What are you Reading mark2

Posted by: ren33

What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Jun 15 2011 05:57 PM

I only started this new thread as the other was a bit long.
Just a reminder, although most of us do....remember to tell us a bit about the book you mention, likes and dislikes etc. Thanks all.
Posted by: LadyCaitriona

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jun 16 2011 07:49 AM

When I moved to a new province I only took the one book with me (the rest will follow, eventually), but thankfully it's three books in one: the Icewind Dale trilogy by R. A. Salvatore. I'm currently reading Book 2, Streams of Silver, in which Drizzt, Bruenor, Wulfgar and Regis trek across the northlands in search of Bruenor's ancenstral home of Mithral Hall. I'm at an exciting part, too: after being denied entrance at Nesmé because of Drizzt's drow heritage, the companions shortcut across the Evermoors (nicknamed the Trollmoors, for good reason!) to shorten their distance to Silverymoon. This... was not a wise decision.

While I am very fond of Salvatore's work, especially his stories about Drizzt Do'Urden, I am fairly disappointed with the book, The Legend of Drizzt Collector's Edition, Book II, which was a reprint of the original trilogy featuring Drizzt and his companions. There are so many annoying mistakes that should have been caught by the editors. "Had" written as "hid", "the principal city" written as "principle". If I recall correctly, at a point farther along one of the main characters' names is misspelled as Wijlfgar. There were many, many more errors as well. frown

Edit to add:
Wizards of the Coast (the publishing company) should have a correction note system like FunTrivia's!
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jun 16 2011 08:06 AM

I really don't get to read as much as I used to, but my mom gave me a neat book that is the story of family life and a dog's life told from the perspective of the dog. So far The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is a good read.
Posted by: Snowman

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 19 2011 12:21 AM

I'm currently reading, at a very slow pace, The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. It's the prequel to Oryx and Crake and while it is as well written as Atwood's books always are, it hasn't engaged me in the way the previous book did. Possibly it's because of the multiple person narrative that was a little confusing at the start of the book - as a consequence, I don't feel I really know the characters that well, a third of the way into the book.

On a purely FT-related side note, O&C was given to me because the central character's name was Snowman. In YotF, one of the central characters is called ren smile
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 19 2011 01:53 AM

Ooooer Fame at last! All I can say is Ms Atwood has excellent taste.
Posted by: LadyCaitriona

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jun 20 2011 12:48 PM

I have two books on the go... the one mentioned above for a bit of light reading before bed and now I've also started reading The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum.

I'm enjoying the story so far. I saw the movie several years ago but don't remember much about the story, except that it's about a guy with amnesia.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 15 2011 10:22 PM

The Clothes on Their Backs Linda Grant. I only just heard of this one, passed to me by a friend. It is very promising indeed. It is the story of Vivien, who is the child of rather insular Hungarian Jewish parents, brought up in London in the sixties. It is bringing back a lot of familiar sights and sounds of London at that time, Rachmanism etc. So far I am enjoying it.
Posted by: MaggieG

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jul 17 2011 12:43 PM

I read that last year, and I had forgotten all about it! I enjoyed it, but I've lent it to someone in my reading circle, so I can't say more about it.

I've just finished 'Last Chance to Die' by Noah Boyd, which I started with high expectations - he's an ex FBI agent who's worked on some really high profile cases, but it took me a LONG time to read - I'm not sure whether it was the small font or whether the story was just too complicated, but I wasn't gripped. However I then turned to the latest Peter James book, 'Dead Man's Grip' and I'm sailing through it. It reads easily, is a compulsive page-turner, and he blends several plotlines beautifully. Occasionally his dialogue jars slightly, but the plot and characterisation more than make up for that. I've read all his Roy Grace series, and even go to the extent of buying them in hardback as soon as they come out. Highly recommended if you enjoy detective fiction!
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jul 17 2011 04:44 PM

Oh, I just read my first Peter James book a couple weeks ago (can't remember the name, it was the one where the guy disappeared in 9/11) and liked it a lot. If you recommend the series as a whole, I'll give a few more of them a try.
Posted by: Rowena8482

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jul 25 2011 08:25 AM

Dare I admit I just finished the Percy Jackson series? I got them on my Kindle and they were dirt cheap so I thought I'd give them a go and then the kids can read them. They were ok, some funny moments and plenty of action to keep them moving along. Not a lot of effort required, so they made good holiday reading smile
The latest George RR Martin one is here "A Dance With Dragons" - we've been waiting years for it to come out, it's the fifth huge volume in his "Song of Ice and Fire" series (they recently televised the first one) and I'm trying to summon the energy to pick it up - it is HUGE and must weigh a good five or six pounds, so just holding it up is a bit of an effort!
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jul 25 2011 04:35 PM

I've been listening to Stuart McBride's "Logan McRae" police procedurals, and just loving them. Pretty good mysteries, and the characters are hilarious. DI Steele has got to be my new favourite fictional character.

They are set in Aberdeen, and a big part of the appeal is that the readers for the audiobooks do a great Aberdeen accent.
Posted by: Daaanieeel

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 01 2011 04:42 AM

I'm in a classics mood, so I'm reading White Fang by Jack London at the moment. I read The Call of the Wild and loved it, so I decided to try this one. It is a bit slow moving at the start, which made me think it would be a boring novel, not at all like The Call of the Wild, but when the action kicks in, it is gripping and exciting!
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 01 2011 05:23 AM

I've just milled through Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth blockbuster ... in four days. I guess you could say I enjoyed it!

I was looking for a novel for school for my daughter, and kind of drifted over to the 'foreign books' section, where Follet's book was sitting sadly neglected on an otherwise empty shelf. Having had no fresh English reading material since late spring I decided to buy it without even reading the splurge on the back cover. Probably as well off, as it happens, as I might never have bought the book had I read it. A book which tells the tale of the construction of a gothic cathederal by a 12th century monk, over a period of thirty or so years, in Medieval times, just doesn't grip my attention that much.

How wrong was I!!! I found the character development to be pretty good, good enough to keep me interested. Likewise, the historical and political issues of the time were adressed in a simple straightforward manner, perfectly adequate for my passing interest, and all in all it was a very satisfying read. Now I admit that I am not rushing out to buy the sequel, but when it crosses my path, I'm pretty sure I'll end up with it on my shelf too.

My biggest gripe? There were sex scenes and scenes of violence which were totally necessary to the plot, but there were many occurences of the same where I felt it was gratuitous and superfluous to advancing the tale, and that annoyed me a little, not enough to dull my enthusiasm for the book, mind you.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 01 2011 07:04 AM

I've been rereading "Flashman" and the rest of the series, speaking of gratuitous sex and violence. Now, of course, in the case of Harry Flashman, while these scenes may not advance the plot, they most definitely establish the character!

For those who are not familiar with this unique series, Flashman is a cad and a bounder, a coward, bully, and womanizer who snivels and cheats his way through almost every interesting military and political encounter in Victorian times. Very very funny, very very well researched and fascinating to anyone with an interest in history. And pretty darned offensive if you don't take it with tongue just as deep in the cheek as the author - he really is a terrible fellow, and it's hard to understand why we like him so much.
Posted by: Dagny1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 01 2011 11:02 AM

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

A reread for me of this fabulous, fast-paced book. It has something for everyone (it's long enough, lol). It's an enthralling story of love, dastardly deeds, hidden treasure and revenge, set mainly in Europe from Italy to France. Lengthy but worth every minute.

Whether you're reading it now or have read it in the past, join us October 10th at the FunTrivia Book Club thread!
Posted by: george48

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 01 2011 05:13 PM

Beatrice and Virgil, The latest book by
Yann Martel,
Author of 'Life of Pi'.
Just started it ,no comments about it yet.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Oct 02 2011 03:34 PM

Just finished 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan. It's a fictionalised account of a famous and scandalous murder and trial in New York in the 1850s. Told partly in the present and partly in flashback it engages from the word go, and the final revelation is one that you just didn't see coming at all.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Oct 02 2011 09:17 PM

Thanks Christina! I immediately ordered from BookD no postage so about 4 pounds!
Posted by: MadMartha

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Oct 03 2011 06:25 AM

Because I remember enjoying reading Zane Grey's books as a teenager, I have been downloading them on my Kindle. Have reread "Riders of the Purple Sage" set in Utah, "The Call of the Canyon" set in Arizona, and "The Mysterious Rider" set in Colorado. These are Western love stories in which Grey uses interesting descriptive narration of the settings. I admit to enjoying them once again!
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Oct 03 2011 08:03 AM

Hope you enjoy it ren.
Posted by: LadyCaitriona

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Oct 03 2011 11:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Santana2002
I've just milled through Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth blockbuster ... in four days. I guess you could say I enjoyed it!

I was looking for a novel for school for my daughter, and kind of drifted over to the 'foreign books' section, where Follet's book was sitting sadly neglected on an otherwise empty shelf. Having had no fresh English reading material since late spring I decided to buy it without even reading the splurge on the back cover. Probably as well off, as it happens, as I might never have bought the book had I read it. A book which tells the tale of the construction of a gothic cathederal by a 12th century monk, over a period of thirty or so years, in Medieval times, just doesn't grip my attention that much.

How wrong was I!!! I found the character development to be pretty good, good enough to keep me interested. Likewise, the historical and political issues of the time were adressed in a simple straightforward manner, perfectly adequate for my passing interest, and all in all it was a very satisfying read. Now I admit that I am not rushing out to buy the sequel, but when it crosses my path, I'm pretty sure I'll end up with it on my shelf too.

My biggest gripe? There were sex scenes and scenes of violence which were totally necessary to the plot, but there were many occurences of the same where I felt it was gratuitous and superfluous to advancing the tale, and that annoyed me a little, not enough to dull my enthusiasm for the book, mind you.


Pillars of the Earth in four days? There should be some kind of achievement badge for that! It's been a long while since I read it, but I seem to remember feeling the same way about sex/violence scenes not doing anything to further the plot or characters.

Since unpacking all of my books which have been in storage for about eight years, I've decided to re-read my Dragonlance collection from when I was a teenager. After that I might re-read my Dean Koontz collection, which was another adolescent favourite.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 12 2011 10:54 PM

Chaim Potok's "The Chosen" - a wonderful book. Probably this means I'll also be rereading "The Promise" which follows the main characters a few years later. Who knew that the study of Talmud would be such a great human story?
Posted by: bubblesfun

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Nov 13 2011 11:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Rowena8482
Dare I admit I just finished the Percy Jackson series? I got them on my Kindle and they were dirt cheap so I thought I'd give them a go and then the kids can read them. They were ok, some funny moments and plenty of action to keep them moving along. Not a lot of effort required, so they made good holiday reading smile
The latest George RR Martin one is here "A Dance With Dragons" - we've been waiting years for it to come out, it's the fifth huge volume in his "Song of Ice and Fire" series (they recently televised the first one) and I'm trying to summon the energy to pick it up - it is HUGE and must weigh a good five or six pounds, so just holding it up is a bit of an effort!


Totally enjoyed the Percy Jackson books. Have you tried the Hunger Games series yet? Better.
Posted by: bubblesfun

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Nov 13 2011 11:49 PM

Oh,and I just finished re-reading Parting the Waters. Taylor Branch is a genius with the touch.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Nov 14 2011 06:32 PM

Just finished Charles de Lint's 'The Blue Girl", not bad at all, especially for a 'teen' oriented book. I always do enjoy his spin on fantasy, integrating it to regular, modern urban life. It gets a thumbs up from me.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 19 2011 04:52 PM

Guess what? While wandering through our 'regular' bookstore today, I spotted that the English literature shelf had been restacked, and calling to me from the very bottom, right hand corner, close to the floor was Ken Follet's "World Without End" ... I don't know how it happened, but it's now sitting at my elbow calling to me ... in ever louder tones!

I also snapped up Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild", which I have neither read nor seen thus far.

I don't expect to get much housework, craft stuff, internet-surfing, or any other occupations done for the immediate future grin
Posted by: Copago

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 19 2011 05:19 PM

I am reading Eragon laugh
Yes okay, it's a kid's book but it is really good. I read it at night to my son before bed. Am finding it tough to fit in reading but am listening to audio books a bit lately .. had a long trip recently and got through "Good Omens".
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 19 2011 06:53 PM

I liked "Into the Wild" quite a lot - really, I've enjoyed everything I've read from Krakauer, though I understand there is usually some controversy from those involved in the events. I know the Mormon Church was not very happy with "Under the Banner of Heaven".
Posted by: klinski_1987

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 19 2011 08:14 PM

I just started A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. The preface alone gave me a lot to think about. I haven't even finished the first chapter yet a,s I started it shortly before going to work, but I'm already enthralleenthralled. I have a feeling it's going to be a quick read.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 01 2011 01:07 PM

Nothing wrong with child literature, copago! I bought Eragon for myself, but haven't read it yet! We're currently reading Tolkien's 'Hobbit' to my 9 year old. It's actually a lot of fun to read aloud: Son gets a kick out of the funny bits, and I get a kick out of his enjoyment of it, and we both go off on imaginative dadreaming while we're at it, great stuff really (just a little 'anti' the objective of settling him down before he sleeps, hehe).
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 01 2011 01:09 PM

I also found Into the Wild quite fascinating and am still undecided as to whether Chris was a dreamer, an idealist, a rebel, just plain stupid, or a mix of all the above!

I remember thoroughly enjoying Brave New World when I read it, and always intended reading 1984 to compare the two, just haven't yet gotten around to that (says she, 25 years later). Maybe now that you've sparked my memory of it, klinski ...
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 01 2011 02:40 PM

Reading "The Hobbit" to my sister when she was about ten is one of the most cherished memories, for both of us. Because of that experience, we both read to our own older children (past the age of picture books) and, again, these are some of the best memories and bonding experiences we've had. All of those now adult children are readers, who intend to read to their own kids...
Posted by: klinski_1987

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 01 2011 06:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Santana2002
I also found Into the Wild quite fascinating and am still undecided as to whether Chris was a dreamer, an idealist, a rebel, just plain stupid, or a mix of all the above!

I remember thoroughly enjoying Brave New World when I read it, and always intended reading 1984 to compare the two, just haven't yet gotten around to that (says she, 25 years later). Maybe now that you've sparked my memory of it, klinski ...


"Nothing wrong with child literature, copago! I bought Eragon for myself"


So funny you should mention that! I finished Brave New World, and decided 1984 should be next! I just finished it as well, and decided Eragon would be a good project while I'm digesting my dystopias . I'm starting it tonight.

I haven't checked the thread since posting last, so it's quite odd that things played out this way.
Posted by: klinski_1987

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Dec 25 2011 07:01 PM

Well, I read Barrel Fever, a collection of essays and stories by David Sedaris a few days ago. It wasn't as good as some of his other work (I loved 'Me Talk Pretty One Day'), IMO. Last night, I waited up for Santa and finished 'The Great Gatsby.'
I'll be picking something new tonight. I'm thinking either 'A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess, or 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Dec 28 2011 02:26 AM

The Tender Bar J.R. Moehringer
I really coud not put this down What a wonderful book
Its a memoir of the author's childhood, so beautifully told . Please read it.
Posted by: bubblesfun

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Dec 28 2011 04:13 PM

After watching Band of Brothers multiple times, I am now reading the Stephen Ambrose book. I am not a huge fan of history, but the book really brings the personal stories of the men of the Easy Company to an incredibly vivid life.
Posted by: klinski_1987

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Dec 28 2011 07:26 PM

I ended up going to Barnes and Noble to spend a gift card I got for Christmas, so instead of my other two choices, I'm reading Christopher Paolini's "Eldest." It's the second in a series of books about Eragon, the first dragon rider in centuries in the land of Alagaesia.
I can see lots of influences from J.R.R. Tolkien and R.A. Salvatore, even down to some of the names in the book. Still though, nothing's new, and the story is keeping me on the edge of my seat. I'm glad I started reading them. After seeing the movie, I was a bit put off. Thankfully, as is usually the case, the book is far superior to it's silver screen adaptation.
Also, I still have some money left on the gift card, so I can go get the third book sometime next week!
Posted by: george48

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Dec 28 2011 08:01 PM

I've bought a book designated by my Book Club as the book of discussion for January, called 'The Sisters Brothers' by Patrick DeWitt,a Canadian born author currently living in Oregon. It was a Man Booker prize finalist,a Giller prize finalist and it was Amazons' Best Book of 2011. One of the descriptions of it is 'True Grit' as told by Tom Waits. Just started it. I not usually one for westerns but what the heck.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 29 2011 07:10 PM

I enjoyed The Sisters Brothers quite a bit - it's not your ordinary western...
Posted by: bitterlyold

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 29 2011 11:16 PM

Since I am a h.s. language arts teacher, I select to read only that literature which is of the highest caliber. That is why I am reading Patricia Cornwell's "The Scarpetta Factor." *snicker* I'm only halfway into the story, but it's typical Cornwell fare. Lots of cursing by the cop and the billionaire lesbian niece; some rather lame sex (or rather non-sex) scenes between the lead characters, Kate and Benton, and a decent (if long-winded) who-done-it murder plot.

If you are tired of trying to impress your friends by reading Post-Postmodernist dreck, skip that section at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com and head right on into the fiction section. I had to suffer through tomes of "great works" in college, and to be honest, the canon is pretty good. I highly recommend that everyone read every Norton Anthology cover to cover, then switch to guilty pleasure.

For purposes of FT, read all of Tolkien and Rowling (I've read not word one of either, and cannot abide the thought of spending time in front of a screen watching the movies). God save us all if people start writing quiz after quiz about the Twilight series. (Sparkly, animal-blood only, loving vampires? Really? sheesh)

Sorry, that's probably another thread. I'll hush now.
Posted by: bitterlyold

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 29 2011 11:19 PM

Originally Posted By: bitterlyold
Since I am a h.s. language arts teacher, I select to read only that literature which is of the highest caliber. That is why I am reading Patricia Cornwell's "The Scarpetta Factor." *snicker* I'm only halfway into the story, but it's typical Cornwell fare. Lots of cursing by the cop and the billionaire lesbian niece; some rather lame sex (or rather non-sex) scenes between the lead characters, Kate and Benton, and a decent (if long-winded) who-done-it murder plot.

If you are tired of trying to impress your friends by reading Post-Postmodernist dreck, skip that section at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com and head right on into the fiction section. I had to suffer through tomes of "great works" in college, and to be honest, the canon is pretty good. I highly recommend that everyone read every Norton Anthology cover to cover, then switch to guilty pleasure.

For purposes of FT, read all of Tolkien and Rowling (I've read not word one of either, and cannot abide the thought of spending time in front of a screen watching the movies). God save us all if people start writing quiz after quiz about the Twilight series. (Sparkly, animal-blood only, loving vampires? Really? sheesh)

Sorry, that's probably another thread. I'll hush now.


"That's not writing, that's typing." -- Capote (on Kerouac)
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 06 2012 06:33 AM

In the correct thread this time:

I finished Eragon over the Christmas holidays (I read it in the car while being driven to Belgium). It shows promise from the author, or at least a good understanding of the mechanics of writing a fantasy novel. However I found it superficial and rather clichéd, immature is possibly the term to use. It has all the typical fantaisy elements: the young untried farm hand going on a quest and 'finding' his true self along the way, all the usual themes of honour, loyalty, good vs bad, etc, but it just doesn't pick up anywhere. It seems to me to be a bit like a 'fantasy novel by numbers' kind of thing. All kudos to the author, who is only a teen, but he needs to develop his own style a bit, develop his characters a lot, and generally go for a lot more depth in his future writing.

It's disappointing to read already that the sequels go downhill, as I would have hoped he could have improved with time and experience. Ah well, he's young yet, plenty of time for his writing to catch up.

I've just finished RR Martin's 'Game of Thrones', a much more gripping fantaisy novel, a bit too brutally violent in places, but gripping none the less with a political intrigue storyline going on that kept me turning the pages. There were several chapters that I skimmed through or practically skipped altogether, but all in all a very satisfying read.

The quandry now is: do I buy the sequels in book format or do I invest in that Kindle that is beginning to nag on the borderlines of my wish-list, and invest in the special offer bundle of the remaining volumes for a mere 15 € or so???
Posted by: bubblesfun

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 06 2012 03:35 PM

Buy the Kindle! I was resistant for a long time because I held fast to the idea that I like the solidity of a book. Turns out that I like paying less for said books more than anything. And now that many libraries are starting e-book lending, there is no comparison.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 06 2012 04:51 PM

I do so like an enabler, bubblesfun grin I think I'll just bide my time till my next pay packet, and go for it then wink
Posted by: tezza1551

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 06 2012 10:40 PM

I've been sorting through the books I've been stockpiling for my grandaughter.. the Anne of Green Gables series, Little Women, Mary Grant Bruce Billabong series etc, so before I hand them over, I needed to re read them ! She is almost 10, and just started the Heidi series. Delighted she loves so many of the books I used to love. She has her own favourites as well.. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter, Judy Moody etc, but is very taken with "Nan's old books".
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 06 2012 11:30 PM

Hi Tezza. Back in 2000 there was a thread of Childrens' Favourite books
http://www.funtrivia.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/37271/Children_s_Favorites#Post37271
I was re reading it and thought you might like to see it.
Posted by: tezza1551

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 07 2012 12:56 AM

Thanks Ren. Since posting above, I found another two books I had forgotten I had.. "Flying Nurse" and "Sugarbird Lady", both by Robyn Miller - she was a West Australian nurse who also qualified as a pilot and worked with the Royal Flying Doctor Service - died at the age of 35 in 1975..so they are next on the list !
Incidentally, the "Sugarbird" refers to her her work administering the anti poliomyelitis Sabin vaccine.. she used to fly into remote communities, run a clinic, and fly out to the next place. The Sabin vaccine was administered orally, via a sugar cube.. hence Sugarbird Lady.
Posted by: dsimpy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 07 2012 05:00 AM

I've just finished about the most frustrating book I've ever read! : Kazuo Ishiguro's The Unconsoled. It moves constantly, without any structure or warning, between 'reality' and 'unreality' in terms of space, time, memory, and just about everything else ... but, as is typical with Ishiguro, the pace of the novel is so slow and the nature of the action is so mundane, that it feels like wading through treacle while someone is scraping a knife across a baking tin!

GG, I was glad to finish it!

Not surprisingly, perhaps(!), critics are divided between those who see it as one of the greatest novels of the past 30 years, and critics like the one who said it had created its own category of badness!

Would I recommend it? Yes ... but only to my enemies smilee

To get my head back together I'm now re-reading Albert Camus' The Outsider (haven't read it since school*). Short novel, very economical prose, brilliant book! (*Read it in the original French then - L'Étranger - but couldn't manage that these days!)
Posted by: Tobyone

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 07 2012 02:42 PM


I did very well for books at Christmas. I'm finishing A Day in Tuscany by Frances Mayes. I've loved all her Tuscany books; it's fascinating to compare the relaxed attitude towards her life in Italy with the fervour of the earlier books. As always, the food descriptions are mouth-watering.

With hopes that it's not too late for me, I'm also reading Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. Described as the "Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation", it's a passionate defence of using correct punctuation.

I thoroughly enjoyed the three Christopher Paolini books. I found the characters engaging and fell in love with "Saphira".
Posted by: tezza1551

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 07 2012 10:11 PM

Ren, I copied the list so I could have a really good look.. interested (and saddened) that The Secret Garden didn't make it.. but it was an American list, so not really surprised.
An Aussie list might be interesting to compare.. "Snugglepot & Cuddlepie", "Blinky Bill" and all the other May Gibbs and Dorothy Wall characters I think would rate a mention.
A UK list would certainly have an Enid Blyton or two - maybe the Enchanted Wood series or the Naughtiest Girl ?
Another series - English again - that I had, and my kids read, and that I am now stockpiling for my grandson are the Blackberry Farm books..
Posted by: bubblesfun

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 07 2012 10:21 PM

I would also put all of the Noel Streatfeild "Shoe" books on the list. I just reread Skating Shoes, and I read both Ballet Shoes and Circus Shoes at least once a year.
Posted by: tezza1551

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 07 2012 10:41 PM

Any of Noel Streatfeild's are worth reading..I think the first one I read of hers was "Curtain Up', about 50 years ago..and I have a small collection of her work in my "Issy" stockpile.
Posted by: tezza1551

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 08 2012 04:28 AM

Well, after a discussion with Miss Issy (aged almost 10), I am told that Norman Lindsay's Magic Pudding should be included in any Australian list, as should Ruth Park's Muddleheaded Wombat !
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jan 12 2012 06:43 PM

Originally Posted By: bubblesfun
Buy the Kindle! I was resistant for a long time because I held fast to the idea that I like the solidity of a book. Turns out that I like paying less for said books more than anything. And now that many libraries are starting e-book lending, there is no comparison.


Anyone in the UK beware. Although Kindle is the most popular e.book reader by far, and is always recommended as a best buy, it is NOT compatible with the e.book system installed in most of our libraries, so you cannot download library books onto a Kindle.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jan 12 2012 07:53 PM

Hi all. Please could we get back on to the subject of what you are reading?
If you want to discuss things like Kindles there is a thread. Thanks
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 13 2012 06:07 PM

Reading a Hap and Leonard book by Joe Lansdale, "Rumble Tumble". These books are a guaranteed good time if your tastes run to the silly and profane. I especially recommend listening to this series in audiobook - Phil Gigante reads them and does a fantastic job. Kinda like listening to a "My Name is Earl" mystery/thriller.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 13 2012 07:00 PM

Currently reading "Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN" by James Miller and Tom Shales.

I grew up watching ESPN (well starting in the late 80's) so it's quite interesting to me. I'm a little over half way through it and it discusses the network from the very beginning. Lots of great stories, funny, sad, interesting, etc. Miller and Shales interviewed 100s of people, from reporters, studio talent, and production all the way up to executives and CEO's.

It's a little different in how it's written, it's more a collection of actual quotes from people that were there, organized in a way to tell the story. There is very little of Miller's writing in it, just to tie things together or explain where we are in the "story" of ESPN. If you have an interest in ESPN history I'd recommend it. Great book thus far.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 13 2012 10:40 PM

I was advised to read Sarah Waters, so I bought two. The first one, "Fingersmith", I was not very impressed with, I think it was rather a lame plot. I am so much more enjoying "The Night Watch", set in wartime London. Fastmoving and intriguing-everything "Fingersmith" wasn't. It just goes to prove my theory , one I always tell my students,that we write so much better about things we know and have experienced.
Posted by: postal315

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 14 2012 02:46 AM

Santana202

If you enjoyed "Pillars of the Earth" you might also like "Lie Down With Lions" by Ken Follet.

