What are you reading the week of December 7, 2019?

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What are you reading the week of December 7, 2019?

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1fredbacon
Dez 7, 2019, 12:18am

It was a grueling week this week. Just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong. But I'm nearly through with Sumer and the Sumerians by Harriet Crawford.

Up next is Last Witnesses: An Oral History of the Children of World War II by Svetlana Alexievich.

2richardderus
Dez 7, 2019, 11:16am

Hi Fred...sorry about your work-week woes. At least the reads are good ones.

I've posted my review of Vintage 1954, as I mentioned last thread, and am now reading A Little Lumpen Novelita because one day I *WILL* get why people think Roberto Bolaño is a great writer. I. Will. Get. It.

3snash
Dez 7, 2019, 11:56am

I finished The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. It's historical fiction about the family of Camille Pissarro starting in St Thomas and ending up in Paris and the story of several loves tormented by social and religious taboos.

4PaperbackPirate
Dez 7, 2019, 12:00pm

This morning I finished They Called Us Enemy by George Takei. A piece of history really came to life for me this week as I read it.
My book club is meeting today to discuss it and then we're visiting an exhibit about our local Gila River Internment Camp. We didn't even realize at first that we were meeting on Pearl Harbor Day; what an odd coincidence.

6BookConcierge
Dez 7, 2019, 3:12pm


The Game of Silence – Louise Erdrich
Digital audiobook performed by Anna Fields.
4****

Book two in the Birchbark House series which is about an Ojibwa tribe’s life on their island in Lake Superior in the mid-19th century. Omakayas is the young girl who narrates this book, which chronicles a year on the island that is today known as Madeline Island.

I love how Erdrich depicts these people and their way of life. Not everything is pleasant or easy, but there is room for joy and happiness, for children to explore and learn. I loved the various adventures (and misadventures) Omakayas, her younger brother Pinch and cousin Two Strike, a girl who is every bit as strong and fierce as any boy her age, get into. It is two years after book one, and Omakayas is growing up. At age nine she has more responsibility to help with the necessary tasks of tribal living. Her intelligence, courage and spirit are recognized by the elders, and her friendship with a white girl, whom she calls “the Break Apart Girl” because of her tightly corseted waist, will be important to them all as they face the changes to their way of life.


Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwa, and she spoke to various Ojibwa elders about the significance of Madeline Island. Events depicted are historically accurate. The text version includes Erdrich’s pencil drawing illustrations. I definitely will continue reading this series.

Anna Fields does a marvelous job narrating the audiobook. She sets a good pace and her diction is clear enough that even younger children will not have trouble following the story.

7jwrudn
Dez 7, 2019, 4:57pm

Just finished The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Have meant to read it for a while, but when The Testaments appeared, I thought it was time. - creepy, disturbing and darkly humorous.

8cindydavid4
Dez 7, 2019, 8:12pm

>1 fredbacon: Fred I've seen that title, thinking the same thing as I do now - probably right up my alley in terms of historica witnesses (have others of this type) But not sure if I can. I read about the Wolf Children a few weeks back, and recently learned about what the Nazis did with aryan looking polish children - this may just be more than my heart to take. Let me know if I should give it a try

9rocketjk
Editado: Dez 8, 2019, 1:04pm

Yesterday I finished Kate Remembered, prize-winning biography A. Scott Berg's entertaining memoir of his longtime friendship with Katharine Hepburn, interwoven with more standard biographical passages about her life and career. You can find my more in-depth (or at least longer) review on the book's work page and on my 50-Book Challenge thread.

After that, I read through a stack of my "between books" . . .

* “Two Eyewitness Accounts of D-Day” from A Treasury of Great Reporting: "Literature Under Pressure" from the Sixteenth Century to Our Own Time edited by Louis L. Snyder
* "Morgues of Culture" from Magazine Digest - August 1949 edited by Murray Simmons
* The chapter on the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1963 Official Baseball Almanac by Bill Wise
* “All About a Dog” from Leaves in the Wind by Alpha of the Plow (a.k.a. A. G. Gardiner)
* “The Blessed Among Us” from Creek Walk and Other Stories by Molly Giles
* “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Recall You” by Gordon Cutler from the December 2, 1967, issue of The New Yorker Magazine
* Excerpt from Within Fort Sumter by Miss A. Fletcher from The Union Reader edited by Richard B. Harwell - newly added

I'm now finishing up one more round of "between books," after which I'll be starting Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion by Charles Townshend.

