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**What Are You Reading Now? -- May 2012

Club Read 2012

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Edited: Apr 30, 2012, 10:02pm Top

Tell us what your reading, what have reviewed, etc, in May.

Baswood, you can post now. :)

Edited: May 1, 2012, 11:03am Top

My plans for May:

I'm reading these
- Deuteronomy (through Robert Alter's translation) and other related bits
- Cobb by Al Stump

I think I want to read these this month:
- A Dark Stranger by Julian Gracq
- The Love Story of Paul Collins by Donigan Merritt

- ETA to my plan The Hunger Angel by Herta Müller, which I just won as an "Early Reviewer". I believe this was published in 2009 in German and I think it has been published previously in English with the title "Everything I Possess I Carry With Me".

May 1, 2012, 5:30am Top

OK Dan

I am deep into Renaissance Italy at the moment and I am reading:

On Painting Leon Battista Alberti
The Civilization of the Renaissance by Jacob Burckhardt

Edited: May 1, 2012, 5:54am Top

Currently -

Coming Up For Air - George Orwell
A History of the Siege of the Lisbon - Jose Saramago
Retromania - Simon Reynolds (although I must admit I may not continue with this much longer - he made his point in the first 30 pages and now he's battering it to death).

May 1, 2012, 6:00am Top

I'm reading and very much enjoying The President's Last Love by Andrey Kurkov, narrated by a fictional president of Ukraine.

May 1, 2012, 10:33am Top

I'm reading The Buddenbrooks.

May 1, 2012, 10:45am Top

I'm still plugging away when I have time to concentrate on Europe Central, and am also reading The Day of the Oprichnik (subway read) and dipping into Sherlock Holmes stories.

May 1, 2012, 11:08am Top

Right now I am (still) reading Don Quixote de La Mancha by Miguel Cervantes. I love it! It's a lengthy book but not a hard read at all.

May 1, 2012, 11:10am Top

All this heavy stuff to start off May (except for my Ty Cobb book...and, arguably, that other thing I'm reading)

#6 Ann - I read The Magic Mountain last year (with several others here), and am curious about other works on Thomas Mann. Do you have a thread around here somewhere?

#7 Rebecca - I have a dusty copy of Europe Central that I've been afraid to pick up.

Edited: May 1, 2012, 12:34pm Top

I've just started Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel, which promises to tell me many interesting and important things about plastics, and am also dipping in and out of Hippo Eats Dwarf: A Field Guide to Hoaxes and Other B.S. by Alex Boese, which illustrates why you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet.

May 1, 2012, 1:30pm Top

#3 I am deep into Renaissance Italy at the moment and I am reading:
On Painting Leon Battista Alberti

Oooh, I studied that at university. Interesting. Another book that I studied along with it was Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy, which was most enlightening (and somewhat challenging).

I too am in Italy--World War II Italy, that is, with a biography, Franca's Story. I'm reading this because it's set in the same area that my husband's family lives, and it's interesting to compare their stories, and also to hear about what happened during the war to places I've visited 50 and 60 years later.

May 1, 2012, 3:03pm Top

3 - I'll be interested to see your thoughts on the Alberti. I have his Ten Books of Architecture, perhaps I should pick that up next.

Right now I'm working my way through a few anthologies before going on a kick of Chicago reading.

May 1, 2012, 3:07pm Top

Currently reading Death at the Jesus Hospital by David Dickinson. I started it in April and am about half-way through it. I am also reading "Of Paupers and Peers" by Sherri Cobb South (it's a Regency romance).

May 1, 2012, 4:34pm Top

I have about 20 long pages of The Origins of the Slavic Nations to go. I won't be able to say much about it when I am done.


May 1, 2012, 8:09pm Top

Joyce, thanks for the link to Painting and Experience in Fifteenth century Italy Sounds like something else to read.

May 1, 2012, 8:36pm Top

I just completed the longer than anticipated but immensely enjoyable slog through Unfinished Nation, survey of American history from the first colonizations to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It's mostly a social and political movements narrative, rather then the typical event to event history. I still don't know what I want to read next, but hopefully won't be something that devours an entire month and half worth of reading.

May 2, 2012, 9:45am Top

#9 The only thread I have is where I have listed the books I have read on the 1001 spreadsheet. On that one I will start listing my current reads.

