What Are You Reading the week of 13 August 2011?
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The 13th: Tom Perrotta 1961
Amélie Nothomb 1967
Will Clarke 1970
Danielle Steel 1947
Russell Baker 1925
The 15th: Thomas de Quincey 1785
Edna Ferber 1885
Georgette Heyer 1902
Charles Bukowski 1920
Diana Wynne Jones 1934
The 17th: Gene Stratton-Porter 1863
Evan S. Connell 1924
V.S. Naipaul 1932
Jonathan Franzen 1959
The 18th: Brian Aldiss 1926
Alain Robbe-Grillet 1922
The 19th: Samuel Richardson 1689
Ogden Nash 1902
James Gould Cozzens 1903
Frank McCourt 1930
Jonathan Coe 1961
I am finally reading Angle of Repose thanks to comments made by LTers this week. I bought this book a decade ago at a Buck-a-Book sale. No idea why I've let it languish on the shelf but am thoroughly enjoying this fascinating story by a classic American writer. Thanks everyone!
Thanks Richard. Just finished Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan. It's great to find an author you really like.
My surprise of the week. The Winter Rose on my shelves for quite a while, I hesitated to read it. Somehow it did not seem to be for me. But, now I am a third of the way through and liking it. A surprise? Yes, but a good one
I'm still reading 1st to Die. It's a fun, easy read but almost too easy. There's a new chapter every 3 or 4 pages. I'm on page 247 which begins chapter 65!
#11 I loved the Women's Murder Club books. They aren't super hard reads but they are entertaining for sure!
Finished The Kallikak Family, which is a turn-of-the-century eugenics polemic. It was mentioned in Jean Webster's Dear Enemy and was taken seriously by people involved in charity work at that time, but is now regarded as pseudo-science. (It advocated that the mentally handicapped shoud be either castrated, sterilized or segregated in institutions to keep them from having children.) Also read Carole Berry's Letter of the Law and am now chugging through Cat who came for Christmas, which is a little precious for my taste.
I'm enjoying Seven, a story collection by Carson McCullers that includes The Ballad of the Sad Cafe. Great, great writing. Rough and graceful at the same time. There's no touchstone for this edition of the collection, although the work page is here: http://www.librarything.com/work/6342507/book/29193564
Also, the content is exactly the same as The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other Stories. Perhaps the two should be combined.
I finished an Early Reviewer copy of Then Came The Evening by Brian Hart. There were moments of beautiful writing, and the story, although a little choppy, was very good! I think Brian Hart has a real future!
I will begin reading another Early Reviewer book (I need to get caught up on my committments in that department!) entitled, Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen. Looking forward to it. I continue listening to The Snowman.
Thanks for the start, Richard. August is ripe with authors, isn't it?
I finished The Thirteenth Child which I'd kind of been grumping about being too YA, but Patricia C. Wrede manages to get some interesting ideas in such as the three different types of using your power in the world, a big hit on the melting pot ideal of the US (or Columbia as her alternate reality has it) and, in a world full of large terrible monsters the fact that the little ones can do the most damage. On reflection, it was a better book than I had at first thought.
Now I start on an Orange Prize listed western The Personal History of Rachel Dupree by Ann Weisgarber.
I'm still listening to The Journey of Crazy Horse written and narrated by Joseph M. Marshall III a Lakota himself with a great deal of respect for his subject.
Thanks for the kick-off, Richard! You da best!
Bonnie- I hope you enjoy This Boy's Life. It was my 1st Wolff and I loved it, then you'll have to see the film version.
Joanne- I'm glad you are enjoying Emily Alone. It was a joy to read.
I finished We Need to Talk About Kevin. It was a terrific book but now I need hours of therapy. A devastating read. Keeping with the dark-side, I started a story collection called Knockemstiff, might add more to my therapy treatments. Must be a glutton for punishment.
Finished The M.D.: A Horror Story and was ultimately very disappointed. It started out SO WELL, but then I got to the middle, where Disch seemed to forget what the heck he was writing about. The book came together somewhat at the end, but overall, I wasn't pleased.
Still reading A Northern Light and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which are thankfully much more enjoyable. I'll get through those, and then get started on Jack Ketchum's Off Season.
msf ~ Good after effect description of We Need to Talk About Kevin ... I was very rattled after that one. As I have stated here a time or two, next to maybe Geek Love, it is a top disturbing "novel" (not NF) read of my lifetime - sort of from a lost humanity kind of viewpoint.
I am still reading What is the What and it's very good, a bit slow, but I like the details of his life. I don't mind the slowness, the flashbacks, the stories.
