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What Are You Reading the Week of 28 July 2012?

What Are You Reading Now?

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Jul 28, 2012, 9:30am Top

I'll come back to this. Not feelin' it this morning.

Edited: Jul 28, 2012, 12:31pm Top

I finished reading Devil's Peak and I am excited about this series and Deon Meyer. I admit that I pulled this book out of my TBR pile because somebody here mentioned that the BBC and hired Sean Bean to star in the BBC mystery production of this title. That in itself was enough to make me read it, but up until about 2/3's of the way through the book I wondered why. Up to that point it was a fairly standard police procedural with a prototype hero that had been better done by other authors. Wallander comes to mind. Then, when I thought I knew where it was going, all of a sudden, the plot got twisty on me. From that point on I could not put the book down. I am now singing this author's praises and have added his titles to my wish list.

I will start and old book Out of This Furnace by Thomas Bell at lunch today. My father recommended this one.

(I can't believe I am second on the posts this morning. Everybody must be watching the Olympics!)

Jul 28, 2012, 12:45pm Top

As a favor to a friend, I am reading his unpublished manuscript with an eye toward offering feedback. It is a noble attempt by a first-time writer, but it is long. I will back with y'all when I get back into published works territory.

Jul 28, 2012, 1:09pm Top

I went to a summer fling on 3rd avenue in brooklyn which includes a most magnificent book store. In an effort to help out the local ecomony I picked up the following:
The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville which was a freebie; and
Black Out and Heartbroken by Lisa Unger The bookstore had a meet and greet with Lisa and she was delightful as was her 95 year old grandmother

Jul 28, 2012, 1:26pm Top

I finished The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon quickly. Meh. Well, that's not really fair. With any other writer, I would have considered it a good book. I expected more from CRZ. It lacked the scope of his other books. This one felt thin. It seems as if this book was written simply to set the board for the next novel having just enough story to qualify as an independent book. I'll give him a pass on this one, but I do hope the next book is a return to form.

The next several books in the Inspector Montalbano series arrived a couple of days ago, so now I'm reading The Smell of the Night.

On a side note, I've bought a puppy. I don't pick him up for another two weeks, but does anyone have a recommendation for a good book on training puppies? It's been 17 years since I last had one. I probably need my head examined.

Jul 28, 2012, 1:37pm Top

I'm going to reread The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King with the Stephen King group on here. It's probably been about 12 years since I read it and I feel pretty certain I've forgotten most of it.

Edited: Jul 28, 2012, 1:47pm Top

fred, there is an 'Idiots Guide' to puppies, which I found interesting.

I also enjoyed Cesar's Way, and applying his methods have really helped my dog's behavior improve!

What kind of puppy?

Jul 28, 2012, 2:01pm Top

Thanks Richard, hope you're feeling okay. Enjoying Gold.

Jul 28, 2012, 2:21pm Top

>5 fredbacon: fred - Congrats on the new puppy!! What kind? We picked up our golden retriever pup two weeks ago and it's been fun but all encompassing. It's been 10 years for us since we had a puppy. We have several puppy/dog books (big surprise there) and my favorite is How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With. I think it's excellent and our breeder has been recommending it for years.Puppies for Dummies is good, too and I like Patricia McConnell's books, including The Puppy Primer. Good luck and have fun!

This week I'm continuing to read A Room Full of Bones and also started the excellent Safe From the Sea by Peter Geye.

Jul 28, 2012, 3:51pm Top

I just finished the excellent The Chrysalids, a story about a boy growing up in a post-apocalyptic world where any deviation from the norm is illegal. He discovers he's a deviation himself and tries to keep it a secret. Very compelling.

Now I've picked up When we were orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro. I've read several of his other books and soms have become favourites while I didn't care too much about the others. I'm curious about which sort of book this one will turn out to be.

Jul 28, 2012, 4:09pm Top

My new dog is a keeshond like my previous dog. They're wonderful, friendly, intelligent dogs that make good indoor pets. Fortunately, I can work from home or take him to the office with me for the next several months until I get him trained.

Jul 28, 2012, 4:10pm Top

>5 fredbacon: fredbacon

Congratulations of the puppy! I wish someone would bottle the scent of 'new puppy'. We got our puppy 3 years ago. There were some moments when I wondered if I was up to it. Their little bladders need emptying more often. My low moment came when I left Bodie out in the house and went to a school information night and when I returned he had eaten half the frames of my prescription reading glasses. I wouldn't even speak to him for an hour I was so upset. Other than that, he has been a boon and a blessing and I wish the same for you!

I second the Cesar's Way recommendation. He has some good advice!

Jul 28, 2012, 4:12pm Top

PS: I'm still reading Crippen by John Boyne and really liking it. Life and the Olympics(Good job, London!!!) are preventing me from zipping through it as I'd like to.

Jul 28, 2012, 4:18pm Top

Oh, what am I reading? I'm about halfwat through A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and loving it!

Jul 28, 2012, 4:21pm Top

Congratulations on the new puppy!

Jul 28, 2012, 5:07pm Top

Now, what's that Mark Twain quote? Man's best friend, outside of a dog, is a good book. Inside a dog it's too dark to read. Congratulations on the new friend, Fred.

I thought I'd read my last western for the month, then I found I had a copy of Ghost Warrior which is about Lozen who was considered the Apache Joan of Arc. Now how could I resist that? Must read fast.
Audio is still Another World, written after the Regeneration trilogy and continuing the effects of war 80 years later.
On Nook I'm still enjoying The Wednesday Sisters

Hope you're feeling well, Richard.

