What are you reading the week of September 24th, 2011?
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New thread for the week!
F. Scott Fitzgerald (24th September 1896) - American author of novels and short stories. Author of This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, Tender Is the Night and the classic, The Great Gatsby.
Horace Walpole (24th September 1717) - An English scholar and politician. Today he is mainly remembered for his Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto.
William Faulkner (25th September 1897) - American novelist and short story writer. Considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, he received the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. Famous novels The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Light in August (1932).
T. S. Eliot (26th September 1888) - An American-born English poet, playwright, and literary critic. His most famous poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, is regarded as a masterpiece of the modernist movement. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.
Jim Thompson (27th September 1906) - An American author and screenwriter, known for his pulp crime fiction. His works featured unreliable narrators, odd structure, and surrealism. The writer R.V. Cassill has suggested that of all pulp fiction, Thompson's was the ‘rawest and most harrowing’. Best-regarded works are The Killer Inside Me, Savage Night, A Hell of a Woman and Pop. 1280. A number of Thompson's books became popular films, including The Getaway and The Grifters.
Truman Capote (30th September 1924) - American author of many short stories, novels, plays and non-fiction. Most famous works are the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and In Cold Blood (1965), regarded by critics as a pioneering work of the true crime genre.
Great start to the week Porua! I am still in Ancient Egypt with Pauline Gedge's The Twice Born. Should be finished later this weekend.
Thank you for another great start to the week, Porua!
I'm still reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I am absolutely blown away, once again, by Tolstoy's ability to put the reader right into the middle of a scene...even one as completely unfamiliar as a 19th Century Russian hunting lodge! His descriptions of the food even made me hungry! That''s never happened to me with a book before.
My progess is slower than I would hope, but that is absolutely no reflection on the book. War and Peace is only confirming my love for Tolstoy.
I finished Poor Things last night and really, really enjoyed it.
I picked up a mystery/ thriller called Sorry right before bed and the next thing I knew it was 2am. It totally sucked me in.
I also read a page or two of my eternal companion read Lady Jane Grey a Tudor Mystery while waiting in the carpool line. At this rate she will see me through my daughter's senior year!
I finished lullabies for little criminals, the usual Orange Prize sock in the gut type of book. Good, but it sure takes your breath away. I'm still listening to Carpe Diem which is interesting, but the narrator is driving me crazy. I've just started Nana, rather, I read the 33 page introduction. So now that I know more about Emile Zola than his defense of Dreyfus, I'm ready to start what I think will be a very interesting book.
@#2 Ikernagh, I love all things Ancient Egypt. What do you think of The Twice Born so far?
I just finished The Graveyard Book - I wish Neil Gaiman had written it when I was 10 or 12 years old. I would have loved it even more then.
Now I'm reading A Perfect Spy and getting a jump on the group read by starting Jude the Obscure. Le Carre and Hardy are two of my favorite authors, so I'm looking forward to a good reading week.
>15 jfetting:, jfetting, I just started a read aloud of The Graveyard Book this week. So far the girls are hanging on every word.
Last week I finished The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig, which I loved. I'm now reading Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny and listening to The Hound of the Baskervilles on audio.
I finished The Paris Wife and put up a short review. Now I am reading American Gods and this is not my typical kinda reading (whatever that is, I guess), but it was on my shelves and I was looking exactly for something a bit different. His writing is a bit simple, but I'm getting sucked in quickly enough.
Thank you for the info re Kate Atkinson's book.
I just love this site, you all keep me in good books!!!
#15 jfetting, I would like to hear your thoughts on Jude THe Obscure.
The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For is going into its third day. What a lively and authentic group of people getting on with life!
Isn't that the irritating thing about William Boyd - he is so uneven! He writes a masterpiece like Any Human Heart and then it's all up and down. Restless had some great parts going for it but not perfect and then New Confessions felt like a poor man's Any Human Heart even though I think it came out first. Ordinary Thunderstorms was good but not amazing and had a semi-scary animal moment that(thank goodness) worked out okay.
I'm almost 1/2 way finished with Sorry, an interesting thriller/ novel set in contemporary Berlin. It is nerve wracking and that's what I wanted. I like the writing, too.
I'm about 2/3 of the way through The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks. The education chapter has been my favorite so far.