10JulieLill
Dez 8, 2019, 4:05pm

Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her
Robin Gerber
4/5 stars
This is the story of Ruth Handler who was looking for an adult female doll for girls to play with. At the time there were only baby dolls or paper adult dolls for girls to play with. While traveling in Germany she saw a Bild Lilli adult doll which inspired the creation of the Barbie doll and which became a toy sensation. This was the beginning of the rise of Mattel but life for Ruth and her family would be a whirlwind of ups and downs. What an interesting read!

11fredbacon
Dez 8, 2019, 6:14pm

>8 cindydavid4: If this book is anything like her other books, then it will a great read and very moving book. I'm not sure how difficult it will be to read. The Unwomanly Face of War was one of my favorite reads last year. I gave it as a Christmas present to several people whom I thought would appreciate it. If you ever get a chance to see Ivan Tarkovsky's film, Ivan's Childhood, I would highly recommend it. It is an excellent story of a young boy in Russia during the war.

12cindydavid4
Editado: Dez 8, 2019, 6:38pm

thanks fred, I'll put it on the list, then!

Finally finished Words Are My Matter: writings on life and books, not because it was difficult or slow, but I was using it as filler read while in the midst of great business the last month or so. Its a delight to sit for a few and digest her essays, reviews and speeches - she does indeed have a way with words and they matter a great deal to her. Found it an excellent way to get to know the author and her work.

Now rereading Little for a book group (by Edward Carey, spouse of Eliz McCraken and a very interesting writer), and rereading Overneath for a book group , both this week. Really enjoyed revisiting both of these, for different reasons. Highly recommend both

13cindydavid4
Editado: Dez 8, 2019, 6:49pm

thanks fred, I'll put it on the list, then!

Finally finished Words Are My Matter: writings on life and books, not because it was difficult or slow, but I was using it as filler read while being very busy the last month or so. Its a delight to sit for a few and digest her essays, reviews and speeches - she does indeed have a way with words and they matter a great deal to her - and easy to pick up again when I had a chance. Found it an excellent way to get to know the author and her work.

Now rereading Little for a book group Edward Carey, spouse of Eliz McCraken and one of my favorite querky writers, as is his wife), and rereading Overneath for a book group , both this week. Really enjoyed revisiting both of these, for different reasons. Highly recommend both

14cindydavid4
Dez 8, 2019, 6:50pm

thanks fred, I'll put it on the list, then!

Finally finished Words Are My Matter: writings on life and books, not because it was difficult or slow, but I was using it as filler read while in the midst of great business the last month or so. Its a delight to sit for a few and digest her essays, reviews and speeches - she does indeed have a way with words and they matter a great deal to her. Found it an excellent way to get to know the author and her work.

Now rereading Little for a book group (by Edward Carey, spouse of Eliz McCraken and a very interesting writer), and rereading Overneath for a book group , both this week. Really enjoyed revisiting both of these, for different reasons. Highly recommend both

15cindydavid4
Dez 8, 2019, 6:52pm

thanks fred, I'll put it on the list, then!

Finally finished Words Are My Matter: writings on life and books, not because it was difficult or slow, but I was using it as filler read while in the midst of great business the last month or so. Its a delight to sit for a few and digest her essays, reviews and speeches - she does indeed have a way with words and they matter a great deal to her. Found it an excellent way to get to know the author and her work.

Now rereading Little for a book group (by Edward Carey, spouse of Eliz McCraken and a very interesting writer), and rereading Overneath by Peter Beagle for a book group , both this week. Really enjoyed revisiting both of these, for different reasons. Highly recommend both

16BookConcierge
Dez 8, 2019, 7:59pm


The Perfect Ride – Gary Stevens
2**

Gary Stevens is a Hall-of-Fame jockey and this is his autobiography. He openly and honestly relates his childhood, early training, and path to being one of the top jockeys in the world.

He’s not a great writer though, never finished high school, and never kept a journal or diary, so writing this book, even with the help of a professional was difficult. But who could forget the thrill of winning, or even the first time riding in a major race? He manages to include much about the significant races in his career, as well as the major injuries or personal setbacks that derailed and nearly ended his career. Still, I got bored at times with this work, and it seemed to just peter out, as if he’d pulled up mid race and just walked his horse back to the barn.

