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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #5461
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I finished Scotti's Basilica yesterday and really enjoyed it. It's all about the building of St. Peter's in Rome, which took a century to complete. It details the intrigue with various popes and architects, including Michelangelo. Really good stuff and very readable

    Now, I'm beginning to dive into the books I brought home from the trade show last month, so look out! Here come the reviews! Yesterday, I read Velocity by Alan Jacobson, which is sequel to his book Crush, a book I got at least year's event. He left a huge cliffhanger in that book with a major character still missing, so I was really excited to get this one and find out what happened! It was a nice, quick, satisfying thriller set in Napa. I know the area pretty well, so that was fun. I don't think I'd pay $25.99 for it, since I read it in a day, but since I didn't pay for it, I loved being able to lose myself in it.

    I just started Steve Martin's new book An Object of Beauty, which seems like it'll have a similar feel to his Shopgirl. It's a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of the New York art scene. I'm only a few chapters in and am really enjoying it. Steve Martin is a terrific writer, so I'm looking forward to really getting into it. I also got a copy of his children's book Late For School, which apparently comes with a CD of him singing the book's text as a song. It's very cute.
    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. #5462
    Pineapple! ClosetRTWatcher's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I have to echo the positive recent comments about The Help and Let the Right One In. Those are both excellent books!!

    I have worked my way through a few recently that I thought I would comment on...

    Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - I expected more. It was okay, but it took me quite a while to get into it. I kept setting it down. I was left feeling like I wish I had a close circle of friends like she has! On the other hand I found myself getting annoyed with her. The tone of the book just struck me as rather pretentious at times.

    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - This is actually written for older children, but certainly geared toward young readers who can handle the topic because it is pretty dark. About a young boy whose family is murdered when he is a baby and he is raised by a group of ghosts in a graveyard. It is a bit sad, wistful, suspenseful, and adventurous. I really enjoyed it.

    Shanghai Girls by Lisa See - This story was good and I enjoyed reading it, but I did not like the ending at all. It was just left hanging, like it was setting up for a sequel. I have no idea if there is a sequel or not because I realized I didn't care enough where the story was going to go to even look into it.

    A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick - This was a great story that kept me interested and reading from beginning to end. My one minor complaint is that it has a LOT of "racy" material (to keep my description PG-13, because the material was NOT). I don't take issue with the raciness itself, but there was just so much of it that I was getting to the point where is way enough already!!

    I am now re-reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It has been years since I read it, but it is one of my favorite books. After having The Grapes of Wrath forced on me in tenth grade and hating every second of it I never would have expected to like Steinbeck. However, when I was in college someone convinced me to give East of Eden a chance and it was wonderful!! If only we could have read this book in high school instead...

  3. #5463
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClosetRTWatcher;4098445;
    Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - I expected more. It was okay, but it took me quite a while to get into it. I kept setting it down. I was left feeling like I wish I had a close circle of friends like she has! On the other hand I found myself getting annoyed with her. The tone of the book just struck me as rather pretentious at times.
    You've been busy! I have this one on my shelf still and am sort of glad I haven't spent the time on it, since I've heard the same thing from several people: basically, what's all the fuss? I felt the same way about Julie Powell's book, Cleaving - sort of arrogant and self-involved. She didn't come off as remotely likable and I felt like she deserved worse than she got. I really wished her husband had left her after she cheated on him for so long and THEN wrote about it in detail. So insensitive. I don't know, maybe he has left her by now. I wouldn't blame him.

    I have to amend my summary/review of Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty. It's definitely not a romantic comedy. It's more of a look at the art world with a lead character (I hesitate to use the word heroine) who is young and ruthless and slightly amoral. I have to say, I cannot put this book down! I read all afternoon and right up until I was almost late leaving for my book club because I kept saying "Okay, just one more chapter." I may be up very late tonight finishing this one!
    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?"