Edited: Jul 28, 2012, 5:17pm Top

#17> I think that's a Groucho Marx quote, confirmed by a quick google search for the line. The way I've seen it is, "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." Same, same, I guess. Depends on where you like your prepositional phrases.

Here's another good Groucho quote re: reading: “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

Jul 28, 2012, 5:28pm Top

#11: I share that same sentiment about Ishiguro. I absolutely loved Never Let Me Go but felt his other books that I've read (I haven't read them all) didn't reach the same level of awe for me. Let me know what you think of this one.

Right now I'm about halfway through Juliet by Anne Fortier, described as sort of a DaVinci Code for women! haha.

Jul 28, 2012, 5:34pm Top

I'm reading The Turkish Gambit by Boris Akunin, which I'm finding a terrific read with espionage, mystery, a wonderful, mysterious sleuth/spy, a young, idealistic feminist, and a great setting - 1877 Bulgaria during the Russo-Ottoman War.

Jul 28, 2012, 5:36pm Top

Finished listening to The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection in the car, narrated by the fabulous Lisette Lecat. It's the latest installment of the Ladies' Number One Detective series, very charming and easy on the ears.

But I'm afraid that the Olympics is getting in the way of my print reading of Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian.

Jul 28, 2012, 6:36pm Top

I finished and REVIEWED Blaine Harden's searing biography about a North Korean prison camp escapee Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West.

Now I'm reading Muriel Sparks' The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Jul 28, 2012, 8:05pm Top

Jul 29, 2012, 12:14am Top

Just finished A Train in Winter, for which I got off my duff and wrote a review (I have no idea how to link directly to reviews?). I actually keep my own records in a spreadsheet, so hopefully I'll soon transfer quite a few more, thus widening the pool of people subjected to my opinions.

Next up really ought to be something lighter. Let's see, I've got Beloved and Disgrace...

Jul 29, 2012, 12:28am Top

Working on Journal of John Woolman, an 18th century Quaker who worked against the slave trade pre-Revolution. Will move onto Joseph Hergesheimer's Quiet cities when it's done.

Edited: Jul 29, 2012, 2:47am Top

Am thoroughly enjoying The Family Law by Benjamin Law

Jul 29, 2012, 7:46am Top

I finished The Last Hunger Season and it was outstanding. I tried to start Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and oy, not my cup of tea. Her sarcasm (or sense of humor ... self depreciation?) was like nails on a chalkboard. It sort of made me not that receptive to the writing advice that I'm told lies within. I tend to love books about writing. This is not one though.

Time to choose ... !

Edited: Jul 29, 2012, 8:49am Top

I think the low point with my previous dog was the morning I woke up and heard him gnawing on a bone by the side the bed. Rather than waking me up, he had settled down beside my bed with a chew toy, patiently waiting for me to awake. As I lay there feeling contented, the thought slowly crept into my consciousness that he didn't have a bone to gnaw on. Curious, I leaned over the side of the bed to take a look. He looked up at me with a similarly contented look. Then I noticed that between his forepaws was the remains of one of my dress shoes. Most of the upper was gone and he was now diligently working away at the heel. A few minutes later, he began throwing up fragments of tanned leather everywhere. Good times.

Edited: Jul 29, 2012, 9:10am Top

Okay, I'm reading a few different things and everything is clicking. I started the Family Fang, quirky & fun. I just began the audio of Empire of the Summer Moon, which contains a couple of my favorite interests and I'm still dipping in and out of the wonderful Binocular Vision.

Fuzzi- Did you know there is a G.R. planned for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? It' s located over on the 75 and it begins on the 1st.

Edited: Jul 29, 2012, 12:31pm Top

>28 fredbacon: fredbacon I love this story! It really captures the innocent owner and the dawning realization that something is terribly wrong. How well I know that feeling.

Jul 29, 2012, 12:32pm Top

This morning I began Tideland by Mitch Cullin. I selected it mostly at random from the shelves of a very cool bookstore during my last trip down to San Francisco. I knew nothing, really, about it, but the woman behind the counter said, "Wow, this is a book? The movie they made from this is really intense!" I'd never heard of the movie, but the book cover says it's a Terry Gilliam movie. He's the guy that made the movie, Brazil, which I loved. Anyway looking forward to reading this.

Jul 29, 2012, 12:41pm Top

I finished Crippen by John Boyne last night. I liked it very much. For some reason, I've always had the impression that Dr. Crippen was a serial killer and the basement was chock full of bodies. Really, though, he just murdered his wife. I know that's bad enough but a big difference from a mass murderer. I highly recommend this novel about him.

I'm now reading The Last Policeman by Ben Winters. I love that it is set in New Hampshire in the winter!

Jul 29, 2012, 1:01pm Top

In One Person is failing to grip me at all. Day by Day Armageddon was a long shot, and so far isn't paying off. A re-read of The Sot-Weed Factor isn't going well, either.

I do so resent the book funk.

Jul 29, 2012, 2:15pm Top

18> Rocket, oh well, Mark Twain - Groucho Marx - I guess I got confused by the moustache.

Jul 29, 2012, 4:15pm Top

Richard, I hope you feel better soon and the books begin to cooperate. It's terrible when you can't find anything congenial to read.

>22 brenzi: brenzi: I found The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie disappointing. Mostly, I disliked the title character. Will be interested to hear what you think.

