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June Reading

Kath
16 years ago

I have nearly finished Without Consent by Kathryn Fox. It has a forensic physician who works in a sexual assault clinic as the main character and is dealing with a serial rapist. Not bad, although not as heavy as it might sound.

Comments (128)

  • cindydavid4
    16 years ago

    >So far, it's just what I expected - someone dies, and he meets five people in heaven who are teaching him about the meaning of life

    You forgot to add that its written as if the author was, well, a sports writer. I didn't get far with that one.

    Oh but Sophie's Choice? Wonderful! What little I got in school on philosophy didn't stick very well. This book brought me to it with new eyes. Yes, I agree about the ending. But the rest of the book was so good that I'd forgive it.

    Trying to decide what to read next. I have so many books that I just recently purchased that its hard to pick (plus I have books languishing on the TBR shelf for months that are waiting their turn, poor dears). I have a new Julian Barnes (well new to me) that might just be right - Before She Met Me, and a Wm Maxwell So Long See You Tomorrow.. Both are short and seem just right for midsummer. Then there is River Theives by Michael Crummey. I bought this book in Canada, as I was looking for a historical fiction of the area. This came highly recommended. And finally Simon Ings The Weight of Numbers, which a friend sent me from England. It has been compared to Cloud Atlas. So....any comments on these four?

  • sheriz6
    16 years ago

    litlbit, I am a huge fan of The Eight and also found Magic Circle to be too ambitious/scattered/attempting to fuse every conspiracy theory together/downright confusing to make much sense at all. And as Chris said, Hitler as one character's childhood acquaintance was just plain creepy. However, there's short conversation in that book that has stayed with me for years:

    "What makes civilized people think they can get up one morning, round up their neighbors, shove them into boxcars, tattoo them with serial numbers, then ship them off to somewhere to be methodically exterminated?"

    "That's not the right question," said Zoe.

    "Okay, what's the right question?"

    "The right question it: What makes them think they can't?"

    The book was worth reading just to have that scary little line in the back of my mind as a reality check.

    Woodnymph, here's the description of The Eight from Amazon:

    Even readers with no interest in chess will be swept up into this astonishing fantasy-adventure, a thoroughly accomplished first novel. Catherine Velis, a computer expert banished to Algeria by her accounting firm, gets caught up in a search for a legendary chess set once owned by Charlemagne. An antique dealer, a Soviet chess master, KGB agents and a fortune-teller who warns Catherine she's in big trouble all covet the fabled chess pieces, because the chess service, buried for 1000 years in a French abbey, supplies the key to a magic formula tied to numerology, alchemy, the Druids, Freemasonry, cosmic powers. As the story shuttles between the 1970s and the 1790s, we are introduced to 64 characters, including Mireille, a spunky French nun who helps scatter the individual chess pieces across Europe lest the set fall into evil hands. Involving Napoleon, Talleyrand, Casanova, Voltaire, Rousseau, Robespierre and Catherine the Great in the quest, Neville has great fun rewriting history and making it all ring true. With two believable heroines, nonstop suspense, espionage, murder and a puzzle that seems the key to the whole Western mystical tradition, this spellbinder soars above the level of first-rate escapist entertainment.

    It sounds completely over the top, but it's very well done and is one of my favorite books.

    Martin, thank you for your comments on Sophie's World, I'm hoping to get to it this summer.

    I'm currently alternating reading Another Gardener's Bed Book by Richardson Little Wright and finishing up the (very charming) A Village in the Valley by Beverley Nichols.

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    Carolyn and Merry, after reading the book mentioned above it appears that the court tried to 'get her' on a charge of spying. The German trial dealt with over 80 people in one day and no prisoners had been allowed to be seen by a defence lawyer. None of the court justices spoke French, the prisoners didn't speak German. Nurse Cavell spoke only French and a single interpreter was able to go from French to German but none of the prisoners or the defence members were allowed to read/check the German written statements taken at the time of arrest. At the time the only person in authority to 'help' EC was the head of the neutral US Legation in Brussels (representing UK affairs) who suffered from a delicate constitution and had taken to his bed. Much hand-wringing throughout Europe but little practical help and (in hindsight) only a day in which to do it. After the very speedy execution and burial the German General who had passed the sentence was hastily 'recalled' by the Kaiser and the US Head of Legation sent back to DC for 'recuperation'. I am not a lawyer but wonder at the term traitor in this context. I'm sure one of you knows if you can be a traitor in the country in which you are working, that has been overrun by another power. So EC though English, working in Belgium for all nationalities is a traitor to the invaders . . . very complicated. Had the Geneva Convention been introduced by WWI? Perhaps I'd better look it up myself.
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  • Kath
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    I have just finished a debut psychological crime book called Shadow Man by Cody McFadyen.
    Set in California, the main character is a woman, although the author is male. He has made this character 4 feet 10 tall. Now I am 5 feet nothing high, and I am here to tell you, a 4'10" FBI agent is stretching my imagination a bit!

