nannybebette reads in 2009

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nannybebette reads in 2009

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Bearbeitet: Jun. 11, 2009, 3:19pm

Hello. I am nannybebette and I, like all of you am an avid reader. I joined LT in August of 2007 and have yet to finish listing all of my books. Oh well, one day. I am a 61 year old retired banker married to a corrections officer who considers reading to be perusing a hotrod magazine or some such. Occasionally he will pick up a John Saul or Sanford. I have 3 grown children and 6 grandchildren. Some read a lot and some do not. I have 7 cats, 1 yellow lab and a love bird.
We had no television growing up and with seven children in the household (all addictive readers) and two well read parents, you can imagine the numbers of books around the house. All of us love/loved reading. For me it never changed. I read a wide variety of books from the classics to chick lit to biographies, to nonfiction and so it goes.
I have kept a running list of the books I have read since the beginning of the year and will start with those. Some I do reviews on and some I only rate and comment on in my catalog. I am happy to be here and hope to "meet" some of you.
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read Feb 17, 2009, 12:11pm (top)Message 2: nannybebette

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I guess I should list the books I have read thus far in 2009. I'm still not sure how this goes, but here I go:

1. Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors
2. Collected Poems of Robert Frost by the same
3. King's Oak by Anne Rivers Siddons
4. Nora Jane-a Life in Stories by Ellen Gilchrist
5. Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg
6. The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg
7. Digging to America by Anne Tyler
8. Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
9. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
10. Complete Poems & Plays, by T.S. Eliot
11. The River King by Alice Hoffman
12. Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman
13. The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman
14. Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman
15. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
16. Sweetwater Creek by Anne Rivers Siddons
17. Up Island by Anne Rivers Siddons
18. Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky
19. Low Country by Anne Rivers Siddons
20. Sandpebbles by Patricia Hickman
21. Outer Banks by Anne Rivers Siddons
22. Good Grief by Lolly Winston
23. Hill Towns by Anne Rivers Siddons
24. Ya Yas in Bloom by Rebecca Wells
25. Fault Lines by Anne Rivers Siddons
26. Pieces of my Heart by pRobert Wagner
27. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
28. A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
29. Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama
30. Language of the Threads by Gail Tsukiyama
31. Colony by Anne Rivers Siddons
32. The Last Valentine by James Michael Pratt
33. Do Dead People Watch You Shower by Bertoldi
34. A Bluethroat Morning by Jacqui Lofthouse
35. Thirteen Moons by Charles Fraizer
36. The Whole World Over by Julia Glass
37. The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg
38. Ordinary Life by Elizabeth Berg
39. Downtown by Anne Rivers Siddons
40. Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg
41. Rachel's Quilt by Sheila Spencer-Smith
42. Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
43. Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout
44. I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass
45. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowlings
46. The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble
47. A Slipping-Down Life by Anne Tyler
48. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
49. The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
50. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
51. The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama
52. The Dream Comes True by Barbara Delinsky
53. The Summer of Naked Swim Parties by Jessica Anya Blau
54. The Precious Present by Spencer Johnson
55. The Memoir Club by Laura Kalpakian
56. One Extra*Ordinary Day by Harold Myra
57. Night Train to Lisbon
by Emily Grayson
58. Your Labrador Retriever by September B Morn (my guess is a pseudonym)
59. Guide to Owning a Labrador Retriever by Richard T. Burrows
60. Music of Falling Water by Julia Oliver
61. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
62. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
63. An Absolute Scandal by Penny Vincenzi
64. The Complete Stories of TRUMAN CAPOTE by of course Truman Capote
65. The Breakdown Lane by Jacquelyn Mitchard
66. Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons
67. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
68. Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell
69. Fox's Earth by Anne Rivers Siddens
70. Searching for Paradise in Parker, PA by Kris Radish
71. Shop Girl by Steve Martin
72. Three Junes by Julia Glass
74. Body Double by Tess Gerritsen
75. Beloved by Toni Morrison
76. Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian
77. Adam the King by Jeffrey Lewis
78. The Woman Next Door by Barbara Delinsky
79. Local Girls by Alice Hoffman
80. Spring and Fall by Nicholas "Delbanco
81. the saturday wife by Naomi Ragen
82. Minotaur by byBenjamin Tammuz
00. Crime and Punishment
83. Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery
84. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
85. Big as Life by Maureen Howard
86. Studies in Classic American Literature by D.H. Lawrence
87. The Holiday by Stevie Smith
88. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
89. The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck
90. The Razor's Edge by Sumerset Maughm
91. The Fireman's Wife by Jack Riggs (ER)
92. Conscience Point by Erica Abeel (ER)
93. The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
94. The Blank Wall by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding
95. The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
96. March by Geraldine Brooks
97. The Moment Between by Nicole Baart
98. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
99. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
100. The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

Message edited by its author, Mar 13, 2009, 6:14am.
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read Feb 17, 2009, 1:03pm (top)Message 3: rocketjk
Welcome. How did you like Thirteen Moons? My wife and I both enjoyed it a lot. In fact, I liked it better than Cold Mountain.
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read Feb 17, 2009, 1:10pm (top)Message 4: nannybebette

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I loved Thirteen Moons and I too enjoyed it more than I did Cold Mountain though I liked that one also. I like how Frazier doesn't have to constant "people" his books to hold your interest. He is so descriptive. I felt as if I were in the forest along with him and I loved Bear and even Featherstone. He makes me want to go back and reread "Trail of Tears" and I will probably do so soon.

Message edited by its author, Feb 17, 2009, 1:23pm.
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read Feb 17, 2009, 1:24pm (top)Message 5: girlunderglass
Welcome! Maybe you should consider also joining the 75 books challenge, as you seem to read very fast! (35 in just a month and a half??) :)
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read Feb 17, 2009, 1:25pm (top)Message 6: theaelizabet
Welcome, nannybebette! i haven't catalogued all my books yet either. One day... Looks like your reading year is going well.
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read Feb 17, 2009, 6:10pm (top)Message 7: spacepotatoes
Wow, all of those in 2009 already?! You are my hero :) There's some really good titles on there...I remember having to memorize the poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening in grade school. I loved that poem and it still pops into my head every now and then. Good luck with your challenge, though it doesn't look like you need it!
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read Feb 18, 2009, 9:12am (top)Message 8: billiejean
Hi, nannybebette!
I read The Ice Queen the year before last and thought it was totally different than anything else I had ever read. I see that you have read several Alice Hoffman books. Are they all so original? Do you like all her books?

I am glad that you have joined the 50 Book Challenge Group and look forward to seeing what you are reading next! :)
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read Feb 18, 2009, 9:46am (top)Message 9: nannybebette

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to BJ: I LOVE Alice Hoffman and find most of her books to be quite original one to the other and all of them wonderful. I think my favorite is Blackbird House which is a group of short stories about the inhabitants of said house in different eras or times. (was that redundant? think so)
I find her characters to be always fascinating and she is one of my favorite authors.
Right now I am reading The Whole World Over by Julia Glass
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read Feb 18, 2009, 9:49am (top)Message 10: nannybebette

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Hi. Thank you for the welcome girlunderglass. I do intend to join the 75 books challenge as soon as I hit the 50 book mark here. Happy reading to you.
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read Feb 18, 2009, 10:02am (top)Message 11: nannybebette

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Hello spacepotatoes. Yup, all of those in 2009. And I work on call, take care of my 91 year old mother (also an avid reader) and get my 2 grandsons off to school and take care of them after school every day also. Reading is my safety net. I love to read, but if I am down or anxious I run to my book. Reading is the best therapy there is. As you can tell
I do a lot of running. My oldest daughter turned me onto Robert Frost with this little book back in the eighties when she was in high school lit. I fell so in love with him that later my husband and I took a road trip (we live on the west coast) to see his home in New England. It was amazing. There are trails through the woods where it is said that he actually walked when he was composing his poetry. Along the trails are little turnouts, some with benches and little columns with his poetry and writings. My husband is not much of a reader and definitely not of poetry so he sat in a lawn chair by the rig while I walked the trails. He couldn't get me to shut up when I got back. It was almost a "God thing", just filled me up inside.
And you are right. Once you have read this little book it continues to return to your mind. Beautiful, huh?
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read Feb 18, 2009, 3:40pm (top)Message 12: spacepotatoes
Wow, I don't know much about Robert Frost so I didn't know he had a home in New England. It sounds really beautiful!

And yes, reading is wonderful therapy. Usually when I'm at my most stressed is when I get the urge to sit down with some books and read. Sometimes I don't even have to read them, just being in the presence of the books I love is comforting. Funny how that works, isn't it?
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read Feb 21, 2009, 2:45pm (top)Message 13: nannybebette

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This morning I stayed in bed and finished The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg and now I can see how they worked it into a play quite easily. Did anyone happen to see the play? It was a very quick read and is actually a journal written by a 50 year old woman who hits the road to get temporarily away from her "life" and have time alone and gain some self understanding. I enjoyed it but it is quite a bit different from any other Elizabeth Berg I have ever read.
Today I begin The Summer of Naked Swim Parties by Jessica Anya Blau. Kind of a fun title, huh?
Happy Reading,
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read Feb 23, 2009, 9:54am (top)Message 14: nannybebette

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Fun title, perhaps, but a boring read. I am halfway through with The Summer of Naked Swim Parties but had to put it down and pick up another Elizabeth Berg that was sitting on my bedroom bookcase. Ordinary Life is a group of short stories and for those of you who have read her The Pull of the Moon, included within is a response to Nan from Martin (her husband). A very quick read and a good little grouping of shorts. Read it. You will be glad you did.
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read Mar 2, 2009, 5:38pm (top)Message 15: nannybebette

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Since I was last on here I have read #39. Downtown by Anne Rivers Siddons, #40. Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg, #41. Rachel's Quest by Sheila Spencer-Smith, #42. Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout and #43. Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout. Am now moving on to #44. I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass.
Good luck to all of you out there in readerland with your challenges. My plan is by the end of the month to be beyond the 50 books in this challenge and on to the 75 book challenge. Good luck to me.
Happy reading,
P.S. I couldn't figure out how to just add these books to my already existing list so I did a new post. Anyone out there know the magic finger trick of that one?
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read Mar 4, 2009, 2:39am (top)Message 16: billiejean
I like that a new post is added to bring your thread to the top of the list. However, if you just want to edit it, then look at the top right hand side of your post that you want to edit. There is a pencil icon there. Click on it and a box will appear with the post that you can edit. Then just push the submit button. Is that what you were asking? You will be to 50 soon. Good luck to you! Have a great day!
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read Mar 4, 2009, 11:10am (top)Message 17: nannybebette

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I finished the Julia Glass I See You Everywhere and liked it a great deal. Have now started A Slipping-Down Life by Anne Tyler.
And yes, BJ, that is exactly the information I was looking for. Thank you very much. You are so supportive to everyone on here. It is really nice to see that.
Happy Reading and blessings on your day.
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read Mar 4, 2009, 1:41pm (top)Message 18: janetaileen
Welcome, nannybebette. You certainly are a speedy reader! I read all the Ann Tyler I could get my hands quite a few years ago...and enjoyed her immensely.
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read Mar 5, 2009, 11:09pm (top)Message 19: billiejean
Thanks for your kind words! :)
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read Mar 5, 2009, 11:24pm (top)Message 20: callmejacx
It took me longer to read all the posts here than it did for you, nannybebette, to read one of your books. I have really enjoyed reading this thread. I glance at a few threads but not very often do I sit and read what a stranger has written all in one sitting. I ought to be in bed reading my book, that seems to have no end to it, but I could not take myself away from here.

