What Are You Reading the Week of August 27
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Oh dear, I never did this before, but it's time. From the home page I got this:
Born August 27
1871 Theodore Dreiser, author of Sister Carrie
1899 C. S. Forester, author of Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
1932 Antonia Fraser, author of Marie Antoinette: The Journey
1934 Ann Rinaldi, author of A Break with Charit…Salem Witch Trials
1959 Jeanette Winterson, author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
And most importantly my son, born 40 years ago today.
I'm listening to an audio book of The Lady and the Unicorn which has started out being Tracy Chevalier's worst, but maybe that's because she's trying very unsuccessfully to describe the sexual feelings of a 14 year old. It will get better, won't it? I've started Borderline and am finding Nevada Barr quite entertaining and informative with no stereotypical characters. Could I ask for more?
I am reading and loving Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, a combination of reading memoir and a reflection upon grief, so far. The author decided to read and review a book a day for a year. She has a blog about it, www.readallday.org, and there are photos of her reading in various locales. One feature the author bundled, sitting in a chair in the snow!! I can't wait to do the same once this cursed summer of record heat and drought end. Or should I say if?
Thanks Joyce for starting the thread. I am sitting awaiting Irene's arrival in central CT and a bit nervous about it. I wish anyone in LT who is affected by Irene to be safe and sound when its all over.
Good job kicking things off Joyce! Much appreciated. I am deeply immersed in The Last Werewolf. Expect drum-beating on this one.
You're welcome mom and msf. Just pretend there are pix to go with the names.
You have my thanks, too, Joyce. I'm similarly skill-deficient, so you get extra credit from me.
As Mark knows, I'm another fan of The Last Werewolf.
The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer was very good. When I was a kid there was a "You Are There" history series, e.g. "You Are There at Appomattox!", and this reminded me of that - at a lot higher level of course. Life in the 14th century, when London had 40,000 people and England had half the population at the end that it did at the beginning. It covers all facets of how people lived and died, including what they did for fun, from jousting to the author's heartfelt appreciation of Chaucer.
In Plain Sight by C.J. Box was another good Joe Pickett mystery.
Next is Claude and Camille by Stephanie Covell and a YA title, Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus.
Thanks for stating us off Joyce! I don't really have anything new to report as last week was pretty much a bust for reading so I am still reading Joyner's Dream by Sylvia Tyson. Looking forward to doing nothing but reading tomorrow!
This weekend, as I prepare to return to seminary, my focus (packing aside) is on reading Homilies on Joshua by Origen. Somewhat meandering, but typologically rich thus far. Quite an interesting - though not unprecedented - take on the story of Rahab of Jericho.
Good job Citizenjoyce!
I read the most charming and unusual short story collection this morning: Celestial Omnibus by E.M. Forster. It was reading serendipity - Michael Holroyd had mention this collection and one story, in particular, Story of a Panic. I realized I owned it and just meant to glance at it but became enthralled in the stories. Story of a Panic is especially riveting and eerie. If you enjoyed Turn of the Screw you might want to give this a whirl.
I'm about 2/3 of the way through The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation. Great horse story with history mixed in.
Thanks for starting off the new thread, Joyce! I'm not in the path of Irene, being on the Left Coast, but my sister is in NC (not far from Morehead City) and my daughter is in Boston, so I am intensely interested in what is happening over there. And worried. But so far all is well with them.
Started back on Dance of Death by Preston and Child, though I am finding it hard to endure the tension. I really like Lady Mescaline (I'm listening to an audio of it so am not sure of the spelling) and hate what is happening to her. Also, I'm finding it a bit much how Diogenes is always a number of steps ahead of Pendergast. It's just not ~ I was going to say "fair," but "realistic" is probably more what I mean.
Also started Arabella by Georgette Heyer and am very much enjoying it. I've only recently started reading Heyer and am amazed at how proficient she is at the craft. Great story ~ very reminiscent of the love story in P&P between Lizzy and Mr. Darcy, except a little more humor is involved. Love the heroine Arabella and the hero Mr. Beaumaris is just wonderful. Also Ulysses.
