Beth's 75 for 2012 - Part 3
This is a continuation of the topic Beth's 75 for 2012 - Part 2.
This topic was continued by Beth's 75 for 2012 - Part 4.
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98. This Is How You Lose Her
99. More Baths Less Talking
100. Among Others
91. The Marriage Plot
92. Juliet in August
93. The Beautiful Mystery
94. Judgment Call
95. Garment of Shadows
96. The Pilot's Wife*
97. Bones Are Forever
82. Wild: From Lost to Found
83. The Pillars of the Earth*
84. Stalking Susan
85. Wings A Novel of World War II Flygirls*
87. The Cello Suites*
88. The Prisoner of Heaven
89. Off the Grid*
90. Half of a Yellow Sun*
72. The Solitary House
74. Foreign Bodies
75. Our Mutual Friend*
76. The Lola Quartet
77. Human Voices*
78. Killer Keepsakes
79. The Innocents
80. Shadow of Night
81. A Room Full of Bones
Best reading of the first half of the year
1. The Stranger's Child
2. How It All Began
3. The Feast of the Goat
4. A Visit from the Goon Squad
5. The Frozen Thames
6. Rez Life
7. Old Filth
9. Go Down, Moses
10. A Wedding in Haiti
11. Twenty-Five Books that Shaped America
13. The Uncommon Reader
Who says I have to choose 10? Or 5? These are the ones that are memorable to me. I didn't put A Daughter of Time because that's a reread, and I think goes on the all-time favorite list.
35. The Frozen Thames*
36. Cutting for Stone*
37. Kill My Darling
38. The Forgotten Waltz
39. Running the Rift
40. The Heretic's Daughter*
41. Elegy for Eddie
42. Rez Life
43. Twenty-Five Books That Shaped America*
44. Blood in the Water
45. The Time in Between
46. Beautiful Souls
47. Olive Kitteridge*
49. County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago's Public Hospital
50. Old Filth*
51. The Making of a Marchioness*
52. The Man in the Wooden Hat*
53. City of Shadows*
54. A Natural Woman
56. Twenty Days with Julian & Little Bunny by Papa*
57. No Mark Upon Her
58. A Wedding in Haiti*
59. America Pacifica
60. Cat's Claw
61. Midnight in Peking
63. The Queen's Man
66. The Wordy Shipmates*
67. Anatomy of Murder*
68. Go Down, Moses*
70. The Uncommon Reader*
*From my shelf
1. Writing Jane Austen*
2. Death Comes to Pemberley
3. Antiques to Die For
4. The Gilded Shroud*
5. The House at Sea's End
6. Laughing Without an Accent*
7. The Klipfish Code
8. Explosive Eighteen*
9. Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen*
11. The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
12. The Girl in a Blue Beret
13. The Stranger's Child
14. Blizzard of Glass
15. The Rope
16. The Lost City of Z
17. How It All Began
18. The Feast of the Goat*
19. A Visit from the Goon Squad*
20. What Angels Fear
22. When Gods Die*
23. April Lady*
24. Restless in the Grave
25. Guardian Angel*
26. Death in the Andes*
27. The Magic Line
28. The Flight of Gemma Hardy
29. The Daughter of Time*
30. The Various Haunts of Men*
31. Bangkok 8*
32. No One Is Here Except All of Us
33. The Woman at the Light*
34. Hangman Blind
*From my shelf
Welcome to the second half of my reading year. I mentioned that while at my family reunion, we had a tea with a book discussion. We didn't choose one book to read; instead, we all brought ideas about books we had read recently and loved.
I won't include the books I mentioned because I have already discussed them here. Some books mentioned were Room, Heft, A Paris Wife. Heft is one I will pick up -- sounds interesting. My aunt was reading A State of Wonder, so we had a short Patchett love fest. People's favorites were Run and Bel Canto. March was also mentioned, and we then had a short Brooks love fest. Favorites were A Year of Wonders. My sister loved People of the Book. There were mixed reviews of A Paris Wife; my aunt loved it, while my cousin didn't. I'll have to think about that one.
It was very fun -- and great to see we have such a reading family.
Our Mutual Friend. A few brief thoughts. I'm halfway through. I'll try to comment without spoilers. The truth about John Harmon has been revealed. Some love interests are heating up. It's been a while since I read Dickens and I had forgotten the humor, the societal critique and the great, memorable characters. And the names! Snigsworth, Podsnaps and Twemlow are unforgettable. The women characters are the least developed and seem stock, but so far I am enjoying this very much. It seems more serious than earlier works.
Now to catch up with threads.
You've read some great books this year, Beth. I love the idea of having a book discussion at a family reunion - you are lucky to have such a literary family!
A new thread!
I love the idea of having a family book discussion on purpose. My mother, sister and I often read the same books with the idea of discussing them, and often on a family vacation we will swap books back and forth in order to talk about them, but it usually seems to just happen.
You are farther ahead in Our Mutual Friend than I so don't expect any commentary on my thread. I just finished Book 1 and am going to have to pick up the pace.
Heather: Thanks. I have had a good year of reading, but there are so many books out there that I can't wait to get to. It was fun to have a tea and book talk. I think we will make that a part of future reunions. We meet every other year.
Hi Anne. My sisters, mom and I do exchange books, but it's fun to have a set time during our reunions. My sister was reading The Pilot's Wife and finished it, so I gave her my copy of Train Dreams to read on the way home. I haven't read it yet, so I hope I get it back.
I would like to finish OMF this week, but we'll see. I have some library books that are due, so I may have to put it down for a couple of days. What do you think so far?
Beth congratulations on your latest thread - I agree with Dee there is a lot of quality in your reading this year.
Happy New Thread, Beth!
And I love that you had a book tea at your reunion. Maybe your family could adopt me?
Hi Paul - Thanks and same to you.
Hi Katie: I'll let you know when the next reunion is. We can always use another sister. I got lots of ideas; I think Heft is the one that most intrigues me. Our library has it and I reserved it. If I ever finish OMF...
Hi Beth, sounds like you had a great vacation. I, too, come from a reading family and when I go to visit my Mom, we have lots of book discussion and shopping trips to the bookstore. I'm looking forward to my next visit and taking my list of books by the year, I'm sure that will lead to some interesting discussions.
I've read two Dickens this year so far and I am toying with the idea of reading A Tale of Two Cities and now you have intrigued me with Our Mutual Friend.
Beth I'm enjoying OMF so far--I'm reading it simultaneously with a number of other books so I'm not exactly racing through it, but I shouldn't have any trouble finishing it by the end of the month. I'm enjoying reading it slowly so I can focus on the language, especially the funny bits. The last few Dickens I've read have been on audiobook and it's nice to actually read.
Interestingly, I'm finding I'm not at all familiar with the story in OMF, whereas reading Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, and David Copperfield, all of which I picked up for the first time within the last several years, I already had a rough idea of the plot.
Hi Beth! Glad you enjoyed your vacation, and it sounds like you had a nice time with family. How nice that you all share a love of reading!
Hi Judy - It is fun to share books with family. My mom and sisters all share and exchange books. It also cuts down on the grief I get for having so many :) OMF is a great read; I chose to read this Dickens because I knew so little about it and so many people ranked it so highly.
#13 Anne - You make a good point. So many Dickens stories are part of our culture. Yet I, like you, was not familiar with the story of OMF. I am enjoying it. One advantage to Dickens is that he did write his books as serials so they are easy to put down. I try to read at least some every day so I don't lose the thread, but I have some library books that need to be read and returned, too.
Hi Joanne - It was good to see everyone. My cousins' children are at the age where they change so much. One 11-year-old argues with her mom about the amount of books to pack.
#15 Anne - Thanks. It is nice to know that we see cousins at least every other year. We rotate parts of the country, so I think our next reunion will be in the Midwest.
I just looked up Heft on Amazon. It does sound good; and it's under my $10 Kindle price limit! Hmmmm.....
Hi Beth - I'm glad your vacation was enjoyable, and I love the idea of the book tea! My sister and two nieces are avid readers, so we tend to discuss and give the gift of book at holidays, but nothing so organized.
I'm glad you're enjoying Our Mutual Friend. I haven't read much Dickens as an adult, but I'm hoping to get to Little Dorritt this year.
Hi Katie - Heft is waiting for me at the library. I'm curious -- you say you have a $10 Kindle limit. Does that mean you won't pay more than 10 for an ebook? I actually buy very few ebooks -- I've been checking them out of the library. The price seems to be going up all the time... The ones I've bought have been mostly daily deals.
Hi Kerri - I haven't read Dickens in years either. Little Dorrit was second on my list, but one Dickens this year will be enough for me.
I'm just into Book 3 of OMF, and have picked up Foreign Bodies.
I try not to spend more than $10 for an e-book. I get most of mine from the library or when Kindle books are on sale at Amazon. I've also been picking up some freebies when they are announced on Facebook - they are usually self-published and look pretty lame but sometimes there are what I think could be diamonds in the rough so I'll download them and give them a try since they are free. The most I've spent on a Kindle book was the 5th George R.R. Martin Song of Ice and Fire book for my husband because it was so darn big, he didn't want to wait for the paperback, and I didn't want him breaking his wrists trying to read it :)
Now you had what I would call the ideal vacation Beth, complete with book chats. I am pretty much on my own when it come to my family and books. I think I was born into the wrong family. I was, apparently, supposed to be in your family. Switched at birth maybe. LOL.
