Orange 2012 for LizzieD

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Orange 2012 for LizzieD

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1LizzieD
Bearbeitet: Dez. 27, 2012, 9:28pm

Get back to the 2012 Thread HERE



I'm late! But I'm here!!
It occurs to me that I've been trying to accumulate oranges for a year or so and that this would be a great place to list my owned but unread ones. So, in no particular order, here they are. PBS is a wonderful phenomenon!
(2008 when I discovered Orange was a great year!)
Fault Lines ; Girl with a Pearl Earring ; The Housekeeper ; Accordion Crimes ;
When We Were Bad ; Ahab's Wife ; The Gathering ; The Household Guide to Dying:
Lullabies for Little Criminals ; Hotel World ; The Ghost Road; Great House
The Siege ✔ ; A Spell of Winter ; Ladder of Years; The Mistress of Spices;
Love Marriage ✔ ; The Namesake ; Fugitive Pieces; The Flood
The Invention of Everything Else ; The Secret Life of Bees ; Lives of the Monster Dogs
Molly Fox's Birthday ✔ ; Caramelo ; The Magician's Assistant
What the Body Remembers ; The Lovely Bones ; Black and Blue
Home ; The Time Traveler's Wife ; Larry's Party
Burnt Shadows ; The Accidental ; The Weight of Water
The Book of Fires ; On Beauty ; The White Family; History of Love
Black Water Rising ; Half of a Yellow Sun ✔ ; Fall on Your Knees
The Inheritance of Loss ; Small Wars ; The Last Samurai
The Little Stranger ; The Observations ; Middle Age (I've had this one forever not realizing it was Orange)
The Short History of a Prince ; The Tenderness of Wolves ; Swamplandia!
A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian; Gilgamesh ✔; The Aguero Sisters
The Mysteries of Glass; The Tiger's WifePrep;
The Hero's Walk; Unless; The Monsters of Templeton; We Need to Talk about Kevin ✔;
Homestead; Lord of Misrule ✔; The Night Circus
The Help; The Forgotten Waltz ✔; Gillespie and I
The Pink Hotel; When I Lived in Modern Times; Foreign Bodies
Hen's Teeth; The Song of Achilles ✔ ; Painter of Silence
The Sealed Letter; Half Blood Blues; Island of Wings

✔ = read at last!

---- which makes me ask, "Self, what have you been doing???" So here is the much shorter list of the Orangeness I've read this year:
The Invisible Bridge ; Jamrach's Menagerie ; The Seas
A Visit from the Goon Squad ; The Memory of Love ; Oryx and Crake
Old Filth ; The Blood of Flowers ; The Blue Flower
The Idea of Perfection ; Fingersmith ; A Gate at the Stairs

YAY! At least I ended up averaging one a month! That was 2011.

HERE's 2012 even it they are checked above! I'm doing a lot better than I did last year!

Fall on Your Knees, Molly Fox's Birthday, The Tiger's Wife, The Siege, We Need to Talk about Kevin, Gillespie and I, Lord of Misrule, Love Marriage, The Song of Achilles, Forgotten Waltz, Foreign Bodies, Half of a Yellow Sun, Larry's Party, Great House, Gilgamesh

2mrstreme
Dez. 13, 2011, 4:37pm

Holy moly! You have a wonderful selection to choose from!

3souloftherose
Dez. 13, 2011, 5:03pm

#1 Oh, wow! That is a good Orange collection :-)

4wookiebender
Dez. 13, 2011, 7:26pm

Fabulous booklist, I think you're going to be having fun in January. :)

5letterpress
Dez. 14, 2011, 3:31am

That list is delish! Lots of titles from my wishlist so I'm looking forward to seeing which books you choose and what you make of them.

