SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
vickitg

July: What are you reading?

vickitg
13 years ago

I couldn't find where anyone else had started this month's thread -- so here it is.

I gave up reading Wildfire at Midnight because I realized that I remembered too much about the plot and characters. Since it's a mystery, that takes that fun out of it. I've moved on to the 5th book in the Naomi Novik series - Victory of Eagles.

How about the rest of you; what are you reading this July?

Comments (104)

  • vickitg
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    lemonhead -- You are such a naughty DIL - :-)

    Did you know they made a movie of Holes? It starred Shia LeBoef(?) and featured Henry Winkler, John Voight and some other good actors. I think you'd enjoy it.

  • lauramarie_gardener
    13 years ago

    To: ccrdmrbks &: annpan -

    Thank you both for the info. Tom Holt... I'll have to look him up when I've (sadly) finished the last "Lucia" book.

    CCrdmrbks - What a relief it was to see your note @ Olga being in the rest of the books. Thanks!
    When I re-read my message today (about Olga), I regreted that I'd posted that wish (that she'd be in the other books); because I thought someone here would say she never shows up again. And that would be "vewy sad!" (to quote Lucia's baby talk).

  • Related Discussions

    July, A Month of Heat, Barbecue, & Beach. What You Reading?

    Q

    Comments (91)
    AnnPann - I have read that book Go the F*** to Sleep, and laughed out loud about it. It seems to sum up the desperation that new parents may feel when their lovely little darling won't sleep... However, I read an interesting article that asked if the book would have been so funny if it had been written by a mother/woman. Would people still think it was funny if the mum had written it or would she (the author) be considered whiny? Quite interesting to think about, really. It seems that a lot of new fathers in this day and age are patted on the back for being "involved" and taking their kids to the grocery store, when, in fact, this is an everyday occurrence for many of the mothers. Just an interesting point to think about. I still liked the book tho.
    ...See More

    July already! What are you reading?

    Q

    Comments (125)
    For some reason I ended up buying both hard cover and paperback copies of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and never read it until now. Loved it. I know little about the main character's special needs, but enjoyed the way the plot surprised me. I guessed the "murderer" early on, but that was such a small element of the story that I didn't care. I also came away thinking that dealing with those special needs was very much like computer programming. Unless one gets it exactly right communication doesn't happen. Which in the context of the story seems to be a major subtext for those of us who've spent a lot of time programming. Been doing some re-reading of Zelazny. Jack of Shadows I didn't remember at all. Mythic and lyrical, his is a world where one side of the earth always faces the sun and is ruled by science, the other side is always in darkness and magic reigns. Much as I love Gaiman, he just misses, except in Sandman, the charm of Zelazny.
    ...See More

    What are you reading in July?

    Q

    Comments (76)
    sheilaaus122 - While I was struggling with the first chapter of The Sound and the Fury I did look online to find out just what the hell I was reading. That definitely helped. It was still a challenge but once I understood who the characters were it all made much more sense. I suppose a "real reader" would just plow through and try to figure it out themselves. I didn't mind my cheat and I think it also explains, in part at least, why the book was not well received when published but praised later. Finish the book. You are so close. I have no plans to read anything else by Faulkner. ;-) BTW - When I showed DH what I was reading his reaction was: "The only good thing I can say about Faulkner is that it's not Dickens." haha He's right. Sort of. I'd certainly pick up another Faulkner before anything by Dickens.
    ...See More

    What are we reading in July?

    Q

    Comments (90)
    I finished The Dry yesterday. It was a good, fast-moving page-turner. I'm not sure how I expected it to end, but I guess, with the relatively small cast of characters, it couldn't have been too surprising. Maybe because the last couple of books I've read were told in the first-person, in one instance by more than one person, I had to keep reminding myself that Aaron Falk was not telling this story. It did use the device of telling parts of the story--the truth--by switching to italics and stepping completely out of the current narrative. I guess that's one way to let the reader into things that the present-time characters aren't planning to reveal or even know about. I did find that more than a couple of paragraphs were harder to read in italics. I give it a B.
    ...See More
  • Kath
    13 years ago

    I have just finished The Priest by Gerard O'Donohue, a debut author. I was disappointed overall. The main characters were good, and the story had promise, but the red herring suspect was so damn obvious it spoiled it.
    Now on to the third Rennie Airth book and am enjoying the writing already.