Thanks Citizenjoyce! About halfway through The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Not a pleasant subject matter to be sure but it's very well written. To all my LT friends south of the border in Irene's path.....please stay safe. My thoughts are with you....
Great job, Citizenjoyce. Thanks for getting us off to a great start!
In addition to the Hornblower series, C.S. Forester also wrote The African Queen, which is fun for fans of the movie. There are a lot of differences, but it's basically the same.
Right now I'm reading Night and Day by Virginia Woolf and loving it. I've loved just about all of her work I've ever read.
I think in her more recent works she's just endlessly trying to compete with her first masterpieces. I sadly lost interest in her books a long time ago :/
>18 NovaLee: Novalee
I read that when I was in college and I had a love/hate reaction to it. I appreciated the good writing but it was just too depressing :(
Thanks Bookwoman and enaid and you're welcome Novalee, Storeetllr, lkernagh and jnwelch.
Now that Chevalier has abandoned 14 year old silliness and begun to talk about the actual creation of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries the book has got much better. I'm also surprised to find how much I like Nevada Barr. Boring? I don't think so.
18 & 21 I loved The Bluest Eye. It was depressing, but so vivid. She initially considered that a kids book. She said she had wanted that kind of book available when she was a kid. Which is sad, because it points out that Piccola's life can actually happen.
Joyce, thanks for starting us off and don't feel bad about no pictures. It makes the thread load faster. The secret to loading a picture is less than sign img src="photo's web url" greater than sign.
I'm 1/2 way through Neuromancer and am starting to get into it. It took me awhile to acclimatize, and the world at first seemed very neo-Noir which I've seen before.
Thanks for starting the thread this week, Joyce. Also best wishes to your son on his birthday!
I am reading Blow Your House Down by Pat Barker, this is her second novel, originally published in 1984. Dealing with a serial killer who is targeting prostitutes, the story is told from the point of view of the women.
On the lighter side, I have also started The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. Have heard lots of good comments about this YA book here on LT.
I am reading Blow Your House Down by Pat Barker (#24)
Gotta love the timing!
>24 DeltaQueen50: DeltaQueen50, we love The Penderwicks! We've read all three of them -- they're wonderful read alouds as well. Enjoy!
I am reading The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey. Now that school has started I'm in the car a lot more, so I'm back to audio books. Listening to Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Current read aloud is Heidi -- we're about 1/2 way through, and we love it!
Citizenjoyce, I hope your son had a good day -- you, too, by the way.
I should finish reading Eleanor Farjeon's Edward Thomas: The Last Four Years by morning. It's been such a joy to read -- looking back on the lives of literary and artistic people in Englandm 1912-1917, most of them struggling to make a living, and about the way they encouraged one another through letters and occasional visits (when they could afford the money for the train or the time for a long walk). Farjeon, who had a bit more money than some, once sent the Thomas family a Christmas parcel. He wrote to thank her, telling of the children's delight in all the little treasures she sent them . . . and of he and his wife's gratitude for the thoughtful, practical gifts they received. He said, "You should have seen that parcel opened. The surprise of the five people concerned was as great as when all the animals in Eden had names given them, and the pleasure as great as that of the couples who were chosen for the Ark."
Next up: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart
I am halfway through Somewhere in the Darkness by Walter Dean Myers. I want to finish it today.
Oh! River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey looks great! I had never heard of it.
Molly ~ I really loved The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, I hope you do too. My sister found it a bit slow, but that was one of the very things I liked about it.
I finished Claude and Camille by Stephanie Cowell and popped up a quickie review. I liked it a lot - but it's rather easy going for history and such. But nothin' wrong with that.
Well, I got into my Fiction Writing class, so I have a LOT of work to do for it. So not going to get into anything until I get a handle on the work of the class (with the work of real work too). But the textbooks are actually excellent if any of you like reading about writing. They are: 1) Imaginative Writing, The Elements of the Craft by Janet Burroway and What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers by Anne Bernays. Interestingly, the class is teaching me how to be a better "reader" as well. I am starting to REALLY appreciate some of the craftsmanship that goes into so much of what I read and have read.