I hope to keep in touch
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read Mar 7, 2009, 11:44am (top)Message 21: nannybebette

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Well, it has been a couple of days (very busy days I might add) since I was last on here. A lot of you have just been reading your little hearts away.
I was "forced" to put down the books I was reading (A Slipping-Down Life by Anne Tyler and The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble due to a request from my eleven year old grandson. He got into the whole Harry Potter thing when they started giving points at school for pages read and these are big books. Well, by the time he had finished the first one he was hooked. So he has now conned "nanny" into reading them along with him so we can "discuss" them whilst reading them. He brought me the first one home from school yesterday and I am about halfway through it. It is kind of a fun read. He is on the 4th one. I don't think this is going to be so bad after all.
And I awoke at 4:00 this A.M. to freshly falling snow and it hasn't stopped so what is a girl to do with herself on a day like this? DUH!~!~! READ!~!~!
Thanx for the posts and you get much better callmejacx.
Blessings on your day,
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read Mar 7, 2009, 9:37pm (top)Message 22: nannybebette

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I finished my #45 this afternoon. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I really enjoyed it although I only read it to appease my grandson and didn't expect to like it so much. I immediately went online to the library to see if they had the 2nd one on the shelf and they did but had closed 20 minutes prior. So Dangggg! I can't wait to start the 2nd one and now understand what all the shouting has been about!~! I called my grandson to tell him I had finished the book as I only started it last evening and he has the 2nd one checked out at the school library and it's in his desk at school so I will be all over that one when he gets home from school Monday. Yea!~!~!
Anyhoo--------in the meantime back to A Slipping-Down Life and The Sea Lady
Happy reading out there.
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read Mar 8, 2009, 6:35pm (top)Message 23: nannybebette

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I just finished The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble and if I were to divide the book into thirds, I would have to say that excepting for the first and third parts, it was pure "drabble". (excuse the pun--I couldn't help myself)
I think if I had a degree in Marine Biology it would have helped.
Still snowing so I guess I will go back now and finish A Slipping-Down Life by Anne Tyler. Hopefully it will go better. Don't know why but on days like this all I want to do is read and watch it snow.
I hope all of you are enjoying your Sunday books.
Happy reading.
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read Mar 8, 2009, 6:50pm (top)Message 24: girlunderglass
Welcome to Potterland, we hope you will enjoy your stay with us! :)
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read Mar 9, 2009, 2:45pm (top)Message 25: billiejean
I have got to read those Harry Potter books one of these days! :) We are supposed to have storms all day, but so far not a drop. Cloudy, though.
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read Mar 9, 2009, 7:04pm (top)Message 26: nannybebette

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It has snowed here all the live long day.
I finished A Slipping-Down Life by Anne Tyler and actually enjoyed it. I usually do not enjoy her books though I appreciate her writing a great deal. Now I am moving on to the second of the Harry Potter series. My 11 year old grandson got me hooked and I can't wait to dive in. I have been refusing to get sucked into "the Hogwart Express" for years and now here I am and I'm enjoying the ride greatly.
Happy reading to all of you out there.
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read Mar 10, 2009, 9:07am (top)Message 27: nannybebette
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read Mar 10, 2009, 9:08am (top)Message 28: nannybebette

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I tucked myself in bed last night and reread The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks and watched it snow. I had checked the sequel from the library (about the kids) and wanted to read this one again first. But back to the 2nd Harry Potter again this A.M.
Happy reading all.
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read Mar 11, 2009, 1:26am (top)Message 29: bonniebooks
Wow, nannybebette! That's a whole lot of books read in a little over two months! I notice that after reading a book, you often follow it up with another book by the same author. Have you bought the books ahead of time or do you love a book so much that you go out and immediately buy another book by that author?
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read Mar 11, 2009, 9:04am (top)Message 30: spacepotatoes
>28 Nothing like cozying up with a good book when it's crappy outside! Have you read Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks yet? That one is my favourite of his, though I haven't really read too much of his stuff beyond that. Makes me cry every time but I love it!
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read Mar 11, 2009, 1:48pm (top)Message 31: nannybebette

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Hi bonniebooks;
You kind of hit the nail on the head there. When I fall in love with an author (or subject for that matter) I do tend to run out and get another by the same author (or on the same subject). My family went nuts when I hit my WWII stage. That lasted literally years and they learned almost as much about the war and the holocaust as I did because I couldn't shut my big yapper and had to talk about it all the time. Now I can write about it and they are much happier. hehehe
Right now I am pretty much just hooked on "same authors" and they seem to be writing about women for the most part. But I do love books about women. We are such a strong group of individuals and a fascinating breed. (nothing against you guys...but just sayin'.)
How are you doing with your challenge? Isn't this fun?
Happy reading and blessings on your day.
P.S. thanx for the visit.
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read Mar 11, 2009, 1:55pm (top)Message 32: nannybebette

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Hey spacepotatoes;
You got that right about the weather and a good book. And yes, I have read Message in a Bottle and loved, loved, loved it!~!~! It is also my favorite of Nicholas Sparks and I too cry each time I read it and each time I see the movie also. Loved Paul Newman in that movie. I really miss the fact that he is no longer out there in the world with us.
Watcha reading right now? I have the 2nd Harry Potter book and The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks going on right now. The latter because I do exactly what bonniebooks thinks I do. Doncha hate it when people are just so right and have you all figured out?
Thanx for stopping by and happy reading. Blessings on your day.
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read Mar 11, 2009, 2:16pm (top)Message 33: BrainFlakes
I've been rummaging through your bookshelves for about twenty minutes (I didn't touch anything, though) and bonniebooks is right on the money. When you like an author you really like an author!

Which, of course, is a good thing: why waste time on authors we don't like? I believe I have 22 books by James Lee Burke, with the 23rd on the way from Amazon. I like him.

LT says we have 24 books in common, but I'm going to guess it's closer to 75--I've cleaned out a ton over the years and now, seeing them again on your shelves, I miss them.

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read Mar 11, 2009, 4:54pm (top)Message 34: nannybebette

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nannybebette - I'm glad I'm not the only one that gets these topical bookish obsessions! I can't read one book about bees and honey, I have to read three. If I'm interested in Ancient Egypt I want lots of different books about Pharaohs, art, women's roles and burial treasures. Still, I always compare it to the libraries of my uni tutors, which I jealously eyed up every time I had to go and meet with them. They had whole shelves of books on each tiny weeny subdivided topic - so long as I don't get THAT obsessed, I'm okay...
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read Mar 11, 2009, 4:57pm (top)Message 35: nannybebette

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the above posted by elliepotten
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read Mar 12, 2009, 3:22am (top)Message 36: bonniebooks
nannybebette, I remember when I read my first Anne Tyler. It was Dinner at a Homesick Restaurant and there was so much in there that made me think of my own family, I just had to read more by her. I read one book after another until I have to admit I totally OD'd on her quirky characters. Lately I've been able to read (and enjoy) her books again without thinking all the time about her style instead of the story. Anyway, my point is that I do the same thing (e.g., see Elinor Lipman in my library). :-)
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read Mar 13, 2009, 5:44am (top)Message 37: nannybebette

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At this point I have completed my 50 book challenge for 2009. YEA!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!
**jumps up**, does cheer**,turns around**, sits back down** Onward to the completion of the 100 book challenge.
1. The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama

Message edited by its author, Mar 13, 2009, 6:34am.
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read Mar 13, 2009, 6:31am (top)Message 38: nannybebette

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dogoned thingy dropped my post on reviewing #49 The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks and #50 Harry Potter #2 so I will just quickly say on the 1st: don't bother and on the 2nd: read it. If you haven't already, you will love it--kid or adult--
I hate when it does that!
Don't you?

Message edited by its author, Mar 13, 2009, 6:40pm.
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read Mar 13, 2009, 8:34am (top)Message 39: billiejean
Yes! Congratulations on reaching your 50 book challenge goal!
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read Mar 13, 2009, 11:37am (top)Message 40: BrainFlakes
N/B: I can't believe how fast you read--50 books in 2½ months! Congrats, of course, are in order.
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read Mar 13, 2009, 2:55pm (top)Message 41: bonniebooks
Wow, Wow, Woo, Wow! Happy continued reading!
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read Mar 13, 2009, 4:01pm (top)Message 42: spacepotatoes
Wow, congratulations! At this rate, you'll reach the 100 mark in no time. Enjoy :)
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read Mar 15, 2009, 3:20pm (top)Message 43: nannybebette

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Took a small break there to just lurk around, make a few comments, babysit the grandkids, hang out with the hubby and watch some NCIS. (**gasp, gasp**TV!~!)
Anyway have begun a new one: The Memoir Club by Laura Kalpakian and am enjoying it thus far.
It is about six women who enroll in a "Writing Your Memoir" class in an attempt for each to come to terms with loss, guilt, sadness, emptiness, whatever. When the class is completed they decide to continue on with the effort of writing their memoirs and agree to meet at one of their homes. They "hire" the instructor at their own expense and this is just a simple story of how each one works through the process. An easy read, should go quickly.
Happy reading out there to all.
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read Mar 15, 2009, 3:23pm (top)Message 44: whitewavedarling
I had to say that I laughed when I read your last post--NCIS is about the only tv show that has me completely hooked (though I only watch re-runs since I always have class when it comes on). Meanwhile, happy reading!
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read Mar 15, 2009, 3:29pm (top)Message 45: nannybebette

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Welcome aboard my fellow addict. You know we all must have our vices. I own all the series sets and yet I watch all the reruns on USA and all the new ones as well as those on DVD. Pathetic, aren't I?
Catcha later,
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read Mar 15, 2009, 6:03pm (top)Message 46: bonniebooks
Laura Kalpakian! I loved her Dark Continent... story collection (though it was dark!) and Steps and Exes was a fun read. Plus, she's a NW author. Yeah!!!

P.S. I'm not even going to start in on my vices when it comes to TV, because unlike you, I can't just stop at one!
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read Mar 15, 2009, 9:54pm (top)Message 47: nannybebette

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I don't know about the rest of you---but I began the group read of Anna Karinina this afternoon. Have really been looking forward to this read as the last time I picked Tolstoy up, I put him down 1/4 of the way through the book. That time it was War and Peace and I haven't read "Anna" through since I was in my 30s.
And bonniebooks, I am enjoying Kalpakian. This is my first of hers and I would imagine she is good with a short story as the one I am reading is basically six memoirs.
Thanx for stopping by and happy reading.
P.S. Speaking of NW authors, one of my very favorites comes from right here in the great Pacific North West. David Guterson. I think he is wonderful. His East of the Mountains is brilliant, (as are they all--but it is a favorite of mine.)
happy trails.
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read Mar 15, 2009, 10:28pm (top)Message 48: shinyone
Wow, N/B, I just posted book #15 for my challenge and was feeling all proud of myself, and then I saw that you have already completed your 50. Way to go!! How many books do you usually read in a year?
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read Mar 15, 2009, 10:48pm (top)Message 49: nannybebette

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Hello shinyone.
I have never kept track before this year so I don't really have any idea. But I think 15 is a good start for this early in the year so you should be proud of yourself. And I have always had a book in my hand. Growing up we didn't have television and even today when my husband is watching a television program, unless it is NCIS, House, one of the Law and Orders or CSIs, if I am sitting down I have a book in my lap.
Do you not just love this LT thing? I tell you I am not getting nearly the reading done that I was before I started posting on here. But it becomes an addiction and we must keep it fed!~!
Thanx for stopping by. I will be watching for your thread.
Happy reading.
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read Mar 16, 2009, 10:57am (top)Message 50: whitewavedarling
Yep, it's an addiction--librarything that is. My fiance is utterly addicted to tv, to the extent that he's made a career out of it, so I'm pretty used to reading with that in the background. House, NCIS, and MacGyver all draw away my attention though...
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read Mar 16, 2009, 10:49pm (top)Message 51: nannybebette

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I finished The Memoir Club by Laura Kalpakian this afternoon. I liked this book. It took a few unexpected and disappointing turns but after all it was Kalpakian's book story to tell and not mine. I was not disappointed in the book as a whole and am glad I read it.
I am on target with the group read of Anna Karinina and this evening I will begin The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama. She writes beautifully so I am excited to get into that one. Tomorrow I will pop into the library where they are holding the 3rd Harry Potter for me and I am sure I will start that one right away as well. I have never had so many books going on at the same time. That alone will be a challenge for me.
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read Yesterday, 1:50pm (top)Message 52: nannybebette

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Since I have completed my "50 book challenge" for 2009 I am going to start a new list for the ones I read from here on out. Beginning with:

1. The Memoir Club by Laura Kalpakian
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read Today, 2:40pm (top)Message 53: bonniebooks
nannybebette, so I'm curious. Did you not like the 'turns' in Kalpakian for personal reasons (e.g., didn't match your values), or because you thought they were unbelievable, bad writing...or? I can, for example, not like a book because I don't like a character.
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read Today, 5:36pm (top)Message 54: nannybebette

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***spoiler alert***
Hi bonniebooks. The "disappointing turns" I found in The Memoir Club were simply that; disappointing turns. I was not disappointed in the novel. I was so saddened when Caryn died because I loved her character and her interaction with all the other women. And the other "turn" was when Nell fell in love with Ted. That was totally unexpected for me as I truly thought (and hoped) her character was gay. So---no, the disappointing turns had nothing to do with values, I found all of the characters to be believable (though I have never known anyone like Francine), and I didn't think the writing was poor. I liked the book and all the characters. I hope I have answered your questions. I do recommend this book to those who enjoy "chick lit" and I also intend to look for some of the author's short stories as I understand she has written a few.
Thanx for stopping by and come back any time. You reading anything good right now?
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Mrz. 18, 2009, 6:57pm

What a mess!~! Sorry folks. I attempted to transfer my thread over from the 50 book challenge as I have surpassed that mark and I really goobered the whole thing up. Oh well, I will just go on from here.
It is so busy over on that challenge I was having a hard time keeping up though there are some fascinating people over there. So I will try over here. If the old brain can't handle it I guess I will just "lurk" around and about.
Am looking forward to meeting some fascinating folk over here also. Hope everyone is enjoying their challenges.

