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October has rolled around: What are you reading?

netla
10 years ago

It's October already: autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the south.

So, what is everyone reading? I am still reading L'�tranger by Camus - following the speed with which my French class is covering it.

In-between I read other stuff. Right now it's The Catherine Wheel by Patricia Wentworth. So far it seems to be one of the better Miss Silver mysteries, but I will wait to read the solution before I say any more.

Comments (69)

  • carolyn_ky
    10 years ago

    You still have a milkman? Wow!

  • rouan
    10 years ago

    I think the bug has been solved and I can post again. Yay!

    I have a few books going right now. My current nonfiction is The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne. I also have been reading The Peninsula by Louise Dickinson Rich as part of my Maine inspired books but put it aside temporarily while I finish the Jane Austen book.

    For fiction, I am rereading Cordelia Underwood by Van Reid (also inspired by my trip to Maine last month) and am listening to The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

    These should hold me for a little while anyway. :)

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  • gooseberrygirl
    10 years ago

    One of my sisters and I just finished HTLGI by Louise Penny, a terrific read. But my sister feels because of the ending that this is the end of the Gamache books. I hunted around the internet but haven't seen any indication of this.
    I think he can still solve mysteries even in retirement and Jean-Guy is only back to work part time. Wasn't Hercule Poirot retired?
    I hope I am right! But have any of you heard anything?
    Cindy

  • annpan
    10 years ago

    Gooseberry girl. I think that Poirot started out being retired from the Belgian Police Force, went into private consultancy as a detective and you would have to read "Curtain" to find out what happened to him at last. He never finally retired.

  • sheriz6
    10 years ago

    I've just started The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe, the author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (which I really liked).

    This one is mainly set in 1912 Boston, with hops back and forth in time. Some of the characters are involved in spiritualism, attending seances and trying to contact dead relatives. I had read Mary Roach's book, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, a while back, so I'm pleased to have at least a little frame of reference for the seances, etc. So far it has drawn me in.

  • gooseberrygirl
    10 years ago

    Dear RPers,

    I am so sorry this spoiler got on this thread....I intended to start a new thread which I did after I didn't see a new thread...just thought I had forgotten to push submit. I really hope it hasn't spoiled the book for anyone.
    Cindy

  • phoebecaulfield
    10 years ago

    I've been an Alice Munro fan for many years, and I've been ambling through her Carried Away: A Selection of Stories in recent weeks--and today I learned that she's just won the Nobel Prize for literature!

    Richly deserved, I think. And I'm glad to see that somebody posted a thread about it here.

  • J C
    10 years ago

    Trying to read Rowling's The Cuckoo's Calling and finding it a bit of a slog. I don't care about the characters and don't find their stories or personalities compelling. Am going to start skimming.

  • annpan
    10 years ago

    I think I have worked out why I haven't been reading much recently although I have a couple of new books! I just haven't found a nook in my new place where I feel comfortable to settle.
    I could read in bed but am too tired to do much there. We have had dreadful unseasonable cold, wet and windy Spring days and the main room is too dull during the day. I hope things will improve in the days ahead. Where is the Global Warming we were promised?!!
    Oh, I am full of woe, aren't I?
    The new books I have TBR are a very old P.G. Wodehouse reprint "The Swoop" and Sue Grafton's "W is for Wasted."

  • veer
    10 years ago

    annpan, the BBC 'weatherman' was talking about the extra hot temps you have been having in Australia . . . but judging by his map it looked as though it was 45C around Alice Springs! Too far from you to pick up some of the warmth.
    I agree with you that finding the right somewhere to read is almost as important as the what you are reading.
    I have made a start on Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife. A very long book . . . and surprised to find that Curtis is female.
    I may have many questions about this. So far the early chapters describe a Mid Western 50 to 60's upbringing that Frieda described so well on another thread. I think I might find the US politics rather more difficult to take in. ;-)

  • gooseberrygirl
    10 years ago

    Siobhan,

    I agree with you about "The Cuckoo's Calling". While I did like the characters of Cormoron and his secretary, it was just way too long to slog through. Skipped to the last few pages to see if I was right about who did it and why (I was) and that was it.

