What Are You Reading the week of 24 March 2012?
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The 24th: Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The 25th: Flannery O'Connor
The 26th: Tennessee Williams
...what a gallimaufry! I've left a half-dozen out for this one day alone!
The 27th: Thorne Smith
Kevin J. Anderson
The 28th: Maria Vargas Llosa
The 29th: Judith Guest
The 30th: Jean Giono
I know, I know, it's the wrong guy, but this one's good looking and the author so is not.
My Mystery March goals are pretty well shot...several books I can't even FIND now!...but I read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which went from loving it to really good by the end. *sigh*
Working on mystery March. Reading one of P.D. James's Adam Dalgliesh mysteries, The Private Patient.
RD- Thanks for kicking us off, sir. Fine job. I am wrapping up Beat the Reaper, an excellent crime novel, funny, brutal and oh so smart.
On audio, I've been reading The Wise Man's Fear. It's a BIG fantasy tale and I've been enjoying the journey.
For fans of DA, I'll be starting Below Stairs, which I've heard nothing but good things about.
G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. J. G. Farrell's The Singapore grip. Martha Cooley's The Archivist. Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Joseph Aldrich's Gentle persuasion
Actually, I'm sort of disaffected with everything right now. I read two "mind candy" mysteries last week and they didn't perk me up much either.
just finished The Last Hero by Pratchett. It was an illustrated edition and I loved the pictures! The story was okay. I always like Pratchett's books, they're funny enough but they don't rock me.
Also read das Haus der Schwestern by Charlotte Link. It was okay, I expected somewhat more of a crime nocel/mystery but the greater part was the biography of some woman (not uninteresting though). In the end it seemed she tried to put a bit of a crime/mystery into it. but it didn't work. It felt to forced to be believed and everything was much too unlikely.
Thanks, Richard. Reading The Paris Correspondent. Good prose and funny. Still, I am not sure I will stay on for the ride. Doesn't seem to be going anywhere. We'll see.
Thank you, Richard, for a very entertaining beginning this morning. I needed the laugh.
Reading Brave New World, which is entertaining but, so far, not the classic I expected it to be; Iron and Silk, which is proving to be as good as the recommendations promised, and The Tiger's Wife, which I'm very much on the fence about--well written (but not fabulous), but I'm not sure I like the protagonist--her grandfather, however, is (so far) making me read the book.
Preparing for a plane trip AND doing work-related research (yay multitasking!) by reading From the Flight Deck: Plane Talk and Sky Science, by Doug Morris. The author is a pilot with Air Canada and writes in a very accessible style that has been proving enjoyable so far.
I'm about a hundred pages from the end of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and it's just as wonderful as everyone said it would be.
So, Richard, we can just substitute pix if the person we have isn't good looking? Hmm, could be an interesting way to go through my photo albums.
I just finished and reviewed Sex Wars - historical fiction about Elizabeth Cady Stanton who was just so much more interesting than I had thought, Susan B. Anthony who was less interesting, Victoria Woodhull - no one could accuse her of being uninteresting, Anthony Comstock who was obviously an ancestor of Rick Santorum and some fictional characters - Freydeh Levin a widowed Russian Jewish immigrant and condom maker. Very interesting. What must it be like to be in Marge Piercy's brain?
Now I'm reading:
Audio: Feminism and the Future of Women another great Modern Scholar lecture series by Professor Estelle B. Freedman
Paper: Egalia's Daughters: A Satire of the Sexes by Gerd Brantenberg about a land where wim wield the power and menwim stay home and care for the children.
Nook: Venus Envy in which a closeted gay woman thinks she dying so writes letters to all her friends telling them exactly what she thinks about them, then doesn't die. Good and humorous, but Rita Mae Brown does get annoying pushing her southern democrat no taxes spiel.
Many happy returns to Richard Dawkins. Reading Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner.
I'm rereading the Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan. Currently reading book 7 (/12) and I also recently started reading Ulysses by Joyce. I don't know why this idea suddenly got stuck in my head but it did. I read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man last semester and I really had to struggle through it but somehow, I'd really like to read Ulysses at least once in my life.