P.S. I forgot to say HAPPY BANNED BOOKS WEEK! Once I finish my book I'll begin reading my banned book selection.
I'm reading Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, I'll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark and The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark.
Today I'm starting The Company of Players by Victor Chapin. It's a book I bought on a whim at the great Haslam's Bookstore in St. Petersburg, Florida, during my recent visit to that city. It's a first edition hardcover. According to the inside jacket flap description, the book is an "entertaining novel about a theatrical company on tour."
When I added the book to my LT library, I found that I had become one of only two LT members with this book. The other is in fact the legacy library of Newton "Bud" Flounders. According to the profile page for the library . . .
"Newton "Bud" Flounders (1922-2005), a Peninsula architect and a life-long collector of gay novels, was a long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and a co-owner of the Walt Whitman Bookshop, one of the first gay and lesbian bookstore in San Francisco which played an early role in creating opportunities for gay men and women in the San Francisco Bay Area to find and get access to literature for and about the LGBT community."
Interesting stuff. Here's the link to the profile: http://www.librarything.com/profile/BudFlounders
As for the book's author, here's his 1983 obituary in the NY Times, also interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/1983/03/12/obituaries/victor-chapin.html
Sydney Taylor, All of a Kind Family - about an early 20th century Jewish family on New York City's lower East Side, lovely. This was new to me but I had the sequel as a child and plan to reread that now.
Siddartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies - heard of here first, then discovered it was an Amazon Vine book so took the chance to get it this month
Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge
Stella Gibbons, Starlight - published in 1967, set in 60s London, new reprint
Roald Dahl, Matilda
Fiona Kidman, Paddy's Puzzle
Vanessa Diffenbaugh, The Language of Flowers
Sue Moorcroft, Starting Over
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I'm reading The Private World of Georgette Heyer which was listed by someone on LT, for which I am grateful because I'm really enjoying it and if I didn't have such a huge stack of TBR's from the library, I'd start into her books again.
Porua great start to the thread. I am currently reading She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. Love it so far. Also finished up and didn't really enjoy all that much Just Kids. It was just ok.
#30 - mldavis2 - Thanks for the tip! I'm finding it difficult to find Ernest Gann's books, but keeping my eyes open. I consider this latest an unexpected pleasure and very happy it's a longer read than Island in the Sky.
I'm reading Nine Centuries of Spanish Literature : Nueve siglos de literatura Espanola but will be setting it aside for awhile as soon as I can pick up the copy of Los Pazos De Ulloa by Emilia Pardo Bazan in English. I've been struggling with the Spanish in Nine Centuries without much help from the translations (because the translations haven't been of much help) and will be very, very appreciative of Pardo Bazan's translator. Sorry, won't be a banned book because I'm in the middle of Latino Heritage Month, but female authors from Spain during that time period (1800s?) are so rare, I think we can count her as banned.
Because I know I'll be having a tough week at work, I'm not ashamed to say I'm reading total mind-fluff to escape from it! Because I'm Worth It is my YA escapism this week!
I finished, on audio, The Man Who Smiled. The 4th Kurt Wallander mystery. It was a solid read. I'm still deeply immersed in Perdido Street Station and will be for awhile. It's a big boy.
I also started the 9/11 Report, a graphic adaptation, which I did not know existed until recently, thanks to Donna!
I just started The Memory of Love and I can tell I'm going to love it. Heard about it from several posts here.
To: Mkboylan (From last week's thread)
I got about 1/3 into Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend and then skimmed the rest. The story of Rin Tin Tin and his owner was interesting, but the book lost some steam. The most interesting facts were in the beginning, but as the story captures the original dog and then his descendents I lost interest once the first dog died. The story even surpasses the owner's life. The writer also inserts herself by telling us what fascinated her and how it brought back memories for her, which had no positive affect on me.
After such a lackluster read, I'm following everyone's advice and have started City of Thieves.
39 BBleil thanks so much for the word on Rin Tin Tin. think I'll skip it and put City ofmThieves on my list!
I'm a bit over halfway through River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh, the sequel to his 2008 novel Sea of Poppies, which is set in Canton and Hong Kong in 1838, just before the First Opium War between the British and Chinese. I'm also reading County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago's Public Hospital by David A. Ansell, a book about Cook County Hospital, the author's experiences there, and the plight of the poor and uninsured in receiving adequate health services in the U.S.
