*** What Are You Reading Now? - Part 2

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*** What Are You Reading Now? - Part 2

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Feb. 14, 2018, 5:23pm

Love is in the air and the old thread is getting too old.

So what is everyone reading in mid-February?

PS: For the ones that don't like Valentine's day, today is also the day of the grape growers in Bulgaria (also known as the wine day). For people that keep vines, it is the day when you are supposed to cut them for the season and prepare them for the spring. For the rest of the country, it is just "Wine Day". :)

Bearbeitet: Feb. 14, 2018, 5:37pm

A salute to the grape growers!

I'm reading the last story in Paul Yoon's collection, The Mountain and have also started House of Fame, the third of three crime novels featuring bad boy detective Nicky Belsey.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 22, 2018, 1:59pm

Still working on The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam. It's a fascinating look at contemporary life inside Pakistan wrapped up in a story that borderlines on thriller.

Feb. 14, 2018, 6:59pm

I'm about 20 pages away from finishing The Handmaid's Tale and have been loving it.

Feb. 14, 2018, 7:19pm

>3 Cariola: I have that in my pile, Deborah. PW gave it a starred review so I grabbed it when it came out.

Feb. 14, 2018, 7:56pm

>5 avaland: It's a real eye opener as to what it must be like to live in a country where ISIS is a powerful force. Aslam is such a wonderful writer. I loved Maps for Lost Lovers, and I have two more of his novels waiting in the wings.

Feb. 14, 2018, 7:56pm

I'm reading The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton which I've been meaning to get to since loving The Luminaries.

I'm also about half way done with A House Full of Females about women's right and early Mormonism by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Not a topic I'd usually chose, but I love Ulrich's interesting nonfiction.

Feb. 15, 2018, 1:38am

I've started an ER book, The Fevers of Reason: New and Selected Essays by Gerald Weissmann, but so far it's not really impressing me.

Feb. 15, 2018, 7:54am

I’ve just finished William Heinesen’s The good hope on paper and Magda Szabó’s The door on audio. Both very impressive, but I suspect that I possibly didn’t do full justice to Szabó because I was so blown away by the Heinesen.

Started The endless summer by the Danish writer Madame Nielsen. It’s another one from Sjón’s Nordic must-read list, just recently translated, but feels very slight so far...

Feb. 15, 2018, 8:23am

>7 japaul22: I saw that Ulrich had a new book, I’m a big fan of her work but Mormonism is not something I’m interested in.

Feb. 15, 2018, 8:39am

I just finished listening to the latest in the Flavia de Luce series, The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley. I’m still listening to.Romeo and Juliet: A Novel by David Hewson.

Feb. 15, 2018, 3:06pm

I just finished listening to The Death of Dulgath, which means I am once again trying to decide what to listen to next. On the non-audio front I am still reading Whose Body? (I like it, but I keep going to other things and I am not entirely sure why) and Lost in a Good Book, the second book in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series.

Then there's non-fiction. I received Endurance by Frank Worsley for my birthday, and I plan on starting it either today or tomorrow. I want to read it before my book group meets in March; we are discussing the Alfred Lansing title of the same name. I read that in December, so I am going with a companion read.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 16, 2018, 6:41am

I very unexpectedly picked up White Houses by Amy Bloom from the pile and hours went by without my noticing... (I'm sure there was something during that time I was supposed to clean or de-clutter....).

Feb. 16, 2018, 9:09am

I finished Parable of the Sower, excellent speculative fiction by Octavia Butler. It was published in 1993, before the dystopian lit craze, and forecasts many of the concerns raised in current speculative lit. I am anxious to read the companion novel.

Next, though, is Here in Berlin.

Feb. 16, 2018, 10:12am

I'm still reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, which is very, very good.

I'm also finishing up the Tournament of Books books, with Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders and Dear Cyborgs by Eugene Lim ready to read next.

Feb. 16, 2018, 12:57pm

The endless summer was over all too soon - isn’t it always?

So now I’ve started one of the thickest and heaviest tomes on my TBR shelf, Mr Myombekere and his wife Bugonoka, their son Ntulanalwo and daughter Bulihwali. Looks interesting, but I thought that already when I bought it eight years ago. Is it interesting enough to make it through the best part of 700 large pages?

No trouble finding the right touchstone for that one, anyway - there must be fifty books with titles like Endless summer .

Feb. 17, 2018, 4:29am

I'm currently reading Tampa in some bewilderment.

Feb. 17, 2018, 8:31am

>14 BLBera: I read the Butler novel back a zillion years ago, late 90s, I think. I remember I didn't like the 2nd book as much as the first. I'll be interested to hear what you think.

Finished White Houses (and cried), now reading Southernmost by Silas House. I read a few of his early books Clay's Quilt and A Parchment of Leaves a long time ago.

Feb. 18, 2018, 8:29am

I've read The Lifecycle of Software Objects, an interesting and touching novella by Ted Chiang, and I'm currently a hundred pages in The autobiography of Malcolm X.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 18, 2018, 8:41am

Feb. 18, 2018, 12:54pm

>19 chlorine:, Ted Chiang's The Great Silence was one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever read.

I've just finished another collection of retold fairy tales, this one Black Heart, Ivory Bones. Also finished The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, about a woman who travels through her parallel lives after undergoing electroshock treatment, which I've had kicking around on my Kindle for way too long. It was pretty good -- a comfort read, I think, rather than anything particularly challenging.

Still working on Stamped From the Beginning and now listening to Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton biography on audiobook. This is another one I've had sitting for years at this point. Trying to clean out the backlog, though it hasn't prevented me from buying or wishlisting more, sigh.