May 2, 2012, 11:01am Top

#9, Dan, I've been afraid to pick it up for several years, but a discussion on Steven's thread about Vollman and Europe Central inspired me to read it now. I'm afraid I'm probably missing a lot, especially because I can't devote myself to reading some of it every day, but have to read it in spurts, but I'm amazed by Vollman's vision and talent.

Also, to your comment on #6, about Buddenbrooks. I loved it! It is very different from The Magic Mountain, not in the quality of the writing, which is wonderful, but in its accessibility; as its subtitle said, it is the story of a decline of a family and a portrait of a time and a place. The most remarkable thing about it for me was that Mann was only 26 when it was published and yet his insight into history and older people is brilliant. I've also read Doctor Faustus (know I missed tremendous amounts in this one) and Joseph and His Brothers, which is extremely long but also quite readable and very enjoyable.

May 2, 2012, 12:18pm Top

I'm listening to Look at Me, by Jennifer Egan, on audiobook, and reading Cry The Beloved Country. I've picked up the Paton book countless times, but never been able to get past page 1. Last night I made it to page 60, so maybe I'll get through it this time. I know it's supposed to be the best book ever, and the subject matter interests me, ....but the writing style just leaves me cold.

May 2, 2012, 2:17pm Top

Bragan - Should I admit that I fell for the hippo eats dwarf story? No, I most certainly should not!

Rebecca - I recall something of your comments on Joseph and His Brothers. Good to know you feelings on the others.

Joyce - "I know it's supposed to be the best book ever" - :) It is a really good book...

May 2, 2012, 2:26pm Top

#17 Ann - I found your 1001 thread (I hadn't been over to that group before).

So you know, you're are certainly welcome to start a thread of your own here in Club Read, in case you want to post about books not on the list.

May 2, 2012, 3:45pm Top

>20 dchaikin:: Ah, well, I think we all fall for some of 'em at one point or another.

>19 Nickelini:: I had to read Cry, The Beloved Country in high school, and can thus testify to the fact that forcing yourself to read that book when you don't feel like it (or, worse, being forced by someone else to read it) does it no favors at all.

May 2, 2012, 4:11pm Top

#21 Im trying to stay on the list since there is more then enough to choose from. But every once in a while I do catch myself wandering off on something else.

May 2, 2012, 4:30pm Top

Last night I read half of The Sociopath Next Door and the first story from The Plot Thickens.

The diagnostic offered by The Sociopath Next Door along with the description of the typical sociopath or psychopath confirm that my neighbor is a psychopath, but I would still qualify that with more information. I may have to read the recently popular book on psychopaths in hardcover to build on what I'm getting from this book. Like any student of pathology I have to wonder whether I suffer the pathology under consideration.

The story I read was entertaining, but thick steaks were not central to the narrative. The book is a collection of stories by mystery writers involving a thick fog, a thick book, and a thick steak. It was published in the mid-nineties. Its profits go to a literacy agency. If the first story is representative, this will be comfortably light reading.


May 2, 2012, 4:35pm Top

I had to read Cry, The Beloved Country in high school, and can thus testify to the fact that forcing yourself to read that book when you don't feel like it (or, worse, being forced by someone else to read it) does it no favors at all.

I was hoping it would pick up or I'd gel with his style, or something! I have to admit while I was reading this morning I was liking it less. I'll give it 100 pages, and if I'm not feeling more kindly, I'll follow your advice out of my house it goes . . .

May 2, 2012, 4:59pm Top

#24 Hmm. I might have to read that sociopath book because I once had a work colleague who I'm convinced was a sociopath.

May 2, 2012, 5:26pm Top

There is a one in twenty five chance that he or she was. If the person had no conscience, was charming (one way I disqualify myself), and sought pity, then he or she was.


May 2, 2012, 5:55pm Top

He was a great liar (took me years to figure out some of the things he had said were lies) and everything bad that happened to him was always someone else's fault.

May 2, 2012, 6:05pm Top

Those are common, she says, among sociopaths. One woman broke her arm, the sociopath said, by refusing to comply sexually with him; it was her fault.


May 2, 2012, 6:28pm Top

I think I need that sociopath book. I wonder what happens when someone reads it and recognizes him or herself?