    Cindy

  • donnamira
    10 years ago

    on Day 12 of the government shutdown, I've now managed to finish 10 new books and at least 3 re-reads. :) Since my last posting, I've read:

    Enchantress from the Stars, Sylvia Engdahl
    Kindred, Octavia Butler
    The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
    Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
    Foundation, Isaac Asimov

    On to another from the "50 Science Fiction-Fantasy Must-Read" list: Among Others, by Jo Walton.

  • J C
    10 years ago

    Skipped ahead and read denouement of The Cuckoo's Calling. Glad I did so. I didn't care for this book at all.

    Now I'm reading a collection of Hemingway's views and opinions on writing, edited by Larry Phillips. Very good, very quick reading.

  • rouan
    10 years ago

    Siobhan,

    I had the same reaction to The Cuckoo's Calling and I too, skipped ahead to the ending after a few chapters. It just wasn't my kind of book.

    My library has begun it's semi annual used book sale. I went to the preview sale and picked up a few children's books I remember liking, a couple of Judy Bolton's, two of the All of a Kind Family series, and a copy of The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Pope. I have long wanted a copy of this book and now, for,the grand sum of 25 cents, I have one.

  • annpan
    10 years ago

    Donnamira, I do hope you can get back to work soon!
    We have been told by financial experts that there could be a knock-on effect in Australia from this shut-down. I am already suffering from losing one-third of my British pension in the GFC!
    I used to read a lot of sci-fi in the sixties. I gave most of the collection that my husband and I amassed to a fellow enthusiast when I moved back to Australia. I still have one book "Analog" a collection of well-loved authors writing from the 20s onward.

  • rouan
    10 years ago

    My library is holding their semi annual book sale as I mentioned above and I made another trip there today to see what else I could find. This time I picked up a copy of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. I haven't started it yet but am looking forward to doing so.

  • carolyn_ky
    10 years ago

    I have finished A Tale for the Time Being and am anxious to hear everyone's comments on it.

    Am now starting The Unlikely Spy, Daniel Silva's first book that Tim says is his very best one.

  • netla
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    I've been reading mysteries lately, by Georgette Heyer, Patricia Wentworth, Martha Grimes and an author I'd never heard of before but will be reading more of: V.C. Clinton-Baddeley.

    Am now reading a non-fiction book about the European Union, The United States of Europe by T.R. Reid. Since it's written by an American (and clearly for Americans), I am enjoying seeing his viewpoint and interpretation of the EU and Europe.

  • lemonhead101
    10 years ago

    Rouan -

    Your Bryson science book was a good find. I was lucky enough to find one at my book sale as well - I suppose now the next step might be to actually read it. :-)

    I just finished a light and frothy (with a bite) read of Northbridge Rectory by Angela Thirkell. Although these are not deep and meaningful, there is enough sly commentary with the narrative that it's makes Thirkell's opinions known. Plus I love her self-deprecatory comments every now (said by her characters). Thirkell seems to have been under no pretence of scribing some classical work...

    I'm also deep in the mother/daughter relationship of Princess Charlotte and Princess Victoria at the start of the nineteenth century. (The book is Becoming Queen Victoria by Kate Williams.) Such familial shenanigans between the siblings and the parental units! King George III and wife had NINE children, NONE of whom produced a legitimate heir at any time. They were producing progeny, but illegitimate - who would inherit the throne?...

  • veer
    10 years ago

    Liz, I'm probably being a bit pedantic here but George III had fifteen children and his fourth son the Duke of Kent, eventually married (like his brothers he too had a mistress) and his daughter was Victoria.
    Was Princess Charlotte (daughter of Geo IV) a similar age to Victoria? I've never read much about her. I know she was married to Leopold King of the Belgiums (Victoria's "Dearest Uncle) and died in childbirth.

    You can read about the Duke of York's (Geo's second son) mistress in Daphne du Maurier's book Mary Anne . . .D du M is descended from M A's family. Can't remember if as a Royal B*stard or through the 'legitimate' side of M A's complicated private life.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Daphne du Maurier interview

  • carolyn_ky
    10 years ago

    I finished The Unlikely Spy, Daniel Silva's first book, and agree with Tim that it is the best one of his books. In fact, I stayed up until 1:15 this morning finishing it.

