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What are you reading this fall?

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I thought the summer list was getting a bit long, so we could start another one for back to school/new season reading.

Jackie has put up a topic on a specific book -- THANK YOU, JACKIE! You're Official Forum Heroine of the Week :ermm:

How about if we use this thread for a list of what's on the bedside table, and then start separate threads for any book we'd really like to TALK about?

I really did start "Atonement." It will be my "read while you're sitting there waiting for the laundry to be done" book (I have to say it takes a lot for me to relate to characters named Jackson and Pierrot).

I also picked up Alice Hoffman's "The Probable Future" and Dani Shapiro's "Family History," both of which look promising. I was also intrigued by the conversation with Edward Jones on the News Hour Friday night about his book, “The Known World.” Any writer who says (paraphrasing) "I figure if I make the character REAL, people won't care what kind of saddle he rides," is my kind of writer! (Jones was speaking in the context of impatience with writers who write pages and pages of description about what kind of leather the saddle was made of, and how long it had taken to tan it.)

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Personally, I'm planning on reading lots and lots of sheets of paper with titles like "Can you light the bulb?" and "Circuit circus". Also "Positive Discipline in the Classroom" (that's a book, not a sheet of paper).

Actually, I am feeling a bit bereft right now, because I DON'T have any books on the bedside table. :( My furious summer reading pace dwindled. I'm looking forward to the suggestions everyone makes so I can find a new read. Or I might just take up the next Aubrey/Maturin; I 'm up to "The Reverse of the Medal". (This series is great if you never have time to scope out new books; I've been working on it off and on for about four years.)

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Well... since I'm in university now, I hardly have any time to read "fun" books anymore... Luckily some of the required readings are entertaining. I'm reading Herodotus "The Histories" which is pretty interesting and also very funny at times. It's not very historically acurate...

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Alexandra, thanks to Treefrog, who encouraged me, I finally finished "Atonement" and I'm glad I read it. I had trouble with the first section; I didn't like the style of writing. But Treefrog told me to hang in there so I did, finished it last week and it's now the next book, following "The Probable Future" (isn't that funny? We must be on the same wavelength right now) on the agenda for our staff book club.

I started "Life of Pi" for the umpteen time tonight. I had started it many times this past summer but other reading prevailed. My daughter's pushing me though so she'll have someone to talk to about it.

I'm also in the midst of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" which I'm told can be considered a good nonfictional companion volume to "Angels & Demons" and "Da Vinci Code", both of which I read a couple months ago.

Another book sitting on my bedtable is Edward W. Said's memoir, "Out of Place". He grew up in Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt before coming to the USA as a college student.

I'm pecking away at "Genome", a 1990 book recounting the attempts (at the time) to map the human genome. I figure there'll be, or most likely already is, another book describing the later years. Meanwhile I'll be scientifically current through 1990. That's more current than I am in the movie-land world. :shrug:

Finally, like Treefrog, I'm wading through the world of "Positive Discipline": "..for Childcare Providers", "...for Preschoolers", "...for Single Parents", "...for Blended Families", and "Positive Time-Out". Hopefully I'll be positively inspired enough to pass the testing process towards being a national PD lecturer in January (which takes place in Treefrog's neck of the woods - Hurrah!) :( :hyper: :bouncing:


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vagansmom, I've been reading "Life of Pi" on and off this summer also. It's getting put to rest again unfortunately...

Alexandra, fun school books this year include: Sophocles' Theban Plays, Aristotle's "Poetics", Thucydides "History of the Peloponnesian Wars" (this might end up no fun but I *hope* it's good), King Lear, some Chaucer, Hesiod...

not fun books are: my biology textbook (!) and Lucretius "De Rerum Natura" (we only have to read a few parts).

I also have to read "Phaedra"- Seneca, and "Oroonoko or the Royal Slave"- Aphra Behn. I'm not sure if I will like them or not...

My before bedtime book right now is "Writing in the Dark, Dancing in the New Yoker" which my ballet teacher gave me. Arlene Croce is such an excellent and articulate writer, and the articles are short and stand on their own. Since my recreation reading habits are so erratic during the school year, I can't seem to get into a long book because if I stop reading and start again I don't remember the details!

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Paquita, I have that Croce book too. I love it at bedtime -short, interesting pieces.

My husband's college years were spent reading many of the books on your list. He attended St. John's College, which is famous for its "Great Books" program. Every now and again, I look at some of those titles on our bookshelf and vow I'll wade into them but I never do. For me, they'd require a discussion group.

You are very lucky :yes:


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I recently finished "Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks (who gave a talk at my school), and I'm earnestly trying to plough my way through Nijinsky's diaries (the version edited by Acocella) but it is very slow going. For school, I have a music history textbook that I'm really enjoying (it comes with CDs! :jump: ) and I'll eventually have to read a book about the life of Balanchine for my ballet class.

Paquita, you must be very learned indeed to enjoy reading all those! :thumbsup: Although I like reading those long, complicated 19th-century novels, I have to admit that Chaucer makes my head spin :dizzy: (PS: I don't like biology either :wink: )

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I haven't read all those books yet, we will be studying them throughout the year. So, I don't consider myself very learned, but I hope to emerge from university so :thumbsup: I would not have the strength to tackle those Greek classics on my own, that is for sure! I agree with Jacki, they really do require a discussion group. The only one I read by myself were the Theban plays, last summer.

Hans, I also read the Nijinsky diaries- but a very old version I found at a used bookshop. I definately know what you mean when you say "slow going". He seems to repeat himself a lot and there is no real direction in his writing. But it is a fascinating portal into his mind (the version I have even has some pictures that he drew in the hospital) and he also had some very humourous and interesting musings!