  • sheriz6
    13 years ago

    I finished The Tender Bar, by J.R. Moehringer, a beautifully insightful memoir of growing up fatherless in Long Island during the 1970s and 80s. The local bar of the title was his sanctuary growing up, and the men there filled in for his deadbeat dad. Moehringer's a terrific writer (he also ghostwrote the Andre Aggasi autobio, Open) and I just loved the book. It was one of those completely-sucks-you-in-I-laughed-I-cried-I-feel-like-I-know-you sorts of books.

  • carolyn_ky
    13 years ago

    I am 100 pages into The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and would be enjoying it a great deal more if it didn't give all the street names in every town and list all the food items everyone eats. No wonder it has almost 600 pages. I do like Lisbeth.

  • netla
    13 years ago

    After reading two more books by Lynn Viehl in succession (If Angels Burn and Private Demon) I think I may have overdosed on urban fantasy for the month.

    I have just finished Patrick Leigh Fermor's Between the Woods and the Water, the second book in an unfinished trilogy about his walk from The Netherlands to Turkey in 1933. It's a wonderful description of a world that was about to be forever lost.

    I just started reading Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee.

  • lydia_katznflowers
    13 years ago

    carolyn ky, I know what you mean about all the "extraneous" details in the Stieg Larsson books. I am trying to read the second one, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and so far (75 pages in) I am underwhelmed to the point of considering abandonment. I read the first one out of curiosity, wanting to know what all the hype is about, but I am quite mystified by the praise. In spite of all the SEX and the fearless ball-busting, I cannot say that I like the punkish Lisbeth Salander. I do like Mikael Blomkvist. Maybe these books are supposed to be character studies, I am not quite sure, but the mystery part of the first book was pretty pedestrian. I had that one figured out much too early and that is a cardinal sin to me for a mystery/thriller to be so easy and obvious. The salacious and graphic bits do not carry a story in my eyes. Do the second and third books tone things down at all?

  • ccrdmrbks
    13 years ago

    Lemon-
    Holes is written at a 9-12 years old reading level. I have had good readers in 3rd grade read it, but 6th and 7th graders enjoy it as well-it has that magical quality of transcending its vocabulary-even adults enjoy it. You forget that it is a "kid's book." It is one that I do not mind rereading aloud over and over.
    I discovered that there are two Lucia books available free for the Kindle, so I have added them to the vacation stockpile!

  • woodnymph2_gw
    13 years ago

    I'm just finishing up "Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther" by Ginger Garrett. I seem to recall that the Jewish biblical Esther (Hadassah) has its parallel in Arabian Nights, the tales of Shaherazade. (shades of People of the Book).

    Netla, "Cider with Rosie" is one of my all-time favorite books! In fact I have loved every book by Laurie Lee that I've read.

    For whatever it's worth: I, too, found the Stieg Larsson trilogy overly-hyped. I just did not find them interesting or enjoyable.What was so compelling that they garnered all that praise?

  • ccrdmrbks
    13 years ago

    I think part of the praise was a result of his obvious concern over the issue of violence toward women. I did find his wordcraft, even in translation, to be fantastic-he drew meticulously detailed pictures for the reader. However, that painterly style made the subject matter even more disturbing for me, and that is why I stopped after the first.

  • J C
    13 years ago

    I enjoyed the Larsson books tremendously and I can't really say why. I even went to a showing of the first film at a local library, a grainy, out-of-focus computer projection. Enjoyed that thoroughly too, although I closed my eyes at the end for quite some minutes. I normally do not read books or watch films with that level of graphic violence. I think perhaps the very level of it lent an air of unreality. But it was one of those reading experiences where I was caught up in the story and the characters and looked forward to finding out what was going to happen next and at the same time wanting it to go on - approaching the end with dread that there would be no more. The translation was a bit rough, and I did wonder why the books were not more finely edited. People's clothing was described in odd detail, as it was inevitably ordinary and had nothing to do with the plot. (She arrived at the restaurant. She wore a white shirt, black slacks, and a jacket.) Lisbeth's clothing was significant, but he oddly did not give details every time she went out for pizza. Just one of those weird things.