I'm hoping to read four Dickens' this year. I already read Bleak House and The Pickwick Papers and I hope to also read David Copperfield in September and Our Mutual Friend later in the fall.
You've had a great year of reading. Your list of best reads has some of my favorites on it.
Katie: I've done much the same on my Nook. I look at the deals or freebies. I've found though, that I use my Nook at the gym and when I travel. Otherwise I prefer paper books. I think OMF would have been good on the Nook, but the free copy had so many weird formatting things that I couldn't stand it. I guess you get what you pay for :)
Bonnie: I can always use another sister :) Funny how I've had so many volunteers to join our family. Regarding Dickens: he's a great storyteller, but I don't love his books. The stock characters, I think, get in my way. OMF though is one of the better ones. I will read A Christmas Carol with our book group in December.
Your year hasn't been too shabby either. My wishlist has doubled since visiting your thread.
Still working at OMF. I hope to finish Foreign Bodies today. It's due. I have a huge stack of unrenewable library books, so I'll look at that to decide what to read next.
I went to Barnes and Noble with a friend yesterday. She was going to use a gift card and I wasn't going to buy anything. Then, as we were leaving, there was a cart with books for $3.99, and I ended up with four new books.
74. Foreign Bodies is a wonderful, unexpected book that I liked much more than I expected to. It didn't get a lot of love on LT. Ozick has written a multi-layered story that gives me a lot to think about. The play on the title travels through the book as we see multiple points of view, each separate -- foreign -- from the next.
It's set in the 1950s, with a background of the Korean War and loyalty oaths. Bea Nightingale is an English teaching living alone in NYC. When her estranged brother calls her out of the blue and asks her to go to Paris to bring her nephew back to the States, her life changes.
There's a lot to think about here, one of the reasons I liked the book so much.
Now, back to Our Mutual Friend.
Our Mutual Friend is very quotable, and Peggy does a great job with her daily Dickens, but I have to add this one:
"What to believe, in the course of his reading, was Mr. Boffin's chief literary difficulty indeed; for some time he was divided in his mind between half, all, or none; at length, when he decided, as a moderate man, to compound with half, the question still remained, which half? And that stumbling -block he never got over."
Umm, Beth? You can't mention the acquisition of four new books and then not list them!
It's against the (LT) law.
I always think that Foreign Bodies sounds interesting but as you say, it doesn't seem too popular round here. I'm glad that you liked it, Beth!
I have Say You're One of Them, too, and the Bayard book is on my WL...
Hi Dee -- I did like Foreign Bodies. It left me with a lot to think about. The characters were complex and interesting.
Katie -- Great minds... ;) You're ahead of the times. There's a review of Alys, Always in the NYT book review today.
Still working on Our Mutual Friend. I have to say, Mr. Boffin is disappointing me by letting money go to his head.
Hi Beth - I hope you're having a lovely weekend! Glad to hear you liked Foreign Bodies. I think I stay away from it, because, to be thorough, I feel like I should read the Henry James book first. Am I wrong? I do like Henry James, but I'm really not in the mood for him right now.
Hi Kerri - I hope your weekend is going well, too. I actually am not a James fan; that's one of the reasons I held off reading Foreign Bodies. I think it stands alone very well.
I'm sorry I don't have any puppies or babies to post. There are a lot of those around. I do have a wonderful passage from Our Mutual Friend. There are so many quotable passages in this novel that I don't know how Peggy chooses her daily Dickens.
"Mr. Sampson perceiving his frail bark to be labouring among shoals and breakers, thought it safest not to refer back to any particular thing that he had been told, lest he should refer back to the wrong thing. With admirable seamanship he got his bark into deep water by murmuring, 'Yes indeed.'"
I'm finishing up book 3. I hope to finish OMF this weekend.
Hi Katie - It's a huge time commitment. I think Dickens would be great on audio. Still, I am enjoying OMF.
Hi Beth! Now that I'm thinking about it, Dickens on audio does sound like a good idea. Perhaps I'll listen to Bleak House.
I hope you're doing some good reading this weekend!
Hi Kerri - Nearly done with OMF. If you listen to Dickens, it might take you a year -- if you do, let me know how it is.
#36 - Well, I just ordered the audiobook version of Game of Thrones and that's about 35 discs, so we'll see! With my daily walking to and from trains (5 miles) I seem to get through about 8 to 10 discs per week. I'll also listen in the car sometimes (rarely though) and while I'm cooking or doing household chores.
Kerri - I'd be interested to hear (hah!) how the audio of GoT is...
Hi Kerri and Katie:
I just finished 75 -- with Our Mutual Friend. It's been a while since I read Dickens. I had forgotten the humor. His names are wonderful -- Twemlow, Silas Wegg, the Boffins. This novel was originally published in serial form, and as I read, I thought that this would be great to read aloud.
The story's main thread focuses around an inheritance. Old Man Harmon has left his money to his estranged son, John, if John marries Bella Wilfer. As the novel begins, John's body is being fished out of the Thames. So the adventure begins. Money and its effects, as well as class are very much on Dickens' mind in this novel.
I'm glad I read this, but I don't love Dickens. The characters, especially the women are not alive enough for me. Still I would recommend it -- this is certainly among my top three Dickens. The others are Bleak House and Great Expectations.
76. The Lola Quartet is a novel that asks how far we would go for people we love. Gavin Saseki is a journalist from New York who loses his job and is forced to move back to his home town in Florida. His sister shows him a picture of a child that resembles them. Could it be his daughter?
The Lola Quartet is a group of high school musicians: Gavin, Sasha, Daniel and Jack. This is the story of what has happened to them in the ten years since they graduated from high school. I liked this -- it doesn't have the scope of Dickens, so it suffers a bit in comparison.
In other news. I went with my daughter as she tried on wedding dresses today. Still no date. We didn't find the dress yet, which is fine.
How exciting! Hope she finds the perfect dress. I guess with no date, there's not really a hurry on the dress, which is nice.
The Lola Quartet sounds interesting.
Congrats on finishing 75! And such a chunkster, too - it's probably closer to 53 or 54 ;-) The Lola Quartet sounds interesting - will have to look out for it.
Hi Anne - It was fun. Her favorite was, of course, the most expensive one, but it was beautiful. Her friend and maid of honor took pictures, and if I can figure out how to post one here, I'll post one when I get them.
I did like The Lola Quartet; I'm just a little tired right now, so I didn't do it justice.
Katie - I found another book by the author of The Lola Quartet at bookcloseouts -- yes I did succumb. Thanks, by the way.
Oh, somehow I missed that you have reached 75 and beyond -- congratulations!
Hi Beth - sounds like you had a great book discussion at your family reunion.
#5 "I had forgotten the humor, the societal critique and the great, memorable characters." - you've summarised exactly why I like Dickens so much :-)
#32 "I'm sorry I don't have any puppies or babies to post." LOL - I feel that way on facebook sometimes!
#39 Congratulations on reading 75 books Beth! You make a very fair point about the women in Dickens - they were definitely not his strong point.
Hi Anne and Dee and Stasia and Heather - Thanks for stopping by. I can't believe how fast I got to 75. LT is spurring me on to read more -- my usual rate is about 120 books per year.
After finishing Our Mutual Friend, I'm in the mood for something short ... and something with large print.
I just re-read my post in #41. Of course, I meant to say OMF probably puts your total more at 77 or 78. Let's just call it a blonde moment, shall we?
Have a great Sunday!
Congratulations on 75. And on finishing OMF. I just wrapped up part 3 so I feel like I'm in the home stretch.
Katie - No problem. I knew what you meant.
Thanks Anne. Book 4 went pretty fast for me. I don't know if it was because I wanted to be done or because there is a lot that happens. What do you think so far? I'll have to stop by your thread.
77. Human Voices - On the cover of Penelope Fitzgerald's novel is a quote by A.S. Byatt: "A wonderful combination of deadpan English comedy and surreal fare." This captures perfectly Human Voices.
Fitzgerald worked for the BBC during the war, and that's obvious from her detailed, behind-the-scenes descriptions. The story follows two directors and their assistants through the first year of the war. This novel captures brilliantly the uncertainty and the chaos that rules. Assistants come and go, and they're all very young. In normal times, most of them would still be in school.
A taste of the time: "The BBC loyally defended their own. As a cross between a civil service, a powerful moral force and an amateur theatrical company that wasn't too sure where next week's money was coming from, they had several different kinds of language, and could guarantee to come out best from almost any discussion."
Wonderful book. Recommended.
78. Killer Keepsakes is the fourth in this series. In this cosy, crimes strikes close to home. Josie Prescott, the owner of an antique business, finds a dead body in the house of her missing receptionist. While, in real life Josie's actions would probably get her arrested for interfering in police business, I can let it go. Cleland spins a good yarn. I'll keep following Josie in this enjoyable series. I love the antique business part of this, and the New England setting also adds to the fun.
Beth, you made the 75 mark by finishing a real whopper of a book. Congratulations on both events! I agree with you on Dickens. He's too wordy IMO but he can tell a good story featuring some memorable characters. I would have to include A Christmas Carol in my top three, along with OMF and Bleak House.
Congratulations on reading 75 Beth and on doing it with a mammoth Dickens novel. The man didn't know how to write a short book I'm afraid.
Thanks Donna and Bonnie. I can't believe how fast I've gotten to 75; as school approaches, I imagine my reading will slow down. Still there are a few more I want to get in this summer.
