Posted by: Lisa Hill | December 25, 2018

The Last 10 Books Tag

Yes, it’s that time of the year when we all do memes!

This one comes from  Rick’s latest video at Another Book Vlog via Stuck in a Book  and it goes like this:

The last book I gave up on

Frieda: A Novel of the Real Lady Chatterley by Annabel Abbs.  I have no idea why I bought this, and I should have known better.  I really struggled to get to the obligatory 50 pages and turfed it out. You have been warned.

The last book I re-read

I think this is The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield, one of my favourite NZ authors.  I think I might have read it three or four times…

The last book I bought

Middle England, by Jonathan Coe, which I bought on Monday. I actually bought three on the same day, (from The Avenue Bookshop in Elsternwick) but Middle England was the last one I found there. It appealed because Brexit had been so much in the news this week, and maybe this book will explain Britain’s mystifying politics…

  1. The last book I said I read but actually didn’t

I have never pretended to read a book – why would I? So I don’t do this, not even when someone lends me a book I disliked.  I either grit my teeth and read it, or I abandon it.  And because I don’t want to hurt the friend’s feelings, if I’ve read it, I will try to find something positive to write in my review, though my regular readers would recognise that I’m not actually recommending it.  But if I abandoned it, I confess that I may lie about why I’m returning it unread.  “I’ve had it so long, I feel guilty”, or some such…

5. The last book I wrote in the margins of

I don’t do marginalia.  The last time I did this was in my copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses and that was a decades ago when I was doing my BA.  I have learned the error of my ways because when I look at those notes now, I have no idea what they mean.  These days I jot down my thoughts in reading journals. (Though there is no guarantee that I will remember what I meant if I read them 40 years from now either).

The last book I had signed

I mostly don’t bother with this because I dislike queues, and I suspect that all but debut authors would probably rather not do them at all.  Many authors are introverts and are uncomfortable making small talk.  (I was asked a couple of times to autograph my own little book Indonesia and it felt really strange. I was embarrassed and didn’t know what to say).  But I hung around for Kristina Olsson to sign Shell, because I hope it’s going to win the Miles Franklin, and then it will join my MF collection, the best of which are signed.

The last book I lost

That’s Anthony Trollope’s Autobiography and Other Writings which I reviewed here. I was very fond of that book, but good manners prevents me from telling the story of how I came to lose it.

The last book I had to replace

I couldn’t remember how I came to have misplaced Anita Heiss’s Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, but I bought a replacement copy (and a couple of copies for giveaways) at the Word for Word Non Fiction festival in Geelong.  And then a week later the friend I’d lent it to, returned it!  My fault entirely: I should keep a record of books I lend.

The last book I argued over

I think that was Seven Hanged by Leonid Andreyev.  One of my dear friends is in favour of capital punishment.  If I could persuade her to read the book, maybe she might change her mind.  But she isn’t a reader so I earbashed her instead… (Yes, we’re still very good friends).

The last book you couldn’t find

That one is the one I’ve promised to read for Bill (The Australian Legend)’s AWW Gen 2 in January.  It’s The Pioneers by Katherine Susannah Prichard.  I bought it specially and then (because I’d reorganised my TBR shelves) I not only couldn’t find it, I also couldn’t even remember what it was called.  Fortunately it has turned up now:)


  1. I’m glad you found The Pioneers. Did I guess the right shelf? I could answer most of these questions I suppose, but the last book I had signed was MST’s Elizabeth MacArthur and she (MST) looked very happy about it!

    Meryl Xmas to you and Spouse. I’m up having an early breakfast before the serious eating begins.


    • Don’t you love that dorky cover on The Pioneers? I’d better start reading it soon, but it might turn out to be a Best-Of and then I’d have to re-do my list. Best to leave it to the new year.
      Yes, MST looked very cheerful at her launch, but even so, I didn’t get the book signed:)
      Merry Christmas to you too. This is Day 1, with the repast at a nearby restaurant with my MIL. Day 2 involves cooking, but we don’t eat till 4 in the afternoon so it’s still a lazy day.


  2. I think I have to take responsibility for Frieda. Sorry!
    Merry Christmas Lisa!


    • Merry Christmas to you too, and lots of happy reading for 2019!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Lisa. Thoroughly enjoyed your blogs over the last few months. All good wishes for the season and beyond. Best Tangea


    • Thank you! Best wishes for the festive season:)


  4. Merry Christmas Lisa – love the contact we have through your blog.


    • Merry Christmas to you too, and I hope to catch up with you f2f again one day!


      • That would be great


        • We just need to get organised! Maybe next time Kim is in town:)


          • Sounds good to me


  5. I’m tempted by this meme, but the book I can’t find at the moment is stressing me out so much that I don’t think I will!!


    • Yes, that is the worst thing… when you know you have it and it’s nowhere to be found.
      It usually happens to me after I tidy up…


  6. Merry Christmas Lisa.


  7. I realise I couldn’t do this meme fully either because like you I never do marginalia or lie about reading books. But I wish books that I’d forgotten I’d loaned to people returned like yours did. At least you could donate the second copy to a book library. Best wishes for the new year Lisa, & here’s to many more books ahead of you.


    • I’ve been fairly lucky with lending books. My saddest example was when my FIL was dying in hospital, and because he was in a diabetic coma, the doctors hoped that visits and conversations about the past would help to bring him out of it. So because my FIL had been in the navy during WW2 I took in my treasured first edition copy of John Steinbeck’s despatches called Once There Was a War, and read him the first one, a breathtakingly evocative piece about troop ships sailing to the front. I never got that book back, and though I replaced it with a paperback, it was not the same because I always had the feeling reading the first edition that those who’d had it before me had lived through that period.
      I still look out for it in second-hand shops, not as fruitless as you might think because I managed to buy back a family set of Dickens that had been sold off!
      Anyway, it’s all water under the bridge as they say. Best wishes for the New Year to you too!


      • That is a very sad consequence of doing something lovely for a person. I hope you find it again one day.


  8. I had a chuckle about your comment on the marginalia. I found an old copy of Middlemarch the other week and cringed when I saw the margin notes I’d written all those years ago. I must have thought them significant at the time but now they just feel inane.


    • Yes, I’ve inadvertently bought a couple of 2nd-hand books with student marginalia and they are truly cringeworthy.
      Of course *wink* if we did it now, our marginalia would be masterful and erudite, yeah!


  9. Lose those good manners and give us the gossip! And hurrah for the superlative Garden Party.

    Liked by 1 person

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