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dirac

What are you reading this summer?

105 posts in this topic

Lovely Bones was one of my favorite books. It's premise is very dark, but it's such an uplifiting book (for those that haven't read it, it opens with a girl looking down from heaven at her murdered body) it's a heavy subject, but it's such a great book.

I read the "Devi Wears Prada" it was along the same lines as "Nanny Diaries" and the other dish books.

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Books on my bedside table for summer reading:

"Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn. I heard him speak (not a gifted speaker) and that turned me off but I hear that his book is intriguing. The quote by Arthur Koestler on the back cover piques my interest:

Lord, a little more time!

The book is about whether or not mankind will go the way of the dinosaur.

I'll also finish this year "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond. I lost the book 3/4 of the way through last year. It's an exploration of how the various cultures of the world developed. Timely, I think.

I confess I still have to finish Alexandra's book, I left it off about halfway through, when I began to work many more hours than I'd expected this year.

Just finished "Secret Life of Bees", a good quick read.

And I have to read dozens of children's books to choose my selections for the literature courses I teach for 4th and 5th graders each year. I welcome all suggestions :)

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On my bedside table this week is John Grisham's The Painted House. Last weekend though was James Patterson's The Beach House -- a fun, quick summertime read. And yes, I too am waiting for the new Harry Potter.

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Time to reread my favorite book, Beach Music by Pat Conroy. I am currently reading the Natural History of the Rich. It is funny and insightful

Miss

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I am definitely picking up the Da Vinci Code. Anyone reading Hillary's book?

Cristina

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Some "other" books by authors mentioned on this thread:

Lucky by Ann Seybold. If you thought "The Lovely Bones was a bit of a downer....this memoir opens with a police officer telling Seybold that she is lucky that the man who beat and raped her didn't also kill her. An account of Seybold's ordeal while a freshman in college. I read it in one long night.

Cause Celeb by Helen Fielding. A pretty, smart, and very articulate young womnan goes to Africa as part of a British team helping refugees. It is the story of a personal odyssey, a scathing look at NGO politics in the Third World and a startlingly good description of an entire population being threatened by famine and disease. While it doesn't hang together until the end, it is well worth reading for Fielding fans.

The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. Unrequited love, sudden death, an alienated family and a dark, unknown past combine in this novel. It unfolds like a comples magic trick--the reader knows that it can't really be happening like this, but continues to be drawn farther in to the world of Sabine, the (former) magician's assistent.

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I have read The Devil Wears Prada and found it beachable, but not much else.

A plug for Meg Wolitzer's new book: Wife -- nicely written and thoughtful. Not quite mindless enough for the beach, but nowhere near as initimidating as the 'serious literature' referenced in previous posts.

I'm currently alternating between the biography of the Mitford sisters and The Russian Debutante's Handbook which I like very much.

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To answer Cristina's question, I plan to read Hillary's book but won't say anything about it, since we're to avoid politics at Ballet Alert. :)

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I think the parts of Hillary's book that most people are interested in have nothing to do with politics. :)

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Yes, please, let's stay away from the Hillary Book! I thought that for that book to come out the day I opened the new book forum was very bad timing! I'm sure it will be a very popular read, but really, we will all be much better friends if we stay away from politics. We've lost a few posters in the past because of political discussions (I don't think it's so much that people are offended, is that, at least for some people, if they hold very closely to a particular belief, they just don't want to be around people who don't. Or if someone is the only one in the crowd who thinks one thing, they find that uncomfortable.)

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About the Hillary book ... our principal said she wanted to read it, as did a couple of teachers who happend through the office while the discussion was going on. I definitely want to read it! Some of us admire her...some of us don't. But we're all intrigued. (Can I at least say that as a mom she seemed to do a good job?)

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Folks -

I need to politely remind people (this goes for everyone in all Ballet Talk forums) that talking about something while saying you're aren't talking about it is. . . talking about it.

The reason we ask you not to talk about political opinion is fairness (wait until someone starts saying inflammatory things about Klingons. . .and you happen to be a Klingon) and to keep from wandering off topic.

This doesn't mean you are never allowed to mention the names Bush, Chirac, Clinton, whatever. It just means we don't want this to degenerate into a political discussion board. It's about ballet (or in this case, books!).

