What We're All Reading... forum: What we're reading #4

 
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Imagewoofie
Jun 23, 2011 1:15 PM CST
Name: woofie
NE WA zone 5a
Drooling I LOVE pizza!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Imagesallyg
Jun 23, 2011 1:39 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
and I could only have done 3.14159...

I and will boast I can do a lattice top--though usually bought crust dough

I will say Joyce Carol Oates has a way of drawing you right into a story. Each short story has been good that way so far. It's an small effort to let each story end at one "chapter" and get into the next, new characters.
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagekqcrna
Jun 23, 2011 1:51 PM CST
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh
I can't believe how much all of you seem to read.

I picked up the new Janet Evanovich from the library today.

Karen
Imageherbie43
Jun 23, 2011 2:23 PM CST
Name: Franklin Troiso
Rutland MA
Zone 6b
i never really cared for any of her novels. to much joking around.
Beautiful Souls like Frank leave lasting memories in the hearts of those he touched .
Imagesallyg
Jun 23, 2011 2:27 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
I really enjoyed Evanovich for a while, esp when Ranger came on the scene. But lattey its been repetitive IMHO.
I barely get to read , myself.
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagewoofie
Jun 23, 2011 2:29 PM CST
Name: woofie
NE WA zone 5a
I'm with you, Frank. I tried one once and just couldn't get into it. One of the very few books I didn't finish.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 23, 2011 3:45 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
I read a couple, & that was it. Too repetitive.
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imageirisarian
Jun 24, 2011 9:22 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
finished the book on the Blackfeet indians. Starting one on secret messages (how they were done) during the American revolution.
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 25, 2011 7:38 AM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
That sounds interesting.... what's the title?

I got my replacement copy of Mortal Love, so have returned to it. Fascinating. Reminds me very much of Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Angel's Game & Shadow of the Wind, tho' not as dark, I think. Magical realism, this one exploring the obsession to create art, the erotic relationship w/the muse, a very pagan sort of read. Greenness & nature invading the corner's of the eye... acorns showing up in the oddest places.
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imagesheryl
Jun 25, 2011 10:49 AM CST
Name: Sheryl
Middle Tennessee, 6b
I picked up Wild Swans .... lawd, the Chinese culture is so fraught with traditions and hierarchy. I don't know how individuals remembered all of their customs ... and wonder how much those customs evolved or if they were basically set in stone over the millenia. The book doesn't start until the late 1800's, so it doesn't really say, although I bet a lot of stuff went south during Communism.
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 25, 2011 11:51 AM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
I think you get to find out just how south they went... Sad

I have wondered, as I read Mortal Love, if you might not like this book, Sheryl, being an artist & all. Kind of like an emanation of the Green Man. Don't know if you go in for magical realism, though. Big Grin
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imagesheryl
Jun 25, 2011 11:55 AM CST
Name: Sheryl
Middle Tennessee, 6b
Re: Magical realism....Sure, I like some of it, as long as it doesn't strain credibility - well, okay, that doesn't make sense, but it's accurate. After all, I loved Mists of Avalon. I'll definitely look into it. Hopefully it's e-reader available.
Imagewoofie
Jun 25, 2011 11:57 AM CST
Name: woofie
NE WA zone 5a
Ha! I'm not sure I understand what "magical realism" is. Sounds like a contradiction in terms to me. Confused
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 25, 2011 12:09 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
It's sort of like a dream invades reality... for example, the guy is sitting w/the girl at a cafe, looks in her eyes & there's a tear in reality wherein everything is bathed in green light, the rustle of leaves & the buzz of bees replaces the sound of traffic, the woman becomes luminous & more ethereal, and there's something he can't quite make out reflected in her eyes as she looks over his shoulder. The physicality of the cafe recedes... and then he blinks & everything is back to normal except there are acorns in his pocket, oak leaves on the table.

So it's like an ordinary contemporary novel, except that every now & then something really odd happens, some invasion of the archetypal or mythical.

