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April is here! What are you reading?

netla
14 years ago

I am reading Watchmen - the graphic novel the movie is based on. The movie seems to have followed the book pretty closely, even down to dialogue and colour choices, and some of the actors have an uncanny resemblance to the corresponding characters in the book.

Comments (101)

  • lemonhead101
    14 years ago

    Merryworld - thanks for the reccie for Ex Libris. You are right - I did enjoy that and have also just ordered "Book Lust" so that should come in a week or two. Not only do I like reading books, I like reading books about books.....

    I think I need to start a moratorium (word choice?) on buying any more books -- I really must read more of the ones I own before I get any more. Curse you One-Click!

  • Kath
    14 years ago

    Merry, I gave up on The Elegance of the Hedgehog because I also thought it too pretentious (the very word I used to my friend at work).

    Christian the lion's reunion with the men is just astounding, isn't it? I just kept thinking how easily he could have swatted them away with his paws (or eaten them!!)

    I have just finished Stuart Macbride's last book, Flesh House which I enjoyed - I like his characters and the black humour, although I did think the ending was a bit odd. Many have complained at Amazon about the excessive gore, and in thinking back, it was very gory, but I really didn't notice at the time. I seem to be much more affected by cruelty to animals in fiction than humans, and I know I wept when Matthew Shardlake's poor horse was stabbed.
    Which leads on neatly to the book I am reading, a proof copy of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. It is about Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII, and I am enjoying the style as well as the story.

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  • lemonhead101
    14 years ago

    Finished up "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely about how people make decisions when they are choosing something (shopping etc). Very interesting.

    Finished up a NYT pictorial book of the Obama political campaign over the last couple of years. Interesting reading his speeches in full etc if you like that sort of thing. His speechwriter is young but really knows how to wow the crowd, I think.

    Now I am just about to start Jhumpa Lahari's "Interpreter of Maladies" - I am just in the right mood for a story about India and immmigrants and things like that so greatly looking forward to it.

  • hinchess
    14 years ago

    Just started reading The Girl with No Shadow by Joanne Harris (sequel to Chocolat). It's been a while since I read Chocolat, so I hope Harris doesn't assume I'm going to remember the details.

    Speaking of remembering, now I've forgotten how to do underlining and italics on here. Please. I'm old. LOL

  • rosefolly
    14 years ago

    Having finished the book by Charles de Lint (and another one by him after that) I'm reading another short story collection. This one is We Never Talk About My Brother by Peter S. Beagle. I seem to be reading mostly short stories or books I've already read. I don't know if it is because I'm not finding any new novels that appeal or if it is because I'm so busy with the garden. You will notice that I'm not skipping reading altogether.

    Rosefolly

  • twobigdogs
    14 years ago

    "So Many Books, So Little Time" should be painted above my front door. I know my FedEx guy's name and he brings my dogs cookies now. That means I get too many packages and THAT means I am buying too many books and THAT means well, that means I am broke but happy, truth be told. Being surrounded by books makes me feel calm and safe and secure. NOT having books around would probably make me cranky and ansy. That's how I feel if I leave the house without one.

    Currently, I am smack in the middle of The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It's different. It's okay. I feel a small tug to get back to reading it, but just a tiny little tug, not a "drop everything and READ" tug. My new collection of books by Beverley Nichols arrived a short bit ago, so I have those to look forward to. Lemonhead, I agree... curse you, one click!! Then again, I am THRILLED to have them, thank you to everyone on the gardening books thread!

    PAM

  • carolyn_ky
    14 years ago

    I am really enjoying The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop. Thanks to those of you who recommended it, and would someone please open a really neat independent bookshop near me!

    Hinchess, for italics, type without the spaces and don't space afterward before beginning your title. To end, type with no space after the last letter of your book title and with no spaces in the instruction. Use the same format with u for underlining and b for bold.

  • sherwood38
    14 years ago

    I just finished Look Again the latest by Lisa Scottoline and enjoyed it.