Mrz. 18, 2009, 7:39pm

welcome, nannybebette! You certainly do have a wide range of reading interests! What did you think of Amy and Isabelle? I'm curious because I read Olive Kitteridge last year, and I had a mixed impression. On one hand, I really liked her writing style, on the other hand I hated the story. So I'm wondering if I should give her another chance on a different, possibly less relentlessly depressing story. What do you think?

Mrz. 18, 2009, 7:58pm

Hello jfetting.
I have to say I came away feeling pretty ambivalent about the whole experience regarding both of her books that I read. I have heard so many positive remarks about Elizabeth Strout's work that I was truly disappointed. But neither Amy and Isabelle nor Abide with Me worked for me and I just was totally bored with them. I believe I gave each of them a one star rating just because I thought I might have felt the way I did due to my mindset at the time or something. Otherwise I wouldn't even have rated them. I am going to look for some of her short stories as I understand she wrote some and give her another try. But will wait until much later. Sorry to be so negative but I didn't like the stories nor the narratives.
Good luck with your challenge. Happy reading.
P.S. I am currently reading The Street of a Thousand Blossoms and Anna Karinina and they are both wonderful. It's good we have choices about what we read. Ain't life great here in the USA?!~!?

Mrz. 19, 2009, 6:28am

Welcome, nannybette. You have read a lot of good books so far this year. I hope life continues to be great in the US for you. It's quite good, for me anyway, here in the UK too.
One of these days I shall read Anna Karenina. What do you think of it?

Mrz. 19, 2009, 9:24am

Welcome! We share a large number of books in our respective libraries.

Mrz. 19, 2009, 9:34am

Good morning englishrose60. Thanx for stopping by, always glad to "see" you. I am only 30 some pages into A K but am reading it in a different way than I did before. My last reading of A K I rather hurried through the dry parts and this time I am going slowly and savoring the whole bit. Thusly, I am enjoying it much more. The "sir" is kind of a butt at this point, but (hehe) weren't most men in his station during that era? So I have to say that I am liking this read and am pretty much on task with the group read of it since we have until the 15th (U.S. tax day) of April to finish the first part.
But even better than A K is the other book I am reading; The Street of a Thousand Blossoms. Have you read her? Gail Tsukiyama She is wonderful and I cannot recommend her highly enough!~!
Have a great day.

Mrz. 20, 2009, 4:13am

No, I haven't read any Tsukiyama yet but that looks like one more for my tbr pile. So many books.......

Mrz. 20, 2009, 6:39am

I know, I know; so little time!~!

Mrz. 21, 2009, 12:16am

Today I finished The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama. It was awesome!~! It is about several Japanese civilians pre, throughout and post WWII era and is simply a wonderfully drawn story. She writes beautifully.
I also read today The Dream Comes True by Barbara Deslinsky which is (I believe) the 3rd in the Crosslyn Rise Trilogy and I will just say it pretty much sucked. Should have been a Silhoutte or Harlequin book! A real waste of my 61 yr old eyesight, which I cannot afford!~!
Well, hope the rest of you are reading some really good stuff. I am back to Anna Karinina now.
Happy reading.

Mrz. 22, 2009, 2:59pm

Am still reading "Anna" and enjoying it at this pace. I am also halfway through Night Train to Lisbon by Emily Grayson; a lightweight love story of (you guessed it) a girl who meets a guy on a night train. So busy with family stuff right now that other than "Anna" I am choosing some rather easy, lighthearted, and relaxing books.
Happy reading all.

to dihiba;
thank you for the welcome. I will be checking out your profile and library. Nice to know we have books in common. Perhaps we will find other things in common as well.
Blessings on your day.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 25, 2009, 12:38pm

This afternoon while waiting for my appointment I read a most beautiful little book. It is called One Extra*Ordinary Day and was written by Harold Myra. (touchstones partially not working here)
David, the main character, is sent off by his wife for one day to "decompress", to get some rest and rejuvenate himself. He heads out to the woods where he always finds peace and contentment. However his day is interrupted by "Michael", a celestial being. (not an angel) The book is only 104 pages long but during those 104 pages "Michael" and David spend most of the day together and "Michael" sees and understands with great shock, the world as it has become today and David sees and understands that "The greatest wonder of all, more than all the challenges, the music, the creativity, and the beauty is simply being in harmony with the One who loves us.
I got this book at the library but I am going to run out and buy myself a copy. It had much the same effect on me that The Garden at the Edge of Beyond by Michale Phillips did. (I keep that one in my "serenity basket" and no matter how bad my day, no matter my circumstances, these books give me hope and take literally only moments to read.
I will get off my soapbox now and hope that some you will read it. It can be life changing as some of the smallest things in life can be.
Happy reading and blessings on you day.

Mrz. 26, 2009, 2:43pm

I concluded the 1st portion of "Anna" yesterday and hated to put it down 'til the 15th of next month. But I want to stay with the group read so I must.
I have begun another in the mean time. It is by Julia Oliver and is titled Music of Falling Water. There seems to be an awful lot of characters and I'm trying to keep them straight as I go, but I'm only on page 45 so I'm sure I will pick up on all of them and their respective places in the novel. It looks to be a promising read and I hope it doesn't let me down. But you never know when you pick out a book by the beauty of it's title.
I must say the most exciting part of my week by far has been going to Borders in Olympia (1 1/2 hrs away) and finally, finally, finally picking up a copy of Walt Whitman's
Leaves of Grass. I have wanted a copy forever and kept waiting for my husband to get me one each year at Christmas time, but I finally gave up and purchased it for myself. WOO HOO!~!~! The POWER of an unlistened to woman!~! And I am loving it!~!
Well, I am off to take my mother to the eye doctor.
Happy reading everyone.

Mrz. 30, 2009, 2:12pm

I am on my first Wodehouse and find that I am enjoying it. It's not the "belly-laugh" I was hoping for but I understand he is an acquired taste. I am reading The Code of the Woosters and am about 3/4 of the way through. I think it has helped (what with the quips and lingo and all) that my mother-in-law (now deceased) was a war bride from the Isle of Man. Used to crack me up. She couldn't help but to call me Belver instead of Belva. It always came out that way. Ah, such is life.

Mrz. 30, 2009, 4:59pm

I just finished The Code of the Woosters and while I must say that I was enjoying it throughout, by the end I was quite taken by Mr. P.G. Wodehouse. I think that my post above provides my general outlook on the book but I was so taken with the way Wodehouse ended this story. It was so unexpected; the sweetness of it:
"The year's at the Spring, the day's at the morn, morning's at seven, the hill-side's dew-pearled. The lark's on the wing, the snail's on the thorn,
God's in His heaven, all's right with the world." (quoted by Jeeves)
And then later at the very end of the book: "And presently the eyes closed, the muscles relaxed, the breathing became soft and regular, and sleep, which does something which has slipped my mind to the something sleeve of care, poured over me in a healing wave."
Do words get much more beautiful than that?

Apr. 1, 2009, 8:13am

Good morning all.
Last night I began An Absolute Scandal by Penny Vincenzi. She came recommended by a friend. I am only on page 89 and so far so good. Given the economic climate here in the U.S. at the moment I find the timing of this novel---well, novel. It was copyrighted in 2007 in the U.K. and the storyline is about the "fall" of Lloyd's and it's effect on about 6 familys (unrelated). Looks to be interesting thus far.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 1, 2009, 10:22pm

I was wrong. An Absolute Scandal by Penny Vincenzi---this one just wasn't my cup of tea. I thought, what with the way that it began and the economic times being what they are, that I would like it this novel. The storyline is of the great financial losses of Lloyd's of the U.K. and the effect on several non-related families. But as it went on I found I couldn't come to care about the characters. They didn't seem to develop nor did they seem real and I just couldn't quite get the way they did or did not relate to one another. For me, it didn't work. I also must say that I am a Yank and it was originally published in the U.K. although I have loved many a Brit book. Anyway I wouldn't recommend it. Sorry, Penny. I wanted to enjoy it, just could not.

Apr. 2, 2009, 5:10am

Last night I began The Complete Stories of TRUMAN CAPOTE. It is a book of short stories and I am only on the 3rd one but I am enjoying them thus far. I found it quite interesting that in the introduction of my copy he and Ernest Hemingway are named as the only two writers of "distinguished fiction" to come out of the twentieth century as American household names. Capote apparently led a harrowing private life. This is the first time I have read him, but of course now I want to go to the library and check out The Grass Harp, Other Voices, Other Rooms, In Cold Blood, and of course Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Apr. 2, 2009, 12:30pm

Hi Nannybebette - in regards to Penny Vincenzi, I have avoided her books, don't really know why, but your review won't encourage me to give them a try. If you like "women's books" of the British persuasion, you might like Joanna Trollope or Elizabeth Buchan and Rosamunde Pilcher's longer books are great meaty reads.

Apr. 2, 2009, 4:28pm

Thank you soooooo much. I feel somehow more validated. I do not like to rank an author and I do like "women's books of the British persuasion" (that sounds quite like a book title in and of itself, don't you think?--very good!~!) and so will happily give your recommendeds (is there such a word?) a try. Have only read Pilcher and truly enjoyed her works and found them quite a relaxing read.
Thank you.

Apr. 2, 2009, 6:24pm

You're v. welcome!

Apr. 4, 2009, 10:11am

I am enjoying Anna Karinina, but I have been working on my TBR listing and am going to include Tolstoy's War and Peace. Homers The Odyssey
and The Iliad and Dostroyevsy's Crime and Punishment and Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. Those are my personal challenges this year and I am more than a little intimidated. ***holding mug of coffee up*** here's to my challenge!~!
I know it will be tough (for me), but I already have all the books except for the Odyssey. Any suggestions as to to the reading order (other than the obvious) ?
I have seven months, so I don't think time will factor in and I think I will still be able to meet my other challenges.
I am finally beginning to get tired so I think I will head to the old bed and see how I do tonight. It has not been great for the past month or so, but we are giving it the old college try. (written in the wee small hours of the A.M.)

Apr. 4, 2009, 10:50am

Personally, I'd read the Homer (both), take a quick break and read Brideshead Revisited (which is one of my favorite books in the world so enjoy!) and then finish up with the big scary Russians. But I'm very methodical like that, when planning big projects. It's the scientist coming out.