  4. #5464
    FORT Fogey norealityhere's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;4098592;
    You've been busy! I have this one on my shelf still and am sort of glad I haven't spent the time on it, since I've heard the same thing from several people: basically, what's all the fuss? I felt the same way about Julie Powell's book, Cleaving - sort of arrogant and self-involved. She didn't come off as remotely likable and I felt like she deserved worse than she got. I really wished her husband had left her after she cheated on him for so long and THEN wrote about it in detail. So insensitive. I don't know, maybe he has left her by now. I wouldn't blame him.

    I have to amend my summary/review of Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty. It's definitely not a romantic comedy. It's more of a look at the art world with a lead character (I hesitate to use the word heroine) who is young and ruthless and slightly amoral. I have to say, I cannot put this book down! I read all afternoon and right up until I was almost late leaving for my book club because I kept saying "Okay, just one more chapter." I may be up very late tonight finishing this one!

    Thanks for the review of Steve Martin's latest. I've really enjoyed him since I saw Picasso at the Lapine Agile (I may have title a little wrong) and Shopgirl was terrific.

    As far as Cleaving, I haven't yet read it. I have to confess that I was so turned off by the character in the Julie and Julia movie (even though I loved Meryl Streep in it) that I probably wouldn't be tempted to pick this up. I did, however, go and google it and saw that the NPR review is in total agreement with your own.
    To Thine Own Self Be True

  5. #5465
    Premium Member DesertRose's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;4098592;
    I felt the same way about Julie Powell's book, Cleaving - sort of arrogant and self-involved. She didn't come off as remotely likable and I felt like she deserved worse than she got. I really wished her husband had left her after she cheated on him for so long and THEN wrote about it in detail. So insensitive. I don't know, maybe he has left her by now. I wouldn't blame him.
    I felt the same way about her in Julie/Julia. She was completely unlikeable. I didn't understand the whole book/movie craze.

    I just finished reading Room. The narrator is a 5 year old boy who was born in captivity and lived in a garden shed. He and his mother finally escape and he now has to live in the Outside as he puts it. I could not put the book down.

    Next on my list is Half broke horses (from the Glass castle's author).

  6. #5466
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Thank you for posting about Room. I just downloaded it to my Kindle. I'm eager to read it after I finish the book I'm on (The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber). I've been too busy to read much lately, but I'm looking forward to a long winter of reading. When I was sick 2 weeks ago I spent some time organizing my Kindle table of contents so that I have all 3 pages of unread books at the top and 3 more pages of free samples after that. I also have a collection of 14 Russel Hoban 3-D books a friend sent me when I mentioned liking Riddley Walker. It's like having money in the bank or a bomb shelter full of non-perishable food.
    Count your blessings!

  7. #5467
    FORT Fogey TripleGemini's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Nook offered one of Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen mysteries for cheap the other day, so I grabbed it.

    It kept me entertained on a cross-country flight :-) It was a decent read, but even better were the recipes...I got the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (which came with a bonus book), so I've got 10 new cookie recipes to try :-) The recipes sound really good!

  8. #5468
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I'm reading Room too! I was just coming in here to post about it! I just started it last night, so I'm not reading anything anyone wrote because I don't want to know what happens. It's one of the most unique books I've ever read. I thought it would be grating to read a whole book narrated by a 5 year old, but it's really absorbing.
    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?"

  9. #5469
    FORT Fogey brunette trixie's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Just finished reading The Harry Potter series again before the new movie comes out. Had myself a good cry this morning during the ending.
    Click to see Spoiler:
    Also, I had completely forgotten that Ron worrying about the house-elves during the Battle of Hogwarts was the moment when Hermione finally kissed him.


    I'm also listening to Mockingjay on audio, love that Katniss!

  10. #5470
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Gathering of Crows by Brian Keene. He is my favorite horror author. Anyone who can have an ex-Amishman demon fighter is and make it believable and not silly is good in my book! His books are SCARY and GORY, but also pretty smart.
    "To err is human, to arr is a pirate"

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