I am currently reading Winter's Bone and, despite finding the writing a bit on the difficult side, enjoying it very much.
Just finished and reviewed Wayward Son by Tom Pollack and now for something completely different.......just dipped into Mozart's Blood by Louise Marley.
P.S. Love this thread because I find so many interesting books to add to my growing Mt. TBR.
PPS. Touchstone not working for Louise Marley for some reason, sorry!
I finished Sorry last night and, frankly, was a little disenchanted by the end. I can't say I liked any of the characters very much and the constant switching times and point of view was frustrating at times. At one point, I came to believe that there were at least two characters named "Karl" simply because of the writing style. I gave it three stars because it was a good idea for a book.
Now, because my cold has returned in full force, I'm going to read Elizabeth Peter's The Mummy Case because I need a break. And, I'm still in my pajamas!
>14 AygsWithLaygs: AygsWithLaygs - I finished The Twice Born this morning. I enjoyed this well written historical fiction set in Ancient Egypt and look forward to continuing with series. I have posted my full review on the book page, if you are interested.
Next up is The Sisters Brothers, to see what all the buzz is about this one. ;-)
Picked up The Taker on Friday! Yay for Bull Moose Music Scarborough ME! So excited that they now sell books! sorry.. just made me so happy lol. Happy Sunday all!
#50 Ikernagh - > Just read your review, I will have to pick that one up!
enaid and mkboylan: I'll vouch for the hot & sour soup AND for Elizabeth Peters.
It's my first full week post-dissertation completion when I can read what I want when I want for the first time in 6 months.
I have two audios on the go, one in the car (Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey) and one on my phone (The City and the City by China Mieville). I have until Thursday to finish Nicole Krauss's Great House for my book group and finally on Kindle I'm more than three quarters of the way through Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence but I've been stuck at that point for quite some time.
I started Pompeii by Robert Harris this weekend as part of the September Sequels and Series group read. Who could have thought that civil engineering could be this interesting? This is turning out to be a great historical mystery. I am 100 pages into it and last night had to tell myself to quit reading it because I had to get to work today. This was a good choice to complete the month. I am still reading the daily travelogue Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose. He is a good storyteller, and the first part of the book was very interesting when he told about getting ready for the expedition. The trip up the Missouri isn't as interesting. But I am still reading so it can't be all that bad.
I also purchased all three of the Crusades Trilogy by Jan Guillou. Don't know a thing about them, but needed a book about knights for my nephew's Christmas present. He likes knights and stuff like that so think this will be a good match for him.
57 -Congrats! The thought of all that work makes my head hurt! What was your subject? Also, let me know how you like City. I just gave up on it, maybe prematurely.
I am so glad The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For keeps getting resurrected on this thread! I so loved it and would not have known it but for LT.
Had a bit of a hard time finding something to hunker down wit, so asked an author friend I know to recommend something. This is her friend, but she told me to go get Sand Queen by Helen Benedict. So I did. It's very good so far and I'm about a 1/3 done already. It is a quick read about some of the realities of the Iraqi war/invasion and the horror the U.S. women soldiers live through. Apparently, the research (which culminated in a NF book earlier) was extensive. There is also an intertwined story about an Iraqi woman/medical student.
Having a wonderful time listening to Dog On It, the first book in a fun mystery series told from the point of view of Chet, the mostly non-anthropomorphic police-trained dog "partner" of private detective Bernie.
Finished Vermilion Drift by William Kent Krueger. Enjoyed it muchly. Will have to hunt down more of his.
Next up is The Blood Books Volume 1: Blood Price, Blood Trail by Tanya Huff. Not sure about this one. Not my usual cup of tea.
63 - Carolyn I put Sand Queen on my wish list but don't plan on wishing too long!
I highly recommend Helen Benedict's NF book you mentioned, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq. When I was still teaching a course about families and stress at Calif State Univ, I used that book as a text for my students to learn about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other effects of war so that they would be in a better position to be helpful with returning soldiers. And maybe better voters also! My students really liked the book and appreciated learning more about women soldiers. It's a great read.
I'm planing to read Let's Take the Long Way Home next month, so I read only the first line of your review, Bonnie. I'll make sure to have a sufficient supply of tissues before I start it.