    The book was quite good, but VERY graphic in its descriptions of the victims and what had been done to them, so not for the at-all-squeamish.

    Interestingly, I guessed the culprit, and it wasn't a random guess. There was something that I noticed about halfway through, and I can't really tell what it was, that made me consider this bloke.

  • rosefolly
    16 years ago

    I finished The Anansi Boys the other day. I enjoyed it, but thought American Gods was better. Still, it was worth reading. Somehow, though, I found it a bit lighter.

    I finished my Jane Powell book on restoring bungalows. She makes a persuasive argument for NOT replacing anything that can be restored, unless it is an issue of safely. I really enjoy her writing. I think you could enjoy her writing even if you were not interested in old houses.

    Now I am working on The Promise : How One Woman Made Good on Her Extraordinary Pact to Send a Classroom of 1st Graders to College by Oral Lee Brown. It's for my book club, and we meet tomorrow, so I'd better get going on it.

  • litlbit
    16 years ago

    Thanks for the comments and responses about "The Magic Circle"- I was thinking at first that I might have been too curmudgeonly, but I kept reading waiting for the story to coalesce, and it just never did. I also found it too "over the top" to have the family relationships constantly changing. However, Sheriz6 - you are absolutely right about that one section that you quoted. It is incredibly chilling - down to my core. And unfortunately, something that it seems gets repeated every generation on earth.

    So forgive my ignorance, but Sophie's Choice is not the same as Sophie's World or is it a sequel?? (maybe I should just check on Amazon, but you guys know so much...)

    litlbit

  • Chris_in_the_Valley
    16 years ago

    Sophie's Choice is the tale of a concentration camp survivor; Sophie's World is the philosophical education of a young woman. No connection.

  • litlbit
    16 years ago

    Chris-in-the-valley -- thanks for clarifying - I knew the first book, (although I don't think I've read it. DH has.) but I hadn't heard of the second until seeing it written about here; so I wasn't sure if there was supposed to be a connection.

    litlbit

  • cindydavid4
    16 years ago

    AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!

    In other book forums, I am known as the queen of typos, misspellings and in general mistakes. Just keeping my reputation up, folks.

    I meant Sophie's World. I've read Sophie's Choice and its about as different from SW as it could be. Except for the first word...

    And lilbit, the latter is well worth reading - just be prepared to be a bit shell shocked by the end.

  • litlbit
    16 years ago

    Cindydavid--
    LOL !!! I kinda suspected a typo might have been the case here, but I thought I'd double check. Thanks for the recommendation, anyway; after a couple of real bozo reads, I'm keeping my TBR list a little more "refined"....

    take care
    litlbit

  • woodnymph2_gw
    16 years ago

    sheri, thanks for the description of "The Eight". It sounds intriguing.

    I know when I finish Julia Child's memoir, I will be looking for something less tame, although it is quite satisfying to read her lush descriptions of French gourmet foods and the simple life in post-war Paris.

    Having enjoyed works such as "The Historian", "Birds Without Wings", "Music and Silence" rather recently, I'm yearning to read books of that ilk, which totally capivate me and sweep me off my feet. Any suggestions?

  • cindydavid4
    16 years ago

    woodnymph, a few others I'd put into the category of 'totally captivate' include

    >Time of our Singing by Richard Powers

    >Pilgrim by Timothy Findely

    >Hummingbird's Daughter by ? Urrea

    >Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    >House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende

    Enjoy!

