Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

What are you reading this winter?On my vacation reading list


  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#1 vagansmom

vagansmom

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 543 posts

Posted 12 December 2003 - 06:26 AM

Besides, unfortunately, textbooks, I hope to find the time during Christmas/New Year's Week to read Hanna's Daughters by Marianne Fredriksson, a saga of Scandinavia that focuses on the women, and Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, a story about the plague. I hear that, despite modern sensibilities sometimes entering into the story, it's still a good one.

Our book club just finished Story of Pi, a book I'd read a couple months ago. There was a mixed reaction to it. Most of the members loved the book and spent a good time digging through animal symbolism books but one member hated the book for what she called "wonton violence against animals".

For our next meeting, we're reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie.

Has anyone read any of these books? What are you reading?

#2 Nanatchka

Nanatchka

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 374 posts

Posted 12 December 2003 - 07:06 AM

I am reading or giving all the books everyone talked about last summer and before that--got my husband the Da Vinci code for Christmas, and a new book about evolution. I personally am reading all of Angela Thirkell's Barchester novels, some 29 in number. The early ones are the best, before she got really really cranky about everything, and before her various bigotries were so overt--apparently Albert Knopf, her American publisher, was key in damping that down. But they are all, to me, both diverting and somehow germane. Because there is such a panoply of characters in each novel, there is always some personage of about my own age, whose world view and modest yearnings Thirkell delineates to perfection. I am told that one of the books--The Brandons--was a bestseller in its day. They are comfy reading, still, and literate enough not to make you feel you are reading junk--not so much stylistically, the style is endlessly chatty and discursive (insert comment here about influence on my posts), but in terms of references and quotations that emerge in the dialogue. I use a concordance some really dedicated fan put together to chase down allusions I don't get, which are many. It's possible, I think when reading these books, that great plumbing and efficient central heating will emerge as the great American contributions to civilization.

#3 beckster

beckster

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts

Posted 12 December 2003 - 07:21 AM

I disliked "Life of Pi". It was very nicely written but I hated the ending so much that I put it back on the shelf in disgust and I will never read it again. I'll say no more in case people haven't read it yet.

I am having a charity-shop random read at the moment. I keep buying rubbishy whodunnits and crime thrillers for less than 1, reading them, and then giving them back. I'm waiting for "Lady and the Unicorn" by Tracey Chevalier to come out in paperback. I highly recommend one of her books - "Girl with a Pearl Earring" which has just been made into a film with Colin Firth. I have seen the tapestry this latest book is based upon - it's in the musee de moyen age in Paris - and it's just amazing, so I'm looking forward to her interpretation.

#4 Kate B

Kate B

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 155 posts

Posted 12 December 2003 - 08:38 AM

I hated the Life of Pi so much I threw it across the room at page 27 nad I haven't picked it up since. I thought it was written in such an awful, knowing, smug kind of way, I couldn't stand it! :wink:

Anyway, I have just discovered Carol Sheilds - I came across 'Unless' in the recommended section of the bookshop and it was beautiful. I am now reading 'the Stone Diaries' which is also excellent; it's unsurprising that these books won the Pulitzer and were shortlisted for the Booker!

I also just finished 'Memoirs of an ex-Prom Queen' which I liked for its historical value. I was right into this kind of thing when I was doing my history degree (it was very modern history) and I also wonder what's happened to all the young feminist novelists!

I love the Tracey Chevalier books, Beckster - we will have to go and see the film! :)

#5 vagansmom

vagansmom

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 543 posts

Posted 12 December 2003 - 08:58 AM

LOL, We should probably start a Li of Pi thread. I hated the beginning of the book but kept at it because my daughter insisted on it, and then loved the whole middle of the book. I didn't like the ending....at first. But then, when my book club read it, I had to reread to remember various parts. It was in the rereading that I really fell in love with the book. There is an awful lot there that takes getting to the end and then looking back through the pages before one can really understand it. It was only then, after doing that, that I could accept the ending. And make my choice of what story to believe.

#6 vagansmom

vagansmom

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 543 posts

Posted 12 December 2003 - 03:49 PM

Eek, it's obvious to me how tired I am. Instead of "Life of Pi", I called it "Story of Pi" in my first post here and I see in my last post that it has morphed into "Li of Pi", a title I rather like as a ditty.

Ah...it's either a brain blip or almost Christmas. B)

#7 Pamela Moberg

Pamela Moberg

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 579 posts

Posted 19 December 2003 - 04:12 PM

Vagansmom, interesting that you mentioned Marianne Fredriksson - so she is being translated into English. Well, I never... Yes, she is very popular in Sweden, but I tried one of her books - sorry, it was not my kind of stuff. By that I have not said that her books are bad, they are just not what I enjoy reading. However, congratulations to MF, she is obviously doing very well.
While I am at it, I would like to ask if any member has ever heard of some children's book by Sven Nordquist - text and illustrations - about the old man Pettson and his cat Findus? Lovely stuff indeed.

