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What are you reading this summer?


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#46 Nanatchka

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 09:22 AM

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.

#47 Alexandra

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 10:56 AM

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.

#48 Justdoit

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 12:43 PM

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.

#49 BW

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 06:49 PM

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!

#50 GWTW

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 11:21 PM

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?

#51 BW

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 04:33 AM

The author is Dan Brown. Here is a description from Amazon's pages: "In a two-day span, American symbologist Robert Langdon finds himself accused of murdering the curator of the Louvre, on the run through the streets of Paris and London, and teamed up with French cryptologist Sophie Neveu to uncover nothing less than the secret location of the Holy Grail. It appears that a conservative Catholic bishop might be on the verge of destroying the Grail, which includes an alternate history of Christ that could bring down the church. Whoever is ordering the deaths of the Grail's guardians--modern-day members of an ancient society descended from the famed Knights Templar--must be stopped before the treasure is lost forever. To do so, Langdon and Neveu have to solve a series of ciphers and riddles while evading a tireless French police commander and a ruthless albino monk. Despite being hampered by clunky flashback sequences and place descriptions that read like tourist brochures, the story is full of brain-teasing puzzles and fascinating insights into religious history and art. Ultimately, Brown's intricate plot delivers more satisfying twists than a licorice factory. Frank Sennett
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved"

#52 vagansmom

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 07:16 AM

I'm on page 154 :) right now. I SHOULD be cleaning the house, preparing a meal, taking a shower but all I want to do is read.

I see why people are so enthralled by it. It's chock-full of background on all kinds of topics: the Catholic Church's relationship to Opus Dei and paganism, feminism, fine arts and the lives of the artists, architecture, religious symbology, cryptology, mathematics (Fibonacci sequence is a biggie here) as well as being a really good mystery and, I hear, romance too.

#53 Old Fashioned

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 08:23 AM

I got the book yesterday and stayed up till 3 in the morning reading. I'm on page 245.

#54 Alexandra

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 08:35 AM

I posted another thread for discussion of The DaVinci Code By acclimation, it seems to be our first Book of the Month.

And, to get a jump start on July, I'm arbitrarily declaring that Bel Canto month

Note: the DaVinci Code link is to the discussion thread on this board. The Bel Canto link is to the book's page on Amazon, which includes reviews and other info.

#55 vagansmom

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 09:40 AM

Thank you, Alexandra. I've wanted to read Bel Canto too.

#56 Cristina

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 10:29 AM

I'm afraid there is going to be a run on the bookstores for Da Vinci Code. I better hurry, and get mine ordered.

There was a nice list on public radio this morning. They interviewed the CEO of Amazon.com. One of the things on his list was a collection of short stories. I was busily getting ready for Church, and did not get to listen carefully to other recommendations. But, if you're interested, I bet you can find that inteview @ npr.org.

Cristina

#57 dirac

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 10:28 AM

I'm currently reading/planning to read/dreaming of having the time to get to the following current books:

Moneyball by Michael Lewis
An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy by Robert Dallek
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
The Clinton Wars by Sidney Blumenthal (no, I won't start a discussion)

On the less current end:

Blindness by Henry Green
The Trials of Lenny Bruce by Ronald Collins and David Stover

A re-read of The Golden Bowl. I find late James richer with every reading. Also, I saw the most recent movie version on cable last month and I need to clear it out of my head. One of the dismal things about bad movies of novels you love is that they sometimes imprint themselves on your brain whether you want them there or not. (When I go back to The Great Gatsby, it's still hard for me to block out visions of Mia Farrow in the awful wig and Redford in his equally godawful white suits.)

I was recently disappointed by the late Meg Greenfield's "Washington." Except for a few bright spots, it was as dull as her Newsweek columns. Hard to understand how someone as sharp, informed, and talented as Greenfield could manage to be so numbingly anodyne much of the time.

I must agree regretfully with Nanatchka that The Lovely Bones was a dud.

Reading Seabiscuit last summer made me return to William Nack's Secretariat: the Making of a Champion. Still the best racehorse bio I have read, and one of the best sports bios I've read, period.

#58 dragonfly7

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 01:48 PM

Hi everyone,

I seem to be big on diaries this summer. I am set to dive into Anais Nin's diary and Mary Karr's memoir - I am a big fan of her poetry.

#59 vagansmom

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 05:54 PM

Oh dear. Once you begin Nin's Diary , you can't stop - you'll have to read every single one of them.

#60 Justdoit

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 06:56 AM

Opps, sorry, I see my earlier post was posted in this forum instead of the forum about childhood/teen reading experiences. I was planning to post in both this and the other forum and obviously got confused where I was. Hey, it was late! Please, move my previous post to the appropriate forum. Sorry, again.

As for my summer reading, I ordered the biography of "Karen Kain, Movement Never Lies." This after reading a brief thread on BA. I had never heard of her and am finding it a good read. Also reading "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser, "Stupid White Men" by Michael Moore and my usual, at least one summer retreat book, to rejuvenate me for the next school year, "Understanding the Human Being" by Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro.


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