    Although as I said I enjoyed them tremendously, I would be very hesitant to recommend them to anyone - ever - because of the violence. And I don't plan to read anything else like that anytime soon. One of those mysterious reading experiences that can't be forced or duplicated.

    On to other things. I am into The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, a nonfiction book about the African-American woman who died of cancer several decades ago, but left behind cells from a tumor that have turned out to be immortal. These cells have been used in overwhelming amounts of research and have led to the development of mind-boggling numbers of drugs and vaccines. The book tells this incredible story and the huge controversy about the way the cells were obtained and the treatment of the Mrs. Lacks family in the years since. But it is not preachy or overly sentimental, and reads like a novel.

    And that reminds me that I need to update my Goodreads page!

  • junek-2009
    13 years ago

    I have just finished reading "The L-Shaped Room" by Lynne Reid Banks. I enjoyed it from start to finish.

    Veer the lodging house and it's tenants reminded me lots of "London Belongs To Me", a book that we have both enjoyed.

  • carolyn_ky
    13 years ago

    Lydia, yes, the other books are graphic. I am interested in Lisbeth because my grandson (adopted at birth) has a fairly mild case of Asperger's Syndrome. He marches to his own drummer, and I'm convinced that the saying came from others who had it long before anyone identified it.

    Asperger's is a disease of the central nervous system. At least in my grandson, he is a little uncoordinated which makes him no good at sports. He likes the computer and games; he likes guitar, and my daughter says the act of strumming seems to comfort him; when he was little, he liked to swing for an hour at a time. The biggest problem for him was making friends. He isn't able to read body language, so the other kids tuned him out when he didn't respond to them as they expected. He desperately wanted to belong and now has some good friends, but he had to learn what most of us are born knowing. Unlike Lisbeth, he talks a blue streak, but he never tells a fib. His world is black and white, no shades of grey. One doctor told my daughter that socializing for him is like someone learning to play the piano. You can do it, but someone has to show you how. He will be 16 next week and is an extremely sweet and good-natured child. He has been a joy to all of us, but it was hard to watch him try so hard for what we mostly take for granted.

    Well, long post, but that is what hooked me on the Girl books, plus I have enjoyed them in their own right.

  • iris_gal
    13 years ago

    I'm 100 pages into the 800 page Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Written in Victorian English and slow paced but thoroughly engaging. Mr. Norrell feels he is the only authentic magician in England and seeks to use his skills in the war against Bonaparte. Totally inept in social skills he comes to depend upon two less than honorable men of society. That's where I'm at now.

    Also reading A Montrous Regiment of Women by Laurie King chosen because of the accolades read here. I awaken and reach for it instead of rising, much to the cat's concern. It really is a page turner.

    I haven't read the Lucia books by Benson but did find 1st & 2nd season in DVD. Adored the 1st season.

  • veer
    13 years ago

    June, 'L-Shaped Room', although dealing with a 'gritty' topic was one I enjoyed when it first came out.
    Another along the same lines (but darker) is Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton, dealing with lodging-house tenants just pre-war. Hamilton is not read much today but wrote Gas Light and Rope both made into successful movies.
    Norman Collins, who wrote London Belongs to Me was a one-time big cheese at the BBC and also wrote a delightful book Children of the Archbishop, well worth a read if you can find a copy.

    Carolyn, did you ever read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon which details how the young 'hero' copes with Asperger's/autism?
    Our neighbour's g-son has Asperger's and now, aged about 14, is doing well at school although hampered (IMO) by parents who have set him NO boundaries and let him behave how he likes because of his 'condition'. eg at meal-times he never sits at a table but just eats while wandering about. The parents seem to be doing the boy no favours through their lack of guidance.