Mkboylan ~ Sand Queen is great, you are in for a treat. I flew through half the book last night. It is a bit rough around the edges and such (written very simply for the one character), but you can tell the author knows her stuff. I will definitely check out The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq ... I guess few actually believed that (and questioned the author's research) was happening, when that book came out. The author took a fair deal of grief over it. I really don't know why some of it surprises me, but it does. I had not EVEN considered the hardships the women face within their own ranks. I do, however, believe it.
Citizenjoyce ~ I really loved Let's Take The Long Way Home - and I keep lending it out, receiving it back, from a circle of friends and family and everyone has just loved it. Sad though :(
I started Sarah's Key and all I can say is that it is gripping. I can't seem to put it down and I am even finding myself getting up earlier than normal to read before work. I love how each chapter alternates between past and present. Obviously, the subject matter is intense but the story is beautifully told.
I finished Carpe Diem which turned out to be a surprisingly good read about travels in Southeast Asia (where, according to the book, rolls of toilet paper are placed on restaurant tables to be used as napkins). This is one of the few times I've read about the Hmong since The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, and I found the contrast between the happy family and the drug den very interesting. Ultimately it's a YA novel with the requisite teen age love story, and the worst possible narrator on the audiobook, and alas a really stupid christian miracle (what do you expect from the daughter of missionaries?). But all in all, worth my time.
Now I start an audio of The House of Mirth.
I finished Michael Holroyd's Mosaic: A Family Memoir Revisited. Now I'm reading Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May mystery Full Dark House and Home: The Short History of an Idea by Witold Rybczynski.
Holroyd's book is quite wonderful -- the search into his family history reveals much about the author himself. It is fascinating to follow him on the trail of some very elusive people from the past. There is also an especially good chapter on his efforts to settle the estate of a relative -- the convoluted and torturous path he travels through the legal system, government bureaucracy, insurance companies, and social services would be great comedy if it weren't so familiar and true. I also appreciated having a glimpse of his marriage to Margaret Drabble. Just a glimpse -- but with a writer as fine as Holroyd, you don't need much more.
Mosaic would probably be even more meaningful if read after his previous search into family history, Basil Street Blues, but I could not lay my hands on a copy of that book -- I'm still working on tracking it down.
In celebration of Banned Books Week, I'm reading Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, which is #33 on the ALA's list of Top Banned/Challenged books for 2000-2009.
I'm still struggling through Chango's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes by William Kennedy. Should finish it today - an interesting book that is slow reading (for me) due to its run-on sentences and occasional off-the-wall one-liners. Review to follow, of course.
Posted on the wrong thread cause it's to early in the morning for me! LOL
I'm reading Absolute Power by David Baldacci and quite enjoying it. I'm hoping to finish it before I finish the month.
I finished, loved and reviewed Tipping the Velvet, not for the sexually squeamish, but what a wonderful book. I've decided to listen to The Age of Innocence instead of House of Mirth because there's a discussion of Innocence going on somewhere around here. I'll have to look for it. I've listened to 1 CD of House of Mirth and can't help seeing Gillian Anderson every time Lilly Bart speaks. I'm going to have to find that movie.
>79 ellenflorman: Thanks, Ellen! I am happy to know it. In fact, as soon as I finished the first one, I went straight to the library and ordered the next two on CD. The fourth in the series is not available yet, but I am hopeful. Or I'll buy it. It's that good.
I finished Sand Queen - kinda mixed feelings on it. Popped up a review. Not sure what is next. I'm waist deep in my fiction writing class, so now have to "workshop" other students' works (which is quite a bit) and all the assigned reading (which are often very cool short stories by many different authors), not to mention the writing itself. But it doesn't leave much time for reading novels/NF like I usually do. I am going to a pretty cool reading this weekend though (which I then have to write about - it is an assignement - but I can pick any book reading I want) for the book Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab by Dmitry Samarov ... so that sorta qualifies as reading, listening, doesn't it?
#66 seitherin In addition to reading Elizabeth Peters Mummy Case I'm reading the first William Kent Krueger Iron Lake and I'm really liking it. I was getting my car inspected and Iron Lake was so engrossing the time passed like nothing. Terrific story & well told. I'm looking forward to checking out some of his others.