I had it on audio-books and it was very good. It was good enough that I wasn't scared of "Pillars" length.

I read it before America was at war in Afganistan, it was mostly set there during that time. Doesn't sound like something we'd want to read, but the characters were very good.

Strong female lead, with lots of plot turns.

I'm currentlty plowing my way through Tom Clancy's "Bear and Dragon" a little more concentration needed to follow the plot---or maybe I need to just sit and read?
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 14 2012 10:21 AM

I enjoyed the emotional resonance of "Fingersmith", though I agree with Ren about the storyline. Maybe I'll give "The Night Watch" a try, then, if it's better.
Posted by: postal315

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 14 2012 12:38 PM

I forgot to say, there is about the same basic level of sex & violence in "Lie Down With Lions"

I just glossed over that part!
Posted by: Dagny1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 14 2012 03:30 PM

Currently reading (For the Term of) His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke, an Australian classic which has never been out of print. It's about an innocent man in England who was pronounced guilty of murder and transported to Australia. About 2/5 through and the many adventures and coincidences remind me of The Count of Monte Cristo. (Available free in numerous formats from Project Gutenberg.)
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Feb 07 2012 07:07 PM

A recent forced turn out of the bookshelves due to the decorators coming has unearthed some forgotten treasures. Tucked away on a top shelf I found "Up The Garden Path" by Beverley Nicholls and I am happily immersed in it. Long out of print I would think it is the story of how he bought a house just because it had a long neglected garden and how he brought the garden back. A delightful piece of writing that is quite old fashioned in a lot of ways but a complete joy to gardners.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Feb 07 2012 08:42 PM

Oh Gosh, Beverley Nichols! I had quite forgotten him. A really prolific writer with an interesting life. He was PR to Nellie Melba for a start! I really must find a biography. Thanks for reminding me. My gran adored him, he wrote a weekly piece in Women's Own.
"He's lovely dear, one of those 'hermafrites' but I love his books!"
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Apr 21 2012 06:24 PM

I just finished reading David Baldacci's, "The Sixth Man". His books usually deal with politics, spies, espionage, and figures of power. "The Sixth Man" has it all and is written so well that you'll swear that all of it is true or could be.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Apr 22 2012 12:28 PM

Thanks for the recommendation, postal! I'll try to get my hands on that when I'm back home in a couple of weeks.
Posted by: MotherGoose

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Apr 29 2012 12:07 AM

It seems like ages since I read a book. I've been so busy with full-time work and other things, that I haven't found the time to read, except for magazines and newspapers, which are usually read whilst eating my lunch at work.

I remember the days (pre-children) when I would start a book, couldn't put it down, and would spend the entire weekend reading it, to the exclusion of everything else including housework.

Well, obviously such an appalling situation needs to be rectified, so last night I started reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" which was recommended to me by the lady who runs our local second-hand book shop. I'm only on Chapter 2 but so far it is absorbing.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Apr 29 2012 04:09 AM

Carole, do not buy the other two in the series! I have them here waiting for your visit! (if you like that one, that is!)
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jun 18 2012 05:58 PM

"Motherless Brooklyn" by Jonathan Lethem. Lionel - the protagonist with Tourette's Syndrome - is an enormously sympathetic character, and I'm loving the seedy, shady Brooklyn he's ticcing his way through.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jun 18 2012 06:35 PM

I borrowed my Mother's old Kindle (she got the 'Fire') and proceeded to download a few free books from Amazon.

The first book I read was "The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865" by Leander Stillwell. I found it very interesting as it was written more as a memoir to his son, than a book for publishing. It was written in 1917 (according to the Library of Congress) so is a true look back from an honest, intelligent and detailed author.

The second book was "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself" by Harriet Ann Jacobs. Look like it was written in 1861, so she was careful to leave out information about how she escaped the slavery of the south and the methods (and characters) that helped her along the way. It's very well written account and, again, I really relish in first person accounts such as this. It wasn't easy to read at some points but she doesn't delve into the detail of the horrors she experienced, but does touch on many. I would expect that a mother would have a deeper understanding of her story and struggle.

Currently reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I'd never read it, so figured it was about time and fit in with the theme of the other two books mentioned. Only about a quarter of the way into it, but it's been good so far. I do not like authors that write in the "slang" (for lack of a better term, maybe broken southern English is a better way to put it) of the time. It makes it much more difficult to read and understand what is being said than if it was whole, plain words. Perhaps that's needed to engross the reader in the subject and put them "in the time" being talked about, but I find it distracting more often than not.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jun 18 2012 07:49 PM

Especially since Ms Stowe was no Mark Twain, and didn't really have a finely-tuned ear.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jun 18 2012 08:05 PM

"Shantaram" Gregory David Roberts.
Oh wow!
I am so enjoying this. What a terrific style. He writes about Bombay and you KNOW he has been there and he takes you back there too. It is autobiographical, he is an escaped criminal and he arrives in Bombay and begins to have the feeling I had, but he stays. You must love him , and especially the people he meets. A terrific find.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jun 30 2012 04:16 PM

Following on from my last comment, this is a very long book and I am flagging a bit after my initial enthusiasm. I cannot help feeling it is all a bit exagerrated. That one man has done so much is a bit of a tall order for me. However, I still say the descriptions of Bombay life are second to none, and it is worth reading for that, especially if you have been there.
Posted by: flopsymopsy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jul 02 2012 12:07 PM

Anyone else a fan of Scandinavian crime novels? I've just finished the latest - and last - of the Wallander series by Henning Mankell who has a way of capturing the clear Swedish light as well as the thought processes of a middle-aged provincial policeman. The books take a bit of getting into as they have a rhythm of their own but they are very well-written and with good characterisation. I've been reading them since the first was published in English in the late 1990s, and now that Mankell has said there will be no more I shall have to find some other dour Swede to depress me. frown
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jul 02 2012 01:01 PM

I used to read Per Whaloo and Maj Sjöwall's "Martin Beck" series. They are a bit dated now (Whaloo died in 1975) but still have that Scandinavian flavour.
Posted by: bloodandsand

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jul 02 2012 01:44 PM

I do have a fondness for Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole novels.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 07 2012 11:23 AM

Just finished A J Jacobs' "The Year of Living Biblically" which was pretty good, though not quite as good as I'd hoped. The author spends a year trying to follow every rule in the Bible. He's a secular Jew, and the book is most interesting, and most moving, when his task puts him in touch with his heritage. All in all it's a little superficial and I found myself wanting more detail and more depth on some subjects, but still an enjoyable read. I'd think anyone with very strict fundamentalist beliefs might find it a bit flippant, but I'd guess any run-of-the-mill Christian, Jew, or agnostic would find it interesting and maybe thought provoking.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 07 2012 11:26 AM

I've also been rereading a lot of Susan Isaacs. Her books are really beach reads - fun and easy - but I've always really liked her style.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 07 2012 01:54 PM

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach. I really enjoyed it, but it has put me off seeing the film as it seems nothing like it. I would watch anything with that cast though, so I am sort of torn. I then went to the library and ordered a few more by the same author. She is, I think, a clever and very original writer, and I have been enjoying them.I am just getting into "The Stand-in" about an actress who seems to live the lives of the actresses she stands in for. Looks promising.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 07 2012 06:07 PM

Just finished The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night, Mark Hadden. It's been sitting in my to read pile for ages. Love the way he really gets into the mind of an autistic child, I found the whole book compelling, couldn't put it down.
Posted by: bloodandsand

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Sep 08 2012 05:33 AM

Ren33, I totally agree. I read Moggach's novel a couple of months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it; the characters are beautifully drawn, and in such a light and gentle way, with lots of humour thrown in.

I read the Haddon novel several years ago and also found it compelling, Christinap. In fact I think I'll dig it out and re read it!
Posted by: tjoebigham

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Sep 10 2012 09:57 AM

I'm reading "The King's Speech" by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi. Logue scripted the popular biopic of how his grandfather Lionel Logue helped Albert, Duke of York, conquer the latter's debilitating stammer so he could ascend the British throne when his older brother Edward abdicated.

tjoeb};>
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Sep 11 2012 08:54 PM

John Grisham’s “The Rainmaker.” (I bought it on audio from my local community library in a book sale. Still on tape one of four, but so far it’s very good.

The last book I read (in Braille) was “Firestorm” by David Klass. It’s the first in his “Caretaker Trilogy,” and I actually read it twice. It’s an environmental thriller, and I highly recommend it to those who are interested in that kind of thing. Well written, to say the least.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Sep 12 2012 07:05 AM

I am still reading Deborah Moggach books Wow this one is great (The Stand-in) It has so much tension I was on the edge of my seat (well bed!) She is such a clever writer I don't know what is coming next.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 13 2012 07:22 PM

“Anyone else a fan of Scandinavian crime novels?” I never even heard of him until the library sent me “Before the Frost.” I found I couldn’t put it down once I started listening—I just had to know what happened next. Kind of surprised myself with that one.

“Just finished The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night, Mark Hadden.” Tried listening to that a few years ago, but for whatever reason couldn’t get into it. Maybe one of these days I’ll try again.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Sep 16 2012 03:17 PM

Just finished 'Katherine' by Anya Seton. I love it 35 years ago and I loved it again second time around.
Posted by: sue943

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Sep 19 2012 05:53 AM

A Wanted Man by Lee Child, his latest book.

Now excuse me, I need to get back to it.
Posted by: argus9

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Sep 19 2012 02:22 PM

Trunk Music (A Harry Bosch mystery) by Michael Connelly. Do love my mysteries
Posted by: Dagny1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Sep 19 2012 08:47 PM

Originally Posted By: argus9
Trunk Music (A Harry Bosch mystery) by Michael Connelly. Do love my mysteries


Love that one! In fact, great series. I haven't read them all as I was late getting started, but reading them in order.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 20 2012 05:19 AM

Reading "Minding Frankie" Maeve Binchy's last novel. Seems to be very standard Binchy, so far, but maybe a little rushed. I think I might re read some of her earlier stuff, where she wasn't so determined to cram a cast of thousands in.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Sep 23 2012 02:20 PM

Started “The Danger Box” by Blue Balliett the other day, and am on volume two of three. The narrator of the story is blind, so it makes for an interesting perspective.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 27 2012 02:23 PM

Just started “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, which I ordered a few days ago from the library for the blind. Some years ago, my mother had gotten it on CD from her college library. I remember a few things here and there, but mostly just quotes. It excited me to see this book in Braille (it’s three volumes—you just can’t condense Braille, even in shorthand). smile

Posted by: LeoDaVinci

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 27 2012 03:23 PM

It's a brilliant book which I enjoyed reading very much. The story touches your heart.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 27 2012 04:58 PM

I'm reading 'The Briny Cafe' by Susan Duncan. It took me a little while to get into it but I'm thoroughly enjoying it now.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 27 2012 05:40 PM

Originally Posted By: skunkee
Just finished 'Katherine' by Anya Seton. I love it 35 years ago and I loved it again second time around.


I used to really like her books, haven't read one for years. Must dig out a couple and give them a re-read.
Posted by: bubblesfun

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 27 2012 08:51 PM

I recently read The Art of Fielding, a first novel by Chad Harbach. I loved the baseball parts and I thought some of the characters and relationships were excellently drawn. Not huge on the wind-down, but it really was an impressive first book.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 27 2012 10:45 PM

Well I am really enjoying the first Lee Child book I have ever read, this on the recommendation of some old bat(I never knew she could actually read). I decided to read the first one and see if I like it and work my way through chronologically if I did, and I did.
He has a refreshingly original style, I think. I can't stand violence for violence sake, but in this there is not too much and it seems only to be used where necessary.Well I am enjoying so far, that's for sure.
Posted by: einsteinII

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 28 2012 05:31 PM

I am reading a book authored by a friend whose title is "In the Footsteps of Daniel Boone". To be fair to my friend, he has done a lot of research but it needs some stirring prose. It basically recounts the signage of Historical Markers related to Daniel Boone. There is background, but it is a tortuous journey and a bit repetitive. Would I recommend it? If one was a Boone buff, I would. For light reading, maybe not.

Posted by: Gil_Galad

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Sep 30 2012 01:32 PM

Just started Germinal by Emile Zola. I found it while rifling through my parents' old collection and decided to give it a go.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Sep 30 2012 01:47 PM

It's very good, but dark. Not to be read when depressed, or not getting along well with your family.

And, hey, Gil Galad, I'm rereading LOTR, right now...
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Oct 05 2012 07:25 AM

I just wtarted “Under the Big Sky: A Biography of A.B. Guthrie Jr.” It’s the story of how he came to be a writer. I normally steer clear of biographies (but that’s hard to do when the library keeps sending them). This one’s actually written in a style that is anything but dry (and the narrator happens to be one of my favorites).
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Oct 05 2012 05:15 PM

Oh yes, "Germinal"! So depressing. I remember all the "like marching through a night of a sky without stars" bits. Shades of A level French. I can't remember things perking up, but I suppose they did. Good luck!
Posted by: Dagny1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Oct 05 2012 05:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Gil_Galad
Just started Germinal by Emile Zola. I found it while rifling through my parents' old collection and decided to give it a go.


I love that book. Have you read L'Assommoir? Gervaise in L'Assommoir is Lantier's mother.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 06 2012 09:32 AM

Just put "The Day After Tomorrow" in my tape player. At first I thought I might have to throw it away, as the tape sounded like it was dying, but I'm already halfway through the first of four cassettes, and all is fine. All I can say is, **I love *mysteries!
Posted by: Gil_Galad

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 06 2012 10:53 AM

No, I haven't read L'Assommoir. I might try to find it when I finish Germinal.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 06 2012 11:37 AM

"Nana" was my favourite Zola.
Posted by: Dagny1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 06 2012 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: agony
"Nana" was my favourite Zola.


Another of Gervaise's children. My favorite is L'Assomoir. I've read 19 of the 20 Rougon-Macquart novels. The only one I'm missing is His excellency Eugene Rougon.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Oct 09 2012 08:35 AM

I've moved on to my first Tom Clancy novel(no, really). It's on four cassettes and is called "The Sum of All Fears." So far, it's interesting.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Oct 10 2012 06:55 PM

Reading "Brother Odd" by Dean Koontz - not really enjoying it.
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Oct 11 2012 12:19 PM

I have always enjoyed Dean Koontz's work, especially his earlier stuff, but Brother Odd was one of the few I had a hard time getting through.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 13 2012 10:48 AM

Re reading "The Day of the Triffids" and enjoying it immensely. In his quiet English way, John Wyndham really was one of the best Science Fiction authors of his time.
Posted by: authorspalace

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 13 2012 11:36 AM

I'm reading quite a few books right now. I am reading Cascade by Lisa Tawn Bergren, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, and Sir Percy Leads the Band by Baroness Orczy.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Oct 14 2012 11:29 AM

"The Burglar in the Rye", by Lawrence Block. I've probably talked about this series before - I just love it. Tremendously engaging characters, ridiculously convoluted plots that don't always play strictly fair - everybody lies, even sometimes our narrator - clever dialogue with a lot of wordplay, and a lighter-than-air touch. Block is very well acquainted indeed with the Mystery genre, and he plays with the conventions wonderfully - the climax of every book is an "I suppose you are all wondering why I gathered you here" expostulation, for example. I strongly recommend this series to anyone who likes a playful - and literary - touch to their mysteries.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Oct 14 2012 05:13 PM

Originally Posted By: agony
Re reading "The Day of the Triffids" and enjoying it immensely. In his quiet English way, John Wyndham really was one of the best Science Fiction authors of his time.


Yes he was I agree. "The Midwich Cuckoos" is my personal favourite of his.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Oct 15 2012 08:44 AM

Started a delightful book called “Don’t Dump the Dog,” about canine behavior problems and how to fix them. I don’t have a dog, and have never wanted one, but some parts of this book are just hilarious. It does, though, give practical and workable solutions to conquering your pet’s bad behavior. smile The author cares for a log of dogs, having established this “stray rescue” shelter. (I’ve actually read other books about dogs because the library sent them to me, but this is the first one that actually piqued—and held—my interest.) smile This is one of those books on digital cartridge, so it tells me the approximate reading time in that one book (and there’s no changing tapes or sides.) Approximate time: four hours.

As I listen to some of the chapters, I'm reminded of my friend, who has a miniature pincer she dubbed "The Dog From Hell." I never did understand why, if she wanted a big dog in the first place, she got a tiny one (she said it's because she doesn't have much room for the animal to run around, but I'm hearing her complain about what a pain he is. Could just be me, but sounds like a waste of money (I think she said she paid around $90 for Dante.)
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Oct 15 2012 11:29 AM

Sometimes I call my dogs "the Dog from Hell" too, but IMO, dogs are never a waste of money.

Currently I'm reading Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly about the Civil War and assassination of Abraham Lincoln. I read great reviews about this book and the historical accounts. Instead of reading like a history book, it reads more like a novel.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Oct 16 2012 03:52 PM

"Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter. All of Walter's books are good, and getting better. This one is totally mainstream fiction - he started out with crime fiction but has been moving away from it for some time. This one is a great story about, oh, life and love and meaning, and all that good stuff - and movies. It moves between Italy in the early sixties and the present, and has given me a great desire to watch some Richard Burton films - he's one of the characters, the lovely old drunk. I think most people would like this book.

ClaraSue, I've read some criticism of O'Rielly's research when it comes to details - as an example, the Oval Office didn't exist in Lincoln's time. Did you get the sense this was just the odd detail he got wrong, or was his research a little sloppy overall?
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Oct 16 2012 04:27 PM

I read that too, agony, about the Oval Office, but I don't think his research was sloppy overall. There's a great many details in the book that are collaborated by other authors and by photos and history books. Some details that are possibly wrong, in my opinion, was because of his zeal to have it read like a story and not just like a history book.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Oct 17 2012 02:49 AM

Yes, a little artistic license.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Oct 18 2012 04:03 PM

Just started "Radical Innocent," about the author Upton Sinclair.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Oct 21 2012 01:38 AM

Just finished Dennis Lehane's "Live by Night".

I wasn't too crazy about his last two books and was sadly thinking that he'd lost the magic, but I was wrong. This is without question the very best gangster novel I've read; I'd put it in the top five crime fiction, and possibly my top twenty novels of any kind. Really extraordinary. Not for the faint of heart - it's very violent - but if that doesn't bother you do yourself a favour and give it try. The story is a basic gangster story - violence and betrayal - but my goodness can that man write.
Posted by: Daja31

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Oct 25 2012 01:00 PM

Reading 'To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

It has my full interest now. It was a bit boring in the beginning, but not anymore. It is long and it is one tough cracker, but I am set on eating that cracker fully, metaphorically speaking.

Also,
Click to reveal..
Boo Radley
takes the numero uno spot in my mind.
Click to reveal..
Believed to be a mentally ill individual, he becomes a hero at the end, and the reason why he's like that is revealed.


This book won it for me. Kudos to
Click to reveal..
Boo


He is the TRUE main character in my eyes.
Posted by: papo2228

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Oct 25 2012 04:40 PM

I'm reading one of the best books on the American Civil War. Its title is " Freedom" by William Safire. It's a mixture of fiction and historical facts and really very interesting.
Posted by: trangie

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Oct 25 2012 06:50 PM

ren asked me to put something in Bookworms about my Auntie Nina Bawden.
Firstly - she died in August this year - aged 87
She wrote @48 novels and used to write one adult novel then a children's novel. Probably her most well known novel was Carries War which tells a tale of my father and Nina when they were evacuated to Shropshire in WW11. It has been made into TV series and a couple of years ago a Westend play. She was shorlisted for the booker prize in 1987 for Circles of Deceit - a complicated family yarn.
Nina and Austen (uncle) were both in the Potters Bar train crash - Nina badly injured and Austen killed. Nina's last novel was Dear Austen - written as a letter to Austen outlining Nina's ongoing fight for justice with the railways. A fight she ultimately won.
She was a lovely Aunt with a wicked sense of humour and great warmth. Missed by us.
Posted by: george48

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Oct 25 2012 08:11 PM

I'v just started 'Stranger In A Strange Land', by Robert A. Heinlein, and 50 pages in, i'm hooked.
Normally i'm not reader of science fiction, but since reading an article about the top ten science fiction books of all time, i decided to pick this book out of the bunch and give it a go.
If his other books are as good as this one is turning out to be, why did i wait so long?
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Oct 25 2012 09:29 PM

That one's a little dated in some ways - I find it difficult to read, now. Some of his other stuff held up a little better. So, if you're happy now, you're in for a treat - he wrote a lot, and most of it was good.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Oct 26 2012 12:22 AM

Thanks Trangie, that makes interesting reading. I am going to start a new thread dealing with Authors we may have met. Its a good subject I think.
Posted by: LeoDaVinci

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 27 2012 01:31 PM

I agree there. Heinlein is a brilliant author and he makes Science Fiction accessible to the masses and not just its fans. He has many good books with underlying themes that are still relevant today.
Posted by: JaneMarple

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Oct 28 2012 06:22 AM

I remember reading Carrie's War many years ago, and the successful TV programme. She was a talented writer trangie, thanks for the memories
Posted by: Professer

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Oct 28 2012 08:13 AM

Reading Alfie My story by Alfie Boe,Britains best Tenor tells his story so far and what a wide and various career he has had prior to becoming a opera/west end star.

As biographies go this is informative at times funny and also sad, i am finding it very intresting is a good read, some things i am trying to check the validity of where he claims to have recorded a demo of 2 queen songs in abbey road studio as a sound check for Queens engineers, one person who worked with freddie mercury and queen says he cant recall, another says that queen and their engineers never used abbey road studios. But am sure Alfie Boe has not lied as he has nothing to gain from it.

This is one biography i recommend throughly.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Oct 28 2012 02:40 PM

I just started "Daughters-in-Law" by Joanna Trollope. Sounded interesting, but for some reason (perhaps being distracted at the time) I couldn't quite get into it. Will keep it and try again later tonight or tomorrow.

It tels the story of what happens when a headstrong woman becomes the in-law of a couple who are used to running their sons--and their sons' wives--lives.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 01 2012 08:41 PM

I've been reading a whole stack of John D MacDonald paperback originals from the fifties and early sixties. He churned out this stuff at an enormous rate in those years, and they were never meant to be deathless prose. They're what we used to call "Men's stories" - lots of violence and as much sex as he could get away with. The novelistic equivalent of those magazines like "Argosy". And it's amazing how class will out - it's cheap dreck, but it's good cheap dreck, because he couldn't help being a good writer no matter what he was writing. I've been enjoying myself immensely, and also enjoying the looks on the faces of other people when they see the front covers of what I'm reading, in restaurants and doctor's offices - they're pretty sensational.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 01 2012 11:50 PM

Oooh Yes, Agony! Travis McGee- Ladies in distress, lost treasure and brutal villains!
Yu might start a new trend!
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Nov 02 2012 06:05 PM

I was relieved to finish “Daughters-in-Law,” which is one of those books that, if you stop reading, you wonder what would have happened. And I was somewhat disappointed by the ending, as it leaves the reader hanging (fine for readers who don’t mind that sort of thing, but I do). I did rather enjoy the place descriptions, though.

I’m now reading “Killing Kate” by Julie Kramer. More what I’m interested in reading
smile *Love* those mystery and suspense stories!
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Nov 05 2012 08:05 PM

I'm reading a book called "Girl in Translation," about a girl and her mother who emigrate to America from HongKong. So far, it's very interesting.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Nov 05 2012 08:45 PM

"The Friends of Eddie Coyle" which is apparently the best crime book several authors like Elmore Leonard and Dennis Lehane ever read, even though I'd never heard of it. I'm not very far in, but beginning to see what they meant.

I wish there was some rule that you could not get a book published unless you could write really really well. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems the opposite is true. Somebody like Dan Brown is a millionaire, and nobody's heard of George V. Higgins.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 10 2012 03:53 PM

‘The Mischief of the Mistletoe: a Pink Carnation Christmas,’ by Lauren Wellig. A very entertaining book about the exploits of rstudents at an Academy for Girls, the new Junior Instructress, some other characters, and hilarious incidents involving Christmas puddings.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 10 2012 04:26 PM

Finished "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" and it really is pretty remarkable. It reads so easy - it's like sitting on a bar stool listening to the guys talking - that you hardly notice that there is some very skillful subtle writing going on. If you like gritty crime novels, check this one out. Don't read the intro until after you've finished the book.

Also just finished another slice of low life, this one purportedly true - "Full Service" the memoirs of Scotty Bowers, who apparently slept with everyone in Los Angeles from 1946 until well into the eighties. Viewed one way, it's an amazing social document; viewed another, it is simply appalling - he quite cheerfully tells us all about the pedophilic prostitution ring he ran at the age of twelve, for example. A boy's gotta make money somehow during the Depression, and the paper route wasn't cutting it.

And (wasn't kidding when I said I read more than one book at a time) also just finished Dickens' "Hard Times". Just loved it, and am amazed at how topical it is.

Now reading "How Children Succeed" from Paul Tough, about some newish research into the effects of noncognitive skills on success, especially for disadvantaged children.

And the new Harlen Coben - Myron Bolitar again, yay!
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Nov 11 2012 10:54 AM

"Port Mortuary" by Patricia Cornwell
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Nov 12 2012 10:15 PM

I just started "The Lost Years" by Mary Higgins Clark. I like this one more so far, than most of the others I've read by her (who knows, though--it's early yet, and the way some of her characters are portrayed is a turn-off.)