I am also reading, in between, Van Gogh's Letters, The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Letters, Drawings, and Words, 1875-1890 edited by H. Anna Suh. I'm a huge Van Gogh fan, so it is nice to read in snippets. It translates some of his letters and the reader can follow along with the drawings and paintings he refers to. I also think some of his drawings are so spectacular, and far lesser known, so it's great to read about them.
I'm in the process of at last finishing up H. P. Lovecraft: The Fiction by H. P. Lovecraft. I'm also reading Experience of God and the Rationality of Theistic Belief by Jerome Gellman.
I finished reading my early review book J-Boys: Kazuo's World, Tokyo, 1965 and have mixed feelings about it. Interesting, but didn't hold up as fiction. My review is here: http://www.librarything.com/work/11421659
Now I'm reading The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit, but know I'm about to start reading the ghastly section.
Y'all're quite welcome! Joyce, August is indeed an authorfest of a month. Something about Leos?
I've finished and reviewed the bizarre and excellent Americanisation: Lessons in American Culture and Language, which I received as an ARC from the publisher for a review, in my thread...post #237.
It's really, really weird. I like that in a book.
I am still reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and just reached the twist.
Today I will finish Michael Sledge's novel about poet Elizabeth Bishop's years in Brazil -- The More I Owe You. I've long admired her poetry and I've read some of the prose she wrote about her life, as well as Howard Norman's book about Nova Scotia, My Famous Evening, which contains quite a lot about Bishop. I've enjoyed the Sledge book -- he seems to know his subject very well.
Next up: Donna Leon's About Face
Carolyn- I did not read Geek Love, but I do remember it being reviewed. Sounds pretty twisted.
#29 I read it very recently - it is a little twisted but also a great book and hugely entertaining.
I'm jumping between three reads this week: Half the Sky, which despite the difficult topic is a well-written, engrossing book; French Quarter Fiction, a short story collection I picked up in New Orleans in June that on the whole is not as good as hoped but still has gems within; and, Made for You and Me, an LTER book from earlier this year that I first misplaced and then wasn't in the mood to read when it reappeared.
Although I feel bad being so behind with my LTER commitment for Made for You and Me, I am very glad I waited to read it. In some ways, Caitlin and Dan's story hits a little too close to home. However, we made some good changes earlier this summer for our small family's life, and I'm now able to read their story without being fearful about our own. I'm really looking forward to finishing this book, as the author is a superb storyteller and I'm enjoying her writing.
Thanks for starting us off, Richard. Might I add that Damielle Steel looks just like I always imagined her?
I am currently into Tom Sawyer, not very far though, but I like him. He is interesting enough and I am curious what he is up to in future. His poor aunt :(
Also reading Lebensgeschichten (no touchstone, it is one of the least known books of the world I guess). A collection of german, let's call it 'short stories' about christian faith, christian morale and christian behavior. I little outdated but very interesting and also thought provoking to some extent.
#31 ~ I loved Half the Sky - one of my favorite NF books of all times. Yes, difficult topic, but there is hope in there. Hang with it, for sure (sounds like you are).
I am in the middle of Wicked Autumn by GM Malliet. Former MI5 agent and now vicar of a church in a small town in England... murder happens and his former training kicks in. I am enjoying this book immensely- the writing is well done and the imagery Malliet uses is superb. (ex: "... her unblinking gaze panning the crowd, gathering eyeballs like so many marbles into her rhetorical basket.")
We saw the movie The Help and found that though it did leave out a few favorite scenes, it was quite true to the spirit of the book. Mind you, Skeeter does not single handedly integrate the south, which is a criticism I've heard of both the book and the movie, but she makes a step, and the maids make a big step. The terror that Jim Crow had over the citizens of the south isn't as strong as in the book, but I think it wouldn't disappoint readers.
#33 - Thanks for the encouragement, Carolyn! I read a few more chapters today, and while it's hard to digest, I believe it is important to be well-informed. The hardships women face in this book are not new to me: I spent two weeks traveling in rural Tanzania three summers ago, attending a church-sponsored women's conference for part of that time, and met women whose stories would fit in this book all too well. However, while I know there is a *LONG* road to cover before there is significant improvement, I also know that there are people dedicated to helping women find strength and empowerment. The resiliency of the women I met in Tanzania was simply amazing, and gave me hope!
I just finished Cham, an awesomely great book. which has left me floundering a little as to what to pick up next. I must recommend this superb read to anyone who enjoyed The Beach and longs for another hedonistic paradise with a murky underside, plus some great writing. Off to work on the current assignment for a while before I decide on what comes next.