Oh - I meant to thank you all for the hot & sour soup recommendations to help with my cold. It worked wonders - I also got a vegetarian eggroll to act as a vehicle for tons of hot Chinese mustard. Doing lots better!
Reading The Troubled Man, the last Kurt Wallender novel, by Henning Makell. Wish it were'nt so, but it is.
Read Stuart Woods Son of Stone yesterday - meh. Day before read Cecil Castellucci The Plain Janes recommended here. Great little graphic read. Perhaps inspired by the Guerilla Girls work. Www.guerillagirls.com if you don't know of them. The Plain Janes rock! I found it inspiring, reminding me to get off my duff and DO something.
I am reading FDR's Funeral Train and am surprised how much I am enthralled by it so far.
#100 Tes: I had to read Bleak House last year or a class, but I enjoyed it. It is at times a bit longish and intertwined and not so easily to see through, but it is very good. But it also definetely belongs to those works, you have to read at least twice to get all of it!
Just starting The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham. I received this from the publisher for review (autographed, no less). It is the first book (I believe) written by Grisham that is non-fiction, describing the conviction and exoneration of a murderer by DNA evidence. It promises to be a powerful statement and a timely read following the Davis execution in Georgia.
I'm reading Holes by Louis Sachar this week.
I've seen it recommended everywhere, but never got a chance to get hold on it.... until I found my little brother reading it few days ago :P
He gave it to me after he was done.
He told me that right after he finished the book, his teacher told his class they were using it for novel studies. He got a heads start :D
I finished two books yesterday and really liked them both. Pompeii was great and Silesian Station was equally as good, plus it was equal as a sequel to the first in the John Russell series Zoo Station. I stayed up far to late in the night with Pompeii on several evenings, but loved this book. A little mystery, romance, and great characters all wrapped in the inevitability of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in August of 79 A.D. The author did a great job with taking an event so well known and turning it into a page turner thriller. Who would have thought civil engineering would be so interesting?
Silesian Station was another very good spy novel. The author has maintained his pace and tension through two books about spy John Russell. Usually the sequels begin to flatten in interest, but this book doesn't do that. This is good writing. This book was especially tension filled because it takes place in the summer of 1939 and ends a few days after Germany invades Poland on September 1, 1939. I am including this in my list of series to recommend to my fellow readers.
I liked Holes very much. Thought it was a very good book and am glad to see that people are still reading it.
From last week's thread:
(109) ellen, I loved the latest Chet and Bernie mystery!
That one just went on my wish list...
(25) elkiedee, I read most if not all of the All of a Kind Family when I was a young girl. I think I'll go look them up at the library this weekend.
I just finished reading The Morning Gift by Diana Norman, which I have not read in years and years. I still like it almost as much as I did when I first read it.
I also bought a used copy of The Physician by Noah Gordon. I'm halfway through and, again, am really enjoying the reread.
At the same time I'm reading Minor Prophets (the second book in the series) by Dr. Peter Ruckman. It's fascinating and definitely something to check out if you enjoy reading the Bible and other religious material.
(65) Having a wonderful time listening to Dog On It, the first book in a fun mystery series told from the point of view of Chet, the mostly non-anthropomorphic police-trained dog "partner" of private detective Bernie.
Excellent! Once you finish, you need to read the next three...
(88) The 4th one in the Chet and Bernie series just came out in hardcover...I know, because I got it first from the library last week, woo!
112 Oh, yes! I've already reserved the next two Chet and Bernie mysteries on audio from the library. That was one of the most enjoyable audiobooks I've listened to this year! Loved the reader, the way he made Chet seem so, well, doggish without sounding sappy or too cute.
I am reading Sula for Toni Morrison for my fiction writing class. But I am only to read 47 pages this week. I forgot how good it was. So I did that and am now reading the chick lit of Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister which was my Mom's book. It is pretty good for chick lit, but I REALLY want to meet the uber perfect men who grace these pages (they cook, they bake bread even, they clean, they watch the kids, they support the women's interests, they are gorgeous, they are worldy, they are creative, they always listen and don't seem interested in sports - not a flaw in the lot of 'em). But it HAS made me realize why women do, in fact, dig chick lit.
Reading and enjoying Conference at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.
I am reading "The Wise Man's Fear" by Patrick Rothfuss. It's pretty good :)
I'm reading the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Great book, it grabbed me from the first line.
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