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What is everyone reading now?

North Carolina LT Group

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Oct 17, 2006, 5:29pm Top

There's a whole group on this topic, but I thought this would make an interesting topic for us here as well.

I usually keep one fiction and one non-fiction book going at a time, and currently, I am reading The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, and getting ready to start Belinda, a novel about a relationship between a children's book illustrator and a young girl. It's written by Anne Rice (well-known writer of vampire novels), under the name Anne Rampling. It's definitely different, but I have hopes of it being pretty good.

How about everyone else? What are you engrossed in at the moment?


Oct 17, 2006, 10:31pm Top

A few days ago I finished Immoral by Brian Freeman which is a terrific first novel - very convoluted mystery - and have just started his second one: Stripped, which just came out a week or two ago. Freeman was in Salisbury signing books tonight, but we're having continuous heavy rain right now and I just couldn't see driving the 30+ miles each way to meet him and get my first edition signed.

Oct 18, 2006, 11:00am Top

That's funny -- I do the same thing, usually reading a biography or letters while working on a book of short stories. If I'm working on a novel, I usually read it straight through without distractions.

I just finished Savage Beauty about Edna St. Vincent Millay. (I had recently watched A River Runs Through It on DVD. In the movie, Norman Maclean quotes First Fig, which reminded me of ESt.VM, and I decided to get the biography and read it.) I'm still working through Jean Rhys' Tigers Are Better Looking. I find her stories so haunting and rich that I read them again and again, picking up just a little more each time.

My next non-fiction will be The Adams-Jefferson Letters. And I've got Somerset Maugham's The Magician lined up next for my fiction book.

4erikschreppel First Message
Oct 20, 2006, 7:30pm Top

Hi just joined this group and very glad to have this NC group. I'm a Raleigh transplant (originally from NY, but been here 12 years now). Currently reading three great books, a great biography of Federico Garcia Lorca by Ian Gibson, Living My Life by Emma Goldman, and The Spanish Civil War by Hugh Thomas.

Oct 23, 2006, 11:28am Top

I just finished Gonzalez & Daughter Trucking Co. and really enjoyed it. I'm not sure what I'm going to read next. Hmmmmm.....

Edited: Oct 23, 2006, 11:33am Top

Hi all! Just about finished The Whiskey Rebellion by William Hogeland and about to start The Bookseller's Apprentice by George Goodspeed. Books dealing with the rare book trade are my main interest and I acquire a new one at least every month in 1st edition. There goes $$$ flying to a bookseller.

7keldreth First Message
Oct 25, 2006, 9:17am Top

Greetings! At the moment, I am working on 2 books. "Breakfast of Champions" by Kurt Vonnegut and "Multisourcing" by Linda Cohen and Allie Young. Both books have been excellent reads thus far. Most have read Breakfast of Champions so I will refrain from boring each of you; however, Multisouring is about moving beyond outsourcing to multisourcing as a business practice to maintain competitive advantage.

Oct 25, 2006, 1:09pm Top

Hi keldreth!

I hope you don't think less of me if I admit that I, for one, have not read Breakfast of Champions! But I did look it up on Amazon and, I must say, my interest is piqued!

I'm definitely going to have to check that one out. Anything you want to say about that book will be most welcome.

Welcome to the group.

Oct 31, 2006, 8:44pm Top

Currently reading The Speed of Light by Elizabeth Rosner for my book club. It's beautifully written, almost poetic. Concerns the fractured children of a Holocaust survivor (I am one myself...not fractured though)

Also reading On Agate Hill by Lee Smith. Just released, it is set in post Civil War North Carolina (in and around Raleigh). So far it has me captivated. I was born and bred on the sidewalks of Manhattan, having just moved here. Figured it was time to get the flavor of my adopted state!

I wanted to recommend to all of you a magazine I have been enjoying for the past 4 years or so. Titled BOOKMARKS, it arrives at my doorstep every other month, packed with critical reviews of all the latest literary releases. Additionally each issue focuses on one of two high profile authors, highlighting major works and offering reading recommendations. The magazine does not fail to to touch on book clubs, childrens lit, crime novels, genre works.