    Today I just barely started The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler. I spent a lot of the day making cookies for my grandson, who has been home for fall break, to take back to school tomorrow and changing over DH's closet to warmer clothes. It's been cold and rainy here most of the day.

  • J C
    10 years ago

    This evening I sat down and read Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Astonishing book. I read it for a class as a teenager and remembered its power even after all of these years. Had always meant to re-read it, and now I can check that box off my life list.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    10 years ago

    I had to take a break from all the reading assignments for my class on East European history. So I found Diane Ackerman's "The Zookeeper's Wife." It is actually based upon a little known true story of Poland during the German Occupation, specifically the Warsaw Ghetto. The zookeeper and his wife saved some Jews during that time. The book is riddled with interesting facts about the origins of certain animals in North Europe (the auroch and the tarpan), and how the Nazis played with attempting "purification" of certain species.

  • kathy_t
    10 years ago

    I recently finished In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, a memoir by Neil White who spent a year in the Carville, Louisiana prison for the white-collar crime of check kiting. The interesting thing was that the prison shared a campus with the only national leprosarium in the U.S. I found this hard to believe, but a Google check confirmed that indeed, prisoners were housed in some of the leprosarium's empty buildings for 3 years in the 1990s. It was pretty interesting. The author tried to make the best of his time in prison by getting to know and writing about several Hansen's Disease patients and also some of his fellow prisoners.

  • bchukran
    10 years ago

    Hi all, I'm new here. I'm reading a lot of books this month, lots of short stories (because I write them), but just started Death Warmed Over by Kevin Anderson. It's the first in the Zombie P.I. series. Not exactly literature, but fun! :-) bobbi chukran

  • timallan
    10 years ago

    On a cold wet October night, I stayed up reading Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood. Perfect reading for Hallowe'en!

  • lemonhead101
    10 years ago

    Vee - perhaps it was 9 boys? Don't have the info w me right now, but regardless of progeny, they weren't very responsible. This book is well written, but I wish she would hurry up and get to Victoria... Right now, the author is setting the stage for Victoria's mother (I think) and grandmother, both of whom were a bit naughty at times.

    Finished up an Aussie book over the weekend called "The Spare Room" by Helen Garner. Good story with very spare writing style. :-) The narrative revolves around the question of responsibility for friends - where does your responsibility end with a dying friend who comes to stay with you whilst she gets treatments? Where are your boundaries? How can you help her without losing yourself?

    So - bit hard-hitting but very well written. Garner has composed a small novel (lengthwise) that packs a powerful punch with an unexpected ending. Nicola, an out of town friend, comes to stay with Helen for three weeks whilst she (Nicola) has alternative cancer treatments which are expensive and have not been proven to work. Is Helen's role as her friend to stay quiet and support Nicola even though she believes the treatment to be quackery? And if she says anything, will it mean taking all the hope that Nicola has? Nicola is not a very easy guest, but how can you be irritated with an old friend who is terminally ill and staying with you?

    Lots to think about here and it was not an easy read, subject-wise. But I like a book that makes you think, and this did that.

    Now picking up "Their Eyes are Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston... Looks a very different read from the last one (and different is good).

  • J C
    10 years ago

    Got a little surprise from The Old Man and the Sea: an allergic reaction. I guess that is what I get for reading a manky old library book. It did not put me off Hemingway, however, and now I am deep into A Farewell to Arms. Reading his books at my age is giving me a very different picture of this man than the sportsman/alpha male persona that is so often portrayed.

  • lemonhead101
    10 years ago

    Siobhan - you had a real allergic reaction to the physical book? Wow. I have a visceral mental allergy to Hemingway just because I think he's awful! Hope you feel better. :-)

  • J C
    10 years ago

    Yes indeed, the book is full of mold! But I love Hemingway, my usual reaction is different. :)

    This does strike a mark in favor of ebooks!