I discovered a really good audiobook on archive.org and I'm reading the book while listening to the audio otherwise I probably wouldn't know how to pronounce half of it. The audioversion also makes a very nice, clear distinction between the narrator and the character's thoughts since that isn't always very clear in the text. I try to read one chapter a day to make sure my head doesn't explode. So far, I don't really get it (:D) but I do enjoy the flow of the words in certain parts.
Oh, Richard! That's so funny. But, when you come down to it, it's all about perception, isn't it. *thinking about photoshopping all images of myself because, unless it's someone who sees me daily, who'll really know that I airbrushed out my double chin and jowls?*
Just finished The Madonnas of Leningrad. I thought it was a well-written, poignant debut novel. The author, Debra Dean, managed to tell two stories, one of the siege of Leningrad during WWII and also the possible interior experience of a woman with Alzheimer's, and in my opinion she did it very well.
I am about to start reading Scandal as part of the year long LT Group Read of works by Shusaku Endo for the Author Theme Read Group
Started Thinking, Fast & Slow, and it looks really good, but I don't think I'm in the right head space for it right now. Still chugging a little on Solitude of Prime Numbers for RL book club, but seriously considering skipping in favour of painting workshop. Am reading The Price of a Dream rather more enthusiastically, though.
Really enjoying Laughing Without an Accent by Firoozeh Dumas, though it's bittersweet: her Persian translator (for Funny in Farsi) is still missing-and-presumed-imprisoned in Iran. Also have Song of Achilles and Child of the Jungle, so lots of good reading to look forward to!
Just finished WYOMING by Dana Fuller Ross. Starting OREGON book four of the Wagons West series.
I just finished Company of Liars yesterday - I didn't expect it to be so creepy. But I really liked it and am happy to know that there are more by her to read!
Hi brenzi--I enjoyed your review of Unbroken. I'm reading it out loud with my 86 yo nursing-home-bound Dad. He was in the Pacific in WWII (Navy destroyer escort), and a bit of a wild kid. Besides the great story, it's giving us a jumping off place to talk about his own experiences.
I am finishing up Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi for my book group this week. It's a coming of age story of a girl named Trudi who, born at the end of WWI, saw the rise of Hitler and WWll while living in Dusseldorf, Germany. Unfortunately, Trudi is a dwarf.... which given Hitler's propensities is making me scream quietly inside while reading it.. "Oh no, this can't be good, this can't be good." I'm gaining insight into the mentality and blindness of many German citizens to the events happening; but I'm just not psychologically armored enough for this one. (Although so far, Trudi is remaining fairly unscathed).
I also have about two hundred pages left to finish Stephenson's Anathem. Great book, but knew I wouldn't get the BC book done if I kept reading both.
Got distracted and slacked off this weekend, but I'm back into Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba by Tom Gjelten. So far, so good...
I just finished Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte. It strikes me as a bit of elegant fun, if that makes sense. Lots of swashbuckling, some chivalry, lots of court intrigue in 17th-Century Spain, a rollicking good read altogether. Perhaps it's the translation, perhaps it has to do with the original Spanish language, or perhaps neither one, but it struck me as rather elegant prose, too.
I haven't settled on my next book at all yet. It's a long story, but, I'm hoping to read The Seamstress: A Novel by Frances de Pontes Peebles, next, but that may not be possible. My husband, the wonderful man, is supposed to be bringing it home for me this evening. It really got some good reviews here on LT, and it sounds very interesting.
ETA: My wonderful husband just arrived home with The Seamstress: A Novel by Frances Pontes Peebles! I'm so thrilled, and hubby got a big kiss! :-)
Just coming to the end of my re-reading of The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith. It's a true shame that he died at the relatively young age of 53.
>35 richardderus: Thanks Richard!
>>40 streamsong: Thanks streamsong, I know my own father, who was a WWII veteran from the European theater, never talked about his experiences until he was in a nursing home and right towards the end, when he was quite suffering from dementia, I was surprised when he told a young intern that he should hurry with his examination because my Dad had to go to get his medals from Gen. Patton. The young intern looked at me and I just shrugged. In Unbroken, Louie doesn't want to talk much to his family about his experiences either.
#47 How could I have left that one off my list of recommendations! Darn right, hazeljune, it's a cracker!
#39 Another reader with some real treats to look forward to. Incredibly, LT tells me I am the only one so far with The Gallows Curse so maybe it's not yet out in the US or perhaps it's out under a different name but you still have The Owl Killers in the meantime to enjoy.
