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Imagezuzu
Sep 29, 2012 2:05 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
I just finished reading "...And Ladies of the Club." That isn't a typo; the title of the book actually does begin with ellipses.

It doesn't really qualify as a guilty pleasure, but there was some guilt involved in a peculiar sort of way. I had put off reading the book for years because I knew that Helen Hooven Santmyer had spent more than 50 years writing it. I would have felt sad for her, and perhaps a little guilty, if I hadn't liked the book.

It's a long, long book, more than 1400 pages describing life in a small Ohio town from 1868, the year the Waynesboro Woman's Club was founded, to 1932, the year the last of the charter members died. I did develop strong feelings of affection for some of the ladies, and the details of their changing lives were interesting, but there were pages and pages of details about manufacturing processes and stock mergers that were of no interest to me whatsoever.

I would have liked the book a lot more if I had one whit of interest in southern Ohio local politics between 1868 and 1932 or in the minutiae of rope making, but I read all 1,433 pages of it and I feel I've met my obligation to Helen Hooven Santmyer for the 50+ years of effort she put into this project.

Did anyone else here read it?
Imagetomatofreak
Oct 11, 2012 3:38 PM CST
Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
OMG, zuzu; I can barely get through a book of short stories! I keep poetry at hand and find I get antsy if it's more than two pages long. You'd think I'd develop more patience as I get older, but it seems to be getting shorter and shorter.
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
Imagesallyg
Dec 20, 2012 10:41 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
Hey didnt know we have a book thread!

Sorry had not heard of that much less read.
Reminds me of one i enjoyed in audio by Ann Weisgarber, the Personal History of Rachel Dupree. First person story of woman settler to OK Territory after Civil War. Really gave me a feel for the time and place. So did O Pioneers by Willa Cather.
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagezuzu
Dec 21, 2012 8:36 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
I love Willa Cather's books. I used to teach a course on women in literature, and "My Antonia" was always on the reading list.

I suppose, in keeping with the Guilty Pleasures theme of this cubit, I should be discussing only books by Stephen King and the other authors who have never written great literature but are great at telling a story. When I was teaching comparative literature, I was never able to read junk because I felt that I had to spend all of my time reading something worthwhile, but I'm certainly making up for it now. I haven't read anything in the "classic" category for years.

The last three books I read were: "The Flowers of the Field," a WWI-era novel with an "Upstairs, Downstairs" feel to it, which is saved from being a mawkish romance by some horrifyingly graphic battlefield descriptions; "The Help," which I enjoyed in spite of all the criticism and anger it has aroused; and "Before I Go to Sleep," a mystery novel about an amnesia victim, with a twist I didn't see coming until just before it happened.
Imagesallyg
Dec 21, 2012 10:34 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
I ll put My Antonia on my list.
I enjoyed The Help a lot too.
I tried a book of short stories by Alice Munro but quit. Now have a Michael Connely mystery. Because we saw the movie of his Lincoln Lawyer and likd it.
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagezuzu
Dec 22, 2012 1:55 AM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
I did the same thing with a book of short stories by Alice Munro. Was it "Runaway"? I read one story, found little "story" in it, and decided it wasn't worth my time and effort. I used to have the same complaint about some of John Steinbeck's short stories. If nothing happens, I don't care how well he describes a flower or a bee. It's just not enough. Hilarious!

I've read some of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch mysteries. "Echo Park" is the one I liked the most. I prefer books, moves, and TV shows about flawed detectives, and Harry has a lot of flaws. I've always enjoyed Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse because he's such a grumpy old drunk.
Imagesallyg
Dec 22, 2012 9:10 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
I forget for sure ,but I think it was not Runaway. The first story was about a woman in a plain house in Canada, whose sister 'stole ' her first beau. Took over most of the house, leaving the main character something of a serf in the household. The sister eventually became ill, needed a nurse, the nurse then 'stole' the widower and took over most of the house...
It was well written but I finished not knowing what I was really supposed to glean from it. And then I looked up critical reviews...the essays on language structure used..were way over my head.

I picked a random Joyce Carol Oates once,. It turned out to be a 'first person' story by a serial killer a la Dahmer. Pretty sicko. and incredible that a woman can write convincingly as a psycho male.

I think I have Bosch in this Connely. Its The DROP. So far it has just set up the main case he will be on in the book and hasn't gone into his back story.

We have tons of Inspector Morse on DVD at the library where I work.