One example I can give right off the top of my head of a book by her I disliked almost from the start was "I'll Walk Alone." I was outraged by how that woman's *friends* viewed her once their friendship was tested.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Nov 12 2012 10:26 PM

She's like John Grisham to me - an author I'll read if there isn't anything else around. Like eating at Denny's.
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Nov 14 2012 03:01 PM

I just finished "me again" by Keith Cronin. It's told in first person about a man who awakes from being in a coma for six years. The story is really enlightening about how stroke victims can feel while going through recovery and coping with their new limitations to their bodies and minds. I hated for the story to end.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Nov 14 2012 03:10 PM

Still working on "The Last Years," and I've reached the point where I have to keep reading or I'll always wonder how it ended--but there's definetly a level of predictability here: I figured out who the killer was long ago, and in the one chapter I was able to predict what was about to happen.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Nov 14 2012 05:06 PM

I'm pleased to report that, not only have I finished, but I was wrong smile
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Nov 14 2012 07:08 PM

Just finished "The Monster in the Box" by Ruth Rendell. It's one of the later Inspector Wexford novels, and, I hate to say it, but I think this series has run its course. I enjoyed seeing back into Wexford's past, but the basic story of this one is pretty silly, and the side plot about the young Muslim girl defies belief. Too bad, I've always liked this series and the books that came out during the 80s and 90s were really excellent. Read the very latest in the series, "The Vault" a few weeks ago, and it suffered from the same problems. Well, Wexford has retired now, so that's probably that.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Nov 21 2012 01:03 AM

Despite the flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed the BBC's recent mini series "The Paradise", or at least the idea of it, so I borrowed Emile Zola's "Au Bonheur des Dames" (on which the series is based) from a friend. It's a great read (even though I am discovering just how lacking I am in French "literary" vocabulary). It reminds me of The Coral Island with its long descriptive prose, where each word is carefully chosen to convey just the atmosphere the author wants to create. I think there are various versions available in English, but I'm not sure I'll read any of them as the original is so rich itself that I risk being disappointed in a translation. It's definitely a style of writing which is dated, but for me it's so much more satisfying to read than more modern stuff, that I'm perfectly happy to bury my head between the covers of the book any time I have even just five minutes to spare.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Nov 21 2012 07:35 AM

Oh Gosh, Toni, I read it, so many years ago
I think I struggled then, even while living in France and exposed to French all day so probably would even more so now.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Nov 21 2012 10:48 AM

I'm not struggling, exactly, but I'm certainly losing out on the detail. I refuse to get out my dictionary for every single word that I don't understand or know, when I am getting the sense of the meaning, as it would slow me down too much and become extremely frustrating. So far, I'm thoroughly enjoying the read in any case.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Nov 21 2012 12:28 PM

In my rereading of old John D MacDonald novels, one which stands out is 1962's "Flash of Green". Its depiction of the clash between dirty politics and environmentalism are depressingly modern for a fifty year old book. There's a great passage in it that practically defines the tension between tourism and natural beauty that I'm going to quote here, as it is still highly relevant:

Quote:
Once upon a time there was a mountain peak with a wonderful view, so that people came from all over to stand on top of the mountain and look out. The village at the foot of the mountain charged a dollar a head to all the tourists. But so few of them could stand on top of the mountain at the same time, they leveled the top of the mountain to provide more room and increase the take. This seemed to work, so they kept enlarging the area on top of the mountain. Finally they had a place up there that would accommodate ten thousand people, but by then the mountain was only forty feet high..."
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Nov 21 2012 03:42 PM

I'm reading the Peter Townshend autobiography "Who I am". I find it very difficult to follow and very poorly written. It's disconnected, doesn't flow at all and seems to be snippets of information placed one after another in chronological order with no transitions. General themes keep recurring to try and create a theme or transition, but as someone who knows next to nothing about The Who, it is not at all informative or easy to follow because it is so disconnected.

I guess when I read a biography I need more structure, especially if I'm not familiar with the subject/content/person. I'm about half way through it, so I'll finish it up, but unless you are a diehard Who or Pete fanatic, I'd avoid it.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 24 2012 01:50 PM

"More Baths, Less Talking" - the latest installment of Nick Hornby's collections from his "Stuff I'm Reading" column. As always, lots of books on the lists that sound intriguing, and which I've never heard of. Some of them at least are bound to turn up here in future. I'm off now to the library webpage to do some ordering.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Nov 25 2012 06:27 PM

I'm reading John Connelly "The Lovers". One of his Charlie Parker series. Despite the fact that they are so very very dark I do like these books. They are well written and quite compelling despite the subject matter.

Agony, I've never read "The Friends of Eddie Coyle", but you've piqued my curiosity on it now so it's next on the list to read.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Nov 25 2012 08:35 PM

I hope you like it. And if you don't, well, it's short.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Dec 08 2012 01:22 PM

"The Child that Books Built - a Life in Reading" bu Francis Spufford.

A very personal exploration of his childhood addiction to reading. He's got some interesting things to say about the role of story, and there was considerable nostalgia in the descriptions of the "Children's Hardcover Fiction" section of the library. For the most part, the story of his journey wasn't very similar to mine, but there was enough similarity that this book has got me thinking about the book-addicted child I was, and what I got from it, what I lost because of it, what it was all about. If you were one of those kids who dived into books head first, you might find this interesting.
Posted by: sisterseagull

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Dec 08 2012 02:06 PM

I am currently reading Grimm's Fairy Tales and The Iliad of Homer
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Dec 08 2012 05:40 PM

Just finished "Nam-Sense: Surviving Vietnam with the 101st Airborne" by Arthur Wiknik. It was an interesting read. Wiknik isn't your typical Vietnam Vet/author, he spends more time trying to get out of things, than being in the middle of them. It's not a blood and gore war book, nor all that negative, except in regards to officers in his platoon/company. Just another take on the war from a draftee that didn't want to be there at all.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Dec 09 2012 10:53 AM

"American Rust" by Philipp Meyer.

Set in the rubble of Pennsylvania steel country - something bad happens, and it all goes downhill from there. This is the only thing I've ever read by Meyer; he's got a filmmaker's eye and a great ear for dialogue. 100% authentic characters.
This would make a great movie, though a grim one.

----------------------
pyonir, that sounds good, I'll check it out.
Posted by: papo2228

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Dec 11 2012 09:04 AM

I'm reading a very funny novel by Herman Wouk, the author of "The Caine Mutiny". It´s called "Don´t Stop the Carnival". It´s set on an imaginary Caribbean island and tells you about the hard problems a New yorker had to manage a hotel.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Dec 14 2012 10:30 AM

I remember reading that one years ago - it was indeed a lot of fun.

Just finished Roger Ebert's "Great Movies III". This is the last in this series, and seems to be more of a "Great Directors" as several of the essays are about all of a lesser-known director's work, rather than just one movie. I've got a half dozen of the movies coming now from the library, so they'll end up on the other list over the next few weeks.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Dec 17 2012 09:36 AM

The first book in a series about H.I.V.E., the Higher Institute for Villainous Education. Not normally something I would read, but the review sounded good--and the ending makes you want to jump right into the next one. Hillarious at spots, and in all very well-written.
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Dec 18 2012 06:54 AM

I finally got around to start "V is for Vengeance" by Sue Grafton. Since she started the series, beginning with "A is for Alibi", I've read them all up to this point. But it's been so many years since the first one and I've forgotten a lot of the stories, if I started the series over again, it'd be like starting anew.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Dec 18 2012 08:22 AM

I ought to go back to them. I sort of got bored by about M.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Dec 18 2012 09:31 AM

I think I've read up to T. The series has varied in quality over the years, a bit - I really liked how fresh and breezy she was in the first few books, but all this stuff about her family doesn't do much for me.

In one of Lawrence Block's "Burglar" books, they are discussing the series as if it had finished its first round through the alphabet and was starting again - AA is for Battery, BB is for Gun, CC is for Rider, etc. Pretty funny.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Dec 19 2012 09:49 AM

Have just picked up 'The Hobbit' for the umpteenth time. I want to read it again after seeing the movie.
On kindle I am making my way through the grafton books again. I too got bored with them before, but I think it was around K.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 20 2012 11:42 AM

Just finished “Fang” last night—it’s one of the books in the “Maximum Ride” series. Apparently, I read two out of sequence, because I was given them in that order: “Fang” follows the events in “Angel,” or so it would seem, because some things seem… there are certain gaps otherwise.

Now I’m reading “White Cat,” the first book in the “Curse Workers” series (or trilogy—I don’t know which). I’ve just started, but the beginning has Cassel sleepwalking in the middle of the night, resulting in his being trapped on the school roof.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 20 2012 03:14 PM

Could I remind people to give author's names? I for one have never heard of those. I suppose you don't mean Jack London books?
Posted by: LeoDaVinci

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 20 2012 06:08 PM

I think it's James Patterson. At least, that's what Google says.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 20 2012 11:06 PM

Thanks. I think of London when I see "Fang", now I think about it it is "White Fang" isnt it'? But we still need to let people know authors' names when recommending books, eh?
Posted by: davaltd

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 27 2012 01:59 PM

I am currently reading Inheritance.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 27 2012 06:32 PM

Welcome davaltd! Tell us what you think of "Inheritance". Who wrote it and what is it about?
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Dec 28 2012 07:00 AM

Been reading quite a bit as I haven't been sleeping, and don't have good internet access right now.

Dennis Lehane's "The Given Day" = second try at this one, first time I couldn't finish as it was all a bit too grim and political. This one is probably only readable if you are a bit of a leftie.

"Nocturne" Ed McBain. A solid 87th Precinct novel.

"A Far Cry from Kensington" Muriel Spark. I'd only ever read "Miss Jean Brodie" from her before, but I think I'll check out a few more - this was odd but good.

"Let the Great World Spin" Colum McCann - what can I say about this -magical novel, highly recommend it. Beautifully written, full of love and pain, rich and textured.

"Trust Your Eyes" Linwood Barclay. Barclay writes pretty good thrillers in the Harlen Coben tradition - a normal guy gets caught up in seemingly inexplicable events, and eventually finds out something about his own life. This one has an intriguing premise but, meh. Don't like the main character much, so found it hard to care.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Dec 28 2012 11:50 AM

Finished “The Ruins of Gorlan” last night, and can’t wait to pick up the second one.

Also started “I’ll be Seeing You,” and am having trouble really getting into it. Perhaps I’ll start another book and finish that first, then come back to it…
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Dec 28 2012 06:19 PM

You are again reminded to please give some details of the book you are mentioning , like the author, setting , why it might interest others etc. The idea here is to share information on books, not to make a list Thanks.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Dec 28 2012 09:07 PM

OK… I’ve finally gathered my thoughts—at least, I think I have.

“I’ll Be Seeing You” is rather complicated… there’s a medical mystery having to do with… hmmm… how can I say this without giving an ything away? Well, the broad topic, I suppose, would be pregnancy. Then, there’s a more personal mystery surrounding one of the characters (trust issues, betrayal, that sort of thing), and somehow these two stories fit together (I have a ways to go, so I’m struggling to understand how they can).

And I have actually started another book, because I want to make some room on my bookshelf. Disturbing topic, of a sort, but I’ve always been into history (and, for some reason, slavery’s always intrigued me). The title is “They Called Themselves the K.K.K.” Contains interviews and narratives that, at times, are difficult to read or invoke strong emotions (including disgust and offense), so this is definetly not for everyone. (I’m not too far into the story yet, so I haven’t reached where the Organization’s created—but it looks like I’ll get there in the second chapter.)
Posted by: zippolover

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Dec 29 2012 11:06 AM

I am rereading the Harry Potter books. I finished the second last night so I start my favourite this evening when I go to bed.
Posted by: bloodandsand

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Dec 29 2012 12:00 PM

Jazmee, who are the authors of the books you've told us about?
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Jan 01 2013 03:26 PM

I am re-reading 'The Hobbit' (yes because of the movie's release) and on Kindle I am reading 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'.
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Jan 02 2013 08:22 AM

I'm currently reading "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci. If you like reading the 'Reacher' books by Lee Child, you'd probably like this one. I'm only in the first half, but I can tell I'm going to like this one. Baldacci usually writes about spies, espionage, government control, etc., and this (almost) runs along those same lines. I haven't found a book by him yet that I've disliked.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Jan 02 2013 09:35 AM

My husband really enjoys the REacher books but I find the character too arrogant for my taste. The last one I read he was writing things like "I am Reacher - I am the night".
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Jan 02 2013 10:12 AM

Exactly the same with me, skunkee. The writing is good, the plots are good, but Reacher himself just gets up my nose. Same with Michael Connolly's Harry Bosch - I keep finding myself thinking "Y'know, if you weren't such a jerk, people would work with you willingly, and you wouldn't have to thrash around bullying them to get what you need".
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Jan 02 2013 10:42 AM

I think the first half dozen Reacher books were great; I haven't been impressed with the last few, though.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 06 2013 12:54 PM

Ben Elton "Two Brothers". Maybe not the very best written or most poignant book I've read about this subject - two boys, born in 1920, growing up in Berlin - but a very compelling story, and perhaps more effective for not pulling out all the tear jerking stops. I did cry once, at the end of Freida's story, which is apparently based on what happened to Elton's great aunt.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 11 2013 01:21 PM

"Mad River" latest in the Virgil Flowers series by John Sandford. I'm enjoying this series a lot - Lucas Davenport was getting a little old - and this is another solid entry. I think my favourite thing about Sandford's novels is the dialogue between characters - absolutely spot on. This is the way people I know actually talk.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 12 2013 12:43 AM

LOVE Sanford. He got a little stale for a bit but his last few, in both Davenport and Flowers series, have been awesome. Glad to know there's another one to look for.

I have just started 'The Painted Girls' by Marie Buchanan. Haven't gotten very far into it but so far it's good. It's at least partially about Degas painting and sketching ballerinas.
Posted by: November4

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Jan 15 2013 09:25 PM

I like to read educational books. I recently finished with Homeopathic Remedies for Cats and Dogs. I will take that info with a grain of salt.
Posted by: gracious1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Jan 15 2013 09:57 PM

I've decided to start re-reading my Agatha Christie collection. I have begun with "The Mysterious Affair at Styles".
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 18 2013 12:02 PM

"Goldberg Variations" Susan Isaacs.

This is something a little different from her - very much a "relationship" book, with not even a hint of mystery or thriller. The relationship is that between a truly poisonous old woman and her estranged grandchildren, with a certain amount of redemption of sorts at the end. Not 100% successful - I could see what she was trying to do, but I don't think she entirely pulled it off. Nonetheless, I like Isaacs a lot and there was enough good stuff here to make it worth reading. This book wouldn't be my recommendation to someone who had never read any of her stuff, though - for that I'd go with "Shining Through" which is Susan Isaacs at her best.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 18 2013 12:08 PM

I've just read the reviews for the movie version of "Shining Through" and it looks like they left out everything that was good about the book, and kept in all the plot implausibilities, which in the book are forgivable because of the 1940's movie serial thing it kinda has going. So if you've seen the movie, the book's not like that.
Posted by: convair240

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 18 2013 01:13 PM

Though an avid aviation fan, my sister asked me to have a read which she thought more than intriguing.The book in question is titled "A Travel Guide to Heaven". The author Anthony De Stefano, is in fact a member of the aviation community both as a certified commercial pilot and a member of the Civil Air Patrol.

That said, he offers in his book an "inspired" look into the eternity which most diligent Christians will easily accept. His basic premise is that ..we are destined for heaven. He invites us to "file a flight plan" and be prepared to make the journey of our lifetime.

Among the facets he describes are the very nature of heaven and who gets to arrive there. There is no gloom or dire judgement going on in his pages. In essence he convinces us that heaven will incorporate all the intellectual and sensual pleasures which our human appetites had sought in this earthly span. In fact..he surprises us with all manner of people and pets upon whom we invested our time and emotions. Because heaven is a destination of supreme joy, surprises abound.

For the scripture oriented, each chapter is linked to Bible passages through abundant footnotes.

The book is an easy and exhilarating adventure. It is written in simple language which reminds me of the best travel guides I have utilized in my earthly travels. If you have a curiosity about .."what comes next", have a look into this little book.
Posted by: saintlysinner

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 18 2013 04:08 PM

I have just finished reading Bloodstream by Tess Gerritsen. I found it a bit slow to start but in no time I was hooked, will be reading more of her books in future.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 18 2013 05:26 PM

I'm about two thirds done with Salman Rushdie's "Joseph Anton: A Memoir". I'm not a fan of the work...it's much, much too long. It's also quite difficult to follow at some times, as he intermixes stories of people that only come up once in his life, with people that he meets often, and stories of some Muslim history as well. He also writes in a fashion I'm not very familiar with...3rd person? 2nd person? I'm not sure if it's truly 3rd. Instead of saying, "I found the way..." he writes "He found the way..." talking about himself. That can get confusing and hard to follow if he's talking about himself or another man that he's talking about.

Anyway...I had planned on reading "The Satanic Verses" after this, but if the writing style is the same, I don't think I will. Has anyone read it? Or anything else by Rushdie?
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 18 2013 05:57 PM

Quote:
Has anyone read it? Or anything else by Rushdie?


Sorry, not me. I've been meaning to, as I like the way he expresses himself in interviews, and often find that an author's "voice" is much the same as his voice, if that makes sense. I'm not a big fan of dense difficult prose though, so I'll be reading any response you get with interest.
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 19 2013 09:43 AM

I just finished reading Twin Harvest by Lynn McMahon Anstead laugh.wink This is much darker than her first two books. A good murder mystery/psychological thriller. If you have a Kindle, I recommend this highly.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 19 2013 02:02 PM

Just read a short story by Clare Wigfall entitled "Before Their Very Eyes." I was pulled in by the story of a man who vanished from a magic show, but there wasn't a clear-cut ending. So, the reader's left to wonder "what happened to Henry?" That and, "what happened to Frances?"
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 20 2013 09:37 AM

"Thieves' Dozen" Donald E Westlake.

A collection of short stories about his series character Dortmunder. If you've never read a Dortmunder book, do yourself a favour and pick one up - they're wonderful. Hollywood keeps trying to make crime caper movies out of these books, but they don't work well, because although the plots are funny enough, it's the writing that really makes them sparkle. My favourite from this collection is the Dortmunder Workout - not really a story at all, just a little slice of life vignette with the regulars at the OJ Bar and Grill.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 20 2013 06:01 PM

Charles Dickens- A Life, by Claire Tomalin.
She has written some really good biographies and this one looks promising. I recently tried to read John Forster's, I thought it would be good and no doubt it was, as he was a close friend of Dickens, but oh dear it was dry, and not really relaxing bedtime reading. So I abandoned it and am going to try this. Anyone read it yet?
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Jan 23 2013 03:36 PM

Have just finished Terry Pratchett's "Snuff", not a favourite, I have to say, and have finally come to the last delicious word on the last delicious page of Zola's "au Bonheur des Dames", and thoroughly enjoyed every page of it.

Next up book 5 in the Game of Thrones series, RR Martin. Pretty rough stuff, but a rip-roaring good political drama/fantasy adventure. I can't wait to get stuck in!
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Feb 04 2013 01:08 PM

"Bad Boy" An Inspector Banks novel by Peter Robinson.

Very interesting read, in light of the situation in the US right now about gun control. Things are quite different indeed in the UK on that issue - the discovery of a handgun in a young woman's closet sets a whole series of events going.

I've been reading Inspector Banks off and on since the first book - these books are always enjoyable, but not really anything world shaking. A good modern British detective series - no bodies in the library here.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Feb 04 2013 02:41 PM

George RR Martin's 'Game of Thrones', book 5. It's all coming together nicely, a vast panorama of political machinations, individual struggles, wars on all fronts, set against a fantasy background complete with dragons, shapchangers, evil baddies and bad spells, and the good guys who struggle right to the bitter end, but are probably going to knock the socks of the nasties by the final page grin

A great bit of escapism, in any case, and detailed enough to satisfy my desire to get my teeth into something juicy (if somewhat rife with bloodlust, gore and depravity).
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Feb 04 2013 03:40 PM

Your enthusiasm for Zola's "Au Bonheur des Dames" shines through , Toni. I am going to get that next.Did you read it in French?
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Feb 04 2013 07:58 PM

I went through a couple more memoirs.

"Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man's Prison" by T. J. Parsell and "Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead" by Frank Meeink. Both had very horrific content, as you might expect, but both had redeeming stories as well. I always find it interesting to get a perspective from 'fringe' (for lack of a better word) groups in society and neither of these books disappointed. If you find sociology, true crime, or memoirs interesting, I'd recommend both books, keeping in mind the content is what you'd expect it to be and can be stomach churning (and anger inducing) at times.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Feb 09 2013 12:15 PM

"Red Mist" by Patricia Cornwell. She has had some really good books but I lose interest when she starts presenting her lead character as a superwoman. This book is shaping up to be one of those.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Feb 09 2013 12:30 PM

That's pretty much why I stopped reading her books, skunkee. I found, too, after reading quite a few of her books, that I was thinking "Y'know, I don't actually LIKE any of these people".
Posted by: bloodandsand

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Feb 09 2013 01:14 PM

Agony, I completely agree. The more I read of the series, the more I started disliking Scarpetta. Benton seems like the only character to have any warmth in his personality.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Feb 09 2013 01:22 PM

Just started “Luca and the Fire of Life” by Salman Rushdie the other day. It was one of those I almost didn’t read, afraid I wouldn’t like it, but once I started… The novel tells the story of a twelve-year-old boy who tries to save his father from “the big sleep.” One of the funniest parts is how he has two friends—they startecd out as pets but grew to be so much more—named Dog the Bear and Bear the Dog. Very well-written, and quite enjoyable for those who like magic and related themes.
Posted by: Copago

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Feb 09 2013 03:47 PM

I seem to barely read a proper book these days but for Christmas I got
"Danny Baker Going to Sea in a Seive". (He's a English radio personality).
It's good fun and I'm getting through it slowly but surely.
Posted by: Dagny1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Feb 09 2013 07:30 PM

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.
This book is a real eye-opener about the meat-packing industry and the plight of immigrants. I avoided reading it for a long time because I thought it would be either too dry or too depressing for my tastes, but that's not the case at all. I really feel like I know the characters and care about them. Even when reading of horrific conditions, the story pulls me along because I care what happens to them.
Posted by: Dagny1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Feb 09 2013 07:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Santana2002
have finally come to the last delicious word on the last delicious page of Zola's "au Bonheur des Dames", and thoroughly enjoyed every page of it.


I also found it an absolutely delightful book! So un-Zola like. It's recommended for anyone who usually passes on Zola's books because they find them too dark.

Per usual, Zola did plenty of research prior to writing Au Bonheur des dames. It's a good primer for the history of the first gigantic department stores. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall to see Zola shopping for hours with his wife.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Feb 11 2013 11:58 PM

I'm currently wading through Ricky Martin's autobiography, entitled "Me." Initially, I'm ashamed to say I judged the book based on the one song of his I know--which I don't like at all. But once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. It's not boring, or even egocentric: it's a reflective look at the experiences that have shaped his music and acting careers.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Feb 12 2013 12:42 PM

Originally Posted By: ren33
Your enthusiasm for Zola's "Au Bonheur des Dames" shines through , Toni. I am going to get that next.Did you read it in French?


Yes, I borrowed it from a friend and read it in French. I have to admit that the 'dated' language threw me a bit at first, but it definitely contributes to the charm of the read. I didn't look up every single word that I didn't know, and am even pleased that there were so (relatively speaking) few of them.

I kept getting reminded of the classic descriptive prose encountered in books like 'The Coral Island' and 'The Water Babies' while reading Au Bonheur. I guess the long, charming passages are approached in a similar way.

Edit: I've just checked the dates for all three books, and coincidentally they were all written in the same era, between 1858-62. And guess what? I'm now rereading the Coral Island, which I haven't read since I was a kid! I suppose I'll move on to the Water Babies afterwards, just to please my fancy as reading Au Bonheur has rekindled all the enjoyement the other two brought to me at the time.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Feb 12 2013 04:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Dagny1
Originally Posted By: Santana2002
have finally come to the last delicious word on the last delicious page of Zola's "au Bonheur des Dames", and thoroughly enjoyed every page of it.


I also found it an absolutely delightful book! So un-Zola like. It's recommended for anyone who usually passes on Zola's books because they find them too dark.

Per usual, Zola did plenty of research prior to writing Au Bonheur des dames. It's a good primer for the history of the first gigantic department stores. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall to see Zola shopping for hours with his wife.


It's the first of Zola's works that I have read, and my teenage daughter groaned when she heard me raving about it. She's studying for a literary Baccalauréat, so Zola's work is among the French classics on her reading list, and she finds it too boring, too detailed and too slow for her.

Au Bonheur came across as a detailed yet fun book, which really conveys the social mores, the lifestyle and the restrictions of the era. In parallel to detailing the phenomenal success of the rise of department store, the book offers a wealth of detail about the types of goods that people hankered after at the time, the difference between the classes, the old gentry and all it represents vs the brash youngster making his millions on the back of hard work and vision. There's a real sense of the industrial revolution happening, the slow pace of pre-industrial life yielding reluctantly but inexorably to impulsivity, rapidity, hard-nosed business acumen. There's a blurring of the previously strictly upheld class barriers and taboos. The cold and clinical "hard sell" taking the place of the previously genteel business of the craftsman working with the client to create a unique materpiece.

I found it absolutely fascinating!
Posted by: Dagny1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Feb 12 2013 08:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Santana2002
Au Bonheur: It's the first of Zola's works that I have read, and my teenage daughter groaned when she heard me raving about it. She's studying for a literary [/i]Baccalauréat[/i], so Zola's work is among the French classics on her reading list, and she finds it too boring, too detailed and too slow for her.



Which Zola is your daughter's favorite?

L'Assommoir is my favorite. I love the character of Gervaise.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Feb 12 2013 09:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Jazmee27
I'm currently wading through Ricky Martin's autobiography, entitled "Me." Initially, I'm ashamed to say I judged the book based on the one song of his I know--which I don't like at all. But once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. It's not boring, or even egocentric: it's a reflective look at the experiences that have shaped his music and acting careers.