79. The Innocents by Francesca Segal is a modern reworking of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. Set in the Jewish community of modern London, Segal manages to create a closed community, like that of Wharton's old New York.
Adam Newman is engaged to his childhood sweetheart Rachel Gilbert and is happy. Until Rachel's cousin Ellie comes to town. Ellie has been living in New York, surrounded by scandal. While faithful to Wharton's novel, Segal has managed to create modern characters.
The question of loyalty and duty central in this novel translate well to modern day. Even as Adam resists what he begins to see as the narrowness of his existence, he realizes:
"There was no life event -- marriage, birth, parenthood or loss -- through which one need ever walk alone. Twenty-five people were always poised to help. The other side of interference was support."
Recommended -- and not necessary to have read Wharton's novel first. This can stand alone.
80. Shadow of Night is the second book in a trilogy about witches and vampires and daemons. I know, I know. I don't usually pick up stories that feature these creatures, but Harkness has an interesting premise that these creatures exist because of genetics. She has created an elaborate world with laws, rules, etc. that govern these creatures. In this volume, Diana Bishop, the witch and her lover Matthew Clairmont, vampire, travel back to Elizabethan England. While, she needs an editor in places, it's a fun summer read.
I have gotten some books from the library that I need to get to because of long waiting lists: Wild: From Lost to Found and The Yard.
I'm also reading The Pillars of the Earth, which is a compelling historical novel. I've become very interested in historical novels set in medieval times, and so far in the first 150 pages, this seems like it's going to be hard to put down.
School starts in a month, so I have a sense of urgency about getting through my summer reading.
#51 As I think I've said before Beth, I really need to read some Penelope Fitzgerald. Human Voices sounds really interesting as I'd like to read more novels about day to day life in Britain during WWII.
#55 I'll also look out for The Innocents as I thought Wharton's The Age of Innocence was wonderful.
Hi Heather - I've loved the Fitzgerald that I've read. She has a great eye for everyday details and a wicked sense of humor. As I started to read Human Voices, I immediately thought that Fitzgerald must have worked in the BBC, and she did.
The Innocents was quite good - I think it stands alone quite well, but if you loved The Age of Innocence, you will probably like it.
I watched the Olympics opening -- nicely done. Interesting that Boyle chose to focus on the NHS...
"Interesting that Boyle chose to focus on the NHS.."
Yes, someone's already made this image from the Olympic ceremony which has been doing the rounds on various blogs/facebook etc.
So, Boyle sneaked a little politics into the ceremony. Great. I thought it could also be a comment on the healthcare debate here.
Hi Beth, I'm glad to see you liked The Lola Quartet. I've been hearing good things about it. I haven't read anything yet by Emily St John Mandel but I have The Singer's Gun sitting on my nook and I'm looking forward to it.
Dress shopping without a wedding date looming. That sounds like a great idea! SO much less pressure. I hope you share a picture when she finds her perfect dress!
Hi Joanne - Yes, dress shopping without a date doesn't put any pressure on us. But it's making me crazy that they haven't set one. Her maid of honor - yes, she's decided on that - took some pictures. I'll try to figure out how to post her favorite one. Vanessa looks great in everything, so it is fun for us. She was ready to be done after about three dresses.
I got The Singer's Gun too, after I read The Lola Quartet.
How's the puppy?
Hi Beth - I can relate to trying to cram as much reading in as possible in the next month! I wish you luck. I go back on August 27 and I'll have two classes, plus I have to put together my portfolio for graduation, which I hear is rather time consuming.
Hi Kerri - Good luck to you, too. It sounds like you have a busy fall ahead -- but graduation is getting near. Woo hoo!
Hi Katie - Thanks for stopping by. I thought The Innocents was well done, and I'm finding it hard to put down The Pillars of the Earth. I also got A Room Full of Bones from the library -- I think you have read some of the Ruth Galloway series, right? So, I need to get to that, too.
We went to the Great River Shakespeare Festival today and saw "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare - Abridged." It was well done. I haven't laughed so hard for a long time.
81. A Room Full of Bones is the newest in the Ruth Galloway series. In it Ruth is getting ready to celebrate her daughter's first birthday. Then she finds a dead body next to a coffin she was supposed to open.
Griffiths continues strong in this series. In this book, she juggles multiple storylines -- Ruth's relationship with Kate's father, the mystery of the dead curator, drug smuggling, and ethical issues involved with digging up bones. Griffiths continues to develop the characters and their relationships.
I look forward to the next one.
I'm reading Wild: Lost and finding it engrossing. I'm also working my way through The Pillars of the Earth. I'll finish those in August.
Where has the summer gone? I still have a few books I would like to read before school starts -- Going After Cacciato and Half of a Yellow Sun are at the top of my list. Otherwise, I'll read my library books. I just got The Prisoner of Heaven, and I can't renew it, so I'll read that soon.
Hi Beth, just dropping by and catching up on reviews. Belated congratulations on reaching your 75. It seems as if summer is flying by, I can't believe we are in August already. Another three weeks and I will be on the road again, off to a family reunion.
Hi Beth, shopping for the dress before there's a date set? Someone's got their priorities straight. I have wanted to read Emily St. John since she wrote Last Night in Montreal but I still haven't managed it. I need to just get the book from the library and read it.
Beth - struggling this week to catch up but have made it! Apologies for very belated congrats on passing 75 already - and with Our Mutual Friend too.
Hi Judy - Thanks for stopping by. Another three weeks and I'll be back at school. Reading will slow down then. I'm trying to get in a couple of things before I go back.
Hi Bonnie - I was not familiar with Emily St. John before reading The Lola Quartet. I'll have to check out Last Night in Montreal.
Yes, still no date, but I know they're discussing what they want to do. Daniel wants a big wedding and Vanessa doesn't, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Hi Paul - No worries. Yes, OMF was a nice one to hit 75 with.
82. Wild by Cheryl Strayed is aptly subtitled "From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail." After her mother's death from cancer, Strayed derails. She does all kinds of self destructive behaviors, drugs, indiscriminate sex, you name it. Walking the Pacific Crest Trail was a vision quest for her. This book is not only the story of her walk, but of her coming to terms with her grief and being able to move forward.
She's a good writer. She really put me on the trail and in the moment. This was more engrossing than I expected.
I'm still working away at The Pillars of the Earth. Follett is a great story teller. Even though it's a beast at almost 1000 pages, it moves pretty quickly. I'm also working on stuff for class, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and White Teeth. Our book group's August book is The Cello Suites, so I've got to get started on that.
Otherwise, I'm not as organized as some of my fellow LTers -- no big, ambitious August list.
#70 - Hi Beth - Good to hear that this series keeps up the high quality (I've only read the first one). Plus, after reading all this Scandi-crime with very similar detectives (sullen, middle-aged men whose wives have recently left them), Ruth Galloway is a refreshing change.
Also, I insist on seeing an ambitious August list from you, pronto! : )
Kerri - Yes, I see you are reading Mankell. I like that series, but Wallender isn't a cheerful guy. Sorry, no ambitious August list. I'll be lucky if I get to Half of a Yellow Sun and Going after Cacciato. I have Skios and Heft from the library, so those are two other possibilities.
Still reading The Pillars of the Earth. The detail is amazing.
Hi Beth - Just clawing my way back into the threads. You aren't kidding about this summer flying by. Ugh. More time, please! I'm glad you are enjoying the Follett book. There's a follow-up to it, sort of a sequel but it takes place well after the end of Pillars but in the same town. I haven't read it but my husband liked it well enough. It's also a door-stopper, though :)
Hi Katie - I know I have the sequel to the Follett book around somewhere. But I might save it for next summer :) It is a fast read, and I see what you mean about characters you love to hate. There are some nasty ones in it. I should finish it this week. Only three more weeks before school starts.
Oh, how I remember that frenzy in the last few weeks before school to get things accomplished. I'm glad you have prioritized and put reading high on that list! I was a fan of Pillars of the Earth when I read it a decade or so ago. World Without End is another enjoyable historic novel that reads quickly. Good luck with getting everything done before school starts up again, Beth. Who knows, maybe you and Vanessa will even find the perfect wedding dress.
Hi Donna - Yes, the last three weeks will pass quickly. I have syllabi done for three of my classes and the first week planned. Just one more class to work on, so I am in good shape. Of course, I didn't get nearly as much done around the house as I had hoped, but that's the way it goes. As far as Vanessa's dress, I think her next priority is job hunting. I am enjoying Pillars of the Earth, but I don't know if I'm ready to pick up World Without End quite yet as my son did. He read them back to back -- more than once.
83. Epic best describes The Pillars of the Earth. Set in a fictional English town, the novel covers about 60 years in the twelfth century. The day-to-day details of medieval life are amazing, but the star of the story is really the cathedral. If you've ever looked at these cathedrals built in the Middle Ages and wondered how they were built without power tools, you can find out here. Follett also gives us plenty of characters to love and hate. Even though it is almost 1000 pages, it is a fairly quick read. Recommended for those historical novel fans.
Good luck Stasia and enjoy the break. I'll be watching your thread for lots of book suggestions.
Hi Dee - Yes, Ruth Galloway is one of the new series I am enjoying. Pillars of the Earth isn't as imposing as it looks -- although it is quite heavy.
