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Old 01-12-2012, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,802 posts, read 7,946,798 times
Reputation: 1965

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Since I've already read the selection for our next book group meeting (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - my suggestion and IMO a great read), I can settle in for the next month and read whatever I feel like reading. It's great to have a break where I don't have to worry about getting through a book just cause I feel like I have to because I committed to this group. And the cold winter weather makes for a great time of year to hunker down with a bunch of P.D. James mysteries...I love this stuff!
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,298 posts, read 7,915,258 times
Reputation: 3809
I've finished the following:
World Fair /E.L. Doctorow
Semi-autobiographical and quite wonderful. Some fun facts: E. L. Doctorow was named after Edgar Allen Poe. President Obama, during his campaign, cited Doctorow as his favorite author after Shakespeare. I've read all of Doctorow's book are very different. City of God might be challenging.

Pulphead Essays/John Jeremiah Sullivan
I read almost all of the essays and really enjoyed Sullivan's writing, especially the Michael Jackson essay and one where Sullivan attends a Christian Woodstock-like event albeit without drugs and alcohol. I'll definitely finish the remaining.

God is Not Great/Christopher Hitchens
Whether you agree with Hitchens views or not, his opinions are based on voluminous research and his writing is impeccable. Hitchens, IMHO, a brilliant thinker. I've picked up Arguably from the library, but at 800 pages, may have to re-order I spend a lot of time with the dictionary when reading Hitchens. I will certainly miss Mr. Hitchens sparring with Bill Maher.

The Barbarian Nurseries /Hector Tobar
Tobar is a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the L.A. Times. As an avid newspaper reader, I am usually drawn to authors to journalists authors. The characters in the book struggle to find a common language yet persist in misunderstanding one another. The characters on both sides are portrayed sympathetically by Tobar. I liked this book very much.

Half Blood Blues /Edi Eduguan
HBB won the Mann Booker and was one of my favorites. It's setting is pre-WWII in Germany and France before the U.S. entered the war. The story is about the treatment of black jazz musicians, both American and native-born German. At first I found the language confusing because the characters speak in an African American/German slang vernacular. Eventually caught on. There are many twists in the story. Clip from review: Sidney Griffiths, an elderly former jazz musician now living out his days in Baltimore. He is haunted by the disappearance of his friend and bandmate Hieronymus Falk, a black German trumpeter arrested by the Nazis in Paris at the start of the Second World War. When he’s invited to Berlin for the premiere of a documentary about Hieronymus, Sid sets out to uncover what happened to his friend all those years ago. (Some say Hieronymus Falk might be a take on Thelonius Monk's name)

To Be Sung Underwater/Tom McNeal
Wonderful writing and just a lovely novel.

Reservation Road and Northwest Corner /John Burnham Schwartz
I liked both books. Northwest Corner is the sequel to Reservation Road.

The Tiger's WifeTea Obreht
I finished but skimmed at least the last 100 pages. Obreht's writing is good, but I agree with some of the reviews. The book is overly descriptive to the point of distracting from the point the author is attempting to make. My favorite parts were the encounters with the Deathless Man and some of the fairy tales. Lately, I'm not liking a lot of these hyped books by the critics.

BTW - Rob Lowe's memoir was very enjoyable and well written. Rob wrote the book himself.
Here's my present reads:
Rin Tin Tin/Susan Orleans
Then Again/Diane Keaton
The Time in Between/Maria Duenas
The Paris Correspondent/Alan S. Cowell
and some mysteries:
The Gun Seller/Hugh Laurie (this book is a hoot and a half)
Cleveland Creep/Les Roberts (As a native Clevelander, I love these books. I was amazed to find them in our library)
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey/Walter Mosely

To quote Daffy, 'that's all, folks." (or was it Porky)
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 31,431,783 times
Reputation: 28850
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerlily View Post
World Fair /E.L. Doctorow
Semi-autobiographical and quite wonderful. Some fun facts: E. L. Doctorow was named after Edgar Allen Poe. President Obama, during his campaign, cited Doctorow as his favorite author after Shakespeare. I've read all of Doctorow's book are very different. City of God might be challenging.
Yes! Terrific book!


Quote:
The Tiger's WifeTea Obreht
I finished but skimmed at least the last 100 pages. Obreht's writing is good, but I agree with some of the reviews. The book is overly descriptive to the point of distracting from the point the author is attempting to make. My favorite parts were the encounters with the Deathless Man and some of the fairy tales. Lately, I'm not liking a lot of these hyped books by the critics.
I started this book. I think I got until about page 30 or so. I'm with you on the hype thing.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 83,262,220 times
Reputation: 36547
Just about to start Michele Young Stone's "Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors". Anyone read it?

I'm in that panic mode, where I just finished one of the top ten novels of my life, "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese, and I think I'll never find another good book. No doubt about it, definitely in my top ten list of modern novels. Don't miss this book.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:05 AM
 
Location: New York City
74 posts, read 64,452 times
Reputation: 101
A Westerly Trend by Godfrey Sykes. It was a Christmas gift from my brother because we were raised in Tucson and that's where Sykes ended up. It is charmingly old-fashioned - published in the 1940's. It's an account of his travels from England across the west, and it's so fun to hear about things like how his "later voyages" on ships across the Atlantic were faster and more sophisticated than his early ones. He couldn't even conceive of making that trip by flight.

Anyway, with all his flowery, old-fashioned, British, gentlemanly language, it's a wonderful change from The World According to Garp by John Irving which I was reading and finally had to put down because it was just too, darn depressing. What is the matter with him?
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 31,431,783 times
Reputation: 28850
We The Animals by Justin Torres. It's probably the most expensive book, per page, that I've ever bought. It was $8 (Kindle version) but the darn book is only 144 pages. Probably fewer, actually, because I'm sure some of the pages are acknowledgments and small print nonsense. Anyway... I hope it'll be good. I'm already 7% into the book (literally just a few pages in!) -- I'd better read slow so that it lasts beyond the hour!
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:07 PM
 
3,944 posts, read 6,121,622 times
Reputation: 4229
Quote:
Originally Posted by DandJ View Post
I just finished reading Riven Rock by T.C. Boyle. Boy, can that man write! I'd read Tortilla Curtain a number of years ago, so I'm not sure why I didn't look into any of his other books -- he's terrific. So, yup, after finishing Riven Rock, I ordered two more by T.C. Boyle books (of course I did!): T.C. Boyle Stories (for when I'm in between library waiting list holds) and The Road to Wellville. I like that Riven Rock and Road to Wellville are based on real people, even if the story features some made-up characters and the story is not completely true to life.

Next up is All Souls: A Family Story from Southie. This is a memoir by Michael Patrick MacDonald about growing up in Southie, an area of Boston. Part of it is about Whitey Bulger, and how he was king of the 'hood.
All Souls is an excellent book!
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 31,431,783 times
Reputation: 28850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess5 View Post
All Souls is an excellent book!
I read, oh, maybe three pages and thought, "Either this is not my kind of book or I'm just not in the right mood for it." Thanks for confirming that it's me, not the book. I'll put it aside for another time, rather than donating it to Goodwill.
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:22 PM
 
15,802 posts, read 10,831,300 times
Reputation: 68488
I've been reading some early P G Wodehouse short stories (The Man With Two Left Feet) and just started The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Wodehouse always gets me giggling but I was surprised at the humor (at least early on) in the Collins book. It's already a gripping tale, too
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
6,487 posts, read 8,280,419 times
Reputation: 17495
Both the hubs and I are reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King and it is very good.
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