"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagezuzu
Dec 22, 2012 1:11 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
Dostoyevsky is my favorite author and Joyce Carol Oates is a close second. They both did the same thing for inspiration: They'd read an item in a newspaper and then write a novel on their perception of the events leading up to it.
Imagesallyg
Dec 26, 2012 1:51 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
Thats very interesting to know about Oates.

I liked the Michael Connely. I liked that he did not describe the bedroom scene. We all know what happens, and I dont need to read it in detail.
=-O
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagezuzu
Dec 26, 2012 2:22 AM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
Isn't it refreshing when someone leaves out the details? Big Grin

Have you ever watched "Bones"? I recently read an article about the many "Bones" fans who are furious because they never got to see Bones and Booth in bed together. We obviously know it happened because Bones had a baby and Booth is the father, but these so-called fans of the show are truly upset that they were cheated out of watching the conception!
Imagesallyg
Dec 27, 2012 9:13 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
People are gross.

We are doing a ' staff recommends' display this month so I put My Antonia on it tonight
:-)
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagezuzu
Feb 9, 2013 12:23 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
I felt the need for some quirky characters, so I'm reading lots of books by Fannie Flagg, Billie Letts, and Lorna Landvik.
Imagesallyg
Feb 9, 2013 1:03 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
Sounds fun.
I don't know what I feel the need for. Can't seem to find any book that appeals to me, and I work in the library surrounded by them 12 hrs a week. Confused
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagezuzu
Feb 9, 2013 1:24 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
I wish there were more books that weren't written according to some standard formula. It was such a new and wonderful experience to read "The Lovely Bones," for instance, because no one had ever turned such grisly subject matter into such a sweet narrative. I wish there were more books like that one -- books that surprise the reader by not following the usual rules.
Imagesallyg
Feb 11, 2013 12:09 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
Well I HAVE to read that now! So glad you mentioned it. I saw the movie preview and knew DH would not want to see it.

"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagezuzu
Feb 11, 2013 2:20 AM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
I never saw the movie and I really didn't want to. I don't think it could capture the tone of the dead girl's narrative or the bliss of heaven as she describes it. From what I've heard, the movie concentrates on the living and on the pain and grief they feel, but the book doesn't do that at all.
Imagesallyg
Feb 12, 2013 4:16 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
Glad to hear your input.

Co workers recommendations today-
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Angela's Ashes- McCourt

"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagezuzu
Feb 12, 2013 6:00 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
I didn't like "Angela's Ashes," but I don't like anything Frank McCourt wrote. He's an egocentric male chauvinist pig. In this book, for instance, his father is a drunk who doesn't care whether his children live or die. His mother does everything she can to keep her children alive, but Frank McCourt somehow makes her the villain of the piece and inexplicably looks up to his father. Predictably, Frank McCourt grew up to be like his father.

"The Elegance of the Hedgehog" sounds interesting.
Imagesallyg
Feb 13, 2013 3:10 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
Friend who recommended it talked about overcoming adversity...glad to hear your opinion.


http://www.amazon.com/Elegance-Hedgehog-Muriel-Barbery/dp/19...

Same friend said ELegance made her keep the dictionary handy for vocabulary.
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagetomatofreak
Jun 6, 2013 5:06 PM CST
Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
I picked up a book at the hospital library while I was looking after my GD who was there for over a week w/encephalitis, very scary. Anyhow, I was looking for something short and hit upon "The Pleasure of My Company" by Steve Martin. Written in the first person, it makes you wonder just how neurotic Martin really is. As frustrating as it was to read the account of a real OCD, it was very, very LOL funny in many places. His descriptions of other people were so different than the usual because of his own personality. I loathed Steve Martin as a comic years ago, but I've come to realize that he is super - and multi -talented. If you have the patience for the spot-on OCD, I recommend it.

If you're a horse-lover, there's "The $80 Champion" by Eliz. Letts. Story of a Dutch immigrant and the doomed plow horse he bought. A true Cinderella story. The story is wonderful; the writing is not. I'm an instinctive editor and I was mentally re-writing narrative on just about every page. It will make you laugh and cry, though. I'd never have thought to read it, but someone posted a mention of Snowman (the horse) on FB and I had to get the book.

I just picked up "Edgar Sawtelle" at a thrift store for a buck. It's a looooong book and I have too many distractions to read a lot at one time. I may never finish it. Hilarious!
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson

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