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What are you reading this summer?


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#16 kfw

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 06:12 PM

I tend to read too many things at once. Currently it’s “Homemade Aesthetics,” a collection of essays and talks by the art critic Clement Greenburg, “Understanding Walker Percy” by Linda Hobson, and Austen’s “Mansfield Park.” Too much for me to concentrate on at once. Waiting impatiently at my bedside are Nicholas Wolterstorff’s “Art in Action” and the chapter on "The Symposium" in Allan Bloom’s “Love and Friendship.” And I know I’m going to want to reread Percy’s “Love in the Ruins” and “The Last Gentleman.”

#17 wjglavis

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 03:47 AM

Well I have read the Ambassadors (brag, brag) but can't say I'm panting to read it again. Funny how we get this mad urge to read books we feel we really ought to. A few years ago I struggled through Proust (in English, though) which was definitely worth it for his strange relationship with Albertine (and means I can brag about my achievement for the rest of my days - including now!). Finally finished the Decameron (best read over a long period of time, if at all; can be extremely repetitive) at Christmas and am still working on Pepys (another long-term project but a much more entertaining one. Good bedside book, this.).

As for this summer, I, too, will be pouncing on the new Harry Potter (also the new Victoria Clayton). Unfortunately, I'm running a local book club so don't know how much time I'll get for my own reading. But hope to convince them to do Bel Canto and The English Passengers and maybe a Patrick O'Brian....Don't see them agreeing to read anything about ballet, though.

- Wendy

#18 Mary J

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 06:06 AM

I heartily recommend Bel Canto, and I am thrilled that the film rights have been optioned (I'm told) by Renee Fleming since she is the one I was picturing the whole time I read the book. But was I the only one who was disappointed by the ending of The Da Vinci Code (or the code of Lenny from Vinci - love that) . I don't want to discuss it and spoil for others, but I expected something more compelling after such a good fast read.

#19 dirac

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 09:53 AM

It's clear that we're a very high minded group of readers :). I'm wondering if there's anyone planning to read something a little more self-indulgent, shall we say?

For beach reading, I've often plumped for Michael Crichton. He writes like a computer program and doesn't seem to like girls very much, but he's a fast read and won't insult your intelligence. (And I can recommend "The Great Train Robbery" without any of the foregoing qualifications.)

I also used to dig Judith Krantz in her glory days (pre-"Mistral's Daughter") and never found a satisfactory replacement.

#20 MelissaK

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 10:39 AM

Alexandra,

Have you read Wharton's 'The House of Mirth'? It's a sad story but beautifully written. I highly recommend it.

Melissa

#21 Alexandra

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 10:48 AM

Melissa, I haven't read "House of Mirth" yet -- that's next on my list.

Like dirac, I'd also like some recommendations for "beach books."

#22 scoop

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 11:10 AM

I thought the aforementioned "Bel Canto" was quite beachy (or maybe that's because I sunburned myself on a Maui beach because I couldn't stop reading it!). Other good beach reads, I think, are those beleaguered-single-girl books like "Bridget Jones' Diary." One I'm thinking of reading is "The Quality of Life Report," about a New York-based TV reporter who goes out to Nebraska or some such state and finds ... oh, do you think it's love?

#23 Calliope

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 11:22 AM

"Devil in the White City" is a good beach read. It was actually pretty interesting. Architecture and murder all mixed up, a true story too.

Margaret Atwood's books make for good beach reads too, though I haven't read the new one. "Alias Grace" and "Blind Assasin" were both great.

#24 Old Fashioned

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 12:53 PM

Hmmm, I think "The Devil Wears Prada" might qualify as a beach book. Has anyone read it?

I'm glad to hear recommendations for Bel Canto. I had originally planned on reading that for a new fiction project I had to do for English, but chose The Lovely Bones instead. I decided not to read it because of a few bad reviews on Amazon, but I'll probably be picking it up again.

#25 Mary J

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 01:10 PM

Beach reading? Not the new Michael Chrichton which is awful. In my mind he has never equaled Jurassic Park for a fun read. I loved The Nanny Diaries, which was an easy read but quite touching. I couldn't pick up The Lovely Bones because the premise just depressed me too much, whatever the actual message of the book. Started The Shopaholic Ties the Knot and got bored with it - really clever but too much a Bridget Jones rip-off.

#26 Calliope

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 01:17 PM

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.

#27 vagansmom

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 05:26 PM

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 :)

#28 Doris R

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 05:39 PM

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.

#29 Miss

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 05:42 PM

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

#30 Cristina

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 06:31 PM

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

Cristina


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