6Soupdragon
Dez. 14, 2011, 4:12am

Great lists, Peggy. You've actually done pretty well with your Orange reading this year. Yes, the To Read list is longer but isn't it always ;)

7lauralkeet
Dez. 14, 2011, 5:52am

Echoing praise for your book list Peggy. Now, which ones will you read? I can't wait to find out!

8brenzi
Dez. 19, 2011, 6:39pm

Wow you have accumulated a lot of Oranges Peggy. I don't even know how many I have but I think I'll find out.

9LizzieD
Dez. 19, 2011, 11:23pm

I'm not precisely sure which ones I will read, Laura and Bonnie, but I am smug about what I own and I take compliments on my library personally! (So thank you, Jill, Heather, Tania, Annalisse, Laura, Bonnie, and Dee! And thank you for the visit.)
I just noted a passage or two from my December Orange, A Gate at the Stairs, which I'm finally getting into and liking a lot! I'll copy it here....
Moore's very clever, but not too clever so far. I confess that I am amused and pleased by a passage like this one where the narrator is talking about her reading over her Christmas break from college: "Christmas music from the radio downstairs, playing through all twelve days of it, wafted up: 'Rejoice, rejoice,' sounded like 'Read Joyce, read Joyce' - and so I did, getting a head start on my Brit Lit. 'Emmanuel...' I made my way through The Critique of Pure Reason." Then she writes along normally until exactly ten pages later I read, "I preferred the mentally ill witch Sylvia Plath, whose words sought no enlightenment, no solace, whose words sought nothing but the carving of a cry. An artful one from the pitch black.
Oh, if only she had married Langston Hughes!" That tickles me.

10lkernagh
Dez. 27, 2011, 12:30pm

Making the rounds to get caught up on everyone's threads in prep for Orange January and I echo the comments above that you have a great TBR pile of Oranges to choose from!

11bleuroses
Dez. 27, 2011, 9:15pm

Triple Wow on your Orange TBR cache, Peggy, and loads of congrats on your Orange reading achievements for the year! Excellent!

You're one of my favourite chattiest friends, so I've starred your thread to try to keep up with you!! Let the Orange Games begin!

12LizzieD
Dez. 28, 2011, 10:00pm

Hi, Lori and Cate! I'm happy that you dropped by. I think, because of you, Cate, that I will begin with Fall on Your Knees. I hope I like it half as well as you did!

13rainpebble
Dez. 29, 2011, 3:08pm

Gotcha starred pretty Peg and will be anxiously awaiting your reads and comments. Three more days; can't wait!

14LizzieD
Jan. 4, 2012, 11:45am

I guess I'll say on this page since Stef Penney has been an Orange nominee, that I just finished her second, The Invisible Ones. It was a pretty decent mystery, but I didn't find anything especially exciting about the writing beyond competence. I'm grateful for competence, but I do expect more. Nor did I find any particular universal insights even though I enjoyed finding about about modern Gypsies in England.

15BiblioEva
Jan. 4, 2012, 7:02pm

Ohhh: what did you think of The Blood of Flowers? I've been trying to decide if that'd be good or if it'd fall into a more stereotypical historical lit trap.

16mrstreme
Jan. 4, 2012, 8:38pm

The Blood of Flowers is excellent! Definitely not stereotypical. And cool info on rug making.

17LizzieD
Bearbeitet: Jan. 4, 2012, 10:37pm

Eva, I didn't like it as well as Jill, but it was a good, quick read. My evaluation at the time was, "It's a very entertaining novel (I did finish in record time for me), very well researched (I guess --- how would I know?). Even with the author's claim, however, that it reflects Persian diction, a very entertaining novel is the extent of it for me. This is no little accomplishment, but I want more."
Meanwhile, I'm not getting to read like crazy, but I'm picking Oranges from PBS like crazy. They're there. It's just a matter of having the credits to bring them home.

18Soupdragon
Bearbeitet: Jan. 5, 2012, 6:06am

15: I found The Blood of Flowers a real page turner but the writing style was a bit cliched with lines like "she felt as if her heart was breaking". Though, to be fair, that might not be the exact line. I swapped my copy on so can't check!