Feb. 18, 2018, 2:11pm

>21 fannyprice: Thanks for the recommendation! My plan (or at least, one of my many book-related plans) is to read everything Chiang has written so I'll get to it at some point! :)

Feb. 19, 2018, 10:57am

I have two books on the go:

Ben in the world by Doris Lessing
La Place, Annie Ernaux

Feb. 19, 2018, 11:28am

Dumped the Silas House novel (I can't do religion anymore) and have picked up a nonfiction I've had for more than a year: The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe by one of my favorite nonfiction writers, Elaine Showalter.

Feb. 19, 2018, 2:35pm

I just started Citizen: An American Lyric, and the first few poems and essays are wonderful. There's a great essay on Serena Williams.

Feb. 19, 2018, 6:25pm

Finished the outrageous but hilarious Tampa. No idea what to follow that up with.

Feb. 20, 2018, 12:55am

Finished reading Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea last night and it was excellent.

Feb. 20, 2018, 8:55am

>26 AlisonY: That was one heck of a book, no?

Feb. 20, 2018, 9:11am

I've just read The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith and The Pirates! in an Adventure with Communists by Gideon Defoe. Now reading Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith.

Feb. 20, 2018, 2:59pm

>28 MsNick: it definitely sticks in the head...

Feb. 22, 2018, 3:45pm

I finished The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam. It was awesome and will, I'm sure stick at or near the top of my list of best reads of the year. I hope more people will read it. There's a review posted on my thread.

Last night I started a collection of short stories by William Trevor, After Rain.

Feb. 22, 2018, 5:23pm

I have started The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

Bearbeitet: Feb. 23, 2018, 4:57pm

Finished Remnant Population. Better payoff than I expected toward the end. Readers who like Octavia Butler might enjoy it. Will send to anyone FREE who wants it. Library discard, hardbound, in pristine shape. Message me with your address.

Feb. 23, 2018, 10:23pm

I just finished A Catalog of Birds which is a beautifully written novel. Set in 1970 at the height of the Vietnam War, this is the story of the Flynn family, especially the two youngest members, Billy and Nell. Billy returns from Vietnam badly wounded. His joy in nature is blunted by the extent of his injuries; he has trouble hearing the bird songs he loves and his right hand is so damaged that he can no longer draw. His younger sister Nell adores her brother and shares his love for nature; she does everything she can to bring him back.

Highly recommended.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 24, 2018, 11:22am

Reading Island of the Lost by Joan Druett which is the true tale of two shipwrecks that occurred within 6 months of each other in the same vicinity (30 miles) Although a true story it has been written more like a novel. I have also just started The Judgment of Richard Richter which has a scary beginning as the titular character is sitting in a room in Vienna with a gun next to him which he intends to use on himself. I always have a Shakespeare going at all times as well as a National Geographic.

Feb. 24, 2018, 10:14am

Back home since Tuesday, but having trouble reading. Parkland is part of my problem. I'm part of that extended community. I've read a few more chapters of Ben Sira (the Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal book). And I'm kind of listening to Ratner's Star by Don Delillo - but I'm not listening much because I find the news has a strong appeal when I drive too. This means I probably won't finish, but I'll note it for later if I don't. It's curious and fun and philosophy of science-y.

Feb. 24, 2018, 1:41pm

Bearbeitet: Feb. 24, 2018, 4:21pm

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Bearbeitet: Feb. 24, 2018, 5:41pm

On to All Passion Spent. She's a lovely writer.

Feb. 25, 2018, 2:50am

I've just finished Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, which may be objectively a bit flawed, but which was mostly a really good, involving read for me, anyway. Next up is Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich, because apparently having started reading her Stephanie Plum series, I can't ever stop reading it.

Feb. 25, 2018, 10:20am

>40 bragan: I know what you mean about the Plum series. I've slowed down quite a bit, though. They're starting to all run together. I have Pachinko on my e-reader and may save it for a vacation. I enjoyed her first novel.

Feb. 25, 2018, 7:26pm

Although I haven't been posting much, I have been reading! After finishing the epic Underworld, I read the short Journey to the Alcarria and re-read both The House of Mirth and The Handmaid's Tale. I've started Blindness by Henry Green and will also be reading The Lost City of the Monkey God.

Feb. 25, 2018, 7:41pm

>41 BLBera: They've all blurred together for me, too. I almost can't tell one book apart from the others, even as I'm in the process of reading it. :)

Feb. 25, 2018, 8:37pm

>43 bragan: Still they're fun. I remember laughing aloud, especially at the early ones, and freaking out my kids.

Feb. 26, 2018, 1:06am

>44 BLBera: I'm finding the later ones much less funny than the earlier ones, which is kind of a shame. At their best, they were, well, dumb and silly, but in a good, entertaining, occasionally laugh-out-loud sort of way

Feb. 26, 2018, 11:55am

>45 bragan: I agree about the most recent ones. In fact, I used to buy a hard cover the day it was released to read right away. I then passed it on to my family members, who were all big fans. I think I stopped after 14 or 15, and I was recently looking at my shelves thinking it would be good to pass on my copies. I will probably never read them again. I think the first four were the best.

Feb. 26, 2018, 7:10pm

>46 BLBera: I think that after a certain point they're same-y enough that if you've read 14 or 15, you've pretty much read them all!

I have two more of them still on my TBR shelves, so I think I'll probably read those and then stop. Unless my friend who's still reading the series gives me more of them. In which case I may never be able to quit.

Feb. 26, 2018, 8:04pm

I recently finished Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which left me confused but intrigued and A House Full of Females by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

Now I'm reading I Refuse by Per Petterson and Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley.

I also just picked up Mrs. Osmond from the library after Cariola's review. I read the first few pages and I'm looking forward to it.