    Pat

  • ajpa
    14 years ago

    I just finished two charming & fun regency mysteries by Sheri Cobb South: In Milady's Chamber and A Dead Bore.

    I also finished the Inspector Rutledge post WWI mysteries by Charles Todd. Can anyone recommend a historical mystery series they like? Or should I ask on a separate page?

    Rosefolly, if you like de Lint & Beagle, do you also like Patricia McKillip? I love her fantasy; I think I have read all of her books.

  • Chris_in_the_Valley
    14 years ago

    After I got over the narrator of See's Snowflower and the Secret Fan I enjoyed the novel tremendously. Recommended.

    I've just finished Elizabeth Peter's The Laughter of Dead Kings and I enjoyed it only because I'm a hard core Peter's fan. Her "voice" in this novel struck me as very old. What could have been sophisticated or world weary was simply tired. It became very meta when we see the author herself make an appearance. I guess if artists can do it, so can writers, huh?

    Wisconsin Gardener, you didn't say whether you enjoyed Nevada Barr's latest. Have you seen the art by her alter ego
    Paxton? The collection is a lot of fun when one is in the rare man-hating mood.

  • dynomutt
    14 years ago

    Haven't been here in a LOOONNNNGGGG time. Since I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger lately, my reading's been confined to quick reads.

    I've taken to reading more and more graphic novels. (Yes, some people would call these "comic books". Personally, I don't care what they're called. I like the art and the stories are quite neat. I just look at it as another way to tell a story.)

    So ..... what have I read recently in terms of graphic novels? Let's see .... I re-read Watchmen. Then there was Wanted (yes, the Angelina Jolie movie was loosely based on this). Oh, and then there was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. If you've got a thing for 19th century literature, I'd recommend this. Lots of cameos of 19th century literary characters in this one. You have people invented by Conan Doyle, H. Rider Haggard, Stoker, H.G. Wells, and a whole host of other 19th century authors.

    By the way, if you've seen the movie, put that out of your mind -- the movie was an abomination compared to the original source material. (And this one's NOT for the squeamish.)

    I'm also re-reading Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Neat re-imagining of the Batman story.

  • carolyn_ky
    14 years ago

    ajpa, if you liked Charles Todd, try Rennie Airth (also WWI). He has only written two books, but I was excited to see that another one is coming out this summer.

    Anne Perry also wrote a few sequential books about WWI.

  • ajpa
    14 years ago

    Thanks Carolyn, I will try Airth. I like Perry's Inspector Monk series (done) and her Pitt series (slightly less) but I lost interest in the WWI books after the 3rd. Not sure why.

    Although it reminds me of a much better peace conspiracy trilogy by Jo Walton, this one about WWII. The first book is Farthing. It's alternate history where instead of going to war with Germany, Britain decides to sign a peace treaty. Very dark but fascinating books, written as cozy mysteries.

    dynomutt, my 12yo is into manga right now, and I admit I read them as soon as she's done. They can be addicting.

  • lemonhead101
    14 years ago

    Finished Jhumpa Lahari's "Interpreter of Maladies" and now moved on to "The Moonflower Vine" by Jetta Carlton. Written in early 1960's, it's a story about a close-knit of family of grown-up sisters who meet every so often with their mum and dad who have a farm out in the country somewhere southern (I think). I can't remember where I dug out this book title, but it's a good book so far - nothing gory, violent, etc - just family talking to one another and going back and forth in memory. I am really enjoying it.

    I think it would classify as a "gentle" read unless something traumatic happens before the end that I don't know about.

  • rosaearth
    14 years ago

    I am reading a wonderful book "The Believers" by Zoe Heller. I am enjoying it very much-it is well written.
    Thanks for the many book titles too. I am pleased to have found this forum.

  • netla
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    I've finished Crime and Punishment, which I enjoyed and will probably read again.