>23 princessgarnet: princessgarnet: I read several historical novels by Jean Plaidy in my teens and early twenties and enjoyed them. Don't remember that title, but it was a long time ago.

>34 Citizenjoyce: Citizenjoyce: LOL

BTW how do I get back to last week's thread? Thanks.

Jul 29, 2012, 4:17pm Top

Oh, and I'm still listening to Catriona.

Jul 29, 2012, 4:30pm Top

Thanks for the sympathy, Catreona.

This is the URL for last week's thread:

You can always click on the group name at the top of the thread. It will take you to the group's home page. You can then scroll down the page to find any thread in the group.

Jul 29, 2012, 4:43pm Top

(29) msf59, I did see that, but I'll probably be done with the book tonight.

Jul 29, 2012, 6:31pm Top

Richard sorry you are in a book funk.. hope it passes soon. Fredbacon I love your dog story!

I just finished The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty which I thorougly enjoyed. Next up The Poisonwood Bible. I hope it lives up to the reviews.

Jul 29, 2012, 6:57pm Top

I just finished The Healers War by Elizabeth Anne Scarborough. I sort of randomly picked it up and am really glad that I did. It won the Nebula Award in'89 but its not really a fantasy story-the only supernatural element is an amulet bequethed upon the first person narrator by an elderly Vietnamese wise man. The book is a whole lot better catagorized as military fiction set during the later parts of the Vietnam War and told from perpesctive of an Army nurse. The amulet is more of a literary device used to make certain elements of the plot possiible, rather than being central to it. I thought the book to be more about the Vietnam war itslef-and exploring that topic in a way I haven't seen before. I like military memoirs and fiction and this is the first book I've read that focused more on the Vietnamese people and the complicated relationships that devloped between them and the American servicemen and women that were stationed there.
This book is a must read to anyone that likes military memoir style fiction and non fiction. If you don't like fantasy read this book anyway. There are no elves or trolls or wizards with incomprehensible names. It is a WAR book first and foremost. And a damn good one.

Jul 29, 2012, 7:26pm Top

Get something on crate training (google it) and a crate. Take the puppy out evry 2 hrs (little dog) to 4 hrs (large dog) like you would get up to feed a newborn. Hide all your shoes. Seriously. No matter what you do you will sacrifice at least one pair to the jaws of that little beastie. It is all about minimizing the damage. Good luck. I'm jealous. My dog is 9 and and super dog agressive (unless it is my neighbors considerally smaller male, who my dog, also male, attempts to unsuccessfcully hump).

Jul 29, 2012, 8:08pm Top

Jerry- I read Tideland a few years ago. Very dark and twisted but I really liked it. I'm pretty sure I saw the film and was not very impressed, even though I am a Gilliam fan.

Jul 29, 2012, 10:37pm Top

I just finished Jack 1939, which I really enjoyed. Currently reading A Case for Solomon on my Nook and probably going to start Istanbul Passage in print.

Jul 29, 2012, 10:40pm Top

>41 ampipsmith: ampipsmith, I read The Healer's War last year and agree, it's a great read.

Edited: Jul 30, 2012, 10:39am Top

I'm finishing up Matterhorn in the next day or two. It has been quite an undertaking but I'm so glad I read it. Then I will start Stardust which should be a refreshing change of pace. I'm looking forward to it.

Jul 29, 2012, 11:59pm Top

Finished Zoo Station today and am now starting an essay collection by Hugh MacLennan called Cross-Country. Or rather I'll read a few pages if I'm lucky, before I fall asleep.

Jul 30, 2012, 1:43am Top

#42> Mark, I read the first quarter of the book tonight in one gulp (granted, it's not very long) and I am loving the writing, although, yes, dark.

Jul 30, 2012, 2:02am Top

Finished Divergent and Insurgent, picked up The Hangman's Daughter on my Kindle.

Jul 30, 2012, 2:35am Top

I have in the last week read Turtle Valley and The Cure for Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz, I am now well into, and loving Vinegar Hill by A.Manette Ansay.

Jul 30, 2012, 3:39am Top

22> 35> I read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie several years ago and can remember not liking it.

Have read the prologue to The Book Thief; my wife is racing through the book for the second time.

Jul 30, 2012, 6:32am Top

#22/35/50 It's one of my favourite books but then I'm probably a bit weird. I first read it when I was 18 and it may well have been the first book that ever made me understand that I didn't have to like the main character in order to enjoy a book. I've read it many times since (including in depth at uni) and still love it. (Incidentally, I'm not arguing with anyone else's tastes here - just felt poor Ms Spark could use a word of support.)

Jul 30, 2012, 8:07am Top

After a couple of false starts/stinkers, I'm starting Gillespie and I by Jane Harris due to high accolades here and so far, am enjoying it! I have missed a good "sink yer teeth into it" novel and this may fit the bill.

Jul 30, 2012, 9:39am Top

After Stardust check out Neverwhere. Also by Neil Gaiman.

Jul 30, 2012, 10:46am Top

#53 thanks for the advice but I'm a step ahead of you. I read Neverwhere a few weeks ago which is why I'm starting Stardust. I really enjoyed Neverwhere but I have a feeling I'm going to like Stardust even better based on what I have read about it. Have you got anymore Neil Gaiman titles you can suggest? I love getting suggestions from other people who have enjoyed the same authors as me.