Going to the Grateful Dead concert w/Pan... Big Grin
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imagewoofie
Jun 25, 2011 2:38 PM CST
Name: woofie
NE WA zone 5a
So much for the "realism" part.... Big Grin
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Imageirisarian
Jun 25, 2011 3:35 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
Sounds strange. 'Invisible Ink' is the name of the book on revolution spy techniques.
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 25, 2011 4:04 PM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
It is strange... I can't read too much of it, some of it just goes right over my head, but I'm really enjoying this one by Elizabeth Hand... just odd enough to be intriguing, not so obscure that I don't feel like I have no clue to what's going on, like I did much of the time reading Shadow of the Wind... one of those books that I enjoyed the writing, but I'm not sure what it was about. Except I loved the magical secret library. Hilarious!

Just dipping into Purely Positive Training by Sheila Booth this afternoon. I got this for the SO to work w/her new dog, figuring to read it when she was done. But she's taking FOREVER, & I got curious about what to do w/a dog that isn't food motivated... wow! GREAT book. HIGHLY recommended for dog owners. The paragraphs on 'kitchen training' that I read gave me new ideas for how to teach my dog to take food gently (No problem w/food drive there! LOL)
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
BookerC1
Jun 28, 2011 9:34 AM CST
Name: Angie
Mackinaw, IL
Just recently back from a long road trip through 6 states with my husband and kids. Did lots of reading on the road, and then kind of kicked into hibernation mode when I got home, and spent a lot of time curled up with a book, trying to recover from the nomadic lifestyle. I've decided I definitely wouldn't have been one of those women with a pioneer drive and a desire to keep picking up and moving on. I love travel, but only with the promise of my own bed and home and garden at the end of it!

Anyway, here are a few of the things I've read in the past month:

Pretty Shield, Medicine Woman of the Crows, as told to Frank B. Linderman. I picked this up in one of the National Parks bookstores, and it was one of the best books I've read in some time. Linderman had the rare opportunity of meeting with Pretty Shield, by then an old woman in her 80's, and asking her through both an interpreter and his fluency in reading her sign language, about her life growing up in the South Dakota/Wyoming area, before the establishment of reservations. I just couldn't put this book down, and read most of it aloud to my husband and kids in the car. I've never read a first-person account of the nomadic life of following the buffalo, and he specifically asked her to focus on the lives of girls and women. It wasn't at all what I expected, and I found myself laughing out loud at some of the scrapes she got into, especially those involving her father's horses, and various buffalo. Great book! Now I want to look for another of his books, which is apparently similar, except from the male point of view of Chief American Horse.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky. Wow, what a book! It is supposed to be young adult fiction, but I'd hesitate to recommend it to anyone much younger than college age, unless they were very mature. It is the story of a confused young man, named Charlie, and is told through a series of letters he has written to someone he doesn't even know, and who is never named. It details the problems Charlie deals with in entering high school, the suicide of a good friend, his utter bafflement at male/female relationships, his friendships with upperclassmen, who introduce him to drugs, alcohol, and both gay and straight relationships. Charlie is a brilliant kid with absolutely no social skills, and it is largely about his observations on the relationships between the others around him. Lots of heavy topics, but dealt with beautifully. I've heard they are making a movie of this book, and that makes me nervous. It would be hard to do well.

Cool Beans, by Maya Davis. Light fluff, kind of Christian fiction, in the sense that the protagonist was trying to figure out her dating relationships and friendships in the context of her faith. Probably appropriate for teens. It was free on my Nook, and I was ready for something mindless. Well written and amusing, at any rate.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning, by Nancy Pickard. Good book. Premise is that a young woman and her family are struggling and fearful when they find out that the man who killed her father has been let out of prison, because of some questions about how the trial was conducted some 20 years earlier. To add to the tension, her mother disappeared the night her father was murdered, and her bloody and torn dress was found in her father's truck in a flooded streambed the next day. Some tension between her and a friend, because he is the son of the accused murderer, and worked to free his father, even though he knew his father was cruel and abusive. The setting descriptions were particularly good in this book; I really got a sense of the place, the landscape, the houses they were describing. Characters were OK; better developed than some, but a few were pretty shallow. It was a very good book up until the very end, when I felt like the murder mystery was resolved too suddenly, and without much build-up to who actually committed the murder. I didn't find the ending believable, but enjoyed the ride in getting there.

Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen. Interesting book. Premise is that a particular family has an apple tree in their backyard, whose apples will give the eater a glimpse at the most significant moment of their life, good or bad. The other plants grown under and around it also have different properties, and one sister in the family has established a catering business, using the edible flowers and herbs as ingredients to influence people. The other sister is escaping an abusive relationship, and brings her daughter home to hide from her abusive boyfriend. It sounds a little corny, but I liked it.

Bring on the Blessings, by Beverly Jenkins. Free book for my Nook, and I got what I paid for. It was awful. Poor character development, lots of silly cliches, totally unbelievable story line. The premise is that a rich divorced black woman buys a small, financially struggling town to prevent it from dissolving or being annexed. She decides to bring in foster families and foster kids and solves every problem by spending lots of money. I have many friends who are foster parents, and know that the way she portrays being a foster parent is totally inaccurate. The troubled kids are just cute and mischievous, and basically just so grateful for being rescued by the rich woman. Waste of time, not sure why I bothered to finish it.

Cave of Discovery, by Steve and Margaret Larson Another free Nook book, this one for kids. The cover illustration looks like it was done by a high school kid, but the book itself was decent. Kind of a treasure hunt/ghost story combination.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. Great book! I get the feeling it was written more with the male reader in mind, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. It was written from the point of view of a dog, who believes he has a human soul, and tells the story of his life with a young man, and later his wife and child. The man is a race car driver, and loves to watch videos of famous races with his dog, who comprehends all of it. There are lots of parallels drawn between driving and living, hence the title.

The Winds of Khalakovo, by Bradley Beaulieu. Another free Nook book. This one is something between the fantasy and sci fi genre (sorry, SF for Woofie!). It seems to be set in a country something like Russia in the 1800's. The country and character names strike me as somewhat Russian, as well as the descriptions of the clothing. The sci fi/fantasy twist is that they travel in airboats, much like sail boats, that travel the wind currents between the islands, also under the power of some kind of metal rods that provide buoyancy. There are people with the ability to harness and direct the winds. Complicated plot, so won't try to summarize it here!

Millie's Fling, by Jill Mansell. Another free Nook book. (Can you tell I take full advantage of the Free Friday offerings?) This one is a pretty light, silly piece of modern English romance. I think it wants to be Bridget Jones Diary. It was a fun, light read, though. The main character, Millie, quits her job at a travel agency, and takes on two jobs to replace it: one, as a singing kiss-o-gram delivery girl, for which she usually has to wear a gorilla suit and rollerskates. The other is even more bizarre. She talks a rich, famous novelist out of jumping off a cliff, and the novelist decides to pay her an absurd fee to tell her everything that is going on in her life, as material for her next book. Her last review accused her of being out of touch with real life, so she wants to write a book based solely on the real life of a "commoner." It really isn't a very plausible book, but it was funny, complete with a love story that starts with her prank calling a man whose lost wallet she found.

Whew! Had a little catching up to do! I won't tell you what I'm currently reading, because I put it over on the Guess Which Book thread. Thumbs up
ImageDonkeyJay
Jun 28, 2011 10:24 AM CST
Name: Jay
northeastern New Mexico
Zone 5b, in the foothills @ 7100'
Hurray! Way to read! Enjoyed reading your synopsis (plural?)
I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.
Imagekqcrna
Jun 28, 2011 6:12 PM CST
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh
Wow, that's a lot of reading!

I finished that latest Janet Evanovich and, honestly, I laughed out loud more times than I can count. Once my husband came looking for me to see what that fuss was. I tried to read the paragraph to him but I was laughing so hysterically I couldn't. True, those books are pretty mindless but sometimes it's just fun to read something like that. When I finished I gave the book to a friend who said she did the same- laughing out loud like a nutcase. Maybe my sense of humor is a little off... but I like to laugh.

Now I'm back to murder. I'm reading Marcia Muller's Double. I think it's the 5th (or 6th?) in the Sharon McCone series. It's written with Bill Pronzini. The story is told in the first person, alternating chapters narrated by McCone and "Wolf", a male detective. It's the best so far in the series, by far, I think. I'm enjoying it anyway. I do like to slowly pick my way through a series.

Karen

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