belva's Orange January 2012

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belva's Orange January 2012

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Bearbeitet: Dez. 16, 2012, 3:19am

Vitamin C is sooo good for you!

Bearbeitet: Dez. 14, 2012, 7:47pm

FOR 2012:

My Orange January Reads & Ratings:
I wanted to read all winners in January.

1. Larry's Party by Carol Shields (4 1/2*); winner 1998
2. A Crime in the Neighborhood by Suzanne Berne; (3 1/2*); winner 1999
3. Property by Valerie Martin (4*); winner 2003
4. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver; (5*); winner 2005
5. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett ; (4*); winner 2002
6. Small Island by Andrea Levy; (4*); winner 2004
7. The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht; (4*); winner 2011
8. On Beauty by Zadie Smith; (2 1/2*); winner 2006


'An Orange a Month' for Darryl's Challenge reads & ratings here:

February: The Siege by Helen Dunmore; (4 1/2*) short listed 2000
March: Gillespie and I by Jane Harris (2 1/2*) long listed 2012
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (2*) short listed 2012
April: The Submission by Amy Waldman (3 1/2*) long listed 2012
May: The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve (5*) short listed 1998
June: The Twisted Heart by Rebecca Gowers (1/2*) long listed 2010

(Orange July):
1. Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris (4*) long listed 2002
2. Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen (4*) long listed 1998
3. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (5*) long listed 2002
4. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (5*) long listed 2004
5. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (5*) long listed 2006
6. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (4*) (short listed 2006)
7. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (4 1/2*) long listed 2010
8. Gilgamesh by Joan London (4 1/2*) long listed 2004
9. The Siege by Helen Dunmore (4 1/2*) (short listed 2002)
10. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (4*) long listed 2010

'An Orange a Month' for Darryl's Challenge reads & ratings here:

August: The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey (4*) short listed 2010
September: The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (2*) (short listed, 2012)
October: The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison (3*) short listed 2010
November: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
(4 1/2*) winner 2007
December: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (4 1/2 *) short listed 2004

Dez. 4, 2011, 7:05pm

Love the cat image!

Bearbeitet: Dez. 29, 2011, 2:44pm

;-) @ wookie

My Orange January reads & ratings:

Dez. 6, 2011, 1:41pm

Hey, you! Just posting so your thread will show up for me when the reading starts.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 29, 2011, 2:44pm

I have been doing the same Linda. Looking forward to that first one in January.

Dez. 8, 2011, 7:43am

Belva, are you leaving place holders?

Dez. 13, 2011, 2:16am

What is a place holder Jill?

Dez. 13, 2011, 5:48am

When you leave places in your comments for future postings - such as Post #6 - "An Orange A Month"?

Dez. 27, 2011, 12:48pm

Hi Belva, making the rounds of everyone's threads in prep for Orange January. I look forward to seeing what your choose for your Orange reading!

Dez. 27, 2011, 6:07pm

Keeping an eye on you, Miss Belva!

Bearbeitet: Dez. 29, 2011, 2:49pm

Yes Jill, I do leave place holders. I need to finish 2 books, but I am sooooo ready!~! Most people will be watching football on New Years Day but some of us will be reading our 'Oranges'!~!

Dez. 29, 2011, 6:13pm

I may be in the same room as the football, Belva, but like you, I'll be reading Orange! So what's first for you?

Bearbeitet: Jan. 26, 2012, 3:52am

I think that I am going to begin Orange January with Larry's Party by Carol Shields, the winner of the 1998 Orange Prize. It's ratings and reviews aren't show it to be a WOW! read but I am going to give it a shot.
How about you Peggy?

Bearbeitet: Jan. 2, 2012, 9:20pm

To those of you who gave this book simply mediocre marks; WHA????????????????????????????????????????????