19LizzieD
Jan. 5, 2012, 9:05am

I am love, Love, LOVING Fall on Your Knees!! Many thanks, Cate, for the nudge.

20brenzi
Jan. 5, 2012, 6:35pm

Oh I thought you'd like that one Peggy. I loved it when I read it...not sure when I read it but quite some time ago.

21LizzieD
Jan. 10, 2012, 9:40pm

You're right, Bonnie! It is a fascinator. I just finished it, and I suspect that anybody who would read what I think here will have already read about it on my 75 thread, but I'll repost my very inadequate and confused thoughts here too. I can't quite say why I enjoyed it so much, but I did.

FALL ON YOUR KNEES by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Up front, this is a tome about the results of incest. The mother of the family does everything in her power to keep her husband, who married her when she was twelve-going-on-thirteen, away from his oldest daughter whom he loves and for whom he sacrifices. World War I was an answer to a mother's prayer. As they live near the grim sea on Cape Breton Island, the girls become badly damaged people. Kathleen is a brilliantly talented singer who is allowed to escape to New York City for voice training. Mercedes is earnest, straitlaced, and determined to look after her younger sisters. Frances is exceptionally smart and exceptionally bold and disturbed. Incompletely suppressed memories bedevil her. Lily is the innocent baby who sees everything and understands more than she should. They fear and love their father. He seems incapable of questioning his own actions, but his sins are visited on his family for at least their generation.
Somehow, MacDonald manages to keep all this and more from overpowering the book. While she never shies away from any horror, it's really not grim reading most of the time. I was always eager to pick it up even while expecting nothing to be easy. MacDonald's writing is individual and lovely. The book itself is perilous and so beautiful that I don't find myself asking, "What was the point?" which in lesser hands I might have done.

Now I'm wondering whether I should read something lighter before I jump into The Tiger's Wife. I'll give that some thought.

22LizzieD
Jan. 10, 2012, 10:50pm

I don't know whether it's lighter, but it's certainly shorter. I've picked up and started Molly Fox's Birthday, and I think it will be a good palate cleanser before I get on with The Tiger's Wife.

23Her_Royal_Orangeness
Jan. 11, 2012, 6:54am

I read "Fall on Your Knees" years ago - around the time it was first published, I believe, and recall it being very dense, both in plot and style. Your review is excellent....love the phrase "perilous and beautiful"!

24Soupdragon
Bearbeitet: Jan. 11, 2012, 10:22am

22: I loved Molly Fox's Birthday but probably identified with the book's narrator more than was good for me. There's a particular scene which I remember as if it happened to me!

25LizzieD
Jan. 11, 2012, 6:05pm

Thank you for the compliment, Your RO! I liked it so much that I ordered the next MacDonald, The Way the Crow Flies from PBS. It's a monster, weighing in at 800+ pp. If the writing is up to *FoYK*, I won't mind at all!
That's good to know, Dee. Now I really feel as though I have started the right book!

26LizzieD
Jan. 11, 2012, 6:31pm

Here's a good place to put the Orange Prize's "50 Essential Reads by Contemporary Authors."
A Prayer For Owen Meany – John Irving
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
American Pastoral – Philip Roth
Atonement – Ian McEwan
Being Dead – Jim Crace
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
Captain Corelli's Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
Cloudstreet – Tim Winton
Disgrace – J. M. Coetzee
Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
Faith Singer – Rosie Scott
Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
Fred and Edie – Jill Dawson
Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
Girl with a Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
Grace Notes – Bernard MacLaverty
High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman (The first book)
Hotel World – Ali Smith
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Midnight's Children – Salman Rushdie
Misery – Stephen King
Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow – Peter Hoeg
Money – Martin Amis
Music and Silence – Rose Tremain
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
Riders – Jilly Cooper
Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen
The Golden Notebook – Doris M. Lessing
The Handmaid's Tale – Margaret Atwood (4X)
The House of Spirits – Isabel Allende
The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
The Passion – Jeanette Winterson
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
The Rabbit Books – John Updike (Cheaters!)
Regeneration – Pat Barker
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
The Shipping News – E. Annie Proulx
The Tin Drum – Günter Grass
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
The Women's Room – Marilyn French
Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson
Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
Unless – Carol Shields
What a Carve-Up – Jonathan Coe
What I Loved – Siri Hustvedt
White Teeth – Zadie Smith
Half of a Yellow Sun- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Road Home - Rose Tremain
Home - Marilynne Robinson
The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver

27letterpress
Jan. 13, 2012, 7:01am

>21 LizzieD:

Love that review, your "perilous and beautiful" phrase has made Fall On Your Knees a must have on the wishlist. The 50 Essential reads list is an interesting one. I've read only 9 of the titles, with another 8 on The Tower of TBR. So many books, so little time.

28LizzieD
Jan. 13, 2012, 8:52am

Thank you for the visit and the compliment, Annalisse. I have to say that I find that a peculiar list. I've read 20 of them and own 13 others to read sometime. But really!!! The Women's Room and The Secret History but not Wolf Hall or something by Richard Powers or Vargas-Llosa? What on earth were they thinking?

29letterpress
Jan. 14, 2012, 3:19am

Probably the same thing they were thinking when they left out Peter Carey. And Italo Calvino. And (WHAT?!) A. S. Byatt. I'd like to see someone do a survey with the "best/should/must read" lists and come up with a list of the top "but where is ... ?" books. It would interesting to know the criteria books must meet to get on these lists. I've had a few random peeks at the 1001 list and some of the choices are baffling (and that's me being very polite).

30souloftherose
Jan. 14, 2012, 1:50pm

#26 Thanks for posting the list Peggy. Quite a bit of guilt as I noticed books that have been lingering on my TBR piles for years now...

#28 & 29 According to wikipedia "the books were chosen by a sample of 500 people attending the Guardian Hay festival and represent the audience's ‘must have’ books by living UK writers." which probably explains why it might seem peculiar (I assume they took the 50 books that got most votes). And it was in 2004 which would explain why Wolf Hall didn't get a vote!

31LizzieD
Jan. 14, 2012, 7:31pm

I did wonder when it was done, Heather, so I forgive them for the Wolf Hall omission. But wait! The Road Home is on the list, and that won the Orange in 2008, and Home won in 2009 - both before Wolf Hall, I realize. And the 500 person sample also goes a little way in explaining why it's peculiar. If they left off A.S. Byatt, Annalisse, I have to note that they also left off Margaret Drabble, whom I prefer. (I do appreciate your being very polite. I think I know what you mean!)

32souloftherose
Jan. 15, 2012, 3:07am

#31 That's strange about the inclusion of The Road Home and Home. Doing some googling on the internet I can find a version that agrees with the list you posted (I think) but two other versions that don't, one here and one on LT here but I can't find an 'official' version on the Orange website.

I wonder if they ran the poll again at a later date?

33LizzieD
Jan. 15, 2012, 2:25pm

Curiouser and curiouser.... I copied my list from the link that somebody in the group here gave. Thanks for adding to the puzzle, Heather!
Meanwhile, I did have time enough to finish my second Orange, a very little but very lovely book. I don't call what follows a review - just jottings so that I'll remember it. I know that most of you have probably read it anyway and enjoyed it too! (Copied from my 75 thread)