May 2, 2012, 6:41pm Top

I have been told in classes and I have read in books that it is common for a student of, say, medicine, to believe that he or she has the disease under consideration. I am told by this book that sociopaths typically don't recognize themselves as sociopaths. I have seen that my history of faults, moral lapses, make me liable to despair; so as I read this book in particular I try to be analytic in applying it to myself. A psychopath could probably make a case, credible to me, that I am a psychopath unless I were on to him or her in the first place.


May 2, 2012, 11:04pm Top

I read The Psychopath Test recently, which I imagine is the other book you're talking about, and the author of that one basically says, if you're worried you might be a psychopath, if that thought actually makes you anxious, then you aren't one.

May 3, 2012, 10:03am Top

#32 I have used this idea for years. Maybe Im just crazy and insane!!!! Then I tell myself well if you are actually sitting here wondering then chances are your fine. Maybe alittle touched but far from insane.

May 3, 2012, 10:15am Top

33 - Yeah, this is the rationalization I've been going with. Although, the older I get, the less sure I am about it. :)

May 3, 2012, 12:06pm Top

So the more sure we are that we are not a sociopath, the more likely we are one? (admittedly, the thought I am never crossed my mind...hmmm...)

May 3, 2012, 2:36pm Top

>35 dchaikin:: No, I think it's more that actual sociopaths don't see anything wrong with being one, and don't experience any worry at the possibility.

May 3, 2012, 2:43pm Top

And if your truely insane do you really sit around wondering about it????? Just like socipath you think you are completely fine and normal with your odd behavior.

May 3, 2012, 2:57pm Top

I think it's more that actual sociopaths don't see anything wrong with being one, and don't experience any worry at the possibility.

Ah, I think that's what I was getting at back at post #30 when I wondered what a sociopath would think if he or she read this book. This has been such an interesting conversation!

Edited: May 3, 2012, 3:21pm Top

I think I linked to this on my own thread back when I was discussing The Psychopath Test, but I think it's worth pointing to again in this context: Confessions of a Pro-Social Psychopath. It's a fifteen-minute lecture by a guy researching the brains of psychopathic killers, who... well, I won't spoil it. But I will say that what really strikes me about it is the way in which a revelation that I think would have had me going, "Oh, holy crap, no!" instead provokes more of a "Huh. I guess that explains some things."

May 3, 2012, 3:46pm Top

That clip is fascinating. Some of it is hinted at in The Sociopath Next Door but never with the full on approval that he gives to seemingly marginal characteristics of certain people we may need in our lives. It is Jon Ronson's book that I will turn to next; it is now available in paperback and if it is still in stock at the across town Barny Noble's on Saturday it is likely that I will pick it up.


May 3, 2012, 4:44pm Top

Ronson, among other things, has an interview with a businessman who very much fits the profile, and who manages to spin almost every hallmark of psychopathy into a positive leadership trait. It's a little difficult not to think that he might possibly have a point.

May 4, 2012, 2:00pm Top

a businessman who very much fits the profile, and who manages to spin almost every hallmark of psychopathy into a positive leadership trait

Reminds me of the creature in the documentary Corporation, the one who wanted to sell air and the last square foot of green grass (if possible)!

Makes you think we might need to re-think the claptrap surrounding "leadership" and the whole debased immoral rhetoric of business. Actually, business, especially as practiced at the corporate level... it's like an endless safari/Club Med adventure for psychopaths.

May 4, 2012, 2:03pm Top

Reading _The Seventh Unicorn_ by Kelly Jones. This book was left at my place by a visitor and it's essentially a beach mystery read.

May 6, 2012, 8:33am Top

I have finished and posted a review of To A Mountain in Tibet by Colin Thubron, a very interesting and enjoyable travel narrative. I am a bit behind on my reviews - four more to go to get caught up!

May 6, 2012, 10:41am Top

I've finished and reviewed The Shape of Water, the first in Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano Sicilian mystery series and Vladimir Sorokin's damning portrait of power in 2028 Russia, Day of the Oprichnik.

May 6, 2012, 10:44am Top

I've finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, which I have mixed feelings about. I'm escaping into Scandinavian crime fiction for the next few days with Box 21.

May 7, 2012, 3:32am Top

I'm now reading By Light Alone by Adam Roberts. Many thanks to avaland for this one! So far, it's quite good.