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I always read different books at a time because I can never decide which one I should read first! There are so many books that I will (have to) read till October, as one of my subjects at university is going to be English. I can’t really say what to expect from these books, I just want to surprise myself and see what’s lying ahead of me.

Has anyone of you read Everything is illuminated by Jonathon Safran Foer?

Oh well, let’s see:

University books:

William Shakespeare: Hamlet / King Lear / Macbeth

Joseph Conrad: Heart of darkness

Paul Auster: Moon Palace

Tennessee Williams: A streetcar named desire

Henry James: The Ambassadors (Ok, I have prejudices now because of the posts I have read concerning this book...but it will be the subject of my intermediate exams at uni!)

Books that have been on my shelf for at least 6 months:

Friedrich Nietzsche: The Anti-Christ / Ecce homo / Dionysus

I love philosophy and have been eager to read Nitzsches books for a long time. I hope that they will be as interesting as Kant and Adam Smith.

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Louis Malle: Au revoir les enfants

It’s been a long time since I’ve had my last French lesson and I need to refresh my vocabulary. The book is about a Jewish boy in the Second World War, who tries to hide in a boarding school to escape the German troupes. I’ve already seen the film, which was great, and the book is really worth to read.

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Hermann Hesse: The Steppenwolf / The glass bead game

re-read: Siddharta / Beneath the wheel

I didn’t like Hesse’s books for a long time because he wrote in a very detailled way and I just didn’t have the nerve to read his works back then, to be honest. Now I realize what a great author he was and how clearly he tried to present the personalities and emotions of the characters in his books.

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Max Frisch: Andorra / Stiller

Frisch is my all time favourite author and I always re-read his books every now and then.

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Wladyslaw Szpilman: The Pianist

This is the book to the Oscar-winning movie, that I wanted to read for about 8 months already. For the ones of you who don’t know: The book is an autobiography of the Jewish author’s survival in a concentration camp in the Second World War. He was not killed by the Nazis because he played, as a former professional pianist, for the Germans.

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Henning Mankell: All his books

I highly recommand Mankell’s books to anyone, whether he/ she doesn’t like reading thrillers. His books are about Inspector Wallander, a police officer living in Sweden, who has to investigate murders in his hometown. Mankell is a gifted author who knows how to write exciting books that you don’t want to stop reading until you’ve reached the last page.

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Jonathan Franzen: The corrections

Ian McEwan: Atonement

Something always held me back from reading these books, and I have no idea what it is. I hope to be able to read them during my holidays in America.

That’s it! :mad::(

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I found The Pianist to be fairly unremarkable, especially compared with the depth of the movie. Sometimes the story is beyond the talents of the storyteller, and the author was a pianist, not really a writer...

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The book had a cold, detached feeling to it. I think if the story had been written decades later, it would convey a very different sense. I agree with you on that I felt the movie had more depth, but maybe if I had read the book first...

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I thought the fact that Szpilman wrote his book so soon after the war was a plus, not a minus, although I agree that had he written it much later it would certainly have been a different book.

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After reading all the remarks about the DaVinci Code, I headed out to the bookstore and used my last gift certificate to buy it. A friend has said that it's "whatever anyone says about it - it's better".

I start it on Monday, my first day of summer vacation.

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Maybe DaVinci Code could be our first book club book??

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It looks like you have a wonderful summer of reading and discovery ahead of you. A few notes:

Originally posted by svemaus

Friedrich Nietzsche: The Anti-Christ / Ecce homo / Dionysus

I love philosophy and have been eager to read Nitzsches books for a long time. I hope that they will be as interesting as Kant and Adam Smith.

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-Hermann Hesse: The Steppenwolf / The glass bead game

                          re-read: Siddharta / Beneath the wheel

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I hadn't thought of Hesse for years. His books, especially "Steppenwolf" and "Siddharta" were, like some of Camus and Sarte, part of the very air we breathed a long time ago. It seemed that everyone you knew had a paperback of one of those authors in his or her back pocket.

I read all the books by Hesse you mention and was thrilled with them, especially "The Glass Bead Game" (also know in English as "Magistrar Ludi", I think). When I looked at some of them again I couldn't imagine why I had been so caught up in them. Reading them in German would be a huge advantage I would think.

Nietzsche, as they say, is peachy. Although it took me a long time to realize that. I was finally able to "get" Nietzsche by reading his essays on Richard Wagner--some of the best work anyone has ever done on Wagner.