MOLLY FOX'S BIRTHDAY by Deirdre Madden
What a lovely little book!!! A woman playwright thinks about her friend, the actor Molly Fox on her birthday as the friend uses Molly's house in Dublin to work on a new play. She can't get into the writing, so she wanders around the city thinking about Molly (hmmm. I think I may have read something vaguely similar), runs into an old acquaintance and receives a visit from Molly's brother, from Andrew - her friend first, then Molly's, and from a neighbor who is a shy fan of Molly.
The author never tells us her name, but she muses on questions of identity and family relationships: how we perceive ourselves and are perceived in turn. Madden has a little animal motif running through the book that I'm not tempted to think out - a hare, a plastic cow, birds associated with Molly, and a hedgehog. Nobody changes; everybody is more thoroughly understood; everybody is alone, not touched by the things important in their friends' lives, and yet cherished.
The writing is controlled, quiet, and beautiful. I believe that this little story will continue to turn in my mind for some time.

34Soupdragon
Bearbeitet: Jan. 15, 2012, 2:27pm

Looks like a review to me, Peggy! Loved the review (or jottings if you prefer) and loved the book!

35Her_Royal_Orangeness
Jan. 15, 2012, 3:30pm

Molly Fox's Birthday is on my list for later this year and I'm looking foward to it, even more so now that I've read your comments!

36lkernagh
Jan. 15, 2012, 8:48pm

I enjoyed Molly Fox's Birthday, glad to see you did too Peggy!

37LizzieD
Jan. 18, 2012, 4:59pm

Greetings to Dee, HRO, and Lori. I just came by to say that 100 or so pp into The Tiger's Wife, I like it, but I'm not in love. I think I'm a little put off by the grandfather's interaction with The Deathless Man. In my mind (a dangerous place to be, I'll admit), I had the grandfather arranged on the side of Realism, but there he is participating in the Magic. I'll have to see. And now that I think of it, there he is with the tiger too. I must be getting lazy in my old age in not wanting to rearrange presuppositions. Bad!

38LizzieD
Jan. 19, 2012, 6:42pm

Just reporting in that my ER ARC of Arcadia has arrived. I wonder if anybody else in the group got it or has read it? I guess I could go to the main thread and ask. I will.

39LizzieD
Jan. 21, 2012, 10:29am

Here's what I thought about The Tiger's Wife from my 75 thread where my comments live...

I'm not sure what to say. If this had been nominated for the best new writer's Orange, I would have voted for it enthusiastically. For it to have won the big Orange is a little beyond my understanding. I liked it well enough, but I was never swept up into it as many have been, and I'm sure that's my loss. As you know, Obreht places her many Ballkan folklorish legends in a modern setting in post-war Yugoslavia (for want of a better term for location).
The grandfather around whom all the stories circle is the problem for me. I generally love magical realism, but I felt without being able to pin down the reason that Obreht had violated some unspoken convention that left me unable to suspend disbelief. The magic wasn't real enough; the reality wasn't magical enough. The magic wasn't magical enough; the reality wasn't real enough. I too found it hard to see why the granddaughter would not tell her best friend about her grandfather's death and why she would not go home in time for his funeral. I found it hard to believe that an idealistic young doctor would sit and wait for anybody to drown, whatever crazy spell the meeting had put on him. From then on, I was wary, and good writing and universal musings about life and death never drew me in.
I'm glad I read it and grateful to Linda who sent me her extra copy. I'll try again in ten years or so, if they are given to me, to see whether I've changed.

40Her_Royal_Orangeness
Jan. 21, 2012, 5:16pm

I look forward to your review of Arcadia. I hope you love it as much as I did!

41LizzieD
Bearbeitet: Jan. 30, 2012, 6:28pm

Ah, Arcadia! I hope that I enjoy it as much as you did too, Your RO. I'll get to it as soon as I get through 1Q84, which I'm on track to finish tomorrow. YAY! and whew! It's mammoth.
I thought I'd end by saying that I had a memorable Orange January.....read three good ones: Fall on Your Knees (best), Molly Fox's Birthday (better), The Tiger's Wife (good) (I've never written something in that order. I see why.) AND won Homestead from Jill's Orange January event! Wow! I'll be reading Arcadia in February, seeing whether I think it will be nominated. I'd be thrilled to be one ahead on the new long list. AND I ordered a number of Oranges from PBS, which are wending their way across country to me even as I type. Bliss! I hate to see it end, but I'm looking forward to The Siege soon!