  • veer
    16 years ago

    Mary, have you tried Tremain's Restoration or any of her other works?
    You might enjoy Freya Stark: Passionate Nomad by the US writer Jane Fletcher Geniesse, which I am reading at the moment. After a strange and troubled upbringing under a dominating Mother, FS manages to learn Arabic and in the late '20's start a series of travels and adventures in the Middle East
    The descriptions of Baghdad, Basra and other cities and ancient Biblical sites where so much death and destruction are now taking place echo the troubles that seem to have beset that region for thousands of years.
    I can't promise you will be swept off your feet, but you might enjoy a scholarly and informative read.

  • cindydavid4
    16 years ago

    Be sure to follow that up with one of her travel narratives,esp Valley of the Assassins.

  • vtchewbecca
    16 years ago

    I've almost finished 1776, but I needed a break from the war...thus, I've started Abarat, which has totally captured my attention from the first page. I may end up finishing it before returning to the last 70 pages of 1776. My reading, however, will be curtailed this weekend as my DH and I celebrate our 5 year anniversary by going on a trip of bird watching, nature walking, and fishing.

  • J C
    16 years ago

    I took a final exam tonight; two weeks of freedom, woo-hoo! Went right to the library and got the following books:

    My Life in France - Julia Child
    Gilead - Marilynne Robinson
    The Spiral Staircase - Karen Armstrong
    The Hindu Temple - Alain Danielou

    Must go read now!

  • woodnymph2_gw
    16 years ago

    Cindy and Vee, Thanks for all your suggestions, which I will take note of. I tried to read Allende and Marquez years ago, but they did not grab me at all. The others sound interesting.

    Siobhan, I'm currently delighting in the Julia Child book and I really liked Armstrong's "Spiral Staircase."

  • tangerine_z6
    16 years ago

    After hearing about it so many times and having people tell me that I must read it, I found The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher for 50 cents at a library book sale. It was a good read that left me with soothing images of Carn Cottage, its inhabitants and environs, and I thought the descriptions of the interactions between Penelope and her children were especially evocative. (P.S. What is the Troll Book Club?)

    Next I read The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck which completely swept me away and was enchanting. Now I've started Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, which I think is a young adult book but having seen the title so many times it fell into my TBR pile, and there you go!

  • captainbackfire
    16 years ago

    I read In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner last week. A very nice summer read -light, easy, fast, satisfying...

    Now I am well into The Three Junes. It was mentioned here many times a few years back, and I bought it then, but find that I'm just now getting around to reading it. So far, I'm liking it quite a lot.

    Tangerine, The Troll Book Club is reading program/gimmick sponsored by a company that specializes in supplying books to children through schools and teachers. There are others, too, like Scholastic. Anyway, the children bring home a leaflet/order form featuring high-interest books with reasonably low prices. Parents have a deadline by which to send in the order with the money, and a week or so later, the books are delivered to the teacher who then distributes them to the kids.

  • J C
    16 years ago

    I'm deep in Julia Child's book and enjoying it very much. I'm surprised I'm finding it so interesting. It's a snapshot of a different era, something I often like to read about. I have laughed heartily over her husband Paul's letters - apparently she was quite a horrible cook in the early days of their marriage!

    Ah, summer reading!

  • cindydavid4
    16 years ago

    Just finished a wonderful YA novel by Jill Payton Walsh, called The Emperor's Winding Sheet. Its about the fall of Constantinople, through the eyes of a young English boy. Excellent writing (but then, this author is known for such) and kept my interest despite it being a 'Young Adult' book (just means I'm young at heart, right? :)

    Just started two books: In a Dark Wood by Amanda Craig, which looks to be about a divorced man going through depression; and a non fiction Almost French: love and a new life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull. We've been to Paris once and plan to go again this year. So this looks like just the thing to whet my appetite.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    16 years ago

    Cindy, I also liked Turnbull's "Almost French." If you're returning to Paris, be sure to read Julia Child's memoir: "My Life in France," which gives a marvelous portrait of daily life in Paris from the late 1940's through the 1950's. Filled with wonderful stories and Gallic eccentricities and descriptions of gourmet foods....

    Then, there is also Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast", about his life in Paris in the 1920's, my favorite work of his.

  • cindydavid4
    16 years ago

    I've heard of Moveable Feast and the Child book but I've never checked them out because I am not big on gourmet stuff, and I don't cook (tho I like to eat!) But those portraits of Paris in those times might be a very good partner read with this one. Thanks.

    >I tried to read Allende and Marquez years ago, but they did not grab me at all.