84. Stalking Susan is first in a series. Riley Spartz is a reporter for a local TV station. The insights into TV news are fascinating, and Riley is a likeable character. Kramer has a nice sense of humor. Julie Kramer is a Minnesota author and will be coming to campus this fall as part of a program cosponsored by our public library and the college, so I thought I should read at least one of her books beforehand. An enjoyable read.
I'm reading and listening to The Cello Suites. Lovely music.
Not sure why, but I vividly remember the books I read when I was pregnant and I read Pillars of the Earth in 1993 while expecting my oldest. It got me through a difficult pregancy which included a period of bed rest. Books always seem to do that for me.
I remember getting completely lost in it right from start. You are so true, he is a great story teller. I felt his characters were a strength and his research. I learned so much. I have not read the follow up or viewed the mini series, just too afraid the magic will be lost. Follett took me on one of those journey's I am not sure I can repeat.
88: Stalking Susan sounds like a book I would enjoy. I will have to see if my local library has a copy. Thanks for the recommendation, Beth.
Hi Michelle - I would like to read World without End - just not right away. I guess I didn't know there was a miniseries. I know what you mean about loving a book and not wanting to go back and have your memory spoiled. He has another series out, too. Someday.
Hi Stasia - Stalking Susan is a fun read. I look forward to meeting the author.
Hi Beth - All this talk of Pillars of the Earth has made me interested. Perhaps I'll check it out.
I didn't get much done around the house this summer either! We're still supposed to paint, but I'm not looking forward to it.
Hi Kerri - I always start my summer with big plans. I did get my bedroom painted, but I didn't declutter as much as I had hoped. English teachers seem to accumulate a lot of paper - and while I kept my recycling bin pretty full, I could do more. We'll see what I get done in the next couple of weeks.
Pillars of the Earth is good historical fiction. If you're interested in medieval times or cathedrals, you would like it.
Beth, I think you would most likely enjoy The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Since I'm only 25 % in - I cannot say for certain, but it's a non - demanding enjoyable read - not " Booker " like at all. I see you read The Solitary House . I quite enjoyed that, even though the ending was slightly confusing to me. Half of Yellow Sun was really excellent - just remember that it takes about 120 pages - at least for me - to really get into it! :)
This month I have in mind to try to get to another Booker Longlist - The Lighthouse by Alison Moore. I've got a couple of other books out from the library -but I'm a last minute chooser.....
Good for you, reading Pillars of the Earth. I think that book scares me!
Hi Deborah - I hope things are going better for you and your husband. I'm about 10 on the reserve list for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, so it might be a while before I get to it. I did like The Solitary House, but not as much as you did. I loved The Purple Hibiscus, so I have had my eye on Half of a Yellow Sun for a long time. I would like to get to it before school starts, so we'll see.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hi Heather - The Cello Suites was quite good. It has four story lines: Siblin explores Bach's life, Pablo Casals' life, the evolution of the suites and Siblin's experience as he searched for the manuscript. I listened to the suites as I read, which added to my enjoyment of the book. People who like Bach and are interested in music will like this book. It is for my book group, and I am interested in what the other have to say about it.
Right now I'm reading The Prisoner of Heaven, which is hard to put down. It's connected to the stories told in The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, both of which I liked a lot. However, each book stands alone; this one explains, or does it, a lot that happened in The Angel's Game. In a preface, the author says you can read these in any order, which is interesting.
Set in Barcelona during Franco's reign, it complements in an odd way, The Cello Suites. Casals was Catalonian and very anti-Franco. Good book synergy.
The Cello Suites sounds like an interesting read, Beth. I'll have to look for it.
Hi Anne - I think anyone interested in music would enjoy The Cello Suites.
88. The Prisoner of Heaven is a continuation of the stories told in The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, but it does stand alone. Basically these stories center around a family of booksellers in Barcelona, the Semperes. While some of the story is set during WWII, The Prisoner of Heaven is mostly set in the late 1950s. Franco is still in power. He hates the Catalonians and the feeling is mutual.
It's hard to give a plot summary without spoiling this. I would just like to say I want to go back and reread The Angel's Game; this novel explains a lot. Darkness and madness dominate these books. Ruiz Zafon shows what it's like to live in an occupied country; it's like living in an insane asylum. Recommended.
I was walking through Barnes and Noble yesterday with a friend, and right by the door they had a cart of books for $3.00, trade paperbacks, which I like. I found four that called my name:
Emily, Alone, The Queen of the South, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, and Small Wars. Who can resist such a deal?
Oh, some interesting books there, Beth. I will be looking forward to hearing about them all, expecially The Queen of the South as Arturo Perez-Reverte is an author I have been planning on reading for some time.
Stopping by to say hi, Beth! I'm late to the party - as usual lately , but didn't you love A Solitary House . I must admit that the end was a bit confusing to me, but no matter, I so enjoyed visiting Victorian London! :)
OH! I loved Emily, Alone. I'm glad that you picked it up. It's slow moving, but so true to life and I found also a topic that too many authors avoid - what it is to be elderly , and how they struggle and often we as younger people forget how much they struggle and are self conscious and really are just the same as us " young un's" .. if I can call myself a young - un! LOL!
Hi Michelle - I've liked all of the books by Ruiz Zafon. He's a best seller in Spain.
Hi Deborah - I hope things are getting back to normal. I remember that you liked Emily, Alone. I don't know when I'll get to it, but it was too good a deal to pass by. I'm reading Half of a Yellow Sun right now. I like it so far, but I remember you said it took a while for you to get into it. So far, Purple Hibiscus is my favorite. We'll see; I've only read about 100 pages.
Hi Beth, good pick up at Barnes and Noble. I have The White Woman on a Green Bicycle and Small Wars but you'll probably get to them before me. I found Half of a Yellow Sun hard to get into but I ended up liking it at least as much as Purple Hibiscus although I really disliked the gather in that one.
Hi Bonnie - I guess you mean "father"? It took me a moment. I loved Purple Hibiscus because it was a descendant of Things Fall Apart, and continued with the story of colonization. IMO, Purple Hibiscus shows the logical results of tearing people from their roots -- and with a feminist twist, which I appreciated. The father, by denying his heritage, became a monster. It was also such a wonderful coming-of-age story. So far, I don't love Half of a Yellow Sun as much, but I've only read about 100 pages.
I doubt I will get to either The White Woman on a Green Bicycle or Small Wars before you do. Isn't the cover on The White Woman on a Green Bicycle gorgeous?
Well, let me get back to dogearing and writing in my books:)
Hi Beth - I'm glad you enjoyed The Prisoner of Heaven. I definitely want to read the rest of that trilogy. Great stuff!
Hi Kerri - I remember you read it a while ago. If you liked it, definitely read the others. I wonder if there is going to be another one. The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger.
Hi Katie -- Good to know I'm a "favorite" thread. Back at you. I'm very happy with my deal. What's new with you? I'll stop by your thread to see what deals you have picked up and what you are reading.
I'm reading Half of a Yellow Sun, which I like, so far. Next is The Marriage Plot. It's a library book and due back soon.
Uh, don't hurry over there, as there's not a lot to "see" :) I'm reading Unbroken which is very good - just haven't had a lot of time. And I started a new audio yesterday so holding off judgement for a bit...
Katie - There's always something to see at your place.
My book group discussed The Cello Suites today. Overall, people enjoyed the book. One comment that several people made was that they were glad we had chosen this because otherwise, they may not have picked this up. One person got the Casals recording of the suites. Several of us really enjoyed listening to the suites as we read. We all liked the various story threads: Bach's, Casals' and the author's lives, as well as the story of the music.
I especially liked the Casals life -- it led beautifully to The Prisoner of Heaven. Casals hated Franco and didn't ever go back after WWII. His body was taken back to be buried there only after Franco died.
Our September book is The Master. Toibin has been a group favorite, so I am looking forward to that -- even though I am not a James fan.
Beth - same as you I find Toibin compelling but James too dry. Hope the combination works well! Have a lovely weekend anyway!
Hi Paul - Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely weekend.
I just got my early review book - actually I got two - last month's and this month's. Off the Grid is a thriller by P. J. Tracy, a mother and daughter. It is part of a series. This one is a real page turner that I was really in the mood for. I read it almost in one sitting, hardly able to put it down. I like this series; it has interesting characters, is well plotted and humor. Great vacation read.
Now I have to read the other one and review that. I won't get to it until I finish Half of a Yellow Sun, which I really like. I'm glad I finally got to it.
I'm impressed how quickly you get to your ER books. Mine tend to sit around for a couple of months before I feel like picking them up :)
I'm going to look into that P.J. Tracy series. And tell my dad about it as he grew up in Minneapolis.
Hi Katie - Actually, I have 3 older ER books to review yet -- although I just got the May one in the mail. I had been eagerly waiting for the Tracy book, and once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. Monkeewrench is the first in the series. I recommend them. I hope your weekend is relaxing.
>107. Yes I meant father. I'm glad you figured that out Beth. It was probably the auto correct feature and I didn't catch it. Anyway, I didn't realize Purple Hibiscus continued the storyline of Things Fall Apart which I haven't read yet. The Cello Suites sounds very good. The last time I listened to music in connection with a book was when I wrote my review of Mary Doria Russell's Doc and I listened to the piano concerto that played a large role in the book.
Hi Bonnie - I really enjoyed listening to the music while reading. I'll have to read Doc. I'm ready for another "musical" book.
Things Fall Apart is about the first contact with the British and how it affects the tribes' lives. Purple Hibiscus always seemed to me to be a logical continuation of the story. Would the father have been a better person if he had not denied his heritage?