  • carolyn_ky
    10 years ago

    I'm reading Crime Machine by Giles Blunt, published in 2010. For some reason my library doesn't have this book or a newer one, and he fell off my radar. After being reminded of him, I got this one through interlibrary loan, but they won't send the newest one. Evidently the rule is the book has to have been out for more than two years before they will send it. (If anyone is interested, the newest one is Until the Night and was published in 2012.)

  • rouan
    10 years ago

    I finally finished listening to The Count of Monte Cristo, all 35 hours of it! After that, I needed a break so am currently listening to A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck. Grandma Dowdel is quite the character; I find myself laughing out loud at some of her actions.

    I'm still working my way through Cordelia Underwood. It's my read in bed book and I've been falling asleep before I get through many pages. Maybe I'd better go to bed earlier so I can finish it before it's due back at the library...

  • annpan
    10 years ago

    Rouan, I also have to finish a library book that cannot be renewed and have the same "falling asleep " problem. Unfortunately I do like the fresh feel of a new book rather than wait until it isn't so popular that others have requested it too! My bad!
    Auntie Lee's Delights, a Singaporean Mystery by Ovidia Yu.
    I visited there a couple of times but mainly shopped so didn't get to experience much of the local culture.

  • kkay_md
    10 years ago

    I'm reading "Life After Life" by Kate Atkinson and have gotten into the swing of it. Very enjoyable. And am ninth in the library queue for "A Tale for Time Being."

  • rouan
    10 years ago

    Annan, what fun to read a book set in a place you know or have visited. That's partly why I picked up Cordelia Underwood. Rosefolly and I (and another sister) visited Maine in early Sept (and visited Siobhan while we were there); part of CU is set in areas we visited and I can picture the scenery while I read the book.

  • rouan
    10 years ago

    Sorry Annpan, I went back in to correct the spelling of your name and hit the original post instead of the corrected one and hit submit just as I realized, too late, what I had done!

  • annpan
    10 years ago

    Rouan, don't worry, I only too often hit "Preview" instead of the lower "Return to RP Forum" to my annoyance!
    I have been fortunate in being able to visit a number of countries and it certainly helps with bringing a book to life when one can visualise the background.

  • lemonhead101
    10 years ago

    Well, the Zora Neale Hurston book ended up waiting to be read as for some reason, Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine popped its head up and leapt into my hands. I think I thought it might be a slightly spooky Halloween-y read. In the end, it turned out to be an absolutely charming almost perfectly written coming-of-age story about one summer through the eyes of a 12-year old boy in small-town Illinois back in the 1920's. (Nothing to do with Halloween.)

    Really a collection of snippets and events from his memory (as the PoV is from the grown man looking back - omniscient), this book encapsulates how one thinks a summer should be for kids: endless summer days packed with playing and generally mucking about with a small gang of friends.

    So, although this book is several different memories strung together, the common theme between them is summer (and in particular, dandelion wine, a product of sunny days).

    Bradbury writes expertly and with control as he describes how summer happens for the protagonist, Doug Spaulding. And everything happens from the poignant description of one of his friends leaving unexpectedly to how the Honeysuckle women's society rig their elections to the night-time fear of walking home from the movies when there is a serial murderer out loose.

    Not every story is funny, but a lot are. Some are slice-of-life stories as events seen through this boy's eyes - when an elderly neighbor dies, for example, or the rumor that a lady down the street is really a witch.... Whichever event is being described, Bradbury writes superbly and this was an absolute joy to read.

    This is very close to an almost-perfect read for me. I loved it and highly recommend it. Definitely one of the best books this year for me.

  • timallan
    10 years ago

    I am reading Peter Ackroyd's The English Ghost, a collection of various non-fiction firsthand accounts of haunted houses, poltergeists, etc., dating back to the seventeenth century. Perfect Hallowe'en reading!

  • annpan
    10 years ago

    I finally finished "Auntie Lee's Delights". It was interesting but seemed to start in the middle of people's lives. I wondered if there had been an earlier story but Google said there wasn't!
    I am now reading "W is for Wasted" the latest Sue Grafton.

  • netla
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    I've fallen into a reading pattern where I read one non-fiction book over a period of couple of while also finishing several short novels in the same period.