42mrstreme
Jan. 30, 2012, 9:08am

And we do it all again in July! =) So glad you had a great Orange January - thank you for participating!

43LizzieD
Feb. 22, 2012, 3:33pm

Oh, Jill, my copy of Homestead arrived today. THANK YOU!!!! I'm thrilled. It looks really good, and I know that you loved it.

44mrstreme
Feb. 22, 2012, 4:04pm

Yay! So glad you received it! GREAT book!

45LizzieD
Mrz. 20, 2012, 8:43pm

THE SIEGE is as awesome as everybody says. I don't really need to say anything else!

46LizzieD
Mrz. 27, 2012, 10:17am

And We Need to Talk about Kevin is as troubling and spell-binding as everybody says. Now I need to read something with some redeeming humor or love or at least not purple, brown, and black like Kevin's childhood drawings.

47Soupdragon
Mrz. 31, 2012, 10:21am

I just thought I'd come and say hello, Peggy as I haven't spotted your 75 thread recently. Have you not posted recently or have I done something silly, like accidentally clicking the ignore icon above your thread? Anything is possible when I am using an i-pad!

I wasn't drawn to We Need to Talk about Kevin when it first came out. I was an emotional, hormonal new mum at the time and didn't think it would be for me! I think I might be ready for it now though.

48vancouverdeb
Mrz. 31, 2012, 11:17am

Hi Peggy! Nice to see you here in the Oranges. So many great books to choose from!

49Soupdragon
Bearbeitet: Apr. 1, 2012, 2:52am

47: Aargh, I had! I just found your 75 thread via your profile and there were 178 messages and a red cross with 'stop ignoring' next to it. I will be back soon to catch up!

50LizzieD
Apr. 2, 2012, 2:05pm

Hi, Dee and Deb. I'm glad not to be lost to Dee any longer.
I've started - just barely - Gillespie and I, and I suppose that will be the only long-listed one I get to read before the short list comes out.
Deb, I lick my chops over my lovely long Orange list. Most of them came from PBS, so they were easy to acquire. Interestingly, most of them are in decent shape too.

51LizzieD
Mai 24, 2012, 6:04pm

I just finished Love Marriage and did not like it. I'm afraid that it's at the bottom of my Oranges Read list at the moment.

52LizzieD
Jul. 2, 2012, 10:05am

Just announcing that I read enough of Half of a Yellow Sun last night to love it!

53Soupdragon
Jul. 5, 2012, 8:28am

52: Yay! And it just gets better :-)

54LizzieD
Jul. 8, 2012, 4:43pm

It did get better, Dee, and I loved it! It ranks right up there with The Memory of Love, which was among my best books of 2011. I'm proud to note that I have now equaled my Orange reading in 2011, and what I read in the second half of the year will just set my goal higher for 2013.
I don't know quite what I'll choose next, but I can guarantee that it will not involve war or starvation!

55raidergirl3
Jul. 9, 2012, 10:02am

Half a Yellow Sun was a great read, but I can see why you'd want a different type of book. War and starvation can get person down, even just reading about it.

I have Love Marriage to try. At least it looks relatively short!

56LizzieD
Bearbeitet: Aug. 22, 2012, 10:43am

I've just finished enjoying Larry's Party - easy to see how it won Orange! It is a fine antidote to war and starvation!!

57LizzieD
Dez. 27, 2012, 9:31pm

And rounding out my Orange year, I just finished Gilgamesh, which I really, really enjoyed. 2004 must have been a very strong year for this lovely book not to have been short-listed. I have to say that I liked it a lot more and thought it was a better book than some recent winners.
Now I'm primed for Orange January 2013! YAY!