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Summer reading


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#1 dirac

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 05:26 AM

Hi, everyone. What are you reading this summer? Tell us about it here.

 

I'm revisiting Shelby Foote's "The Civil War," a multilvolume work I like to dip in and out of. (I have it in a collection of smaller volumes, not the three-volume version.) Anyone else?



#2 abatt

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:21 AM

I'm reading Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel.  It is historical fiction about Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell, among others.  It is the "sequel" to Mantel's prior novel, Wolf Hall, which I recently completed.  

 

As an aside, Wolf Hall is being made into a BBC production starring Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell. It is scheduled to be broadcast on PBS in 2015.

 

I'm loving the Kindle which I bought earlier this year.  It makes reading a book during my commute to and from work so much easier.



#3 Helene

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:05 AM

My favorite books so far this summer have been the recently translated Maria Kallio murder mysteries by Leena Lehtolainen, Finland's renowned mystery writer:  "My First Murder," "Her Enemy," and "Copper Heart." (According to the author bio, this series has been adapted for Finnish TV.) The protagonist is a policewoman/lawyer whose family would like her to drop police work.  I'm hoping these continue to be translated into English -- they've been translated into other languages for a long time -- especially since these books are from the mid-90's, and she's published every year since.

 

I also enjoyed "Save Our Ballet" and "Balanchine's Dancing Cowboy," and I'm very glad I read Barbara Bocher's "The Cage."

 

I've put aside Daniel Pink's "Drive" to read "Alone," the new John Curry biography, which I'm reading very slowly.  Reading about Curry is far from enjoyable -- he was rarely a happy man -- but I'm glad to be immersed in thinking about him.  The opposite of the rather dreadful "Push Dick's Button" by Dick Button.

 

I'm also in the process of re-reading Lis Harris' "Holy Days," originally a multi-part series in "The New Yorker" about a year of (mostly) weekends she spent with a Lubavitch family in Brooklyn, and slowly pushing through Tito Gobbi's memoir, "My Life." So much had been written about living in Vichy France under German Occupation and about German artists and whether they left or stayed and how and why that it was interesting to read something about what it was like in Italy under German local control.  It's a physical book, though, and right now it's sitting in another city.



#4 mimsyb

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 04:16 PM

I'm re-reading Misia by Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale.  I pulled it off my shelf, but I think it's now out of print.  Misia Sert was muse to Renoir, Lautrec, Vuillard, Bonnard,  Marlarme' and many more.  Friends with Chanel, Cocteau, Stavinsky, Satie, Colette, and most notably Diaghilev.   She knew Everyone and her Salon spanned both the end of the 19th and into the 20th Century.  To read about that time and everyone involved is fascinating.  Why this story has never been made into a film is beyond me.   There isn't any part of her life that doesn't just literally leap off the page.  Ravel's "La Valse" was dedicated to her.  It's especially interesting reading for the time around the First World War.   This book was originally published in 1980 by Alfred A. Knopf.  Well worth seeking out a copy from some used book seller. 



#5 sandik

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 04:31 PM

Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman.



#6 kfw

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:01 PM

Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman.

 

I remember that. I should probably read it again. I seem to read everything again eventually. happy.png

 

 I've been rereading (or re-rereading), a little at a time, Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and Walker Percy's The Second Coming. I'm now reading, for the first time, Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage and, for a book group, John Steinbeck's Cannery Row. I recently read Julian Barnes' novella The Sense of An Ending, which won the Man Booker award in 2011. I'm slowly working through a collection of Auden's poems. For nonfiction, I recently read Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy. I want to reread Paul Tillich's The Courage to Be, and read all of Thucydides' The Peloponnesian War, which I only read parts of in school.  



#7 sandik

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:40 PM

 

 I seem to read everything again eventually. happy.png

 

 

I love to re-read, which gets in the way of reading for the first time...



#8 mom2

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 09:04 AM

I read Fosse.  Took awhile - it's quite the book, and I kept looking things up on youtube as I read along.