    The non-fiction has been mostly romances and mysteries, and not one has been read on the Kindle because I am trying to clear some shelf space in my library by reading and discarding books.

    The last book I finished was The United States of Europe by T.R. Reid. Learned some things about the history of the European Union that I didn't know before. It's written in a clear and readable style and although I don't agree with all of the author's subjective assertions about Europe, he does have the objective stuff right.

    The next book I have selected to read is Dust in the Lion's Paw by Freya Stark. It's the part of her autobiography that covers the years of World War II. She was a fascinating woman who seems to have had an insatiable curiosity about the world around her and possessed the means and determination to explore it.

  • yoyobon_gw
    10 years ago

    While setting up a local book sale I found THE ARCHIVIST and decided to read it.

    I don't know if it's me or what but it seems to be difficult to find a book that grabs me.
    This one feels a bit tedious ( first 30 pages, anyway).

    Has anyone read it?

  • carolyn_ky
    10 years ago

    I started Refusal by Felix Francis, son of Dick F., today. It features Sid Halley, who was one of my favorite characters in Dick's earlier books. Good, so far.

    Also received today in the mail Trail of Fire by Diana Gabaldon. It has four novellas featuring different minor characters from her big books and filling in some history in the gaps between the novels.

  • sheriz6
    10 years ago

    Welcome bchukran! It's always nice to have new people here.

    I flew through the newest Nora Roberts yesterday, Dark Witch, the first of a new trilogy. I still really enjoy her writing, and her stories are reliably good and engaging.

    Next up is The Art of Hearing Heartbeats for my book group.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    10 years ago

    I read "The Archivist" and liked it, FWIW.

  • lemonhead101
    10 years ago

    Finally read Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston. Wow. What a read. It's written mostly in AfAm dialect from the south and once I got the hang of that, it was eaz-readin'.

    It's a bildungsroman novel (or is that repetitive?) of a young AfAm woman who struggles to find out who she is, so it sounds rather "same old story" but the writing is stupendous. If you like to read lyrical descriptions that are heavy with Southern folklore (but not enough to make it confusing), you'll like this. Don't be put off by the dialect. You get the hang of it (or at least I did).

    Neale Hurston's own biography is a fascinating story in its own right as well. She won a couple of Guggenheims for research, she went to university as an Af Am in 1917 or so (when few women let alone women of color did), and had a successful writing career. And then - she ends up in Florida working as a maid, her writing forgotten for years, has a stroke, ends up in an indigent hospital and dies in an unmarked grave.

    Alice Walker et al brought her writing to the fore in the 1970's and now she is part of the canon of the Harlem Renaissance (although not everyone might agree with that categorization). Fascinating...

  • lemonhead101
    10 years ago

    And - welcome to bchukran! Hope you'll return and add your own ideas about reading.... The more the merrier, as they say.

  • netla
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Bchukran, welcome!

    As will often happen to me, I chose a book to read and started reading it - Dust in the Lion's Paw by Freya Stark - but got distracted by another book, in this case Poseidon's Steed: The Story of Seahorses, From Myth to Reality by Helen Scales. I had forgotten I had it but was looking for books to lend to my mother when I discovered it and started reading. Before I knew it, I'd finished two chapters and am looking forward to continuing when I get home from work.

    Have also started reading Police at the Funeral by Marjory Allingham.

  • annpan
    10 years ago

    I finished W is for Wasted but I skipped a lot of the description to get to the story! I can go back later...
    I will probably not have much time for reading for a while so I have cleared out the library books and not borrowed any more. The warm Spring weather has finally arrived so I shall be busy, either in the garden or just getting out and about.
    i have another GreatGD's second birthday party tomorrow and she gets some Touchy/ Feely books and a mermaid ornament for her themed bedroom.

  • carolyn_ky
    10 years ago

    I finished Blind Justice by Anne Perry. It is the latest in the Monk and Hester series and has Oliver Rathbone, who is now a judge, being tried for giving help to the prosecutor in a trial. I enjoyed it more than others of her recent books.

    Now I'm ready to start the new Jeri Westerson, Shadow of the Alchemist.