Larry's Party by Carol Shields, my thoughts and comments:

I loved it. Read it in 2 sittings. One in bed last night and then this afternoon.
Larry's Party is about Larry. Larry at 30, Larry's Love, Larry's Folks, Larry's Work, Larry's Words, Larry's Friends, Larry's Penis, Larry Inc, Larry So Far, Larry's Kid, Larry's Search for the Wonderful and the Good, 1992, Larry's Threads, 1993-4, Men Called Larry, Larry's Living Tissues, 1996, and lastly Larry's Party. So it is all about Larry and the different highlights and low-lights of Larry's life.
I found it fascinating reading. I think anyone who loves words would.
Larry is just a guy; basically this book could be about any man out there. Larry becomes fascinated with mazes and it changes his life. Every major point in Larry's life changes it. The women in Larry's life are fascinatingly different and when you put them together, Larry's life gets more interesting momentarily.
I don't know how I have missed Carol Shields but know I will read more books by her. I really loved Larry's Party and it will probably be on my Orange January list again next year. I highly recommend this one and rated it 4 1/2 stars.

Next up for Orange January: A Crime in the Neighborhood by Suzanne Berne; winner of the Orange Prize for 1999.

Jan. 2, 2012, 11:20pm

Thanks for the review, Belva! I may be able to squeeze Larry in at the end since it goes so fast. Or maybe not. RL intrudes, and I haven't done any real reading today, won't tomorrow, and see Wednesday as doubtful. Shoot!
I'm about to finish The Invisible Ones, and I can't really get on with Fall on Your Knees until I do.
WHOA! DH says it's supposed to be snowing here now. Got to run to see!

Bearbeitet: Jan. 3, 2012, 3:43pm

lucky skunk! I want snow!~! Oh, by the by; I found my copy of Fall on Your Knees. Yea!~!

And A Crime in the Neighborhood is coming along nicely. Wonderful narration and growing of characters.

Jan. 3, 2012, 5:12pm

#15 Hmmm...I didn't care for the one Carol Shields novel I tried (The Stone Diaries -- didn't finish it), and all the men I've known named Larry have been wrong in one way or another. I'm not yet persuaded to try this book, but I'm very glad it was a Wheeeee read for you.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 4, 2012, 4:24am

>15 rainpebble:: I remember thinking I should read Larry's Party years ago and then completely forgetting about it. It sounds like the sort of thing I usually do like!

>18 laytonwoman3rd:: all the men I've known named Larry have been wrong in one way or another.

Now you've got me wondering in what ways all those Larrys were wrong?!

Jan. 4, 2012, 10:14am

Well, one was shiftless (still is, from all accounts); one is a big-deal-phony-baloney sort; and the third is a nice guy, hard-worker...hard drinker. I think that about covers it.

Jan. 4, 2012, 6:40pm

Anybody remember the line from Steel Magnolias made by Shirley MacLaine? "Everyone knows that all men named Larry, Steve and Rick are gay".

Jan. 4, 2012, 8:25pm

Your absolute adoration for Larry's Party makes me want to read it, though I must admit the synopsis makes it sound like a total snooze. ;)

>21 rainpebble: - Absolutely! Steel Magnolias is one of the most quotable movies ever! :)

Jan. 5, 2012, 3:32pm

A Crime in the Neighborhood by Suzanne Berne, my thoughts and comments:

A typical family in a typical American community where families visit over the fences and hedges, children ride their bicycles up and down the street, neighborhood potlucks.........everything in this book is about your typical family community.............until it isn't.
The narrator, Marsha, one of three children sees a lot happen in this summer. Her father has an affair with their mother's sister and leaves the family. Her mother becomes distant and breaks off all connection with her close three sisters. Her older twin siblings spend the summer with friends and return seemingly older.
But the biggest thing that happens that summer is that a young boy in the neighborhood is molested and murdered in a small wood at the edge of the neighborhood. This, quite naturally changes the aura of the neighborhood. People become suspicious and distrustful. they stop having their get-togethers. They do whisper back and forth about who could have come into the neighborhood and committed this horror or was it one of their own?
Marsha spends her summer with a broken ankle and looking for clues where there are and aren't any. The story is based on Marsha's sleuth work and her recording of any and all occurrences that seem to be clues.
This is an interesting story, the characters are easy to identify with for the most part. I enjoyed reading it and do recommend it. I gave it 3 1/2 stars.