Feb. 27, 2018, 8:14am

Currently trying to finish up West Cork and Audible original about a true murder that took place in the 1990's in West Cork. This was either free at Audible or at a really reduced cost and that is a good thing. The story is good, the sound and sound effects are not so good. It's more like a documentary, which is just fine, but some of the witnesses are all but impossible to hear. I'm hooked on the storyline so I will endure!

Feb. 27, 2018, 8:32am

I've finished the final book in the Tournament of Books shortlist and am embarking on a few weeks of reading nothing but fun books with traditional narrative structures.

I'm halfway through The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton and it's wonderful.

I've begun Tampa by Alissa Nutting, which AlisonY reminded me of, and The Facts of Life and Death by Belinda Bauer.

Feb. 27, 2018, 8:32am

I just started Call Me Zebra.

Feb. 28, 2018, 6:31pm

Finished Evicted which was excellent but tough and moving on to The Handmaid's Tale.

Mrz. 1, 2018, 7:58pm

Finished Dilma Rousseff e o Ódio Político, by Tales Ab’Saber (portuguese edition). Review in my thread.

Mrz. 1, 2018, 9:22pm

Finished the short biography The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe by Elaine Showalter, review coming soon.

Also finished crime thriller, House of Fame featuring renegade cop/detective Nick Belsey.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 3, 2018, 6:06am

Something light after having finished The autobiography of Malcolm X. I'm reading La mémoire de Babel by Christelle Dabos, third volume in the youth-fantasy series La passe miroir.
I thought this was the last book of the series but it turns out there's a fourth one that isn't out yet. I don't know if I would have kept reading the series had I known that...

Mrz. 3, 2018, 11:55am

I've just wrapped up several books: The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux, one of the first locked-room mysteries ever written; Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East, a very well-written look at the impact of the Israel-Palestine conflict on Lebanon; and Red Clocks by Leni Zumas, a dystopia that seems like it's not that far fetched about a world in which both abortion and fertility treatments are banned.

Moving forward, I'm trying to wrap up some of the non-fiction books I've had in train for a couple years now and also dealing with the fact that basically all the books I had on hold at the e-library came in at the same time. Red Clocks was the first of that haul, now turning to The Book of Speculation, which I read about on ursula's thread. She didn't ultimately like it that much, but it contains so many elements that I can't resist--parallel timelines, family secrets, circus performers, magical realist elements--that I decided to risk it. After that I will probably do Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman, which I can hopefully finish before it's due back at the library.

Finally, I'm trying to decide whether to give up on Neal Stephenson's Reamde. It's not at all my usual kind of thing -- an international kidnapping caper and crime spree set off by hackers targeting players of an online multi-player game -- but I wanted to give something by this author a try. I'm halfway through and it's just not doing it for me though. (And it's quite long.)

Mrz. 3, 2018, 12:00pm

Currently working on 3: King Lear (an ongoing Shakespeare till I read all), A Monster Calls (which I did not realize was a children's/ya book) and The Judgement of Richard Richter which is chilling at the beginning.

Mrz. 3, 2018, 6:17pm

>57 Tess_W: Loved A Monster Calls (as sad as it was). The version I had had all the wonderful art work.

Mrz. 3, 2018, 10:07pm

Mrz. 4, 2018, 3:45am

Finished four relatively short books in the last few days (two Muriel Sparks, Ìsarà, and La invención de Morel), and have now allowed myself to be sidetracked into starting another S American book I found out about via RebeccaNYC’s “what should I borrow” list, El viajero del siglo. Looks satisfyingly odd so far!

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 4, 2018, 7:00pm

>58 avidmom: Read it as an ebook, so no pics!

Currently Reading:
ebook: The Judgement of Richard Richter
audiobook: The Widows of Malabar Hill (A Mystery of 1920s Bombay)
paper book: The Whitehouse: A History of Architecture and Design

And...I can't get the touchstones to work at all!

Mrz. 4, 2018, 5:59pm

Finished a short book, "West" by Carys Davies, due out in April (no book touchstone yet, I guess). It was an absorbing 150 pages.

Also have started Michael Ondaatje's forthcoming novel, Warlight.

Too many books, too many books, too many books....

Mrz. 4, 2018, 6:12pm

I am reading Montaigne's complete essays and How to live A life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer

I am also reading two short novellas by Émil Zola Pour une nuit d'amour and L'Inondation

Mrz. 4, 2018, 6:41pm

>63 baswood:, I'll be interested to see how you find the Sarah Bakewell book & whether you think it could be a gateway into actually reading Montaigne, for someone who hasn't.

Mrz. 5, 2018, 3:40am

I finished reading Kobo Abe's The Ark Sakura with less than two hours to go till February but I've been busy since then and have yet to write a review.

Mrz. 5, 2018, 10:03am

Back at Zola with Earth, number 18 in the suggested reading order for this series.

Mrz. 5, 2018, 2:19pm

I'm reading The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce and Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck.

Mrz. 6, 2018, 1:18am

>62 avaland: I'll be interested in hearing about Warlight.

Mrz. 6, 2018, 10:11am

I'm just over halfway through Un millon de luces by Clara Sanchez. I usually have two books on the go, but I haven't settled on anything else yet.

Mrz. 6, 2018, 12:30pm

I just finished Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen: Interviews and Encounters edited by Jeff Berger. Which was worthwhile, although I don't think even his biggest fans quite need 600 pages of Leonard Cohen interviews.

I'm now reading The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, which I'm very much enjoying. It's shaping up to be one of those kids' books I wish I'd had as a kid, but am glad to read as an adult.

Mrz. 6, 2018, 6:02pm

I'm still reading The Luminaries and it is still wonderful. Despite the vast cast of characters, Catton makes it easy to remember who is who.

