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Old 12-04-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Canada
7,309 posts, read 9,319,117 times
Reputation: 9858

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I've been meaning to post an update about The Goldfinch for days but things are busy here. But my first question is about Kindle apps - not the actual Kindle itself, which may be different. When you highlight in the Kindle app - how in the world do you find your highlights if they don't jive with the popular highlights? I should have read this book in a normal format - there are reasons why I bend pages.

And my second Kindle app question is that I've started Buried in the Sky - a story about the disaster on K2 - and this is the first Kindle book I've seen that has some phrases in blue ink - I clicked on one and that leads me to footnotes. Which would be fine but how in the heck do I find my place in the Kindle book after that?

Okay, now back to The Goldfinch - a masterpiece. The character-building is out of this world. I was thinking that there was an analogy to be made in a book in which a painting features and the painterly way the writer works one layer on top of another layer to build a character so complete it is hard to believe that he doesn't exist. I thought the book was a kind of literary trompe l'oeil.

And without being too flowery at all, she has lines which just blew me away - in just a line she builds a picture of a character and it says it all. And what a pleasure to read a writer who is well-read and quotes Proust.

I managed to find one of my highlighted paragraphs. I don't think it qualifies as a spoiler - I see this part of a conversation a character is having as a mini-description of the book - "...Even Proust - there's a famous passage where Odette opens the door with a cold, she's sulky, her hair is loose and undone, her skin is patchy, and Swann, who has never cared about her until that moment, falls in love with her because she looks like a Botticelli girl from a slightly damaged fresco....And the damage is part of the attraction, the painting's blotchy cheeks...."

In there lies the book's plot. It is a Bildungsroman and the attraction lies in a very flawed character and that is the attraction.

Here is one more highlight of mine I managed to find: "A self one does not want. A heart one cannot help." Swoon. I just love her writing. I am going to have to reread her other books. I don't remember them well at all - I read them years ago.

The first person tense is not my favourite and I find that very often writers use it because they don't to put the work into the book but that is not the case here. This book shows what the first person can do.

It is not a fast-moving, plot-driven book, phonelady, as you noted, and I can see why it might not appeal to everyone. I wondered where she was going with it, and as I got nearer the end, I couldn't see how she could possibly wrap it up but oh MY! Did she ever!

In other news, I also finished The Unit, last night. Ketabcha, you have mentioned it repeatedly and it is now available on Kindle. I liked it very much. I think I found the dog in the story heart-breaking. I don't know what else to say without spoiling it, so I will leave it at that.

And now I have to run to town for groceries as we have a snowstorm and it is only supposed to get worse for 24 hours which might mean we won't be able to leave the yard until Saturday or Sunday.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Texas
15,891 posts, read 18,317,167 times
Reputation: 62766
Quote:
Originally Posted by fromupthere View Post
I'm reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Loving it.
I recently read that book. I was and will always be moved by it. I enjoyed it. The characters were so real to me. I think it will be rereading it for years.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,299 posts, read 8,253,049 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Here is one more highlight of mine I managed to find: "A self one does not want. A heart one cannot help." Swoon. I just love her writing. I am going to have to reread her other books. I don't remember them well at all - I read them years ago.
I finished The Secret History a few weeks ago and Tartt's characterizations are just as you described in your Goldfinch analysis. According to the article posted, Tartt only writes a book every ten years and started taking notes for Goldfinch in 1993. I believe she's only written three books, and I have The Little Friend on hold.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:01 PM
 
1,833 posts, read 3,349,261 times
Reputation: 1795
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketabcha View Post
I recently read that book. I was and will always be moved by it. I enjoyed it. The characters were so real to me. I think it will be rereading it for years.
My niece wanted someone to read it, and I thought it sounded really good. I'm so glad I am reading it. It really is something.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Texas
15,891 posts, read 18,317,167 times
Reputation: 62766
Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
I've been meaning to post an update about The Goldfinch for days but things are busy here. But my first question is about Kindle apps - not the actual Kindle itself, which may be different. When you highlight in the Kindle app - how in the world do you find your highlights if they don't jive with the popular highlights? I should have read this book in a normal format - there are reasons why I bend pages.

And my second Kindle app question is that I've started Buried in the Sky - a story about the disaster on K2 - and this is the first Kindle book I've seen that has some phrases in blue ink - I clicked on one and that leads me to footnotes. Which would be fine but how in the heck do I find my place in the Kindle book after that?

Okay, now back to The Goldfinch - a masterpiece. The character-building is out of this world. I was thinking that there was an analogy to be made in a book in which a painting features and the painterly way the writer works one layer on top of another layer to build a character so complete it is hard to believe that he doesn't exist. I thought the book was a kind of literary trompe l'oeil.

And without being too flowery at all, she has lines which just blew me away - in just a line she builds a picture of a character and it says it all. And what a pleasure to read a writer who is well-read and quotes Proust.