Jan. 5, 2012, 6:25pm

What impressed me about A Crime in the Neighborhood is that it may seem to be "just a story" but there is actually a lot of philosophical depth to it.

As I wrote in my review at the time: "Questions like this - what is truth? what is real? - permeate the book. Are our actions and choices dictated by reality...or by what we perceive as reality? Are we governed by fact...or by fear? What is innocence, and what does it mean to lose it?"

Did you find this to be true also, Belva?

Jan. 5, 2012, 6:31pm

I have Larry's Party Belva and I can see that I'm going to want to get to it maybe at the end of the month. Thanks for the review.

Jan. 5, 2012, 7:14pm

Fabulous review! That just added the book to my 'wishlist'! Thanks ;)

Jan. 5, 2012, 7:40pm

I now have so much more confidence about reading Larry's Party this month. Thanks for the review :0)

Bearbeitet: Jan. 26, 2012, 3:59am

I did find all of those things to be true as I was reading the book. Not only youngsters but adults see a lot but is that perception truth? By the same token, those questions you asked are all the same questions I was asking myself in the late 60s and through the 70s while high on pot. So they probably didn't jump out at me as much in this read as they did you.
But this is why so many in law enforcement (my hubby included) hate to work with eye witnesses. They would much rather follow the evidence trail.
As to innocence, it is such a precious commodity and it can take so little to destroy that in people. Once it is gone, one never gets it back and that makes looking at people and life rather bleakly at times. But it happens to all of us at one time or another.
There was a lot of depth in A Crime in the Neighborhood and I think the author did a wonderful job with the narration.
Thank you for bringing up all of those questions. Important issues in relation to this particular book. I must revisit them now that I have been out of my fog all of these many years. I also noted that you and I rated this almost the same. I will have to check out your library again.

Jan. 5, 2012, 9:50pm

Next up on my Vitamin C list is Property by Valerie Martin, the winner of the 2003 Orange Prize. I really don't know anything about it as I just picked it up at the library today, but will start it tonight when I go to bed and I am sure I will find out fast enough.
My goal for Orange January is to finish reading all of the Orange Prize winners. Currently I am down eight with eight to go; so I am at the half-way mark. What I don't get to this month, I will read in July.

Jan. 6, 2012, 9:50am

Property was a good read for me, Belva. Here's a link to my review, which doesn't contain any spoilers, if you'd like to know more about what I thought.

Jan. 6, 2012, 11:27am

If I remember correctly, Property spawned a great debate after Laura posted her review. I can't remember what thread that was on. Maybe her 75 book thread (and it was probably two years ago).

Jan. 7, 2012, 10:23am

Another interesting thing concerning perspective in A Crime in the Neighborhood is that the story is being told by Marsha when she is an adult. So is the story truth, or what she perceived to be truth as a child, or what she remembers to be truth as an adult? Goodness, this book would be a great one for a book club discussion!

And about eye witnesses - I always find it amusing that people in TV shows and movies are always able to give precise details of someone/something to the police. They saw the person for 30 seconds and remember exactly what they were wearing, how tall they were, what colour their hair was, and their tattoo design? Like, really?

Reading the winners is a great plan! And don't forget you'll have one more to add to the list when this year's winner is chosen! :) Unfortunately, I'll never be able to say I've read all the Orange winners, because I have no intention of ever reading Home. I just did not like Gilead well enough to go into that whole story all over again from a different perspective.

Jan. 7, 2012, 2:45pm

Ohhhhhhhhhh, I loved Gilead, liked Housekeeping and Home fell in between. I am sorry that you did not care for Robinson's writing.

