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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #7671
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I just finished Trevor Noah's Born a Crime, about growing up in South Africa. Knowing what he went through as a kid and all the obstacles he had to overcome made me an even bigger fan than I already was.

    Now I'm reading Sana Krasikov's The Patriots:
    When the Great Depression hits, Florence Fein leaves Brooklyn College for what appears to be a plum job in Moscow—and the promise of love and independence. But once in Russia, she quickly becomes entangled in a country she can’t escape. Many years later, Florence’s son, Julian, will make the opposite journey, immigrating back to the United States. His work in the oil industry takes him on frequent visits to Moscow, and when he learns that Florence’s KGB file has been opened, he arranges a business trip to uncover the truth about his mother, and to convince his son, Lenny, who is trying to make his fortune in the new Russia, to return home. What he discovers is both chilling and heartbreaking: an untold story of what happened to a generation of Americans abandoned by their country.

    The Patriots is a riveting evocation of the Cold War years, told with brilliant insight and extraordinary skill. Alternating between Florence’s and Julian’s perspectives, it is at once a mother-son story and a tale of two countries bound in a dialectic dance; a love story and a spy story; both a grand, old-fashioned epic and a contemporary novel of ideas. Through the history of one family moving back and forth between continents over three generations, The Patriots is a poignant tale of the power of love, the rewards and risks of friendship, and the secrets parents and children keep from one another.
    A sweeping saga feels like exactly what I need!
    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. #7672
    Resident "tyrant" JavaJo's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    It's been so cold and rainy here, so I've had a bit of a lie-in and done almost nothing but read. I finished The Handmaid's Tale which was possibly a bit TOO timely considering the current political climate. I'm shocked that I'd not read it before, but glad I finally did.

    I also read Hannah Tinti's The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley:
    (release date: 3/28/17 for those interested)
    Really good and very moving. Sort of a literary crime / coming-of-age novel.

    I read Anna Kendrick's Scrappy Little Nobody last night and this morning as sort of a palate cleanser. It was fun and light and a nice change of pace.

    Now I'm reading Paulette Jiles' News of the World:
    I just finished the Handmaids Tale, too
    I hate when the cops throw me in the back of the squad car ....like they didn’t hear me call shotgun.
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  3. #7673
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I don't know about you JJ, but it felt WAY too close to home. Like, this is what some of those whack jobs in power would love to actually do.

    It's pretty telling that Handmaid's Tale, 1984 and Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here are all on the bestseller list. When I looked the other day, Orwell was #1 on (I think it was) the NYT bestseller list. I think the Atwood is also getting a boost from the series coming to Hulu.
    beerbelly 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?"

  4. #7674
    FORT Fogey beerbelly's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I must say that 1984 is one of my favorite books. When I was younger it spoke to me being powerless and being accused of what you didn't do but helpless to prove oneself innocent.
    For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.
    - Virginia Woolf

  5. #7675
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I haven't read it since high school, which was a little while ago I know I still have my old copy. I think reading it might freak me out a bit. A little too on the nose.
    beerbelly 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?"

  6. #7676
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I finished The Patriots last night and OMG, that was a journey! At times it was so sad and tragic, but not in an emotionally manipulative way (Sarah's Key, I'm looking at you!). It was beautifully written and absorbing. I was reading about 50 pages a day, but then I read the last 250-ish pages in almost one sitting. I couldn't put it down! Definitely

    Now I'm reading (FINALLY!) Doctor Zhivago, which I've never read. Even I'M surprised I haven't read it! I guess I was focusing on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Anyway, a new and very well-received translation was released pretty recently, so I decided to take the plunge. I haven't been disappointed. The writing is just.....sublime. I know thought that Pasternak's tragic life will always be there in the back of my mind as I'm 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?"

  7. #7677
    FORT Fogey Stargazer161's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer161 View Post
    The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman
    Finished this book recently! Great read!! Beautifully written..
    “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

    ― Maya Angelou

  8. #7678
    FORT Fogey Stargazer161's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    Just started this yesterday...Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

    b.jpg
    “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

    ― Maya Angelou

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    Re: What are you reading?

    I placed an order for a book club through Penguin Random House and, although I really did try hard not to, I still did buy some books for myself. All classics too - Penguin, in particular, as really good classic editions.

    Right now, I'm reading We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. It's the sole book written by this Russian author and it's SO applicable to the current political climate and right in line with Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, both of whom are said to have read it (Orwell for sure and Huxley probably).
    Written in 1921, We is set in the One State, where all live for the collective good and individual freedom does not exist. The novel takes the form of the diary of mathematician D-503, who, to his shock, experiences the most disruptive emotion imaginable: love. At once satirical and sobering—and now available in a powerful new translation—We is both a rediscovered classic and a work of tremendous relevance to our own times.
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin | PenguinRandomHouse.com
    The image on the cover is a painting by Lyubov Popova, one of my all-time favorite painters, so it grabbed my eye before I even read anything about it. The translation is really good. The language just zings. It makes me sad that this was Zamyatin's only novel.

    I always have (at least) two books going at once: one in print and one on my Kindle. I'm reading Nina George's The Little French Bistro on my Kindle:
    Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage. After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as “the end of the world.”

    Here she meets a cast of colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, and the natural ease they all seem to have, taking pleasure in life’s small moments. And, as the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it’s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along.
    I enjoyed George's The Little Paris Bookshop and it's a total 180 from We, for sure! George is a bit like Maeve Binchy - not romance novel-ish, but not super deep either. Just a nice rainy day-feeling book.
    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. #7680
    FORT Fogey beerbelly's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading?

    I LOVE your posts Critical. You are always giving me great recommendations to add to my book 'pile'.

    I'm on the last critical essay of Madame Bovary. I'm learning a lot, and trying to understand the French (before they translate it) is mentally challenging. However, the essays have been dry.

    I'm taking the train today so I'll be taking my Fire Tablet which I have a page turner on (I think it's called 'While I was Gone') and I'm looking forward to reading that.
    For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.
    - Virginia Woolf

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