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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #1801
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geek the girl View Post
    I'm about 250 pages into a book I've been dying to read, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It's everything I hoped it would be: beautifully written, moving, and romantic in an unconventional way. I find myself slowing my pace just so that I can enjoy it a while longer; to quote Critical, this is one of the books I'll be sad to finish. (Shadow of the Wind was another one, by the way.)
    Geek - I'm glad you're enjoying The Time Traveler's Wife. I was sad to see it end as well, even though I had this feeling of dread in my stomach for about 2/3rds of it. I just finished Shadow of the Wind tonight (which I loved, btw) and picked up Dry, Burroughs' follow-up to Running With Scissors. I'm sure I'll finish it tomorrow.

    I loved The Nanny Diaries - it was pure fluff, but a fun read. Of course, anything by Connelly is a must-read I was so disappointed when he moved to (I think) Florida. My mom would always go to his book signings when a new one came out, so I would get signed first editions. At least there's still Elizabeth George, who lives in my hometown and still does book signings at the local Barnes & Noble.

    With a new semester lurking around the corner, I'm feeling a little stressed about all the books I want to read before my reading schedule will be of a much more mandatory kind.
    I know exactly what you mean! I sorted through my stack today and selected the books I absolutely want to read before classes start in 2 weeks. My list includes: The Historian - I'm about 150 pages in and set it aside to read some books that I couldn't bring home from my parents' house and I have to get back into it. Also on the list are Rembrandt's Whore by Sylvia Matton (kind of along the same lines as Girl With a Pearl Earring and The Passion of Artemesia), Harem by Dora Levy Mossanan, Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King, King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild and a biography of Francisco Goya. If I have time (), I want to try to get through Peter Robb's The Man Who Became Caravaggio. It's a pretty ambitious list, but I don't have anything else to do! Plus, several of those books are 300 pages or less, which is not even a day's reading.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  2. #1802
    Coaster junkie vondl0's Avatar
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    I also loved The Time Traveler's Wife and hated to see it end.

    I am finding as I get older that remembering a book I particularly enjoyed also brings back memories of what was going on in my life at the time I was reading that book. For example, I read The Time Traveler's Wife while I was on spring break vacation last year with my hubby and 2 boys at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California. I will forever remember what a fun and relaxing time we had, the wonderfully fresh food we ate, the awesome coasters we rode and that it was my kids first plane trip - all such good memories come flooding back with the mention of a book title!

    I am just about finished with The Shadow of the Wind - about 60 pages to go. I just couldn't will my eyes to stay open last night and told my boss today that it is cruel and unusual punishment to have to work today when I should be finishing my book! (She was one of the people who recommended it to me).

    I have also noticed that it seems to be taking me longer that usual to finish The Shadow of the Wind. Maybe it is because I don't want to miss one juicy morsel and it is SO rich in subplots and characters. Oh well, it is one of those books that will be at the top of my recommendations for anyone who asks.

    Now I face the tough decision that comes when one finishes a superb book......what do I read next? Everything else stands a good chance at paling in comparison so do I pick one that's been on my list for a while that I think may be, eh, just okay? Or do I go for the next book that I have been eagerly looking forward to (such as The History of Love, The Tender Bar, A Million Little Pieces, Heaven Lake) and risk being disappointed?

    Ah, decisions, decisions...............

  3. #1803
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    Quote Originally Posted by vondl0 View Post

    Now I face the tough decision that comes when one finishes a superb book......what do I read next? Everything else stands a good chance at paling in comparison so do I pick one that's been on my list for a while that I think may be, eh, just okay? Or do I go for the next book that I have been eagerly looking forward to (such as The History of Love, The Tender Bar, A Million Little Pieces, Heaven Lake) and risk being disappointed?

    Ah, decisions, decisions...............
    I would go for an "inbetweener", vondl0, simply because it would be unfair to a truly great author if you picked up another book of The Shadow of the Wind calibre straight away - you probably wouldn't be able to fully absorb it since your mind in still in the dark alleys of 1940's Barcelona. In my experience, there's something to be said for keeping your literary diet balanced; some junk food to go with your veggies, so to speak. If everything you read is beautifully written and mind-blowing... well, it does get old after a while, and like you say, everything will eventually pale in comparison. When I've finished a truly engaging read, I like to read something a bit more light-hearted in between before I launch upon a new, big reading project. That's just me, though; whatever works for you. I'd recommend you pick up something that's just okay, though.