I’m a fan of horseracing but Stevens failed to convey the thrill and excitement of the sport in this book. Perhaps I should stick to books that are more about the horses than the jockeys who ride them.

17booknest
Dez 8, 2019, 9:50pm

Still plugging away on Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey, more than halfway through.
Also in one small sitting read Verse Noir by David Rachels.
I only came across this book of verse by accident, the accident being Lawrence Blocks recommendation. :).

Happily, I might add, as I couldn’t put it down. It’s a quick, but kinda gut punching look at a slice of human nature that many attempt to sweep under their individual rugs. To say it’s a cynical take on human nature would not be incorrect.

Some of the verse is raunchy, but also a bit scary to read. Scary in that there are those that truly ascribe to those sentiments. Scary in that there is truth in them thar hills. Fascinating.

18mollygrace
Dez 9, 2019, 1:55pm

I finished Andre Aciman's Find Me which I liked very much. Now I'm reading Girl by Edna O'Brien.

19Molly3028
Editado: Dez 9, 2019, 10:58pm

Enjoyed this Kindle eBook Alexa read to me ~

My Kind of Christmas (Christmas Tree Ranch, book #1)
by Janet Dailey

20rocketjk
Dez 9, 2019, 8:13pm

As noted above, I worked through one more group of my "between books" . . .

* "Too Loud: Jennifer Weiner" from Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen
* "Anne Legendre Armstrong" from American Heroines: The Spirited Women who Shaped Our Country by Kay Bailey Hutchison
* “A Manual for Cleaning Women” from A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
* “Cheer, Boys, Cheer” from The Union Reader edited by Richard B. Harwell
* “The Pine Barrens - 2” by John McPhee from the December 2, 1967, issue of The New Yorker Magazine

I've now begun Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion by Charles Townshend, which was recommended to me by a bookseller in a great bookstore in Cork City during my vacation in Ireland with my wife last year.

21LisaMorr
Editado: Dez 9, 2019, 10:19pm

2> The only book I've read by him was 2666, which I thought was brutal, harrowing and brilliant. What else have you read by him?

ETA - still continuing with Pilgrimage 3...

22Molly3028
Dez 9, 2019, 10:57pm

Enjoying this OverDrive Kindle eBook Alexa is reading to me ~

Holly Blues (a China Bayles Mystery) by Susan Wittig Albert

23aussieh
Dez 9, 2019, 11:17pm

> 18
Hi Molly I am a great fan of Edna O'Brien, I will be interested to hear how you found it. I think this is her latest book.

24JulieLill
Dez 10, 2019, 2:47pm

>20 rocketjk: I loved Lucia Berlin's book and would love to read more of her work.

25rocketjk
Dez 10, 2019, 3:08pm

>24 JulieLill: Yes, I'm really enjoying the stories in that collection. Extremely acute portrayals of the human condition. The title story is simply amazing.

26ahef1963
Dez 10, 2019, 7:39pm

>2 richardderus: I have a similar problem with Gabriel García Márquez. I know he's supposed to be wonderful, and has the Nobel Prize to prove it, but I just find him dull. My elder daughter lived in Ecuador for a while and loves Garcia Marquez; she says the pace of the books matches the slower pace of life in South America. That may be the case, but I still don't like his books. Maybe I should move to Peru.

Work has been extremely busy lately and I've been too unfocused to read much on my days off as I'm tired from work. I did complete The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas and was not overwhelmed. Now I'm reading something far more enjoyable: The Boy in the Headlights by Norwegian crime writer Samuel Bjork.

27LisaMorr
Dez 11, 2019, 1:50am

>26 ahef1963: oooh! I read I'm Travelling Alone earlier this year and loved it and need to get back to Mia and Holger!

28Molly3028
Editado: Dez 14, 2019, 8:32am

Enjoying this OverDrive audiobook ~

Ali Cross by James Patterson (4 stars)
(son of Alex Cross/YA mystery/missing friend)

29Copperskye
Dez 11, 2019, 10:33am

Over the weekend, I finished my first Miss Marble mystery, 4:50 From Paddington. I liked it so much that after a reread of Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory, I’ve started another Agatha Christie, The Mirror Crack’d From Side To Side.

30BookConcierge
Editado: Dez 21, 2019, 5:29pm


Ordinary Life– Elizabeth Berg
Digital audiobook narrated by Laura Hicks.
4****

This is a collection of short stories exploring the role of women and their relationships in contemporary America.