#8 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 19 December 2003 - 05:43 PM

Just read Bel Canto by Anne Patchett and loved it - truly.

Have any of you read other books by Patchett and what did you think?

#9 Tiffany

Tiffany

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 62 posts

Posted 20 December 2003 - 10:18 AM

I have read Tuesdays with Morrie and loved it. My sister had to read the summer before she entered college; she was given it when she went to orientation.

Some of the books that I like are based in the south, which is where I live. I have read John Grisham's books, A Time to Kill, The Client, & The Pelican Brief, and enjoyed all of them. I probably will read some more of his work over the holidays. I like books that are set in the south because they talk about places that I have been to so they are easier to visualize.

For some light, fun reading try Jill Conner Browne, who has written 3 books about being a sweet potato queen. She has a website, http://www.sweetpotatoqueens.com/spq/ Her books make me laugh out loud!

I want to read Nutcracker Nation that has been much talked about. Depends on if my library has it or not!

#10 Treefrog

Treefrog

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 639 posts

Posted 20 December 2003 - 11:36 AM

Ah, BW, what an unwitting set-up! :)

I have been wanting to post about The Patron Saint of Liars, which I have been reading off and on for the last month or so. I just haven't had time (either to post OR to read).

It also is by Ann Patchett. It concerns the life of a young woman in the 1960's who finds herself pregnant. She's married, but rather aimlessly so, so she up and leaves one day, bound for a home for (mostly) unwed mothers on the far side of the country. The book follows the unfolding of her life during her pregnancy and after the baby is born. That's as far as I've gotten, so I can't tell you how it turns out!

It's not as captivating as Bel Canto, which had an almost magical voice to it. It does share the theme of learning about oneself and finding one's true passion.

#11 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 20 December 2003 - 07:40 PM

Thanks Treefrog - I'll have to check it out. I do tend to get on single author kicks. :D

#12 Funny Face

Funny Face

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 233 posts

Posted 20 December 2003 - 08:11 PM

Tiffany, and others interested in reading stories indigenous to the South, try Ellen Gilchrist's work. A highly acclaimed writer, she pens full length novels and short stories. The stories are 'fiction,' but many people recognize themselves in these works (which may be why she moved from this city to Arkansas -- something I'm sure I'll have to do once I start writing stories about the Uptown matrons who shop at Langensteins and maneuver the grocery store like they're well narcotized, a la The Stepford Wives -- they stop and converse with each other about a lot of nothing, in the doorway, oblivious to the fact that people are trying to enter and exit).

I finally saw the film "Sweet Home Alabama," and noted at the end that it is based on a novel -- wondering if anyone is familiar with the book the movie is based on.

A few notes on Grisham: he is a big baseball fan and built his own 'field of dreams' just outside of Oxford, MS -- you can drive by on the highway and see it lit up. He also helped found "The Oxford Review." There's a wonderful independent bookstore in Oxford that he has ties to. Great little literary town. You can also nose around Faulkner's old home where he used to invite the town children to come on Halloween and he would tell them frightful stories.

#13 vagansmom

vagansmom

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 543 posts

Posted 21 December 2003 - 03:22 PM

This week, I received a few books as Christmas gifts from my students. Has anyone read "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides? In looking for a book review of it on Amazon, I see that the other choices of customers who bought it are all books I've recently read and posted about here except for Eugenides' other book "The Virgin Suicides" which I haven't read.

I was also given "Gypsy Girl", a children's book by Rumer Godden, one of my favorite adult authors. It was originally published as "The Diddakoi". I'm looking forward to reading it. I love nearly everything she's written; her short stories for children are always worthy of adult read - this latest in my hands being a full length novel for children.

And I'm nearing my next once-a-decade read of "War & Peace". I figure I'll probably identify with the elders in the novel now. :D My son is halfway through it; this is a milestone in his life since reading is such a slow-go for him.

#14 Funny Face

Funny Face

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 233 posts

Posted 21 December 2003 - 05:50 PM

Hey guys, isn't it time to re-read some Betsy and Tacy right about now?! You can all come over to my house for onion sandwiches and fudge and coffee, and we'll roll up the rug and play the piano and dance.

#15 vagansmom

vagansmom

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 543 posts

Posted 21 December 2003 - 07:22 PM

Funny Face, you read my mind. :D Today I bought my niece the first 3 Betsy-Tacy books as a Christmas present.

AND, I told my husband I want a brass bowl for a potted palm. :D

Like somebody else, I can play a waltz and a two-step on the piano. That's about it for my repertoire. But I'll be happy to play for some of those infamous onion sandwiches.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):