Sula is one of our novels to read. I really liked The Bluest Eye but I saw a way small theatre production of that book here in Chicago and THAT blew me away. It was easily one of the smallest plays I've seen and maybe the best. It was way more powerful in spoken/acted form.
#'s 24 and 26 I'm another fan of The Penderwicks. I'm a former bookseller, and always recommended it for girls age 8 - 12, and I got several customers who came back and thanked me. It reminds me so much of the books I read when I was that age - the kind of books that made me fall in love with reading.
AMQS, Those are some good books you have going there! A nice variety!
#26, 29 - I read River of Doubt and enjoyed it as an unrealized historical account of Roosevelt's tenacity. Can't remember now what rating I gave it, but it's a worthwhile read.
>29 CarolynSchroeder:, 30, 31, The River of Doubt is a terrific read -- I stayed up late last night to finish it.
I finished The Turn of the Screw even though I practically had to flog myself to get through it. The narrator was a thoroughly unlikeable character who referred to the children under her care as "the little wretches." I will not read more Henry James.
On the other hand, I am thoroughly enjoying And Quiet Flows the Don. It's been a long time since I last read it, and it's better than I remember.
I finished "I Heard You Paint Houses": Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran and the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters, and the Last Ride of Jimmy Hoffa by Charles Brandt. A fascinating, horrifying and extremely readable book. My review is on the book's work page and on my 50-Book Challenge thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/106335#2898388
Today I'll be starting Rules of the Wild by Francesca Marciano.
I'm also still reading Across Many Mountains my latest ER book. Enjoying it a lot. Altho that didn't stop me from hitting Borders today and coming home with another pile. That's a weird experience! Feels depressing walking around the dead store. Other part of me says yay for indies. Those big chains just have too much control over what is available for reading.
Just started WIRED by Douglas E. Richards as a Member Giveaway. So far I'll rate this highly. Good mystery/action novel.
I finished Borderline and liked it very much. I agree with benitastrnad and others that Nevada Barr makes you want to visit the national parks she writes about. A common theme among almost all the westerns is love of the land, and Barr even makes Texas seem lovable. Now I'm on to my last western for the month, True Grit. I'm sure I'll read it with the voice of that 14 year old actress ringing in my ears.
I am reading the Ormsby translation/edition of Don Quixote. Unbelievably, I never read it and I'm shocked at both how funny and how perceptive it is. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it is, so far, a pleasant surprise. I was always told how difficult it is to read. I don't find that to be the case at all.
I read Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda yesterday. Wonderful poems!
#47> I had sort of the same reaction when I read Don Quixote. I now list it as one of the three or four funniest books I've ever read.
I read nothing during the hurricane, except parts of Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America which made me far, far angrier than the storm did!!
I just finished Stress? Find Your Balance and am getting ready to start The Soul's First Kiss and I am 2 chapters into Reboot Your Career:27 Ways to Reinvent Yourself in the Workplace. Reboot Your Career is pretty interesting so far and seems like it has some good tips on steps needed to get what you want, and I am super excited to read this "uber romantic" love story written by Gregory W. Isaacson, as well! All three of these were member giveaways.
50 - Aren't they all?!
How is everyone on the east coast of U.S. this morning?
Off to a good start with Charles Jessold Considered as a Muderer by Wesley Stace I hope it is as intriguing as it appears so far.
"New research however, suggests that the brain can build neuronal connections, and easily performs much better, by adding novelty and random activity."
Reading fiction makes you smarter.
I finished and reviewed Megan K. Stack's stunning account of life as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East in Every Man in This Village is a Liar.
That book quite logically lead to my current read In the Sea There Are Crocodiles, the true story of an Afghan boy abandoned by his mother in Pakistan.
>59 richardderus: Thanks for that post, Richard. It used to rankle me when people said, rather sanctimoniously I thought, "I read only non fiction. I want to find out about what really happens not what someone made up." Now I just think, your loss.