Interesting. Thanks for the note, I might not pass/dismiss this one should I come across it. I would judge the book based on what little I know about him, but good to know my judgement will probably be wrong.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Feb 14 2013 09:45 AM

Now I've started "The Tiger: A True Story of Vengence and Survival” by John Vaillant, an interesting glimpse into the habitat of the Siberian tiger - and the people who hunt/track them. I'm only on chapter three, but so far I'm really enjoying this. (Yet another book I'd not have read had the library not sent it to me - I figure, once it's here, I might as well try it).
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Feb 14 2013 10:08 AM

I have finally finished Charles Dickens- A Life, by Claire Tomalin.
She is a good writer, her research is obviously great. He was a wonderful writer, this we know. he worked incredibly hard , mainly to support his 10 + rather useless children.He was generous and kind and supportive to all his close friends and their families. He was a gifted actor and performer. He founded institutions for the poor. he was adored by the public..... I ended up really disliking him!
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Feb 16 2013 05:46 AM

Last night I started "Forge" by Laurie Halse Anderson, as I found reading in bed sometimes helps me fall asleep. "Forge" is a work of historical fiction that continues the story begun in "Chains." Both books tell the tale of slaves attempting to make better lives for themselves during the Revolutionary War.
In "Chains," one of the characters is branded--and another becomes a prisoner. In "Forge," the former prisoner enlists in the Patriot Army after saving the life of a young soldier. (I have only just started, so I summarized up to the point where I am.)
Very well-written and gripping. I can't wait to finish (each chapter contains a quote or passage from some historical source.)
Posted by: Mariamir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Feb 17 2013 06:22 PM

For some reason I am never "am reading" a book, always "just finished". Just finished "The Loner" by Ester Wiel and am about to go reread "The Scarlet Pimpernel". smile

And I could go on, but this is my first post here in this forum, not sure of people would care to read my ravings. smile
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Feb 17 2013 06:45 PM

I appear to be rereading Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novels. I really didn't intend this - I was all set to dive into a Christopher Isherwood collection - but who am I to fight it?
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Feb 18 2013 02:26 AM

Ravings R Us, Mariamir, so rave all you like! Welcome.
Posted by: Mariamir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Feb 18 2013 08:34 PM

Oh, thank you, Ren! smile For my next book, I will either pick up Shakespeare or the novel that my favorite serial was based on: bu bu jing xin, known sometimes as "Scarlet Heart" (dunno why, doesn't mean that).
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Feb 19 2013 10:24 AM

I'm actually rereading a book that I started last week. It's called "Other Kingdoms" and is by Richard Mathieson. I once read a short storycollection with something by him, so was excited to see how this was.

The story centers around a young man, Alex, although he's actually narrating his story later in life. He has several adventures, which include going off to war, and falling in love--twice. The title refers to those other worlds that touch our own. Very well written, and quite enjoyable (I would warn anyone not to read if they can't stand graphic images of horror--or are offended by explicit descriptions of... well...)
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Feb 24 2013 05:46 PM

Just started "The Wolf in the Parlor" by Jon Franklin. It's about a science writer who finds himself intrigued by dogs--and compelled to investigate the bond between humans and their canine companions. Very well-written and informative.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Feb 24 2013 06:24 PM

Just finished "My Beloved World" by Sonia Sotomayor. I really liked it. I like her, she's a very intelligent and down to earth woman. I've seen her do a couple of interviews and that got me interested in the book. I was disappointed that she ended the book when she first became a judge, but I understand her reasoning for ending it there. It's a really interesting story of a child of immigrant parents succeeding. For anyone that likes memoir's pick it up.

About halfway through "We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency" by Parmy Olson. Not a fan of this book at all. I think Olson just took a bunch of chat logs, news stories, and video clips and compiled them into a book. That doesn't take much investigative reporting, just organizational skills. And the book is extremely basic (which means I'm probably not the target audience). When she explains what "lol" means, I have to balk. I'll finish it, but it really isn't introducing me to an inside story, or anything new.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Feb 25 2013 12:08 PM

As I said above, I'm re reading Dorothy Sayers' "Lord Peter Wimsey" novels right now. Just finished "The Nine Tailors" - it's really quite a remarkable book. If you like English murder mysteries from the thirties, check this one out - I'd say it is the best of the period. You'll also learn more than anyone could ever want to about change ringing.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Feb 25 2013 09:46 PM

I'm almost finished with "Princess Ben" by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. It's an interesting read, but certainly not one of those books I'd ever read more than once. The story revolves around the reluctant princess, Benevolence, who deeply resents her enforced duties and escapes into a world of magic. She learns, however, the hard lesson that magical ability comes with plenty responsibility of its own--and gradually comes to appreciate her position in society as her home is threatened by an enemy.
Posted by: Dagny1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Feb 26 2013 09:33 AM

I'm just beginning "Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan, First Series" by Lafcadio Hearn.

Hearn's father was Irish and his mother Greek. He came to the United States and eventually settled in New Orleans where he lived for years. In 1890, while working as a newspaper correspondent, Hearn visited Japan. He so loved the country that he resigned his job to remain in Japan. Hearn became a naturalized citizen of Japan and married a Japanese woman.

Glimpses is non-fiction, the story of his first days in Japan. Thus far it is charming. One example is that he begrudged himself the time to eat because he was so anxious to visit a Buddist temple.

Free at Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/8130
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Feb 26 2013 10:04 AM

That sounds lovely! Thanks
(reminds me of a friend who loved Japan so much that she went to live ther. When I asked her how she was getting on she said "Oh , just wonderful, I even bow when I am on the telephone!")
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Mar 02 2013 11:09 AM

The latest Sue Grafton - V is for Vengeance. Pretty good - it's not as much fun as the first few, but a great story, and some interesting characters. I like the change in viewpoint throughout the story - shakes things up a bit.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Mar 04 2013 09:23 AM

Life of Pi - saw the movie and now I'm starting the book.
Posted by: papo2228

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Mar 04 2013 03:46 PM

I'm reading Battle Cry by Leon Uris. It's quite interesting/ It's about a group of young people who have enlisted the Marine Corps and are fighting the Japanese in WW II.
Posted by: ozzz2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Mar 04 2013 08:03 PM

Originally Posted By: papo2228
I'm reading Battle Cry by Leon Uris. It's quite interesting/ It's about a group of young people who have enlisted the Marine Corps and are fighting the Japanese in WW II.


A terrific book. I have read it several times.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Mar 08 2013 09:36 AM

LOVING Life of Pi. I thought the movie was good but there is so much more in the book!
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Mar 08 2013 06:04 PM

Currently in the middle of "Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier" by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Fantastic book. If you have any interest in space, the cosmos, or space exploration, definitely check it out. Tyson is one of my favorite people to listen to speak, he's so passionate about his profession (an astrophysicist) that it is infectious. I'm terrible at science and don't have much of an interest in it, but he makes me want to learn more.

The book is enlightening, informative, sometimes humorous and sometimes incredulous.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Mar 21 2013 09:57 AM

"Black Maria" by Diana Wynne Jones.

I edited a quiz on this children's book, and got it from the library because it sounded so much the kind of thing I would have loved to read when I was eleven. It's excellent - full of magic and mystery and humour, and really quite a lot of sharp-eyed insight into human behaviour. If you have an intelligent pre-teen or young teen at home who likes to read, I'd recommend this whole-heartedly.
Posted by: papo2228

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Mar 25 2013 03:28 PM

I'm reading Glenn Meade's novel Brandenburg. It's interesting about Nazi plots in Paraguay. It gets more and more attractive with every page you turn. Very good dose of suspense.
Posted by: MaggieG

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Apr 01 2013 01:29 PM

Just finished 'Life after Life' by Kate Atkinson. A break from her Jackson Brodie novels, it tells the story of a baby who is born in a snowstorm in 1910, and lives her life over and over again. Sounds complicated, but totally compulsive, and highly recommended.

I haven't been here for AGES and have so many to share with you, but I shall do one at time!
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Apr 01 2013 07:01 PM

Oh welcome back, Maggie. I look forward to the others!
Posted by: paul4760

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Apr 01 2013 07:04 PM

"Duma Key", by Stephen King...creepy! "The Civil War", by Shelby Foote...tragic, fascinating! "Mr. Midshipman Hornblower", by C.S. Forester...salty!(And veddy British).
Posted by: MaggieG

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Apr 03 2013 06:15 AM

This from a while ago - 'Perfect People' by Peter James. This is a stand alone story,not part of his Roy Grace detective novels. It tells of a couple who lose a child to a genetic disorder, and turn to a geneticist to have another child who will be free from the disease which caused them so much heartache. It's compulsively readable and extremely scary - more so because the science involved is not too far from reality. I've passed this one on to several people who've all enjoyed it as much as I did. Another highly recommended read!
Posted by: MaggieG

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Apr 05 2013 11:33 AM

Today's offering is 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' by Rachel Joyce. Nominated for the Man Booker prize in 2012, it tells the story of Harold Fry, a newly retired and unhappily married man, who goes out to post a letter one day and decides to keep on walking to deliver it in person to his dying friend at the other end of the country. I loved this book. The characters are memorable, and Harold's adventures are amusing and moving in turns. I started reading this book one night, fell asleep over it, and stayed in bed next day until I'd finished it. Luckily it was a weekend so they didn't miss me in work. I passed this on to my book reading circle and haven't seen it since. Wonderful wonderful book!
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Apr 08 2013 10:47 AM

In the midst of rereading "Cat's Eye" by Margaret Atwood. This is an older book - 1988 - but one of my favourites of hers. Anyone who was ever a little girl will remember the importance of power, loyalty, betrayal, the sometimes very sudden shifts in status.... And those of us who were little girls in the forties and fifties, before modern feminism, will remember how so much of our time was spent in learning how to be (or resisting learning!) those mysterious things called women. She hits so much of it exactly - I can smell wet wool when reading this book.
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Apr 09 2013 03:56 PM

I've started "Bring Up the Bodies" by Hillary Mantel. It's a Tudor-era novel which I usually like but I'm having a hard time getting into it. It's a bit dull so far, and instead of a first-person narrative, it's all third person - which is totally fine, I usually like that, but she uses "he" and "him" instead of names so I've found myself having to stop often and try to work out who she's now talking about...
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Apr 15 2013 06:45 PM

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. The show is very gory but my husband convinced me to give the books a try.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Apr 20 2013 05:48 AM

I love, love, love the Game of Thrones series of books
(but haven't been able to take to the TV series at all!).
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Apr 26 2013 07:38 AM

Yes, I'm enjoying that series, too, though slowly. My son started reading them about ten years ago and talked me into it.

Just finished "Use of Weapons" by Iain M Banks. The book is a series of vignettes, half of them going forward in time, half backward. Fairly light on plot, but pretty good science fiction - some good concepts, well realized universe. Where it really shines is in the vignettes - they are almost all incredibly entertaining in their own way. Even before I figured out what was going on with the book's structure, and was floundering around wondering what the heck was going on, I was having a wonderful time in the moment. He's got a fabulous way with words. This was another recommendation from my son - he reads mostly sf and fantasy and pesters me to read the ones he thinks I'd like.

Also rereading Donald E Westlake's Dortmunder series just because it is so much fun.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Apr 26 2013 03:56 PM

'Pesters' Agony? How old is he. Because I think any young person who reads and encourages others to read nowadays is a true 'treasure trove' of a find!
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Apr 26 2013 04:32 PM

He's 23, but he's always been like this! He's always getting his buddies to read things, too - I gave him a good grounding in classic sf, and now he's turning them on to it.
Posted by: Snowman

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Apr 30 2013 02:23 AM

I'm having a second crack at "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell. My first attempt came to a grinding halt as I struggled with the style of the first narrator but I feel more ready for it now.
Posted by: gracious1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Apr 30 2013 05:05 PM

I am reading the short story collection, Octopussy and The [sic] Living Daylights. They were among the last Bond stories that Ian Fleming wrote. I am not a fan of his, but I acquired the book while doing research and I have to say I am pleased by the discovery!

I am also starting to read the last Agatha Christie's last novela with Hercule Poirot, Curtain.

***SPOILER ALERT*** STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE NOVEL***

I have put off reading Curtain up to now because I am aware that Poirot dies in the end, and the thought has always depressed me. In my mind he will live forever, and be bodily assumed into Heaven like the prophet Ezekiel. ;-) Heh, maybe I should write a short story in which that happens.
Posted by: remote9

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat May 04 2013 01:06 AM

You are right about Curtain, gracious1 cry

I have just finished "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" and will soon start reading "Heroes of Olympus". Oh, here's my friend with "The Lost hero"...Bye.
Posted by: paul4760

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue May 07 2013 07:16 PM

Re-reading "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue May 07 2013 09:04 PM

Lol. I am also re-reading. Vanity Fair by Thackeray. I loved it the first time (maybe 50 years ago.)
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu May 09 2013 03:38 PM

I'm actually reading Alice in Wonderland. I never could enjoy the book as a child, and still do not enjoy any of the film or animated films made of it. I am, however, getting more enjoyment out of the book this time round.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri May 10 2013 01:17 AM

I was just the same, Toni. I didn't even begin to love it till I was an adult. I may have been a victim of the "You-must-read-it-you-will-love-it-everyone-does-"syndrome.
A big off-putter for me.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat May 11 2013 06:11 PM

I'm reading "Black Box", the latest Harry Bosch novel from Michael Connelly. Except I don't know if I can - he's always been an unlikable character but it's gotten to the point where I can't stand to spend the time with him. I don't think it would bother me so much if he ever suffered the consequences of being a colossal jerk, but he doesn't, really. He still has a decent relationship with his kid, his co workers still do favours for him - in real life he'd be the guy whose waits five times as long as everyone else for people to get back to him, and his kid would be out every night and spending the rest of her time boarded up in her room. I get the feeling Connelly is a jerk himself, maybe, and so sees this character as just lightly and pleasingly flawed, rather than as toxic.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun May 12 2013 01:44 AM

Originally Posted By: ren33
... I may have been a victim of the "You-must-read-it-you-will-love-it-everyone-does-"syndrome.
A big off-putter for me.


How very true! There's nothing so off-putting as someone insisting that you absolutely must like a certain book, particularly when it has been shown before that your own taste and that of the person recommending a book are not exactly in sync!
Posted by: papo2228

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed May 15 2013 04:30 PM

At present I´m reading a historic novel called " Love and War " which the second part of a trilogy about the Civil War. I've already read the first " North and South " and when I finish it I´ll read the last " Heaven and Hell ". They are very interesting and I learn a lot about that period of American History, They were written by John Jakes.
Posted by: papo2228

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed May 15 2013 04:31 PM

It's a great novel representing a fruitful period in English Literature.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu May 16 2013 11:51 AM

Gosh, I got totally engrossed in that series years ago, probably just fresh out of school in the late 80s, and I loved them! A great big sweeping saga with the civil war as backdrop and enough historical references to keep it interesting for someone who had absolutely no grounding in American history or the civil war. Happy memories!
Posted by: bitterlyold

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jun 01 2013 10:52 PM

I'm reading posts. LOL. No FT for six weeks kinda sux. Know what I mean?

I had to finish the school year, but I did manage to read a couple of novels. I'm too embarrassed to name them, but they did help me sleep.

Thank God I can read and don't have to have the internet or TV.

T
Posted by: Irishrosy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 02 2013 06:54 AM

Hello Everyone, Irishrosy here,

This is my first post ever as a member of Fun trivia.
It is a pleasure to meet you all.

As a young child my most treasured "toy"
was my library card. Today for most, I suppose that "toy" is now some type of Kindle.

Reading a book to me is like breathing, something I cannot do without.

At the present time, I am reading one of my favorite authors. He is sort of "wacky" but I think highly intelligent and his book topics are well-researched when he does a parody, as he is doing in my current read, "Sacre Bleu".

Perhaps you may have surmised I am speaking of Christopher Moore. Moore's book, "Lamb" was my first introduction to him, and I loved it, as I think it is very difficult for an author to write a book that enables the reader to really laugh out loud! "Lamb" did just that for me.

Just as "Lamb" is a fictional novel of Christ's early years from childhood to age 30, told by his best friend, "Biff" who is an an angel sent to earth to complete the story of his childhood friend, Jesus, "Sacre Bleu" explores the life of the Impressionists Painters, with the theme about the "mystery" of the death of Vincent Van Gogh, with Toulouse Lautrec being the chief investigator along with Renoir, Pissaro, etc.

Accompanying the text are black and white printed copies of many of the Impressionists Masters' works.

For an interesting, humorous, tongue-in-cheek read, centered on the world of Art, this for me is a good novel.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 02 2013 03:44 PM

Welcome Irishrosy! Really honoured your first post was in books, although it sounds as if that would be appropriate for you!
I enjoyed Lamb, and had no idea he had written another one
I must get that one , as soon as I have finished My Animals and Other Friends by Clare Balding. I am enjoying it, a very quick easy read. She is the daughter of Ian Balding who trains the Queen's horses and she had an unusual childhood. It's an ok read.
Posted by: Jabberwok

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jun 03 2013 01:02 AM

Originally Posted By: bitterlyold
I'm reading posts. LOL. No FT for six weeks kinda sux. Know what I mean?

I had to finish the school year, but I did manage to read a couple of novels. I'm too embarrassed to name them, but they did help me sleep.



You're a teacher, aren't you, Bitterlyold?
I find it very hard to read challenging and new texts during term time if they aren't related to the job. I have to save them for the holidays.
I do still read two or three books a week, but they are old, familiar and comforting ones; historical fiction, sci-fi, literature from my childhood or murder mysteries. I think a balanced diet is healthy and nothing to be ashamed of.
It's often a concept that parents of children I teach struggle with, not every text has to push them on.

That's without me having survived a tornado!
Posted by: Irishrosy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jun 03 2013 06:07 AM

HI, Thank you for your warm welcome! I have a quiz online about books and authors also. I picked up "Sacre Bleu" at the airport. Ian Rankin is another of my favorite authors, and I put his "Watchman" aside to read Moore. If there is a stall outside a store with books for sale for a dollar, you cannot drag me from it. That is how I bought Rankin's "Watchman".
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jun 07 2013 12:02 PM

I loved the book "Lamb". Another of Moore's books that I enjoyed was "Fluke"; a story of a whale watcher and what happens when you come up close and personal with one. A truly "laugh out loud" story.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jun 17 2013 09:52 PM

"Lone Wolf" by Jodi Picoult - the information about wolves is fascinating.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Jun 18 2013 07:17 AM

Just starting "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides - just a couple of chapters in, and I'm hooked.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jun 21 2013 04:13 AM

So, reading "Middlesex" on audiobook, and something by Mary Higgens Clark in print. It's like alternating meals of Tournedos Rossini and frozen fish sticks.
Posted by: Dagny1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jun 21 2013 03:15 PM

I have just finished reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I couldn't put it down long enough to mention it while I was actually reading it.

It totally blew me away. It's been years since I read any of King's books. I loved Salem's lot and a few of his earlier books, but stopped reading him when a few of his books went in a direction not of interest to me. I picked this one up solely because of the subject matter. I was nineteen in 1963 and can't say how I would have felt about the book had I not lived through those days. There were a few parts that went on a bit too long or went into more detail that was seemly, but overall, wow!
Posted by: kevinatilusa

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jun 21 2013 07:20 PM

Currently reading (and very much enjoying) River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Like a lot of what Kay writes, its a sort of hybrid between Historical fiction and fantasy. The setting and much of the plot is based on China around the time of the Mongol invasions, but there's also a little bit of myth/legend thrown in as well (so far most notably an encounter of one protagonist with a fox spirit).
Posted by: papo2228

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jun 22 2013 04:40 PM

I'm reading " Vagabundeando por el mundo" ( Roaming around the world ) by Mar'ia Eugenia Gutierrez, an expert on travelling. She went round the world twice and tells you about her experiences in a lot of countries. It's great fun and you learn a lot. It's in Spanish.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jun 28 2013 10:38 PM

Rading 'Airborn' by Canadian writer Kenneth Oppel. It's a book for young adults that I have had in the house forever (my son read it). It's really well written.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jun 28 2013 10:54 PM

Just about finished Middlesex on audio. One of the richest, most satisfying books I've read in some time. And for something completely different, took a small break from it to listen to Rachel Maddow's "Drift", a study of the changes in the US's approach to war over the last half of the twentieth century and to today. Maddow is as always knowledgeable and passionate.

In print, "The Wasp Factory" from Iain Banks. Very disturbing, this one. Certainly not everyone's cup of tea. Resonates interestingly with the other book.

Also just read "In the Country of the Blind" by Jess Walter. He's gone on to more mainstream fiction, but I really liked his first few crime novels. One heckuva writer.

Skunkee, my daughter was a huge Kenneth Oppel fan as a kid. His "Silverwing" series about bats is also very good.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jul 07 2013 04:26 PM

Just finished "Six Moon Dance" by Sheri Tepper. She is one of my favourite SF authors
Many of her books are semi feminist, but that doesn't spoil a good story. I like the themes in this one, what is humanity, what constitutes a sentient race plus the idea of a completely impartial galactic overseer.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jul 07 2013 09:50 PM

"Joyland" by Stephen Kind.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Jul 10 2013 06:44 PM

"Heads in Beds - a reckless memoir of hotels, hustles, and so-called hospitality" Jacob Tomsky.

Lots of fun, with tips on how to get an upgrade and how to avoid a key-bomb. This would be a fun read in any case, but the man can write, which makes it even better.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 12 2013 09:08 AM

"American Savage" by Dan Savage.

I'm a fan of Savage - I've been reading columns and blog, and listening to his podcast, for years. So there's nothing much new here for me - I've heard all these arguments and most of these stories before. For those of you not familiar with him, who have maybe just heard the name and that he's somewhat controversial, this is a good overview of who he is and what he has to say. If you are offended by strong language and strong opinions, this is not the book for you.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jul 14 2013 10:55 PM

Kingfishers Catch Fire
by Rumer Godden
Wonderfully described as all her scenes are. This time it is Kashmir and she brings it alive as only she can.
The woman in the story, Sophie ,is at most times really infuriatingly naive, but so clearly described it takes your breath away. This is one of Rumer Godden's that I had missed. I am glad I found it.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Jul 24 2013 04:13 PM

I'll look for that one, I like her books.

Just finished "Sunshine Over Scotland Street" by Alexander McCall. Having spent a lot of time in Edinburgh as a young girl when my grandparents were alive I can relate to the life style of middle would be upper class Edinburgh residents. The Scotland Sreet series is written with wonderful dry humour and if you know the city at all it is even better.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jul 25 2013 11:10 PM

I don't go much for crime books but I grabbed 2 special offers at the airport for my journey home.
Really excellent. The writer is Tana French and wow her suspense building skills are just great.
I really enjoyed both
Faithful Place and Broken Harbour. Both set in Ireland, some characters appearing in both and therefore in the other two, I presume. I heartily recommend them.
Speaking of Iain Banks, did you read "The Quarry"Agony? Thats a strange one too, quite disturbing as well but most original like all his stuff. This is his last so even more so.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 26 2013 09:29 AM

Not yet, ren - I've only read a couple of his books so far, but will be reading more.

Just finished re reading "Naked Brunch" by Sparkle Hayter (yes, that's her real name. She's from my home town, though you'd never know it by her New York books)

Sweet shy vegetarian office assistant Annie discovers she's a werewolf. This is highly entertaining stuff - a very light touch, likable characters, all the slightly silly bad guys conquered in the end while everybody we like has a happy ending. And the red potato and apple tort with smoked gruyere and walnut topping sounds like a winner!
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 04 2013 03:57 PM

I've been on a Chuck Palahniuk tear with a couple others scattered in between. I read "Fight Club" a while back, I've been a fan of the movie since it came out. A few differences from the movie, and a good read. I also read "Choke" since I'd seen that movie too. Stayed pretty in line with the movie, and another good read. Read "Survivor" and enjoyed it and now about halfway through "Snuff".

Palahniuk's style and content matter isn't for everyone but it appeals to me, makes me keep the pages turning.

I've also read "Skywalker--Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail" by Bill Walker. It was an entertaining read. It's his first book, and it's obvious he's not a seasoned or talented writer, but the writing is straightforward, honest and down to earth.

"Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" by Cheryl Strayed is another I breezed through. This was one of those Oprah books a while back (I didn't know that until I had read it) so might be popular to some. I enjoyed it...another honest, down to earth account of a thru-hiker. It was better written than Skywalker, but I still enjoyed them both immensely.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 04 2013 07:57 PM

Have you read Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods"? It's about his trek on the Appalachian Trail.

I'm rereading Sarah Shankman's "Sam Adams" mystery series - it's been at least ten years since I've read them, so it's like the first time. The first two books in the series are pretty standard investigative reporter turns detective, nothing wrong with them but nothing special. By the third book she loosens up a bit, the plots become more outrageous and more fun, and the writing takes off. Seriously charming stuff, light as one of Ida's beignet.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 04 2013 10:29 PM

Originally Posted By: agony
Have you read Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods"? It's about his trek on the Appalachian Trail.


Not yet, but now it's on my list. Thanks for the recommendation. I also have Bill Walker's 2nd book in queue where he hikes the Pacific Crest Trail. smilee
Posted by: Copago

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Aug 05 2013 12:49 AM

A Walk in the Woods is one of my favourites! I hope you can get your hands on a copy, Pyonir. Actually I would recommend any Bill Bryson smile
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Aug 05 2013 06:09 AM

Yep BB rules for sure! I defy anyone to read them without laughing out loud.
Posted by: ClaraSue

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Aug 06 2013 10:22 AM

I read A Walk in the Woods years ago and loved it! I wish I knew where the book was now. I'd re-read it.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Aug 06 2013 04:02 PM

Originally Posted By: ren33
Yep BB rules for sure! I defy anyone to read them without laughing out loud.