Jul 30, 2012, 1:37pm Top

I've finished The Turkish Gambit by Boris Akunin which was a terfific mystery/espionage story. Loved it! Now I have to start searching out others in the Erast Fandorin series, starting with #1, The Winter Queen.

I'm also just starting A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley, which is the third in the delightful Flavia de Luce series. I have no doubt that it will make for a pleasant few days reading.

Jul 30, 2012, 1:39pm Top

I am about half way through Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Very interesting new take on a very old story.

Jul 30, 2012, 1:41pm Top

#19 framboise
I loved Never let me go and The remains of the day. I didn't really care much for A pale view of hills and An artist of the floating world. So far, When we were orphans is suiting me better.

Edited: Jul 30, 2012, 1:44pm Top

I am reading A Little Princess right now. I'm gonna go to the library tomorrow and get Anne of the Island, as well as some history books. I will also probably start Bud, not Buddy.

Jul 30, 2012, 3:14pm Top

My husband has read more of Gaiman's stuff than I have. He liked Coraline and I'm getting ready to read Fragile Things (short stories, I think. There's a series by Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games) about a kid named Gregor that is set in a Neverwhere-esque underground world. I started it but quit because the little sister in it reminded me too much of my daughter and I was getting irrationally stressed out. I can't remember the titles though. Something about Gregor.

Jul 30, 2012, 3:30pm Top

I'm reading Good Omens (also Gaiman together with Pratchett)

Jul 30, 2012, 4:18pm Top

I may be the last person on LT who has never read Rebecca, so for the All Virago All August group, I've started it today. Very atmospheric.

Jul 30, 2012, 4:52pm Top

Finished reading The Inheritance of Loss. It has some spectacular writing, pithy but terse sarcasm, along with some impressive insights into human nature. There was a disconnect between the characters but that seemed the author's point. If you loose contact with your family or country, your relationships with others suffer.

Jul 30, 2012, 6:03pm Top

#59 The title of the series is Gregor in the Underworld. They are by Susanne Collins. I think there are four titles in the series.

Jul 30, 2012, 6:32pm Top

61> I hope you enjoy Rebecca, Citizenjoyce: one of my favourite novels and my favourite film. Daphne du Maurier writes great short stories as well.

Very taken with The Book Thief - I'm about seventy pages in.

Edited: Jul 30, 2012, 7:27pm Top

I finished and REVIEWED Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

>22 brenzi:/35/50/51 I really liked Spark's dark satire, complex characters and intricate plotting as well as her movement back and forth in time. Quite brilliant IMO. Fortunately, there are enough books to choose from so if we don't agree on one, there is always something else to pick up.

I am now continuing with The Cairo Trilogy and am reading Book 2, Palace of Desire.

Jul 30, 2012, 8:03pm Top

I also very much liked The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I started out the book thinking I would like the title character, she seemed so strong, opinionated, charismatic and disciplined. I think it was quite a feat by Muriel Spark to unveil her whole character and those of her "girls". She certainly wasn't likable in the end but well drawn and very memorable.

Jul 30, 2012, 8:44pm Top

Speaking of unlikeable main characters a la Miss jean Brodie, I'm reading Angel by Elizabeth Taylor. She is certainly a most annoyingly narcissistic creature but the writing is wonderful.

Jul 30, 2012, 8:51pm Top

51, we are all probably more than just a bit weird:)
I just finished Escape from Camp 14. Something needs to be done to help the people in these camps. I'm going to check out some of the organizations looking to do just that. I'm one broke mofo but there has got to be something I could do to help.

Jul 30, 2012, 11:21pm Top

(58) have you read The Secret Garden? if not, you should. It's on a par with A Little Princess.

i love all the Anne books: try to read them in order, though!

Jul 30, 2012, 11:52pm Top

>54 Iudita: It's a kid's book, but I loved The Graveyard Book by Gaiman. (It won the Newbury a couple years ago.)

Jul 31, 2012, 6:12am Top

When an author's first two books made you cry and stormed right to the top of your 'favourite ever books' list, it's unfair to expect the same of the third, so let me start by saying that Chris Cleave's Gold, unlike The Other Hand and Incendiary, didn't bring me to the verge of a nervous breakdown. That aside, it's another very fine book and it's given me much more of an interest in cycling and the Olympics than I've ever had before.

Moving on now to one that seems to have been sitting on Mount TBR for ever, The Thirteenth Apostle.

Jul 31, 2012, 8:00am Top

I have started Shipwrecks by Akira Yoshimura, so far quite fascinating.

Jul 31, 2012, 10:51am Top

I'm in a slump of picking up, reading halfway, putting down. The most recently (hopefully temporarily) abandoned is Orlando by Virginia Woolf which I was completely in love with and then found myself loathe to pick up.

I've begun Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. Sometimes a quick reading, engaging thriller or mystery will knock a reading slump out of my system.

Jul 31, 2012, 11:03am Top

Finished Banewreaker and started Godslayer by Jacqueline Carey.

Jul 31, 2012, 11:46am Top

74-I loved those two books. I thought it was so innovative abd thought provoking. I've read quite a bit of epic fantasy and I though it was great hearing what is basically your classic fantasy quest told from the pov of the "bad guys". It really made me ponder the nature of good and evil and how most of the time its just a matter od perpective. Jacqueline Carey is one of my favorite authors. I've never read anything by her that was short of fantastic.
She's so diverse and the way she writes is beautiful. Have you read any of her other stuff? If not, you should do so. Nothing by her ever dissapoints.