#'s 50 & 59 As a retiree, and having spent my working career reading scientific journals and materials, I am now enjoying reading fiction, though I try to respect and include some of all genres. A good book is one that makes you think, reflect, expand your horizons, test your beliefs and challenge your biases. Information, in and of itself, is of little use unless you have a planned use for it or use it to build upon as a platform for understanding. We should be trying to understand economics, politics, science and the like to avoid making uninformed decisions, but we also need to have a level of understanding and compassion for others in the form of the alternate-reality afforded by creative fiction.
(17) Storeetllr, I'm in eastern NC, about an hour's drive from Morehead City. We were kind of busy this weekend, too. I hope she's doing well.
Joyce, thanks for starting the thread. I was going to mention that C.S. Forester also wrote The African Queen, but bookwoman beat me to it.
I loved the movie with Hepburn and Bogart, but somehow the book didn't enthrall me at all. I gave it back to the Goodwill store.
I am also curious to see if anyone can recommend some Henry James.
On the personal reading front, I finished Joyner's Dream by Sylvia Tyson this morning. Overall, I enjoyed this family saga historical piece and have posted a review on the book page.
Next up is a long over due re-read of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and for some fun adventure, Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber Book Three in L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack Adventures series.
Wanting to mention some I read while this summer while I had no internet:
Carolyn and others - we previously talked about how much we loved Essential Dykes right? It was only about my second graphic work and I was surprised by how impacted I was. This month I read another graphic - a bio, Dangerous Woman the Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman by Sharon Rudahl, that I picked up at Powell's while in Portland. I enjoyed reading it, but this was a way different experience. It was more like just reading a regular book - guess I just didn't pick up emotion in the drawings like I did in Dykes. Anyone else read it and have any thoughts? Glad I read it tho and will still keep reading graphic works.
I'm in the middle of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. So far, so good- it's a great summer feel-good sort of book.
Just starting a Member Giveaway Burmese Refugees, Letters from the Thai-Burma Border edited by T. F. Rhoden & T. L. S. Rhoden
66, 67 -- I like Henry James' The Wings of the Dove, and Washington Square, but I'm more a fan of the novellas and stories, such as The Aspern Papers and "The Jolly Corner." I also enjoy reading about the James family, particularly Henry, William, and Alice.
45, 54 -- I love Charlotte Gray and Birdsong, also The Girl at the Lion D'Or. I have another of his in the tbr pile -- A Week in December.
>65 fuzzi: Thanks, fuzzi ~ my sister called me today and said she made it through the storm okay, though her electricity didn't and she's been without power for a couple of days. Also said she's having difficulties with cellphone reception, which is why I hadn't heard from her sooner. Glad you are okay too.
Just finished The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. By no means a feel-good book but I'm certainly glad that I experienced it. On to Sept's book club selection, The Manticore by Robertson Davies. We did Fifth Business last year, so thought we would continue with the trilogy this year. I understand that this book is steeped in Jungian psychology....should be interesting.
I finished Neuromancer and was a bit disappointed with it. It's a classic within the genre, basically because it created a new subgenre, cyberpunk. But I've read other books that riffed on it, so it wasn't that fresh to me. Sigh...
I'm now halfway through Borrowed Finery and Cecilia Valdes is waiting at the library for me. It just came in through interlibrary loan.
You're welcome all. I found it was easy to get in early on some LT stuff to which I am usually late because I didn't have the threat or actuality of a hurricane to deal with.
I'm finding True Grit to be just as good as I'd hoped it would be. Don't you love it when that happens?
I'm thisclose to finishing Blood Test by Jonathan Kellerman, and I absolutely love it. I think I've found a series to get hooked on. Still reading Stalkers in bits and pieces based on recommendations...some of the stories are creepy, but a lot of them are predictable and/or badly written, so I won't be finishing the whole book.
Next up: In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson and Carrie - I want to read all of Stephen King's books in chronological order.