Reading "A Walk..." right now and I can confirm laughs out loud. tongue

For some reason I keep picturing Bryson and Katz as Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, actors from a couple of my favorite movies "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" (among other movies they've made together). Really, that only makes it funnier. laugh
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Aug 06 2013 06:09 PM

Well, that will be the image of the two of them I carry from now on, too - perfect.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Aug 10 2013 03:16 PM

"A Walk in the Woods" was a good read. Thanks for the recommendation again, agony. A little less about the hiking itself than I expected, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It did make me look up more info about Centralia, Pennsylvania...what a crazy little side story. I'd never heard of it before, but found it fascinating.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Aug 21 2013 02:16 PM

Just finished "Wave" by Sonali Deraniyagala. She was in Sri Lanka with her family when the tsunami of 2004 hit the shores. The book is a memoir but reads more like a diary than anything, and is extremely haunting and powerful. I'm not a parent, but I could see how someone with a child would find the book even more powerful.
Posted by: alexis722

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Aug 21 2013 03:26 PM

Almost finished with "The Kindly Ones" by Jonathan Littell. It is alternatively depressing, shocking, sad, weird and quite long. Narration by a supposed high ranking Nazi officer during WWII and how the war experience changed him, his mind, his life and sanity. It is interesting, but rough reading at times.
Posted by: alexis722

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Aug 21 2013 03:37 PM

I read "Anna Karenina" a couple years ago, only because I'd never read Tolstoi (loved Dostoevski though), and I have to say I did NOT care for it and felt NO sympathy for the heroine. I felt for her abandoned husband and son, but she never became important to me, and it was anticlimax when she got to the train station as the book proceeded along almost as if nothing had happened. I would not put it on the 100 best books list. I would put "The Brothers Karamazov" on there. One day I'll reread it. smilee
Posted by: Gheelnory

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 25 2013 01:07 PM

I'm enjoying a 2007 book that I'd wanted to read when it came out (to great reviews). I found a copy at a good price recently: it's "Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)" by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson.

It's entertaining and horrifying at the same time--always a good fit when human nature is being discussed. ^_^
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Aug 28 2013 03:03 PM

Just finished "Orange is the New Black" by Piper Kerman. Found the book to be rather dull first and foremost. I've read quite a few books about prison but they've all been about men in prison. So I was looking forward to one written by a woman. The book was severely lacking in details and had a terrible ending point. Kerman doesn't give us a view into how her life has changed once she's out of prison or follow ups to what happened to all her "friends" she made in prison. Probably so she can write (and sell) a follow up book.

She was also pretty narcissistic throughout, which got old, really fast.

Overall, I'd recommend anyone planning to check it out, to skip it. I certainly won't be reading the inevitable follow up and wished I hadn't wasted my time reading this one.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Aug 28 2013 03:35 PM

Just finished listening to David Rakoff's "Don't get too Comfortable", read by the author. Oh my. Cancer is a terrible thing - the world really could have used another thirty years of David.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Aug 28 2013 04:11 PM

I have just finished "The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared". Brilliant book, darkly funny, in a way reminiscent of "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night" - same sort of quirkiness to it although different author. I have to say it finds a place on my list of best books I have ever read.
Posted by: Mariamir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 12 2013 06:53 PM

Just finished The Great Gatsby. Meant to only read a chapter, but once I started, I couldn't put it down. It's an amazing book. Maybe this sounds silly, but it was, well, heart wrenching. Beautifully written, definitely high on my list.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 12 2013 07:16 PM

"Kind of Cruel" by Sophie Hannah.

Not quite as good as it could be - better in theory than execution - but I'll be reading more. She's taking up the mantle of Ruth Rendell, I'd say - psychologically-based crime fiction.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 12 2013 11:11 PM

I am still with Tana French The last one I think called "In the Wood". Wow she is good.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Sep 15 2013 08:37 AM

Jess Walter's collection of short stories "We Live in Water". I really can't emphasize enough what a good writer this guy is. Wonderful stories, and from a viewpoint we don't often see - he's really got "unemployed in the Pacific Northwest" covered.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Sep 15 2013 05:01 PM

"Mistakes Were Made But Not by Me : Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts" by Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson.

Very readable overview of how and why we are drawn to self justification, even when we can rationally see that it's not in our best interests. This is one of best organized and most readable popular science books I've read - and the authors make their point very persuasively.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Sep 16 2013 02:54 PM

Thanks for the note agony. I'll probably check that book out when I get the chance. I enjoy reading books about sociology/psychology but so many of them are poorly researched, poorly written, too technical or with a heavy political slant.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Sep 16 2013 03:48 PM

Aronson is one of the leading researchers in the field, but you'd never know it by the easy style of the book. No real political bias that I could see - in the section on self-justifying war, George W Bush comes under some scrutiny, but so does LBJ. They are quite hard on their own field, too. Their main point is that all humans do this, so checks must be built into systems - we can't trust our own perceptions of confirmation bias.

I read a lot of this kind of thing, too, but seldom make it all the way through the book. This was a good one.
Posted by: Gheelnory

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 20 2013 12:09 PM

Originally Posted By: agony
Aronson is one of the leading researchers in the field, but you'd never know it by the easy style of the book. No real political bias that I could see - in the section on self-justifying war, George W Bush comes under some scrutiny, but so does LBJ. They are quite hard on their own field, too. Their main point is that all humans do this, so checks must be built into systems - we can't trust our own perceptions of confirmation bias.

I read a lot of this kind of thing, too, but seldom make it all the way through the book. This was a good one.


Yes, Aronson and Tavris really know their topic. It's not easy to present a message that's fundamentally unpopular (namely, that we humans are all prone to self-delusion and self-justification) in a way that's entertaining--but they pull it off.

I'd also recommend Tavris' book "Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion." That one, too, conveys a message that won't be welcome to all, in a highly readable fashion.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 26 2013 06:30 AM

Diana Vreeland -Empress of Fashion. Mackenzie Stuart
It's very well written. I always think if you find the person really horrid then it must be well written. Coco Chanel said she was the most pretentious women she had met.
The fact that her mother was horrid too didn't help her I guess, but all the same you have to admire her energy and tenaciousness.It's interesting.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Sep 29 2013 01:11 PM

"A Clash of Kings' by George Martin. It draws me in in spite of the fact that I am leery of fantasy series that go on forever!
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 14 2013 10:24 AM

Just been re reading GM Ford's Leo Waterman series - a good, and fun, PI series set in Seattle in the 90s. In style very reminiscent of early Robert Crais, back when his books were funny and full of wisecracks and plot twists, rather than the more standard fare they have been lately.

The book I just finished was "The Deader the Better". Wish Ford had continued with this series instead of moving on to the less entertaining Frank Corso series. Well plotted, funny, and about as moving and human as we want a PI story to be.

One thing I found interesting is that this book, and one other, "Cast in Stone", both use the same premises as two of John D MacDonald's Travis Mcgee novels. The similarities - in this case to MacDonald's "Pale Grey for Guilt", in the other, "Cinnamon Skin", are close enough that this can't be an accident. Don't get me wrong - Ford tells his story in his own fashion, not in MacDonald's, and once the story is set up, the plots go in their own direction. This isn't plagiarism, but rather homage, a shout out. I enjoyed watching the story play out, quite a lot, and this added a little extra dimension.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 14 2013 05:31 PM

Read a couple recently of note. I picked up Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything". Not really what I was expecting; I guess I was expecting something like a history of random items in his home like the invention of the paper clip, no idea where I got that. Despite that, I found it very interesting written in layman's terms the basic building blocks of the universe. I'm not a science guy (as I think I've noted before) but still found it engaging, similar to a Neil Degrasse-Tyson book.

Also read "Lolita". I knew the basic premise, but that was about it. I found it hard to read because of the language style/words used. I spent a bit of time actually looking up words (not a bad thing) just to know what the really meant. I didn't understand any of the French (my copy wasn't annotated or anything) so that also made it a bit difficult. I did and didn't like the book. While I got the satire of it that is so talked about, the difficulty in reading it was an issue for me.

I think the best part of the book was the afterword by Nabokov. Should be required reading for everyone that things certain books should be "banned" and critics alike.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 14 2013 05:57 PM

You might really like his book "At Home: A Short History of Private Life" then - it's more what you thought "Short History...." would be.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 14 2013 06:29 PM

Thanks agony, that might be where I saw that description and led me to believe that's what "Short History..." was about. haha. Makes sense. smile
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Nov 17 2013 09:24 AM

"My Movie Business" John Irving.

John Irving discusses his experiences with his books being made into movies, with most emphasis on "The Cider House Rules".

I read a lot of this sort of thing, one way or another, and what strikes me most about this book is how generous and fair minded Irving is. Some novelists have a love/hate relationship with their books as movies, some have a hate/hate one, but Irving really seems to understand that a movie is not a book.

Something he comes back to again and again is the relationship the audience or reader has with a character. In a book there is time - we spend enough time with characters to understand how, for instance, a sympathetic character can do an unsympathetic thing, and we forgive them because we have come to know and love them. In a movie we have minutes to establish the relationship that takes hours, days, when reading, so different choices of course have to be made.

This is an interesting look at the creative process, for those who are interested in that. It's not, even slightly, a celebrity gossip book, though - this is not the place for behind the scenes revelations on what, say, Charlize Theron is *really* like.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Nov 20 2013 05:46 PM

Sounds interesting, agony, I'll have to check that out.

Just finished up "People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up" by Richard Lloyd Parry. Some of you English (among others) might remember the story of Lucie Blackman when she disappeared in Japan. The book was well written, well researched and the story was pretty compelling. I found the discussions of how the Japanese legal system works fascinating. I hadn't heard of the incident, or if I did don't remember it, so it was all new to me. If you like true life mysteries, pick it up and give it a read.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 21 2013 08:53 AM

"The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling
Posted by: Gheelnory

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 21 2013 02:33 PM

Originally Posted By: skunkee
"The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling


Oh, I read that. I actually had a better opinion of it than I did of the Harry Potter books.

I'll be interested to know how you end up assessing it. ^_^
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 23 2013 11:45 PM

Just finished "I, Robot" by Isaac Asimov. Probably a lot here have already read it. I'm not a science fiction fan at all, but thought the book was great! I think it's because it was still based on Earth (for the most part) and not unknown galaxies/planets/etc.

I was also pleased that it was nothing like the movie. I didn't think it would be, but thought there would still be some things the movie stole, other than the 3 laws. Pleasant surprise there too.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Dec 15 2013 07:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted By: skunkee"The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling

Oh, I read that. I actually had a better opinion of it than I did of the Harry Potter books.

I'll be interested to know how you end up assessing it. ^_^


I think she writes very well but I find with this book she's taking too long to get to the point. There's too much description that wanders and you have to shake yourself to remember what it's all about.

I am embarrassed to admit that I have barely broken the spine of this one and have a couple of other books on the go.
Posted by: Gheelnory

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 19 2013 01:29 PM

Originally Posted By: skunkee
Quote:
Originally Posted By: skunkee"The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling
Oh, I read that. I actually had a better opinion of it than I did of the Harry Potter books.
I'll be interested to know how you end up assessing it. ^_^


I think she writes very well but I find with this book she's taking too long to get to the point. There's too much description that wanders and you have to shake yourself to remember what it's all about.



Without meaning to insult or patronize Ms. Rowling, I would guess that she was hoping the book would be seen as a more "literary" effort than were her Harry Potter books. And when writers want to be Literary, they do tend to lay on the descriptive prose.

(If you persevere, I think you'll be pleased that you did. To my mind she did succeed in creating a well-shaped plot that does 'pay off,' as the saying goes.)
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 19 2013 02:37 PM

Thanks for the encouragement - I will persevere!
Posted by: argus9

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Dec 20 2013 02:05 PM

World War Z by Max Brooks. I'm really enjoying it. Much better than the movie with Brad Pitt and of course the movie is not even close to the book. I think they took the title and how the virus is spread and that's it.
Posted by: Gheelnory

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Dec 21 2013 05:53 PM

Originally Posted By: argus9
World War Z by Max Brooks. I'm really enjoying it. Much better than the movie with Brad Pitt and of course the movie is not even close to the book.


Sounds interesting. I can't believe how popular zombies are, these days: today I saw a magazine entitled "Zombies" for sale at the supermarket! I don't think the vampires ever managed to attain that honor. wink
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Dec 22 2013 07:47 AM

"The Child Catchers - Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption" by Kathryn Joyce.

Very interesting look at international adoption, and the ways this altruistic idea can often become abusive in practice. I'd expect this would be very useful reading for anyone thinking of adopting internationally, as a warning of what kind of practices, and even more, what kind of mindset, to be wary of.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Dec 22 2013 09:34 AM

"The Book of Negroes" - Lawrence Hill. It's excellent.
Posted by: Jazmee27

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 10 2014 07:30 PM

Just finished reading Madeline L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” because I was curious to learn what all the fuss was about (I read another book sometime back, “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead, which is essentially a tribute to the book. In the introduction, it was mentioned that editors were fearful of publishing it because it was hotly debated what genre “A Wrinkle in Time” fit under. While reading it, I could definetly see why. A rather complicated storyline, and I am not sure whether I would have read it so quickly had I not needed something to distract me from how lowsy I felt. I sort of felt like the beginning was better than the rest of the book, though I admit that knowing a few details prior due to the tribute kind of ruined it for me. Still, for one in need of a distraction, that is certainly what I got; and I now know the storyline better than the vague impression I got in “When You Reach Me.” I doubt very much, though, whether I’d have read “A Wrinkle In Time” had I not stumbled upon the tribute.
Posted by: tjoebigham

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 25 2014 04:40 PM

Among the books i'm starting now are Andrew Erdman's "Queen of Vaudeville: the story of Eva Tanguay", Jessica Kerwin Jenkins' "All the Time in the World: A Book of Hours", Thurston Clarke's "JFK's Last Hundred Days" and Winston Groom's "The Aviators".

tjoeb};>
Posted by: TriviaFan22

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Feb 26 2014 03:46 AM

I am reading now Descartes' Meditation on First Philosophy.

I was a little surprised days ago when I opened the front cover to see that I only paid a dollar for it. In my town, we have four major book fairs every year run by two non-profits (one being the local library). They are held two in the Spring, two in the Summer. At the last one I went to, I was surprised how much philosophy they had. I got around a dozen books. (All last year combined I probably purchased 80 books).

But we do not live in a philosophical town. No, it seems all the Nietzsches, Descartes, and Kants, probably reached their last stop at that fair. They were selling variously for a dollar or two each.

In contrast, my college textbooks ran anywhere from around $60 to in one case over $200. I promise, when I get a chance to do it over again, things will go a lot differently. For one, I won't buy books.. I will look everything up on the internet. For one, I never should have had to pay $500 for boks my professors knew in advance they wouldn't even read out of. Am I calling higher education, or even education in general, a fraud? I think it's not far off the mark.

But the original point I'm getting to, is I paid a dollar for a book, that will probably offer me intensely more pleasure, but more importantly, insight and learning, than even all of those college books combined. And it only cost a buck.

And then an even better point I just realized... I budgeted probably around $200 on books all last year. I am confident, I have more to show out of that $200 than a great deal of students graduating out of a master's program.

Some of you are wondering what my point is in this post. I suppose if I had to put it in just a couple words... I would say education is something you have to do for yourself. And your heart isn't always in official studies. It may take a person quietly in solitude contemplating meaning and mission, before they can really go back out into the world and become a really amazing person. I was a youth who had no purpose. There was nothing I wanted to do. When I went to college, I still had no purpose. I guess when I think over that last line, I still don't have a meaning. But it's not through deprivation, it's simply I haven't found one yet. But I'm studying the classics and I think this makes me a unique person and someone who can eventually do great things.

Or this post might also have noted... The Gradual Decline of Western Civilization... and Descartes for a dollar. (Why should Descartes be going for a dollar? He's shaped the face of the Western world. Yet people are stampeding over others to get to the electronics section in Wal-Mart on Black Friday.)
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Feb 26 2014 07:47 AM

Lol!
Quote:
Yet people are stampeding over others to get to the electronics section in Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

I like your thinking!
Posted by: LBaggins

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Feb 26 2014 05:00 PM

Originally Posted By: TriviaFan22
I would say education is something you have to do for yourself. And your heart isn't always in official studies. It may take a person quietly in solitude contemplating meaning and mission, before they can really go back out into the world and become a really amazing person. I was a youth who had no purpose. There was nothing I wanted to do. When I went to college, I still had no purpose.


I agree that education is something you have to do for yourself, in the sense that the motivation to learn must come from within. I don't agree that it can't take place in an institution of higher learning.

I went to college right out of high school, because that was what you were "supposed" to do. I completely wasted, education-wise, a year in an excellent private college--not because there was anything wrong with the school, but because furthering my education was not my priority at the time. I was far more focused on the bliss of being out from under the crushing parental thumb for the first time in my life. I learned quite a lot that year, but not what the college was trying to teach, since I had no interest in the subject matter and attended class only sporadically.

After that I quit, moved into an apartment with a friend, and began working a series of odd jobs. I wrapped gifts in a department store, worked in an office (where I discovered that office work is NOT for me), and even pumped gas. Finally, I fell into education by accident when I needed a job and a guy I was dating who worked at the Georgia Retardation Center told me he could get me one.

Bang! I'd found my calling, without ever in my life having considered teaching as a career. After a few years as a teacher assistant, I decided that yes, this WAS what I wanted to do for a living, so now I needed to get a degree so that I could earn a living wage at it. I went back to school, and the experience was entirely different. Classes that would have held no appeal for me a few years earlier were now interesting to me, even those not in my subject area. Who knew that I would ever enjoy Math, for example? My experience as a T.A. was of great help with all my Education courses. I ended up with very good grades, and a B.S. and Master's Degree. And a career where I was fulfilled and could change lives for the better.

My second school wasn't "better" than my first. The change needed for success and satisfaction had taken place within me. The education was there all along; I just needed to be ready to receive it.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Feb 26 2014 08:18 PM

Thanks , but please do not take this discussion, titled "What are you Reading?" any further away from its theme.
The next post should be about books, not education .
Feel free to start a thread in another forum on this subject.
Posted by: Snowman

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Mar 05 2014 01:19 AM

I've just started reading "The Cold Six Thousand" by James Ellroy. I once started reading this about 10 years ago but then left it on top of a taxi when on holiday in Malaysia. Now I intend to finish it. It has been a few years since I read an Ellroy novel so I'm having to re-adjust to his brutal style of writing but I'm beginning to enjoy it again.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Mar 05 2014 03:50 AM

I wonder if the Taxi driver enjoyed it ! Lol!
Welcome to books!
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Mar 05 2014 10:58 AM

Yes, I always find the first twenty pages or so of an Ellroy novel hard to take. And then I get into it, and by the end of the book wonder what the problem was.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Mar 07 2014 08:47 AM

"The Fry Chronicles"

If you love Stephen Fry, as I do, you'll like this - it's sufficiently gossipy and newsy to be fun, while full of his trademark mostly-honesty and waffling on. If you find him annoying, you'll find this book even more so - there really is quite a lot of waffling on. It takes up roughly where "Moab is my Washpot" leaves off - (and the difference between the titles of these two books of memoirs tells you a lot about Fry - where he used to be, where he is now) and takes us to the beginning of "A Bit of Fry and Laurie".
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Mar 09 2014 09:36 AM

"Guilt" by Jonathan Kellerman
After reading "The Book of Negroes" (which I highly recommend) and J.K. Rowling's latest offering (which I do not) I have returned to my first love, the murder-mystery.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Mar 11 2014 05:26 PM

Nick Hornby's "Ten Years in the Tub" which is a collection of all his "Stuff I've Been Reading" columns for "The Believer".
I highly recommend this. Not only are there just scads of books brought to your attention that you would not have otherwise read - some of my favourite authors originally came to me through these columns - but there is a lot of good writing about reading. Most of it is fairly good fun, too.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Mar 11 2014 08:01 PM

I recently read both "A Street Cat Named Bob" and "The World According to Bob" by James Bowen. Some may be familiar with their story, I was not before reading the books. The story is a pretty good one about love, companionship, loss and happiness. They kind of run the full gamut of emotions. I think they are books for just about anyone and just about anyone can take something away from the story.

Bowen is a street busker in London and a recovering heroin addict, who comes across a scrawny, starving, injured cat he calls Bob. The first book "A Street Cat" details their meeting, getting to know each other and struggles they both encounter on the streets of London. The second book covers their rise to popularity and fame both locally in London and globally. Both are highly recommended.
Posted by: dg_dave

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Mar 12 2014 11:02 AM

I picked up a book yesterday and started reading it this morning. I've only made it in a few pages, but wow! (That's really all I can say).

The book is titled God Loves Ugly & Love Makes Beautiful by Christa Black. Having known her personally and seeing it posted on her website, I wanted to get a copy of it (she and I graduated high school together in a smaller city in west Texas).
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Mar 15 2014 08:13 PM

Lately I've been reading the novels of Sophie Hannah. She writes crime fiction, to a formula, but it's not like any other formula out there I've encountered.

Her series novels all have two narrative streams - a first person narrative by someone who seems to be a little deranged, and not necessarily a reliable narrator, and a third person bit set among the local police who are, quite frankly, sometimes more than a little eccentric themselves. Something completely inexplicable is going on, that doesn't seem to make any sense, and we can't quite tell who to trust. It's not always clear whether there has been a crime committed, or what that crime might be. Even when I've got a fairly good guess whodunnit, it's seldom clear what they did and more importantly why, until nearly the very end. She's very interested in the effects that various types of trauma have on behaviour - although many people in the books appear to behave very oddly, there's always a good reason for it, once you know everything.

I've been reading the books out of order, and that adds to the "what the heck is going on here" quality, as the various members of the police department have quite the soap opera going on among themselves.

Recommended, if you like readable detective fiction with a little something different.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Mar 16 2014 02:41 AM

Wow! By an amazing coincidence, all the books I got from a recent Book Depository Sale day arrived this week and one of them is "Kind of Cruel" by Sophie Hannah. It looked good anyway from the blurb and the fact that it won an award, but I am really looking forward to it after reading what you say Agony Thanks.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Mar 16 2014 08:37 AM

Sometimes some of the plot points are a little stretched, and now and then there is a bit too much of a coincidence, but on the whole her books are pretty good - I think you'll enjoy it.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Mar 23 2014 06:43 PM

Yes it took me ages to find head or tail, but I think I am into it now! Thanks for the warning, I might have given up.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Mar 24 2014 07:57 AM

That's pretty much how it went for me, too, yup.

"The End of Everything" Megan Abbott. Well, this one is almost too much. Too much truth, too much honesty, about the sexuality of early teens. I'm 56 years old, it's been a long time since I really felt what it was actually like to be 13. Excellent but difficult - fathers of girls might find this more than they want to know.

And re-reading what I just wrote, it makes the book sound like kiddie porn, which it most definitely is not. It's muted and understated, but very very real.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Mar 27 2014 07:21 AM

Just finished "Guilt" by Kellerman.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Apr 12 2014 11:46 AM

"When we were Romans" Matthew Kneale

A heartbreaking look at mental illness from the viewpoint of one of its innocent victims. Lawrence is a child-narrator whom you really come to love.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Apr 12 2014 04:45 PM

"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" - Hunter S. Thompson

I finally got around to reading this and enjoyed it very much. I saw the movie a long time ago so didn't really remember much of it, but knew I liked it. I don't know if Thompson's other works are similar in writing style, but if so and anyone has recommendations that are similar to Loathing, I'd be keen to hear them.

"We can't stop here! This is bat country!" laugh
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Apr 12 2014 05:07 PM

My favourite Thompson book is "Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs" mostly because when I first read it, I knew nothing of his reputation as a gonzo journalist - it was just a book about a subject I was interested in.

You might want to try the other Fear and Loathing book, about the 1972 presidential election.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Apr 12 2014 05:40 PM

Thanks agony. It seemed that "Hell's Angels..." was well regarded during the little research I did. I'll have to check that one and the other Loathing book out.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Apr 20 2014 08:15 AM

Rereading "Cashelmara" by Susan Howatch.

This kind of sprawling family saga is seriously out of date these days, but if you have a taste for it, Howatch does it very well. It doesn't hurt that this story of an Irish estate in the mid-late 1800s is actually a retelling of the history of the Plantagenet kings (as are her other big historical novels, "Penmarric" and "Wheel of Fortune"). The only hint Howatch gives to the reader is a little epigraph at the beginning of each section of the novel, as she moves from one viewpoint character to another. "Ah" you say "This character must be Edward II" and run off to Wikipedia to read up on him to see that, yup, that's who he is, all right.

In my opinion, Susan Howatch is second only to Norah Lofts in this genre. I'm having a nice time reading this.
Posted by: tjoebigham

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Apr 23 2014 12:01 PM

An edition of Ben Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanac" illustrated by Norman Rockwell.

tjoeb};>
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Apr 30 2014 09:59 AM

"The Fake Inspector Dew" by Peter Lovesy. This is a real little gem - a period piece, set in 1921, beautifully researched. Some of the plot twists you'll see coming, some you won't, but either way it's enormous fun.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu May 01 2014 03:13 PM

You always make me want to read things Agony! Thanks Another on my list!
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue May 20 2014 11:42 AM

"The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling).
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue May 20 2014 03:42 PM

I've read a few stock market books lately...doubtful they'll be to much interest to those that read this topic. smile

I did make the mistake of reading "Five Days at Memorial" by Sheri Fink. It was promoted as being a neutral/journalistic account of what happened at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While reading it, it seemed to be written with a slant...but I didn't think much of it. I was just about finished with it (it's not a well written book, IMO) and decided to see what others had said about it on Amazon, only to find that the author and her "journalism ethics" had been called into question repeatedly by many people, including just about everyone in the book that wasn't associated with law enforcement. According to a couple sites I visited, she also flat out stretched the truth to fit her narrative and implied events that never happened (at least all those that were there say never happened).

Anyway, my point being if you notice the book and thought about giving it a try, avoid it.

On a lighter note I did recently finish two books by Justin Halpern "I Suck at Girls" and "S#&t My Dad Says" (yes, it was the basis for the TV show and blog) and found both really good. Basically it's about Halpern growing up in the 90s with a tough Dad that showed both wisdom and psychosis in how he taught him about life and love. A lot of funny stories and a joy to read.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed May 21 2014 01:15 PM

Thanks a lot and welcome, Pyonir. It's always good to read peoples opinions/
I now write down books that people recommend. It saves that confused feeling in the library or bookshop.
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed May 21 2014 05:53 PM

Just started reading Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady by Florence King. I'm laughing hysterically. My father read it first and found it too graphic and unfunny. Two perspectives for you.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 02:12 AM

Originally Posted By: agony
You might really like his book "At Home: A Short History of Private Life" then - it's more what you thought "Short History...." would be.


Started reading this...and, boy, is it boring. I like Bryson and will continue to read it...but I've taken breaks from it and read something else a couple of times already. There are some interesting tidbits, but no flow to it at all.
Posted by: dsimpy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 05:05 AM

I seem to be in a Irish women authors phase at the moment. I'm in the middle of reading Anne Enright's 'The Gathering', which deals with a family's response to the suicide of their brother and what it means to their own lives. The background themes of sexual abuse and institutional care have a particular poignance given the issues that have been prominent in Ireland in recent times.