Berg writes wonderfully about these women. I understand their frustrations and share their hopes, empathize with their pain and disappointments, and celebrate their triumphs and joys. There are moments that are laugh-out-loud funny, and moments that quiet my soul and cause me to reflect. Some scenes are almost unbearably tender, and a few made me feel uncomfortably like a voyeur.

Her characters are familiar; we all know (or actually are) women like this. Their lives may be “ordinary” … the stories, and this collection, are NOT.

I could not help but think of my late friend Sally, who first introduced me to Berg years ago. I can picture her sitting on my patio during book club and exclaiming, “You haven’t read Elizabeth Berg!?!” Thank you, my friend; I miss your recommendations, but at least I have plenty more of Elizabeth Berg’s books to read.

The audiobook is performed by Laura Hicks, who does a marvelous job. She really brings these characters to life.

31rocketjk
Dez 11, 2019, 12:07pm

>30 BookConcierge: The only Berg I've read is Durable Goods, which I thought was excellent.

32Barbs2017
Dez 11, 2019, 3:50pm

Just finished book 3 of Charlotte MacLeod's Peter Shandy series "Wrack and Rune".

33Limelite
Dez 11, 2019, 3:59pm

The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch. Half through this giant family saga set in Wales during the first half of the 20th C. These are passionate and flawed people seeking order in their chaotic lives. They commit unforgivable sins, often to each other, but manage to recognize the need to redeem themselves and some find the courage to do so.

34snash
Dez 11, 2019, 4:34pm

I finished the LTER The Soul of Medicine. While I wholeheartedly embrace the author's premise that doctors need to work to become more "authentic", confront death, and listen to their patients, I found his supporting stories from memoir, dreams, and mythology disjointed and their connection to the point obscure. Despite my confusion, I'm not sorry I read it and will contemplate various scenes in the future.

35mollygrace
Dez 12, 2019, 3:13pm

>23 aussieh: Edna O'Brien's Girl is a powerful novel. It had an almost physical effect on me. I'd read other works of fiction and nonfiction about the situation in Nigeria, so much that I wondered if I'd be bored going through it all again, but I should have known Edna O'Brien would take me so much more deeply into that world. Such a slight little book -- deceptive, like that title.

I'm now reading The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet.

36JulieLill
Dez 12, 2019, 3:30pm

The Graveyard Apartment
Mariko Koike
4/5 stars
A young Japanese couple with a child is living in Tokyo but they decide to move out of their current lodgings and buy a condo. The condo is a steal but is located next to a cemetery. Shortly, after moving in to their new apartment they find out that few people are living there. They make friends with the people that are there but one day their child and a friend are playing in the basement and are trapped down there. Luckily they are rescued but unusual and eerie events continue to occur impelling the residents to leave until they are the last family in the building. I enjoyed this fast and eerie read.

37princessgarnet
Editado: Dez 12, 2019, 4:38pm

Finished: The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen
New novel by the award winning author. Combines romance and mystery on a fictional English island during the Regency era.

Started: Maria Romanov translated by Helen Azar and George Hawkins
Letters and diaries by the young Grand Duchess Maria from 1908-18

38marykuhl
Editado: Dez 12, 2019, 5:32pm

I have had a few issues with my eyesight and then was ill for about a week, but now I am starting, A Divided Loyalty by Charles Todd. I have not read this series before, but so far I am enjoying it.

Next is Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill

39aussieh
Editado: Dez 12, 2019, 7:05pm

> 35 mollygrace
Thanks for the comments, another of Edna's novels that had a deep effect for me was "Down By The River". I shall follow up on this latest at my local library.

40hemlokgang
Editado: Dez 13, 2019, 3:59am

I have had norovirus, Influenza B, and strep throat, all since November 10th, so just getting back to reading! Finished listening to the marvelous Norwegian By Night.

Next BBC up for listening is All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer-Fleming.

41Erick_Tubil
Dez 13, 2019, 4:29am



I have just finished reading the novel Motherless Brooklyn by author Jonathan Lethem.

.

42Molly3028
Dez 13, 2019, 9:45am

A Christmas Carol (Reissue)

by Charles Dickens (Author), Patrick Stewart

(Stewart's one-man show on CD
https://www.librarything.com/work/1549/book/176458281)

43fredbacon
Dez 14, 2019, 1:24am

The new thread is up over here.