Jul 31, 2012, 7:02pm Top

#75, ampipsmith: I've enjoyed the first book. If it weren't for the fact I know it is told from the perspective of the bad guys, it reads just the same as the story told from the pov of the good guys. So far, I rather like the bad guys' story better than the good guys' story.

Jul 31, 2012, 9:26pm Top

Me too. It has been about 6 months since I read it. I can't remember the guys name-the one with the sword that killed his wife- but I really liked his character. I can't say anything else w/o giving away stuff from the 2nd book. I really liked the sorceress w/ the dragon too. Those books left me feeling haunted and melancholy. So good. Wish there were more than just twmo.

Jul 31, 2012, 9:44pm Top

I finished and reviewed John Irving's new novel In One Person over in my thread...post #44.

Jul 31, 2012, 10:29pm Top

The Way of a Dog is my current read.

Jul 31, 2012, 10:32pm Top

#77, ampipsmith: Those two are my favorite characters as well. He is Tanaros and she is Lilias.

Edited: Aug 1, 2012, 6:04am Top

#72 Oh boy - Shipwrecks is an amazing book and easily in my 'favourites' list. I do hope you enjoy it.

I gave up on The Thirteenth Apostle. The author has one of those annoying styles where you have to go back and reread every sentence because you drifted off in the middle the first time around. Pondering my next read.

Aug 1, 2012, 7:42am Top

#81 I have been captured by Shipwrecks, I am rationing it as I do not want it to finish, slim as it is!!

Edited: Aug 1, 2012, 11:23am Top

#82 I know the feeling!

My next read will be An Echo in the Bone.

ETA - Really? No touchstones for An Echo in the Bone? Watch this space while the bastard things make a liar of me.
ETA - Told you.

Aug 1, 2012, 9:58am Top

Thanks. That was driving me crazy and I can't find my copies.

Aug 1, 2012, 10:13am Top

Just finsished Loose Girl: A Memoir...by Kerry Cohen. Thought it was pretty good. Some of the things she described, especially the drugs and parties and people, were eerily reminiscent of my high school/post high school experience. It isn't just New York where that kind of thing happens. I'm from a small town in southside of Virginia and if anythibg we partied harder than what was described in this book. I bet our dope was cheaper too. Way cheaper. Anyway, this book was a quick read, although it certainly was not easy. There are parts that made me a little uncomfortable and parts that struck disturbingly close to my own past. Mrs. Cohen was brave to write this book. It must have been excruciatingly painful and cathartic to do so. She definately has an enormous, if metaphorical, set of balls.

Aug 1, 2012, 1:10pm Top

#61 Citizenjoyce
Don't feel bad, I just read Rebecca a couple of months ago so you're not the only one. You're in for a treat by the way, it's wonderful!

Aug 1, 2012, 1:50pm Top

Yesterday I started an audiobook called Best of Paddington, a three-book collection narrated by Stephen Fry. I'm listening out of order though because apparently I uploaded the second book to my iPod and not the first one. Still, very enjoyable indeed. I think I'll have to find a print copy sometime.

Aug 1, 2012, 5:41pm Top

I'm just about finished with What Happened to Sophie Wilder by Christopher Beha. It isn't at all my normal cup of tea. It has a central character who converts to Catholicism and her faith becomes a critical part of her life. Most of the characters seem like they haven't quite started their engines in terms of living their lives. That said, I stayed up until 2am trying desperately to finish it. It is a really compelling novel in a quietly intelligent sort of way.

I love how the author talks about faith in such a relatable yet meaningful way. And this is coming from someone who is a half-hearted atheist.

Unless the author blows it in the next few chapters, I'm going to be giving this one at least 4 stars.

Aug 1, 2012, 10:23pm Top

37: Thanks, Richard.

>40 ampipsmith: ampipsmith: The Nebula is an award for Science Fiction, given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. For the book you discuss to have won a Nebula, it must include far stronger Science Fictional and/or Fantasy elements than you spotted. Just so you know, there is a sub-genre of Military Science Fiction, which you might enjoy.

A word to the wise: You might want to tone down your contempt for Fantasy when posting in this group. You don't know how many Fantasy readers - intelligent, sensitive folks for the most part - you may hurt or offend. While we express our opinions candidly here, we do try to avoid unnecessarily stepping on toes.

>50 cappybear: cappybear: I'm relieved to hear that I'm not alone in disliking The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Thought it was some sort of failing on my own part. Thanks.

>58 isathepizza: isathepizza: I loved A Little Princess both as a child and rereading it as an adult. Enjoy!

>61 Citizenjoyce: Citizenjoyce: Enjoy! When you finish that, you should also read Jamaica Inn and My Cousin Rachel. du Maurier is a fine writer.

>66 Citizenjoyce: Citizenjoyce: That's it exactly. I thought Miss Brodie would be interesting and admirable. Well, no question that she's interesting. But she is not someone I'd want teaching and shaping my children!

>69 fuzzi:: I heartily endorse fuzzi's recommendation of The Secret Garden. You might also like E. Nesbit.

>87 rabbitprincess: rabbitprincess: Oh, Paddington! I remember loving him. Did you get the audiobook at Audible?

Finished Catriona over the weekend and am now listening to Cleopatra by H. Rider Hagard.

Gore Vidal died of pneumonia today. He was eighty-six. Speaking this evening on the PBS News Hour, his literary executor concluded with a fabulous quote:

"Never miss an opportunity to have sex or be on television."

