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From Brighton & Hove, East Sussex United Kingdom
Age 55
Joined Tuesday, February 8, 2005
Recent Book Activity
4 weeks all time
books registered 0 821
released in the wild 0 856
controlled releases 0 74
releases caught 0 208
controlled releases caught 0 15
books found 0 155
tell-a-friend referrals 0 28
new member referrals 0 40
forum posts 0 126
Extended Profile
Hello and welcome to my bookshelf

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember and used to "lose" hours or even days reading when I was younger. While that happens less often now (though this happened only a few years ago), I've still always got a book on the go and I'm a member of a great book group.

I live in Brighton (the best place to live in the whole world), on the South coast of the UK and I love to wild release so, if you're in the area, keep your eyes peeled.

29 per cent of my wild releases have been journalled at least once, which is fanTAStic. I'd love it to be even higher so, if you've found one of my books, pleeeease journal it.

Here are my favourites among the book journeys recorded on my shelf:

  • Since I released this Dictionary of Quotations & Proverbs, it’s been caught, released, caught, released and caught - my first triple jumper! It's enrolled two new members to BookCrossing and it’s got a couple of great journal entries.
  • Astonishing Splashes of Colour has got five journallers now, four of which are BookCrossing members. It's been read by seven people and is responsible for two new members, of which one had released two additional books since joining last time I looked. I went hunting for it and caught it in the wild. Then I released it and it's been caught, released, caught, released and caught since, making it a quadruple jumper for Jackanory who registered it in the first place and a triple jumper for me.
  • I'm so glad I released We all Live in a House Called Innocence. I didn't rate it when I read it and then it sat on my bookshelves for years, moving house with me several times. Now it's been read and enjoyed by two more people (a double jumper).
  • Nightingale Wood has found its way to Sweden, though its journal doesn't say how! Although no-one's read and reviewed it yet, it's been caught twice so maybe someone will soon.
  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin has gone to Spain and New Zealand and is a triple jumper.
  • Arnold! is a triple jumper (with all three catchers having joined BC) and was in New Zealand the last time I heard from it.
  • The Welsh Girl was in Germany last I heard of it, having been caught and released three times since I released it and it had been through the hands of two BookCrossers before me.

    Read how BookCrossing cured my book hoarding habit.

    I help people all over the world declutter and create homes they love, so it's fitting that, since I joined BookCrossing, I've decided to release all my books with the exception of ones I've absolutely loved, books set in my beloved Brighton, reference books and classics (the latter because I might want to refer to them again, e.g. when I'm reading another book that refers to or parodies them). Joining BookCrossing has radically altered my attitude to books. I used to hang on to them all and feel sentimentally attached to them. Now I can't see the point in giving shelf space to a book I'm unlikely to read again. In going through my shelves to register and release books, I've been amazed at how many books I've kept that I didn't even like in the first place, or that I'd forgotten I'd even read, or that I can't remember anything about. I've found the process of setting them free liberating.

    I think BookCrossing is environmentally friendly too. It seems wasteful to me for a book that has been read once to sit on a shelf doing nothing for years. Before I joined, I used to get most of the books I read from the library or as loans from friends, for the same reason. I appreciate that authors need to sell copies of their books to make a living and that's a wider problem with which I wrestle - to reduce our impact on the environment, we need to buy less and our economy's health depends on us buying more. I don't know the answer to that one but I try to reduce waste wherever I can and BookCrossing is part of that for me.

    All my books are registered. I like the idea that the journeys of my books will outlive me. Now that they've each got a BCID, when I'm gone, even if they are all given to a charity shop, they may still get journalled, shared and released.

    My BookCrossing bookshelf doesn't entirely reflect my reading tastes. I've taken a couple of batches of books from Freeglers, i.e. people who give their unwanted stuff away through Freegle and released them without reading the ones that didn't interest me. I've also registered books that I've bought as gifts. The fiction in my Permanent Collection, combined with the list below of some of my favourite books, will give you an idea of the sort of books I like, should you be interested.

    Some of my favourite books (not in order of preference) are:
  • Maps for Lost Lovers – Nadeem Aslam. (Heartbreaking and beautifully written).
  • A Testament of Youth - Vera Brittain. (While I don't usually like biography, this autobiography of the first world war from a female perspective is powerful and moving).
  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë. (I can still recall the sense of injustice I felt on Jane's behalf when I first read this as a child).
  • Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë. (A classic that lives up to the hype. Packed with raw passion. I read it as a child, a young adult and an older adult and enjoyed it in a different way each time).
  • House of Leaves – Mark Z Danielewski. (A multi-layered tour de force, the most straightforward layer of which is a dark, supernatural thriller based on a wonderfully creepy idea).
  • The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver. (An absorbing novel told in several voices, every one of which is utterly convincing).
  • Atonement - Ian McEwan. (Possibly my favourite book of all time. Multi-layered and compelling, it benefits from a second reading. The second time through, I enjoyed the language and the intensity whereas the first time I was just desperate to find out what was going to happen).
  • A Thousand Acres – Jane Smiley. (A brilliant modern-day rework of a classic story).
  • Waterland – Graham Swift. (Atmospheric).
  • 100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez. (Quintessential magic realism).
  • Sexing the Cherry – Jeanette Winterson. (More magic realism from one of the most intelligent and inventive authors I've encountered).
  • The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck. (Powerful, raw and moving).
  • Germinal – Emile Zola. (Gritty and grim with a tension that builds to exploding point).
  • The World According to Garp – John Irving. (Funny, clever, readable and touching).
  • The Reader - Bernard Schlink. (A brilliant exploration of Germany's struggle to come to terms with the second world war).
  • Cathedral – Raymond Carver. (Perfectly crafted short stories).
  • To Kill a Mocking-bird – Harper Lee. (Beautifully written, moving tale of prejudice and coming-of-age).
  • Corvus by Esther Woolfson. (A sensitive, thoughtful and touching account of raising domesticated corvids).

    When I'm reading books that aren't registered on BookCrossing, I miss it. I catch myself planning what I'm going to say in my review and then I'm disappointed that I can't make a journal entry telling others what I thought of the book.

    Please get in touch if you want to suggest a trade or offer a RABCK. I journal books soon after I receive them (usually the same day). I will read everything on my TBR list eventually. I read books in the order that they come to me (except that I prioritise rings, rays and loans). I'll never make a BC book part of my Permanent Collection unless I have permission from the BCer who registered it (but feel free to set any wild release of mine you may have found to whatever status you like).

    A massive 'Thank you' to all the BookCrossers who have fulfilled so many of my wishes already. You are amazingly generous. BookCrossing reminds me how many good people there are in the world.

    UK bookcrossers may like to come along to the UK BookCrossing Group. Newcomers are always made welcome and usually offered loads of books.
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