I'm still reading Tampa by Alissa Nutting, which is Humbert Humbert reimagined as a 26 year old female middle school teacher. It's quite the book.

Promise by Minrose Gwin is the book I'm reading for my book club. It's about a tornado that ripped through Tupelo, MS in 1936, destroying half the town.

Sunburn is the best book Laura Lippman has written, being very well imagined noir.

And, finally, I'm reading An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. I'm not very far into it, but so far it seems as though it fully deserves all the attention it's getting.

Mrz. 7, 2018, 1:17pm

I'm reading La Conquête de Plassans by Zola, fourth book in the Rougon Macquart by publication order. I'm really enjoying the petty rivalries and reconciliation in this group of bored, rich people.

Mrz. 7, 2018, 1:28pm

To the forthcoming Ondaatje novel, I have added some nonfiction: How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky & Daniel Ziblatt. I have been debating reading the latter for a while. I think I might be reading it for the modern history lesson (most of which I've probably lived through).

Mrz. 7, 2018, 9:25pm

Actually really reading (!) Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie and Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn by Daniel Gordis.

Mrz. 8, 2018, 9:13am

Work has pulled me away from reading for a couple of weeks. Breaking myself back in with The Story of Lucy Gault.

Mrz. 8, 2018, 10:06am

Still plugging away at the Bombay 1920's mystery The Widows of Malabar Hill. It's really great so far. Good storyline and lots of culture.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 8, 2018, 10:22am

Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute. The protagonist is too young (mid 40s) to qualify for my "old adult lit" theme, but it's a page-turner/sea adventure, so too late to turn back now!

Had started King Lear, but it's one of my least favorite of Shakespeare's plays. I have read and seen it too many times. Something about Cordelia. So putting it off.

Mrz. 8, 2018, 10:37am

I finished David Copperfield, and started reading The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer.

For audio, I finished The Amazing Mrs. Polifax, and started Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen on my ride to and from Boston last week.

Mrz. 8, 2018, 12:55pm

Working on Lotus by Lijia Zhang and Nada by Carmen Laforet.

Mrz. 8, 2018, 1:01pm

I just started The Name of the Rose which is one of my book goals for 2018. Five percent in and already spellbound.

Mrz. 8, 2018, 2:43pm

>80 robertwmartin: I did love that book when I read it (so long ago)

Mrz. 10, 2018, 10:10am

I am reading An American Marriage.

>80 robertwmartin: I'm another fan of The Name of the Rose.

Mrz. 10, 2018, 11:24am

>80 robertwmartin: Good book, Robert!

Mrz. 10, 2018, 2:27pm

>80 robertwmartin: fun book

I finally finished a normal book, Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel (excellent but also grinding tough in its own way). Yesterday I started In Evil Hour, the earliest novel by Gabriel García Márquez.

Mrz. 10, 2018, 3:58pm

>73 avaland:, I will be very interested to see how you find How Democracies Die. It's on my list.

I've finished The Book of Speculation, So You Want to Talk About Race, and Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman. I've just had Andy Weir's Artemis, Elif Batuman's The Idiot, and Hideo Yokoyama's Six Four all come available at the elibrary at the same time, so I'll be picking one of those to start next, along with my longer in progress non-fiction books.

Mrz. 11, 2018, 6:18am

I'm now reading The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, which I'm enjoying.

Mrz. 13, 2018, 5:06am

>85 fannyprice: I've read the introduction which has some interesting historical perspectives, but I don't seem to be in a hurry to dig deeper yet (might be the turmoil in the house with the kitchen torn out, or some turmoil at my workplace...).

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 13, 2018, 9:08am

The Dark Flood Rises. So far this is a lot of little interconnecting character sketches--Fran, Claude, now Ivor. I enjoy living in other people's heads, so this works for me, very entertaining, though my inner critic wonders where the plot is.

Mrz. 13, 2018, 10:08am

Finished El viajero del siglo on Sunday, and relaxed my brain with a couple of Louise Penny's Canadian crime stories, Still life and A fatal grace - another crime writer new to me who will now add to my TBR pile! Carrying on with another famous Argentinian who caught my eye in the library, Julio Cortázar's Bestiario.

Mrz. 13, 2018, 9:59pm

>88 nohrt4me2: I loved The Dark Flood Rises.

I am reading Home Fire and it is wonderful.

Mrz. 13, 2018, 11:25pm

I just read the most amazing The Twilight Years by Sawako Ariyoshi and I can't wait to post my thoughts on it on my thread.

Mrz. 14, 2018, 10:30pm

I'm reading through various little deuterocanonical books and I today I picked up To the End of the Land by David Grossman. I read about 100 pages of TtEorL while at my conference last week, but set it aside when I got home and am finally getting back to it. Interesting that I don't feel I forgot anything, those first 100 pages still feel fresh.

Mrz. 15, 2018, 8:20pm

I'm back to Le Carre with The Honourable Schoolboy and also reading What Maisie Knew by Henry James.

Mrz. 15, 2018, 9:36pm

I just finished Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck. I can't say enough about this wonderful book. Read my review--and READ THIS BOOK!

Last night I started Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao. I loved her collection of interwoven stories, An Unrestored Woman, and this novel promises to be just as good.

I'm rather stalled on The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce. It's a good enough book, but I have been reading a lot of amazing heavyweights lately, and this one is pretty lightweight.

Mrz. 16, 2018, 1:29am

Finished Bestiario and another Muriel Spark, The girls of slender means (both excellent), and also had time last night for this year’s Boekenweek gift, Gezien de feiten (harmless). Wordsworth has advanced to the early 1820s in the meantime, so still some way to go there, and I’ve started another short book that I’ve been curious about for years, simply because of the title, Françoise Sagan’s Aimez-vous Brahms?.