Now that I'm reading Half of a Yellow Sun, it seems that many of these books ask the questions about the effect of colonization on the culture. Would there have been so much conflict between the north and south without the British?
Oh Beth! I am so excited that you are reading Half of a Yellow Sun. I so enjoyed that and learned so much from it. I very much enjoyed Purple Hibiscus . I have Things Fall Apart in my TBR pile. Half of Yellow Sun does not really get going til page ? 120 or so. Indeed, I think the British presence created a lot of the conflict in many countries. One book that really illustrated that well for me - Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga.
Hi Deborah - I've added Nervous Conditions to my list. I might want to stay in Nigeria for a while. I wanted to get to Graceland this summer, too... We'll see.
Hi Mark - Thanks. I've had some happy reading lately. A lot of friends have been recommending The Marriage Plot, and I have it from the library, so I think I will get to that soon. Your reading hasn't been too shabby, either.
A friend sent me this blog today. I know I don't have to convince anyone here that reading is good for one, but it's an interesting article with good links:
The link takes me to a "Page Not Found" message. You'd think those smarties at Harvard could fix a broken link ;-)
Hi Beth - I was trying to get to that article too. I think it may be the same one someone just posted today in the interesting articles thread.
Are you back to work yet? How many classes are you teaching this semester?
#99 The Prisoner of Heaven sounds good Beth. I've held off buying that because I've bought too many hardbacks lately and I'd like to reread the first two books. Perhaps if I drop enough hints someone will buy it for me for Christmas?
#100 "Who can resist such a deal?" Not me! I haven't heard of the first two but The White Woman on the Green Bicycle and Small Wars are both on my wishlist.
Sorry: This link seems to work. The articles linked are also great -- there's one about how reading seems to help delay Alzheimers and another on how it relieves stress. I intend to point out all of these things to my students.
Hi Katie -- I'm not a techie, so when these things don't work, I am lost.
Hi Kerri - School starts on Monday, Aug. 27. I teach four classes -- 15 credits, a full load. I changed all of my books and am teaching a new class, so it should be an interesting semester.
Hi Heather - I did enjoy The Prisoner of Heaven; it explains a lot of what happened in The Angel's Game, which left me scratching my head. I think hints for Christmas sounds like a great plan.
I am trying to resist buying books for the rest of this year. I'm not as conscientious as some who track their book buys, but I know I've bought more than I have read off my shelf.
Thanks for stopping by. I'm still working away at Half of a Yellow Sun and loving it.
Oh I'm so glad that you enjoying Half A Yellow Sun. I found that I could not leave Africa quickly either. Once I got caught up in Africa / Nigeria... it took me about 4 or 5 different books before I decided to take a break. If you need any recommendations you know where to visit - my thread! ;)
Beth, that's a terrific blog! "deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness." We could certainly use leaders with more of those qualities!
Hi Deborah - Thanks. I think I might pick up Graceland next. One of my teacher friends has been praising it. But I never seem to do very well at planning my reading. I've already added yours to my wishlist.
Hi Anne - You are so right. I'm already sick of all the attacks, and it is only going to get worse. The links in the blog are also thought provoking. One discusses how reading may help delay Alzheimer's.
90. Half of a Yellow Sun is a wonderful book. It's set in Nigeria in the 1960s, before and during the Biafran War. Adichie focuses on a handful of people to follow through the war. In this way we get a vivid sense of the reasons for the war and its effects on people. Recommended.
I think The Marriage Plot is next.
I really must get to the Adichie. It was one of my first acquisitions after joining LT because of all the love it got here.
Good luck with The Marriage Plot. Eugenides intimidates me for some reason, and I've never read anything by him.
Hi Katie - We'll see how The Marriage Plot goes; several of my friends have recommended it. I guess if you've done graduate work in English, it's funny... I may just pick up a mystery or something a little lighter.
Hi Kerri - I teach mostly composition this semester with one intro to lit class. The grading of papers is the hardest part. I'll let you know what I think of The Marriage Plot.
I have to agree with you, Beth. As far as reading goes, I preferred The Purple Hibiscus more than Half A Yellow Sun. That said, I felt that I learned a lot more about the Biafran war in Half A Yellow Sun - so I gave them equal stars. I agree with you that HaYS was a bit long in the end, and I also felt that it took it's time to get going in the beginning.
Hi Deborah - I totally agree. I learned a lot about the Biafran War and tribal conflicts in Nigeria. She's a good writer, and I'll continue to read her. I have a short story collection by her.
The Marriage Plot is hysterical -- especially for English majors although I think there's something for everyone. I was laughing aloud last night. So far so good.
#132 Eugenides intimidates me too but The Marriage Plot sounded a bit more accessible to me than his other books (by more accessible I think I mean less depressing!)
#136 Glad you're enjoying it so much Beth!
Hi Dee - I am anxious to read The Thing Around Your Neck. Purple Hibiscus is still my favorite although I did learn a lot about the Biafran War. Chinua Achebe also has a memoir coming out soon about the Biafran War. I have already reserved a copy at my library.
Hi Heather - One of my best friends loved Middlesex but I haven't been that interested in Eugenides. A couple of friends strongly recommended The Marriage Plot, so I decided to give it a try.
Hi Bonnie - The Marriage Plot is my first Eugenides. I do have a copy of Middlesex but who knows when I'll get to it. I am enjoying The Marriage Plot. I've been laughing aloud. One of the descriptions that made me chuckle. Madeleine is describing one of her boyfriends: "...staring at her with his St. Bernard's eyes (the eyes of a drooler, maybe, but also of a loyal brute who could dig you out of an avalanche."
Back to reading. I'll comment more when I finish.
Beth - I read Half of a Yellow Sun last year and was blown away. I think it was the best thing I read in 2011. I also read The Thing Around Your Neck which was fantastic in places but, as usual, with short story collections some worked better than others.
I recently bought Purple Hibiscus and may wrap up the year with it - if itis better than last years read as Deb and yourself attest then I am in for a treat.
Hi Anne - So far, so good with The Marriage Plot.
Hi Paul - Adichie is a young writer with a lot of promise. I haven't read the short story collection yet, but I hope to dip into it soon. I'll be interested to hear what you think of it.
Well, school starts tomorrow, so I will be on LT less. I hope to get reading done outside of class, but I know it will slow down. Usually, I still have some time the first couple of weeks, but after that, I read student papers.
Where did the summer go?
I always think summer flies by, but this one really seemed to go quickly!
Ohh Beth, now you have me very interested in The Thing Around Your Neck. Another book for the wishlist! Your thread is dangerous! I confess that Middlesex did not grab me, but I read a " Canadian" book about the same sort of issues Annabel by Kathleen Winter It won quite a few prizes in Canada, if memory serves. I must do my Canadian duty and read "Can Lit" as we call it! :)
Hi Katie - Well, it was nice while it lasted...
Hi Deborah - There's some good "Can Lit" out there. Your thread is dangerous, too, so turnabout is fair play.
Back at your thread. I hope that you soon get Harold Fry and The Absent One from the library. I found Harold Fry to be overall quite uplifting. I'm still making my way through The Absent One - and it's very good! Quite dark and intriguing!!!! I not had as much time to read as I might like, but both books are very enjoyable!
Hi Beth! Just waving hello and hoping your semester has started off well...
Hooray for Friday!
Hi Deborah - I still haven't gotten Harold Fry and The Absent One from the library, but that's OK because I haven't had a lot of time to read this week. I'm about halfway through The Marriage Plot and will read some more this evening and hope to finish it this weekend.
Hi Katie - Thanks for stopping by. The first week went well. No major problems except my computer is in the shop.
Hi Beth - Glad to hear the first week of school went well, but sorry to hear about your computer. Ick! I'm waiting for The Absent One too, but got kicked off the waiting list once already. I'm not sure why. They make you call to find out.
Hi Kerri - I hope your first week went well, too. I'm number one on the waiting list for The Absent One, so it should come in soon.
I finally finished The Marriage Plot. I liked it a lot although it ended being different from what I expected. It's really the coming-of-age story of three people who graduate from Brown in the early 1980s. It's a time of transition, and Madeleine Hanna, Leonard Bankhead and Mitchell Grammaticus are all trying to find their place in the world. Eugenides explores character in a convincing way.
The first part of the book, which focuses on Madeleine, an English major, is very funny -- for English majors. A friend who read it told me that while he appreciated the humor, his wife thought it was dull. However, Eugenides also takes shots at science and religious studies.
I liked the book a lot. Eugenides is a good writer. One of my favorite descriptions: "...staring at her with his St. Bernard's eyes (the yes of a drooler, maybe, but also of a loyal brute who could drag you out of an avalanche)."
Now, back to school work. I plan to start Juliet in August next. It's a library book, and I can't renew it. I think Bonnie really liked it, so I have high hopes.
Hi Bonnie - The first week went well. It seems like I have a good group of students. Prep and grading are eating into my reading time, though. :( I've been looking forward to Juliet in August; I hope to get a good chunk done this weekend so I can finish it before it's due.
"Major Crimes" is OK, but it isn't the same without Brenda. I do like the additions of the kid who is a witness. Still, there's nothing else on right now, so I'll give it a chance when I have time.