    I am now reading a mystery, the Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake, and also a travelogue, A Dragon Apparent by Norman Lewis. I have only read 1/3 of the latter and I have already added Lewis to the list of my favourite travel writers.

  • twobigdogs
    14 years ago

    I finished up The Eyre Affair and thought it was just okay. It was very different and original, but the story just didn't grab me. A friend said that the first was the weakest in the series and that I should persevere. I was planning on reading Beverley Nichols next but I was stuck sitting in the car waiting for one of the kids at school and I had Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde (book 2) in the car. So I began to read it. It's okay so far. Perhaps after all of the hype I had heard about this author, maybe there is really no way to live up to the expectations. Or maybe I should just stop and read Beverley Nichols as planned.

    PAM

  • carolyn_ky
    14 years ago

    I have started Wormwood by Susan Wittig Albert. In this latest China Bayles adventure, China is visiting a friend of her mother's to help with herbal walks at a fictional Shaker site in Kentucky. (There are two actual restored Shaker villages in KY.) It amused me to read that China found the local accent to be "not quite Southern but not Northern either." That about sums it up.

  • dynomutt
    14 years ago

    ajpa --

    Yes, manga CAN get quite addictive. I guess that's why I never got started on them. :-) Oh, and depending on the manga, there might be TV shows based on them. (My friend was addicted to not just the books but the shows as well. She hated having to wait for the English translations of the TV shows.)

  • biwako_of_abi
    14 years ago

    Astrokath, wrote, "The Boat by Nam Le. The writing was very very good, but I don't much like stories where I get to the end and go 'huh?'. I like a proper ending *g*"
    Oh, how that struck a chord with me! When that happens, I always wish I hadn't read the book.

    I loved Mrs. Mike when I was young, and that reminds me of another book from my youth that I recently enjoyed rereading: My Heart Lies South by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino. An American who married a Mexican man and made Mexico her country before WWII, she has a lovely sense of humor and a graceful way of dealing with cultural differences. I found something online to the effect that she died in Texas in the 1990s, if my memory serves me, and I can't help being curious as to what happened to her two sons and husband and what her later life was like.

    Well, back to the topic of books read this month:

    Superior Women by Alice Adams -- I began this, found it to be written all in the present tense (my bete noire), and do not plan to finish it.

    Next, two delightful books about animals:
    Enslaved by Ducks, which is about author Bob Tarte's experiences keeping various animals. Well-written and humorous.
    and
    A Primate's Memoire by the well-known neuroscientist Robert M. Sapolsky. This is the account of his early and later years in the field in Africa, observing baboons. Very humorous and insightful, but sad at the end.

    A hilarious and wonderful book that I have almost finished and am reading with one of the students I tutor:
    Watching the English by Kate Fox. I may have learned about this one here at Reader's Paradise and am very grateful! Being of English descent, I was amused to note some signs of "Englishness" that run in my family; for instance, some had an extreme devotion to privacy. How many times did my mother angrily call me "la boca grande" (from her high school Spanish) for giving out what, to me, was
    perfectly ordinary information that would not be embarrassing to any one!

    Gerald Durrell's Marrying off Mother and Other Stories This is amusing, but although I have many of his books about animals and consider them keepers, this one, which admittedly departs from fact in numerous places (but you aren't told where), disappointed me. If I hadn't so loved his books that were based on reality, I might have approached this one in the right frame of mind to really enjoy it. If you haven't read anything by Durrell yet, read this one first; it shouldn't spoil all the rest of his work for you!

    William Duggan's The Great Thirst This is a sort of record of peoples on the edge of the Kalahari, beginning with legendary times. It is very entertaining and informative and might be compared with Sarum.

    A.M. Homes' The Mistress's Daughter This is one of those stories about an adopted child who came to know her birth parents in adulthood. It was not especially successful in Homes' case, as her mother was too needy and demanding and her father let her drop. ...

