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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #6891
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Where'd You Go, Bernadette? was a fun one!

    I've read a TON in the last few weeks:

    Leila Meacham's Tumbleweeds. Fun and quick:
    Recently orphaned, eleven-year-old Cathy Benson feels she has been dropped into a cultural and intellectual wasteland when she is forced to move from her academically privileged life in California to the small town of Kersey in the Texas Panhandle where the sport of football reigns supreme. She is quickly taken under the unlikely wings of up-and-coming gridiron stars and classmates John Caldwell and Trey Don Hall, orphans like herself, with whom she forms a friendship and eventual love triangle that will determine the course of the rest of their lives. Taking the three friends through their growing up years until their high school graduations when several tragic events uproot and break them apart, the novel expands to follow their careers and futures until they reunite in Kersey at forty years of age.
    My book club read for January is Kelly Jones' The Girl Who Heard Color about stolen art work during WWII and the story of a woman caught up in the Nazi's mission to "collect" art as told by her now-elderly daughter. Not super intellectual, but a good story.

    Amy Hatvany's Safe With Me, a story of what happens with a mother who's lost her daughter in a tragic accident happens to meet the girl who received one of her daughter's donated organs. Really good stuff. Hatvany writes about regular people and makes them relatable and interesting.

    City of Lost Dreams by Magnus Flyte, the sequel to City of Dark Magic. Totally crazy and wild tale of history, time travel, love, music and magic in Prague and Vienna (mainly).

    Rabih Alameddine's An Unnecessary Woman was simply sublime.
    One of the Middle East’s most celebrated voices, Rabih Alameddine follows his international bestseller, The Hakawati, with an enchanting story of a book-loving, obsessive, seventy-two-year-old “unnecessary” woman.

    Aaliya Saleh lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, childless, and divorced, Aaliya is her family’s “unnecessary appendage.” Every year, she translates a new favorite book into Arabic, then stows it away. The thirty-seven books that Aaliya has translated over her lifetime have never been read—by anyone.

    In this breathtaking portrait of a reclusive woman’s late-life crisis, readers follow Aaliya’s digressive mind as it ricochets across visions of past and present Beirut. Colorful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and Aaliya’s own volatile past. As she tries to overcome her aging body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left.

    A love letter to literature and its power to define who we are, the prodigiously gifted Rabih Alameddine has given us a nuanced rendering of one woman's life in the Middle East.
    It reminded me a bit of The Elegance of the Hedgehog. IIRC, someone else here read and enjoyed that one (Gut was it you?)

    City of Bones by Laurie R. King was sort of like Midnight in Paris meets a (maybe) murder mystery. I didn't find out until I was WAY into it that it was the second in a series. I think I would have benefited from reading them in order, although I did enjoy the book.

    Now I'm reading The Orphanmaster by Jean Zimmerman, a mystery set in 17th century Manhattan. Lots of NYC history, so I'm loving it.
    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. #6892
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    Re: What are you reading?

    With a recommendation from my grocery delivery man, I've started Mortal Instruments (City of Bones) which is the first of that series. I'm enjoying picking my way into the different worlds laid out in plain sight (well, invisible sight) as the girl begins her journey into the bizarre. The delivery man compared it to the Harry Potter series; I'm not seeing any parallels other than the protagonist has been undiscovered until early pubescence. The one character I really, really liked was the mother and she is already gone. In a few pages the author painted this woman's existence to the point you could sit and have coffee with her. Anyway, I'm really at the start and will keep chugging along.
    The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. Dorothy Parker, (attributed)

  3. #6893
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by AcookerTV View Post
    PGM, my book club did that book, and I loved it!!! It takes some slight adjustment to get used to the writing style because it bounces back and forth from correspondence and diary entry type writing to narrative. But I thought it was entertaining, made me laugh, and also had some depth and made you think. I don't know how your book club is, but mine is made up of a lot of moms who can treat the meetings as more of a social time than a real book discussion. When we met for that book, we discussed it so in depth that one member who had not read it but came anyways figuring it was social hour was surprised there was so much to discuss, and sorry she didn't read it. Hope you all enjoy it!
    Thanks for the info! I am looking forward to it but have just started it (literally on pages 5 or 6 LOL)

    My book club is much the same (me being the worst offender of not reading the book), but I've started to really enjoy the discussions lately so I've read the last few books and will get through this one. I am looking forward to our discussion - if it's that deep and makes us think - we will definitely have a great discussion as the ladies have a lot to say. Especially on The Husband's Secret. We really liked that one!