Jan. 7, 2012, 3:17pm

Property by Valerie Martin
My thoughts and comments:

Property is the story of a woman who is married to a quite despicable man who is the owner of a sugar plantation and as thus, with the time and place, also is a slave owner. Her husband is obsessed with a house slave and has two babies by her. The wife, Manon, is repulsed by her husband but is still very angry about the situation. The slave girl, Sarah, hates the master as well.
It is a short story, taking all of about 2 hours to read, but there is a lot contained in this book. The slavery uprisings and murders of hundreds of whites and blacks. The yellow fever and cholera epidemics also killing hundreds and hundreds of people, both free and slave.
The story is interestingly told in the first person of Manon, the wife of the slave and plantation owner. In her daily life it seems that she totally takes for granted these people who are the property of her husband and the fact that they take care of all of the needs of the plantation, including her own personal need and requirements.
During the uprising, her husband is killed, (for which she appears grateful), and she is badly injured herself. The slave girl, Sarah, runs for freedom. Manon offers rewards and hires, with the help of her aunt, a broker to find the girl. It takes several months for the girl to be found and interestingly enough when she is brought back to Manon, Manon seems to be envious of the fact that the slave, Sarah, had known those months/weeks of freedom which she, herself, has never known. It is almost as if within her lifetime Manon has felt like "Property" herself.
I recommend this book and rated it a 4* read. I quite liked it though the subject matter is troubling.

My next read for Orange January is: We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, winner of the Orange Prize for 2005.

Seven more winners to go. I just might make it this month. WOOT WOOT!~!

Jan. 7, 2012, 3:23pm

Oooh good, I'm going to start Property this evening...I love Valerie Martin's work!

Jan. 7, 2012, 6:13pm

Wow! You're charging right through them, Belva. I'm glad that you're liking the winners - Property and We Need to Talk About Kevin are two that haven't particularly called me. You may make me change my mind although I have more than enough to be getting on with.
You go, girl!

Jan. 7, 2012, 11:08pm

#27 - I now have so much more confidence about reading Larry's Party this month. Thanks for the review :0)

JudyLou - where have you been hiding? Do you have a thread around here somewhere? Anyway, I read Larry's Party a couple of Orange Januarys ago. It was one that I missed when I read Shields voraciously about 10 years ago. For some reason, I was dubious about it too. But I was pleasantly surprised.

Jan. 8, 2012, 4:40am

Joyce I don't have a thread here this time. Because we are going away in a couple of days for the rest of January, I'm not confident about reading too many oranges. But I'll let you know how Larry's Party goes. That one is already in the suitcase!

Jan. 8, 2012, 3:05pm

Loved Larry's Party Jude; hope you do too. Enjoy your holiday. Will watch for your return. :-)

Jan. 8, 2012, 4:06pm

>31 mrstreme:: Jill, it was January 2009 -- I just looked. And here's my review. Reading it now, I can't remember why it sparked debate!

Bearbeitet: Jan. 15, 2012, 9:40pm

Having completed We Need to Talk About Keven, and boy do we need to talk about Kevin, it is time to take a break from the Vitamin C and read my Elizabeth Taylor Centenary January read: At Mrs. Lippincote's and my Author of the Month celection: Georgette Heyer's These Old Shaded. I will put up my review on the previous Orange book when I have had time to assimilate that book but I will say it was a 5 star read for me.

Jan. 15, 2012, 9:42pm

Having completed my Author of the Month book as well as my January Centenary read of Elizabeth Taylor, I am moving on to my next Orange Winner: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I really hope it blows my sox off!

Jan. 16, 2012, 7:11am

I hope your experience with Bel Canto is better than mine! I had a bad weekend with that book.....but I know that most people love it.

Jan. 16, 2012, 10:56pm

>43 Her_Royal_Orangeness:: I agree with many, but not all, of your criticisms of Bel Canto HRO. The fawning over Roxanne, the unknown diabetic episode, the totally awful epilogue! But overall I enjoyed the read.