Apr. 4, 2009, 1:06pm

Sounds like a plan. Thank you for the input.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 10, 2009, 5:05pm

Today is April 10th. Only 5 more days until the 15th and the go-ahead on the 2nd part of Anna Karinina. WOO Hoo!~!Can't wait!~~!
I read Dear John by Nicholas Sparks and I don't know why I continue to do this to myself. Most likely because I loved Message in a Bottle and The Notebook but this one was so predictable, boring and disappointing. I do so love a good love story but what could have been wasn't.
I am the same way with Anne Tyler. Have to read everything I can get my hands on by her because I have read so much really great stuff by her. (I need to start reading reviews before beginning a book.)
Anyway I am now reading a new (for me) author; Rebecca Gregson titled Eggshell Days and I am truly enjoying this one. Yea!~! Hate it when I get 2 duds in a row. I am a little more than 1/2 way through it and then on to Crime and Punishment. I hear "C & P" is most excellent so am anxious to start it. I just hope I can do 2 biggies at the same time. If not, I will finish the 2nd part of "Anna" and then carry on with "C & P".
Happy reading out there. Carry on.

Apr. 13, 2009, 11:31pm

My granny used to say: "If God loved a liar, He'd love you to death". I just couldn't make myself start Crime and Punishment whilst reading Anna Karenina so I went to the library and grabbed some "covers" Do you ever do that? Just pick up some books by their covers? I don't know why I didn't pick up something from my TBR stack. I mean it's not like I don't have about 300 or so on my shelves right here at home.
Anyway I read Adam the King by Jeffrey Lewis and it wasn't bad. Not great, but not bad. It is about some filthy rich people building a home on the east coast on coastal property and financial manipulations and misdeeds that occur. It was probably a 2 hour read.
Then I read another Barbara Delinsky. The Woman Next Door and this one was actually good. It is a story of 3 couples who live on the same street as a pregnant widow (of over a year). So the story intertwines their lives and how they try to figure out which husband the baby belongs to. I know it rather sounds like a soap opera but it actually was pretty good. I got to know and liked most of the charachters and understand why they made decisions they made and did the things they did.
I have now begun Spring and Fall by Nicholas Delbanco and Local Girls by Alice Hoffman. They both seem to be pretty good. Strange though---neither one is written in the standard formula manner---which I find interesting.
Well, happy reading to one and all.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 18, 2009, 6:03am

Yesterday I finished Local Girls by Alice Hoffman and for those of you who don't know---she is my favorite author (not withstanding John Steinbeck---and this is the best of hers to date.
It is about a one-of-a-kinder girl who grows up with a mother who has cancer (sometimes in remission), her brother (who is brilliant but sometimes abuses drugs) and a cousin or aunt (I forget which) who is just 15 years older and very close with Gretel (the main character). The mother and cousin/aunt have a catering biz ran from the mother's kitchen and Gretel helps them. She has a best friend (Jill) and they have everything in common until Jill falls in love with and becomes impregnated by a loser. Now their worlds are different and Gretel has to make/find her own world.
Wonderfully drawn characters, beautifully drawn scenes, tearfully drawn climaxes, and an ending that comes way too soon but at a fitting time and place.
If you like to read books by and/or about women---please read Alice Hoffman. She is wonderful.

Apr. 18, 2009, 5:16am

Today, being the gloomy rainy day it was and my tummy not fit for 3 hours on the road, I stayed home and read. I'm so glad I did. First of all I read the 2nd portion of Anna Karinina and just want to say: WHAT A HORRIBLE PLACE TO HAVE TO STOP!~! My head was totally wrapped around the storyline and all the proper juices were running and BAM!~! Time's up!~! For another month, NO LESS!~! Ah well, wer're all in the same boat, so to speak. (up the creek without the priverable paddle) Let's see if we can hold out once again. But I'm just sayin.......

Then I read a little number called Spring and Fall by Nicholas Delbanco---just a little love story about a couple who meet in the 1962 college years and the timing just isn't quite right so they each go their own ways and marry others, have children, do the life thing, divorce and accicentally meet forty years hence. And of course all turns out to be happiness and light. The author is an award winning author for Vagabonds among others of his repetoire. I have to say it wasn't a great read but it held my interest and I liked it. I will probably try something else by him.

Apr. 18, 2009, 5:24am

the saturday wife by Naomi Ragen; now I really enjoyed this little (not so little-300 pages) story. Naomi wrote this story with her tongue very much in her cheek and it is about the unconventional wife of a rabbi. It was interesting, it was very funny in places (some appropriate, some not so appropriate), and I actually learned quite a lot about rabinical law (at least from the home, family, and food points of view. I liked it. A lot of holy stuff written and or discussed in a not so holy manner. Pretty good reading folks.

Apr. 18, 2009, 5:55am

My fourth book of the day is probably going to be the best book I read all year! I was enthralled by it. It is titled Minotaur and is written by Benjamin Tannuz. This book is written if four parts, with the main character in a different (physical or metaphysical) place at the beginning of each. It's a small book, (less than 200 pages) but it is HUGE!~!~! Graham Greene is quoted as stating it is "The best book of the year." It was copywrited in 1989 and the 1st edition came out in 2005.
It is about a secret agent man who at times lives a very (?) normal life. It is a difficult book to explain. Part of it is written in letter and memoir form. Growing up his mother is certifiably crazy or depressed. She crys a great deal. His father is away a great deal of the time. He loves classical music and plays the piano. He makes many changes as he goes through his schooling years as to what he wished to to do. It really is a difficult book to describe and do it justice.
The New York Times is quoted: "A novel about the expectations and compromises that humans create for themselves...very much in the manner of William Faulkner and Lawrence
And when you come to the end you will just sit there and not think or do a thing for a moment or two. This is a book that just grabs hold of you and you won't want to let go....even at the end.

Apr. 18, 2009, 10:38am

Adding Minotaur to the list - it sounds fantastic! Plus, anything that is praised by Graham Greene and compared to Faulkner and Durrell is a must read in my book. Thanks!

Apr. 18, 2009, 5:44pm

You are most welcome. You won't be disappointed.

Apr. 20, 2009, 7:33pm

My next book to be read was Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. I am very sorry to have to admit that I just couldn't do it. I loved the writing, found the story easy to follow, could even at times get into the guy's head but when I came to page 55 and the violence with the horse began to get really bad; it just took me to someplace I can't allow myself to go right now. So, because I know that the violence with the mare and mankind in the narrative are interrelated throughout the book I just had to set it aside. I will return it to the library and hopefully one day I will be healthy enough to read it.
I picked up instead, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which I saw recommended on LT and it is a wonderful read. There is violence of a nature in it as well but not the soul-killing type (for me) in Dostoevsky. I will finish this one tonight and then find something really mellow. Perhaps Anne of Green Gables again or Little House in the Big Woods. Something of that nature anyway.
Sometimes I hate the fragility of life!~!

Apr. 21, 2009, 7:01pm

Nannybebette, if you decide to read Anne of Green Gables let me know and I will read it at the same time! A mini-book club! And others could join too, of course....

Apr. 21, 2009, 8:58pm

i could totally use a little Anne right now... quick and easy book club...

Apr. 21, 2009, 10:50pm

I started it last night and am not ripping right through it. I think I need some major down time and Anne Shirley is just the wiggle for me right now.
So, c'mon ladies--might as well have a mini--can't go on to the the 3rd portion of "Anna" until May 15th and I would welcome the company. I'll make the tea, dihiba--you bring the crumpets and jfetting--you can bring along the little sumpin-sumpin to spike the tea. Sound agreeable to all? Anyone else want to join in on a little sit back and really relax read?

Apr. 21, 2009, 11:55pm

I posted this on my 50 book challenge thread earlier today and just thought I would throw it up over here as well.
I took Anne of Green Gables to bed with me last evening and am enjoying her tremendously. I bought my copy of the book at my favorite used book store (sadly out of business now) and inside the book was a four page story on the life of Lucy Maud Montgomery. It was quite interesting. I, without really thinking about it, always just assumed anyone who wrote such happy books was quite a happy person. Apparently Mz. Montgomery had quite a bit of hardship in her life. Her mother died when she was two of T.B. and she was raised by her maternal grandparents. She became a school teacher until the death of her grandfather whereupon she returned to tend her grandmother and the farm where she was raised.
Her grandmother died in 1911 and she married a local minister who suffered profoundly of depression and melancholy. She, herself suffered "nervous spells" and severe headaches.
But she continued to write the Anne series and then the Emily series, which she said was much more autobiographical. In 1933 she became ill and her husband suffered influenza, and a complete nervous breakdown and was entered into a sanitarium. She said that was "the most terrible year I have ever lived." She, herself had a minor breakdown in 1936. Her husband retired and she wrote her last book, Anne of Ingleside.
She died in 1942 and her husband survived her by only one year.
One just never knows.
Anyway, off to start (now end) my day. Hope yours is (was)great.

Apr. 22, 2009, 7:54am

I'm a scone-maker so if that's okay, no crumpets!
I have a copy of Anne of Green Gables that I checked out of my school library when I was 10 or so. When the school closed its doors for good, they sold off a lot of the books, and I bought it (I was in my late 20s and a mother by then). So it's a very precious book to me.
L.M. Montgomery's journals were published in book form here in Canada a number of yrs. ago. As you can imagine, she is an icon here - in the ranks of Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, Rohinton Mistry, etc. Don't know if the journal book ever made it to the US.
Have been to the Green Gables house a couple of times in Prince Edward Island - a lovely place, but fairly overrun with tourists. The Japanese love Anne, and it's like a shrine for them.
I will start on Anne soon!

Apr. 22, 2009, 9:52am

you can bring along the little sumpin-sumpin to spike the tea

Now that is something I can do! Scotch or Irish? ;-)

I'm starting Anne tonight!

Bearbeitet: Apr. 22, 2009, 11:28am

you are indeed blessed to have that particular copy of "Anne". My best friend's daughter lives in Maine and she travels there 2 or 3 times a year and they go to the Gables house at least one of those trips. She loves it and says it is beautiful.
So the Japanese love here; I imagine she is beloved world wide.

And jfetting;
I will leave the choice strictly up to you. I am sure you will choose as wisely as you do your reading material.
To get here just start down "Lover's Lane until you come to the rustic bridge. Then leave the lane and come through Mr. Barry's back field and past "Willowmere" and on through "Violet Vale". Follow "Birch Path" through Mr. Bell's wood, go down through the valley and then it is just up the spruce hill. We shall meet there at the old school house. See you there soon.

Apr. 22, 2009, 12:36pm

Copy the questions into your own post and answer the questions.

1) What author do you own the most books by?
Luanne Rice

2) What book do you own the most copies of?
Little Women

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Nary a bit

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Rhett Buttler, of course

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
A Little Princess

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
The Black Fawn and The Little Grey Men

7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
An Absolute Scandal

8) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Minotaur by Benjamin Tammuz

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
Cry, the Beloved Country

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
Not Obama

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Too late now, but Twilight

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
Stephen King chopped off my father's head.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
Skipping Christmas

15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
(tried to read) Crime and Punishment

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
King Lear (in Kabuki)

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
The Russians for sure

18) Roth or Updike?

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Eggers, please

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?

21) Austen or Eliot

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
True classics

23) What is your favorite novel?
Gone With the Wind

24) Play?
Kick the Can

25) Poem?

26) Essay?
Don't have one

27) Short story?
Any by Joyce Carol Oates or Alice Hoffman

28) Work of nonfiction?
I Will Fight No More Forever

29) Who is your favorite writer?
Simple--John Steinbeck

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Stephenie Meyer

31) What is your desert island book?
easy; the Bible

32) And... what are you reading right now?
Anne of Green Gables

Apr. 26, 2009, 9:28am

Finished Anne of Green Gables yesterday afternoon and began Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Keeping it simple folks.
happy reading all.