May 7, 2012, 9:08am Top

I've just finished All Men are Mortal by Simone de Beauvoir which didn't impress me as much as I expected. Today, started Deep Rivers by Jose Maria Arguedas, a Peruvian writer whose life was dedicated to preserving Andean indigenous culture and language. Also dipping into an illustrated collection of Sherlock Holmes.

May 7, 2012, 10:19am Top

I've finally reviewed Icefields and Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century's Biggest Bestsellers, and got some comments down on Port Vila Blues, all of which nearly catches me up. I hope to return to One Day the Ice Will Reveal Its Dead in a day or so, once the Belletrista issue is up online.

Dukedom is reading the forthcoming China Miéville, Railsea, and is a Mieville twist on Moby Dick (and if you know Miéville, you know it will really be twisted). I heard the Duke chuckling and laughing from time to time, so it must be good. It's being marketed as YA.

May 7, 2012, 4:40pm Top

I read a big chunk of The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson last night. Written by a journalist it is first of all about him and his pursuit of the story, and it is more readable than The Sociopath Next Door. So far, however, it has not fully replaced the latter.


May 7, 2012, 9:01pm Top

I decided to listen to the Foreword of Just Kids by Patti Smith while I loaded the audio onto my iPod and before I knew it, I'd listened to the first two CDs. Read by the author, its warmth is mesmerizing.

May 8, 2012, 8:48pm Top

I'm reading The Winter Palace: a novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak for brain candy during a hard week at work, and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf when I'm at home and it's quiet. It's my first Virginia Woolf book and I'm liking it so far. I'm also plugging away at Don Quixote but it's kind of slow-going though I'm enjoying it.

May 8, 2012, 9:36pm Top

>52 japaul22: I am still reading Don Quixote. Would like to finish it, but since I have a giant test around the corner, can't sit down and plod through it like I really want to. Funny stuff, in my opinion:) I keep thinking Sancho Panza is the poster child for codependent behavior! LOL!

May 9, 2012, 8:33am Top

#51 That reminds me that I have got Just Kids to read

I am reading The Novellino of Masuccio which are 50 short stories published in the mid 15th century and translated from the Italian by W G Walters.

Edited: May 9, 2012, 8:57am Top

I've been reading The Hunger Games - and I'm caught up in it. I have a strange (and totally unjustified) arrogance towards it, my mind trying to tell me to be critical and to highlight all the problems, meanwhile my pulse speeds up while reading and stays that way for awhile after every time I'm forced to put it down.

MJ/Bas - I just recently bought Just Kids from amazon, awaiting delivery.

May 9, 2012, 2:48pm Top

I'm reading The Line by Olga Grushin, a novel about the people of a unnamed Soviet city in the 1970s or 1980s, some of whom stand in line for hours, days and weeks in front of a kiosk that promises to sell something worthwhile. It's superb so far.

Earlier today I finished The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa, the famed Italian novel about a powerful Sicilian family set during the last days of the Risorgimento. Unfortunately I found it to be a tedious and boring read.

May 9, 2012, 5:00pm Top

I really liked The Leopard. I wonder how taste diverges like that.

I have started and read 152 pages of Proofiness by Charles Seife about the misuse of numbers in making arguments. It is pretty lightweight, but it is a good reminder. It has leaned heavily on polling and tackled the zero margin of error polls, elections.


Edited: May 9, 2012, 6:55pm Top

I've now started Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse, an anthology that delivers exactly what it says it does.

May 10, 2012, 12:37am Top

Following up on #55, finished.

May 10, 2012, 7:17am Top

#51, 54 I loved Just Kids!

May 10, 2012, 10:32am Top

I finally have something to report after RL put a damper on my reading the last few weeks. I finished A Tale of Two Cities yesterday for what feels like the 50th time (it's probably only six times), and I am now plugging away at Imajica and Why the West Rules-For Now.

May 11, 2012, 8:07am Top

I just finished and reviewed World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, which thankfully was more about people and how they respond to crisis than about zombies!

May 11, 2012, 9:02am Top

Recently completed Mrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir by Clint Hill - good book, but could have been much more.

Halfway through Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy by Jacqueline Kennedy.

May 11, 2012, 3:51pm Top

Have picked up Memoirs of a Porcupine by Alain Mabanckou (who wrote African Psycho.

