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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #6771
    runs with scissors waywyrd's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    NOS4A2 is on my list to read this summer. Glad to see more good reviews.

    I've finished Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem. I don't even know what to call it...sci-fi noir? Fun and exceedingly weird read. Talking animals, karma points, and government provided drugs.

    Currently about two-thirds of the way through Pure by Julianna Baggott, an addictive apocalyptic story.
    Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted - John Lennon

  2. #6772
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I just got my hands on a galley of Elizabeth Gilbert's new novel, The Signature of All Things. I'm not really a fan of her non-fiction. I think it's pretentious and self-indulgent, but I'm going to keep an open mind for this one. From the back cover/dust jacket:
    In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

    Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.
    Over the weekend I finished In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. Harrowing, but beautifully written and touching story (based on the author's own life) about a family struggling to survive in Cambodia under the Khmer Rogue.

    ETA: Way, Pure of one of those books that I'm a total evangelist for! I LOVE that series! I'm REALLY hoping the third book will be out this fall. I can't wait to see how she ties everything up!
    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?"

  3. #6773
    Never too old to Twinkle! AZChristian's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I jumped pretty quickly on the waiting list at the library for "The Cuckoo's Calling." It was written by J. K. Rowling under a pseudonym, and was getting critical praise but not much in the way of sales under the secret of her identity was revealed.

    It looks like I may be able to pick it up on Monday. :-)

  4. #6774
    FORT Fanatic Photobabe's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I just finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

    When a circus sets up within sight of an assisted living facility it sparks memories in a 93 year old resident of his 7 years as a circus veterinarian during the years of the Great Depression. This well researched book gives insight into how circuses of that era operated, but is also a story of this man's love of animals and a story of his love of a woman. The characters in this book range from the most despicable people you could imagine to people you really wish you had known. It's been a very long time since I have enjoyed a book as much as I enjoyed this one.
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  5. #6775
    Woodsprite Air Blobs Easy Champion inthegarden's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I enjoyed reading Water for Elephants. I was cheering for Rosie.
    I'm reading The Heist written by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. It's entertaining, which is all I want during the summer months. Next on my list is The Lemon Orchard written by Luanne Rice.

  6. #6776
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I just started Hallie Ephron's There Was an Old Woman:

    There Was An Old Woman by Hallie Ephron is a compelling novel of psychological suspense in which a young woman becomes entangled in a terrifying web of deception and madness involving an elderly neighbor.

    When Evie Ferrante learns that her mother has been hospitalized, she finds her mother’s house in chaos. Sorting through her mother’s belongings, Evie discovers objects that don’t quite belong there, and begins to raise questions.

    Evie renews a friendship with Mina, an elderly neighbor who might know more about her mother’s recent activities, but Mina is having her own set of problems: Her nephew Brian is trying to persuade her to move to a senior care community. As Evie investigates her mother’s actions, a darker story of deception and madness involving Mina emerges.

    In There Was an Old Woman, award-winning mystery author Hallie Ephron delivers another work of domestic noir with truly unforgettable characters that will keep you riveted.
    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?"

  7. #6777
    runs with scissors waywyrd's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    Way, Pure of one of those books that I'm a total evangelist for! I LOVE that series! I'm REALLY hoping the third book will be out this fall. I can't wait to see how she ties everything up!
    I loved Pure! I'll definitely be checking out the rest of the series.

    I'm about a year behind the rest of the world, but I'm finally reading Gone Girl. I'm about half way through and hate to put it down!
    Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted - John Lennon

  8. #6778
    Premium Member DesertRose's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Thank you all for your posts. I've read 3 of the last books you recommended and enjoyed them all!
    A Tale for the time being - Ruth Ozeki
    Beautiful ruins - Jess Walter
    Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford

    I read them back-to-back-to-back and went from Japanese, to Italian, to Chinese-American.

  9. #6779
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I finished Jennifer Dubois' Cartwheel over the weekend. To say that it was inspired by the Amanda Knox case would really short-change it. It doesn't read like of of those "inspired by a true story" type of books. It's one of those books that just stays with you. I really recommend it
    Written with the riveting storytelling and moral seriousness of authors like Emma Donoghue, Adam Johnson, Ann Patchett, and Curtis Sittenfeld, Cartwheel is a suspenseful and haunting novel of an American foreign exchange student arrested for murder, and a father trying to hold his family together.

    When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colorful buildings, the street food, the handsome, elusive man next door. Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn’t come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans.

    Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who’s asking. As the case takes shape—revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA—Lily appears alternately sinister and guileless through the eyes of those around her: the media, her family, the man who loves her and the man who seeks her conviction. With mordant wit and keen emotional insight, Cartwheel offers a prismatic investigation of the ways we decide what to see—and to believe—in one another and ourselves.

    Jennifer duBois’s debut novel, A Partial History of Lost Causes, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction and was honored by the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 program. In Cartwheel, duBois delivers a novel of propulsive psychological suspense and rare moral nuance. Who is Lily Hayes? What happened to her roommate? No two readers will agree. Cartwheel will keep you guessing until the final page, and its questions about how much we really know about ourselves will linger well beyond.
    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. #6780
    runs with scissors waywyrd's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Finished Gone Girl. That ending was...odd, I guess. Not at all how I was thinking it would end.
    Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted - John Lennon

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