Jan. 16, 2012, 11:57pm

I am enjoying Bel Canto thus far. Not a fun story but a good one. I am about half way through and it is all a plus so far.

Jan. 18, 2012, 6:53am

>44 crimson-tide: - Yes, I know that I'm in the minority in my opinion of Bel Canto. Ah well, that's why there are millions of books....because we can't all like the same things! :)

Hope you're enjoying it, Belva.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 18, 2012, 3:44pm

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, a novel of love, intrigue, an attempted coup, a massive taking of hostages by terrorists who planned to kidnap the President of this South American country at this, but he did not attend. So they took all of the guests hostage.
The book is beautifully written, the characters are grown well, the story is good; all things that make a good book possibly great.
There are important people at this party. One of them a premier Opera Soprano. As time goes by she begins singing for the group of hostages and terrorists daily. Things change the longer the hostages are held. They lose much of their fear and animosity toward the terrorists. The terrorists relax in their vigil but no one attempts to escape. There is much interaction between the hostages and the terrorists. And when the end comes, as it must, the hostages are overcome by the carnage and weep for their kidnappers.
It does end on a surprising high note which left me with raised eyebrows but this is a very good book and deserving of the Orange Prize. I rated it 4 stars and highly recommend it though I will say that I hated the next to the last bit.

My next bit of Vitamin C is coming from Small Island by Andrea Levy. I am hoping that, though I liked her The Long Song well enough to rate it a 3 of 5 *, that I will be more taken with this one.

Jan. 24, 2012, 2:42pm

Having completed the very lovely Small Island, I am moving on to my next batch of Vitamin C: The Tiger's Wife. It seems quite good so far.

Jan. 26, 2012, 11:46am

It sounds like you've had a fantastic Orange month. I wonder if it's to be expected that focusing on the winners will generate a more satisfying Orange reading month, if simply the idea of their having won sets one up to enjoy them more?

Jan. 26, 2012, 1:40pm

IDK; last year I read mainly from those short listed over the years and had a fantastic reading month so I guess it is just how the 'list' affects each one of us.

Jan. 26, 2012, 7:35pm

>50 rainpebble: - That is so true! I find that I tend to like the longlisted books most, which seems odd.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 28, 2012, 3:32pm

Now reading On Beauty; (winner 2006), by Zadie Smith and enjoying it.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 1, 2012, 12:46am

Just pages from finishing On Beauty and I am on Pacific West Coast U.S. time so plenty of time before Orange January ends. Not my favorite for sure but not the worst book I've ever read. It's been a great month of Vitamin C for me and I am already itchy for Orange July to arrive. I am so happy that we have Darryl's 'An Orange a Month' Challenge to keep me in the groove.

Jan. 31, 2012, 11:39pm

So sad that the Orange I liked the least was my last one. I may just have to read Darryl's 'An Orange a Month' first for February to end on a high note. Yup; I think that is what I will do. Now just to find a 4 or 5 star Orange. I am confident that I can do it!~!

Feb. 1, 2012, 12:15am

Okay, I have chosen to read The Siege by Helen Dunmore for Darryl's 'An Orange a Month Challenge'. I loved A Spell of Winter by her. In fact it is my favorite Orange of all thus far. So I think it should be very good and it has an L.T. rating of 4*.

Feb. 1, 2012, 6:32am

I bet you'll like The Siege!

Feb. 1, 2012, 10:03pm

I am loving it Jill! Dunmore is amazing.

Feb. 2, 2012, 8:06pm

I was reading through your thread, and found this comment by Her Royal Orangeness:

Unfortunately, I'll never be able to say I've read all the Orange winners, because I have no intention of ever reading Home. I just did not like Gilead well enough to go into that whole story all over again from a different perspective.

and I thought I'd written it, because I've said the same thing as well!

I love that you are so enthusiastic about Larry's Party!. Last year just before Orange January I read Shields' Unless and loved it. Really, really loved it. I'd read Stone Diaries before, but it didn't do it for me. But after Unless, I've decided to read all Carol Shields books, in order, so Larry's Party will be my last book to read. I may decide to re-read Stone Diaries with my new appreciation of her writing.