May 11, 2012, 4:07pm Top

I just finished The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak which was mediocre and I'm currently reading Mrs. Dalloway, my first Virginia Woolf book, and I just got The Master and Margarita so that I can join in the group read.

May 11, 2012, 4:37pm Top

I have started True Enough by Farhad Manjoo about lies that take on the trappings of reality. The book's earliest main example is the swift boating of John Kerry. There are disprovable data that are taken as fact by people who want those data to be true. This is a follow on to the book Proofiness which I finished last night.


Edited: May 11, 2012, 9:28pm Top

I have finished and posted a review of Cloudsplitter, Russell's Banks' masterful novel based upon the famous abolitionist, John Brown.

I have started The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov for the group read, as well as an Early Reviewer book, The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor Del Arbol, which so far is a relatively light diversion.

>65 japaul22: Japaul, just today a friend passed on to me her copy of Mrs. Dalloway and it will be my first Virginia Woolf also.

May 13, 2012, 10:47am Top

I've finished three books in the last few days: the embarrassing Fifty Shades of Grey, the excellent Remember Me by Trezza Azzopardi, and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, a graphic memoir.

I'm now about 1/3 of the way through Richard B. Wright's Clara Callan, which is wonderful - definitely on my favourites list for the year.

May 13, 2012, 3:02pm Top

Finished a few books recently: Bitter Honeymoon, a light collection of short stories on the theme of love and relationships between men and women by Alberto Moravia; The Whispering Land, Gerald Durrell's account of his time in Argentina collecting animals for his zoo; and Deep Rivers by Jose Maria Arguidas, a book I was so sorry to finish -- certainly one of my best reads this year. Also finished Granta 83: This Overheating World which contains as well several stunning images of industrial wastelands by Edward Burtynsky.

Edited: May 14, 2012, 1:02pm Top

Continuing with my literary unsettlement, I've now set down two books, and picked up a third: Some Kind of Fairy Tale, a forthcoming novel by Graham Joyce, an author whose works I have enjoyed for a long time. It's caught my attention immediately.

May 14, 2012, 3:51pm Top

Without Conscience by Robert D. Hare emphasizes the violent or criminal psychopaths among us. I'm a little over half way through it. The focus is not on what affects my life nowadays, but having one of the original geniuses of the field explain things is educational anyways.


May 14, 2012, 4:28pm Top

I've finished Columbine by Dave Cullen, which was exhaustively researched and very readable, and am now beginning Very Bad Men by Harry Dolan.

May 14, 2012, 7:06pm Top

I just finished The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments by George Johnson, a short book about some of the most simple and significant experiments in the history of science, and am now about to start Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities -- finally!

May 14, 2012, 8:59pm Top

I'm reading The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, also published as Chinaman. All the glowing LT reviews aren't wrong!

May 15, 2012, 12:51am Top

#74 - Oh good - I have that. Don't know when I'll have time, but it looks good.

May 17, 2012, 12:00am Top

Finished Deuteronomy, so also The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter - the translation gets five stars. Also, finished the biography of Ty Cobb.

May 17, 2012, 7:26am Top

#76 That combination of books made me laugh!

May 17, 2012, 8:32am Top

I have just started The Liberated Bride by A.B. Yehoshua- it is very good!

May 17, 2012, 9:38am Top

Finally finished Buddenbrooks yayyyyyyyyyyy. It was an interesting book but was ready to move on.

Started two different books yesterday. The Prince and The Pauper by Mark Twain and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night. Enjoying Mark Twain alot more then what I thought I would, but The Dog in the Night glad its going to be a quick and fast read the kid stresses me out just alittle.

May 17, 2012, 9:59am Top

#79 Ann - That's a lot of different places to be at once. I liked The Curious Incident, although I read it in a different time and place, mentally.

#77 Rebecca - but one led to the other - minds need breaks. (Although, in hindsight, I would have preferred to the spend the breaks with someone more pleasant then Ty Cobb.)

Anyway, on to The Master and Margarita. And...and what? I don't know.

May 17, 2012, 10:19am Top

#80 I break up big reads with shorter, lighter ones too -- it just was a funny juxtaposition.

May 17, 2012, 10:26am Top

bibles and baseball...I'm also entertained (at my own expense).