>79 coloradogirl14: I want to read all of Stephen King's books in chronological order
Wow, coloradogirl, that's an ambitious goal! Worthy, but it should take you awhile, that man is so prolific!
Back after being without electricity for 56 hours. I did finish Albion's Seed which I really found fascinating. It's surely not the only way to analyze American culture and interpret American history but the author makes a strong case. I can easily see a great deal of truth in his interpretation. It's 900 pages is not as formidable as it looks due to many footnotes and charts.
#66 & #67
As someone who also has had problems with Henry James, I have enjoyed The Europeans, Washington Square, Portrait of a Lady and a very short novella Daisy Miller. James is hard going for me and I always feel pleased with myself after I've wrapped up one of his books. Mostly because I know I can then move onto something else!
On the Henry James thing, if you didn't like Turn of the Screw you probably just don't like James. I love it, but his writing is so introspective that it takes patience and either appeals or does not.
@81 Smethuku01 - Heh! Enjoy Life of Pi, and hang on for the ride.
I finished Borrowed Finery, found it interesting but somehow not as emotional as one would expect a memoir with similar content to be. I've picked up Cecilia Valdes and will hopefully start reading it tonight.
FYI cammykitty ~ the current Paris Review has an interview with Gibson and he's a pretty interesting guy. I have not read any of his work, but found the interview fascinating.
mkboylan ~ I have not read a graphic novel I've enjoyed since The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, which for me, was, as we chatted, a 5-star reading experience. I have picked a few up and started some pages, but did not care enough either about the story or characters to continue. But I am still open minded on the medium (genre?). I want very much to read Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush though, by Louis Alberto Urrea.
#82 - It's been a goal of mine for awhile, and I've actually read more than half of his stuff already, but the books I haven't read all seem to be interlinked (Dark Tower Series, Eye of the Dragon, etc.). But I'm really excited to start fully appreciating his work.
Also, finished Blood Test today! It was AWESOME and I'm hooked on Alex Delaware now.
#85 Mr. Durick: I'm happy to report that Amazing Disgrace (the sequel to Cooking with Fernet Branca) is just as hilarious and helped get me through the power outage that Hurricane Irene left behind.
In a dark mood, our culinary hero Samper whips up "Death Roe": an amalgam of eggplant, squid ink, cod or similar roe and black currants. Yum!
NarratorLady, thank you. I've heard mixed opinions on the sequels. I would like there to be another for me to enjoy; the more I hear in favor, the more I am likely to try it.
Reading A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City by Anonymous, and I'm listening to The Thirteenth Tale, which I absolutely loved reading two years ago. The audio book is just as wonderful!
@87 Carolyn, Thanks for mentioning it! I'm pretty sure I can track down a copy of that interview at my library.
#79-I really enjoyed In the Garden of Beasts-I am a big fan of his work.
I actually loved Turning of the Screw but I know I am one of a rare few. I loved the gothic psychological horror aspects of it.
I have The Bluest Eye on my tbr shelf and hope to get to it soon. I loved Beloved so have high hopes for this one as well.
I just started The Shining this morning-my first Stephen King and am really enjoying it so far.
#98 - The Shining was my first Stephen King novel as well, and I was addicted after that. I hope you love it as much as I did!
About 1/3 of the way through Running the Books and I'm quitting. i have to say the cover is AWESOME! It's a pic of a face designed with a due date stamp. Very clever I thought. Thought I'd love the book but only liked it somewhat and too much other great stuff waiting. I've done some group counseling work with women in jail and in juvenile hall which I liked so thought I'd like it more, thought the premise was great, had some great moments, just not enough.
Posted a much belated review of Nairobi Heat by Mukoma wa Ngugi:
I'm reading The Outlander by Gil Adamson. It's very good - she doesn't explain things, just lets the story happen. It's about a young widow early in the 1900's in Alberta, who is running away. She goes into the mountains completely unprepared and is eventually found by various interesting characters. I learned of it from the LT recommendations.