Next on my list are Eimear McBride's 'A Girl is a Half-formed Thing' and Anne Enright's 'What Are You Like?'
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 05:10 AM

Oh, too bad, pyonir. I tend to listen to stuff like this on audiobook, and it works fairly well for that.

I'm having a Stuart Macbride binge - rereading his Logan McRae series and some other stuff.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 08:19 AM

"Lake Wobegone Days" by Garrison Keillor. Again. I do love it. I would recommend it to anyone who has worries and needs help coming to terms with trying situations.
So witty, so clever. I always find myself quietly giggling at a scene I missed last time I read the book. Lovely.
Posted by: tjoebigham

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 12:57 PM

Ron Goulart's "Groucho Marx, Private Eye", "Treasure Island", Borges' "Ficciones", Upton Sinclair's "Oil!" (The basis for There Will Be Blood) and Susan Orlean's "Rin-Tin-Tin: The Life and Legend", among others.

tjoeb};>
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 03:20 PM

Originally Posted By: ren33
"Lake Wobegone Days" by Garrison Keillor. Again. I do love it. I would recommend it to anyone who has worries and needs help coming to terms with trying situations.
So witty, so clever. I always find myself quietly giggling at a scene I missed last time I read the book. Lovely.


Keillor was born just a few miles from where I was born and raised. In fact I think my father attended high school with him (I don't think he knew him though). It's always interesting seeing someone who is so locally regarded being named in the International community. smile

Edit: I did talk to my father and he was a couple years younger than Garrison, so didn't attend with him.
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 03:50 PM

I'm 120 pages (out of 600+) in Dan Brown's Inferno. So far, not bad...
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 04:53 PM

Originally Posted By: guitargoddess
I'm 120 pages (out of 600+) in Dan Brown's Inferno. So far, not bad...


Have you read his others? I didn't find anything wrong with Inferno...but didn't find it much different at all from "Code" and "Angels". I do like his suspenseful style though.
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 05:58 PM

I've read the other ones featuring Robert Langdon, yes. I really liked The Da Vinci Code - it seemed to have the most puzzles to solve to find the next step, I liked that. Angels was good too. The Lost Symbol I liked less. It was good enough that I wanted to keep reading but I don't think I'd read it again

The books are all quite similar though, I agree. Inferno has a different element of suspense in that the reader doesn't even know yet (almost 200 pages in now) how Langdon has even gotten himself involved in this adventure, and hardly any inklings of what the heck is actually going on, whereas in the other books, a problem/crime was presented at the outset and then had to be solved
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 06:14 PM

Pyonir, how proud you must be to have Garrison as a Local boy made good.

As to Mr Brown, I find the Da Vinci Code just awful. I was struggling not to be too rude and disparaging about it. I was looking to see if anyone else thought like me and what they had said. This one Page says it so much better than I could.
So sorry, and I am sure people are thinking if she thinks like that why doesn't she write a better book? Well I think I could , and when I have time I will try. As the man hints , even the guy who wrote the Hardy Boys could.
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 06:34 PM

I do know lots of people didn't like it, but I feel like that's an incredibly picky review. Hardly says anything about how he felt about the actual story. I never expected anything "intellectual" when I started reading it. I enjoyed it but I'm not in the habit of picking apart every sentence of novels I read for fun. Oh well, my favourite 'thrillers' are James Patterson books, certainly there's lots of people who think those are total crap too. (Well a lot of the ones that he clearly doesn't write himself ARE)
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 06:57 PM

I agree about Patterson, but he doesn't I think, pretend to be anything but an entertaining thriller writer.
On the other hand there seem to be people who speak in hushed tones of the genius of Brown. Maybe it is a harsh review, I agree, but I found I could identify with a lot of it.The pulling apart is , after all, only of the first page or so, but is surely enough to point out the inadequacy of the writing.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 08:32 PM

I think the thing about Dan Brown, and James Patterson for that matter, is that they are good storytellers rather than good writers. So that those who are reading mainly for the story can really enjoy the books, while those who are reading mainly for other things - where the story is only one element of what is going on - are just shaking their heads.

Personally, I can live with bad writing if the story grabs me and pulls me under within a page or two. If that doesn't happen, then I just can't do it.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 09:30 PM

I skimmed the critique (for the most part) and it seems to be more a critique that Brown should have had an editor. Isn't most of the gripes things an editor would correct? And complaining about the blurbs on the back of the book jacket? Do people really read those?

To me, the critique reads like sour grapes from someone jealous of the success for a poor "literary" writer. I don't think Brown is a good writer by any stretch, but I wasn't expecting Twain, just a entertaining read and I got that out of the books.

It's akin to someone complaining that the "Fast and the Furious" movies are wholly unrealistic and pointing out all the inaccuracies of the movies and what couldn't actually happen. No one expects them to win Oscars, they are just entertaining flicks.

Anyway, back off my soapbox. :P I think Agony hit it on the head...that they are storytellers, not good writers. I agree.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 15 2014 09:45 PM

Originally Posted By: pyonir
II think Agony hit it on the head...that they are storytellers, not good writers. I agree.


Yes , Agony usually does. Thanks. But my problem then therefore is that I am one of the ones who wasn't even entertained. I would have like the puzzles and codes to have been more challenging, maybe that's it.
Points taken though.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jun 16 2014 02:11 AM

Originally Posted By: ren33
Yes , Agony usually does. Thanks. But my problem then therefore is that I am one of the ones who wasn't even entertained. I would have like the puzzles and codes to have been more challenging, maybe that's it.
Points taken though.


Ah, that I can understand completely Ren. I'm not as much of a fiction reader, so really don't read books that have challenges (codes/puzzles/etc) like that...which is probably why I and a lot of others found the book entertaining.

I can understand how someone that is more used to that type of reading would find the book underwhelming and amateurish to put it bluntly. smile
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jun 16 2014 09:08 PM

Well I finished Inferno and liked it well enough for the most part
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jun 21 2014 07:28 AM

I'm now just starting Beware this Boy by Maureen Jennings, the author of the Murdoch Mysteries books. Beware this Boy is the second in her Tom Tyler series, set in England during WWII. I definitely recommend her books for anyone who likes a 'non-thriller' type murder mystery, but especially if you have an interest in historical settings (I really like the Murdoch books for her depiction of turn of the century Canada).
Posted by: kaddarsgirl

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jun 21 2014 08:14 AM

I'm about to start reading Janet Evanovich's "Top Secret Twenty-One".
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jun 21 2014 09:19 PM

Oh, I read a couple of the Murdoch Mysteries, I think, and liked them.
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 22 2014 09:58 AM

I finished Beware this Boy last night (read all in one day, so it was pretty good... also, I got nothing else done all day). It was very good but very unsatisfactory ending, for me. I was hoping the story would continue in the next book in the series, but the synopsis of it I read online doesn't suggest so. Darn, I hate loose ends.
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Jun 24 2014 12:54 AM

*WARNING: Politics ahead!*

I picked up Ayn Rand's Philosophy: Who Needs It at the library today. The very first essay/speech/chapter lays out the basic construction of philosophy in brilliant fashion, and then goes on to explain how the whole liberal world view of today originated with Immanuel Kant, and then shreds Kant's philosophy to ribbons in two sentences. I get such a thrill every time I pick up Ayn Rand again because she explains in clear, concise, coherent fashion all the things I believe without being able to express nearly as well.

To finish the previous review of Florence King's book, the second half of the book wasn't nearly as funny or entertaining as the first half. I was disappointed, too, that she didn't get into more of how she became a conservative, how she became a misanthrope (her own description of herself), or how she became a writer for National Review.
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 29 2014 05:02 PM

I'm starting A Study in a Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes novel. I've enjoyed recent Holmes adaptations - the two modern-day set TV series and the Robert Downey Jr movies - and I thought why not give the original stories a go? I recently needed to purchase something to get an Amazon order past the free shipping threshold, and I chose to get the complete Sherlock Holmes collection, in two paperback volumes, for a very decent price. The only downside is that it's in two volumes only... The print is tiny!
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 29 2014 05:19 PM

Oh, I hope you like them - I still remember exactly where I was when I first read "A Study in Scarlet". My mom had to call me three times for dinner.

The original stories are nothing much like the recent adaptations, but they have their own gas-lit charms.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jun 29 2014 05:29 PM

I just finished "The Wolf of Wall Street" by Jordan Belfort (yes, the basis for the movie). It was...poorly written. Belfort, in my opinion, is about as close to the definition of a psychopath as you can get without actually killing anyone. The entire book is written in that tone as well, him being better, smarter, more handsome, etc than everyone else. Including his bragging about how much he can drink and how many narcotics he can use in a day. It got rather tiresome and repetitive. The writing is about what I'd expect from a teenage boy and really shows his lack of understanding of his own shortcomings and how he affects other people in his life.

Anyway, if that sounds appealing to you, give it a read. If not, avoid it. It's a shame he's making money from the book and the movie, given his disgusting history.
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Jul 01 2014 11:55 PM

I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels years ago, and I must say, while the short stories were in general marvelous, I thought the novels seriously defective. A Study in Scarlet wasn't so bad, but The Hound of the Baskervilles was terrible.

Thanks for the honest review, pyonir. I was surprised and somewhat disappointed to find out that the most successful businessmen are all psychopaths who don't kill people. Psychopaths who don't kill people also tend to have more children than the general population due to their charm and lack of remorse, and still worse news, psychopathy is an inheritable trait.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jul 03 2014 09:08 PM

I just started 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak - so far it's excellent.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jul 03 2014 09:58 PM

Originally Posted By: skunkee
I just started 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak - so far it's excellent.


I'm about 3/4th of the way through it. I like the story, but don't really care for the format/style of the writing. Overall I get the appeal of it though...since the story is so strong.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jul 03 2014 10:19 PM

Yes I liked the story, but to tell the truth I never really understand the need to make the narrator be Death.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jul 07 2014 10:36 PM

Originally Posted By: ren33
Yes I liked the story, but to tell the truth I never really understand the need to make the narrator be Death.


I was more annoyed with the interruptions (what I call them anyway, I'm not sure if there's a better term for it) where the narrator injects comments throughout the book.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Jul 23 2014 03:27 AM

I came across a little gem.
"When we were bad" by Charlotte Mendelson.
It very cleverly weaves a family and its troubles. It could only be a Jewish family and oh how well the writer knows the ups and downs. I loved it for its wit and its insight. A first novel, I think . I hope there are more.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Aug 02 2014 05:09 AM

Well it obviously wasn't a first novel I looked her up, having so loved "When we were Bad". This one : "Almost English " is so much funnier . The other had some tragic elements. It is a while since I laughed aloud while reading. This one is set in a Hungarian family in London and is a scream. I really recommend her.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Aug 02 2014 03:12 PM

Finished reading the "Wool" Omnibus from Hugh Howey. Found the book entertaining, interesting. I haven't read a lot of new Dystopian books, so can't really compare it to anything off the top of my head. I do like Howey's writing style, having also read "The Hurricane" from him. I'm planning on the rest of the Wool series, the Sand series and "I, Zombie" as well. I liked Wool mainly because it wasn't much of a science fiction based dystopia, more of a realistic based one. I'd recommend it to anyone that likes dystopian novels.

Howey is an interesting story/rise to fame as well. From a short story, self published to a movie coming out next year directed by Ridley Scott. By all accounts it'll be a massive blockbuster film. I haven't seen any actors attached to it yet, though.
Posted by: stuthehistoryguy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 03 2014 02:59 PM

William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. The brother is taxing my patience, I tell you.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 03 2014 04:12 PM

"Dangerous Women" an anthology of short fiction from the people who brought us the "Warriors" anthologies, Gardner Dozois and George RR Martin. Typically excellent stuff - these are wonderful anthologies with a fantasy s/f slant, though other genres are represented. Quite a few historical fiction writers in this one. Everyone will find at least one story they find outstanding in this collection, and if you like fantasy and s/f, you're certain to find more than one.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Aug 05 2014 08:25 AM

At the same time as the above, I'm also working my way through "Where Joy Resides", a collection of writings by Christopher Isherwood. I really love Isherwood - a camera he is indeed, and one which sees everything. I suspect he was a very uncomfortable person to actually know - you'd know that he was noticing all those little things that the rest of us don't, or at least pretend not to.

I see that this collection includes "A Single Man" which I have not yet read, just seen the movie. I don't know if I'll have the strength - the film nearly finished me.
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Aug 06 2014 01:40 PM

Almost finished with Creating Love by John Bradshaw. Life-changing. Literally life-altering.
Posted by: TriviaFan22

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Aug 23 2014 04:20 PM

Christian Ethics by Norman Geisler

Pascal's Wager by James A. Connor

i briefly started but stopped to finish up on "Pascal..."

Singled Out by Bella DePaulo. I have to finish one more before I return to that And I start school Monday so my reading hours will be cut short tremendously.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 24 2014 04:09 AM

About 3/4 of the way through the "Shift" omnibus by Hugh Howey. I like it much better than "Wool". "Shift" is a prequel he wrote after "Wool". He shows you the origins of the story that occurred in "Wool" and even introduces the back story of a few characters he didn't expand on in the first omnibus.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Aug 26 2014 06:48 PM

I'm sure many of you have read "Don Quixote". I just can't get into it. I'm only on Chapter XI, so does it start slow? Is it pretty consistent throughout? I'm trying to decide if I should stick with it...or scrap it now.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 31 2014 01:47 AM

Have just finished "When the Wind Blows" by Raymond Briggs, a graphic novel for adults and not the sort of thing I would usually have opted for in the bookstore.

It's an easy read, it took me maybe 30 minutes to get through it. My interest had been sparked by a song I heard which was written after the singer had read this book, and I was intrigued. Having finished the book, I was then intrigued to look up the "Protect and Survive" pamphlet that had been issued to households in the UK in the 80s, and generally read up about the background setting. There was an animated movie made also, and the discussions linked to it on the imdb site make for interesting reading. The whole experience is pretty chilling!

A very disturbing novel most particularly because of the charming cartoon-images (same style as Briggs' other well-known work, "The Snowman"), the exaggeratedly eccentric yet ever-trusting and innocent main (& only) characters, and the contrasting underlying truth and horror of what Nuclear fall-out really could mean.

A great experience altogether!
Posted by: Chavs

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 31 2014 05:18 AM

Great review. I found that book (and film, and play) so sad and scary; and just as you said, the contrast between the trusting couple and the horror of fall out is so effective.

I've seen the corresponding Irish pamphlet (hang all your sheets out of the windows to deflect the blast, and hide under a table), it was printed with the centre pages upside down which didn't inspire too much trust. And then there were the iodine tablets distributed to every household - 6 per house - seems fair, it is not as if Ireland is known for large catholic extended families or anything, 6 shall be ample. smile

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/iodine-tablets-sent-to-irish-homes-55898.html
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 31 2014 05:59 AM

I was wondering why I didn't remember receiving the iodine tablets, until I looked at the date. I had emigrated at that stage ...

The couple in the book were so over-the-top silly, the sad part is that the exaggeration is not really that far off the mark. How many thousands of us would similarly blindly follow governmental advice thinking that they were acting in our interests, not realizing that the hidden agenda is to actually make the life of the ruling body after fallout, easier? And this applies not just to fallout but to many other aspects of life in a democratic republic.

It was definitely a thought-provoking read!
Posted by: ozzz2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 31 2014 06:45 AM

This may be a silly question, but what was the iodine for?
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 31 2014 09:06 AM

To protect against radiation sickness.

"KI (potassium iodide) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, thus protecting this gland from radiation injury.

The thyroid gland is the part of the body that is most sensitive to radioactive iodine."

From here.
Posted by: flopsymopsy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Sep 01 2014 06:30 AM

I glowed in the dark only last summer; I had thyrotoxicosis so they zapped my thyroid with some radioactive iodine. For some weeks afterwards I had to avoid doing certain things, including getting too close to other people for any length of time. I was allowed, for example to go to the supermarket after a few days but had to avoid small children and pregnant women. I was very careful. I went shopping only at times I knew there were likely to be few customers. I made a list and made for those items so I could shop, pay, and get out of there asap. If there were people in Aisle 8 when I wanted to get to the cheese counter I went to Aisle 35 for ice cream then zoomed back to A8 when it was empty. I was really very conscientious about it. And of course as soon as I got to an empty aisle and went to pick cheese from the display, all of a sudden I'd find myself surrounded by women, any one of whom might have been pregnant and all towing small children by the hand. Aaaaargh! I'd dash away, to get some bread. Phew, an empty aisle. Where's the wholemeal. Waaaaah! Where did all those people come from?

Wherever I went, whatever time it was, standing by myself in an empty aisle staring at produce no one else would usually buy turned out to be the best way of attracting people to my side than anything else ever has done. Forget match.com - if you want to be followed around by total strangers, take radioactive iodine!
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Sep 01 2014 12:15 PM

Isn't that just the limit? You do everything possible to protect everyone, then they just darned go and walk in the way of trouble themselves!

(& hope that radioactive iodine did its job and you are no longer glowing in the dark)!
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Sep 02 2014 09:48 AM

"The Big Picture" William Goldman. A collection of articles he wrote in the nineties about movies of the time.

I've probably said this before here, but I love reading what Goldman has to say about Hollywood. He's smart, he knows the business (he wrote "Butch Cassidy", "Maverick", "Marathon Man" "The Princess Bride" among many others, along with some flops) he's been in, he's been out, he's been back in again.... He's got an enormous amount of insight into how the business works, and he tells his stories so well.

If you are interested in the creative process, and how it intersects with the nuts and bolts business of turning out a product, pick up any of his books about movies - he's written about a half dozen.
Posted by: Jakeroo

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Sep 09 2014 01:29 PM

Speaking of Goldman, he was one of the script writers for one of my favourite movies of all time "Chaplin" (with Robert Downey Jr)

What am I reading right now? Nothing. Sort of waiting for Emily Croy Barker to write her sequel lol
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Sep 15 2014 10:58 PM

I have just finished "Tim" by Colleen McCullogh, A shorter read than her "Thorn Birds", but beautifully written and very touching. Yes, it's chick-lit, but of a better standard than most.
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 18 2014 05:38 PM

I'm about halfway through "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr. So far very good, I'm enjoying it. Hard to put down, as there are some elements of suspense, sort of.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Oct 24 2014 11:19 PM

Silken Prey - John Sanford
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 25 2014 12:27 AM

I am ashamed to say that, in spite of all his acclaim I have never read any of the works of VS Naipaul, Nobel writer. So I am making a start with
" The Bend in the River" The revues are very good.
Have you read any of his?
Posted by: trident

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 25 2014 01:25 AM

I haven't read any V.S. Naipul, though I know he has been in the media recently for some of the slightly misogynistic things he has uttered. It wouldn't disqualify me from reading him, but I would probably have it on the brain as I read. Sometimes I wonder why people say such grouchy things.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 25 2014 03:55 AM

Ooops now I looked him up and I see what you mean. Hmm. I bought the book now!. Well we will see.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 25 2014 06:18 AM

I am almost positive I read that book forty years ago and can remember nothing about it, if that helps.......
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 25 2014 08:39 AM

Gee thanks, Agony!
Well it was only a quid from Amazon so....
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 25 2014 04:50 PM

I've just finished Sorrow Wood, Raymond L Atkins. Just a lovely book, wonderful, believable characters that you just get immersed in. Probably not something I would have tried were it not a 99p special from Amazon.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 25 2014 07:05 PM

Heh, yes, I realize that was pretty unhelpful smile
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 25 2014 07:39 PM

Only joking. I am just about into it . He draws characters well.
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Oct 27 2014 01:45 AM

On a friend's recommendation and lending of the book, I'm reading My Mother/My Self by Nancy Friday. I was reluctant, but she insisted that it applies to men as well as women, and now about 40% through, I have to agree. I could do without the graphic descriptions of bodily functions, but the psychology is right on. I'm hoping the book gets to solutions as well as accurate descriptions of the problems.
Posted by: trident

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Oct 27 2014 02:09 AM

I am reading Ratner's Star by Don DeLillo right now. I mostly read it on the bus, which is kind of difficult because it is so dense that I end up reading some paragraphs multiple times.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Oct 27 2014 06:45 AM

My bus is dense too....oh! the book? Right.
Actually I am the same if I try to read anything remotely dense.
I am hearing lots of authors names that I just don't know. Thanks all for your recommendations.
Today the postman arrived with 10 books from a special offer so I shall be busy. I shall take the least dense on the bus to work.See you all in a week or two.
Posted by: trident

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Oct 27 2014 08:34 AM

Originally Posted By: ren33
My bus is dense too....oh! the book? Right.


Ha. Well, I do live in Korea. I had to stand in a crowd for a half-hour commute home from work last week because there were so many people.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 08 2014 04:55 PM

Can highly recommend "The Disappeared" by Kristina Ohlssen. Comes under the Scandinavian Noire heading. A real twisty plot, very human and believable characters, gripped me from page 1.
Posted by: DakotaNorth

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Nov 09 2014 10:21 PM

The Burning Bed
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Nov 10 2014 01:32 AM

Now now DN! What sort of book is it? Do you recommend it? Why? Who wrote it?
Posted by: DakotaNorth

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Nov 10 2014 06:07 PM

Hi Ren! It's been awhile! Four years to be exact! How are you?

The Burning Bed was written by Faith McNulty and is the true story of Francine Hughes, a woman who burned her physically abusive ex-husband to death after 13 years of horrific abuse.

I highly recommend the book!
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Nov 11 2014 03:33 AM

Now. there's a good girl! Thanks. Now we know more about it, thanks to you.
Welcome back . I am fine and have hardly moved in 4 years, as you see!
It must have been a big shock to see we lost our Great Gatsby. In photos- the themed threads, there is a thread for him which you might like to see.
Make sure you stick around now!
Posted by: DakotaNorth

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Nov 11 2014 03:55 AM

Will definitely stick around! I didn't realize how much I missed this place until I came back!

Sad thing is, I forgot a lot and now I have to get my feet wet again! Hahaha!
Posted by: lonely-lady

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Nov 17 2014 10:00 AM

I have just started to read 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky. It is written as a series of letters by a teenage boy. It was recommended in the Author's Lounge book club.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 22 2014 12:22 PM

"The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman - it's really fun and well written. It's both a little scary and very quirky.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Nov 23 2014 12:38 PM

I read that about six months ago skunkee, really enjoyed it. His stuff can get a bit over convoluted and loose you sometimes, but this one is very good.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Nov 26 2014 06:41 AM

Oh I usually enjoy Neil Gaiman's work, and haven't read that on eyet, Skunkee. I think I'll put it in my next order for Kindle.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 27 2014 12:18 PM

Just finished it and liked it enough to buy another by Gaiman one for my Kindle.
Reading Elizabeth George in paperback - "Just One Evil Act". Having a little trouble getting into it though. I don't normally with her books.
Posted by: slfcpd

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 27 2014 09:05 PM

I've just finished the latest Stephen Fry autobiography. For those who aren't aware he has written two previous instalments, and this is the third.

I enjoyed it as I do all his books, but this one left me a little disappointed as there didn't seem to be a resolution at the end. I don't want to give anything away so I'll say no more, I would just like to know if anyone else has read it and feels the same.

My first time on any of the forums, so HELLO
Posted by: trident

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 27 2014 09:15 PM

Originally Posted By: slfcpd
My first time on any of the forums, so HELLO


Hello! I can't say I have read it.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Nov 28 2014 02:38 AM

Trident!
Take no notice, and welcome slfcpd.
I think the book is called "More Fool Me".
I am getting left behind as I have only read the first which I found OK. He is so funny in real life, I think I expected funnier in that one.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Nov 28 2014 03:57 AM

Originally Posted By: skunkee
Just finished it and liked it enough to buy another by Gaiman one for my Kindle.
Reading Elizabeth George in paperback - "Just One Evil Act". Having a little trouble getting into it though. I don't normally with her books.


I struggled a bit with that one as well. I do like her books, I think she shows a remarkable understanding of English policing and life, but every so often I think she lets the characters get too introspective and dwells too much on them and how they feel rather than moving the plot along. Her earlier books were, to me, much better than the later ones. Shorter, pacier, more police books than books about people and their feelings that just happen to be based around crime.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Nov 29 2014 07:53 AM

slfcpd - didn't know this one was out yet, I'll be looking for it.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Dec 01 2014 01:18 PM

Have just started "Burial Rites" by Hannah Kent. It's a murder (not sure yet if it's also a mystery) story set in Iceland in the1800s. It's interesting.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Dec 03 2014 12:31 PM

The Killing by David Hewson

If you saw the TV series, well forget all about it. This is far superior. Completely unputdownable, and without giving anything anyway, the last few pages are simply WOW!
Had me up to 2am finishing it, I just had to know what happened
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Dec 03 2014 10:30 PM

It's all your fault, you people. I read a review of a book one of you has liked and I order it. Now I need yet another bookshelf!
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Dec 05 2014 08:26 AM

Originally Posted By: Christinap
The Killing by David Hewson

If you saw the TV series, well forget all about it. This is far superior. Completely unputdownable, and without giving anything anyway, the last few pages are simply WOW!
Had me up to 2am finishing it, I just had to know what happened


Without this review I wouldn't have even considered the book because the TV series was SOOOO slow!
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Dec 06 2014 05:18 PM

It was slow I agree. The book grabbed me from the start and just didn't let up all the way through
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Dec 16 2014 09:11 AM

"The Egg and I" by Betty MacDonald.

A couple of weeks ago I watched the movie version of this, with Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray. It was a lot of fun, in a 1946 kind of way, most notable for being the first appearance on film of Ma and Pa Kettle - those characters later went on to have their own very successful franchise in the late forties and early fifties. Later on I was reading reviews of the movie and quite a few of them said that the book was way better, so I ordered the book from the library.