#41, I remember liking House on the strand when I read it several years ago.
(27) jfetting, I've not read When Christ and His Saints Slept yet, but I love other books by that author.
Did you do a review of that work yet?
I finished Jeremy Poldark (a favorite reread) and have started reading Letters of a Woman Homesteader, which I absolutely love!!! I can't recall who exactly recommended it (was it you, streamsong?), but several did and I'm glad. The local public library did not have a copy, so I had to order a copy, but it's been well worth it.
This place is dangerous, but in a nice way...
#51> fuzzi....have you watched the miniseries, "Poldark" ? Available on Netflix, I just watched it recently......great fun...such a noble character!
I just finished listening to Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy and thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be listening to Hell's Corner by David Baldacci next for a change of pace. Gotta love the Camel Club!
(52) hemlokgang, thanks for your query.
I watched the entire series when it was shown on PBS here in America, in the 1970s, and that's what got me reading the books by Winston Graham. This past Christmas my dh (dear husband) bought me both season 1 and season 2 on DVD. Recently, when I was at home sick with pneumonia I rewatched the entire first season. It doesn't match the books, exactly, but enough to be enjoyable.
Well into Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961 by Paul Hendrickson — a well-written document of the man and the times.
I have just finished reading the novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Received The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the mail today, opened it up and promptly read the whole thing! A lovely collection enhanced by Caroline Kennedy's notes and introductions, which offer insights to family traditions and historic moments.
>58 hemlokgang: hemlok - I inherited my mom's copy of The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Sounds like I need to get it off the shelf. Caroline Kennedy also edited She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems and I loved all her commentaries. I recommend it if you haven't read it.
I finished Before I Go to Sleep and found it wonderfully creepy. My current read is The House at Sea's End by Elly Griffiths.
I'm reading Earth to Hell by Kylie Chan. I'm really excited for this. I loved the Dark Heaven's trilogy
I'm right in the middle of Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell. I've already read his most famous books, 1984 and Animal Farm, but thought I'd try something different. I went into it expecting a depressing description of poverty and starvation. But I was very mistaken! Orwell's writing shows the bad as well as the good in such an engrossing way. Every time I get a free minute I find myself wanting to pick this book up again. I definitely plan on reading more of his books!
Looks like there are lots of new names on this thread in the last few days. Welcome aboard. I am always glad to see new readers and to know that something I enjoy doing, reading, is also something I can share with others.
I am still working on Left Hand of Darkness. This book was highly recommended by an astronomer friend of mine, and I confess I am having trouble with it and wondering why he likes it so well. I only have 50 pages to go and think it will never end. Not that its boring, just not my cup-a.
Benita, I'm sorry you're having such a bad time with The Left Hand of Darkness. I loved the book.
I finished Venus Envy by Rita Mae Brown. If anyone is thinking of reading it, don't bother. It's mean spirited and misogynistic which sounds unlikely having been written by a lesbian, but there you are. There is a good chapter on Greek gods and goddesses, but I don't know that it's worth reading the whole book to get to it. I also finished another Modern Scholar lecture series Feminism and the Future of Women by Estelle B. Freedman. The series is excellent, but in light of recent American politics, perhaps too optimistic. Now I'm about to start Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart.
I am not sure I had a bad time with Left Hand of Darkness. I just plain didn't get it. Perhaps I was looking too deeply, or my expectations were different. I will ruminate on it for a while and then see what happens. The discussion is not until April 15th, so that will give me plenty of time to think. It might also be that without reading the others in her loose series I missed some connections that made it an outstanding read for those who did. I'll just have to see.
that is a good review.
I started on Warmth of Other Suns last night and was immediately hooked. This is another title for my book discussion group. As huge as this book is, I figured I better start on it as soon as possible in order to get it read. I don't think that getting it done will be a problem. This one is going to be a fast read. I liked the story telling style of it, but doubt the veracity of the point-of-view of the first person introduced in the book. I am always skeptical of memoir and autobiography because what people think about themselves and the events of their lives is always colored by their own best interests.