Nov 12, 2006, 10:38am Top

Right now I'm chewing through Sir Apropos of Nothing, by Peter David, along with Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke. I just finished Three Days to Never, by Tim Powers, and I recommend that one very highly to any fans of supernatural thrillers.

11AlbionCallsMe First Message
Nov 15, 2006, 10:21am Top

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Nov 15, 2006, 3:25pm Top

Just started Masters of the Air by Donald L. Miller dealing with the boys who flew our WW II bombers from England. Just acquired Confessions of a Literary Archaeologist by Carlton Lake dealing with his collection of research material on modern French literature and the arts.

Nov 15, 2006, 5:45pm Top

I am currently reading Life of Pi and just finished Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick.

Dec 1, 2006, 9:00am Top

Just started A Great & Godly Adventure by Godfrey Hodgson. It's the true story (from 2 eyewitnesses) of the first "Thanksgiving" and the myths grown up around that most American celebration. They landed on Cape Cod, not Plymouth, although they did eventually go to Plymouth. There was no turkey (probably venison from the native Americans), no cranberries (they didn't have sugar), and no pumpkin pie (no wheat or shortening for crust). They never called themselves Pilgrims; Englishmen is how they thought of themselves.

Jan 7, 2007, 8:28pm Top

Kingcvnc, I just finished A Great and Godly Adventure and found it fascinating. If I were teaching a college class on early American history, I'd have the students read this.

Jan 13, 2007, 7:27pm Top

jaycee, what did you think of Mayflower? I thoroughly enjoyed Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea and wondered if his new one was as good.

I've just finished reading (with my students) Lord of the Flies and Crime and Punishment, and am starting Smashed purely out of curiosity and for a pause from fiction.

Edited: Jan 20, 2007, 10:31am Top


I thought Mayflower was excellently written. It read like a narrative but was obviously thoroughly researched. This is the first book I've read by Philbrick. I might try another some time down the road, but honestly I read the book because the "pilgrim theme", not for Philbrick the author.

As a side note, Mayflower was chosen as one of the 5 best nonfiction books of 2006 by the New York Times! I was so thrilled that 2 books I had read and loved were picked: Mayflower and Special Topics in Calamity Physics (by NC author Marisha Pessl no less!).

By the way, Barter, how do you like Smashed?

Jan 21, 2007, 3:35pm Top


I also read Special Topics in Calamity Physics recently and enjoyed it for the most part. I thought it went on too long, but I always enjoy academic novels.

Smashed is very good, if very grim. I've already had a handful of students asking to borrow it, so it's obviously a topic of interest for high school students.

I look forward to reading Mayflower when it comes out in paperback.

Oct 21, 2007, 4:16pm Top

I just finished Ex-Libris by Ross King, which happens to be about mystery and rare books in the mid-17th century, and I'm reading some of Ann Rinaldi's books, such as Or Give Me Death and Amelia's War.

20KatrinkaV First Message
Oct 25, 2007, 5:45pm Top

Got three going at the moment: Cien anos de soledad (Gabriel Garcia Marquez); The Burn(Vassily Aksyonov-- I'm already exasperated); Hiding Out (Jonathan Messinger-- great stories in this one, and the author just did a reading at Internationalist in Chapel Hill, which was a treat).

Oct 25, 2007, 5:49pm Top

after admitting defeat, I gave up reading Germinal, and just skimmed the last 70%. Now I'm onto something much, much more enjoyable: the short stories of Chekov. also reading The Prince and the Pauper aloud to my husband.

Nov 7, 2007, 4:20pm Top

I'm re-reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Great old romantic suspense.

23bookwormcat First Message
Nov 18, 2007, 12:03am Top

Nov 23, 2007, 8:07am Top

Just started Migration Patterns, a book of short stories by Gary Schanbacher, as well as Continental Drift (Russell Banks). Both great so far. Blew through Democracy On Trial (Jean Bethke Elshtain) over the weekend, and it's a valuable work, says I.

Group: North Carolina LT Group

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