Words to live by. LOL

Aug 1, 2012, 10:51pm Top

@89: My copy of the audiobook came from the library, but I may get a permanent copy from Audible later, because I love it. Stephen Fry is a perfect narrator. I was listening to it on the plane and actually chuckling aloud to myself. :)

Aug 2, 2012, 1:55am Top

Hey 37, I LOVE fantasy books. I was jsut saying that the healers war was more of a war book than anything else. And I know what the nebula award is. I didn't look it up to see if this book actually won it in '89 or not so if thatinfo was wrong, OOPS. Scarborough is a fantasy/sci fi author. I recognized the name from her Ann Mcaffrey collabos. I'm pretty sure she's collaborated with some other scifi/fantasy authors too-maybe Mercedes Lackey or Marion Zimmer Bradley or something. I think fantasy and sci fi get a bad rap, something which is hopefully beginning to change. I put that comment about the wizards and elves in there because 1.)it is the truth,2.)I love fantasy and am comfortable enough in my weirdo dorkyness to make fun of myself for liking elves and trolls and wizards with incomprehensible names, and 3.) I hoped that someone would read it that had dismissed this book out of hand because of its fantasy association. This anonymous and close minded readerwould then, hopefully, be pleasantly suprised by it depth, realism, and originality, thereby cracking open his or her little walnut of a skul and exposing the poor sad deprived nutmeat within to the freaking wonderful mulit-damn-verse that is science fiction and fantasy. I wasn't knocking it, I was showing it love.

Aug 2, 2012, 1:59am Top

Sorry 37, 89 said that, not you. And I read Rebecca when I was a kid. Is that by the Anne of Green Gables lady? They are hopelessy entwined in my brain. It has been 20 years since I read any of that stuff.

Aug 2, 2012, 2:13am Top

Concerning the discussion of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: Muriel Spark based the character of Miss Brodie in part on one of her teachers, Miss Kay, who had a great influence on her. I urge you to read the author's autobiography, Curriculum Vitae, to learn more about the teacher as well as her pupil. She says that even though Miss Brodie is fictional and that there are differences, former students of Miss Kay are quick to recognize that Brodie is based on her.

"I fell into Miss Kay's hands at the age of eleven. It might well be said that she fell into my hands. Little did she know, little did I know, that she bore within her the seeds of the future Miss Jean Brodie . . . "

Aug 2, 2012, 2:28am Top

>92 ampipsmith: ampipsmith I can see why you would think Rebecca might be by the Anne of Green Gables lady, L. M. Montgomery. Anne Shirley is one of the 2 characters the main character in Rebecca reminds me of, she always looses herself in fantasy in the same way. Unfortunately, the other character she reminds me of is Bella Swan in her complete, overwhelming, nails-on-a-chalkboard wimpiness. The story is interesting, the character is almost too much to bear. Poor duck doesn't even have a name.

Aug 2, 2012, 3:22am Top

Unable to read this week.....moving.....emtional turmoil.....sure I will be able to focus once settled.......back soon!

Aug 2, 2012, 7:50am Top

Good luck hemlokgang!

I too was a bit late to the Rebecca reader club. I read it last year. I liked it a lot and still keep meaning to check out some other Daphne du Maurier books.

I am lurking on the SF/fantasy discussion. The last book I read that would even come close is Dune about 20 years ago. It isn't that I don't think I'd like fantasy/SF (or a combo of those genres), I just really don't know where to start. I did not care for Harry Potter book one (or the Outlander series, book one), so I just tend to shy away from popular stuff anymore. I have been told I must read the Game of Thrones series to get my feet wet, so I will tackle book one after I take the tip off of Mount TBR. If I do like it, I gather reading the entire series will keep me enmeshed for a while to come.

I am still sucked deeply into the world of Gillespie and I and all I can say is: wow. The overall Orange winner must be outstanding to beat this one. I also realize how plot-less most of contemporary fiction is because this one has one and I am loving it. I do still love a good winding, plot-less, well-written novel and all that, but this is a refreshing reading experience. She sure does keep one guessing. I keep thinking I have it figured out then alas, I do not. And this has to be one of the most fascinating, frustrating, sympathetic, hateful protagonists in memory. I don't know WHAT I feel! Would love to do this as a book discussion - it would be very lively!

Aug 2, 2012, 9:25am Top

I too am a sometime reader of sci/fantasy. Many people on this thread are. We just love good books. And we read lots of them. I did laugh about your comment regarding the names of characters in some of these stories. It often reminds of what a Klingon dictionary must look like. When I worked in libraries in schools it was harder than heck to get teachers to read Lloyd Alexander's Prydian books. Book of Three, Black Cauldron, etc. and the main reason was that the teachers couldn't figure out how to pronounce the Welsh names. This is one series that I wish would have been available in a recorded version back then. I know have the same problem in trying to get teacher's to read His Dark Materials. Well that and other reasons - like the supposed anti-christian viewpoint of the series.