  • grelobe
    13 years ago

    Reading Who Do You Think You Are? Stories of Friends and Enemies sixteen short stories about friendship , how you make friends and lose them, how sometimes a friendship lasts a lifetime sometimes not, and it turns in a nasty relation and so on. A few authors of the stories Joyce Carol Oates, Tim OÂBrien, John Updike, Ray Bradbury, Richard Peck, Carson Mc Cullers  others
    grelobe

  • carolyn_ky
    13 years ago

    Vee, I did read Curious Incident. (The professionals don't agree on whether Asperger's and autism are related.) I have waiting on my TBR shelf Jodi Picault's House Rules which deals with AS. My daughter bought it and passed it on to me after she finished reading it. I think their parenting has been superb, but I could possibly be prejudiced.

  • Kath
    13 years ago

    I finished The Dead of Winter by Rennie Airth and enjoyed it very much, as I did the other two. I can highly recommend these books for mystery/thriller lovers.

  • lauramarie_gardener
    13 years ago

    Now reading a book I almost bought; but, last week found at the library (hooray!):
    "The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers."
    by Josh Kilmer-Purcell.

    Hilarious non-nonfiction!

    About two guys -- Dr. Brent of "The Martha Stewart Show", and his gay partner, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, a top advertising executive (and former drag queen!). Have lived in New York City many years. On a country trip they "bump into" a strange abandoned-looking town in upstate New York. They discover a mansion built in 1802 that's been meticulously renovated, and ... lo and behold, is for sale. Of course, they have to have it: it's the dream country home they've been looking for for years.

    The book chronicles their trials and tribulations getting the farm set up to be a real working farm -- making their goats' milk soap and finding the goats, as well as the soap, featured on the Martha Stewart Show; learning how to make a vegetable garden; how to raise chickens; etc.

    There are a lot of colorful local characters, and many digs at Martha Stewart (I have the feeling that Dr. Brent is no longer on that show!). Josh K-P is a lively and really funny writer -- I wish I could write down some of his stories, but there might be copyright issues. The Website is beekman1802

  • veer
    13 years ago

    Finished a quick read La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith. Mainly set during WWII in the quiet UK East Anglian countryside of Suffolk.
    A 'gentle' tale, which many of you would probably enjoy 'though I feel that the characters needed more development and there was a general lack of depth to the story as though AMcS wasn't quite sure which way to take it . . . but I suppose when you write as many books/words as he does there just aren't enough hours in the day. :-)

  • pammyfay
    13 years ago

    Lauramarie: Those 2 gents now have a TV show on Discovery Channel's Planet Green called "The Fabulous Beekman Boys." Have you seen it?

  • carolyn_ky
    13 years ago

    I finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and found it less intense than the others and the ending very satisfactory.

    Read Lowcountry Summer by Dorothea Benton Frank last night and today. I love her South Carolina island books. The central character in this one is a filthy rich female descendant of an old plantation family trying to instill a little quality into her nieces, daughters of a redneck sister-in-law.

  • lemonhead101
    13 years ago

    Finished up "Jane Eyre" which I really enjoyed although felt, at times, as though she could have benefited from using an editor to slash through some of the words. But then - would it still be Jane Eyre? Really enjoyed it despite the wordage overload.

    Also finished up "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde which was fascinating. He has lots of quotable one-liners in the book, and I think he must have been very funny at times in real life. I'd like to meet him, I think.

    So now I get to choose a fiction book. I am still ploughing my way through the Mass Observation WWII diary book, but the people are becoming more individual as I read more of their diaries. They're still very ordinary, but that's the point of the project, I suppose. I have finally got them sorted out in my mind.

    And then yesterday- happened to be in Dallas and heavens to Betsy, if I didn't somehow end up at a Half-Price Books shop where I could have gone completely wild, but didn't. I would really like one of these to come to where I live, but then again, I think it would be dangerous for my creaking bookshelves...

  • veronicae
    13 years ago

    I've read a lot of novels this month. It's pretty much been too too hot to do anything else. Many have been real "junk reading."