I read Regeneration a few years ago and liked it. It isn't as depressing as you might think. In the end it is kinda uplifting in that progress in understanding PTSD is beginning. This is a very timely book right now, so while I can't say I enjoyed it, I did think it relevant. I have plans to read the other two books in the series. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
Regeneration is one of my favorite books. I've read it many times. It is fiction, but based on real events and real people. It is a very thoughtful, beautifully written book -- and a very important one, I believe. I go back to it again and again mostly to revisit the story of Siegfried Sassoon and Dr. Rivers -- I was even inspired enough to read more about the two of them and the horrible "catch-22"- like situation that military law and social attitudes and their personal integrity and talents and that awful war brought them to. The situation is depressing -- that war is beyond depressing -- but Dr. Rivers is inspiring and the book is enlightening -- it gives you hope despite the tragedy all around. And when you're done, there are two more books based on the work of Dr. Rivers, one of which, The Ghost Road, won the Booker Prize.
Oh, good! Now I'm getting excited about reading it. And the other two...
I loved Shadow of the Wind and the members of my book discussion did too. We talked about it for several hours. Some think it melodramatic, but it is so atmospheric you really get a sense of the menace of Franco and what happened in Spain in those years. I also liked the second in his series Angel's Game. I found it more melodramatic, but equally atmospheric. The city of Barcelona becomes like a character in the two books. I think you will like these books. If you can find it, the recorded version of Shadow has the author's music on it as well. He is a composer for movies in his other life.
I read one book at a time. I just finished:
4911. Destiny of the Republic A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President, by Candice Millard (read 29 Mar 2012)
As with most of the books I have read, I did a comment on it, and maybe too generously gave it five stars, but that is how I felt when I finished it.
(70) joyce, I just finished reading Letters of a Woman Homesteader, which I loved!
So many others here at LT recommended it that I finally decided to read it, and found a copy online.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
(77) seitherin, did you like Caliban's Hour?
I read it many years ago, but have favorable memories of it.
Oh, and I had some time before bed last night for a quick read, so I read Socks by Beverly Cleary. It was a delightful story, not geared just for children.
I think I'm going to read Penrod next.
fuzzi, if you ever have a chance you should see the movie "Heartland" -- made sometime in the late 70s -- it's based on Elinor's letters -- her arrival in Wyoming and the early years of her marriage. The family helped in the making of it -- a few family members played small roles in the film. It was an independent film that received much praise by the critics though of course it wasn't particularly a great box office hit -- too realistic, not sexy enough, I suppose, no car chases or explosions, etc. Conchata Farrell and Rip Torn starred in it and much attention was paid to detail, to showing what it might have been like in those days and how gritty and tough a life it was. Yet what I remember most are the moments of joy and delight -- the wedding, the little girl, the small personal victories over a harsh climate and rough conditions.
I remember an article about the film in which the actors expressed the pride everyone in the crew took in getting it right, no matter how harsh their working conditions -- it was filmed in the area where it happened. There is a great scene that ends the movie which involved an event that they hoped they'd have a chance to film (they were "on call" at all hours of the day or night, hoping one of the local ranchers would let them know this was happening and that they could come and participate -- they could prepare for it but couldn't rehearse it -- I won't tell you what it is because I'm hoping the movie is available on DVD and you'll get to see it) -- they were so delighted they had a chance to take part in this event and use it in the film. The film often has a documentary feel to it. I loved it and felt that it is a true depiction of how it must have been for many people in that time and place.
#83 fuzzi, I really enjoyed Caliban's Hour. I enjoyed it just as much this time around as I did the first time I read it, maybe a bit more.
Mollygrace, I loved Heartland, and it didn't take me too long into Letters of a Woman Homesteader to realize that this must be the basis for the movie. I have to re watch it now. I'd no idea that the family was involved in the movie.
ETA - Wasn't Conchata Ferrell wonderful as Elinore?
I also appreciate the recommendation for Heartland--added it to the top of the Netflix Que (they have it on DVD). Mollygrace, thanks for all the info.
Citizenjoyce, yes -- the actress was terrific, totally believable -- the strength of that character, and the poignant vulnerability -- she's wonderful.
(90) My son has a Netflix account, I'll ask him to get Heartland for me.
Thanks for the recommendations, all!
#79 -Thanks for the your comments. So far Iam really enjoying it. Nice to know about the recorded version with the author's music. Definitely something to check out.
I am reading at a slow pace The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St.James, it's sooo good and sooo scary.
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