Apr. 28, 2009, 8:42pm

This afternoon I finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as my reading challenging grandson is finishing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Mine will go in the "to be returned to library" bag and his will come to me. Great how that works out. We are doing well with his challenge to me on the "H.P." books. I don't think that I would have read them otherwise. He goes first, then when he starts the next one, I read the one he just finished. And then we discuss them. It is a great bonding theme for an 11 year old boy and his 61 year old "nanny".
I also have other reads going at the same time. Next up for me: Big as Life by Maureen Howard, the author of A Lover's Almanac. This one is 3 shorts and I am looking forward to them. The three stories supposedly mark the advent of spring. Good timing, that.
Well, off to do some lurking and skulking about on LT.
Happy reading to all.

Mai 4, 2009, 8:26pm

My latest read:
Big as Life: Three Tales for Spring *** by Maureen Howard
This book consists of 3 novellas that supposedly mark the advent of spring.
The first, "Children with Matches" (April) begins beautifully. "Imagine carp--flickering metallic orange, not gold. Their movements to behold as swamp grasses swaying on the edge of an ornamental pond. Natural, by design so natural. The carp are the idea of George Baird, President of Baird Bank and Trust. He has caused the gutting of this pond, the cementing of its retaining walls to simulate crags and timeworn crannies. He believes his carp to be old, that the same stock performs for him these twenty years, flashing like dancers in the Burly-que over in Troy or hovering in tranquility like their gilt images on a Japanese screen. His fish are that versatile.
George Baird is set out by his fish pond, tucked up in lap robes. He is dying. The day is resplendent with the warmth of false Spring, so his doctor allows this excursion. Baird has sent his nurse back to the house. In a feeble pantomime he has asked for a cup of tea. Free of her fussing at last, with difficulty he wheels his invalid chair closer to the black water, the better to see his treasures, for they have emerged from their Winter torpor."
Thus begins the multi-generational story of the Baird family.
George Baird, the patriarch, is very well thought of and a leading member of the community. The son he had placed all his hopes on died in the war. The remaining son "no better than a clerk at the bank, a mild, evasive man not party to his wife's spiritual ambition" means less than nothing to the patriarch. But the clerk, his wife and their daughters move into the ancestral home and so the story moves along quickly into the generation of the daughters grown into spinsterhood. Their father having run the business into the ground, becoming fascinated with the wood surrounding the house and making trails throughout the wood and has left them pretty much penniless. They take in and raise a niece, Marie Claude. The story then becomes Marie Claude's and about the house being left to her, her boyfriend's and her story, the decisions made and the whys. It is an interesting tale, not fascinating, but interesting.
The 2nd, "The Magdalene" (May) begins in quite a different way. Mary, known as Mae, is a nurse and the story is about her past. She is born late to parents of a family in Ireland, one of three children. She has a brother Law and a sister Jane. Mary fell in love with a young man from the township and when he was sent away she became the town whore and was sent to family in America where the youngest daughter of the family became enamored of her. This story is basically of how "Mae" fought off all the men who knew of her past, her relationship with the young daughter of the family and how she made a life for herself in nursing. Again, interesting but not fascinating.
The 3rd, "Big as Life" (June) is a biograpy of Jean Jacques Audubon, better known as John James Audubon or just Audubon. The biography is not so much about him but how his life and the living of it affects his wife Lucy. This one was fascinating to me. Audubon would take off, sometimes for years at a time to study birds or to sell his collections of prints and therefore he and Lucy's relationship, according to this biography took place largely in letter form. They did have four children. Two sons who lived and two daughters who died at an early age. Lucy was a schoolteacher and largely supported the family while Audubon was off "doing his thing".
I don't really know if I would recommend this book. There are some who would like it, but for the mainstream reader I do not think this would be the book for you. It did do one thing for me. It made me want to do some research on the life of Audubon.
Happy reading all.

Mai 7, 2009, 7:17pm

I want to experience reading more of "the classics" so I picked up this "little" book to kind of put my head in the right place to begin. It didn't turn out to be exactly what I was expecting, but here is what it was:

The book: "Studies in Classic American Literature
The author: D.H. Lawrence

I found this book to be quite interesting in that the author (D.H. Lawrence, with whom I am unfamiliar excepting for titles of books he's written) is constantly contradicting himself. He speaks of people as gods, as their own "holy ghost". He thinks extremely low of women and Americans, Benjamin Franklin, in particular. At times it was quite witty, but I don't know if that was simply my take on his written word or if the author was in actuality being funny. He has a very interesting style of writing and after reading this commentary, I am sure that I will, at some point in the future, pick up some of his books to read.
He begins in chapter 1 by stating that "there is a new voice in the old American classics. The world has declined to hear it, and has babbled on about children's stories." He continues on to say that the Americans dodge "their very own selves." He speaks of the Pilgrim Fathers and their successors not having come here for freedom of worship but to get away from themselves. He ends this chapter on Franklin by stating and I quote: "Now is your chance, Europe. Now let Hell loose and get your own back , and paddle you own canoe on a new sea, while clever America lies on her muck-heaps of gold, strangles in her own barbed wire of shalt-not ideals and shalt-not moralisms. While she goes out to work like millions of squirrels in millions of cages. Production!
Let Hell loose, and get your own back, Europe!"
I must be stupid! What did Lawrence just say here? I think he enjoys confusing the reader.
His next chapter is on Hector St. John De Cre'vecceur whose "Letters from an American Farmer" he seems to have high praise for but then states that "he was an artist as well as a liar, otherwise we would not have bothered with him".
Then he gets into Fenimore Cooper's "white novels". "Rum + Savage = O." He speaks of the "Red Man dying hating the white man. What remnant of him lives, lives hating the white man." The "white novels are, says Lawrence, "Homeward Bound", "Eve Effingham", "The Spy", and "The Pilot".
But then there were the "Leatherstocking Novels", of which Lawrence states he has "loved so dearly". He calls Cooper a "Gentleman" and then also calls him the "great American grouch." Of the "Leatherstocking Novels", there was: "Pioneers", "The Last of the Mohicans", "The Prarie", "The Pathfinder", and lastly, "Deerslayer". Here is where the book began to fulfill my expectations. I loved how Lawrence wrote about Cooper's books and the indians and the whites in this portion of the book. And perhaps because I have read some of Fenimore Cooper, it was more easily understandable to me. He speaks to the indian's way of thinking as in their hunting introspection. "Hurt nothing unless you are forced to". But then he turns around and belittles them for those very thoughts and for their actions pertaining to them.
When he comes to Poe, he calls him more of a scientist than an artist, but at least he gives him the credit of artistry. And says of Poe's pieces that they are a "concatenation of cause and effect." He speaks highly of his "love" stories. "Ligeia" and "The Fall of the House of Usher", but calls his style a mechanical quality and says that "he never sees anything in terms of life, but almost always in terms of matter, jewels, marble, etc."
Now we come to Hawthorne who "writes romance". Everything is all sunlight and roses in "As You Like It" and "Forest Lovers". And while he disses "The Scarlet Letter" I could tell that he liked/loved it. About Hester, he says: "But it is truly a law, that man must either stick to the belief he has grounded himself on, and obey the laws of that belief, or he must admit the belief itself to be inadequate, and prepare himself for a new thing." He uses that term a lot. ("a new thing"). He mentions other works of Hawthorne. "Twice Told Tales", "The House of the Seven Gables", "Blithedale Romance" and then moves on to:
Dana's "Two Years Before the Mast". Lawrence appears to be quite taken with Dana's descriptions of life upon the seas and all the elements surrounding that. But he also shows him no respect when he says that after the two years at sea and after the writing of the book, "Dana went home, to be a lawyer, and a rather dull and distinguished citizen. Dana lived his bit in two years, and knew, and drummed out the rest. Dreary lawyer's years, afterwards."
"We know enough, We know too much. We know nothing.
Let us smash something. Ourselves included. But the machine above all.
Dana's small book is a very great book: contains a great extreme of knowledge, knowledge of the great element.
And after all, we have know to all before we can know that knowing is nothing.
Imaginatively, we have to know all: even the elemental waters. And know and know on, until knowledge suddenly shrivels and we know that forever we don't know.
Then there is a sort of peace, and we can start afresh, knowing we don't know."
I know that all that sounds really strange, but I found it somehow beautiful in the writing of it.
Ahhh, now he comes to the master; Melville. And Lawrence does call him "the greatest seer and poet of the sea." He speaks of "Typee" and spending time with the cannibals of Nukuheva, comparing this life with the life of Adam and Eve before the Apple episode. Next he speaks of "Omoo" and calls this one "good reading; a fascinating book; picaresque, rascally, roving." At the end of this chapter he writes: (and I loved this part)
"Melville was, at the core, a mystic and an idealist.
Perhaps, so am I.
And he stuck to his ideal guns.
I abandon mine."
The very last chapter is of course Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" or "the White Whale" To Lawrence this is symbolism at it's best. And while he does state that at first you are put off by his style and that it reads like journalism, but he also states that this is because the artistry in Melville is so much bigger than the man. We all know the story of "Moby Dick" even if we've not read the book. It is clear to me that Melville is definitely a literary hero of Lawrence.
Thus we come to the end of this narrative.
I would recommend this book to the very few who love to fight their way through a book. And sometimes we do. I found it to be enlightening and at times beautiful at times

Bearbeitet: Mai 9, 2009, 6:45pm

I guess it helps if I tell you what book I am reviewing. That's the first time I've put a review out here with no title. Funny!~!

Soooo my next read was: The Holiday by Stevie Smith
I am so disappointed in this read. It is my first (knowingly) read Virago Modern Classic and I could not like, let alone, love it. (And it is the first one I purchased which makes it even worse.) I liked the premise of the book; which is that of perhaps a two or three week period in the life of a young lady who lives with her spinster aunt. She "loves" 2 of her male cousins and she, a friend and a cousin go to spend "the holiday" with a beloved uncle in the country.
The first part of the book is all mumbly, jumbly with not much making sense other than it is postwar England (I believe it was written earlier but not published until after so some changes had to be made.) and everyone works for the ministry in some sort of job or another. It just sort of rambles hither and yon until they leave for "the holiday".
Then it started to pick up and get better until all of a sudden everyone is crying here, there, and everywhere and poetry is being thrown about, not really fitting in. But there were some good bits in it also. I liked the parts where the young people went rambling across the countryside, horseback riding, swimming, picnicking, etc. Perhaps if I were a Brit I could have liked this but I don't think so.
I really could not recommend this book to anyone.

Bearbeitet: Mai 11, 2009, 8:10am

The next book I picked up for my reading pleasure was Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.

Brideshead Revisited (Everyman's Library Classics)… by Evelyn Waugh.

I know, I really know that I am very much in the minority when I say that I did not enjoy this book. (**I am hearing gasps all round the U.K.**) I enjoyed moments of the book, but all in all I found the characters to be flat, worldly and boring people. There seemed to be no plot. The people all seemed so self centered and decadent.
I forced myself to do this in one sitting (excepting for meal and potty breaks) because I knew that if I put it down I would not pick it up again. The 2 1/2 star rating I did give it was for the writing only.
I wanted to like/love it so very much because all of my LT heros/heroines love it and I do feel totally inept to have to say that I cannot measure up. But, oh well, *hit happens and it usually rolls downhill and I am oftentimes at the bottom. I will simply find something different to read that I can and will love.
Sorry, guys. I am sure that if I were British I would have enjoyed this one.

Mai 11, 2009, 10:54am

I'm sorry you didn't like it! But that's the beauty of reading and this website - everyone has different tastes. If you liked the writing, and just didn't like the story or the characters, maybe think about trying one of his other, funnier books? Scoop and Decline and Fall and A Handful of Dust are all good, too, and very different from Brideshead.

I want to be a Brit too! But a very specific kind of Brit - one of the Bright Young Things with a country house/palace and a place in town, living in the 1920s-30s. Like a character in a book, or a female Anthony Powell. If I can't be that, I'd accept being a wizard. I'd make a great Potions teacher. Or Potions professor, at Wizarding University.

Mai 11, 2009, 1:19pm

Ha ha, you're funny.
I can probably put a name on that one. But you might get drowsy.