    Two are worthy of note.
    1: Every Last One by Quindlen. There's not much I can say without adding spoilers. I cared about the characters, they were so abysmally normal that they were real. Far from perfect, they made parenting errors, they messed up with their employees...they were boringly normal. That's what made the central event in the book so important. This could happen to me. How would I function if this had been me. I felt myself reading the post event narration as if holding my breath...as if not breathing would make it not "real". This was a good one.

    2) I am in the midst of The Cellist of Sarajevo by Galloway. I first heard of the cellist himself about 2 weeks ago on another forum, and went googling to find out more only to learn that there was a book based on this story. I reserved it at and got it last weekend. It is an elegantly written novel, at times with a symphonic pattern to the writing, with repetition of phrases. It's about humanity facing an incomprehensible situation...and surviving. It's about the beauty of art in the midst of devastation. I don't want to finish it and am enjoying reading it in bits and peaces which I then treasure until the next reading.

  • reader_in_transit
    13 years ago

    I'm reading The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon for a book club. I'm almost hating it. If it doesn't get better in the next 20 pages, that's it, I'm not forcing myself to finish it. With one exception, all the books chosen have been serious, depressing, heartbreaking or down right tragic. I keep thinking of all the other books I could be reading that I'd actually enjoy...

    Lemonhead,
    We have several Half Price Books stores here. They are my favorite bookstore. And you are right: my shelves are creaking from all the finds there (many for only $1 or $2). Just this last weekend, I had a 50% discount coupon to use at the store. I got A Countrywoman's Year by Rosemary Verey, short essays that you can read a few pages at a time. It has beautiful engravings.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    13 years ago

    I'm reading "Atonement" by Ian McEwan. I have liked almost all his novels and was quite impressed by the film made from this one.

    I also indulged in one "junk" book, as well. ;-)

  • vickitg
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    reader intransit - I'm with you on the depressing book club choices. I get pretty tired of those. Some years my group does a better job of choosing books than other years. This year has been pretty good.

    I'm a bit late to the party, but I'm just finishing a book titled Whistling Season by Ivan Doig ... and I really like it. It's a very gentle read with a big heart and great characters. The opening reminds me of one of my favorite children's books -- Sarah Plain and Tall. I would highly recommend it for anyone who likes Wallace Stegner-type books. It takes place in Montana in the early 1900s and is centered around a farm family and the local one-room school.

    Before that, I read Tony Hillerman's The Wailing Woman and Heyer's The Nonesuch. I enjoyed them both.

  • lemonhead101
    13 years ago

    RIT - your new book sounds fabbo.... But I must be strong and not press that darned "one click" button... Must...be...strong.....

  • lauramarie_gardener
    13 years ago

    pammyfay -- Thanks for the info! I will definitely look it up. The ad in the book said that they have a TV show; but, didn't say what cable channel it was on. Am really looking forward to it ... sounds so lovely -- all of it: the mansion, the farmland, the garden, the surrounding countryside!

  • phaedosia
    13 years ago

    Just finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. It has sat on my shelf for at least six years, but for some reason I have always just been intimidated by it (Pulitzer? 600 pages? Not sure why I didn't read it sooner). Then a friend really talked it up. Wow. Not sure that I am in love with the characters or the story, but I really enjoyed picking apart all the metaphors and am seriously considering trying to read a graphic novel or two now (something else I haven't attempted).

    For now, though, I'm on to lighter fare and picked up Any Place I Hang My Hat by Susan Isaacs. Chick lit, but deeper than the usual stuff. Very smart and funny.

  • lauramarie_gardener
    13 years ago

    Finished "Queen Lucia, Part I: Make Way for Lucia."
    Had a good time w/it -- just the right book for a sizzling heat wave!

    Started the new David Nicholls book, "One Day."
    It's first time I've read a book of his. Reminds me of Nick Hornby, whose "About a Boy" I just loved. On the cover of this book is a rave blurb by Hornby, himself!
    That, and some of the comments here convinced me to buy this book. So far, I'm really enjoying it -- funny and smart. Only one thing I don't like is the dreariness of the main female character's life and outlook. I wish she would change -- but not lose her passion for justice in the world -- Just look for a pursuit she enjoys, take care of herself (appearance), and learn to have fun.