Using my dowsing rod I was finally drawn to Beautiful Malice - or it might have been the bright orange cover.
#39 ~ Wow, I was to Tanzania recently too. I was there for safari/pleasure, but that said, we spent a good deal of time in Arusha (70% unemployment and very, very poor - especially the outlying rural areas) and with the Maasai as well (where the gender inequalities are paramount). It is hard to not be changed. I am working with a friend through an NGO/NFP which is trying to get grant money to start a small business education/support system in Tunisa (already have programs in Kenya and some parts of South America). Many women are in the programs. Also, I'm getting trained to do asylum law (I'm a lawyer). When the time is right though, I'd love to just hook up with one of the programs in that book who welcome volunteers and stay for a month or two and just ... help. It's bizarrely difficult to find a way to do just that though as many times volunteers are costly. But Half the Sky has given me some ideas. It is a great book and although I bristle when I hear anyone say this, I gotta say, it should be required reading in a world/history context.
#44 - You're right, it's hard not to be changed. That's awesome that you're looking into ways you can use your legal career to assist. Although my family and career situation is such that I cannot take off time to do residential volunteer work right now, like you I hope to do that in the future.
I'm reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson and after a slow start where I wondered if it was really as good as I'd been told, I'm now finding myself more drawn in. Knowing it is based on true events has me curious as well, especially since I have no previous knowledge of the history so am trying to figure things out as I go.
I just finished and reviewed The Personal History of Rachel Dupree by Ann Weisgarber about an African American family settling a ranch in the Badlands of South Dakota in the early 1900's. This is a nearly perfect book, long listed for the Orange Prize, different from anything else I've read about pioneers. Now I start Death Comes For the Archbishop by Willa Cather.
Having a brief Kindle fling with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls and enjoying it more than I expected I would. Also about finished with the audio of Rebel Angels. I'm on vacation this week so feel the need to read something light and easy-to-read. I'm not sure what I will start next.
My latest is The Vivisector by Patrick White, so far really enjoying.
#66 Thanks for the prompt lamplight. That's another of those books that has been on my TBR list for too long - time to move it up a bit.
I just started The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith. I need some comfort reading right now: nice, gentle story that isn't hard to follow. *sigh*
I have started volume one of Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (who I note is having a birthday this month). For my book club.
I've just begun The Finkler Question which has garnered very mixed reactions here on LT. So far, I'm on the side that likes it. I think the tone is wry and funny. We'll see if I feel that way as I move further into the book.
I've been book busy, of late. I finished and reviewed the story collection, Knockemstiff. Not for the faint-hearted. I just wrapped up Part-Time Indian, which was a wonderful YA novel. Highly recommended. I also finished a terrific graphic, the 1st in a series, called Locke & Key by Joe Hill. Excellent stuff.
Next up, is Three Day Road, which many here have praised.
>77 I loved Shadow Divers. I bought while we were on vacation at the beach. I couldn't put it down- so, even though I get super ill when reading in a car, I propped a pillow on my lap and would read until the nausea got to be too much. What an exciting book. I made my husband and father read it, too. Both of them are very picky readers and they loved it as well.
I hope you like it!
just dipped into a print copy of Paradise lost and to my utter astonishment, i love it!
having just finished The golden compass known more correctly as Northern lights, i decided i ought to read PL. i'll be listening to it mostly but got a hard copy of the book for the times when i want to reread bits or check out the spelling of words. meant just to glance at it but am spellbound. who'da thunk it!
also reading Betjeman: a life in audio from NLS and enjoying it thoroughly. excellent narration by LT's own NarratorLady!
struggling mightily w/ the NLS recording of Nadine Gordimer's short story collection Crimes of conscience. struggling not b/c it's badly written but because it's marvelously written, extremely well narrated by the formidable Lisette Lecat and very painful.
for lighter reading, i've started Death without company by Craig Johnson, the second in the Walt Longmire series, and am half way through Rex Stout's Three men out.
my loo read, which i've been lingering over for about 2 months, is Mrs. Dalloway, one of my favorite books. i haven't read it for years and years and it's a treat to savour a few sentences or a paragraph at a time. often rereading the same part multiple times and marveling.
am just about to finish a superb recording of Regeneration. perhaps the 5th time i've listened to this extraordinary work by Pat Barker.
finished WISO: Finanzen unter 35 yesterday evening. It was excellent. A very useful, easy to understand book for all people who go out into the real world and have to become engaged with financial things. Highly recommended for all germany, who have not yet any idea of what to be attentive when dealing with financial stuff.
also Am very well into The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and find it very delightful. Poor Aunt Polly, though. I hope to finish it soon, because I'd like to read A Ghost in the Machine next. My boyfriend's currently reading it and says the characters are really interesting and fascinating, so I cannot keep it any longer! ;)
#80 just dipped into a print copy of Paradise lost and to my utter astonishment, i love it!