>94 Cariola: Go, went, gone has been on my list for ages - I really must get to it.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 16, 2018, 7:15am

I've just started Among Others by Jo Walton. 40 pages in and I'm quite hooked, but I just saw that the author gives spoilers without warnings about this book on her amazon page! :(

ETA: OK, the spoilers are also in the backcover book description, so that gives her an excuse. But still, I would have liked not to know that...

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 17, 2018, 2:23pm

I think I'm going to give The Past is Myself a go next. It's been languishing on my book shelf for a few years as every time I pick it up the tiny squashed print puts me off, but I'm determined to give it a go at last.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 17, 2018, 11:38am

>97 AlisonY: Good luck with it!

I feel a need to improve my communication skills for work reasons and am re-reading Heureux qui communique by Jacques Salomé but am not impressed with this book.

Mrz. 17, 2018, 8:08pm

Mrz. 17, 2018, 8:21pm

>99 avaland: Oh, well done, Maria Carmen Machado!

Mrz. 17, 2018, 11:19pm

>91 lilisin: I loved The Twilight Years. I also very much liked another book of hers I read, The River Ki, just not quite as much.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 18, 2018, 3:33am

>99 avaland: Thanks for the list! I really enjoyed A Concise Chinese English dictionary for lovers by Xiaolu Guo. I wonder how her memoir is.

Mrz. 18, 2018, 1:03pm

Finished Hideo Yokoyama's Six Four, a detective novel unlike any I've read before, and Leila Slimani's The Perfect Nanny, which I thought was going to be a typical domestic suspense novel but was so much better. I am behind on reviews.

I've officially given up on Neal Stephenson's Reamde, which is just not my thing, and am setting aside Andy Weir's Artemis for now because I've got a ridiculous number of books on my plate and it's just not calling me the way other things are.

Next up: Elif Batuman's The Idiot.

Mrz. 19, 2018, 2:17pm

Currently reading The Dark Flood Rises, which is all about illness and death, but is funnier in spots than you'd think when it is not underscoring the futility of life and human activity generally. If you are old and have some type of chronic disease, this may not be the book for you. However, I like mordant, so it works for me. I am reading it real slow to make it last.

>103 fannyprice:, Glad I am not the only one who has given up on Neal Stephenson. Cryptonomicon. The landscaping was interesting, but geez Louise, get to a fricking PLOT. I guess Stephenson designs video games, so maybe gamers like this type of thing. I was brought up on pinball ...

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 19, 2018, 3:41pm

>103 fannyprice: >104 nohrt4me2: Stephenson writes very uneven books IMO. I really liked Snowcrash and Anathem, but couldn't not finish The diamond age.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 19, 2018, 3:50pm

>105 chlorine: I couldn't do Anathem, either. I'm at the point where I am dubious about reading any book of more than 350 pages, partly because I fear not living to finish it, but mostly because I think it borders on arrogant to put that type of time demand on a reader. Writers, do you REALLY have that many deathless observations about life to convey? Or are you just writing because you are have hypergraphia or something.

Next year, I'm only going to read novellas.

Mrz. 19, 2018, 5:31pm

>106 nohrt4me2: Only novellas is a nice goal! Although I do like on occasions to immerse myself in a huge novel.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 19, 2018, 6:57pm

Having finished the very wonderful Warlight by Ondaatje, I am now reading:

Some nonfiction: Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom: Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys and the American Revolution by Christopher S. Wren, and the 4th installment of Ragnar Jonasson's Icelandic crime series titled Rupture. The first, Snowblind, has just come out in the US in paperback. And finally a poetry collection, Instructions, Abject & Fuming by Julianna Baggott.

Mrz. 19, 2018, 7:02pm

>106 nohrt4me2: I think some long novels are worth the read. JCO's American Gothics are one example. I admit I seem to shy away from books over 400 pages these days, but I aiming to read Blonde sometime in the reasonably near future. I picked up a hardcover to do so (text in the cumbersome paperback was too small).

However, I am fond of novellas and short novels. It takes some skill to write at that length in the some way it takes a certain skill to write good short stories. I'm less sure whether it takes skill to write a long book, sometimes it's a masterpiece and other times it lacks an editor, you know?

Mrz. 19, 2018, 7:29pm

>99 avaland: I have Joan Silber's Improvements stashed away on my kindle. She's one of my favorites.

Mrz. 19, 2018, 7:36pm

I've just finished Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. The writing didn't impress me as much as I'd hoped, but the horrible real-life events it talks about were kind of fascinating.

And now I'm a few pages into Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde. The geekiness of which is definitely relevant to my interests, but the teen romance might not be. We'll see how I end up feeling about it.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 19, 2018, 8:45pm

>109 avaland: Yes, some long books are worthwhile. I really liked The Goldfinch and The Quincunx. But so many seem self-indulgent, especially the ones that are part of a series, and, yes, I mean George R.R. Martin and Twilight.

Mrz. 20, 2018, 10:54am

Adulting is REALLY cutting into my reading time, y'all! I've had so many back-to-back work deadlines that I've been on the same book for the longest time: an ARE of The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs.

Mrz. 20, 2018, 12:20pm

>112 nohrt4me2:, >109 avaland: I think you will really enjoy Blonde: A Novel when you get to it, Lois. It is long but I thought well worth it. Have you read The Luminaries? Also long, but really good.

Mrz. 20, 2018, 5:50pm

>104 nohrt4me2:, This was the only Neal Stephenson I've read, but I co-own a lot because my other half is a fan. I might try something else at some point, but there is quite a lot I actually want to read, so I'm not going to force it.

>106 nohrt4me2:, I love this: "it borders on arrogant". For me it all depends on how well the book is executed and whether the length starts to feel like filler.