  • frances_md
    14 years ago

    lemonhead, I remember reading The Moonflower Vine and loving it, probably in the late '70s or early '80s. The re-release was reviewed in The Washington Post this week and I downloaded it to my Kindle, where it is in line after a couple of other books, including the second in Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series, which I am currently reading.

    I'm listening to A Reliable Wife, a first novel by Robert Goolrick. In Wisconsin in 1907 a man advertises for a wife. She may not be who she says she is. This book has had great reviews and so far is very interesting; it is hard to stop listening.

    I'm also reading gardening and knitting books that probably aren't of general interest.

  • veronicae
    14 years ago

    frances...what knitting books. I am always looking for gifts for my knitting daughter-in-law.

  • twobigdogs
    14 years ago

    frances, I second veronicae, what knitting and gardening books?

    PAM

  • twobigdogs
    14 years ago

    frances, I second veronicae, what knitting and gardening books?

    PAM

  • frances_md
    14 years ago

    veronica and PAM, I love to talk about these books!

    Knitting: Because I'm trying to branch out from my Project Linus baby blankets, I'm currently reading through Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson and The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe. When I have completed a Fair Isle project, I will be shouting from the rooftop. I just need the nerve to start it. I'm also reading a "knitting mystery", Died in the Wool by Mary Kruger. My expectations are never high for this kind of book but it is okay. And I'm frequently picking up one of the Yarn Harlot's books to read bits and pieces because she is so funny and knowledgable and I always learn something.

    Gardening: As a Master Gardener, I do weekly Hotline duty and plant clinics so I'm always reading parts of many books. For my own reading pleasure at the moment, I'm reading The Nature of Plants: Habitats, Challenges, and Adaptations by John Dawson and Rob Lucas (I think I mentioned this before) and a Brooklyn Botanic Garden All-Region Guide called Healthy Soils for Sustainable Gardens.

    I've listened further to A Reliable Wife and it is really very good.

  • J C
    14 years ago

    I'm reading Amy Tan's Saving Fish from Drowning and enjoying it very much. Ironically this departure from her usual mother-daughter theme was given to me by my own mother, who liked it tremendously. Go figure.

    I have a few other books going, of course. A couple of years ago I read and loved a collection of dog stories edited by Megan McMorris, and last week I found she has collected some cat stories. Wonderful! Not my-cat-is-so-cute or even my-cat-is-so cool, but stories about how our lives are affected by felines.

    Also a collection of poems chosen by Garrison Keillor, can't go wrong with those. My DH knows I am rather eccentric, and he knows I read poetry to my cat every day, but this morning he walked in while the ritual was being performed and was completely shocked at the respectful concentration by the feline. I have previously told him that Tom-the-Cat loves Yeats, but he didn't believe it until he saw it.

  • Kath
    14 years ago

    Frances, do have a go at the Fair Isle, it really isn't that difficult once you start. Just remember not to pull the yarn too tightly when you restart a colour and you will be fine. Rows tend to be repetitive which is good - one blue, three white, one blue, three white and so on. True Fair Isle only uses two colours per row.
    I have knitted a few Fair Isle vests (sleeveless sweaters) and was very happy with the result. I have also done some picture knitting, which is a bit more complicated because the patterns don't have the geometric repetition of Fair Isle and sometimes have lots of colours in one row.
    One handy tip my knitting mother passed on to me, which doesn't seem to be generally known - if you want to put stripes in a rib band, do the first row of the stripe colour all Knit (instead of K1 P1) and the stripe will be neater and the rib still looks fine.

  • suz_1
    14 years ago

    Hi everyone,
    I'm new and thought I needed to retype discussion topic, so my comments are under another April is here. I meant it to be a follow-up and a little bit about my bibliomania! Looking forward to your posts. Thanks!

  • frances_md
    14 years ago

    astrokath, thanks so much for the words of encouragement and tips. The Color Knitting Techniques book seems to explain very well how to do color knitting of various types so with your encouragement and the book I may be able to give it a try.