I think I will take your advise on Waugh though as I am the only one on LT that I have seen not like or even love Brideshead Revisited.

Mai 11, 2009, 1:22pm

Ha ha, you're funny.
I can probably put a name on that one. But you might get drowsy.

I think I will take your advise on Waugh though as I am the only one on LT that I have seen not like or even love Brideshead Revisited.

Mai 11, 2009, 5:03pm

I may be wrong, but I believe BR was about a Britain that had been devestated by WWI - that the young generation that survived had a hard time coming to grips with that horror and often lived frivolously; England had changed so much - esp. for the upper class. Britain lost a huge number of men in that horrific war. The 20's was a time of adjustment.

Bearbeitet: Mai 12, 2009, 8:10am

Good morning dihiba;
You know, as I was reading you comments, I was thinking about the book I am reading now: The Razor's Edge by Maugham. And I am realizing that the conversations, the places they take place, the lifestyles, travels, companions, shallowness, etc., of the characters are not so very different from "B R" and yet at half way through the book, I am really loving it, whereas with "B R: by this point I was ready to throw it through the window. But I can understand why the people in "Edge" are living their lives as they are (same time period, I believe), I wasn't able to understand the same regarding the people in "B R". But one book comes from this side and one from the other side of the pond, so to speak. I mean they are all living it up in Europe but most of the main characters from "Edge" were raised in Chicago. So I do understand what you are saying and I guess it just wasn't on my mind that their lives (in "BR) were in such an upheaval at the time the story takes place and everyone was just out there searching for something to hold on to no matter how frivolous or whatever.
I think I will give it another go in a year or so.
Thanks for popping over and for the comments. They are appreciated.

Mai 12, 2009, 9:07am

Well I haven't read Brideshead yet, though I did see part of the PBS series. It didn't really interest me. I have the book in my Library because it was my mother's. I read one of Waugh's other books, and he didn't really grab me. So you are not the only one on LT that isn't jazzed about Waugh, though you may like some of his others. Maybe his characters come across as too diffident for me.

Mai 12, 2009, 1:31pm

Hi FicusFan.
I thought I was the only one.
But perhaps I will feel differently about "B R" at another time. I recall one gentleman stating on LT that he always had to write his reviews right away because within a day or two he might feel differently. So, one never knows.
This was my first Waugh so I most likely will give some of his other work a go.
Did you catch "Sense and Sensibility" last night on PBS? I just caught the last 20 minutes but it looked really good. I looked to see if it would be showing again and no such luck. Maybe in 6 months or so.
Enjoy your day. Hope you are having sunshine where you are. It is raining here.

Mai 12, 2009, 1:32pm

The name: The Moon is Down
The author: John Steinbeck
The time: war time
The place: a small village in Norway
The cast: the village people and the occupying German soldiers

The quiet little village was taken as quickly and quietly as all of the other villages on the island. The occupation was unexpected and no preparations were in place. This is the story of the nature of man when he realizes the strength of a few who when banded together become one. The book is beautifully crafted, as are all of John Steinbeck's novels and short stories. He was a master with the written word.
The German soldiers came into the village and took over. They needed the coal from the mine. Six men fought back,
six men died. The commanding officers of the army took over the house of the mayor and planned to give orders to the coal miners and others of the village through the mayor. The mayor thought otherwise. Eventually the mayor died.
As directives were given, in the beginning they were refused. That refusing person was shot. A German soldier would be found dead and buried in a snow bank. The army would discover the guilty party and that person would be shot. Slowly the villagers began to do what the occupying forces were asking of them. But the work went very slowly and tediously, frustrating the German soldiers to no end. Suddenly there were break downs of equipment at the mine and it would take a long time for the repairs to be made. Young men of the village began to disappear during the night and the next morning boats would be missing.
Soon the planes began to come and there would be a light at the mine or on the rails. Bombs would fall from the sky, more time became necessary for repairs. The soldiers would find the party who had supplied the light for the planes and that person would be shot. A short time later this would be repeated. The bombings and the shootings, the bombings and the shootings.
There began to come airdrops over the village with little parachutes. Attached to these parachutes would be one stick of dynamite and a piece of chocolate. The children of the village would go out searching as if on an Easter egg hunt. They would eat the chocolate and run home with the dynamite for their parents to hide. Soon more parts of the rails were being blown up by the dynamite, more villagers shot. And still this little village, this community would not give in to the German army.
The Moon is Down is a very slim little volume, but it speaks hugely to what we are capable of if we do not simply give in to the "larger order of the day" and stand by our rights and refuse to allow them to be taken from us no matter what. In the grand scheme of things this was just one small village, but imagine what would have happened if every village, city, and country had stood up like this. Still, huge numbers would have died but they would not have simply been run over.

Bearbeitet: Mai 17, 2009, 3:00pm

ER (from December---ooops----sorry, it got hidden in with the masses)

Yesterday I read The Fireman's Wife written by Jack Riggs and was anticipating a just so-so read. Surprisingly, I really liked it. Partly, I am sure because I am married to a 32 year veteran volunteer fire fighter/assistant chief and also because I liked the story line.
It is written in the first person, alternating chapters between the husband (Peck) and the wife (Cassie). It takes place in the low country and mountains of the Carolinas.
There is a 17 year old daughter, a great kid, who is on the all-star soft ball team but not very involved in the plot other that her emotion levels, etc.
The storyline is based on Cassie who had great plans for her life, who wanted to go on to college and enter a profession but ends up falling in love, getting pregnant and marrying. She never gets over the resentment of having to give up her dream.
Peck, I believe, has the greater conflict of being the best fire chief he can possibly be, keeping his team of firefighters well trained and staffed and at the same time attempting to be a wonderful husband and keeping Cassie happy and helping her to feel fulfilled.
Cassie's chapters for the most part are about her feelings and desires to get away and start a new life, the kind of life she had always hoped to have. Peck's chapters are filled with all the mundane things that firefighters are involved with as well as the horrific incidents they must deal with.
Each summer Cassie takes their daughter, Kelly, and returns to the mountains where she was raised and spends time with her mother who is a wonderfully drawn character.
Peck remains behind to do what a fire chief does. I found this to be much more Peck's story, actually, than Cassie's. Or perhaps I just became much more engaged with his character than with her's. His is by far the more sympathetic and well rounded character. I loved how his men seemed more like brothers than co-workers and could identify with that as I have seen it happen with my own husband's department.
The inevitable happens and Cassie becomes involved with someone else and for a time believes that this is her ticket out of a life she had not planned for herself. But Thomas Wolfe was right. "You can't go home again." So Cassie has this inward struggle (and we see it in real life almost every day). This particular year when she goes to the mountains she must face the situation and her demons and decide what she will commit to.
For me, this is where the story really began. Cassie in the mountains with her mother and daughter and Peck at home with the car accidents, drownings, fires, and all that firemen deal with. And also Peck and his fellow firefighter buddies and their fun down times.
I liked the book, though I thought Cassie's character to be a little flat. I would recommend it for a quick read to anyone interested in firefighting, ambulance chasing, or women going through life changing struggles. But if you are looking for something of real substance or depth you won't find it here. However sometimes we just need a good quick read and The Fireman's Wife was that.

quotes from the book, not attributed to anyone:

The water is wide, I can't cross over.
And neither have I wings to fly,
Build me a boat that can carry two,
And both shall row, my love and I.

A ship there is, and she sails the sea,
She's loaded deep, as deep can be,
But not as deep as the love I'm in,
I know not how I sink or swim.

Love is handsome and love is fine,
The sweetest flower, when first it's new,
But love grows old and waxes cold,
And fades away, like summer dew.

I went to Wikisource and found the above to be lyrics from
what is thought to be an English or Scottish folksong from the sixties entitled "The Water is Wide" but with no artist.

I would definitely read more by this author.

Bearbeitet: Mai 18, 2009, 6:21am

Yesterday I read another ER book. Conscience Point by Erica Abeel

My first thought upon reading this book was that this is a very strange name for this book, for most of the characters were really pretty unconscionable. They were flat and not at all sympathetic. I really didn't care about any of them. I will come right out and say I did not like the book. This is written as a "story of the rich and famous". The storyline takes place in the news, publishing and music business world. The main character, Maddy, is a concert pianist and does a music news commentary show. She meets a family consisting of a mother who seems to like her many birds better than she likes her children, Violet, who is a painter, and Nick, who is a book publisher. Maddy develops a friendship with Violet and they eventually become sexually involved. Violet, an alcoholic sees that Maddy is going to become involved with her brother, at which point she flees the continent where she gets deeply into drugs and lives in a seedy world with another lesbian lover.
She contacts Maddy out of the blue one day and begs her to come to Europe to see her. When Maddy arrives, Violet presents her with a baby girl whom she claims is hers and begs Maddy to take her home and raise her as her own. Maddy names the little girl Laila and the story begins as the adoptive daughter is about 19 years of age. By this time Maddy has been in a long term relationship with Nick for about eight years.
Nick and Laila become inclandestine lovers and it takes Maddie a while to figure it out. When she does, all hell breaks loose. She finds out Laila is pregnant and is going to go away. Maddie and Nick break it off. They live their lives, such as they are for a time. Violet passes away and eventually they find out that Laila did not actually belong to Violet, but to her lesbian lover. Then Nick comes crawling back to Maddy wanting her to take him back. She actually is with him for a while and considers it, but in the end tells him she will take a pass on it. The plot line outside all this totally slipped by me if indeed there was one at all, except for the music. And to be honest, some of the piano scenes were written beautifully.
There were also some lovely lines within the book.
"Love cannot dwell with suspicion."
"Cupid is telling Psyche bye-bye. He's splitting because Violet to Maddy: Psyche didn't trust him---maybe she had her reasons. 'Love cannot dwell with suspicion'. That's what Cupid's telling Psyche, the bastard."
Paganini made people weep with the playing of a scale.
In our dream we would live in the divine dissatisfaction of the artist.
Honestly those were the best parts of the book for me. This is another book, that once I started it---it was so bad that I knew if I put it down for whatever reason I would never pick it up again. I cannot, in all honesty, recommend this book and there is no way I would ever read it again.

Mai 18, 2009, 12:54pm

The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

I have put off the writing of this for several days as I just quite do not know how to do a review on the stuff this book is made of. I love this book and I did not want it to end. I especially love the style Maugham used in the writing of it.
Immediately upon beginning the book, I was reminded of reading Brideshead Revisited and how much I disliked that book mainly because I could not understand nor care about the characters nor the way they lived their lives throughout the story. In The Razor's Edge Larry says he just "wants to loaf." And most of the characters within the book spend their days "loafing" of a sort. They spend them lunching with friends, having drinks, living in quite the same type of manner. But in this book I understood why the people lived as they did. I cared about the characters within this novel. I cared about what they did, what they ate, what they drank, what they said, with whom they spent their time, where they went. In other words I quickly came to care about every aspect of their lives. I became so drawn into the story that I forgot about my own world the whole time during which I was reading it.
I think most of us know the story of The Razor's Edge whether we have read it or not. I know I did. There are many reviews on this site that will share that information with you if you wish. I was prepared for the story. What I was not prepared for was the gamut of emotions I went through as I read this slim novel. Nor was I prepared to see the characters so fully fleshed out to the point that while I was reading the book, I actually knew these people. I was also not prepared for the brilliance of Somerset Maugham's writing. As in this quote from Larry:
"You can't imagine what a thrill it is to read the Odyssey in the original. It makes you feel as if you had only to get on tiptoe and stretch out your hands to touch the stars."
There is one point in the novel where the narrator, Maugham, and Larry accidentally run into each other at the theater and decide to meet for drinks afterward. They order a late night supper of eggs and bacon and talk. Maugham realizes that Larry wants to talk (usually he is quite private) and just sits back and lets him, responding when it is appropriate. He allows Larry to tell his story which runs until after breakfast the next morning and fully 41 pages of the book. At one point Larry is telling about living with a Benedictine monk and their conversations and he tells of the monk asking him: "Do you believe in God?" The narrative goes on: "Larry hesitated for a moment, and when he went on I knew he wasn't speaking to me but to the Benedictine monk. He had forgotten me. I don't know what there was in the time or the place that enabled him to speak, without my prompting, of what his natural reticence had so long concealed."
This is a beautiful story written in absolutely beautiful prose.
If you have not read it, you should. I highly recommend it.