It is hard for me to think of any thinker who would be more interesting or enlightening than Kant--although that is purely a personal perference. I still have the marked up copies of "Pure Reason", "Practical Reason" (my favorite) "Prolegama" and still read them. Nietzsche can be an arresting stylist (in translation, at least) and a thinker of note. That real thrill of recognition that one has when reading a work that makes the most profound sense--like either of the Critiques, for example, is missing with him.

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Alexandra, DaVinci Code has my vote for a first book club book :)

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What a marvelous thread. Thanks so much. For the Stegner lover--Crossing to Safety is so beautiful. To the Halberstam reader--thanks, I'm going to click on the icon up top and order it for my husband's birthday! As for what people read on the lighter side, okay, I''ll confess. I am currently indulging in Carl Hiaasen, who writes comic novels out of Miami. And this thread has made me think its time to reread Dorothy Sayers, start to finish, this summer--except that one of my sons is taking a Gothic novel course in the fall, and to keep up (I must be delusional; keep up, ha!) I may have to revisit Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. For the record, I hated The Lovely Bones.

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Nanatchka, you and Son should read Gregory Lewis's "The Monk." That's another one I started the night before the book review was due, thinking I could skim it, and had to stay up all night reading. It's Very Gothic.

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My brother and I were and still are insatiable readers. I remember when we were between the ages of 8 - 13 and summer would arrive. With our parents working each day, we were both totally happy holed-up in our rooms for hours at a time reading. Because we were only able to take 2 books out of the library (a bookmobile) each week, we had to buy books in great numbers to meet the demand. To this day among some of my favorite things to do is browse bookstores and purchase books. I remember when I got hooked on Nancy Drew and he was a Tom Swift/Hardy Boys fan. Every Friday, when our mother went to grocery store for the weeks groceries, we couldn't wait. Next door to the market was a small book store and each week we saved our allowance money ($1) to purchase another book in our respective series.

Thanks to this thread, I was reminded of the first novel, (Rebecca) I read as a 10 or 11 year old. Of course, Louisa May Alcott fit in their somewhere too. Not too long after that, I remember getting hooked on books which would have excerpts printed monthly in Ladies Home Journel. It was there that I read the "Six Wives of Henry the Eighth." This led to my seeking out and reading a multitude of biographies and autobiographies. One of my favorites is the 4 or 5 volume set by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Told exclusively through personal diary entries and letters, it is a uniquely personal and, at the same time, historical account of her life and times. Poetry has always interested me too, with Carl Sandburg, Emily Dickinson and Shel Silverstein (I like his illustrations, too)being some of my favorites.

Today, I rarely ever seem to want to read fiction and find myself still drawn to non-fiction reading of all types. I do, however, have a wonderful memory of reading Anne of Green Gables to my daughter when she was 9. Having never been interested in the Anne series when I was younger, I remember my daughter and I reading many of Mauve Montgomery's passages over and over again--as the images she created with words were pure prose. I realized then all the wonderful writing I had missed, but was still there waiting to be discovered.

Thanks for this thread. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's accounts of their early reading experiences.

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Just got started on Homer Hickam's Torpedo Junction: U-Boat War off America's East Coast 1942 - if you haven't read his account of his West Virginia boyhood pre NASA life Rocket Boys, it's really great - even better than the movie version October Sky.

Having just finished Devil in the White City, I wouldn't exactly describe it as beach reading...but maybe I didn't feel the architectural parts were real page turners, though I will say the serial murders did give it a compelling feel. ;) :eek:

The Da Vinci Code sounds like a good first choice to me...something not too taxing but still a good read - perfect for whiling away the hours on a beach, a train, in a bed, or in a doctor's office! ;)

P.S. Thanks for reminding me about Colin Dexter's books with Inspector Morse!

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I'm still involved (busy is inapproriate here) with my winter reading - Mrs. Dalloway (rather, the portrait of Virginia Woolfe on the cover) stares at me accusingly every night and I still can't get through the first 60 pages.

I see there are quite a few Henry VIII and his VI wives fans here -a nice beach book is "the Other Boleyn Girl" by Philippa Gregory, about Anne Boleyn's sister, Mary Boleyn.

I haven't heard of "The Da Vinci Code" - what is it about? and by whom?

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