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  1. #6101
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I'm about 100 pages into Anna Funder's All That I Am. It's about a small group of German activists who flee to London when Hitler comes to power and then risk their lives to tell the world threat of Hitler and the Nazis. It's told in flashbacks from the point of view of several different characters. Really well written and 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?"

  2. #6102
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I've been reading several books by Alexis Harrington, set in the 1880's to about 1920 about life in the "territories"...Montana and mostly Oregon. I have Oregon connections and a great aunt who was a doctor in pioneer days (one of the heroines is a doctor) so fun for me. They are romance novels with spunky heroines and the hero tends to be the long legged cowboy, but they are well done, not cringeworthy. One involves the flu epidemic during WW I for example, and a lot of it is about the flu and how it devasted the town the story takes place in. The flu one seems to be a two parter, with part two coming out in a few months, but so far the others can be read in any order. They may only be available on Kindle...they seem very cheap.

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    Re: What are you reading?

    I stayed up late to finish All That I Am. Wow. Just incredible. So intense and tragic, but so beautifully written. I rarely mark pages when I read a book for pleasure and not to discuss later, but I got my flags out for this one. Funder's writing is just so evocative. This is a passage I read over and over:
    One summer day on Primrose Hill we lay on the grass, our backs curved to the spine of the earth. The sky was pale as a cup. If you pressed your skull to the soft ground and closed your eyes the whole city could fall away. The air above my face was honeyed and heavy with dandelion parts, tiny midges that could not but dance. Sounds reached us divorced of their makers: a woman's laugh, a baby's bleat, an animal groan from the zoo. We felt the planet turn
    I really loved this book!

    Now I'm reading A Thousand Lives by Julia Scheeres. It's non-fiction about Jim Jones, his church and the Jonestown massacre. The FBI files about Jim Jones were released fairly recently, so this is (I think) they first book to use that information as source material. I'm sure it will be heartbreaking, but it's also fascinating. I remember when the massacre happened, but I don't know much else about Jim Jones or what really happened. It's interesting, but also really horrifying and sad.
    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. #6104
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I just finished reading The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey. It's a debut novel and absolutely the best fiction I've read for a long time. It's based on Russian folklore about an aging, childless couple who create the image of a child from snow and it comes to life, but Ivey takes the story to another level. The story takes place in 1920s Alaska. The author grew up in Alaska and creates vivid imagery of the harsh life and beautiful scenery. The characters are unforgettable and at the end you're still not certain of what was reality and what was illusion. I'm reading it a second time just to savor this beautifully written story.

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    Re: What are you reading?

    I'm reading American Rose by Karen Abbott, about the life of Gypsy Rose Lee--its fascinating.
    Nonfiction review: 'American Rose' by Karen Abbott | OregonLive.com

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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by MizDaisy View Post
    I just finished reading The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey. It's a debut novel and absolutely the best fiction I've read for a long time. It's based on Russian folklore about an aging, childless couple who create the image of a child from snow and it comes to life, but Ivey takes the story to another level. The story takes place in 1920s Alaska. The author grew up in Alaska and creates vivid imagery of the harsh life and beautiful scenery. The characters are unforgettable and at the end you're still not certain of what was reality and what was illusion. I'm reading it a second time just to savor this beautifully written story.
    I'm just starting to think about what I'm going to read next and that one was on my short list! The rep that handles that book told me it's his favorite title right now. Based on that and on your recommendation, I think I'll read it next!

    I'm about 200 pages into A Thousand Lives and WOW, I can hardly put it down. It's so absorbing. Obviously, you know where it's going but it's like being on a train you can't get off of. It's truly shocking and frightening that so many people could be controlled by one man, especially one who was clearly not sane.
    cablejockey likes this.
    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?"

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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    I'm just starting to think about what I'm going to read next and that one was on my short list! The rep that handles that book told me it's his favorite title right now. Based on that and on your recommendation, I think I'll read it next!

    I'm about 200 pages into A Thousand Lives and WOW, I can hardly put it down. It's so absorbing. Obviously, you know where it's going but it's like being on a train you can't get off of. It's truly shocking and frightening that so many people could be controlled by one man, especially one who was clearly not sane.
    I'll be looking forward to your final review, Critical.
    Jim Jones was actually highly regarded when he was still in the Bay area before he took all those people to Guyana and went whacko.
    The unfortunate thing is that so many of these whackos start off like h did. Then they turn into megalomaniacs and the problems begin. Very sad...
    To Thine Own Self Be True

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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    I'm just starting to think about what I'm going to read next and that one was on my short list! The rep that handles that book told me it's his favorite title right now. Based on that and on your recommendation, I think I'll read it next!
    As of today, The Snow Child has 23 5-star reviews on Amazon, where it's a selection for the best books of February. Almost all the reviews mention the compelling story and beautiful writing. Hope you enjoy it too!

    cablejockeyI'm reading American Rose by Karen Abbott, about the life of Gypsy Rose Lee--its fascinating.
    Thanks for this recommendation. The movie version of Gypsy is one of my favorite musicals. I've read that it was more fiction than autobiographical, so I'd like to know the real story of Louise Hovic (aka Gypsy Rose Lee).

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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by norealityhere View Post
    I'll be looking forward to your final review, Critical.
    Jim Jones was actually highly regarded when he was still in the Bay area before he took all those people to Guyana and went whacko.
    The unfortunate thing is that so many of these whackos start off like h did. Then they turn into megalomaniacs and the problems begin. Very sad...
    I finished it a few hours ago. I really needed to buy groceries, but I just couldn't put the book down until I finished! Keeping in mind that this is really the first in depth thing I've read about Jim Jones, I thought it was excellent. Of course, the topic itself is so upsetting, especially considering that about 1/3 of the over 900 people who died were children. I can't say something like "I loved this book!" because it's not the kind of book you love, really. I did think it was absorbing and well laid out and written in a way that you felt like you were there.....even when you didn't want to be. I'm sure that's largely a function of all the recordings and journals and other documentation, but I thought the author put it all together really well.

    So, I'm glad I read it even though it was really upsetting. I met the author at an event last fall and really liked her. This has made me want to find her other book as well.

    I just started The Snow Child and am looking forward to really getting into it! I have SO many books piled up around here from publishers and trade shows. It's really obnoxious. I'm trying to make a concerted effort to plow through as many books as I can....and to stop buying more! I emailed a friend a pic of my cat sleeping in my new chair (with, of course, piles of books in the background) and she commented that it was "held in by books"! I told her the entire house is held in by books!
    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?"

  10. #6110
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by norealityhere View Post
    I'll be looking forward to your final review, Critical.
    Jim Jones was actually highly regarded when he was still in the Bay area before he took all those people to Guyana and went whacko.
    The unfortunate thing is that so many of these whackos start off like h did. Then they turn into megalomaniacs and the problems begin. Very sad...
    Thanks for the heads up on this book. I just placed it on hold at the library. Can't wait to read it.
    "To err is human, to arr is a pirate"

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