 

:)



#9 sandik

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 09:37 AM

I read Fosse.  Took awhile - it's quite the book, and I kept looking things up on youtube as I read along.

 

smile.png

 

I imagine it could have just about doubled the time it took!



#10 macnellie

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 10:04 AM

Jane Gardam: 'God on the Rocks' and the "Old Filth" trilogy. Started to read the "Patrick Melrose" novels by Edward St.Aubyn --extremely funny and extremely cruel. Had to put them down. Has anyone read them? Jane Gardam is a wonder --very very graceful.
I read on my ipad kindle. When I get restless I watch ballets on You Tube. I'm an ipad addict!

#11 Barbara

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 10:43 AM

macnellie, I'm reading the Patrick Melrose novels now. It's no doubt that Edward St. Aubyn is a wonderful writer; there are places I laugh out loud and then cringe at the cruelty. These are characters that are not fun to be around but I will read to the finish. On the other hand Alice McDermott's Someone is lovely and I hated to say goodbye to those characters.



#12 macnellie

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 10:48 AM

Thank you Barbara! I know I'll hope back to them--I got caught by them immediately. I'll try"Someone..." never read McDermott.
Thanks again and try Gardam!

#13 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 10:57 AM

Started to read the "Patrick Melrose" novels by Edward St.Aubyn --extremely funny and extremely cruel. Had to put them down. Has anyone read them? 

 

I've read the first three "Patrick Melrose" novels and have been steeling myself for the final two. By "read" I mean "listened to the audiobooks," which worked well for these novels: the narrator was excellent and I suspect that I wouldn't have made it through Patrick's epic bender in "Bad News" otherwise. (I'm pretty sure I got a hangover by osmosis.) But they are excellent books -- and funnier than they have any right to be. I didn't much like Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch" to begin with, but comparing Theo's East Village drug adventures with Patrick's made it seem like particularly weak sauce, despite its way too many pages.

 

While I wait for David Mitchell's new novel to come out, I've decided to read Lev Grossman's "Magicians" trilogy, since the final volume has gotten some very favorable reviews. I'm about 2/3 of the way through the first one, and I can't quite figure out who the intended audience is. It's a little more grown up in some of its concerns than your typical young adult novel, but doesn't quite feel adult adult either. I'm thinking maybe a bookish 19 year old who grew up on Narnia and Hogwarts, with a little of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy thrown in? (Now Pullman's novels are some YA books that adults have every reason to enjoy ...)

 

But none of the new fiction I've read so far this year has really grabbed me as much as two new novels I read last year: Rachel Kushner's "The Flamethrowers" and Caleb Cain's "Necessary Errors." 



#14 DanielBenton

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 08:23 AM

Martin Duberman's biography:  The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein.  Massive detail; a comprehensive look at Kirstein and the incredible spheres he inhabited.  Also, Varley O'Connor's The Master's Muse.  I was highly skeptical about this novelization of Tanaquil Leclerc's life from shortly before her life-changing illness until after Balanchine's passing.  But it was really good!  I don't know if the events in it are true or not, but the writing is good and the story has an air of believability.



#15 Barbara

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 11:10 AM

 

I've read the first three "Patrick Melrose" novels and have been steeling myself for the final two. By "read" I mean "listened to the audiobooks," which worked well for these novels: the narrator was excellent and I suspect that I wouldn't have made it through Patrick's epic bender in "Bad News" otherwise. (I'm pretty sure I got a hangover by osmosis.) But they are excellent books -- and funnier than they have any right to be. I didn't much like Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch" to begin with, but comparing Theo's East Village drug adventures with Patrick's made it seem like particularly weak sauce, despite its way too many pages.

 

Kathleen, I couldn't agree more with your comparison between St. Aubyn's and Tartt's description of the descent into drug abuse. I loved The Goldfinch (and Tartt's other books) but her description paled in comparison.




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