    Was it because of the magic realism? I happen to like that style, when its done well. But if you don't care for that type of book, I can well understand why you couldn't read them.

  • bookmom41
    16 years ago

    I started Andrea Levy's "Small Island" last night and while only a few chapters in, am finding it quite interesting.

    Here's some Troll book club trivia--Troll is defunct. It was bought out by Scholastic about two years ago.

  • martin_z
    16 years ago

    Just finished A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka, which I enjoyed a lot. A wonderful title, and a funny, moving book.

    Now what? Possibly Theft - a Love Story by Peter Carey. Carey has won the Booker twice, and people are talking as if he might be the first to win it three times.

  • twobigdogs
    16 years ago

    Just finished up Ciao, America by Beppe Severgnini. He is a bit like an Italian Bill Bryson in that he writes about his experiences in a humorous way. This book was about his year in America, Washington, DC's Georgetown section to be precise. Half of the book had me laughing, half of the book had me thinking, "Huh?! Is that how he sees us? YIKES!" Not roll on the floor funny, but humorous if you can laugh at yourself.

    I am currently reading Chasing Daylight, How my Forthcoming Death Transformed my Life by Eugene O'Kelly. Kelly was a CEO for KPMG Accounting in New York. On May 24, 2005, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and given 100 days to live. He resigned six days later and died on September 10, 2005. This book is non-fiction and was written during his 100 days. It is not a morbid, sad, long-winded goodbye, but an often humorous, upbeat, positive look at the joy he found in those 100 days. I am not finished yet, but will say that so far, he is handling this often-delicate subject with grace.

    PAM

  • rouan
    16 years ago

    I just checed my reading list for this month and was surprised to find I've only finished 6 books so far. Usually I have more than that read this late in the month. My excuse, well, gardening, family stuff (graduation parties, birthdays, Father's Day get-together) etc. I have taken (and returned unfinished) several books from the library. For some reason, none of them appealed to me, even though I might like them if I picked them up again at a later time.

    Two of my sisters and I are supposed to read Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky? by Baxter Black for an online discussion. I had to buy the book since it wasn't available at any of the libraries in the local system. I've actually read the first chapter, but that's it. I think I have another week in which to finish it.

  • rambo
    16 years ago

    Well, I have done a ridiculous amount of reading this month, however all of it has been for my course work. The majority of my reading has been articles on film and literature involving criticism on film adaptations of novels and plays. I've also read a good deal of essays and commentaries about the literature I'm reading in my comparative lit. course.

    As for notable works, I've read Sophocles' Antigone, Dante's Divine Comedy, most of Aristotle's Poetics, and Devil on the Cross by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. The latter was one of the best books I've read. It's very politically charged but written like nothing I've ever read.

    I'm just about to start Virgina Woolf's Orlando which looks to be interesting.

    I just moved into the city (from the suburbs) and discovered that since there is no library within a decent proximity to my new place there is actually a bookmobile in my area every week. I'm super excited about this because I can actually order specific books online and have them delivered to me and I can return them to the bookmobile too. This easy access to books could become a huge distraction for me... but hopefully in a good way.

  • Kath
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    I have just finished Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue, which I think may have been recommended by Cindy (pardon me if it was someone else). I thoroughly enjoyed it, although it wasn't a happy book.

  • grelobe
    16 years ago

    I made it at last.
    After having read "The House of Sand anf Fog" I thought I would need something lighter, so I started a legal thriller "Double Tap" by Steve Martini, I quit it after a few chapters too much boring.
    Then I started "Snow" by Orahan Panuk, a very good book, with good insight about muslim culture , but when I was at 2/3 of the book , it seemed to me that the story begun to lose... I don't know, to lose its strenght, the situation and the speeches betwen the characters were always the same, so I gave it up
    Afterward I started "The Virgin Suicedes" by Jeffrey Eugenides, but really I wasn't able to get the picture, so guess what , I quit it
    I was almost worried about my self. Were they the wrong type of books chose at the wrong moment, or was I losing my reading covetouness
    At last I found in a book shop a Muriel Spark novel, which I've never heard, "The driver's seat" I think it's really a little gem, the novel is not long one hundred pages in a paperback edition. It's about a young Lady miss Lise who goes on vacation in a southern place, Naple. She acts very oddly, but her behaviour is given by the fact she's just nut or there is some purpose?
    I'm going to stop here, because is difficult say more without giving away essential details.