May 17, 2012, 2:47pm Top

>79 ALWINN: My bookclub read The Curious Incident along with Born on a Blue Day. I liked Born on a Blue Day so much better; the kid in Curious Incident stressed me out too!

May 17, 2012, 6:33pm Top

So who was worse, the Lord of the Old Testament or the monster of baseball?


May 17, 2012, 9:19pm Top

Well, Cobb only killed one person.

May 18, 2012, 1:54pm Top

Well the The Prince is on audiobooks so I listen to it at work.

And I can only take a few chapters at a time of The Curious Case so I started Howard End last night to break the heavyness up.

May 18, 2012, 5:23pm Top

I may be reading Paris to the Past, but her central image of traveling with her husband may be too precious for me to stick with it.


May 18, 2012, 7:56pm Top

Recently finished The Red Queen and 84, Charing Cross Road and am now listening to Flaubert's Parrot on audio book, and reading Last Orders, by Graham Swift.

May 19, 2012, 4:11am Top

Just finished The Novellino by Salernitano Masuccio, which is a collection of short stories from the Italian Renaissance first collected together in 1476

I am also reading John Addington Symonds Renaissance in Italy vol 1

I will be starting soon Le Morte DArthur, Sir Thomas Mallory

May 19, 2012, 9:23am Top

In addition to reading The Master and Margarita, The Sadness of the Samurai (an ER book), and Dubliners, I could not resist some slim volumes that caught my eye at the library:

The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist by Orhan Pamuk
The War Works Hard by Dunya Mikhail (poetry)
Eternity on Hold by Mario Susko (poetry)
blue has no south by Alex Epstein (very short stories)

I need to find more reading time!

Edited: May 19, 2012, 9:40pm Top

I'm trying desperately to catch up with reviews. First up on my thread and the work's page: Human Chain by Seamus Heaney, the latest poetry collection of the Irish Nobel Laureate.

Edited to add as also now posted: Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney by Dennis O'Driscoll.

May 21, 2012, 4:24pm Top

I've just finished Reckoning Infinity, an OK science fiction novel by John E. Stith, and am about to start my most recent ER book, Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home, about soldiers with PTSD. Or I was about to, anyway. I just got Stephen Colbert's kids' book I Am a Pole (And So Can You!) in the mail, and maybe I'll slip that in first. I'm also dipping in and out of The Discworld Companion by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs.

May 21, 2012, 5:29pm Top

I finished the excellent Children in Reindeer Woods over the weekend (though it remains with others, unreviewed) and have picked up Memoirs of a Porcupine again.

May 22, 2012, 9:50am Top

>92 bragan: I'm a fan of both Colbert and Pratchett, so I'd like to hear what you think about both. But I guess you might not be doing a review of the Companion - those things are tough to review outside of the context of the series they relate to.

May 22, 2012, 11:16am Top

Just came home this weekend from a week away to find a round dozen books waiting for me (birthday), so I dove right into Bringing up the Bodies which I had not expected to see and finished it yesterday. Today I will start Icefields thanks to avaland.

May 22, 2012, 4:01pm Top

>94 dmsteyn:: I'm also a big fan of both Colbert and Pratchett, although it's been so long since I've read some of the Discworld novels that I barely remember them. Which possibly makes the Companion extra-fun, as it's like encountering certain hilarious ideas for the first time all over again. (I am wondering whether there's a more recent edition, though, as the one I have was published in 1997. so there's lots of the series it doesn't cover.) I will most definitely be reviewing it, as it's a bit different from your usual encyclopedia-type companion-to-something, not in format or anything, but because it's often laugh-out-loud funny in its own right. It'll probably take me a while, though, as I'm only reading through it a few pages at a time. (Which is probably the best way to approach that kind of thing, anyway.)

May 22, 2012, 4:33pm Top

Interlibrary loan came through just in time, I'm listening to audio of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy before Towel Day on May 25.

Edited: May 23, 2012, 8:33am Top

Well, I finally finished and reviewed Europe Central by William T. Vollman -- ambitious, often stunning, occasionally tedious, and I've also become hooked on Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano mysteries and have read three more.

May 23, 2012, 9:57am Top

>96 bragan: Great! I look forward to your review.