I have not read a single Harry Potter book but intend to do so someday. I just thought I would wait until all the hyperbole regarding them has died down. I have read five of the Outlander series and like them. I have not read the latest titles in the series. Probably because they haven't appeared on the remainders tables of my local Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million. (If I won't pay full price for them you gotta wonder how loyal a fan I am.) There is so much more in them than adventure and romance. The later books are full of medicinal folk and herb lore. There is also lots of history. Two years ago I went to Wilmington, North Carolina for a wedding. This is a city that plays a great part in the later Outlander books. On the way back I did the Jamie and Claire Fraser Revolutionary War battlefield tour. I stopped at Moore's Creek, Kings Mountain, and in South Carolina, Cowpens, National Battlefields. If I ever get to Scotland I will go to Culoden. A series of books that can inspire stops at National Historical Sites can't be all bad. I do understand that the first two books have lots of romance and implausible plot lines but the later ones seem different. They are more historical novels in tone than they are fantasy. Or at least that is the way it seems to me.

Aug 2, 2012, 10:23am Top

I read somewhere that Gabaldon wrote Outlander as a practice novel. She originally intended it to be a historical novel but once she started writing Claire sort of took over and had such a modern perspective and a smart mouth Gabaldon made her a time traveller so she could keep her 20th century personality. I think its another example of the use of a classic scifi/fantasy element to propel the story forward and add complexity to the relationships of the characters in what is basically a historical fiction novel. I had to put that series aside until I get a copy of Dragonfly in Amber. Some jackass stole it fron the library and my podunk small town doesn't have a bookstore.

Aug 2, 2012, 10:30am Top

I'm close to finishing Memoir of the Sunday Brunch, which started well, slowed a bit, and now has moved into a darker yet poignant period.

I'll be spending quality time this afternoon with How Learning Works as I prepare for a discussion of the first half of the book with fellow faculty tomorrow morning.

Aug 2, 2012, 10:57am Top

I'm going to have to Pearl Rule Beautiful Ruins or I will find a gun and go on a shooting rampage in New York's publishing companies.

They publish THIS and good, good stuff can't find a home?!

Aug 2, 2012, 12:38pm Top

(96) Carolyn, I have a 'scifi/fantasy' recommendation to make:

Books by CJ Cherryh.

I understand ampipsmith, I think, because I have used the same sort of tactic to get people to read Ms. Cherryh's work, which I describe as "not the type of fantasy with pink unicorns and stuff". No offense meant, of course!

Of my favorites, Downbelow Station is more scifi than fantasy, but I also love the Pride of Chanur series, which might be considered more 'fantasy' than scifi.

Ms. Cherryh writes plots and characters that are not simplistic, and she doesn't spoon feed you the situation, but immerses you in it. She's not a hard read, but she's not an easy one, either. You'll also find politics and diplomatic issues all through her stories, which makes them that much more real and interesting.

Aug 2, 2012, 1:55pm Top

96 Carolyn & 101 fuzzi: C. J. Cherryh is one of my favorite authors so I'd like to second fuzzi's recommendation. I think Cherryh writes more SF than F and some of her stuff falls into the science fantasy category. A favorite fantasy of hers is The Goblin Mirror. A favorite science fantasy is The Morgaine Saga. A favorite SF is The Faded Sun Trilogy.

I also agree with fuzzi that she isn't a mindless read. You have to pay attention or you will lose what is going on.

Aug 2, 2012, 1:58pm Top

Ha, forgot why I popped in. In addition to still reading Godslayer by Jacqueline Carey, I've also started a re-read of Exodus by Leon Uris.

Aug 2, 2012, 2:36pm Top

I'm now reading A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson, which I'm loving. It's actually two stories intertwined - the story of missionary sisters in 1920's China and the story of a current-day woman in London and her friendship with a Yemeni illegal immigrant whom she finds camped outside her door. There will also be, according to a brief blurb inside the jacket, a secret notebook and an unlikely inheritence. There is already something afoot with the inheritence.

I don't know that I'd recommend this book to everyone, but it is definitely my cup of tea!

Aug 2, 2012, 3:53pm Top

Fuzzi,I'm glad somebody understood me. I really meant no offense. It didn't even occur to me that it could be construed that way.

Aug 2, 2012, 7:36pm Top

Notta problem, ampipsmith. :)

Aug 2, 2012, 10:11pm Top

I'm reading Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. Can't beleive I haven't read it before! Better late than never I guess.

Aug 2, 2012, 10:43pm Top

>96 CarolynSchroeder: Carolyn, not only did Gillespie and I not win the Orange Prize, it didn't even make the shortlist. A travesty, for sure. Harris has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Months after having read the book I'm still thinking about Harriet Baxter. Her debut The Observations, while not as good as Gillespie, has the most distinctive voice in 17 year old maid Bessy, that I've read in a long time.

Aug 2, 2012, 11:39pm Top

>96 CarolynSchroeder: Carolyn
>108 brenzi: brenzi

Agree completely. Harriet Baxter got into my head in a way that I haven't experienced in years. She still haunts me. A brilliantly imagined character.

I picked up Gillespie and I mainly because I had liked The Observations so much. However, Jane Harris made a leap of talent in Gillespie and I that caught me by surprise.

Maybe there ought to be club for people who've read it and really, really need to talk about it. It would have to be top secret because one doesn't want to spoil the intricacy of it for someone who hasn't read it!

Aug 3, 2012, 12:55am Top

Has anybody read Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series? I'm thinking of starting it. Reviews were good but I don't always agree with critics. Is it worth the time? There are a buttload of books.

Aug 3, 2012, 5:16am Top

Hmmm, An Echo in the Bone isn't gripping me yet the way the other books in the series did (too many battle scenes). I don't want to give up - not yet, anyway - so I'm splitting it into its constituent 'books' and interspersing those with something light. The first of these is Last Bus to Woodstock. I may be the only person left in the whole of England who has never read the Morse books (or seen the TV series) and I decided it was time to put that right. I'm really hoping to enjoy it enough to have the whole series to look forward to and it's going well so far.