>106 nohrt4me2:, >108 avaland:, The lovely thing about a well-done short story or novella is how they leave you wanting more but are not incomplete.

I do find in general that I am much less aware of how long books are now that I do most of my reading as ebooks. Even though there's the "percentage read" indicator, I am sometimes surprised when a book ends (or, on the negative side, wondering how I can possibly only be at 50%).

>112 nohrt4me2:, I think books in a series are prone to bloating, especially once an author hits big with said series. Some of the later Harry Potter books definitely needed a more heavy-handed editor, but who's going to tell JK Rowling to write less? lol

Mrz. 20, 2018, 7:29pm

I'm reading Lillian Boxfish takes a walk.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 21, 2018, 11:30am

Read one of Lydie Salvayre’s pre-Goncourt novels, Passage à l’ennemie, which was odd but amusing, yet another Muriel Spark, Loitering with intent - I won’t say “odd but amusing” because that could apply to any Spark novel - and Laurent Binet’s HHhH, which I didn’t enjoy as much as La septième fonction, possibly because I’ve just read too many Third Reich books over the years.

I’ve got another Annie Ernaux novel and Jenny Erpenbeck’s Gehen, ging, gegangen out of the library- not sure which will be next.

Mrz. 21, 2018, 2:24pm

>110 Cariola: Yes, I remember back when you read her linked stories. That was the one I had read.

>112 nohrt4me2: I suspect readers of GOT might beg to differ :-) (I am not one of them, but my oldest began reading them in high school in the later 90s)

Mrz. 21, 2018, 2:27pm

>114 NanaCC: I'm sure I will, Colleen. I've read 35 of her books and just have to be in the mood for it, I guess (so much easier to pick up a 300 page book these days), although I am dabbling in the stories of her latest collection.

>115 fannyprice: That's an interesting observation about ebooks.

Mrz. 21, 2018, 5:10pm

>117 thorold: I've got the Erpenbeck waiting for me on my tbr. Cariola really loved it.

I'm still reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. I'm going slower as I get near the end, both because I don't want it to end and because it's not a book suited to carrying around with me from place to place.

I'm also reading An American Marriage by Tayari Jones and The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris, both of which are engrossing in very different ways.

Mrz. 21, 2018, 5:17pm

I've finished What Maisie Knew and started Thinking: Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman which is pretty fascinating so far.

Mrz. 21, 2018, 10:52pm

Halfway through The Inkblots: Hermann Roschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing by Damion Searls, which I'm really loving.

Mrz. 22, 2018, 12:04pm

>117 thorold: >120 RidgewayGirl: I read the Ernaux yesterday, but then noticed that there's a new Adamsberg I haven't read yet, Quand sort la recluse. Erpenbeck moves back one step in the queue...

Mrz. 24, 2018, 2:54am

I'm reading Changeless by Gail Carriger. It's a fun read.

Mrz. 24, 2018, 8:14am

I paused my reading of Shame by Salman Rushdie to track down some summaries/annotations. I have completely lost whatever tenuous hold I might have had on plot.

Mrz. 24, 2018, 10:18am

Just finished reading The Monk which I found excellent. Not sure what thoughts to post on it but I was most definitely engrossed in the book.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 24, 2018, 6:19pm

Listening to Real American (audio) by Julie Lythcott-Haims - a memoir focused on dealing with a mixed-race heritage in the US.

Mrz. 25, 2018, 12:18pm

>103 fannyprice: >104 nohrt4me2: >105 chlorine: I fall into the camp of those people that really like a lot of what Neal Stephenson has written. I read Cryptonomicon when it came out and it was almost a roadmap for the next five years of my life - Internet, security, cryptography, starting a business. Snow Crash is one of my favorite books. Diamond Age was brilliant. That all said, I do understand your points about his books. Reamde should have been the 2010's version of Cryptonomicom but it was a slog to get through. I read Quicksilver but couldn't bring myself to read the rest of the Baroque Cycle. Anathem sits on my shelf, staring at me to be read, but ignored month after month.

Mrz. 25, 2018, 1:20pm

>128 robertwmartin:, People do seem to like Snow Crash and Diamond Age a lot more unequivocally. I probably should have gone with one of those.

Mrz. 25, 2018, 1:24pm

I'm reading Happiness by Aminatta Forna.

Mrz. 25, 2018, 10:06pm

I'm down to the last 1/4 (and last sibling) of The Immortalists. I don't understand the choice of title since the book is about 4 siblings being told by a fortune teller what the date of their deaths will be. I was listening to it but now I'm reading. Both methods put me to sleep but at least I know where I left off when I fall asleep with the kindle. I think this book is pretty boring but I've made it this far so... plus it's for my f2f book group that meets this Wednesday.

Mrz. 26, 2018, 7:03pm

>123 thorold: Oh, don't push the Erpenbeck back tool far! It was truly an amazing novel.

>130 BLBera: I'm really looking forward to that one!

I finished Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao and just started Improvement by Joan Silber

Mrz. 27, 2018, 6:49am

I've recently finished Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language by Patricia T. O'Conner and Stewart Kellerman, which was fun and interesting, even if it did cover some ground I was already familiar with, and Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan, which I'm kind of surprised I enjoyed as thoroughly as I did.

I'm now reading Harvest of Stars by Poul Anderson, but I'm less than 80 pages in (out of more than 500) and I'm already finding it a bit of a slog.

Mrz. 27, 2018, 1:32pm

I've finished the glorious The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton and have no idea what I will do with myself now.

Mrz. 27, 2018, 2:09pm

>134 RidgewayGirl: Time for Go, Went, Gone. It will not disappoint you.

Mrz. 27, 2018, 3:49pm

Finished A Ralé Brasileira: Quem é e como vive, by Jessé Souza, portuguese edition. The book examines brazilian society's inequality and trace its roots. Review in my thread.

