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Old 11-19-2012, 02:13 AM
 
1,370 posts, read 2,181,378 times
Reputation: 2696

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It's taken me forever, but I finished "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell today. I think this might be one of those "love it or hate it" kind of books. I really liked it, but am not sure I would recommend it because I can see how a lot of people might not like it. I knew nothing about it when I started it, so was a little surprised that it was really six short stories/novelettes which had connections to each other - what has been called "nested" stories, like nested Russian dolls. I tried to write this out, but it is too hard and I am too tired, but here is the Wiki summary: "Cloud Atlas consists of six nested stories that take the reader from the remote South Pacific in the nineteenth century to a distant, post-apocalyptic future. Each tale is revealed to be a story that is read (or observed) by the main character in the next. The first five stories are interrupted at a key moment. After the sixth story, the other five stories are returned to and closed, in reverse chronological order, and each ends with the main character reading or observing the chronologically previous work in the chain. Eventually, readers end where they started, with Adam Ewing in the nineteenth century South Pacific."

At first, I found this annoying, but then as it went on, I found myself enjoying it a lot. Each tale is told in a completely different style, and the sixth story is told in essentially pidgin which is hard to follow. I think it was probably easier for me listening to the audiobook in this instance, kind of hard to figure out what he was saying at first, but the narrator was so good that it sort of flowed after a while. All the narrators were excellent, actually, which really added to my enjoyment.

Anyway, I loved the writing, it was thought-provoking, amusing, creative and unlike anything I have read. I liked each story, and the strange ways they were woven together, and overall would recommend it. My one complaint is that, by the time I got to the second half of some of the stories, I had to go back and re-read parts of the first half because I had forgotten some of what happened. I think some of that had to do with how slowly I read it too.

Now it's on to "Angle of Repose." I'm having a terrible time concentrating lately, which is one reason it's taking me so long to read these books, so I may not be back for some time.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Somewhere.
10,481 posts, read 25,277,930 times
Reputation: 9120
I am in book three of the Emberverse the Change series, "Meeting at Corvallis" by S.M Stirling. While the second(The Protectors War) and third books are not as exciting as Book 1(Dies the Fire), I am still into it enough and also have the 4th and 5th books in the series and just need a few more. I may set them aside after this book and work on another series, picking this one up later.
I know now that I would really hate it if we lost all of our technology and had to go back to medieval times so hopefully that never happens. But if it did, I have enough books to carry me through for years to keep me entertained.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:21 AM
 
3,493 posts, read 7,930,200 times
Reputation: 7237
I finished The End of Your Life Book Club and enjoyed it a good bit. I was surprised how much I learned about living with and caring for a person with a terminal illness. I anticipated it being much more about books and less about the people themselves. I like that.

I would like to pass it along to a few reader friends, but first I need to make a list of the books that were mentioned that I want to pursue. Marjorie Morningstar is on that list.

I'm not sure what I will read next - I started The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner and am enjoying it though the pace is very slow. I'm sort of in the mood for something jazzier right now. I need to go stare at the shelves and stacks in the den - I know there are books there that I was dying to read at some point but haven't yet started.

I also need to be knitting right now - here is some knitting advice. Don't start traditions called things like "Annual Christmas Scarf"...
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:14 AM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,544,205 times
Reputation: 14770
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetreelover View Post
... I'm sort of in the mood for something jazzier right now. I need to go stare at the shelves and stacks in the den - I know there are books there that I was dying to read at some point but haven't yet started.

I also need to be knitting right now - here is some knitting advice. Don't start traditions called things like "Annual Christmas Scarf"...
I'm right there with you, friend. I've got over two hundred books on Cathy the Kindle, and just found myself staring at the list of titles.... hmmmm?

So, then I pick up the knitting and hmmmmmm....

Sometime the plans for the future are much more intriguing than when it arrives.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:29 AM
 
16,579 posts, read 20,700,000 times
Reputation: 26860
I finally finished Crossing to Safety this weekend. The writing was beautiful and Stegner is a fine observer of people and relationships. Still, it wasn't my favorite book ever. I think I'm just in a spot where I want to read good tales. I don't want to think too much or ache for anyone. Pretty much I just want to be entertained.

With that in mind I started The Blackest Bird, by Joel Rose. I've read the first couple of pages twice now, before falling asleep both times. Maybe I'll be able to dig into it better over these next few days.

As usual, when I've been gone from here for several days I come back and have to make a list. Thanks, peeps!
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:44 AM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,544,205 times
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I've just gone through my GoodReads list of books on Cathy the Kindle, and decided on "Breaking the Code: A Daughter's Journey into Her Father's Secret War," by Karen Fisher-Alaniz with "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats," by Jan-Philipp Sendker as a backup, just in case.

Started reading "I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away," by Bill Bryson, but it feels too much like he's just re-hashing earlier work to capitalize on American egoism -- and just possibly that's what he is doing.

And then there's always schoolwork, housework, and my constant source of pleasure: knitting!
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:45 AM
 
9,238 posts, read 22,889,092 times
Reputation: 22699
I'm toward the last 4th of Crossing to Safety. I do love the way it's written, but I started disliking one of the main characters early on (even before her more obvious negative traits were really revealed) and that's overshadowing my enjoyment of the author's writing and the exploration of the relationships among the main 4 characters.

I'm sure it's a lot of projection on my part, as I've known people like Charity in my own life. But part of the experience of a book is what the reader brings to the table. I even interpret the character's acts of generosity as acts of manipulation, but I'm not sure how much of that is intended by Wallace Stenger, and how much is my own "stuff."

Still an excellent book--books that press our own personal buttons are often among our favorites.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:05 AM
 
3,493 posts, read 7,930,200 times
Reputation: 7237
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
I'm toward the last 4th of Crossing to Safety. I do love the way it's written, but I started disliking one of the main characters early on (even before her more obvious negative traits were really revealed) and that's overshadowing my enjoyment of the author's writing and the exploration of the relationships among the main 4 characters.

I'm sure it's a lot of projection on my part, as I've known people like Charity in my own life. But part of the experience of a book is what the reader brings to the table. I even interpret the character's acts of generosity as acts of manipulation, but I'm not sure how much of that is intended by Wallace Stenger, and how much is my own "stuff."

Still an excellent book--books that press our own personal buttons are often among our favorites.
I think this might be what I liked (or some of what I liked) so much about this book. People are messy and their intentions are not always clear or even understood by them. Keep reading (I know you will) and check in with your thoughts on Charity when you are done, please!
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Kanada ....(*V*)....
126,264 posts, read 19,034,903 times
Reputation: 75836
An Advanced History of India by Macmillan. It has 1149 pages and I am on page 1...long way to go
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:25 AM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,544,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Almrausch View Post
An Advanced History of India by Macmillan. It has 1149 pages and I am on page 1...long way to go
As far as I've found, aside from trade tallies from Egyptians, India has the oldest recorded history. The people of India also have a culture of inclusion, so they accept others cultures (often, in whole) and build on the parts that work for them. I cannot imagine going wrong in reading their history.
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