I'm glad somebody does! You wouldn't care to write this bloody assignment for me, I suppose? ;-)
> 81 coppers I like the C.J. Box Joe Pickett series. They suck me right in, too.
In Zanesville was a well-executed story of a 14 year old girl dealing with a difficult home life, the inner turmoil of that age, and adapting to high school, but it didn't grab me like I hoped.
On the other hand, I just started The Adoration of Jenna Fox, an LT recommendation, and I'm enjoying it very much.
#79, 85 and 86 ~ I am loving Shadow Divers! I read it into the wee hours and am in a fugue state @ work today. It's incredibly gripping and fascinating. What interesting lives those guys lead ... that is the real story, in some ways. But it's awesome.
I'm still reading "The Book of John" commentary (see http://www.librarything.com/work/11632117), but decided to also reread The Dragonbone Chair after adding it to my library.
I have to confess, I skipped over some of the early parts, with Simon in the Hayholt, but after he sets out on his own, I didn't do any more skipping. Excellent, as I had remembered.
If I pick up The Stone of Farewell tonight, I'll be worthless through this weekend...
Finished The Devil in The White City by Erik Larson last night. It took me awhile to get into it, but once I got going, it definitely held my attention. This tandem story covers an interesting time in history when the Chicago World's Fair was being built and about the men who built it, all the way through to the end of the Fair, as well as the story of a serial killer that operated before, during and after the fair and yet went unnoticed until being caught for another crime. Other than switching back and forth between the two stories, I found it quite interesting. Don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it or doesn't know the history, so won't say more.
I'm now into a Thomas Kincaid (yes, the painter of light) book, Home Song. This is the first of his that I've come across and I think it might be quite interesting.
Just finished The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule. The first 200 pages scared me so bad that I had to shut and lock doors in the house that I don't normally do so with at night. Very good book. I lived in the Tallahassee area for about 12 years (much later than when the murders there occurred) and was able to visualize exactly where he was during these points in the book.
Not sure what I'm onto now.....but definitely will have something new started shortly.
#84 what's the assignment? actually, i envy you b/c you're able to study it and i wish i were competent to write your bloody assignment, whatever it is. i've been reading it out loud with as much gusto as i can summon. it's marvelous, although i confess there are yards and yards of it that i either don't understand or have to spend ages unraveling. i wish you well.
#94 what's the assignment?
'Every reading of a text always takes place within a community, a tradition, or a living current of thought, all of which display presuppositions and exigencies' (ref) . . . Discuss this statement with reference to your study of Genesis 1-3, Paradise Lost and Milton (by Blake). (4000 words).
Seriously, please don't all start sending your answers in or I'll be in huge trouble for soliciting help with it! It's been the bane of my life since halfway through June. Milton and Blake are just not my kind of poets. One was a Puritan and the other saw angels - it is any wonder I can't wait to get on to Byron who just loved to drink and shag, vices I can at least understand? (ETA - I do draw the line at incest though.)
Honestly, mirrordrum, I envy you your enjoyment of PL and you are quite right that I'm lucky to be able to undertake the studying anyway. Thank you for your good wishes - I wish I could have you here reading it out loud with all that gusto, I suspect that would make it much more anjoyable.
I finished Shadow Divers and it was just awesome. Hugely recommended.
94 & 95 I loved Paradise Lost too when I read it, but if I had to write a paper on a question like that. Blech. Enjoyment Lost.
I just finished In a Gilded Cage and found it amusing and forgettable. Am onto Spanish Stories / Cuentos Espanoles and found the first story (one of the Conde Lucanor stories) interesting and funny, but shockingly misogynistic. Misogynistic isn't quite the right word, but even the most pig-headed man of today would know not to take the advice too much to heart.
Reading Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. I am so grateful for all the other book recommendations on here! Thank you!
Last week, I ordered this book by an author called Melissa Studdard, her book is titled Six Weeks To Yehidah. I still have not been able to get over this little gem I discovered. She has a really great style of writing and most of all the book itself is such a fantastic tale of magic and mystery. I strongly recommend this book to everyone who, like me, loves to read!!!
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