#110 A buttload of books? Ever thought of using shelves? ;)

Aug 3, 2012, 6:59am Top

I finished Binocular Vision and empire of the Summer Moon. Both excellent. I started the Giver and joined the Group Read of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I'm loving both.

Aug 3, 2012, 1:01pm Top

Hello everyone! I have been a long time member of this group, but am posting for the first time today! I'm an eclectic and avid reader who can finish a book almost always in about three days. :) I sometimes will spend a week reading a book but that is very rarely.

My daughter and I recently raided the perpetual library book sale at our local library on July 20th. Between us we bought home a shocking 90 books to add to our TBR piles. I think the librarian and her assistant were slightly shocked that they had to cart out our three boxes of purchases to our friend's car on a library hand-truck! :) The upside (and downside) of having so many books added to our libraries is that when we finish reading them, we usually swap them online. I say it's a downside as well because my daughter and I can't resist getting books mailed to us from these sites as well! :)

Anyway, I just finished Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner on the 31st of July which I enjoyed. Lisa Gardner is a 'new to me' author and I'm anxious to find more of her books. It was one of my Library Book Sale acquisitions that I bought for a dollar. I immediately picked up Maeve Binchy's Minding Frankie on the 31st and am right in the middle of this book. Minding Frankie was a swap site acquisition that Mareena requested for me and it arrived on the 31st of July. Maeve Binchy is perhaps one of my favorite authors, but I've never read this book by her.

Aug 3, 2012, 1:38pm Top

I've started Zuma's Bastard and have found my historical knowledge in this area sadly lacking. Some of the references I recall from news, and some are obscure to me. Therefore it's feeling more like a surface skim than something to add to research and knowledge. That being said, I'm finding it well written and anyone with an interest in that part of the world would enjoy this book.

Aug 3, 2012, 1:44pm Top

#61 - Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is very good book and as you say, very atmospheric. I read it a long time ago and enjoyed it very much. My daughter has read it twice and it is her favorite Daphne du Maurier novel, although she did find it a little hard to get into at first. Daphne du Maurier also wrote The Loving Spirit and it was her debut novel. I read The Loving Spirit in January of this year and that book, too, was enjoyable in my opinion. Daphne du Maurier also wrote the short story The Birds that was made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock.

Aug 3, 2012, 2:44pm Top

Finished Godslayer by Jacqueline Carey and started Brood of Bones by A. E. Marling. Still reading Exodus by Leon Uris.

Edited: Aug 3, 2012, 3:25pm Top

>61 Citizenjoyce: Citizenjoyce

If you end up liking Rebecca, you might want to give My Cousin Rachel a whirl. It also has great atmosphere. I like both books very much although the nameless narrator in Rebecca really needed a serious pep talk.

Aug 3, 2012, 3:34pm Top

I forgot: I'm still working my way through In Tearing Haste, the letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor. I'm going to need to seek out some of PLF's books because he is so great at describing his travels. So evocative! They make me wish I were part of their correspondence as well.

I am also reading a novel I picked up at the Salvation Army thrift store(I got some real finds there the other day!!). The Uninvited by Dorothy Maccardle. It has much of the same sort of tension and atmosphere as du Maurier and such. Everything seems to be going really well but you can tell there are going to be some bumps & creaks in the night.

Aug 3, 2012, 4:13pm Top

>118 enaid: enaid - The Uninvited was also made into a movie with Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey playing the brother and sister. Cornelia Otis Skinner is also in it. It is one of my very favorite old movies and I recommend it but I don't know how it compares to the book.

Although my reading time is suffering, I'm thoroughly enjoying Peter Geye's Safe from the Sea. It's a gem!

Aug 3, 2012, 9:19pm Top

Started reading Six Moon Dance this evening. I'm finding it interesting so far.

Aug 3, 2012, 9:20pm Top

113 rosefireandmoonshine

So glad you stopped lurking to share with us!!!

Aug 3, 2012, 9:23pm Top

Thank you Paperback Pirate! :)

Aug 4, 2012, 4:48am Top

#115 - I am amazed - I never knew that about The Birds. Learn something new every day! Unfortunately I am learning zero from my current reading fad.
Am still on my zombie novel kick, started by finding Apocalypse Cow, winner of the Terry Pratchett award. It was ok, which was a bit of a disappointment, expected better of something that won such an award. That has lead on to Married With Zombies, quite amusing, and currently Flip This Zombie, possibly not as good as the first.

Edited: Aug 4, 2012, 6:41am Top

#115/123 Not to mention the novella that became that wonderfully atmospheric film Don't Look Now. While Hitchcock's movie is one of those that makes you wonder why he bothered spending money on getting the rights to the book (even many people who have read the original story would have trouble identifying it with the Tippi Hedron version) Don't Look Know is a pretty faithful interpretation of the story and creepy atmosphere du Maurier created.

BTW - Is there actually a DdM appreciation group here on LT? There seem to be so many of us around. Maybe I'll check that out and,if not, start one.

ETA - Well, there wasn't but there is now. Here it is - http://www.librarything.com/topic/140562. Since I'm no good at all at posting photos, the first job for anyone who wants it is to choose and post a group pictiure.

Group: What Are You Reading Now?

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