>97 detailmuse: Glad to know that I'm not the only one who's going to be celebrating Towel Day around here ;-)

May 24, 2012, 2:33pm Top

If there is anything to learn from Hitchiker's it's that everyday is towel day.

May 24, 2012, 7:46pm Top

I'm reading Peer Gynt in a gorgeous Easton Press publication. That only gets read after my two year old goes to bed - no sticky fingers or spilled milk, please! I'm also reading Lady Chatterly's Lover, my first book by D.H. Lawrence.

May 25, 2012, 10:59pm Top

I've read the first few pages of Doc by Mary Doria Russell. I like three out of the four previous novels enough that I would read this anyway, but I am prompted to read it now by a book group discussion at church in a week and a half.


May 26, 2012, 1:17am Top

Well, I finished Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home, which was a harrowing read, but a highly worthwhile one. Then, desperately needing some humor after that, I picked up David Sedaris' Holidays on Ice. Unfortunately, I think it was the wrong kind of humor. Oh, well. Next up is Ally Condie's YA novel Crossed, the sequel to Matched, which I read last month and enjoyed way more than I expected to. Here's hoping this one is as good.

May 26, 2012, 9:51am Top

I am struggling with The Constant Gardener and may give it up, although the reviews indicate that it starts slowly. Also enjoying The King Of Trees, a novella set in China in which revolutionary youth have been sent down to the countryside.

May 27, 2012, 6:13pm Top

#101 I am re-reading Lady Chatterley's Lover for my book club,,,. I will be interested in your thoughts on it jennifer. It's not Lawrence's best book and it can be a slow read.

May 27, 2012, 6:59pm Top

Barry - that's fun that my read is coinciding with your book club's read of Lady Chatterly's Lover. I'm about half way through and really enjoying it.

May 29, 2012, 3:44am Top

I've started reading The Master and Margarita with the group read, after finishing Imajica by Clive Barker. Not sure it works as an introduction to Barker - it is long, long, long, and probably overwritten - but I enjoyed it for the most part. Review to appear shortly.

May 29, 2012, 6:05pm Top

>107 dmsteyn:: "long, long, long and probably overwritten" sounds like most of the Clive Barker I've read. :)

Me, I've been getting a lot of reading done lately. I've been stuck working long, stupid hours over what, for most Americans, was a holiday weekend, but at least for once everything I'm supposed to watch all ran smoothly and needed remarkably little attention. So I read all of This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper, which I liked, and have now started Hawaiian Folk Tales by Thomas G. Thrum, which I picked up on my vacation in Hawaii last year. Next up, I think, will be The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman, which I've had sitting on the TBR Pile so long that I'm surprised it hasn't started growing moss.

May 30, 2012, 12:43am Top

I have started The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology. I will be reading it at perhaps a chapter a day while my regular reading continues apace. My regular reading right now remains Doc.


May 30, 2012, 10:34am Top

I recently finished The President by Miguel Angel Asturias, the Guatemalan Nobel Prize Winner. Had high expectations but was underwhelmed by the writing -- didn't help that it seemed poorly translated. I'm about to finish a Sherlock Holmes collection of 52 stories -- a couple of stories a day was just the right dose. Have started David Fromkin's A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East -- this will be a slow and complex read.

May 30, 2012, 1:29pm Top

I found The President to be a very painful book to read, and I gave up on it after ~50-75 pages.

Edited: May 30, 2012, 2:46pm Top

It's about 10 hours early yet, but the June thread is up: http://www.librarything.com/topic/137752

ETA - 10 hours local time for me...

May 30, 2012, 5:24pm Top

I am extremely busy with work, so I haven't finished any books over the past 10 days; my sparse reading at this moment includes Roughing It by Mark Twain, The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett and on my bedside table, but usually I am too tired, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer.

May 30, 2012, 7:58pm Top

Doesn't June start on Friday? Still one more full day left in North America.

I'm still reading La Reine Margot by Dumas. Although I have all the time in the world I've only been reading about once a week. It's slow going. Weird since I'm loving the book (as expected of
Dumas) and always carry the book with me. Just, don't read.

May 30, 2012, 10:14pm Top

Yes, "30 days hath September," etc. Tomorrow is May 31.

May 30, 2012, 11:17pm Top

Checks calendar...oh yeah...31, huh.

Group: Club Read 2012

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