And the book is delightful. It's funny, it's earthy for the times, it's really quite a small treasure. This isn't great literature by any means, but it's very enjoyable.
Posted by: acilarincocugu

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Dec 17 2014 02:36 PM

opiate withdrawal symptoms wikipedia.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Dec 18 2014 06:25 AM

Just about to start something called The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I was told I would like it. Will I?
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Dec 27 2014 07:56 PM

Working on The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, a fictionalized story about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife and their years in Paris. I like it though there's not really a lot of 'action'
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Dec 28 2014 08:45 AM

I loved that one. The joy of it was it was about her , not Hemingway, there are enough books about him.
It gives about the best description of the 20's ever, especially in Paris.
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Dec 28 2014 04:09 PM

Yes I like her as a character. I had almost no prior knowledge of Hemingway though so I find myself wondering how much of the story is accurate.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 04 2015 03:58 AM

re The Historian by Elisabeth Kostova . I had to give up
It just doesn't interest me. Maybe later.It seemed so slow. Has anyone finished it?
So I re read "The Hobbit"
I had forgotten how exciting it is and how beautifully crafted. Wow.Thanks to
Elisabeth Kostova, I really enjoyed an old favourite!

Ooops! What I meant to say was that Hemingway is now thought of as a prime example of a Bi-polar-Manic Depressive, who must have been very hard to live with .Has anyone got a good biography of him?
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 04 2015 06:40 AM

Oooh I love the Hobbit! At the moment my son is re-reading it, and my daughter is reading it for the first time. (We have two copies). When they're finished I'll probably go through it again.

I don't know much about Hemmingway, ren, I only read (and actually enjoyed) his The Old Man and the Sea, when I read it as a teen. I might try it again and some of his other work, and read up a little on the man himself.

With internet it's so easy to gather lots of information about authors, something I didn't do very often when it meant ploughing through dusty old encyclopaedia and library books. I now find it interesting and it often helps understand where they were going with some of their works.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 04 2015 08:49 AM

"The Hobbit" is one of the books that I really recommend reading aloud to children.

Reading aloud to children who are old enough to read, themselves, but not quite old enough for this particular book, is a real joy. For me "The Hobbit" was the first one - I read it to my little sister, and it helped turn her from a "books are boring" non reader into a reader. She read it to her own son when the time came.

With my own kids, it was Narnia, Freddy the Pig, E Nesbit, Edward Eager, "The Egypt Game", "Treasure Island", the Little House books....and of course Bilbo. I have such a clear memory.... reading that book to my daughter, while my son, who had had his own go-round with it a few years earlier, would sneak in from his bedroom to sit at the foot of her bed and listen in again.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 04 2015 10:31 AM

I fully agree, agony. I have always read to my kids, way beyond the age when I should I stopped and let them get on with it on their own. When I read to the youngest, the older two used to come snuggle up and listen too, even though they were young teens at the time.

We went from Dr Seuss, to Enid Blyton (politically uncorrect and all as she may be), to CS Lewis and a whole heap of other things in between. The Hobbit was the first "big" book (& book with no pictures) that my youngest read for himself at about 8 years, and he has been a totally addicted bookworm ever since ... working his way through my collection of doorstop fantasy novels, classics and whatever is on the shelf.

It's great as it's made me re-read old favourites so that we could discuss them together, I've had such fun with him!
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jan 05 2015 02:32 AM

Only book my father ever read to me was The Wizard of Oz. I could read so much faster than anyone could speak that I wouldn't let him read another one to me.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Jan 06 2015 01:56 AM

That is the complete reverse of how things were in our house. My children both read really early, and read to themselves in bed and in fact, all over the place. That said, the gathering together for bedtime reading was different and very special, not a time, I think to compare ability. They read to their own children, in turn and it was a lovely time.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Jan 06 2015 09:20 AM

We found it was a good time to read books that were in one way or another a little above their ability - either the language or the concepts just a bit beyond what they'd be eager to tackle on their own.
Posted by: Jakeroo

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 18 2015 01:31 PM

Nobody ever read a book to me, but I read to my parents and then my sister when she was old enough (she had a passion for Dr. Seuss, drove me crazy when she asked for the same one twice). Just as well SOMEbody read to her as it turned out that despite a high IQ (they had to do non standard testing) she's also highly dyslexic.

Re: Gaiman. Have read all his books. Just finished "Ocean" about two weeks ago. My favourite is still "The Graveyard Book". "Coraline" was fairly good too and they didn't muck it up too much when they made the animated movie (for a change)

"The Hobbit" will always be my favourite book probably. My nickname was Strider in junior high (that's how much of a "cult" thing it was back then - everybody, at least in my circle lol, "lived" Tolkein ). I still don't understand why they didn't make the Hobbit movie FIRST, rather than diving in to the trilogy right off the bat. Unless you'd read all the books, you wouldn't have any inkling of what was going on or what the significance of the humans/critters were. Sigh.

Books I've read this month, other than "Ocean" (after not having read a thing in at least a year):

"The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry" - Gabrielle Zevin
"The 100 Year Old Man who climbed out of a window and Disappeared" - Jonas Jonasson
"The Octopus and the Orangutan" - Eugene Linden
"Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls" - David Sedaris
"The Dog Who Danced" - Susan Wilson


Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Jan 21 2015 06:16 PM

I am on a re-reading-old faves tack at present, my Christmas present token books not having arrived yet.
So I re read the Hobbit, which is always a treat. Then I was a bit ill so I had to get my hit of Wind in the Willows, always a good one for reviving the soul. Now it is Eva Luna.
Eva Luna is a must read. I don't really recommend books I have loved, it doesn't mean others have to, but this one well, what's not to love?
You may have missed it. So:
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende (She is the niece of the President of Chile )now lives in America and wrote the best seller House of Spirits.) I read Eva Luna first in the 80's and she is a superb storyteller in my view. So colourful and alive. So funny and poignant. If you haven't read it , please do!
Posted by: MikeMaster99

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Jan 21 2015 09:25 PM

Just ripped through 'The Rosie Project' by Graham Simsion. Apart form the added bonus of it being set in my home town (Melbourne) it's a great holiday read. You know it's good when you think 'just one more page' then you put the book down, pleased at the ending and realize it's 2.30 am!
Posted by: dsimpy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jan 22 2015 03:22 AM

I've just finished Eimear MacBride's debut novel 'A Girl is a Half-formed Thing'. I bought the book back last June but had made three false starts on it (it demands concentration!). However someone's produced a dramatization of it, and I've tickets for next month, so I thought I'd better crack on with the book beforehand.

Glad I did but it's emotionally gruelling - oppressive religion, domestic violence, bullying, sexual abuse, destructive self-harm - hey, just the usual experience of growing up in rural Ireland(!). Stylistically it's an interior monologue by a single protagonist throughout, from womb to death - with language and technical echoes of Joyce and Beckett.

I'm curious to see how it translates to the stage. I imagine something like Beckett's 'Not I'.

Now I need to go in search of emotional recovery counselling ...

(Recommended!)
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jan 22 2015 06:30 AM

emotionally gruelling - oppressive religion, domestic violence, bullying, sexual abuse, destructive self-harm - hey, just the usual experience of growing up in rural Ireland

A little light holiday read then?
Posted by: dsimpy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jan 22 2015 06:44 AM

Originally Posted By: ren33
emotionally gruelling - oppressive religion, domestic violence, bullying, sexual abuse, destructive self-harm - hey, just the usual experience of growing up in rural Ireland

A little light holiday read then?



Not for a sunshine holiday maybe, but for a week in a caravan park in Ballyshannon it'd be perfect.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jan 22 2015 12:06 PM

Am waiting for my daughter to finish with Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck), another classic which has somehow proved elusive over the years. It's about time I got around to it!

After that, A Kestrel for a Knave (Barry Hines) is waiting patiently on the shelf...
Posted by: LoveAnimals555

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 23 2015 01:03 PM

grinCurrently reading GULLIVER's TRAVEL written by Jonathan Swift. grin

Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 23 2015 05:16 PM

I'm going to read Gaiman's "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" eventually here because of the praise it's gotten. I've never read Gaiman before and I'm not sure I'm going to like the subject matter (going in with an open mind, but it's not something I'd usually read). My question for those that have read him, is "Ocean" a good representation of the rest of his work? I've seen some recommendations of other works people like better (Jakeroo included above) so curious if I should even start with "Ocean" to see if I'll like the storytelling. Thoughts welcomed.

As for myself, I've been reading a lot of non-fiction which has a limited interest here, so I don't usually post about them anymore. I did read "Europa" by JJ Co about a dystopian future in which the Earth has finally reached a breaking point in global warming. Earthlings undertake a mission searching for new oil reserves Jupiter's moon Europa. It was a unique read and I enjoyed it for the most part. A little thin on backstory and starts pretty slow, but about a third of the way into the book it picks up and becomes a fast paced and interesting read.
Posted by: Jakeroo

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 24 2015 01:36 AM

oops, I forgot we're supposed to say something about the books, not just list them..so..

"The Storied life of A.J. Fikry"
Librarians, teachers and owners of bookstores will probably like this one (a lot). A.J. is a bookstore owner and he's kinda cranky (sort of like Jack Nicholson in "As Good As It Gets", but not as bizarre). Book nerds will like the references and allusions to real works of text (some of the authors/books in the novel are made up as well but part of the fun is in knowing which ones lol). Some parts were awfully cliche, but perhaps some folks would feel that's part of the charm. I certainly didn't hate the book. It was entertaining and "light" and I did stay up half the night to finish it.

"The 100 year old man who climbed out of a window..."
This book is sort of like a Swedish version of Forrest Gump (the novel, not the movie which was quite a bit different than the book) as far as the "adventures" go (not the personal relationships though). The plot is quite preposterous of course, but it was a fun romp.

"The Octopus and the Orangutan"
I guess this isn't really a novel, per se, it's collection of anecdotes about animal intelligence. It's not terribly "scientific", but I think the author's point was that we shouldn't try to relate human intelligence to other animals, especially when we can't really define/measure it accurately even pertaining to ourselves as a race. Interesting book, for sure, but my suggestion is to take many things he says with a grain of salt

"Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls"
First off, David Sedaris is a pretty funny guy (especially when he talks about his personal life as he's very well travelled). I've seen him on lots of talk shows, I've read columns from his earlier years and found him (and them) amusing. I can't say the same thing about this particular collection of essays though. There's 26 of them I think. I found roughly half of them (or at least parts of half of them) amusing. But I didn't find any of them "laugh out loud" funny (you know, like some of Dave Barry's stuff where the tears are rolling down your face). Dunno, maybe you just have to be in the right mood at the right time. Oh and you won't find the word diabetes in the essays and owls are only mentioned in passing lol

"The Dog Who Danced"
Susan Wilson has written about a dozen books. Most of them are really about grief and loss and love and most of them also have a dog as a character the plot revolves around. I liked "A Man of His Own" and "One Good Dog" better than this one, but besides two improbable plot devices, it wasn't that bad overall. If you're a dog lover, or have ever owned a Sheltie, or have ever successfully put your dog through Obedience Trials etc, then you're probably going to need a box of tissues handy at one point for this one.



Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jan 24 2015 10:55 AM

Yes, I'd say that was not David Sedaris' shining hour - he's usually a lot funnier than he was in this book.
Posted by: flopsymopsy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 25 2015 04:50 PM

I'd just finished Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel when they announced that the BBC was making an historical drama from it and the sequel, Bring Up The Bodies - now I'm racing to finish the second book before they broadcast it. So far we've seen one episode, which was very faithful to Wolf Hall and also great television - the BBC returning to form as the great maker of historical drama.

The novels are fictionalised biographies whose main protagonist is Thomas Cromwell; he worked for Cardinal Wolsey and then after Wolsey's downfall, became one of Henry VIII's most trusted ministers, eventually becoming Chief Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Lord Great Chamberlain. Cromwell was the person who handled "the King's great matter" and managed the divorce from Catherine of Aragon. He was also a key figure in the English Reformation. He survived until the small problem of the King's marriage to Anne of Cleves. Both books won the Man Booker Prize.

Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies are both great reads. I grew up reading historical texts about the Tudors and their times, and Thomas Cromwell has always figured large in the period. Like Wolsey, he began life in relative poverty but where Wolsey was a butcher's son, Cromwell was the son of an even more humble blacksmith. I am the grandchild of a farrier on one side, and the great-grandchild of a blacksmith on the other so maybe I'm prejudiced in his favour but I thoroughly enjoyed Wolf Hall and couldn't put it down. Fortunately there's going to be a third novel so at least I can put Bring Up The Bodies down knowing that Cromwell isn't going to die just yet.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 25 2015 06:09 PM

Yes I agree, Flopsy , both are really well crafted and the next is much anticipated.
Thanks for a really good review.
Posted by: MikeMaster99

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 25 2015 07:09 PM

I also greatly enjoyed 'Wolf Hall' and will get the sequel as soon as I've reduced the large pile of unread books on my bedside table by about 10%! (Currently reading Richard Flanagan's 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North')

I've been pondering the writing style of 'Wolf Hall'. I felt that it was quite different to most other books I've read but can't put my finger on what it is. Can anyone enlighten me?

Delighted to hear the BBC are making this into a TV series - hopefully it will find it's way to the ABC here sooner rather than later.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 25 2015 07:46 PM

Someone in a discussion forum was saying that the use of present tense takes some getting used to, and you wonder why it is used by Mantel. A theory is that ,since we already know what happens to Cromwell, since he was real, we need to concentrate on what happens as the story unfolds and we need to feel we are a part of the events happening then and so we are encouraged by the PT use to feel we are there. Quite a good explanation I think.
Posted by: MikeMaster99

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 25 2015 07:48 PM

Thanks Ren, that makes a lot of sense!
Posted by: dsimpy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jan 26 2015 12:16 AM

Originally Posted By: MikeMaster99
(Currently reading Richard Flanagan's 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North')


Snap! Started it last night. Look forward to reading your impressions.
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Feb 06 2015 02:18 PM

Wading through Phillip C. McGraw's (Dr. Phil's) Self Matters. I'm actually doing the work rather than just reading straight through, which is why it's taking a while.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Feb 06 2015 03:19 PM

"1493" by Charles C. Mann.

Focuses on the "Columbian Exchange' - effects of the settlement of the New World.

A lot of this is stuff I knew something about - the way the influx of silver and gold to Europe disrupted the European economy, the devastating blows that diseases like smallpox, malaria and measles had on populations with no immunity... but there's a lot here I knew very little about - the silver trade with China, and the impact of sweet potatoes on Chinese ecology, or the transformation of the North American landscape by earthworms. Interesting stuff. It's not particularly well written, but it's good enough, and there's a lot of information.
Posted by: pyonir

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Feb 06 2015 07:46 PM

"The Martian" by Andy Weir

I decided to give it a read, since there seemed to be so much hype about it. Going in I was pessimistic, for the simple reason that there *was* so much hype and love for it. Even with that, I'm halfway through it, and I absolutely love it so far! It's what I call "believable" science fiction. I don't really care for the Star Trek style of sci-fi where it's new worlds and different species of people, etc and "Martian" has none of that.
Posted by: tjoebigham

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Feb 07 2015 10:37 AM

I recently finished Dick Cavett's "Brief Encounters", a fascinating, funny book about some of Cavett's meetings with celebrities (the chapters on Stan Laurel and Johnathan Winters are priceless!) and some incidents in his own early life (he once splashed white paint on a statue of William Jennings Bryan in his Nebraska home along with some teens).

tjoeb};>
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Feb 09 2015 05:18 PM

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Feb 09 2015 06:16 PM

Have several things on the go , I finished Sebastian Faulk's *"Faulks on Fiction">It made me want to re read lots of novels.
I sent for "Citizen" by Simon Scharma which looks daunting in length but has good reviews.
(it's an account of the French Revolution).
Reading "Money" by Martin Amis, recommended by * above.
Also I have "H is for Hawk" Helen Macdonald,which looks interesting and won a prize. So am busy!
Posted by: Jakeroo

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Feb 12 2015 03:12 PM

Dsimpy: I read "....Half Formed Thing". Yes it was disturbing and not everyone's cup of tea. I found it sort of similar in both the "creepy" parts and the first person point of view as "Room" by Irish-Canadian author Emma Donahue. My suggestion for either of these books is to NOT read what is written on wiki, or anyone else's "synopsis". It will ruin the experience (and perhaps shock/compassion value) altogether if you do.

Pyonir: you need to keep in mind that Gaiman had few "goals": to write a children's book, a young adult book and an adult novel. He did all that. But his first love has always been comics and graphic novels. If your library doesn't carry his works, I'll be happy to mail you mine. There are only two novels I've read twice (not enough time lol). Send me a private email if you like.

Now for a (perhaps) even more disturbing book: "Me and the Devil" by Nick Tosches. Knowing that people such as Johnny Depp, Keith Richards and Anthony Bourdain have extolled accolades on this novel, you should pretty much prepare yourself for what you'd be "in for" if you choose to purchase/borrow the book. If you can get past the weird sexual content in a novel that is way longer than it needed to be, there are some poignant philosophical elements about fear and loneliness that some of us mere mortals might find thought provoking. Note that the thoughts are better appreciated if you've read Steppenwolf or anything by Dantes.

Next up is Crichton's last book (well, mostly his) "Micro". Will let you know lol
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Feb 28 2015 06:40 AM

Re: Two posts back : I have to talk about "H is for Hawk"
I just loved it , I was in a sort of trance for a couple of days and it really was unputdownable. It thoroughly deserves its accolades and awards, in my opinion.
This is a moving, funny sad exciting story all at one go.
Helen Macdonald wrote it after the death of her adored father, a photographer who taught her to love nature. Almost as a tribute to him she trains a goshawk, a notoriously difficult breed of bird to take on. Her time with Mabel is incredible. It takes over her whole life.
I loved this book.
Posted by: Snowman

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Mar 02 2015 03:15 PM

"Capital" by John Lanchester. A very enjoyable snapshot of modern London following the lives of the residents of a single street, with a minor mystery thrown in to bind it all together. Definitely recommended for London-dwellers (and others too).
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Apr 14 2015 12:43 PM

I am currently reading "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman. He writes extremely well, although his topic matter can be a little heavy at times.
I previously read "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by him. He certainly has an interesting way of looking at the world.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Apr 14 2015 03:30 PM

Kingmaker-Winter Pilgrims by Toby Clements
Historical fiction has rather gone into overkill lately but oh my goodness is this one well done! I am loving it and it is obvious how much research has gone into the Wars of the Roses and its time frame to achieve this. Very good.
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Apr 17 2015 04:33 PM

I don't read historical fiction, but I know what you mean about overkill. I'd like to outlaw science fiction writers from ever again using two historical characters in a story. It's been done to death already.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue May 12 2015 11:30 AM

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the book of The Killing I've now made my way through The Killing II and III. II is OK, but not up to the original. III however is every bit as gripping (so much so I stayed up to 2am to finish it!) We're back to devious politicians, half truths, and Sarah Lund at her obsessive best. The end I didn't see coming at all.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 03 2015 08:53 AM

Having just had a horrific experience with "The Emperor'e Children" bu Claire Messud, (I really don't know how I finished it as none of the characters made me even slightly interested in their welfare), I picked up a book by Amy Tam (she of the Joy Luck Club) and what a relief.)It is called "The Opposite of Fate", she calls it "musings on my life." I am enjoying it . She comes across as funny and clever. There are some lovely little anecdotes and quotes about her mother.
Anyone who enjoys and admires witty, intelligent writing should try it. Of course it all may stem from the sheer relief of escaping from the Messud. I will let you know...
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 03 2015 10:25 AM

I've often wondered how British citizens feel about Robert Galbreath and her foray into crime drama?

I have read both "The Cuckoo's Calling" and "The Silkworm", and found them to be full of local color and superb character development, yet somehow not the thrilling crime dramas that is allegedly their genre. I'm not meaning that I did not enjoy them, I did enjoy them both.

Has anyone else read them? What do you think?
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 03 2015 10:39 AM

I am currently reading "Memory Man" by David Baldacci. This is his latest offering(2015).
I have read a number of his books, crime drama, would be the genre, I suspect. I will let you know, so far so good.
Posted by: sue943

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 03 2015 10:51 AM

I enjoyed it, then I tend to enjoy his books.
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 03 2015 11:19 AM

Originally Posted By: sue943
I enjoyed it, then I tend to enjoy his books.


Galbreath or Baldacci?
Posted by: sue943

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 03 2015 11:50 AM

Baldacci
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 03 2015 12:01 PM


Originally Posted By: sue943
Baldacci



Thank you for responding.
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 03 2015 12:32 PM

Currently reading (among other books; I rarely read one at a time) Good-bye to Guilt: Releasing Fear Through Forgiveness by Gerald Jampolsky. Thirty years old but still powerful. I had never considered the idea that the reason people treat you badly isn't because they are evil but because they are broken. It's a very different perspective, thinking of everyone as damaged instead of bad. I'll have to look for Jampolsky's bestseller, Love Is Letting Go of Fear.
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jul 03 2015 01:29 PM

My wife reads up to 9 books at a time. I can't possibly do that, 1 at a time, that's me, 1.
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jul 04 2015 07:41 PM

Finished "Memory Man" by Baldacci, it was very good. Because of the 4th of July holiday and tomorrow being Sunday, I will be without a library book for two+ days, woe is me.
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jul 05 2015 12:39 PM

I found a book in my stacks that I had not yet read, so I've started reading it. The name of the book is "Pompeii" by Robert Harris. Robert Harris is an English author not to be confused with Thomas Harris, author of "The Silence of the Lambs" and it's series of books. Robert Harris writes in the genre of what I would call Historical Fiction. A book of his that I particularly enjoyed earlier this year was "An Officer and a Spy" about the Albert Dreyfuss French spy saga. I shall let you know how "Pompeii" is progressing.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jul 05 2015 05:32 PM

Reading "Rhett Butler' People" on my kindle and one of the "Game of Thrones" books in hard copy - the third one.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jul 06 2015 04:59 PM

I did read "The Cuckoos Calling", but although it was OK I can't say I really enjoyed it. I think there is so much really good crime fiction out there now, especially now many of the Scandinavian writers are being translated and published in English, that if you are going to venture into that area you have to be better than just good, you have to be great. I think J K Rowling is not comfortable with this genre, it doesn't come naturally to her pen the way the Harry Potter stuff did. I understand her wanting to prove she can write something else, but I don't think crime is the way forward for her
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jul 06 2015 05:01 PM

Originally Posted By: terraorca
I found a book in my stacks that I had not yet read, so I've started reading it. The name of the book is "Pompeii" by Robert Harris. Robert Harris is an English author not to be confused with Thomas Harris, author of "The Silence of the Lambs" and it's series of books. Robert Harris writes in the genre of what I would call Historical Fiction. A book of his that I particularly enjoyed earlier this year was "An Officer and a Spy" about the Albert Dreyfuss French spy saga. I shall let you know how "Pompeii" is progressing.


I've read "Pompeii" and thoroughly enjoyed it. Not yet tried "An Officer and a Spy" but I'll give it a look at now someone has recommended it
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jul 13 2015 12:54 PM

"Pompeii" is slow going for me. I find that I keep having to refer back to the map near the beginning of the book as to where we are traveling to at any given time, particularly in relation to Mt. Vesuvius.
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jul 20 2015 07:20 PM

Finished up "Pompeii", the boat sank, oh wait, that is a whole different ending altogether. The book definitely finished stronger than it started. Good read.

I finally got to the library, chose "Night of Thunder" by Stephen Hunter. I will let you know how it goes.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Jul 21 2015 04:39 PM

I've read a couple of Stephen Hunter but not that one. Be interested to know what you think of it.
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Jul 25 2015 07:03 PM

Wow, if you like action, thriller, who done its, this one is for you. It's a little bit NASCAR, and a lot of Bob Lee Swagger. "Night of Thunder" by Stephen Hunter.
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Jul 28 2015 06:41 PM

Went to the library, picked up another Stephen Hunter book, "Havana". Chris, have you read "Havana"? This one is a prequel to the Bob Lee Swagger books, because the main character is Earl Lee Swagger, Bob Lee's daddy.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jul 30 2015 11:16 AM

I have read that, in fact it's the first Stephen Hunter I read and it switched me on to the others.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 09 2015 10:06 AM

I am reading The Edge of the Water by Elizabeth George. It's not one of her normal series but the middle offering of a new set of three.
She continues to write well, but it's almost as if she's trying to cash in on the young adult market as the main characters are pretty much all high school student.
Posted by: flopsymopsy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Aug 10 2015 02:39 PM

Originally Posted By: ren33
Kingmaker-Winter Pilgrims by Toby Clements
Historical fiction has rather gone into overkill lately but oh my goodness is this one well done! I am loving it and it is obvious how much research has gone into the Wars of the Roses and its time frame to achieve this. Very good.


I'm clearly dragging behind in my historical fiction reading but I've just finished this and I agree, it was very well done. We don't really know much about the lives of 'normal' people caught up in the events of mediaeval England (assuming one can term as 'normal' a girl kept in a nunnery and a scribe in the monastery next door who run from a vicious mercenary and become no spoilers allowed...) but this book does a pretty good job at conveying how awful it was whilst keeping the protagonists alive. Which can't have been easy given the number of blades and arrows flying around. It made me remember a story I heard when I was growing up, of the olde Wiltshire farmer during the time of the Wars of the Roses, leaning over his gatepost when someone rode past yelling "the king is dead!" - the farmer just sighed and said "which one?" Well this book makes you want to find out.

Vol 2 has been published... I'm trying to resist it for the moment as my pile of things I haven't read yet is high enough already!
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Aug 10 2015 05:29 PM

Well I just finished the second and it will not disappoint. Just as good as the first. I , again, could not put it down and am waiting for part three.
Posted by: flopsymopsy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Aug 10 2015 05:50 PM

Don't tempt me, woman! I am really good at buying books I don't have time to read, hence the pile - do not make me buy another one. Although I suppose one more wouldn't...
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Aug 10 2015 09:02 PM

I am being completely honest here You will love it!
Books are my only indulgence. When I move next year I have over 400 to sort. Somehow a yard sale in this village will not be wholly successful I reckon.I cannot take them with me. Problem
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Aug 10 2015 09:15 PM

Originally Posted By: ren33
I am being completely honest here You will love it!
Books are my only indulgence. When I move next year I have over 400 to sort. Somehow a yard sale in this village will not be wholly successful I reckon.I cannot take them with me. Problem


If you were in Florida instead of Hong Kong, I'd volunteer to take them off your hands. But then I'm not big on novels anyway.