  4. #6894
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I just finished the Divergent series, which I liked, but did not love. I liked the 1st book best and HATED what they did to one of the characters. It was a good and quick read, I'm looking forward to the movie.

    I've just started In One Person by John Irving and I'm enjoying that very much. Set in the 1960s in New England, you follow a teenage boy through school and his dream to be a writer. It seems to follow a very very very similar storyline to A Prayer for Owen Meany so I'll be interested to see how it deviates from that story since the first 60 pages are very similar. This e-book has been on sale for $1.99 at Barnes and Noble for the past week or so.

  5. #6895
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by lindsay22 View Post
    I just finished the Divergent series, which I liked, but did not love. I liked the 1st book best and HATED what they did to one of the characters. It was a good and quick read, I'm looking forward to the movie.

    I've just started In One Person by John Irving and I'm enjoying that very much. Set in the 1960s in New England, you follow a teenage boy through school and his dream to be a writer. It seems to follow a very very very similar storyline to A Prayer for Owen Meany so I'll be interested to see how it deviates from that story since the first 60 pages are very similar. This e-book has been on sale for $1.99 at Barnes and Noble for the past week or so.
    I'll be interested to hear what you think of the John Irving when you finish. Owen Meaney is one of my favorite books and Irving is one of my favorite writers. I just haven't gotten around to that one yet.

    I finally remembered the book I finished in December and had forgotten about. It was The October List by Jeffrey Deaver. I picked it up for an easy read, but didn't get that. Deaver tells the story in reverse. Literally the page numbers count down. The ending is at the beginning and then with each chapter, you go back in time. It wasn't an easy read in that I had to keep in mind the timeline. Just weird to read a whole book like that. I enjoyed it, but it was strangely difficult.
    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?"

  6. #6896
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I just finished The Stolen Child. The idea is that there are hobgoblins in the world that sometimes swap places with human children. The two main characters are a child that is stolen and becomes a hobgoblin and the hobgoblin who takes that child's place and becomes part of his family. The chapters alternate between the perspectives of those two characters and generally cover overlapping time periods. It was an interesting story, but I thought there were some holes in the story that I wish had been better explained.

    Next I'm going to read The Case for God. I've been putting it off because it feels like heavy material, but I read the first page of the introduction last night and it reignited my curiosity!

  7. #6897
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    It reminded me a bit of The Elegance of the Hedgehog. IIRC, someone else here read and enjoyed that one (Gut was it you?)
    It was me. I adore that book. I'll have to try An Unnecessary Woman. You make the best recommendations!
    I had to pre-order it... it's not out yet.
    Last edited by Gutmutter; 01-09-2014 at 06:01 PM.
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  8. #6898
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I'm ending up Ian Rankin's The naming of the Dead, far into a more than superior series, feeling both for the primary protagonist and myself.

    Projectedly moving on next to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Don't see it on the book cover, but I saw it elsewhere the last few days somewhere, an image of the movie Harry Potter crew for this book posturing that left me chanting, Die, Harry Potter, Die!

  9. #6899
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gutmutter View Post
    Just finished The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. I wasn't paying attention to the percentage read on my Kindle and the ending caught me off guard. I guess that never happens with a book, but it was kind of interesting. All of a sudden it was over and I still had forward momentum, so I had to do a little post-configuring in my head. I would read a sequel to this book, although I normally dislike series and sequels.
    Forward momentum...post configuring.

    I like the way you depict the aftermath of reading a tale.
    Gutmutter likes this.

  10. #6900
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gutmutter View Post
    It was me. I adore that book. I'll have to try An Unnecessary Woman. You make the best recommendations!
    I had to pre-order it... it's not out yet.
    It doesn't hurt that we have similar reading tastes! Sorry, I totally forgot to check the release date. I like getting things in advance, but then I have to wait to talk to anyone else about the books! The worst was when I got A Dance With Dragons a week early, finished it before the release date and then couldn't talk to ANYONE about it. It was killing me!

    I'm always shocked when publishers send out galleys so far ahead of the release date. A lot of times, I'll get a title maybe a month in advance, but some of them I've gotten in October and the release date is April or May. Crazy!

    When I was reading An Unneccesary Woman, I found myself looking up images or information about places, people, locations, etc. she talks about in the book. When she talked about various pieces of music, I'd look them up on YouTube and listen while I was reading that section of the book. Some books are about getting to the end to find out what happens, but this one was just about the journey. I really loved it.
    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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