I managed to find one of my highlighted paragraphs. I don't think it qualifies as a spoiler - I see this part of a conversation a character is having as a mini-description of the book - "...Even Proust - there's a famous passage where Odette opens the door with a cold, she's sulky, her hair is loose and undone, her skin is patchy, and Swann, who has never cared about her until that moment, falls in love with her because she looks like a Botticelli girl from a slightly damaged fresco....And the damage is part of the attraction, the painting's blotchy cheeks...."

In there lies the book's plot. It is a Bildungsroman and the attraction lies in a very flawed character and that is the attraction.

Here is one more highlight of mine I managed to find: "A self one does not want. A heart one cannot help." Swoon. I just love her writing. I am going to have to reread her other books. I don't remember them well at all - I read them years ago.

The first person tense is not my favourite and I find that very often writers use it because they don't to put the work into the book but that is not the case here. This book shows what the first person can do.

It is not a fast-moving, plot-driven book, phonelady, as you noted, and I can see why it might not appeal to everyone. I wondered where she was going with it, and as I got nearer the end, I couldn't see how she could possibly wrap it up but oh MY! Did she ever!

In other news, I also finished The Unit, last night. Ketabcha, you have mentioned it repeatedly and it is now available on Kindle. I liked it very much. I think I found the dog in the story heart-breaking. I don't know what else to say without spoiling it, so I will leave it at that.

And now I have to run to town for groceries as we have a snowstorm and it is only supposed to get worse for 24 hours which might mean we won't be able to leave the yard until Saturday or Sunday.
Netwit, take note of your page number on the kindle on the lower left-hand side before you click on the paragraph. Off you go to the notes and then you can tap the top of the screen and follow the directions by entering the page number to get back to the page you were reading. There may be an easier way but this is the only one I know.

Oh man, Proust? Geeeez. When I start The Goldfinch I will be reading it for weeks because even the mention of Proust makes my heart beat faster. A La Recherché Du Temp Perdu, Swanns Way.....glorious, heady stuff. I take it in one sentence at a time, gargle with it and then refuse to spit it out. This will be a slow read for me. I better read some zombie stuff first.

Hey, take good care up there in Canada. We have sleet predicted overnight but our winter is nothing compared to yours. Be safe, warm and comfy.

p.s. Of all the things that happened in The Unit, the issue you mentioned grabbed me the hardest. It stayed with me through the book and is still with me.

Last edited by Ketabcha; 12-04-2013 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:41 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 18,155,603 times
Reputation: 10355
I'll finish a long way gone tonight.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier: Ishmael Beah: 9780374531263: Amazon.com: Books

Gruesome, hopeful, moving, insightful. I highly recommend it.

I have a couple of unread Jo Nesbo books up next that I am really looking forward to.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Canada
7,309 posts, read 9,319,117 times
Reputation: 9858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketabcha View Post
Netwit, take note of your page number on the kindle on the lower left-hand side before you click on the paragraph. Off you go to the notes and then you can tap the top of the screen and follow the directions by entering the page number to get back to the page you were reading. There may be an easier way but this is the only one I know.

Oh man, Proust? Geeeez. When I start The Goldfinch I will be reading it for weeks because even the mention of Proust makes my heart beat faster. A La Recherché Du Temp Perdu, Swanns Way.....glorious, heady stuff. I take it in one sentence at a time, gargle with it and then refuse to spit it out. This will be a slow read for me. I better read some zombie stuff first.

Hey, take good care up there in Canada. We have sleet predicted overnight but our winter is nothing compared to yours. Be safe, warm and comfy.

p.s. Of all the things that happened in The Unit, the issue you mentioned grabbed me the hardest. It stayed with me through the book and is still with me.
Oh man! It's so much easier to read a paper book and flip to the back. And if one has to do that with one's own highlights, it seems that that negates the very idea of highlighting passages if the Kindle app doesn't even list them.

Zombie stuff is sometimes good. I wasn't sure I was in the right mood for The Goldfinch and I began reading it to check it out, since The Abominable wasn't going anywhere, and then I just kept reading until I had read the whole thing. But since I was in a mood to read something cold about mountains, I have now started Buried in the Sky by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan. It is already more exciting than The Abominable. It's being compared to Into Thin Air.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:14 AM
 
3,493 posts, read 7,930,850 times
Reputation: 7237
I started a thread for The Goldfinch so that we call all keep discussing it without having to hunt back through posts on this thread. Given the book's size and depth, I think others may be talking about it for weeks to months to years to come.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Type 0.73 Kardashev
11,110 posts, read 9,807,166 times
Reputation: 40166
Evolutionary Processes in Binary and Multiple Stars: I can't handle the math, but there it is an interesting (if rather dense) work anyway.

Khufu's Wisdom: an early work set in ancient Egypt, by the late Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz [the English translation - I don't read Arabic]
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:21 PM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,544,975 times
Reputation: 14770
Just finished Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal Dreams." I cried at the ending. It was a heart-wrenchingly beautiful story of everything important. I love this author.

Next up: (another favorite author) T.C. Boyle's "East Is East"
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