  • grelobe
    13 years ago

    Reading Long Walk To Freedom Nelson Mandela's autobiography , not only interesting, I had no doubt about it, but beautiful written
    of course, in the foreword N.M. himself says that he was helped by more than one person to write it

  • lemonhead101
    13 years ago

    Looking for a new fiction book to tackle, I went back to my TBR challenge list (back in January) and selected "Divisadaro" by Michael Ondaatje. It is a lovely story, very lyrical (since he is also a poet), but interesting. About a little family in the northern fields of California who just have a hard time and then separate and find themselves searching for each other later in life.

    Not a particularly enjoyable book, but I like it all the same for its poeticness (word?). It's a nice break from Victorian novels...

    Although yesterday was rather slow at work and so I read "Alice Through the Looking Glass" by CS Lewis. Boy, that guy had one heck of an imagination or he was on something when he wrote this.... :-)

    Phaedosia - Get thee into the world of graphic novels. There are some very powerful ones out there... It's not all Marvel comic heroes... :-) Let me go back through my book journal and find some ones to start with. It's a bit overwhelming to just go into the graphic novel section of the library and just peer around...

    Lauramarie - I am glad you're enjoying David Nicholls. I think he is a fun writer and am waiting for the library to get me his one called "The Understudy".... I have really enjoyed his other two...

  • junek-2009
    13 years ago

    I have just read "The Rose Notes" by Australian author Andrea Mayes, the other book of hers was "Shearwater", I can recommend both.

    I have now started "The Great World" by David Malouf, very moving, he is a great writer.

  • Kath
    13 years ago

    I read the latest from Chris Collett, called Stalked by Shadows. I didn't think much of the previous one, and had mixed feelings about this one. The story was good, but the dénouement was a bit disappointing. I saw it coming, but the reasons for killing seemed really lame and not anything that could have been guessed at.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    13 years ago

    Lemonhead, "Alice through the Looking Glass" by C.S. Lewis??? That's one I don't know about. Did you mean Lewis Carroll? ;-)

    I have the dubious distinction of being able to recite "Jabberwocky" (poem) in its entirety.... No doubt in real life, L.C. had a bizarre relationship with child Alice L.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    13 years ago

    Finished McEwan's "Atonement" and think this author is one of the best ones currently writing in the English language today. Have just begun "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan. This is historical fiction, based on the scandal involving architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who ran off with a married, early feminist and shocked Oak Park, Illinois. And later, a murder occurs. So far, so good -- well-written and well-researched.

  • lauramarie_gardener
    13 years ago

    pammyfay -- thanks for the info re "Fabulous Beekman Boys" on TV. However, I didn't find the show on Discovery Channel... I found it via IO "Free On Demand", a feature you access through your remote control device).
    It's one wacky farm show!

    Lemonhead -- Am enjoying the D.Nicholls book even more now that the characters are in their late-20s. The main female, "Emma", whom I found sort of dreary earlier, has really perked up: has a good-paying professional job; has her hair done; eats well, doesn't drink much -- so her looks have improved, etc., etc. And she's Happier. I will definitely read another D.N. book.

    Woodnymph2 -- I've heard that title "Jabberwocky' (sp?), before. Is that in very Olde English? Is it a poem?

    There's a scene in the Martin Scorsese rock band documentary, "The Last Waltz", where a man recites a poem in Olde English (I think). It was my favourite part of the whole movie! Have wondered if it's "Jabberwoky". I've tried to find out the title of that piece by going over comments at Amazon.com's movie section about "The Last Waltz". But can't find it. Sorry, I don't remember who performed it in that film.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    13 years ago

    lauramarie, "Jabberwocky" is a nonsense poem with made-up words which Lewis Carroll inserted into his "Alice in Wonderland." The words have a marvelous flow and rhythm, and appeal to the imagination. As a child, I memorized it, just for fun. But then, I adore poetry and write it, myself. No, I doubt that it is remotely like Olde English, which is also rhythmic.