    Now I've just started "A Conferences of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole. I tried it several years ago but I lost interest during the way, now I think to be in the right mood to read it out

    grelobe

  • Chris_in_the_Valley
    16 years ago

    Grelobe, sounds like you are just in a discriminating frame of mind. Do let us know how you respond this time to A Confederacy of Dunces. It is such an odd book, a favorite, but still odd. I have to wonder how it appears to a European. Are you reading it in French or English?

    I made the mistake of enjoying Wharton's The House of Mirth so much that I went on line, while still in the middle of it, to read more about it. Mistake. I could see where it was going, but I didn't want to know for sure where it was going. Now I am anxiety ridden as I listen, watching every move, paying too close attention to the gossip. Wharton's careful observances fascinate, but to this modern woman her world is distressful.

  • tangerine_z6
    16 years ago

    I have just started Great Catherine: The Life of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia by Carolly Erickson. I don't recall seeing the author's name mentioned here before and hope I have discovered someone new. She has also written on Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette, Henry VIII and others.

    Chris in the valley...I think The House of Mirth sounds wonderful and might just be my next book.

  • cindydavid4
    16 years ago

    >Just finished A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka, which I enjoyed a lot. A wonderful title, and a funny, moving book.

    Oh I picked this book up on a lark, thinking it would be as fun as the title. Well, you are right - its funny, but also very moving. An unusual find, and a good one.

    Speaking of good finds - I picked up a travel narrative called Traveling with a Tangerine. Its about Ibn Battua, a man from Tangers who travels from Morocco to Instanbul starting in 1325 (before Marco Polo started his famous journeys). He also goes to China and India. I've always been fascinated by him. The author is too, and decides to follow his first journey. So far, so good

    I seem to be on a travel roll - which often happens to me in the summer. And right now I am looking for We'll Always Have Paris - a book that would make a great companion one to Almost French. Its about an Austrialian man who falls in love with a French woman and moves to Paris! Should be interesting to read his perspectiv.

    Confederacy bored me. Tho I had renewed respect for it in Olivia Goldsmith's Bestseller. One of her invented authors is based on him.

  • grelobe
    16 years ago

    (Chriss)
    //Grelobe, sounds like you are just in a discriminating frame of mind. Do let us know how you respond this time to A Confederacy of Dunces. It is such an odd book, a favorite, but still odd. I have to wonder how it appears to a European.\\

    yes I'll do

    // Are you reading it in French or English?\\

    I'm reading it in English , in French would be a great feat for me, because all I can say or understand in French is: merci, bonjour, au revoir , bon nuit and little else, I'm Italian not French :)
    may be my nickname confused you.
    grelobe doesn't mean anything at all, the story of my nickname is the following: I had to choose a nickname, so I glanced at my book shelves and chose, Graham GRE ene, David LO dge and Saul BE llow, that's all

    grelobe

  • Chris_in_the_Valley
    16 years ago

    Grelobe, Sorry! Perhaps I looked at your name and thought Grenoble?

    Tang, I picked up the Wharton to fill in my education and am surprised at how much I like it.

  • cjoseph
    16 years ago

    I finished The City of God. Although Augustine made powerful arguments, I remain unconvinced. I wonder what he would have thought if confronted by modern science and skepticism since he makes frequent reference to the mysteries of nature as evidence of God's presence in the world. It's also instructive to remember that his writings were the beginning of the end of the pluralism of thought in the ancient world and the introduction of a long history of intolerance and repression of dissident belief. But as an important text in the history of Western civilization, I found it rewarding reading.

    Then I read Humiliation by William Ian Miller. Miller is a professor of medieval Icelandic history, and his interest in the honor-based society of the sagas of Iceland is extended to modern life as he examines humiliation and its expression.

    After that, I read The Anatomy of Disgust by the same author. He looks at disgust, what causes it, how it's expressed, its related emotions, and how it underpins moral judgments.

    Right now, I started Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind by Patricia Spacks. I'm only on the first chapter, but I've already learned that "bore" only entered the English language in the middle 18th century, and that "boredom" was coined in the 19th.

  • lemonhead101
    16 years ago

    Finally finished "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck. Although it was good, it went on a bit long and was hard going in places. Still, glad I read it and can strike it from my TBR list now. (Not that I am anal-retentive in any way or manner.) :-)

    Now on to "The Chip-Chip Gatherers" by Shiva Naipaul about a family in Trinidad. Now I am getting into it, I am enjoying it although it's not an easy read at the moment.