Mrz. 27, 2018, 4:03pm

>132 Cariola: Don’t worry, I’ve finished — for the moment — with Wordsworth and started on Gehen, ging, gegangen. Definitely looks worth it.
Also reading our current book-club choice, The pier falls, which I’m not enjoying all that much...

Mrz. 27, 2018, 5:41pm

>132 Cariola: I've only read the first 50 pages, but they are wonderful. I think this will be one to savor.

Mrz. 27, 2018, 11:48pm

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 28, 2018, 12:06pm

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Mrz. 28, 2018, 10:06pm

Just finished The Island of Doctor Moreau which was quite interesting.

Mrz. 29, 2018, 5:44pm

I've just finished Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie which was excellent. Now I've started The Radetsky March by Joseph Roth and I'm continuing on with Thinking: Fast and Slow which is very interesting but takes some time to read.

Mrz. 29, 2018, 8:15pm

143> I really liked Home Fire. It's probably my favorite Shamsie novel.

Mrz. 30, 2018, 5:09am

Definitely didn't enjoy The pier falls - very black and not my sort of thing at all, but I was still impressed by the quality of the writing.
I enjoyed Gehen, ging, gegangen a lot more, and while I was in an East Berlin mood also read and enjoyed Katja Lange-Müller's Verfrühte Tierliebe.

Currently reading something completely different, De eerste wandelaar, a fascinating book about Jacobus Craandijk, the Mennonite minister whose walking guides published in the 1870s stimulated the Dutch middle-classes to go out and explore their own country.

Mrz. 31, 2018, 4:21pm

Finished all of the above in #108, and am casting around for my next novel and or nonfiction. I did go on a poetry-buying binge last week, all familiar names - Ron Rash, Wesley McNair, Nikki Giovanni, Eavan Boland and Carol Ann Duffy. The books just jumped into my arms, honest!

i may pick up the new Jim Crace and a bio of Jane Aadams...or.....

Mrz. 31, 2018, 5:38pm

>146 avaland: Perfect time for a poetry binge, Lois, what with April being National Poetry Month in the US! I got my non-fiction book club to pick some autobiography poetry (helped by everyone loving our Nikki Giovanni read last year).

Apr. 2, 2018, 5:25am

I finished the fascinating WWII autobiography The Past is Myself. Now I've finally started The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt which for some reason I've avoided on my TBR for a while. I'm only a chapter in, but think it's going to be a good read.

Apr. 2, 2018, 7:23pm

Finished Jules Verne's L'etoile du Sud (The Vanishing Diamond) last night and really enjoyed it. Great little adventure story.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 3, 2018, 1:50am

I'm currently reading Le chiendent (Witch grass) by Raymond Queneau for fiction, and have started Nonviolent communication: a language for life by Marshall Rosenberg for nonfiction. And I'm still reading my way through the short stories of The time traveller's almanac since the beginning of the year.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 3, 2018, 3:07pm

Having a little fun with Texts from Jane Eyre and just started Salt Houses by Hala Alyan. And I couldn't resist: pre-ordered Circe by Madeline Miller.

>148 AlisonY: I really enjoyed The Children's Book, and it still is my #1 pick for Most Beautiful Cover.

Apr. 4, 2018, 7:03pm

Blew through Mary Beard's small little hardcover, Women and Power: A Manifesto. Dallying with other books...too many choices.

Apr. 4, 2018, 7:07pm

>152 avaland: Improvement by Joan Silber was a definite winner. 4.5 stars, and I'm still thinking about it. I know that one was on your list.

Apr. 4, 2018, 7:14pm

>153 Cariola: I thought it would be, considering all the nominations and awards it got. I wish I wasn't completely overwhelmed with forthcoming books ....
Funny thing, I was looking at some of my early reviews done for LT (the early ones were often just 3 or 4 lines) and came across the one for the Silber collection, the linked stories, 2006 or before. I forget the title now.

Apr. 4, 2018, 8:44pm

flipping audiobooks. I finished Real American (audio) by Julie Lythcott-Haims, (nicely written and thought provoking about racism), then also finished What it means when a man falls from the sky, a collection of short stories by Nigerian and British and now Minnesota author Lesley Nneka Arimah (fun and excellent), and now I'm listening to It's All Relative : Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree by A. J. Jacobs, (a little interesting, a little charming and a lot mindless).

Bearbeitet: Apr. 4, 2018, 9:10pm

>154 avaland: Announced this afternoon: Joan Silber Wins PEN/Faulkner Award

Silber won the award for Fiction for her book of linked stories, Improvement. Last month, she also won the National Book Critics Circle fiction prize for Improvement. The story is one told from multiple points of view, circling a single mother living in New York with a boyfriend who conducts a cigarette smuggling scheme.

Apr. 5, 2018, 2:01pm

>151 Cariola: that's good to know (on The Children's Book), as I'm about 6 chapters in and starting to glaze over a little. The current part I'm at (the midsummer party) seems a little dense in prose with too many characters. I'll give it another few chapters (and I agree on the cover - it's beautiful).

Apr. 5, 2018, 4:36pm

>148 AlisonY: I am going to read The Children’s Book as well one if these days, good to follow your thoughts on it.

I am reading Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie because I loved her Home Fire. So far it is good but less gripping. On audio I am listening to Bleak House. I am having a hard time to keep concentrated.

Apr. 5, 2018, 7:44pm

Finished reading yesterday Akira Yoshimura's Le convoi de l'eau which was beautiful and haunting as most of his works can be. Although less obvious in terms of what he is trying to present, I enjoyed this deep moment in the mountains.