So glad to read that you enjoyed The Marriage Plot, Beth! I just thought I'd pop by quickly and let you know that I finally did a brief review of Disgrace or The Absent One - which ever name you prefer. I really enjoyed! Onto a complete change of pace with my next book - Mormon Girl. Looks to be very interesting - I had seen an interview of the author on tv.
Well, enjoy back to school, if you can. School starts tomorrow here. We live close to both an elementary school and a secondary school, so it's back to dodging all of the kids when I walk the dog...sigh!:)
Ohhh did I read on Kerri's thread that you have Philida to read!!! I can't wait to hear what you think of it. It's one of the Booker's that has grabbed my interest. Let me know!
Beth, I'm with you on wondering where summer went. *Big Sigh* It was much too busy for me, but now that some of the groups I belong to are starting back up again, I'll be even busier. I don't know how you fit in reading and LT time in with teaching and grading papers. What books will you be teaching in your lit class this year?
Hi Deborah - Thanks for stopping by. I'll check out your review of The Absent One. I don't know when I'll get to Philida. My reading will slow down now.
Hi Donna - Thanks for stopping by. My LT time is limited to a few minutes here and there. I'm teaching White Teeth in the intro to lit class and in the composition class I'm using our common book, which is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
I'm reading Juliet in August right now, and it's beautifully written.
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My class has "started" but nothing's happening yet. I have a phone conference with my instructor/advisor tomorrow, but until now I've had some unexpected time off! I've been slowly digging out and organizing closets and the like, and spending more time on LT. Not sure how long that will last.
I've never read White Teeth. I had wanted to, but a few years ago my book club read On Beauty, which I disliked so thoroughly I've never been inclined to read anything else by Zadie Smith. Can you change my mind?
Hi Beth! Just stopping by. I would recommend that you read The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen before you read the second in the series, The Absent One. I'm not sure if you have read the first one or not, but I think reading the first in the series will help you understand Detective Morck and his sidekick Assad much better. In any case I hope your number will come up soon at the library.
I am with Anne. I've gotten out books from by Zadie Smith and they seemed to be too full of " chatter" or unnecessary words, if that makes sense. Can you convince me otherwise? Sorry for the pressure, Beth! :)
Hi Beth, I read Half of a Yellow Sun a year or so ago and overall, I thought it a very worthy read. I will have to move Purple Hibiscus up the wishlist. There just never seems to be enough time to get to all the books you want to!
I can't believe that summer is already winding down and autumn is just around the corner. You're back at school already! It just seems like yesterday that you were planning all your summer reads. Scary how times flies.
Beth - interesting that Zadie Smith is already being taught in schools. I did enjoy her debut but do feel that it was somewhere short of the huge hype I remembered it attracted at the time. Hopefully it won't be one of those books that disappears off the radar completely in another 20 years.
Hi Anne - I haven't read On Beauty, but I loved White Teeth. I loved the multiple points of view, humor and the characters. Open up White Teeth and see. It's always dangerous to recommend a book.
Deborah - I still haven't gotten The Absent One, but I just got a notice from the library that Louise Penny's new book is waiting for me. I hope I can get to it this weekend.
Hi Judy - Are you back at home? I was sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I thought Purple Hibiscus was better than Half of a Yellow Sun. I can't believe how fast the time goes. I'm already done with two weeks of school. Yikes! I have papers to grade.
So why, you may ask, am I on Library Thing? I need a break. :)
Hi Stasia - Waving back at you. Are you back in school? I hope it continues to go well.
Hi Paul - I loved White Teeth. I haven't read other Smith but am anxious to read NW when it comes out. I don't think White Teeth will go away, but who knows?
Thanks for stopping by, everybody. I'm still reading Juliet in August, which is great. I'll be back this weekend to check up on threads.
Hi Katie -- Thanks for stopping by. You too. Stay cool.
Hi Deborah -- Thanks for stopping by. I'll be checking out threads a little later.
Yes, Beth, we are home and trying to get into the daily routine again. We are looking forward to a quiet weekend and I hope to get some quality reading time in.
No, not back in school yet. Next Wednesday I begin the grind again :)
Hi Judy - Have a nice weekend. I'll check out your thread to see what you're reading.
Hi Stasia - Lucky you. I've already finished two weeks of school! Are you packing the reading in these last few days? I'll stop by your thread to see what you are up to.
I'm almost done with Juliet in August, which is a beautiful book. More later.
I kind of want to read The Marriage Plot but there are lots of others that are pulling me more strongly. I would borrow it from the library if I saw it there though!
I hope you enjoy your weekend, Beth.
Hi Dee. I liked The Marriage Plot a lot; it was different from what I expected.
Beth - I trust your weekend is going swimmingly. I have all the Jeffrey Eugenides books on my shelf and haven't read any of them yet (familiar story with my groaning shelves where the cry for attention often is a case of hope over capability).
Hi Paul - I know what you mean. I had just decided that my book buying for the year is done, and that I need to read from my shelves when a whole slew of books I'd reserved from the library became available. So, my shelves will have to wait. I have Middlesex, highly recommended by the friends who recommended The Marriage Plot. So, I'll have to move that up my list.
92. Juliet in August. Beautifully written, Diane Warren takes through the small prairie town of Juliet and introduces us to some of the people. Farmers who are on the brink of losing everything, the town's banker, an aging rodeo cowboy and his wife are a few of Juliet's citizens. Elegiac in tone, Warren is showing us a way of life that is vanishing. Recommended.
Next up, The Beautiful Mystery.
Ah! Beth, you have gotten to some Can Lit before I have! Juliet in August was originally titled Cool Water. I have it in my TBR pile - in fact it's on the lower level of the coffee table :) Glad you enjoyed it! I'll move it up my TBR list. I'm currently reading a book from this years Giller Prize , probably the most prestigious prize for Can Lit. So, I am reading Inside (Borzoi) by Alix Ohlin. At first I was kind of lukewarm about it, but as I read further, I'm quite enjoying it .
I'm sure that you've found that most " Can Lit" is rather depressing in nature. I've come to expect it , but it often well written and very "every day" in content. I've got a few Giller Contenders that I plan to read.
Enjoy Beautiful Mystery!
Hi Deborah - Inside (Borzo) sounds interesting. I've added it to my list. Interesting that the title changed for Juliet in August, which I didn't find depressing. I would like to have more time to spend on The Beautiful Mystery; the start is very promising. I'm trying to be good though, and finish my grading and class prep first. And I'm a tennis fan, and the finals of the US Open are on this weekend, so there aren't enough hours in the day.
I found a poem that is apt for my LT friends. It's a poem by Arnold Lobel, who wrote the Frog and Toad stories that my kids loved:
Books to the Ceiling
Books to the ceiling,
books to the sky.
My piles of books
are a mile high.
How I love them!
How I need them!
I'll have a long beard
by the time I read them.
Hi Beth! Juliet in August sounds wonderful! I just put it on the wishlist.
Fun poem as well. I remember having a Frog and Toad book as a child. Didn't they wear little suits?
That's a great little poem! And very fitting. I'm glad you liked The Marriage Plot. I read and loved Middlesex but haven't read his newest.
Hello Anne, Kerri and Joanne: Yes, it is a fun poem; it made me think of all my LT friends right away :)
Kerri, Juliet in August was a beautifully written book. I loved the different points of view and the great descriptions.
Joanne: I think I'll have to move up Middlesex in my reading list.
Thanks for stopping. I'm busy with school and reading Louise Penny's new one, The Beautiful Mystery. So far, it's great.
I already had Juliet in August in the BlackHole, but unfortunately my local library does not have a copy yet. Rats.
Hooray! The weekend is here.
Hi Valerie - Thanks for delurking. It's always nice to see visitors. I will have to read Middlesex soon.
Hi Bonnie -- It is fitting, isn't it?
Hi Stasia -- Good luck. Can you suggest that your library purchase books? We can request a few each year, and so far, they have purchases the ones that I have requested -- I don't do it often. Juliet in August is worth reading. Are you back at school? Good luck.
93. The Beautiful Mystery. This series keeps getting better. This is a version of the locked room mystery. Gamache and Beauvoir are called to investigate the murder of a monk in a cloistered, isolated monastery. The parts about plainsong were fascinating. The characters are what make this series so great. This ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so all of Penny's fans will be eagerly waiting for the next one.
I have a stack of library books, and my book group meets next week, so I'll probably pick up The Master next. It's been a month with lots of quality, not much quantity.
Beth - have a lovely weekend. I will have to follow you with one of the Eugenides books before the year is out.
I have The Beautiful Mystery on my nightstand, eagerly awaiting its turn. I'm glad to see you liked it. I'm a little disappointed that it doesn't take place in Three Pines, but really, how much murder and mayhem can a little village stand? :)
Have a great weekend, Beth!
Hi Paul. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.
Joanne - I was thinking about Three Pines last night -- you're right. I missed Ruth. I bet it makes its appearance again, though. There's some unfinished business there. I'll be waiting to hear what you think about The Beautiful Mystery.
Hi Beth - Quick hello and hope you have a great weekend! I have nothing more to say, as my brain is fried!
Hi Katie - I hope you have a relaxing weekend and get a rest for those fried brains.
Hi Bonnie - Is the movie based on the Toibin book? I've just started it but (big surprise), it didn't look at all like what I've read so far. I'm not a big James fan, but I am a Toibin fan, so we'll see...
Off to visit threads.
I'm working away at The Master, which starts slowly and is a character study, no real plot. Still, Toibin's writing is drawing me in.