  • rouan
    16 years ago

    I picked up Heidi's Alp at the library this afternoon. (I don't have the author's name as I left it at work to read tomorrow). I started it on my lunch break and am enjoying it so far. Thanks to this post, I have placed several more books on hold at the library. :)

  • cindydavid4
    16 years ago

    Oh, I loved that book! Almost made me want to have a few kids to make a similar journey. Um, naaaah...

    >Miller is a professor of medieval Icelandic history

    cj, have you read any of the Norse sagas? Naja Saga was one of my favorites when I took a Norse lit class, but there are several others, and they all deal in part with that honor based society.

  • twobigdogs
    16 years ago

    I just finished Chasing Daylight, How my Forthcoming Death Transformed my Life by Eugene O'Kelly. His words sang with grace and acceptance through to the end.

    Now reading Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea and I am about 125 pages into it. Interesting so far.

    cjoseph, your reading list intrigues me. I've always held the mantra that something can be learned from every book. And your selections seem to be highly educational. Do you read with that intent? Do you have a grand reading plan that you follow?

    PAM

  • cjoseph
    16 years ago

    TBD: No, I don't have any grand reading plan except to finish off my TBR books. Back when I was limited to bookstores, I would buy any book that piqued my interest in the fear that I might never come across it again. The result was that I had a very large backlog in my reading. Now with Amazon and ABE I don't have that worry. I like books in which I might learn something, but I enjoy pure entertainment as well.

    Cindy: I read Njal's saga a long time ago, but not any of the others. I found it surprizingly enjoyable, but I don't remember much of it except a scene in which two men were fighting with axes while sliding on a frozen lake.

  • venusia_
    16 years ago

    I just finished Black Swan Green which was an excellent read. Before it I read Shadow Divers, which was enjoyable but I had some irritation at how the story was developed. I am now probably going to read The Lady and the Panda, which is, as the subtitle says "The True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China's Most Exotic Animal", just like Shadow Divers was "The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II". It's annoying how American editors seem to think people need to be hit over the head with it.

    Since I read Wrong About Japan, I am reluctant about Peter Carey. It was the first book I had read of him, a supposedly true account of a trip to Japan he took with his son, but then it came out that he invented a main character, which annoyed me to no end. His previous books were supposed to be good, I might read them eventually, but this latest "Theft" which is an autofiction I'm skipping.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    16 years ago

    I just finished Julia Child's memoir,"My Life in France" and enjoyed it immensely. It was such a delight to read, not only for a francophile like myself, but for one who cherishes a nostalgia for the 1940's and 50's before life got so technological and complicated. Julia writes with charm and verve of her interesting marriage and travels. (Husband was an artist and photographer; his lovely B & W photos are placed throughout the book). This is anything but a collection of recipes. Julia tackled all challenges with courage and optimism. I was enchanted!

    Now, I am reading something completely different, but enjoyable in quite another way: the funny and incisive satire, "The Nanny Diaries." (Yes, I know it has been out awhile, but somehow I missed this gem).

    Grelobe, I read Pahmuk's "Snow" some time ago. I think I liked it better than you did. I finished it, but thought his style seemed to change course in mid-stream. The author had a hard time re his novel in Turkey from the authorities.By the way, where in Italy do you live?

  • cindydavid4
    16 years ago

    cjoseph, I don't remember all that much about Njal's Saga, except how much I learned about Norse mythology and culture. I need to go back and find some of the others we read for that class.

    Funny that I sort of found that class through luck. I got to registration late, and the Eng Lit classes I wanted to take were filled (yes boys and girls, this was before online registration where you had to stand in line for each one of your classes....) That one was one of the few opened. Tried it, and was very glad I did.

    >It's annoying how American editors seem to think people need to be hit over the head with it.

    Yep. Never understood subtitles. Look in the flap for the premise of the book. We are adults, we can read, we are intelligent, honest. Ah well

    Never been able to read Peter Carey, tried a few and they just didn't take. Now, Edward Carey is a different story. Observatory Mansions is one of the best books by a new author I'd ever read, and his second, Alva and Irva, was just as good. That was a while ago, and haven't heard about anything new. Maybe those in Britain have?