Apr. 6, 2018, 9:38pm

>156 Cariola: re: the Silber:
Then there is:
*Named 1 of 50 Notable Works of Fiction in 2017 by The Washington Post
*Named 1 of 10 Top Fiction Titles of 2017 by the Wall Street Journal
*A Newsday Best Book of 2017
*A Kirkus Best Book of 2017
8A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

Apr. 6, 2018, 10:52pm

>160 avaland: That's quite a collection of prizes and accolades. I knew she was an older writer but did not know that she is 72.

Apr. 7, 2018, 10:14am

I had never heard of Joan Silber. I found this article, which provides some intro:


Apr. 7, 2018, 12:02pm

>162 dchaikin: I've been reading her work for at least 10 years, starting with the wonderful Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories.

Apr. 9, 2018, 10:51pm

>163 Cariola: the article made me want to read Household Words. Any thoughts?

I’ve started One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Apr. 10, 2018, 12:38am

I'm about 30 pages and 15 minutes away from finishing Au col du mont Shiokari which I not only feel like I've read it before, but I feel like I've already once felt that I've read it before. Deja vu-ing deja vu. But I've never read this in my life so I'm a little perplexed.

Apr. 10, 2018, 2:29am

Finished Kokoro yesterday — very interesting, definitely worth my time. I’m busy with visitors just now so it might be a day or two before I post a review.
Not sure where I’m going next, but there’s a mound of library books due back next week...

Apr. 10, 2018, 11:24am

I'm reading the surprisingly well-written I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, an account of an unsolved series of murders and rapes. I'm also enjoying Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, which is light and full of heart.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 10, 2018, 8:01pm

>164 dchaikin: That's one I haven't gotten around to yet. My favorites have been Improvement and Ideas of Heaven. I'm a big fan of interconnected stories.

Over the weekend, I finished Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters, which was much fun, and Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood. I guess I'm just not a big O'Connor fan.

Still working on Salt Houses by Hala Alyan, but I will probably be putting it aside as the new Madeline Miller novel, Circe, downloaded to my kindle last night.

Apr. 10, 2018, 11:33am

I just started Miss Burma.

Apr. 10, 2018, 2:12pm

I'm reading a couple of books:

Out of Bounds by Val McDermid, some poetry by Ron Rash and Carol Duffy (ADORE Carol Ann Duffy!) and An Extraordinary Ordinary Woman: The Journal of Phebe Orvis, 1820-1830 presented by Susan M Ouellette. I've had the latter on my wishlist for quite a long while and I thought it time to release it from wishlist captivity.

Apr. 10, 2018, 6:57pm

I'm almost done with Shantaram and Adam Bede, and just starting In the Language of Miracles by Rajia Hassib.

Apr. 12, 2018, 7:41am

For weeks and weeks, I have been reading An American Tragedy. I'm looking forward to being done so I can move on the the other 8 books I want to read this month.

Apr. 12, 2018, 7:56am

I'm about 40 pages from the end of The Underground Railroad. I desperately want to finish it (crossing my fingers for no company on the train this evening), whilst never wanting it to end.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 13, 2018, 1:46pm

I'm reading Railsea by China Miéville. Not my favorite novel of his so far but quite enjoyable.

Apr. 13, 2018, 5:45pm

I'm in a state of quiet devastation after finishing The Children's Book. I need to collect my thoughts before I can even begin to write a review in my thread. And to dry my eyes.

Apr. 13, 2018, 7:59pm

I snuck in a book of poetry on audio this morning. Ok, it's a actually a pamphlet, only 30 minutes long. It was Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire, who is Somali, born in Kenya, raise in England and brings it all into her poetry - including a lovely English-accented voice.

Apr. 14, 2018, 4:02pm

I've started Yann Martel's Beatrice and Virgil. Not sure what to expect of this one.

Apr. 15, 2018, 10:42am

I'm starting Meg Wolitzer's new one, The Female Persuasion.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 15, 2018, 11:47am

Finished the McDermid crime novel (spectacular!), still reading the diary mentioned in #170. Just finished a small book, just translated into English, called Little Beast by Julie Demers (the jury is still out on that one), and am halfway through Dear Madame President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World by Jennifer Palmieri. (what? no touchstone!?)

Apr. 15, 2018, 4:16pm

Finished A verdade vencerá: o povo sabe por que me condenam, by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, portuguese edition. Brazilian contemporary politics. Review in my thread.

Apr. 16, 2018, 3:34am

Since I last checked in here, I've read Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson, which was as interesting as his books always are; Monstress Vol 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, which I liked even more than volume 1; and Oneiron by Laura Lindstedt, which is in many respects well-written, but which didn't do as much for me as I'd hoped.

I've also recently finished A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard, which is one of those books where I want to say I enjoyed it, and then immediately feel weird about using the word "enjoy," because the subject matter isn't exactly fun.

And I'm now reading Sacre Bleu by Christpopher Moore, which is okay, I guess, but is not entertaining me nearly as much as some of his earlier books.

Apr. 16, 2018, 5:01am

Still getting into the Japanese theme-read - over the weekend I read Ian Buruma's Inventing Japan: 1853-1964 and Hiromi Kawakami's Strange weather in Tokyo, and I've started another classic, Kansuke Naka's memoir The silver spoon.

Apr. 16, 2018, 1:36pm

I think I might pick up The Scarlet Letter next.

Apr. 17, 2018, 3:05pm

I'm reading Richard Powers's new book, The Overstory, which has grabbed me in more than any other book I've read recently. The prose is gorgeous, the characters real and unique, and we'll see about the plot.

Jun. 4, 2018, 4:50pm

The Teashop Girls for ColourCAT July--Pink (the cover is pink).

Jun. 19, 2018, 3:30pm

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende - better than I anticipated! Endearing!
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