  • vickitg
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    woodnymph - I read "Loving Frank" last year for my book group, and all I can say is Wow! Let me know what you think after you've read it.

    I'm currently reading three books -- I'm not sure how that happened. I'm reading a Margaret Coel mystery - The Silent Spirit - a Nancy Turner Agnes Prine book called The Star Garden and I just started Mennonite in the Little Black Dress. I'm really enjoying the last two; the first one is a little dark and grim for my taste.

  • lemonhead101
    13 years ago

    Wood -

    (holds head in shame at awful careless error of exchanging CS Lewis for Lewis Carroll as author of "Alice" books. Vows to not post in future from memory which obviously is faulty. Slowly lifts head up hoping for forgiveness.)

    :-)

    Lauriemarie - glad to hear you are enjoying the David Nicholls book. I am in line waiting for "The Understudy" to be turned in at the library... And then no more Nicholls unless he's written another one I don't know about yet....

    Oh, and also saw in B&N yesterday that AJ Jacobs (or his publisher) has decided to re-issue "The Guinea Pig Diaries" as "My Life as an Experiment" and sell it like it's a whole new book. Nearly fooled me until I sae the TINY writing at the bottom of the cover... Umm. Why did they do this?

  • carolyn_ky
    13 years ago

    I have read both The Help and House Rules over the past few days and really, really liked them both. I am going to pull up the discussion on TH in a few minutes to refresh my memory of it. HR is my first book by Jodi Picault and of particular interest to me because of its dealing with Asperger's Syndrome. I am happy to say that my grandson has nothing like the serious problems in the book.

    I also read a small paperback book my sister-in-law gave me for my birthday called I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar. It is mostly a collection of public signs mis-using words and including many instances of the use of the ubiquitous apostrophe to form plurals.

  • veronicae
    13 years ago

    carolyn - I went fabric shopping just after I finished Picoult's book. I picked up a bolt with orange flowers and had a brief thought that I couldn't buy it...that orange couldn't go home with me. The book was done so well that I felt like I knew the characters and had to be respectful of the house rules.

  • sheriz6
    13 years ago

    I was up in NH this weekend and grabbed the first book that came to hand to take with me, so I'm reading the irreverently funny (so far, anyway) Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. This has been in my TBR pile forever, and I'm glad I finally pulled it out.

  • vickitg
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    sheri - I really enjoyed Lamb and many other of Moore's books. He's got a wicked sense of humor.

    I was reading Lisa See's "Shanghai Girls" but found it really disturbing. Don't know if I'll finish it or not.

  • lemonhead101
    13 years ago

    Just finished an interesting book I found in a charity shop over the weekend called "The Eloquent Essay" ed. by John Loughery. It's sort of the "best of the best" essays throughout the years, and includes both English and American essays. For example, I had never read Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and found it amazing that it was written on little scraps of paper and then put together. I am sure it has been edited since then to make things smooth out, but still, it's so coherent and he was obviously an extremely well-read guy. i found it very powerful... Anyway, a fasincating selection of well-written provocative essays which I will be passing on to my friend who also writes essays, but doesn't think she's any good when, actually, she is... Maybe this will inspire her..

    Then read a short memoir called "Making Toast" by Roger Rosenblatt. His married mid-life daughter dies unexpectedly leaving her DH with three young kids to look after. Roger and wife (daughter's parents) move in, and help to run the family... Quite interesting, but my gosh, it was ALL about him. Another thing was his claim to fame in the looking after the family realm was that he could only cook toast. Later in the book, he recounts all the tasks that his wife/kids g-ma does and it goes on for a page and a half and last all day and NOWHERE does he offer to help. He's busy "writing" except he admits that he's not. It really annoyed me that he didn't offer to help more, his excuse being that he was "writing" when he wasn't, and let his wife/their g'ma do everything from getting the kids out of bed, dressed to school, grocery, cooking, cleaning the house, doing taxi service, cooking dinner, giving kids baths and putting them to bed. Grumble. I would have definitely said something to him if he was my DH... :)

    Anyway, wasn't particular impressed by that in case you couldn't tell. He's some bigwig writer in NYC, but he comes as a very lazy chauvinistic husband in the book. And yet he wants very different things for his daughter...