  • lizny
    16 years ago

    I've finsihed Elie Wiesel's Night for my book club's July selection. The book is very powerful and emotional. I've also finished Picoult's Vanishing Acts which I thought was just o.k. Now I'm reading The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory.

  • Kath
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Cindy, I have never been a Peter Carey fan either, but I did enjoy The True Hostory of the Kelly Gang once I got used to the interesting style in which it was written.

    I am now well into The American Boy by Andrew Taylor and enjoying it very much. With a good finish it could turn out to be a favourite.

  • litlbit
    16 years ago

    I finished Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates over my "girls escape to the mountains" weekend. I enjoyed it very much - very creative, interesting twists, and the historical tie-ins were well done, I thought. During this "escape" weekend, my friends and I hiked through some snow/slush, down to spring wildflowers, then re-entered summer by heading further "down the hill" a ways, into the little goldrush town of Murphys - where, to our delight, we found a "used and new" bookstore! It was even air-conditioned - critical, since it was 103F. All 3 of us picked up various biographies - all of our DDs need to read bios for "summer reading" before high school starts. I found several good buys, including some early editions of some favorite childhood books, which, of course, I had to sit down and read immediately upon our return. I also picked up a Jonathan Stroud (of the Bartimeus trilogy ) called Buried Fire. It concerns an ancient dragon sleeping, and then waking deep below a hillside next to a small English town, and the effects on some local boys. I'm sure glad I read this after we had our Mid-summer fest!

    I have quite a TBR list and stack, but a friend just loaned me Dan Simmons Olympus, sequel to Ilium. So of course, I have to re-read the latter to read the former. Not that I mind - it's great the second time around, too!

    take care,
    litlbit

  • grelobe
    16 years ago

    I've been living in Genoa (Liguria) for five years, before I lived in a little town (six thousand citizen) just on the Ligurian hills.
    If someone among you don't know where Genoa is, I can tell an anecdote, I don't know if it is true or not, I heard it more or less twenty,twentyfive years ago.
    Once an American Ambassador during an official dinner was spoken about Genoa , and he said "Genoa? Genoa? where is Genoa?"
    and someone answered "do you know where Portofino is?" "of course" the Ambassador replied " well Genoa is just nearby it"
    Anyway, Genoa is in the north-west of Italy on the sea.

    grelobe

  • veer
    16 years ago

    grelobe, you certainly live in a very beautiful part of Italy.

    I have just finished an interesting 'fragment of autobiography' Time to be in Earnest by P D James.
    Not being a 'whodunnit' aficionado I have never read any of her work and found this book to be well-written and 'unhurried'.
    She keeps a diary for one year and among the entries of an amazingly busy and varied life . . . she sits in the House of Lords as a Life Peer, chairs many committees, travels to book promotions and so on . . . she gives us some snippets about her early life. Her work in the Civil Service, marriage to a man who suffered from mental illness, 2 daughters and her thoughts on a wide range of subjects from chairing the Booker Prize judges to the King James Bible.
    Most enjoyable and informative. Strange as it may seem, I always feel the need to learn something from what I read. ;-)

  • martin_z
    16 years ago

    Just finished Theft by Peter Carey. Venusia, don't know what you mean by an "autofiction", but if you mean a fictional story but based on the author's own life, I think you're mistaken about it - well, unless Peter Carey is a secret artist with a mentally-ill brother...

    His previous book was My Life as a Fake - I didn't read that, but I wonder if you're mixing them?

    Oh, yes - Theft. Mmmmm. It goes along nicely, and the alternating chapters in the voices of the two brothers is very interesting. But I'm not convinced. I think I've finally conceded that I don't really like Peter Carey. I strongly suspect this will be on the Booker short-list, though.

    Just found Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres on my bookshelf - I bought it for the discussion months ago and never managed to open it. But the general opinion on this site was that it takes a little getting into - then suddenly opens up and is absolutely brilliant. So I'm rather looking forward to reading this.

  • annpan
    16 years ago

    My last book for June (which I am still reading in July!) is "Georgette Heyer's Regency World" by Jennifer Kloester. There are a few inaccuracies but I would recommend it. I started reading Heyer in the late 1940s and have reread her books many times which is why I am very 'picky' on details. This book would help anyone who is starting to read Regency fiction and I found out a couple of things too! Always wondered what a 'crim. con' was...