.P. Snow novels, but failed to do so; however I guess most people who have read one have read the other as well.

Thnaks for filling in the poll, and for excellent recommendations in comments.