I just finished (in a few days) a book called (and I'm paraphrasing since I don't have it in front of me), The Mammoth Book of Science Fiction, a collection of sci-fi short stories. Several of them I had read before, several weren't that great, but there were a few that I a) had not read before and b) enjoyed very much.
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Aug 19 2015 11:26 PM

I went back to a Robert Harris book. This one is called "Imperium". It is a story of Ancient Rome through the eyes of Cicero's scribe, Tiro. So far so good. I haven't read much the past couple of weeks, I was in Florida on vacation.
Posted by: TriviaFan22

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Aug 30 2015 03:11 PM

Pascal - Letters to a Provincial
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Aug 31 2015 06:06 PM

Could you please give us some idea of the book's content, etc? Thanks.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Sep 01 2015 01:30 PM

"Mr. Mercedes" - Stephen King
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 03 2015 03:35 PM

Just picked up a good sized tome of the collected short stories of HG Wells. Good stuff!
Posted by: Jabberwok

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 04 2015 01:38 AM

Originally Posted By: ren33
I am being completely honest here You will love it!
Books are my only indulgence. When I move next year I have over 400 to sort. Somehow a yard sale in this village will not be wholly successful I reckon.I cannot take them with me. Problem



Double the number and add a zero, and you have my house, ren. smile

I agree with the opinions of the Kingmaker series, I've read both over the holidays and found them well-written and accurate in the details. The storyline is less interesting to me that the careful creation of the setting and the complexities of the political climate.
I did borrow them from the library, as I'm trying to be economical.
But then I bought Dan Jones' first volume of his history of the Plantagenets with the money I saved by not buying the novels, which was a delight to read and crammed with details and personal opinions as well as facts.
I have a bookcase with books I haven't read yet, I tend to intersperse them with re-reading an old favourite.
I know, I have a book addiction. Having a home lined with bookcases is good insulation against the autumn chills and means I can hibernate and not stagnate.

Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Sep 06 2015 09:56 AM

I went to the library on Friday because I had finished my latest book which was "Imperium" by Robert Harris, as described above, very good book. Although the ending did surprise me.
I went looking for a specific book, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", based on a recommendation from a friend that I have coffee with most mornings. However there were no copies to be had from the library, so I picked up "Reykjavik Nights" by Arnaldur Indridason, the first in a series of detective novels by the Icelandic author. So far so good, I am learning a lot about the geography of a lot of places in Iceland that I struggle to pronounce.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Sep 15 2015 11:12 AM

Just finished "Funny Girl" from Nick Hornby. Ren, you are either going to love this one or hate it - it's set in the television world in London in the early/mid sixties.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Sep 15 2015 03:59 PM

Ooooer! Intriguing! Now I MUST get that! Normally I like Hornby and that was definitely my era. Fancy you remembering! Thanks.
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 17 2015 02:44 PM

Finished "Reykjavik Nights", very good story, nicely written, struggled mightily with place name pronunciations. ended up just skimming over words I couldn't decipher.

Went to the library and picked up "The Kraken Project" by Douglas Preston. So far so good, it's a cautionary tale of Smart AI gone rogue.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Sep 17 2015 03:02 PM

If you like Hornby you'll probably like it. I enjoyed it a whole lot, but I would have no way of knowing how much he got wrong. He's definitely trying for a feeling of verisimilitude - real people and places and shows turn up all over the book.
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 18 2015 05:55 PM

Just finished The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. It was pretty good; writing style not really to my preference but I liked the mystery element and I wanted to keep reading to find out what had happened.
Posted by: Mixamatosis

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Sep 19 2015 06:18 AM

Ah Imperium! - a great book, but all Robert Harris's books are good. He's a good writer. His follow up book on Cicero "Lustrum" is also good. Most recently I enjoyed his book "An officer and a Spy". It's about real events but is written like a slow burn thriller. I was gripped.
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Sep 22 2015 12:23 PM

I've read three of Robert Harris's novels now, "An Officer and a Spy", "Pompeii", and "Imperium". Every one was, not only a very good read, but also a learning experience for me.

Just finished "The Kraken Project", by Douglas Preston. Wow. Very close to science now as opposed to science fiction. Not a boring science book though, very dramatic, very quick flowing. I highly recommend it.

Next up "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", by Stieg Larsson.
Posted by: elmo7

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 25 2015 05:15 PM

Can anyone recommend a book or series dealing with the legends surrounding Arthur, Merlin, the knights and ladies and so on? I watched the TV series Merlin recently on Netflix - well, some of it, I skipped some episodes clearly intended for kids. I have tried Jack White's books (2 of them) but I find his prose so dense...couldn't really get into them. Any other suggestions? Has anyone read something "historical" such as Malory's very early "Morte d'Arthur"? Any advice appreciated; I'm so new to the Forum(s) that this is probably my first post here.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 25 2015 06:33 PM

Welcome elmo! I want you to know I am not ignoring you, just researching!
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 25 2015 06:51 PM

Well now this is, I imagine, what you do not want. Beginning of the original in Middle English Sir Thomas Mallory himself:

HIt befel in the dayes of Vther pendragon when he was kynge of all Englond / and so regned that there was a mystickty duke in Cornewaill that helde warre ageynst hym long tyme / And the duke was called the duke of Tyntagil / and so by meanes kynge Vther send for this duk / chargyng hym to brynge his wyf with hym / for she was called a fair lady / and a passynge wyse / and her name was called Igrayne / So whan the duke and his wyf were comyn vnto the kynge by the meanes of grete lordes they were accorded bothe / the kynge lyked and loued this lady wel / and he made them grete chere out of mesure / and desyred to haue lyen by her / But she was a passyng good woman / and wold not assente vnto the kynge /.
No. But it is almost readable, though not in a really relax and enjoy it sort of way.
My Grandpa was an expert, not me. He always said our family (Carlyon)were ancestors of one the knights of King Mark of Cornwall , on whom the story of Arthur was based.Well. Now I am looking for a readable book based on Mallory's Morte d'Arthur. Watch this space...
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 25 2015 06:59 PM

There are several translations available online and very cheap too At college we were advised to read the Penguin Version (now a Penguin Classic and it is OK but a bit heavy still. BUT only 10p!
The stories are of course brilliant and show a great imagination on behalf of someone , nobody knows who. If there isn't some truth behind Arthur's Legends I will eat my Cornish hat!Good luck.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 25 2015 07:49 PM

How would Tennyson's Idylls of the King suit?

And for another take on it altogether, TH White's Once and Future King covers the story quite well, I believe, though I mostly only remember The Sword in the Stone (which is quite charming and not much like the Disney version)
Posted by: elmo7

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 25 2015 08:28 PM

Dear ren33, I'm glad to hear of your researches, oh wise one!
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 25 2015 09:18 PM

Lol! I am sure Agony is much wiser than I! XX
Posted by: elmo7

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 25 2015 09:30 PM

I assure you all that I am busy taking notes re your suggestions. And I had to laugh at the excerpt ren33 provided regarding Mallory's writings. Good grief, it sounds worse than Canterbury Tales. Of course a decent translation is always a good idea, but I agree with you that there is probably some basis for all the Arthurian legends. Just seems to stand to reason, there are so many similar threads throughout the ages, that more or less jibe with each other. It seems hard to believe that someone just fabricated the thing out of whole cloth, if that's the phrase I want.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Sep 25 2015 10:15 PM

You might also be interested in Marion Zimmer Bradley's and Mary Stewart's takes on the subject, though they certainly put their own spins on the story. And of course it's always fun to read "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"
Posted by: flopsymopsy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Sep 26 2015 08:54 AM

Hmm. Like Ren, I grew up in the south/south-west of England, although Alfred the Great was a bit closer to us in Wiltshire than the more western Arthur was with his magical overtones. Nonetheless, as a child growing up near the great stones, a king who could take a sword from a different stone and fight his enemies seemed perfectly reasonable to me.

You might want to start with Bernard Cornwell. He's better known for writing the series about Sharpe during the Napoleonic Wars that was made into a television series but he has written a trilogy about Arthur which I think is quite well researched. Well, researched as well as it can be given that most of what we think we know about Arthur is legend. He doesn't give us the same views of the characters as Disney, or Malory, but there's nothing wrong with that - what Disney does to British legends makes me sick!

The trilogy is called The Warlord Chronicles; the individual books are, in order:

The Winter King,
Enemy of God, and
Excalibur: A Novel of Arthur
Posted by: elmo7

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Sep 26 2015 09:48 AM

Thanks for your continuing suggestions. Some I have read already but a long time ago, and flopsymopsy I think I have heard of Bernard Cornwell in connection with the "Sharpe" series but will definitely look up his Arthurian stuff. I know that it's all mostly fantasy (I can't bear any Disney treatments, though!), but I've long found the legends about Camelot and Avalon most alluring.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Oct 05 2015 01:51 PM

Just re-read "A Kiss Before Dying" from Ira Levin.

I really can't praise this one enough - it's an almost perfect example of its kind, the novel of suspense. Alfred Hitchcock would have filmed it perfectly.

It was written in 1953, so it's something of a period piece - we have people writing letters on trains and wearing hats with veils - but it's not dated in the sense that the characters' actions and motivations are still very relate-able. The narrative style is easy and conversational. Levin didn't write very many novels, but of the ones he did, almost all of them are classic, and this mostly forgotten gem certainly ranks with his more famous work like "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Boys from Brazil".
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Oct 14 2015 03:22 AM

Does anyone else read nonfiction? In addition to the HG Wells book I mentioned before, I'm reading a fascinating book called The Black Swan, about the unpredictability of life. The author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, makes the point that not only is the future completely unpredictable, we as humans aren't even aware of how bad we are at prediction. We only remember the things we were right about, forget about the things we were wrong about, and only pay attention to the few winners and ignore the millions of losers, even though there may be no significant difference between the winners and losers except luck. Even worse, those who are supposed to be the experts are often MORE wrong about the future than the general public. Interesting stuff.
Posted by: MaggieG

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Oct 14 2015 07:49 AM

I'm currently on "The Road to Little Dribbling" and enjoying it HUGELY! Bill Bryson has the knack of putting into words things you always thought but weren't able to express. And his insight and understanding of the British way of life is unparalleled! Highly recommended!
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Oct 16 2015 12:40 AM

Finished up "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". I enjoyed it enough to order up the sequel from the library. I haven't seen the movie, is there anyone on here that has read the book and seen the movie. What did you think, did the movie follow along with the book? Or, was it like most movies that were made from books, a disappointment?

While waiting for the sequel to show at the library, I checked out a book called "The Lost Island" by Preston and Child. It turned out to be some light reading after the drama of 'Tattoo Girl' . It kind of reminded me of a Clive Cussler book. Don't get me wrong, that's not all bad, and it did raise some interesting scientific points. Nice read overall.

It's here, "The Girl Who Played With Fire". Checked it out and have started in on it. I will keep you posted.
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Oct 25 2015 03:34 AM

Now about 3/4 of the way through the HG Wells tome of short stories, and I must say the middle third of the book was a great disappointment compared to the first third. I'm also reading a book called The Best of the Best of Trek, a collection of fan fiction and fan analysis from a Star Trek magazine. I don't generally get into fanzine stuff, but having been filtered twice, this has some quite good writing, and of course it being about Star Trek makes it extra good.
Posted by: terraorca

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Oct 26 2015 09:04 PM

I'm out.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Oct 31 2015 12:06 PM

"The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island"

Pretty classic Bill Bryson - if you liked "Notes from a Small Island", you will probably like this. He's turning into a bit of a curmudgeon, though - there's a fair amount of "kids these days" get-my-off-my-lawn ranting. He's funny enough that I forgive it, but let's not get too carried away, Bill.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Nov 02 2015 03:47 PM

'The Son' - Jo Nesbo
Posted by: MaggieG

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 26 2015 06:39 AM

Just started 'The Stranger' by Harlan Coben. No idea where the story is going at the moment, but I'm enjoying the mystery of it all. I'll let you know how it goes - or maybe not... cool
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Nov 26 2015 10:10 AM

I'm reading a Harlen Coben book, too - "Caught". And even though I'm halfway through, I have no idea where it's going. He's very good at constructing a mystery that leaves you mystified.

And a good thing, too, because that's what keeps me reading his books. Otherwise, I'd have given up on him years ago. I find many of his characters very irritating, and often incomprehensible. The middle class suburban lifestyle that he uses as the bland boring template on which to splash the colours of his plot bears so little resemblance to how anyone I know actually lives - I know that we're supposed to be getting a feeling of comfortable familiarity, so that he can then jolt us out of it, but I'm constantly getting jolted by the wrong things. The way the parents and teenagers interact, for example.

Just as an example - and this kind of thing happens in his books all the time - we have a TV reporter, widowed single mother of a 17 year old, she has raised her son alone since he was very small. She gets fired from her job, comes home and tells her son, and he grunts, asks no questions, gives no response. This doesn't bother her, doesn't even register - we're supposed to see this as "Oh, those teenagers, with their grunting and their not talking". Except that every single-mom teen that I know considers themself as a full member of the household, someone who has a voice in this kind of thing. Especially if there aren't other kids. I'm not saying they always have a good relationship, but they are more, oh, involved with their parent, just because it's been the two of them against the world for so long. In reality, this kid would be, possibly, worried about his mom's feelings. He would *certainly* be thinking about money - what does this mean for him? What does it mean to his plans for university - he's in his last year of high school. At the very least he'd say something like "Does this mean I lose my allowance?" But no, in Coben's world, teens are secretive beings who grunt and text each other on their phones and have to be nagged to do their homework, and that's what a teen character has to do, even if it's not even a little true to life for this particular character.

There's a Canadian writer, Lynwood Barclay, who treads the same territory as Coben - normal family man suddenly has something jarring and mysterious happen that makes no sense at all, and he has to fight his way through the lies and deception and upheaval to everything he thought he knew and understood. The plots are as twisted and hard to unravel as Coben's but the characters tend to behave like actual people - I'd recommend him to anyone who likes Harlen Coben.
Posted by: MaggieG

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Nov 30 2015 10:52 AM

Just finished 'The Stranger' which kept me intrigued till the end. However it was all tied up a little too nicely for my liking, but it was a compelling read nonetheless. I agree with your comments on his characterisation, agony, the teenage attitude was evident in this book too, with the sons of the 'hero' remaining very much on the periphery and showing little interest in what's happening around them. And I'll look forward to the next Linwood Barclay for a really good read!
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Dec 04 2015 12:52 PM

I'm reading (among other things) a Bill Bryson book, A Short History of Nearly Everything. It's the story behind the story of the great men of history, fascinating stuff, and I'm beginning to appreciate the near-universal appeal of Bryson's writing. I've read one of his books before, and while it was amusing, it wasn't important, if that makes sense. So I never picked up another one, until this one. This is both important and amusing.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Dec 04 2015 06:44 PM

Most of his books are just amusing, yes, but that one, I agree, is something more. They are almost all informative, too, though sometimes informative about things you don't really want any information on.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 01 2016 11:32 AM

"I Could Go On Singing"

Now this is an odd one. It's a novelization of Judy Garland's last movie, written by John D MacDonald, of all people (MacDonald was a very prolific, well respected, and popular crime writer from the 50s into the 80s). It's from 1962, by which time MacDonald was pretty well established, churning out Gold Medal original paperbacks at the rate of a couple a year.

I collect MacDonald paperbacks, and had never heard of this until it turned up as an ebook from the local library. The story is essentially a melodrama, well outside of MacDonald's wheelhouse. He does a good job, but the plot is slight and there's really not much to be done with it. I can only assume he needed money at that time, and tossed this off in the hopes that the movie would be a huge hit and book sales would be healthy. The movie was not a huge hit.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 01 2016 08:54 PM

Antonia Frazer- My History.
I am finding this really hard going.
Humourless where it could be full of the fun she could have had growing up in such a privileged background, with a family heavily involved in British politics. For such a famous writer , her style lacks imagination and at times reads like a list of celebrities.Antony Wedgewood-Benn whirled her round the floor at the ball.(Well, yes but he is a famed orator, a fascinating character, what did he say?) I have tried to enjoy this . I am failing at the moment.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 01 2016 09:56 PM

I've never really understood why Antonia Frazer is as famous a writer as she is - none I've read of hers has struck me as particularly wonderful.
Posted by: guitargoddess

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Jan 10 2016 02:44 PM

I have finally started Go Set a Watchman and liking it so far. Very sad that one character I was expecting won't be in it frown at least not 'live'
Posted by: Copago

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jan 15 2016 11:52 PM

We watched the movie "A Walk in the Woods" yesterday so (for the first time in a long time) I picked up a book and started reading A Walk in the Woods. smile

I tend to listen to audio books these days ... not long finished Bill Bryson's latest one "The Road to little Dribbling". Funny funny man. laugh
Posted by: flopsymopsy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Jan 18 2016 12:59 PM

I think that Antonia Fraser's early stuff is better - I remember reading Cromwell, Our Chief of Men and Mary Queen of Scots and being unable to put either of them down. But her semi-autobiographical/modern stuff isn't all that wonderful.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Mar 22 2016 10:29 AM

"Dear Maeve" a collection of newspaper columns from Maeve Binchy.

I'm having quite a bit of fun with this.

I've always liked Maeve Binchy, even though her novels, never all that substantial, got positively feather-light toward the end of her life. The stories were predictable and silly, but her voice was always fun and entertaining.

And here, all we've got is her voice, blethering on about one thing and another. Sometimes I agree with what she had to say, sometimes I disagree, but I like the way she said it.

One section is made up of columns about internal Irish things, and is not very interesting to the rest of us, though a piece from the mid 90s about how the Queen Mother should take over the monarchy, and then let the whole thing go with a bang on her death, is fun.
Posted by: HairyBear

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Mar 31 2016 04:25 AM

I read Mary Queen of Scots back in college. While the subject matter was not to my taste, I thought Antonia Fraser's writing was quite good.

I'm almost done with another anthology, this one a collection of short stories about horse racing selected by Dick Francis. Mostly forgettable, but entertaining nonetheless.
Posted by: C30

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Apr 04 2016 07:49 AM

The only two "Discworld" novels by the late Terry Pratchett that I have not hitherto read, "I Shall Wear Midnight" and "The Shepherd's Crown". The latter being his final book.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Apr 30 2016 05:25 AM

I am really quite enjoying, and never expected to: Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo's Calling. A nice clever whodunnit.
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue May 03 2016 10:25 AM

Re-reading Jane Eyre, another of my favourite childhood classics, and loving every page!
Posted by: flopsymopsy

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri May 06 2016 12:14 PM

If you like police procedurals aka crime fiction with a lot of painstaking detective work and not a lot of whizzbang car chases, you might like a series by Graham Hurley. The books are set in Portsmouth, an historical naval port on the south coast of England. Pompey (as many Brits call it) has always had a dark side and that's very much reflected in the books, which barely mention the Navy but concern themselves with an underbelly of civilian crime - drugs, protection rackets, violence, and policemen who aren't all perfect all of the time.

Detective Inspector Joe Faraday is the main protagonist, ably (but not always honorably) assisted (and sometimes impeded) by Det Constable Winter. The first novel, Turnstone, starts slowly and takes several chapters to get to the action but later books in the series are a bit faster - probably because they assume you know the grimy background already so it is worth reading them in order.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri May 06 2016 01:13 PM

Sounds just me. Thanks
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu May 12 2016 06:25 PM

I did like the Robert Galbraith, clever and tense, so I got the next one from the library. looks just as good.(Called The Silkworm)
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu May 26 2016 09:22 PM

That did not disappoint either. Clever, original, I did guess the "perp" in this one but there were times when I thought I was wrong. What is so great is that the lady can write so well in her original genre and now is my hero again in crime. I am about to start the third one in the Strike series. It looks like quite a gruesome beginning....
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Thu Jun 09 2016 08:15 PM

Just thought I'd mention this here, because some of you might be interested.....

Just went to see the movie "Love and Friendship", which is based on Jane Austen's "Lady Susan". It's been ages since I read that, so don't know how well it follows the plot, but it's the first Austen movie I've seen in some time that focuses more on the wit and satire, and less on the romance. I've always felt that the movies that have us falling in love with Mr Darcy kinda miss the point, a bit.

So, definitely worth a look if you are an Austen fan - it's very funny.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Jun 10 2016 01:22 AM

OOoh great , I will!
I agree Really Mr Darcy is a nasty piece of work. I love the characters she portrays that are funny and witty .
Love Mr Bennet and Mr Collins best.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sat Aug 06 2016 05:50 PM

I still read about 3 books a week and have really enjoyed some lately:
1.The three autobiographies of Paul O'Grady, which I am sure many Brits will love.
2 Having really loved Edith Wharton, I realised I had never read " The Children,"
It is the first book for ages that I have been moved by at the ending.
She writes with such deep feeling and class.
Posted by: LeoDaVinci

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Aug 23 2016 03:07 PM

I just finished the entire Saxon Series written by Bernard Cornwell (nine books currently with a tenth coming soon). I enjoyed them greatly and liked how Cornwell can relay actual history in a fictionalized way. His detail, especially in battle scenes, is excellent.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Fri Aug 26 2016 08:40 PM

Leo , thats a series I have on my to do list I always meant to read them . Now I will. Thanks
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Aug 30 2016 11:35 AM

Just finished "Anne of Green Gables", which I never read as a child and felt I should, simply to know why it was loved by so many. A real feel-good children's novel, on the style of Polyanna, Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Little Princess and such like.

I switched immediately to "Dubliners" by James Joyce, a great period read, and not a little nostalgic for me. There's a wealth of description in this novel, both of the people and the places, and it was a real trip down my hometown memory-lane. From the perspective of a variety of characters, rich and poor, young and old, from all walks of life, the author paints a comprehensive picture of life in Dublin in the early 1900's. I loved it!

Leo, your series looks interesting, I suspect I'll be ordering the first from Amazon any day now!

Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Aug 31 2016 01:05 AM

I loved Dubliners, much more than Ulysses.

For Nostalgic childhood favourites mine is the Little White Horse by Elisabeth Goudge I love it, nearly as much as the Wind in the Willows. (edited twice because I couldn't spell basic words.)
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Aug 31 2016 11:17 AM

My spelling goes out the window when I'm enthusiastic about my subject ... My fingers don't seem able to keep up with the speed of my thinking!
Posted by: Santana2002

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Wed Sep 28 2016 05:39 AM

So I'm having a bit of a "Highland Fling" with my reading at the moment. I was a childhood fan of Lilian Beckweth's stories of life on a remote Hebridean island in the 40s or 50s and when I came across one of my old books recently and it started me off. I reread those on my shelf then hopped on to Amazon to order others that I never got around to reading, and have been nose-deep in them all for the last couple of weeks.

Ms Beckweth draws on her own experiences as an Englishwoman living amongst the crofters of the Hebrides, and the characters she met during her extended stay there. She relates many funny anecdotes that had me chuckling along as I read through the pages.

Her books are sensitively written, gentle stories about the life of a crofter or North Sea fisherman shortly after WWII. They are all filled with abundant, glorious descriptive passages which paint a (somewhat rose-tinted and nostalgic) image of the nature and wildlife of the Scottish Isles, not to mention painting great caricatures of the local people and their oftentimes eccentric behaviour.

My favourites are definitely "The Spuddy" (a stray dog befriended by a lonely child, who eventually finds mutual respect and a loving home with a lonely local fisherman) and "A Shine of Rainbows" (a crofting couple adopt a short-sighted boy. The husband finds it hard to take to the lad, but their mutual love for his wife eventually brings them together). Both of these have a depth of emotion in them as tragic as it is endearing. Lump-to-the-throat sort of reading.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Mon Nov 14 2016 08:15 AM

Natchez Burning - Greg Isles. I forgot how well he can write.
Posted by: ren33

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Nov 15 2016 01:16 AM

An Officer and a Spy Robert Harris.Wow! I am so enjoying this. Superbly researched and most dramatic and clever. I am wondering what else he has written that I would like?
I looked up the bibliography and couldn't tell. However, the one about Europe after Hitler won WW2 doesnt sound like my thing at all. Any recommendations> ? Please?
Oops, I forgot . It is a fictionalised version of the Alfred Dreyfus Affair.
Posted by: agony

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Feb 07 2017 08:04 AM

So here is an interesting one.

Lawrence Block is a very well respected author of mostly crime fiction. His Matt Scudder series is considered by many, me included, to be the best modern hardboiled series. He had a column in Writers Digest for decades, started the Write for your Life seminars, has won every award in the field.....

But way back in the early sixties when he was a young man, he made his living churning out soft core porn for the "mens" market. He wasn't alone - some surprisingly big names started out that way. At one point he was putting out two or three titles a month under various pen names. (If you're interested, Donald E Westlake, who also spent some time at this job, wrote a very funny book about the life of a spankbook author, Adios Scheherazade.)

Around that time he wrote his first actual crime novel. Sent it out, got it published by some low-end paperback house, and kept writing. Eventually he was making a living from legit fiction and dropped the porn.

Fast forward fifty years. He's been going through some old stuff, putting out e versions of novels that are now out of print, and decided to release some of his less salubrious stuff in ebook form for anyone interested. That got him thinking about that tirst crime novel. He couldn't remember who had published it, what title it had ended up with, or even what pen name he'd used. He didn't have a copy. A fan suggested he put out a call on her blog, but no results. Then a chance Facebook post brought the book to light.

It's now been published in hardcover, and I have to say it's pretty darned good. Still very much a book aimed at men, and in the tradition of the pulp crime fiction of the time, but it's got a plot premise that I've never come across before, and it's tightly written, with a few characters who refuse to stay in the cliched boxes the form demands. It's called Sinner Man, and nobody is going to mistake it for a Pulitzer winner, but if you like this kind of thing you'll probably get a kick out of it.
Posted by: Dagny1

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Tue Feb 07 2017 02:48 PM

Thanks for relating the interesting anecdote about Lawrence Block. I do love his Matthew Scudder books. I tried both his Bernie Rhodenbarr series and Evan Tanner series, but never got interested enough in them to continue. Haven't tried any of his others.
Posted by: skunkee

Re: What are you Reading mark2 - Sun Mar 19 2017 11:09 AM

The Bone Tree - Greg Isles - It's the second in a trilogy about the American south. The first was excellent.