Mai 18, 2009, 1:42pm

That was a great review of The Razor's Edge, nannybabette! I will be looking for a copy of it to add to my TBR mountain.

Mai 18, 2009, 1:54pm

That was so bizarre!~! I was writing on your thread as you were writing on mine. We are so psycho together!~!

Thank you for your kind words and yes, you should read it. It is wonderful. I want to start it again today, but won't. Have "Anna Karinina" on the group read to catch up on and am starting Steinbeck's unfinished The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights for the 999 challenge. He stopped working on it in 1959 and passed away nine years later without having finished it. But any Steinbeck is worth the reading of it.

Mai 18, 2009, 2:14pm

Oh good! I'm glad The Razor's Edge is so good. I love Maugham, and I have this one at home, and now I'll have to read it. Great review belva!

Bearbeitet: Mai 23, 2009, 11:05pm

Thank you for your kind words Jennifer and I don't think you will be disappointed with this read.
Enjoy your day.

Mai 23, 2009, 11:06pm

Oh wily Odysseus he set out from Troy,
With his boat full of loot and his heart full of joy,
For he was Athene's own shiny-eyed boy,
With his lies and his tricks and this thieving!

His first port of call was the sweet Lotus shore
Where we sailors did long to forget the foul war;
But we soon were hauled off on the black ships once more,
Although we were pining and grieving.

To the dread one-eyed Cyclops then next we did hie,
He wanted to eat us so we put out his eye;
Our lad said, "I'm No One," but then bragged, "Twas I,
Odysseus, the prince of deceiving!"

So there's a curse on his head from Poseidon his foe,
That is dogging his heels as he sails to and fro,
And a big bag of wind that will boisterously blow
Odysseus, the saltiest seaman!

Here's a health to our Captain, so gallant and free,
Whether stuck on a rock or asleep 'neath a tree,
Or rolled in the arms of some nymph of the sea,
Which is where we would all like to be, man!

The vile Laestrygonians then we did meet,
Who dined on our men from their brains to their feet;
He was sorry he'd asked them for something to eat,
Odysseus, that epical he-man!

On the island of Circe we were turned into swine,
Till Odysseus bedded the goddess so fine,
Then he ate up her cakes and he drank up her wine,
For a year he became her blithe lodger!

So a health to our Captain where 'er he may roam,
Tossed here and tossed there on the wide ocean's foam,
And he's in no hurry to ever get home-----
Odysseus, that crafty old codger!

To the Isle of the Dead then he next took his way,
Filled a trench up with blood, held the spirits at bay,
Till he learned what Teiresias, the seer, had to say,
Odysseus, the artfullest dodger!

The Siren's sweet singing then next he did brave,
They attempted to lure him to a feathery grave,
While tied to the mast he did rant and did rave,
But Odysseus alone learned their riddle!

The whirlpool Charybdis did not our lad catch,
Nor snake-headed Scylla, she could not him snatch,
Then he ran the fell rocks that would grind you to scratch,
For their clashing he gave not a piddle!

We men did a bad turn against his command,
When we ate the Sun's cattle, they sure tasted grand,
In a storm we all perished, but our Captain reached land,
On the isle of the goddess Calypso.

After seven long years there of kissing and woo,
He escaped on a raft that was drove to and fro,
Till fair Nausicaa's maids that the laundry did do,
Found him bare on the beach---he did drip so!

Then he told his adventures and laid to his store
A hundred disasters and sufferings galore,
For no one can tell what the Fates have in store,
Not Odysseus, that master disguiser!

So a health to our Captain, where 'er he may be,
Whether walking the earth or adrift on the sea,
For he's not down in Hades, unlike of of we---
And we leave you not any the wiser!

This, from my very first Atwood read, is great stuff!~!
What fun!~!

Mai 23, 2009, 11:33pm

ooohhh - you're reading The Penelopiad!! Lucky!

Mai 24, 2009, 12:34am

Yes Jennifer, I am and I am finding it wonderful. I love it!~! The woman is a genius. I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying this and I have never read about the "gods" nor have I read any of the Greek or Roman classics or tragedies. But now I want to and I have a feeling that after I finish this one I will.

Mai 24, 2009, 5:43pm

I finished reading John Steinbeck's The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights a few days ago but found it necessary to let it ramble round in my brain before putting it to paper. This one was very difficult for me as Steinbeck is my literary hero. But on with the review:

John Steinbeck grew up very enamored by "Le Morte d'Arthur" by Sir Thomas Malory almost to the point of obsession. (or perhaps to the point of obsession) When he began writing he wanted to write Malory's book in language more easily understood, hoping that more people, especially youngsters, would read this wonderful work.
And that is exactly how he begins this unfinished work. He starts at the point where King Uther Pendragon falls in love with the Lady Igraine and basically translates Malory's work onto paper. But it is not his own. It remains Malory's. The story moves along, shorting us of the marvelous details, underlying story lines and thoughts that we are so used to from Steinbeck. I found there to be very little of Merlin or King Arthur in this narration of the legend.
When Steinbeck reaches the part of the travails of the knights Gawain, Ewain, and Marhalt he hits his stride and all of a sudden the story becomes not a translation of Malory into more modern language, but it becomes his own retelling of the legend of King Arthur's knights and suddenly I became immersed within it. We follow the legend to the point where Guinevere is just beginning to return the affections of Sir Lancelot and here for some unknown reason Steinbeck ends his narrative. Bam! It's done. It's over.
John Steinbeck began writing this work in 1958 and stopped
in 1959. Fully 1/5 of the book is contained in the appendix. There are excerpts from letters about this work running from 1931 up until his death in 1968. He continued to communicate regarding this work for 31 years. The letters were mainly written to his agent, Elizabeth Otis, and his editor, Chase Horton. It appears as if he never gave up on the work nor did he give up his obsession with the legend.
I find it very sad that John Steinbeck didn't simply write a novel of the legend of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. I think, and this is just my opinion, that if he had made this a work of his own as opposed to a reworking of Malory, it would have been another one of Steinbeck's wonderful writings. But as it is, unfinished and with all the letters at the end of the book to show us how he fretted, worried, and studied over this, we see just how much of his life was spent on something that was beyond even the genius of John Steinbeck.

Mai 25, 2009, 1:43pm

Well, I have completed The Blank Wall and The Penelopiad so thoughts, comments and reviews to be forthcoming.
I have now moved along to March by Geraldine Brooks and also am tackling Homer's The Iliad. I am expecting the later to take me quite some time as I am just dipping into the mythological classics and have no background here. But I am excited to be wetting my toes and to be getting on with it, so to speak.

Mai 25, 2009, 2:34pm

I'm currently reading the Iliad and finding it interesting but slow going. I am enjoying it though.

Mai 25, 2009, 3:08pm

I am really glad to hear that. Hopefully it will have the same effect on me and I am prepared for it to be a slow read.
Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate your comment. Nice to see someone else in the same shoes.

Mai 25, 2009, 3:09pm

My comments on The Blank Wall:

This story is touted as a "suspense" novel and I was very excited to read it as it was highly thought of by both Raymond Chandler and Alfred Hitchcock. Ms. Holding is very good with her characterizations and while I didn't come to care about any of the characters I did understand them and why they behaved the way that each one of them behaved. The story takes place during WWII with the husband away at war and the wife left home with two adolescent teens,her father and one servant in the house to deal with. The daughter gets involved with a seedy character and whilst the mother attempts to undo their relationship, the whole thing comes apart. The story is a pretty formulaic tale and I am sure there are a lot who would go for this and actually enjoy the read. I finished it because I started it but it was pretty obvious where it was going, so no suspense there for me. In point of fact I found it rather boring. The most interesting parts for me were the parts of "stamp rationing" for food and petrol.

Mai 25, 2009, 4:28pm

The Garden at the Edge of Beyond went onto my wishlist, as will One Extra*Ordinary Day...

you are a blazing fast reader :)
I am almost afraid to read the first ( catch up ) part of this thread...


Mai 25, 2009, 5:21pm

Now you are beginning to frighten me!~! hehe
The Garden at the Edge of Beyond is such a special little book. And I loved One Extra Ordinary Day. How I would love to have (and perhaps someday I will) have a day like either one of the above speaks of.

Mai 28, 2009, 4:42pm

have finished March, almost finished with part 3 of Anna Karinina for the group read. I should be able to finish that this afternoon and then get back to The Iliad tonight after the baseball game. Also need to read the next H.P book # 5 before school gets out as my grandson checked it out of the grammar school library for me.
On with the program.
Hope you all are getting some great reads in.

Mai 28, 2009, 9:20pm

I had a hard time with HP #5. So much whiny teenage angst! But in the end, I really enjoyed it. (I loved all 7 books, though, so take that with a grain of salt!)

Mai 28, 2009, 10:50pm

Thanx for the warning. I would hate to have to deep six a harry potter!~! HA! And I have 4 teen age grand kids so hopefully it won't make me too crazy!~!

Mai 29, 2009, 1:18am

Deep six a Harry Potter?! Never! Have read them all (some of them several times and aloud, too!) and am eagerly awaiting the next movie installment this summer. The, I haven't read that since highschool. I loved it though. And Anna Karinina...clearly I should read alongside you more often. That's another favorite. Have fun!

Mai 29, 2009, 7:27am

Hi Berly;
Anna Karinina is indeed a wonderful read. I joined the group read on the 75 gig. They are reading one section per month; the 15th to the 15th. So it is approximately 100 pages a month. If you don't forget (like I just did--but I got caught up last night) you have plenty of time to do your reading you want to plus the group read. It's set up pretty cool so that people can keep up without too much pressure. You still have plenty of time to join if you would like. We are on part 3 right now until the 15th of June. So ---------300 pages. That is just the equivalent of one book in more than 2 weeks. Come on over!~!
The Iliad is another story for me. I have like no background for this so I am having a lot of trouble with names, places, etc. and I'm not even through the introduction. I am tempted to skip the intro and jump right into the book. Might be that the interpretation I have "sucks". Don't know enough about it to know.
And yeah, we are catching up on all the H.P. novels and the DVDs in preparation for the new movie coming out in July (I think). We all want to go together to the theater and see it. What fun!~!
Thanx for popping over.
You reading anything good these days?

Jun. 4, 2009, 1:00pm

Have just been running, getting a little reading done, but no reading of threads, :( , no posting, no comments, ratings, reviews, Grrrrrr.
Life; sometimes it just happens and we gotta go with it. Thankfully, we all have one. :)
I don't even remember where I was on here: I finished March, quite enjoyed it (comments and review to come); read an ARC, The Moment Between, beautiful novel, absolutely loved it (comments and review to come; read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (will comment and review when completed with the series) and am reading (just cuz -anything to keep me from picking up The Iliea -- I am so afraid of it) Looking Up by Rebecca Gregson because I really liked her Eggshell Days.
So lotz to do.
And I am off to Olympia and then to Chehalis to pick up 2 of our critters I took out to the vet hospital yesterday to be "fixed".
More to come. Wishing everyone a wonderful day.