Went to see a free performance of "Measure for Measure" put on by Minneapolis-based theater group Ten Thousand Things. Fabulous performance of an interesting play. It was Shakespeare's last comedy and very unlike the others.
Hi Anne - It was fun; I try to go to local productions when I can. I encourage students to go, so I am trying to set a good example.
I just picked up four books from the library that, of course, all came in at once. I am sure I'll end up taking some back without reading them because they can't be renewed. I know we have all moaned about the fact that books on reserve always come in at once. Why? And they are all ones I want to read: NW, San Miguel, Telegraph Avenue and The Absent One.
First, of course, I have to get through The Master for my book group... What to do?
Hi Beth, well, if you have to have a problem - too many books isn't too bad. Like I said over at Katie's thread, we all need to learn speed reading!
ETA: I've heard some good things about Telegraph Avenue ...
Hi Judy - You're right. Too many books is not a bad problem to have. The bad part is not having time to read :( I left my copy of The Master on my desk in my office yesterday, so I couldn't read it last night. So, instead of picking up one of my library books, I started reading The Pilot's Wife -- my sister just read it and recommended it. It's hard to put down.
"It's been a month with lots of quality, not much quantity."
Quality over quantity any day, Beth. I laughed when you "forgot" The Master at work. Something tells me the book has too much competition. I liked it, but then I enjoy slow books when they're well written.
I'm still waiting for A Beautiful Mystery to be processed at the library. My patience is running out. Have a great week end!
Hi Katie: I think I might read San Miguel next. We can be book buddies!
Hi Donna: I do like The Master; it just isn't a page turner. Indeed, I wouldn't expect a book about James to be one. Toibin is brilliant in how he captures James' essence; his thoughts sound like his writing. Toibin must have slept, eaten and dreamt James for a couple of years while writing this.
For all Maud Hart Lovelace fans -- a lovely article in NYT today. Donna, your granddaughters might be of an age to appreciate Betsy, Tacy and Tibb.
Thought I'd stop by and say hi! I agree - wouldn't it be fabulous if we could all be speed-readers? Isn't that they way with libraries? All or nothing! I'm glad that you have lots of choice - just all at once is not so great! Have a great weekend!
Hi Deborah - Thanks for stopping by. I chose Garment of Shadows to read today -- the newest Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell mystery. This was a huge improvement over the last one, and it was an enjoyable read. In this one, Russell and Holmes stumble into the middle of an uprising among the Rifi in Morocco. The plot is as devious as one could wish with kidnappings, traitors, and disguises. Great fun.
Now, back to The Master. Not sure which library book I'll get to next.
I loved The Master when I read it, so I am hoping you find it enjoyable, Beth!
I liked the last Russell/Holmes mystery too :)
OK I know now Beth, that the movie, "The Master," is not based on the Toibin book which I own but haven't yet read. I'll be interested in your take on it. Apparently it's about Ron Hubbard. I'm still waiting for The Beautiful Mystery from the library. Apparently people in Buffalo have discovered Louise Penny too because I was #17 when the queue opened.
Hi Beth! I hope you're doing well! I'm intrigued by The Master, but I might want to read a few more James novels first, which is something I'd like to do anyway at some point.
The Vikings are kicking the 49ers' butts right now. Yay!!!!!
Visitors! Hi everyone.
Hi Stasia - Thanks for taking time from your schedule to stop by. I am enjoying The Master very much -- even though I am not a big James fan. The Russell/Holmes mysteries are fun, aren't they?
Hi Bonnie - The Beautiful Mystery is worth the wait. You got NW before I did, so I guess we can't have everything, right? Even though several books came in for me at once. I might end up returning them -- I just don't have the time. Toibin is a wonderful writer -- it's amazing how he mimics James' tone and seems to get into his head.
Hi Kerri - I watched part of the first half, and the Vikes looked good. I'm happy -- my daughter and her fiancee went to the game. I'm afraid to watch the second half; they usually only have one good half in them :)
I am enjoying The Master even though I'm not a James fan. I don't know if reading his works makes a huge difference; I've only read a few...
Thanks for stopping by, everyone.
Hi Beth, just checking in. Hope you have had a lovely weekend with lots of reading and not too much grading :)
Hi Katie - Not too much reading around here these days -- and so many library reserves are coming in for me! It's very frustrating. I'm still trying to get through The Master.
96. The Pilot's Wife asks how well do we know others? It's a beautiful contemplation of grief. Kathryn Lyons is awakened by a knock at the door by a representative of the airline, telling her her husband, a pilot, has died in a plane crash. As the crash is investigated, Kathryn learns there was a lot she didn't know about her husband. As she works through her grief, she finds reminders everywhere:
"It was one of hundreds of triggers, small moments... She had these moments often. She had them about ... airplanes, about anything Irish, abut London. She had them about white shirts, and she had them about umbrellas. Even a glass of cold beer could trigger a splintery recollection. She had learned to live with them, like learning to live with a tic or a stutter or a bad knee that occasionally sent a jab of pain through the body" (288).
Beautifully written, tragic book, it will stay with me a long time.
Still going with The Master and have picked up Bones Are Forever.
I went to a program sponsored by our public and college libraries. Author Julie Kramer spoke. She writes a series of mysteries with protagonist Riley Spartz, an investigative reporter at a local TV station in Minneapolis. Kramer was very entertaining. For many years she was the lead of the I team at WCCO, a Minneapolis TV station. She quit in 2001 when her children were small because working in TV did not lend itself to family life. So her insights into TV news are pretty accurate.
She talked a little about different plots in her books and the fact that there are animal stories in all of them. That's a bit of an insider joke; TV heads love animal stories, thinking they are great for ratings.
She also talked about publishing and how little input she has into the covers and titles of her books; publishers consider those part of marketing. She is currently working on her sixth book in the series. I asked her how she would know if she had exhausted the series, and she said it's really up to the publisher -- that they determine whether she will continue to write in the series -- that and if people buy them. That explains a lot about some series.
She was an animated, energetic speaker. I did like her first two books, Stalking Susan and Missing Mark.
Hi Beth! Yes, I think that you would enjoy The Midwife of Hope River - I certainly did.
The Pilot's Wife sounds interesting. I know my sister in law read it- but because my two brother's are pilots and my dad was also an airline pilot - I have shied away from the book.
I'm nearly finished my current read, Black Skies - very good - somehow I am having a slow reading week.
Your program with featuring Julie Kramer sounds very interesting.
Hi Deborah - Thanks for stopping by. The Pilot's Wife is more about the relationship than the crash; I think you would like it. It was written in 1998 or '99, so some of the security bits are outdated.
I usually enjoy hearing authors speak. Julie Kramer was certainly entertaining.
Black Skies sounds good - I think I have a couple of Indridason books around here; one of these days I'll get to them.
I read The Pilot's Wife many, many years ago and, surprisingly, remember it fairly vividly Beth. It was that idea of do we really know anyone very well?
Hi Beth! Good to hear The Pilot's Wife was a powerful and satisfying read. I've heard of her, but have never read any of her novels.
I don't go to eough author events and there are quite a few in Chicago. That's one of those things I'd like to more of (along with sleep) once school is over.
I hope the rest of your weekend is lovely!
Hi Bonnie. I can't believe I waited so long to read The Pilot's Wife. Have you read Fortune's Rocks? It's set in the same house. I've had that on the shelf for a long time, too.
Hi Kerri - I wish we had more events here; there are quite a few in the Twin Cities, but it's harder to drive three hours round trip on a week night for something like that. Still, our library has some grant money, so I guess they are going to continue to have these programs.
Have a great weekend. I hope school is going well. Enjoy your football tomorrow:)
Beth - I actually enjoy Anita Shreve's novels which were recommended to me by SWMBO (a rare occurrence I can tell you).
Have a wonderful weekend.
Hi Paul - I've liked what I've read of Shreve so far. I loved Resistance and The Weight of Water -- and, of course, The Pilot's Wife. I have Testimony and Fortune's Rocks here, so I'll try to get to them soon.
Hi Katie - Glad to hear you liked Fortune's Rocks. I'm moving that closer to the top of my pile. I know I've read others by her, but the titles don't come to mind right now. I hope you're having a lovely weekend.
I finished Bones are Forever the latest in the Temperance Brennan series. She travels across Canada in this one; one of the things I like most about this series is Reichs' strong sense of place. After I read these, I always want to move to Montreal.
I picked up More Baths Less Talking last night; it's a collection of essays on books by Nick Hornby. All book lovers will love this. I planned to read one before bed every night, but I've already read half the book. He is hilarious. I'm going to check out his fiction -- and other collections of essays. More later.
I'm still reading The Master, and will start Junot Diaz's new collection of stories. It's a library book and has to go back next week...
Hi Donna - The Pilot's Wife has been on my shelf for years; it's another reminder that I need to get to some of the books I own -- all kinds of treasure there.
Unfortunately, like you, I have riches from the library right now. Since school started my reading has slowed, so I might not get to all of them. Which to read first: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Absent One, San Miguel... Decisions, decisions.
98. This Is How You Lose Her is a collection of related stories by Junot Diaz. Yunior, the main narrator of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is back to narrate many of these stories. Diaz has complicated the character here -- he's not just a "sucio" who is habitually unfaithful. We glimpse the lives of immigrants in a cold -- figuratively and literally -- country. The story "Invierno" (winter) is a perfect metaphor -- two little boys recently arrived are kept inside, looking out at other children playing in the snow. What a gift Diaz has.