I finished reading Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux for my book discussion group and enjoyed it. I might have to read Ghost Train to the Eastern Star which is the sequel just to find out how his perceptions and the reality of the trains of Asia has changed in 30 years. I started reading Undaunted Courage and have started End of Mr. Y for this same book discussion group. I have been wanting to read something by Scarlett Thomas for some time as the buzz about her writing has been good. So far it is interesting. It is a book about a book and I generally find those interesting. Of course, Ambrose is a great storyteller so I expect that Undaunted Courage will be easy reading. I am also listening to Marcello in the Real World while driving and I really like this book. It is a YA book that tackles real life issues and does so using the life of a 17 year-old boy who as Asberger's Syndrome. Right now he is trying to figure out the difference between lust and greed to have something you can't have. Very well done and I am impressed with this book.
Hans Erich Nossack. "Der jüngere Bruder" (The Younger Brother) - German Post War, 1958 - turns out to be very interesting, one of those identity-topics so typical for the German 50s. It's sort of in between Koeppen (A Death in Rome) and Frisch (I'm not Stiller).
William Boyd. "Ordinary Thunderstorms" that one got great reviews, at least in Germany. I'm afraid though, the plot is easily predictable, and I'm not so sure that the Londonism the book is full of will carry me through the whole 400 odd pages....
Oh dear, Juliet Flanders' The Invention of Murder just arrived and looks so fascinating I just might have to abandon everything else while I read it.
My library doesn't have The Invention of Murder, which I now really want to read. I will have to put it on my wish list.
I finished The Lady and the Unicorn and since we had no need to revisit the 14 year old's maidenhood it turned out to be a very good book. The two main characters were supremely unlikeable, rich people in the 15th century were shown to be greedy and unsympathetic to the needs of the lower classes (hmm) and the making of the tapestries was fascinating. I'd recommend this book as highly as Chevalier's others, just don't let the maidenhood distract you.
I also finished a stolen life and, as in the fictitious Room, Dugard's recovery was just as interesting as her captivity. She did a very good job writing this simple book.
Now I'm listening to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and starting a reread of The Crimson Petal and the White for a planned concentrated read about prostitution this month.
Yesterday morning I finished Cooking with Fernet Branca. Last night without much time to make a decision but hopeful anyway I picked up UFOs in hopes of being convinced or scared; the first twenty-five pages are pretty tediously written and may bode ill for the readability of the book. I may just have to go ahead and continue to disbelieve in extraterrestrial visitors; oh, well.
I picked up UFOs in hopes of being convinced or scared. Mr.Durick, you are an open minded man.
#118 - I thought Born to Run was a really good read as well as very informative. Enjoy!
Read most of Buzz A Year of Paying Attention by Katherine Ellison yesterday. Interesting perspective on ADD/ADHD and a quick read. Addressed different perspectives such as it's mom's fault, it's society's fault, your brain's fault, and others, with chapters addressing each. includes mom's perspective as well as son's. I especially liked that it gave no solutions, but pointed out that different things work for different people. Also pointed out that meds are given way too often, but also not enough to those who need them - excellent point.
Then last night started Inside WikiLeaks by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who quit the organization, and have hardly been able to put it down - great read.
Julie- I'm a big fan of Born to Run also! It's one of my favorite reads of the year so far.
I finally started the Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers and it has been worth the wait. Mullen is a fine writer and I'm anxious to see where this story goes.
On audio, I've been enjoying Doomsday Book. My first foray into the Willis World.
I have just discovered Flannery O'Connor and am currrently in the middle of her second book of short stories Everything That Rises Must Converge. What a unique voice!
Delta - please let us know how you like The Plain Janes - sounds interesting. Yay - my library has it!
hemlockgang> Thanks! I'm loving Cecelia Valdes, even with it's detailed descriptions of the houses, furniture and streets. It was such a different world! Having seen the Humberto Solas movie already isn't hurting either. Knowing where it's going gives it an edge that's almost like psychological horror.
>#134 - Yes, it does begin with the land bridge and is a typical Michener epic. It will be a bit until I can begin it but this was a common thread in a couple of reviews I read.
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