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I just ordered a copy of Nijinski's diaries. Should be here soon... In the meantime, I have a copy of The Pricess Bride (who doesn't love that movie?) to tide me over. William Goldman is a very clever man; pulled the wool right over my eyes. Just finished up Le Reine Margot, one of Alexandre Dumas' lesser-known historical novels.

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Guest Angel2Be

I checked out Atonement from the library last week, but haven't gotten a change to start it yet. Right now, it's The Nanny Diaries (a horribly written book, but funny nevertheless.)

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Just returned from the library, where I picked up 3 books of short stories—one by Joyce Carol Oates, one by Thomas Wolfe, and the third a collection that, quite frankly, I can’t remember. In my old age I’m regressing back to childhood and have to have my bedtime story. Only problem is that I usually fall asleep before finishing.

Just recently I realized how much my math and physics skills have deteriorated, so I’m starting to read some math and physics books, popular books rather than textbooks. Nothing really heavy duty. My mind needs the exercise.

Every season I make it a point to read some dance related book. This fall, however, I have absolutely nothing in mind. I’m considering getting a Spanish dance how-to, history, or even dictionary because I’m going to take up Spanish dance next year. Thinking about reading Doris Humphrey’s autobiography too. Just scanning the Princeton Book Company catalogue, the following are possibilities: Moving Music: dialogues with music in twentieth century ballet; Inside Tap (want to do that also). I don’t know. To be honest, I’m not that enthusiastic about dance as a subject for reading. If I had to make a choice right now, I’d get Doris Humphrey’s autobiography.

This last summer, I read quite a few art history books and will probably continue. Those I get from the library. I tend to bring home those with relatively many pictures and few words.

For pure guilty pleasure, right now I’m hot for Perry Mason stories. Though I’m a slow reader, they are a fast read and once I get one home, I am glued to the couch until I finish.

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I picked up a novel at the beach this summer that I never got to -- "The Four Temperaments" -- which I hope will survive the change of seasons. Ie, seems like the kind of book you might enjoy on the beach but maybe not otherwise! I seem to recall not-glowing things about it on previous threads but picked it up anyway since it was written by a former SAB student and thought it might have interesting scenes, etc., from that world.

The book I really want to read, though, is "Triangle: The Fire That Changed America," by David von Drehle, who is a superb newspaper writer (at The Washington Post). It's about a fire in a sweatshop in New York in 1911 that killed about 150 workers, mostly young immigrant women, and led to much political and social reform.

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I just bought Garison Keillor's new novel, "Love Me," and I am, indeed, loving it. It's about a once-famous, successful writer of fiction who used to pal around with William Shawn, and is now a newspaper advice columnist. I realize that Keillor is not a writer to everyone's taste, but I'm awfully glad I acquired the taste.

Of course I'm looking forward in November to the book about Balanchine with photos by Costas.

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I'm very impressed, vagansmom, that your husband attended St. John's. Wish more colleges had that kind of program.

Among my required reading for school this semester is "The Hydrogen Economy -- The Creation of the Worldwide Energy Web and the Redistribution of Power on Earth" by Jeremy Rifkin.

For my b-day this week I received "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris. Each passage can be read in a few minutes -- perfect before bed.

Also reading Faith Sullivan's "What A Woman Must Do." Enjoy Sullivan's work, including "The Cape Ann" and "The Empress of One."

Was also given recently 'The Book That Changed My Life," wherein "fifteen of America's most influential authors discuss their own special literary choices."

Waiting for Fannie Flagg's next venture, whatever it may be -- loved "Standing in the Rainbow."

Any poetry readers out there?

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You all are eruditer than me :wink: ...I am so impressed. People who still read! I just finished Standing in the Rainbow, and Hillary Clinton's book (a birthday gift from my conservative Republican parents - they love me) and I'm searching for something else to read. I haven't seen any mention of Dorothy Dunnett. Has anyone read her? I've read both of her (long) series more than once, and am contemplating wading in again, but I'm not sure I have that kind of time. Also, I'm thinking of trying some of the classics that I DIDN'T have to read in college...any suggestions?

Funny Face - I gave my son "Me Talk Pretty One Day", but haven't read it myself. Maybe I should.

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The classics you didn't read in college ... good one. We've all had a few escape us until later in life.

John Knowles' "A Separate Peace" made a big impression on me in my 20s. Anything by Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Faulkner. Read "Pride and Prejudice" and then see every film version ever done -- that's fun. Including "Bridge Jones's Diary," which will hit you halfway through the movie that it's actually a modern day take on P&P. And I highly recommend that all women, if they haven't already done so, read the entire Anne of Green Gables series right through the lives of Anne's children. Mark Twain said that no one penned better tales of childhood, and I quite agree. You'll end up feeling all's right with the world.

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Just finished "Life of Pi". I must admit, I liked the book alot once I got into it but it's yet another book, ala "Atonement" with a twist at the end. I'm not sure I care for the twist this time though.

And now I've begun another book my daughter's begged me to read: Daniel Quinn's "Story of B". I hope to begin "Bel Canto" later this week if a friend remembers to send it along to me.

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Funny Face, I have read all of the "Anne" books, and loved them.

I didn't know that "Bridget Jones' Diary" (read the book, haven't seen the movie) was supposed to be Pride and Prejudice (I can't recall whether or not I've read P&P). Wasn't the movie Clueless supposed to be "Emma", or am I confused?

I've read both The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence. I'm trying to decide whether or not to try more of Wharton - I found both books fascinating, but depressing.

I'll check into Atonement, too, since it seems to be a winner.

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