    PS: Ah, The History of Love! Another book I'm dying to read. I've never managed to appreciate her husband, Jonathan Safron Foer, but I've picked up The History of Love on several occasions and read the first page, and it's marvellous. If it doesn't go downhill after that, it's guaranteed to be the new What I Loved - which you all have to read if you haven't yet. It's written by Siri Hustvedt (Paul Auster's wife - see, the similarities go on! Another literary power couple from Brooklyn) and although it's been a couple of years since I read it, I still find myself thinking of the characters and the plot every once in a while.

    Critical: Glad to hear you enjoyed The Nanny Diaries. Have you read anything by Sophie Kinsella, by the way? I almost bought The Undomestic Goddess today, but decided not to. I'd like to read something fluffy and light before I get back to literary theory and the classics.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

  4. #1804
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    Quote Originally Posted by geek the girl View Post
    Critical: Glad to hear you enjoyed The Nanny Diaries. Have you read anything by Sophie Kinsella, by the way? I almost bought The Undomestic Goddess today, but decided not to. I'd like to read something fluffy and light before I get back to literary theory and the classics.
    You know, I keep meaning to pick up something by Sophie Kinsella, but every time I see one of them, I'm in a drug store or somewhere else that is charging full price. I need to search for her books at a used book store. Maybe I'll buy all of them and have a binge over the summer!
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  5. #1805
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    I'm reading Forever Odd by Dean Koontz right now. The much-anticipated follow-up to Odd Thomas, one of his best books ever.

    Next will be Vince Flynn's new one, Consent to Kill.

  6. #1806
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Thanks for telling us that sequel is out, John -- I enjoyed Odd Thomas too, but hadn't seen that the follow-up was out yet.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  7. #1807
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    John - I'd be interested to know how Vince Flynn's new one is. I've read a few of his and enjoyed them. I will admit that the reason I read one of his books is that I saw his picture I did read more than that one book though, so I did enjoy that first one. The thing I really respect aboiut him is that he self-published his first book. Most people in publishing will tell you that you should never do that because it's so expensive and you rarely make any of your money back (or gain a readership), but he did and look where he is now!

    I finished Dry in one afternoon () and went back to The Historian, which I was about 200 pages into. I read about 300 last night, so I'm in the final stretch I have about 150 pages to go and I know that, as soon as I sit down with it today, I wont be able to stop until I finish. It was SO hard to put it down last night, but it was 3 a.m.!

    I now have 11 days until classes start and 5 or 6 books to read. Probably won't do it, but I'm going to try my best!
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  8. #1808
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    I have just finished reading the last few chapters of the book "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer. It was an amazing book. Now one of my personal favourites. I do wish there was a sequel, but we don;t always get what we wish for. It's a very captivating book. The kind of which you can actually feel the emotions in it. An amazingly great read. Addictive too I might say.

  9. #1809
    When I'm 64 William13's Avatar
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    The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
    The premise of this novel is that the Black Plague of 14 Century, instead of wiping out a third of Europe's population, kills 99% of the population and the rest of history is domininated by societies in which Buddhism and Islam are the most influential religions.
    So far, except for a brief mention at the beginning the fate of Europe has been irrelevant to the story. The main character in the first section gets captured, sold into slavery and taken to China. He doesn't die, but a fellow slave is. For some reason the narrative of the first section ends by following both of them into the after-life.
    The second section takes place in the Middle East with completely new characters, so there is no way to determine how much time, if any, has passed since the end of the first section. Then, after a few chapters, the new main character is killed off (and we follow her briefly into the after-life as well). So the book picks up again in a different place with different characters. Because of the constantly shifting perspective I am having difficulty staying interested.

  10. #1810
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    I started The Way the Crow Flies by Anne-Marie MacDonald last night and I'm hooked. Beautiful language, a sort of dreamy, nostalgic overall feel and likeable characters. It's set on a Canadian military base in the 1960's and deals with subjects as diverse as the cold war, childhood, and murder. I love slowly-paced novels that still manage to suck you in. This is one of those novels: you want to devour this one slowly. Anne-Marie MacDonald has previously written Oprah's Book Club pick Fall on Your Knees, and this is just as good, if not better.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

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