  • woodnymph2_gw
    13 years ago

    Sarah Canary, I just finished "Loving Frank" and found it amazing and compelling. Certainly F.L. Wright had met his match in Mamah! What an incredible, brilliant woman, far ahead of her time! It made me wonder how many other women we do not know about, who influenced the "great" men of their day, unsung. The ending of this story was worthy of Greek Tragedy, in my view.

    Sarah, I had never heard of Ellen Key. Had you? This book will be a hard act to follow. I could not put it down.

    Lemonhead, thanks for the review of "Making Toast." I had heard it highly praised on several TV programs, and the author was interviewed but came across as a pity party to me....

  • rosefolly
    13 years ago

    Sarah Canary, I found Lisa See's first two books disturbing and had pretty much decided not to read Shanghai Girls.

    Rosefolly

  • carolyn_ky
    13 years ago

    I finished The Devil Amongst the Lawyers, a new Ballad novel by Sharyn McCrumb and her first in, I believe, three years. This one is based on a real murder trial in 1935 in Wise, Virginia, and has Nora Bonesteel as a 12-year-old who already has the Sight. She features in several of the Ballad novels but as an older woman. I liked this book better than some of them, but my favorite of hers continues to be If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O.

  • ronprice
    13 years ago

    A BURNT-OUT CASE

    SBS TV showed the docudrama Lamumba two nights ago, on the evening of 30 July 2010. I had never really got a handle on the events of the historical crisis associated with the legendary African leader Patrice Lamumba, events which took place when I was in my mid-teens. Lumumba is a 2000 film directed by the award-winning Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck(b. 1953). It is centred around Patrice Lumumba in the months before and after the Democratic Republic of the Congo achieved independence from Belgium in June 1960. Raoul Peck's film is a coproduction of France, Belgium, Germany, and Haiti. Lumumba dramatises the rise and fall of Patrice Lumumba. In late October 1959, just days after I joined the BahaÂi Faith at the age of 15, Lumumba was arrested for allegedly inciting an anti-colonial riot in the city of Stanleyville where thirty people were killed. He was sentenced to six months in prison. His name was just a news item on the distant periphery of my life, immersed as I was in a smalltown culture in the 1950s, in Ontario Canada.

    The plot of this docudrama is based on the final months of the life of Patrice Lumumba in his role as the first Prime Minister of the Congo. His tenure in office lasted two months until he was driven from office in September 1960. Joseph Kasavubu was sworn in alongside Lumumba as the first president of the country, and together they attempted to prevent the Congo succumbing to secession and anarchy. The film concluded with the army chief-of-staff, Joseph Mobutu, seizing power in a CIA sponsored coup.-Ron Price with thanks to SBS TV, "Lamumba," 30 July 2010.

    All of this got me back into Graham Greene who went to the Belgian Congo in January 1959, just before the Congo crisis broke out, with a new novel already beginning to form in his head by way of a situation involving a stranger who turned up in a remote leper settlement for no apparent reason. While Greene was writing A Burnt-Out Case in 1959 in the months leading up to and after I became a member of the BahaÂi Faith. This novel is one of those in the running for the most depressing narratives ever written. The reader only has to endure for a short time the company of the burnt-out character whose name in the novel was Querry. Greene had to live with him and in him--in his head--for eighteen months.

    Greene wrote that: "Success as a novelist is often more dangerous than failure; the ripples often break over a wider coast line. The Heart of the Matter(1948) was a success in the great vulgar sense of that term. There must have been something corrupt there, for the book appealed too often to weak elements in its readers. Never had I received so many letters from strangers, perhaps the majority of them from women and priests. At a stroke I found myself regarded as a Catholic author in England, Europe and America -- the last title to which I had ever aspired. This account may seem cynical and unfeeling, but in the years...