  • hinchess
    14 years ago

    Just finished The Girl With No Shadow by Joanne Harris (sequel to Chocolat). I kind of felt that it was a waste of time. Some of the writing was interesting, but the whole topic (the magic stuff) just doesn't do much for me. I read it for my May book group, so I'm looking forward to the opinions of the others. AND, we're all bringing chocolate to share, so at least my MOUTH will be happy!!

  • biwako_of_abi
    14 years ago

    Frances, I have made several Fair Isle sweaters and loved doing them. Does the book mention using one color in the left hand and picking it up by "scooping" through a stitch with the needle in the European(?) fashion, while you have the other color coming from your right hand? I saw this on TV in Japan and once I got the hang of it, it made Fair Isle knitting all the more fun--no more of that dropping one color and picking up the other over and over within the rows.

  • biwako_of_abi
    14 years ago

    Hinches: I actively dislike magical realism and will never knowingly take out a book of that sort or buy one again. On the other hand, I enjoyed most of the Harry Potter books and like some fantasy and sci-fi. Go figure!

  • lemonhead101
    14 years ago

    Welcome Suz_1! Hope you get to come frequently and join in the fun here....

    Happy reading!

  • ajpa
    14 years ago

    dynomutt, we get the funimation channel on tv, which is all anime. My kids like the ones with girls as main characters -- Fruits Basket was the first addiction. Very charming series.

  • frances_md
    14 years ago

    biwako, I don't remember in which book I read about that technique but it makes sense. It only requires that I learn how to knit in another way and then combine the two while juggling two balls of yarn! I tried the Continental method once and it would take some practice. However, if you say you used both together and made sweaters rather than a tangled mess that gives me further encouragement. Thanks!

  • hinchess
    14 years ago

    Finishing out the month with a thoroughly enjoyable book by Linda Ellerbee called Take Big Bites, subtitled Adventures Around the World and Across the Table. She includes a recipe or two at the end of each chapter. This would be a good book to take on a trip, I would think. You don't need to remember plot & characters. She goes from one adventure to another. What is this genre called? Another book in the same genre would be Eat Pray Love. Also, maybe, Lost on Planet China. Any recommendations for similar books?

  • Kath
    14 years ago

    I finished Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, and thought it the best book I have read this year. It told the story of Thomas Cromwell up til the time of Anne's second pregnancy. The writing was wonderful, and witty, and the story told from Cromwell's point of view. It was written in the third person, but with a curiously first person feel. It is due out in June or July and I heartily recommend it to historical fiction fans, who appreciate a book with a lot of depth.

  • lemonhead101
    14 years ago

    Finished up the absolutely delightful "The Moonflower Vine" by Jetta Carlton. I wish there was more of her work to read, but there is only this one, apparently. I LOVED it and would recommend it for anyone who wants a relationship-focused gentle read. I just couldn't put it down.

    The next book was an interesting contrast to this one as it was one I couldn't wait to put down: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. I plugged away at it last night for a few hours and even after investing that much time in it, still couldn't care about the characters or what happened to them, so made an executive decision and sent it back to the library. It wasn't what I thought it was going to be (i.e. good).

    Not sure what to read next. Depends on due dates for the library books, I think.

  • vickitg
    14 years ago

    Finished Terry Pratchett's Nation and loved it. Have to read Alice Hoffman's Skylight Confessions for book group. I love Hoffman, but I'm saving it to read on my vacation next week.

    I've downloaded several samples to my Kindle, but haven't yet decided on what to read. I've heard good things about Olive Kittridge and liked the sample. Has anyone read this book? The Reliable Wife, that frances mentioned, was another one that intrigued me. Also, there are a couple of Billie Letts books that I haven't yet read. She wrote Where the Heart Is. Hmmm what to do?

  • woodnymph2_gw
    14 years ago

    A writer friend recommended Banville's "The Sea". I am trying so hard to like this, as he was a Booker Prize winner, I believe. I just cannot get into it, thus far, and feel I am being jerked around from the past to the present by the author, failing to keep up with the characters and sort them out. Has anyone else read this?