Hi Beth! Glad to hear you enjoyed This is How You Lose Her. I LOVED Oscar Wao, but was a bit disappointed when I went back to read Drown, but that probably has more to do with my never-ending struggle with short story collections that I'm still trying to combat (see the fact that I've been "reading" Binocular Vision for the past 3 months). I'll probably get This is How You Lose Her, because I'm such a fan of his though.
I hope you're doing well - have a lovely weekend!
Hi Kerri - If you loved Oscar Wao, you'll like This Is How You Lose Her -- there's a lot of Yunior here. We get his back story. Diaz's language is wonderful, isn't it.
I have a confession. I had a surprise waiting for me when I got home from school this afternoon. I guess I must have ordered some books...
Hi Beth--I'm catching up on threads and have missed a lot of your recent reading. I'm reading This is How You Lose Her now--I'm not sure how fast I'll make my way through it but I am enjoying the stories I've read so far. Diaz has a unique voice, I think.
I have The Pilot's Wife around here somewhere. Have you ever read Lisa Moore's February? The way you describe The Pilot's Wife makes me think of that book, which is also about grief and an accident.
And I've been meaning to read The Master for some time.
Hi Beth, I've read and enjoyed quite a few of Anita Shreve's books but I don't think I've gotten to The Pilot's Wife. I think I have it here, somewhere...
Hope all is well!
Hi Anne - I look forward to your comments on This Is How You Lose Her. I'll have to look for February -- for later. I can only read one book dealing with grief at a time. I have to space them.
I'm still reading The Master; it is quite remarkable, just not a fast read. I'll comment more fully when I've finished and gathered my thoughts.
Hi Joanne - Thanks for stopping by -- I know what you mean about thinking a book is somewhere.
99. More Baths Less Talking is a collection of essays about reading. Reading about other people's reading fascinates me, and Nick Hornby's collection of essays made me laugh aloud and add books to my "to read" pile. He lists purchases and books read at the beginning of each essay, and many of us can identify with the fact that reading done doesn't always match up with the purchases.
Some comments: "As we know around these parts, only Great Literature can save your soul, which is why all English professors are morally unimpeachable human beings, completely free from vanity, envy, sloth, lust and so on."
On reading with his sons: "If you, like me, have been curses by boy-children, you too may have found that their relationship with books is a fractious one, no matter how many times they see a male role model lounging around the house with his nose glued to a partial history of Hawaii... I don't have the heart to tell my sons that the older one gets, the less funny literature becomes -- and they would refuse to believe me if I tried to explain that some people don't think jokes even belong in proper books"(101).
Some of the books he recommends: How to Live, Book of Days by Emily Fox Gordon, Unfamiliar Fishes, Austerity Britain, The Imperfectionists, Nothing to Envy, Charles Dickens: A Life.
I will definitely pick up more of his collections.
#224 - Yes, he's a very special writer and one of my favorite contemporary authors, although I wish he'd write another novel, for Pete's sake! But, like I said, I'll definitely buy the new one at some point.
Also, nice review of the Nick Hornby book - sounds entertaining.
Your game is on at the same time as mine today, so I won't be able to watch it, but go Vikings (even though I don't mind Tennessee at all)!
it's another reminder that I need to get to some of the books I own -- all kinds of treasure there.
I'm the same way! I have teetering piles of books, and I'm sure there are terrific books just languishing there. I enjoyed your review of More Baths Less Talking. I get a lot of reading done in the bath!
Kerri - I think it took him something like nine years to finish Oscar Wao. In an interview, he said he wanted to write a book about a Dominican going to space... Maybe he's working on that.
The Nick Hornby book was very entertaining.
I hope your team did OK today. We've already won more games than we did all last year, so I'm happy.
Hi Anne - I hope you're finding time for everything with your new job. I'll definitely look for more of Hornby's essay collections. I've never read any of his fiction, so I might check that out, too.
#231 - Yes - I've heard him say that writing that novel was a long, grueling process. Somehow, I'm not seeing a space novel from him, but I would welcome it. Ha!
Congrats on your win! We won too, but it was close and a bit offensively ugly, although not as ugly as last week's game. Our defense is fantastic though, so there's that.
Have a lovely week!
I am too very guilty of having too many my own books that are unread. It doesn't help that I continue to buy new books as well has hoard the ones at my library. Poor books....
Beth- I'm glad you enjoyed This Is How You Lose Her. I loved it and it's one of my top reads of the year and my favorite Diaz to date.
I requested More Baths Less Talking from the library. I read his 1st 2 collections and his one on music and was crazy about all of them. I would love to have a beer with that guy.
Wow, visitors! Thanks for stopping by my intermittent thread.
Hi Kerri - I hope your week is lovely as well. Go teams!
Hi Valerie - I did pretty well with reading off my shelf this year, but I know I bought more books than I read.
Hi Mark - I will definitely be looking for more of Hornby's collections. I'd have a drink with him. Have you read any of his fiction? I will have to check one of his novels out one of these days.
Diaz is genius. Oscar Wao is my favorite, but I loved learning more about Yunior in this one.
National Book Award finalists announced
Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her
Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King
Louise Erdrich,The Round House
Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds
Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956
Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4
Domingo Martinez, The Boy Kings of Texas
Anthony Shadid, House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East
David Ferry, Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations
Cynthia Huntington, Heavenly Bodies
Tim Seibles,Fast Animal
Alan Shapiro,Night of the Republic
Susan Wheeler, Meme
YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE
William Alexander, Goblin Secrets
Carrie Arcos, Out of Reach
Patricia McCormick, Never Fall Down
Eliot Schrefer, Endangered
Steve Sheinkin, Bomb: The Race to Build---- and Steal-- - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
#227 Beth, you've reminded me about Nick Hornby's non-fiction books. I don't think the library has his newest collection but I'll try and remember to pick up one of his older collections soon. Although books that add more books to my wishlist can't be a good thing!
#237 An interesting list Beth, I don't think I've heard of many of those except for Behind the Beautiful Forevers.
Hi Bonnie - Anyone who loves books will love reading Nick Hornby. I frequently laughted aloud as I read this.
Hi Mark - I will definitely be looking for some Hornby fiction.
Hi Heather - I am familiar with the top three fiction nominees and a couple of others, but many of these are unfamiliar names to me.
Hi Valerie - I've read This Is How You Lose Her and have The Round House waiting for me at the library. I doubt I will read many before the awards are announced. But that's OK. I've got plenty of good reading ahead.
#237 - Hi Beth - Happy Wednesday! Thanks for sharing the National Book Award finalists. I will have to go update my spreadsheet.
Beth- Thanks for supplying the National Book list! Of course, I want the Diaz book to snag it but I've heard the Erdrich is very good too. I also really liked the Yellow Birds.
Have not heard any LT buzz on the Egger's book. Has anyone?
On the NF side, I LOVED the Boo book.
Hi Kerri - I'd like to see that spreadsheet someday -- but I know at heart that there's no way I'm organized enough to keep one up.
Hi Mark - I haven't heard anything about The Yellow Birds. I've looked at the Eggers book, but even though I'm a fan, it didn't speak to me. I'll read it at some point. I just got The Round House from the library, so I will be reading that in the next couple of weeks.
I hit 100! And my 100th book is a surprising one for me. I guess it's fantasy, but it's really an original coming-of-age story. Morwenna Phelps lost her twin sister when they were battling their evil witch mother. After running away, she has ended up living with her father, who had abandoned her and her sister at birth. Mori copes by reading. She mostly reads SF and fantasy; because I'm not familiar with a lot in that genre, I'm sure I missed references. But Mori's voices is so original and true that it's impossible not to become engaged.
When she's sent away to school, she finds a home in the local library and a book group that discussed science fiction. She loves the library: "They could take all the money from building enough nukes to kill all the Russians in the world and give it to libraries. What good does an independent nuclear deterrent do Britain, compared to the good of libraries? Somebody has their priorities wrong." Amen.
I quite enjoyed this young girl's story; despite the magical part, she has the worries about where she belongs in the world that all teens do.
Somehow you have got me interested in a book that I don't know the title of Beth. Did I miss it somewhere?
#243 Congratulations on reaching 100 books and on enjoying Among Others which is definitely on the list of my favourite reads this year :-)
Hi Heather - It was you who recommended Among Others; I couldn't remember where I first heard about it. Thanks! It was something I would never have picked up on my own. It's good to venture outside of our usual reading habits at times.
Thanks Katie. You must be close, too. My reading is slowing down, now. But that's OK.
I'm reading The Absent One and school stuff.
On the wedding front, I think they're close to choosing a date.
Daniel's brother and cousins just finished hiking the entire Appalachian Trail.
Wow, what a trip! Thanks for sharing that. One of my husband's employees took a few months to hike the Colorado Trail. What an experience.
Congratulations on reaching 100 books, Beth. I can see why you would forget to list the title in the excitement of the moment.
I hope Katherine Boo wins the NBA for her wonderful book about the slums in Mumbai. I have Round House waiting for me at the library. Erdrich is a big favorite of mine so I'll get it read quickly. She is always a winner in my book!
Hi Katie - You'll get there soon -- maybe on the plane!
Hi Anne - I'm sure they'll have lots of great stories. They were very happy to have finished.
Hi Donna - Thanks for stopping by. The Round House is next on my list, too. It's a dreary, rainy day here, so a good one for reading.
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