Feb. 9, 2012, 12:35am

Sounds good raidergirl3. I certainly intend to read more Carol Shields.

It saddens me that people don't want to read any more of Marilynn Robinson' works after not caring for Gilead. I did love Gilead but the other two books of hers that I have read: Home and Housekeeping are nothing like Gilead. Sure wish you guys would give them a chance.
I would have been just the opposite if I have to be one way or the other. I found Gilead to be uplifting and found Home and Housekeeping both to be a little dark although I liked them both as well.
Ah well, life is too short and there are so many good books out there. We should be reading the ones we are drawn to.

Mrz. 14, 2012, 5:59pm

Okay, so first up of the Orange Long Listeds is:
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris.
Have any of you read her The Observations?

Mrz. 14, 2012, 7:25pm

Belva, I read The Observations and LOVED it!

Mrz. 18, 2012, 9:16am

I read it after Jill reviewed it last year and also loved it. I'm hoping to read Gillespie and I later this month too.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 18, 2012, 9:05pm

I just finished Gillespie and I by Jane Harris which I rated 2 1/2 stars. I hope the rest of you who read it enjoy it more than I did.

I am now moving on to The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright and hoping for a more enthusiastic and enjoyable read.

Mrz. 19, 2012, 2:17am

I did like The Forgotten Waltz. It is one of the miserly few I have already read from the longlist. I have just received a few from the library today including Half Blood Blues and Island of Wings, and I hope I can get to read lots more.

Mrz. 19, 2012, 9:51am

I have Island of Wings waiting in the wings for me too. Sure do hope it's a page turner!

Mrz. 28, 2012, 4:45am

Well, Belva, I found Island of Wings to be a page turner in it's way and I gave it 4 1/2 stars. My review is on the main page. I hesitate to say that you will find it a page turner, because we are all so different in our tastes. Best of luck!

Mrz. 28, 2012, 5:41pm

Thank you Deb.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 16, 2012, 3:44am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 16, 2012, 3:44am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 14, 2012, 5:34am

My plan: to finish reading the Orange Prize Winners. I have 3 to go; own 2 of them and have the 3rd on hold at the Library so I hope to read those in January along with some short listed Oranges. Then in July I would like to move on to some long listed ones.
I also will be attempting to continue with Darryl's 'An Orange a Month' Challenge. So here's to Vitamin C. It is so good for you.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 14, 2012, 5:24am

Orange January:

1. The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville winner 2001
2. The Road Home by Rose Tremain winner 2008
3. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller winner 2012
4. Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels winner 1997
5. Old Filth by Jane Gardam S/L 2005
6. The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison S/L 2010
7. The Colour by Rose Tremain S/L 2004
8. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters S/L 2002

Bearbeitet: Dez. 14, 2012, 5:22am

An Orange a month to meet Darryl's Challenge:

February: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood S/L 2001
March: Paradise by Toni Morrison S/L 1999
April: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood S/L 1999
May: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver S/L 1999
June: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern L/L 2012

Bearbeitet: Dez. 14, 2012, 5:12am

An Orange a month to meet Darryl's Challenge:

August: The Remedy by Michelle Lovric L/L 2005
September: Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald L/L 1997
October: Charming Billy by Alice McDermott L/L 2000
November: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold L/L 2003
December: The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel L/L 2003

Dez. 14, 2012, 8:22am

Nice to see you so organized for January and the entire year, Belva! I haven't given Orange January a thought, but since I do have Song of Achilles on the shelf here, I'll start thinking about reading it this go-round. Good luck to your grandson, and safe travels to you and your family.

Dez. 14, 2012, 10:15am

Are these what you plan to read for the upcoming year or what you managed in 2012?? If the latter, CONGRATULATIONS!! If the former, good luck!! :)

Bearbeitet: Dez. 16, 2012, 3:43am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.