  • veer
    14 years ago

    Mary I tried to read it and got no further than the beginning where the boy is at the sea-side and is impressed with another family staying locally.
    I must have found it too boring to carry on with! Don't despair the 'Times' newspaper describes The Sea as a 'crashing disappointment' . . . which , IMO could be said of very many 'Booker prize winners.

  • lemonhead101
    14 years ago

    Decided to read the last two books in the Winifred Foley trilogy, "No Pipe Dreams for Father" (more memories about childhood which was full of poverty but also love) and then "Back to the Forest" where Winifred and her young family move back to the Forest after some years in the Smokey (London). I love how she writes. Thanks Vee for introducing me to her. I have really enjoyed her work.

  • ajpa
    14 years ago

    I picked up a book from "New Arrivals" shelf titled Palace Circle by Rebecca Dean (I confess because I liked the cover and the setting --pre WWI) and it is rather awful. One-dimensional characters and plots that seem inspired by daytime soaps. I stopped reading around half-way.

    On a happier note I discovered a new (to me) historical author: Jude Morgan. Very impressed with her writing and comand of the period. Just read Indiscretion and An Accomplished Woman which are both obviously Austen-inspired, and I'm starting on Passion, which seems like a "heavier" book, the main characters being the women in Byron, Shelley, & Keats' lives.

  • veer
    14 years ago

    ajpa, I read Passion a few years ago and although it was rather too long I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    BTW Jude Morgan is a 'he'. He has written under his real name Tim Wilson, not that I have read any of his other books.

    Kath, thanks for the Wolf Hall info. It has just come out over here to excellent reviews, I have never read Hilary Mantel before but must stake a claim to this at the library . .from where a copy of The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin (aka Diana Norman) has just been received . . . after over a year's wait, but worth it!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel

  • carolyn_ky
    14 years ago

    Wolf Hall is evidently another of those books that won't make it to the U.S. in the foreseeable future. I just looked for it on my library site, and the stupid screen asked me if I meant Olive Hill (?).

  • Kath
    14 years ago

    Vee, Diana Norman/Ariana Franklin has never disappointed me.
    I am now reading a forthcoming Sarah Dunant, Sacred Hearts, and as usual with her books, find myself transported to another time and place.

  • netla
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Finished The Beast Must Die. It's a deviously plotted puzzle mystery of the old school. Very enjoyable.

    Polished off 'Murder Will Out' by T.J. Binyon, a historical overview of detectives in crime fiction. Found in it many authors and books I have never heard of and will be seeking out.

    I'm taking a break from Lewis while I finish Green for Danger by Christianna Brand. I had never heard of Brand before I started my mystery reading challenge, but so far I like the story, which is very atmospheric and takes place in an English military hospital during World War II.

  • Chris_in_the_Valley
    14 years ago

    I just finished my first ever reading of Kurt Vonnegut, his Slaughterhouse Five. I thought it was great and wonder why I hadn't gotten to him earlier. I suspect it's because he seemed so popular with people who aren't always reading. That usually lowers my expectations. I'm delighted to learn better.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    14 years ago

    I just returned Banville's "The Sea", unfinished. Could not take more than 40 pages of that confusion! Life is too short.... Now I am re-reading Martha Cooley's "The Archivist", which came out about a decade ago. This was her first novel, which I really like. I wonder if she has written any others.

    Martin, you read the Booker novels. Did you like "The Sea"?

  • ajpa
    14 years ago

    Oh, Jude Morgan is man -- I am surprised. He writes from a woman's pov so well. My secret prejudice is revealed; I usually pick women writers. :)
    Veer, Indiscretion & An Accomplished Woman are fun and much shorter than Passion. I recently read Mistress of the Art of Death and liked it very much. The Serpent's Tale is on my TBR list.