Jun. 5, 2009, 2:27pm

March by Geraldine Brooks

comments, thoughts and review:

I began this book feeling that I wasn't going to care for the main character. I had always pictured Mr. March as pretty much of a milk toast guy. He left all the important matters up to Mrs. March and he just really wasn't "there" even when he was there with his family. But by 1/3 of the way through the book I was into the story, into the characters and had gone from thinking him a weak, spineless man (which was how I always felt about him when reading Little Women) to seeing him as a fully fleshed out character in his own right.
I really like how Brooks puts a book together, slowly building on the storyline and the characters and allowing the reader to just take it all in with no confusion until he/she is there, in the moment of the story and with the characters.
The story of March is that he was a minister who, when going to see the young men from the township off to war, suddenly told them they would not be going alone---that he would be going with them. That group didn't have need of a chaplain, but they put him with another group who did. So Mr. March went to war. He was connected with John Brown, his family was active in the underground railroad, he was on friendly terms with Emerson, Thoreau and others like them.
He writes letters home trying to tell his family of some of the not so gruesome details of his life with the army. He spends much of his time on a cotton plantation helping to establish schools for the colored children and their parents. The author does a good job describing what life was like for the blacks and whites alike during the terrible days of the Civil War.
The plantation is taken over and the whites and blacks alike are taken, tortured, and some are killed. Only one got away and she came back to get Mr. March and help him. She got him to a hospital and Mrs March was sent for as he was doing very poorly and at this point, as in Little Women, Brooks saves the day and brings Marmee to the hospital where she and her husband are reunited. I was quite amazed to see that in this book Mrs. March is portrayed as quite a little spitfire.
According to Brooks, Alcott modeled the March girls after herself and her sisters. Journals, letters, and biographies of Alcotts's father, Bronson, were used for inspiration in the writing of this novel. Bronson Alcott was a radical even for those times and "recorded his life in sixty one journals and his letters fill thirty seven manuscript volumes in the Harvard College Library. He is the subject of an 1893 two volume memoir by Franklin B Sanborn and William T Harris, and a 1937 biography by Odell Shepard. Warm references to Bronson Alcott, often as mentor and inspiration, appear frequently in the letters and journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, who were among his closest friends."
I did like this book and look forward to reading more by this author. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys historical fiction, books on the Civil War (though it is fiction) or just wants a good read. There is not a lot of depth here, but it is a good book and I enjoyed it. However, I read in one of the reviews here that it was a Pulitzer Prize winner and though I enjoyed it, I cannot see it being of that quality work.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 5, 2009, 2:49pm

The Moment Between by Nicole Baart ARC

thoughts, comments, and review:

Abigail is the older sister trying to hold her family emotionally together and to have a life of her own at the same time. Hailey is the younger unstable sister who requires the heart and soul of Abigail in order to "remain". She is tormented to her very soul and though she attempts to hide it and live a normal life, it eventually becomes more than she can bear and she takes her life.
The only way Abigail can cope with Hailey's death is to try to find her ex boyfriend and attempt to find out why her younger sister took her life. She becomes obsessed with finding Tyler so she takes a leave of absence from her firm and strikes out to the Canadian vineyards to find him.
This story is told in a very unusual manner in that the past and the present is told in the 3rd person, while "the moments between" are told in the 1st person narrative. The flips were not confusing nor difficult to follow and it was easy to remain within the story.
When Abigail eventually finds the vineyard where Tyler is working, she finds that it is owned by his uncle Eli who actually befriends her without knowing anything about her past and offers her a job and a place to live. They develop a warm and nurturing relationship while she and Tyler's relationship begins and remains very antagonistic. Abigail does not tell Tyler who she is nor why she is there.
I don't feel I can go any further into the storyline without spoiling it for the next reader so I will only say how very, very much I liked this book. I cared about the characters and felt I grew to know them. I hope a lot of you will read this book. I highly recommend it.

Jun. 5, 2009, 2:56pm

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (Myths)… by Margaret Atwood

thoughts, comments, review:

"The Penelopiad" is the myth of Penelope and Odysseus. Penelope was the daughter of Icareus of Sparta and her mother was a water nymph. Her very competitive and holier than thou cousin was the lovely Helen of Troy. Penelope is seen in this tale as the constant and faithful wife, the mother of an angst ridden teenaged son, Telemachus, who wants his "portion". She is the lonely, ever wise, wife awaiting the long (nearly twenty year) return of her adventurous husband, Odysseus, who is off saving the world and having wonderful and dangerous adventures.
Penelope tells her tale from the world of the dead to the world of the living, and wants the living to know that she is/was not as she was thought and spoken of.
During Odysseus' years of absence she is suitored by many who assume he is dead and not likely to return. They would like to have her hand and to replace him as her husband and as leader of the realm. Penelope allows the suitors to encamp outside the castle and they proceed to "eat the castle out of house and home". Her twelve favored maidens sleep with some of the suitors, at Penelope's request, to gain information about Odysseus and where and how he might be. Rumors abound. It is said that along his travels he is helped at every turn by beautiful ladies, including the lovely Helen. He also is "taken in" by goddesses who keep him for their pleasure along the way.
Penelope is left at home holding down the fort, playing the dutiful wife and taking care of business. Upon the return of Odysseus he is furious at the encampment of the "suitors" of Penelope and that so much of his wealth has gone into the feeding and caring of them. Also he finds that some of her favorite maidens have slept with the them.
He creates a bloodbath and kills the suitors; orders his son to kill the maidens whereupon the son, considering slaughtering them to be too good a death, hangs all twelve of them. Poor Penelope is left, once again, weeping and with an angry husband.
I enjoyed this book tremendously. There was quite a bit of the spoof to it, and several original poems and limericks thrown in (generally from the twelve maidens viewpoint), and a quite funny courtroom/trial segment at the end that made it all the more fun. This was my first read by Margaret Atwood but it will not be my last. It was also my first venture into mythology, again it will not be my last. I highly recommend "The Penelopied" to anyone who likes Atwood, who enjoys mythology, or just wants a fun read. This book has definitely peaked my interest in the more important works of mythology and the old Greek/Roman classics.

Jun. 9, 2009, 3:14pm

Thanks Belva (re #77)!

Just bought Anna. I'll get cracking on the reading (up to 300, right?). What happens on the 15th? How do I join the discussion?

Jun. 9, 2009, 5:42pm

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Jun. 9, 2009, 5:51pm

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Jun. 9, 2009, 5:52pm

I'm aworking on it Berly. It is on the 75 gig, the 2nd group read down so just click on that. (I am working on finding the sign up post.)
We read 1 part of Anna Karinina beginning on the 15 of each month to the 15 of the next month. We will be starting the 4th part on the 15 of this month. There are only about 100 pages average per part so just start the book now so you can catch up with us. There are eight parts total. Believe me, you are fortunate. It is really difficult to put it down when you finish a part; you really want to continue--at least I do.
I will get back with you when I find that sign up post. Okay?
P.S. you don't have to wait until you get signed up to join in on the discussion. K?

Jun. 9, 2009, 5:57pm

I was looking and didn't see a sign up post so just start posting away and let people know you are in the game!~!
I know you will enjoy being part of the group read.
I think --BJ is the group read champion. She is in 7 of them right now, but I don't know if "Anna" is one of them. Can you imagine? 7???
later babe,

Jun. 10, 2009, 6:51am

Tonight I finished one of my best reads of 2009. And it was a borrowed copy no less.
Entitled Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by a first time author David Grann, this one will stand the test of time.

my thoughts, comments, and review:

In 1925 Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett and his expedition party (including his son) entered the Amazon in search of The Lost City of El Dorado which he called simply "Z". This story is about the search for his party which, like those who went before, never returned. For months, Fawcett was able to get messages out to his wife Nina, but eventually those stopped coming. He was never seen nor heard from again.
David Grann, journalist and first time author, came across the Fawcett story in 2004 via some journals; became fascinated with the story and wanted to research and write about it. This book is the culmination of that research.
Grann used the journals, private diaries, papers, interviews and whatever else he could get his hands on and verify to pull this together and the end result is what we have here. A fascinating piece of nonfiction that tells us what he found to be true. He brings to light the literal hell these men went through in the jungle with the weather, voracious insects that could kill, burrow under the skin, huge snakes, malaria, hostile indians, all manner of ill that could be thrown at them. Some men went mad, some died, some were kidnapped and kept by the indians, but it appears that Fawcett was able to survive all that having an extremely tough constitution and continue to move forward.
Grann heads out following the exact route that Fawcett used and came across many villages and indians who remembered seeing Fawcett and his party. But in the end (this is 80 years later) he does not find Fawcett but finds information that shows what might have actually happened and he finds evidence that a lost city and very advanced culture did, as Fawcett thought, exist.
One of the amazing parts of this book is the story of Nina, Fawcett's wife. She never gives up hope that her husband and son will return and she works to that effort daily. What a brave lady she must have been. She wrote letters, kept in touch with the Royal Geographic Society regarding her husband, raised money and did everything she could to help. It must have taken amazing strength to hold up all those years.
"The Lost City of Z" is fascinating reading. Usually non-fiction is difficult for me but this was a real page turner and went so fast. The Amazon is a wonderful, horrifying, beautiful place and this book brings all that to light. The copy I read was a borrowed copy , but I will definitely purchase my own copy as I know I will want to read this again one day.

Jun. 11, 2009, 3:15pm

Yesterday I read The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian.

My thoughts, comments and review:

This one had me from the beginning. College student, Laurel, who loves to bike in her spare time and for exercise is biking on a back wood road one day when she is come upon by two men in a van who jump out, attempt to drag her off her bike and rape her. Finally other cyclists, hearing her screams, abort the attempt. Laurel is left with a shattered collarbone, a broken finger, her left breast so badly bruised as to take months to heal and so traumatized that she retreats from school, friends, society and returns to her family home on Long Island to recuperate and recover; not to return to school until mid term. The two men are apprehended and sent to prison.
Laurel was raised on Long Island and she and her friends learned to swim, sail, play tennis, etc at the country club which had once been the home of Jay Gatsby and was right across the way from the home of Daisy and Tom Buchanan.
Laurel takes up swimming to replace biking in her life and begins to volunteer at a homeless shelter. After her schooling is completed she goes to work there full time and meets an older gentleman named Bobbie whose most prized possessions are a box of photographs that Laurel deduces he took himself. When Bobbie suddenly passes away the collection of photos is given to Laurel in the hope that she might put together something from them that could raise some money to aid the shelter. Within this collection of photos, among others are snaps of the Gatsby home and pool, the Buchanan home and the Buchanan children. But most puzzling of all is that there are pictures of Laurel biking on that back wood road.
Laurel begins obsessing about these photos. How could this Bobbie have been on that isolated back road at the same time she was and why. Her life begins to focus on Bobbie, his family, and the pictures, even as the people around her struggle to keep her involved in her day to day life.
Laurel's journey through the "photo land" and her search for understanding is the beginning of a novel with twists and turns and at the end leaves you with your mouth open. Bohjalian's skill with the pen is nothing short of a shocking marvel with this novel. His characters are very believable, their manner of reaction and behavior I found to be realistic to the storyline. I don't think this book is for a "day at the beach read". I think it is more of a sit down and get 'er done type of read simply for the fact that I couldn't put it down until my eyes shut. It was interesting, plausible, riveting; everything I like in a novel. It comes highly recommended.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 11, 2009, 9:13pm

Talk about a Double Bind: I read your review and I want the book, but I shouldn't, 'cuz I am losing the battle with my acres of TBR!

I give; I'm hooked; sounds like a great book. (Kinda rhymes there, doesn't it, LOL.) Thanks for the reviews!

Not enough time...

Bearbeitet: Jun. 17, 2009, 11:41am

(my whole dammit message went away-------St Richard,
did you eat it? Prolly went really well with that potato salad. ahemmmmm)

You crack me up. I hope we are friends. If not, we need to be. You are constantly making me laugh out loud to the point where my grandkids complain. hee hee.

But you are right. "Not enough time......" so.......
...I am discontinuing my multiple postings in the pursuit of time and also it was BORING to you guys to see the same thing repeatedly.
Heading back to the 50 gig and as I had hit 300 posts and 100 books I thought now would be a good time to begin my new thread which is here:

Thanks to all who have stopped by and I hope you will visit me over there as I don't want to miss any of you. Your visits and comments make my days so much brighter.

Jun. 18, 2009, 11:07pm


What a nice compliment. Of course we are friends, silly! (You just have to check under your Profile Page under Member Connection and Friends, in case you forget again.) I am honored to crack you up.

Okay, seriously, chewing someone else's gum? Eww!
See you on your new thread.

With love and laughter,


Jun. 19, 2009, 1:20am

Right backatcha babe!~!