What are you reading in 2009 #2
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I'm reading a book called The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli. Won't be out until next year sometime (I'm reading it for a possible blurb), but it is terrific so far.
Oops - spoke too soon about no drivebys!
A interesting social history of the"gin craze" of the early 1700's and the various "Gin Laws" passed by Parliment from 1729 till 1751. Sometime humrous, sometimes sad, sometimes the reading is a bit 'dry' (;D) but on the whole educational. (2 1/2 stars)
About halfway though Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920's. I'm enjoying it alot. I see that Frederick Allen wrote another book about the 30's.Since Yesterday: The 1930's in America, September 3, 1929 to September 3, 1939.Plan on looking into that one also.
Started "Harms Way" by James Basset. It's a re-ead that I read it many,many years ago. It's the basis for the John Ford movie of the same name staring John Wayne.
Have The Englishman's Boy waiting in the wings, it sounds like it will be good.
Meanwhile, I've just started on a tome called The Middle Way: Finding Happiness in a World of Extremes by Lou Marinoff. I'm a pathetically slow reader, so I think this will keep me going until the end of the year. What I've read so far -- the dust jacket, the Acknowledgement, the Introduction and the first 12 pages, I'm very pleased so far.
*Edited to fix a typo I happened to find after almost 2 months.
I know, I know... get a life...
Started "The Girl in the Green Glass Mirror" by Elizabeth McGregor...interesting so far...the story of a lesser known British painter, Richard Dadd, is featured within the primary story.
Stories in Stone was a lot of fun and if you are interested in geology, architecture, and history this is for you.
I was ready to start Theodore Rex when a new book at the library caught my eye, The Real Wizard of Oz: The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum.
So far it has been incredible engaging (and I'm having a hard time putting it down). It describes more about life in America from 1850 to 1920. A topic I've been in to quite about this summer.
And I don't remember which one of you it was ("you know you're 50-something when you can't remember who recommended a book to you"), but someone here suggested Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. I mentioned that I had met Helprin at a book-signing and found him dull, and you said that his writing was anything but. So I listened to the audio book. Wow. Thank you, whoever you are!
Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism by Temple Grandin & Sean Barron. My current non-fiction read.
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill. (short stories -- I have mixed reactions to the different stories, but they are brilliantly written.)
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (Just started, rather gothic fiction) I've been wanting to read this for a while.
Owls Well that Ends Well by Donna Andrews (hilarious cozy mystery) Picked up at the library as a lightweight read to get me through the quieter moments of tending the Library Book Sale table for our Community Yard Sale -- now I can't stop reading it!
Someone in the House by Barbara Michaels (audio book -- suspense) Our library just got access for patrons to use NetLibrary audio books, and I had to try one!
So have added two more too my list ;
1. "In Harms Way" by James Bassett
This book about the early days of WW 2 right after Pear Harbor. This was made into an excellent movie in the early 60's. The book as usual was better with the characters more rounded out, more background etc.
If you only know it from the movie, do yourself a favor and read this. You won't be disappointed
Bassett also wrote another good book Commander. Prince, USN: a novel of the Pacific War which is about the Asiatic fleet in the early days of the war.
2. "Submarine" by Edward L. Beach.
This was Beach's first book. In it he tells not only his experiences during his ten war patrols but in alternating chapters tells the story of other famous Submarines and crews. Anyone who has read anything about submarines in the Pacific will recognize the names of Wahoo, Tang, Trigger, Batfish, Archerfish etc. In it you see the development of the tactics that were used so successfully in WW 2.
You can also see where he gets all his the material for Run Silent Run Deep, it's not just a novel but in many ways autobiographcal.
I think every script writer in Hollywood read this book. Because in it I can see every submarine movie that was made in the 50's
I decided to re-read this book after reading a bio of Heggen on line.
Mr. Roberts exploits on AKA 601, the USS Reluctant ( or the Bucket) was based on Heggen's life aboard the U.S. Navy attack transport USS Virgo (AKA-20).
The best parts of the book are all based on fact, even the palm tree which Heggen threw overboard twice in real life.
The book is made more poignant by the fact that Heggen committed suicide when he was only 30 years old.
Heres the link if anyone is interested in reading the article
The next book up is The Strange Case of Hellish Nell. The Story of Helen Duncan and The Witch Trial of World War II, by Nina Shandler
With the T.V. show starting , I put everthing on hold to read this book to get a preview of it.
If you know what your future was in 22 years , could you change it? Could you use it? That's the basic theme of this book.
The book starts out fast an furious and goes down hill from there. The characters are predictable and the plot forced to a point where I couldn't suspend my disbelief and go along with the story.
The highlight of the book is when half the world starts to complain about a "flashforward" gap when the scientific world wants to try and reproduce the experiment.
I'm always on the lookout for new (to me ) sci fi writers. so on the plus side I'm going to try some of Sawyer's other books. He has won a Hugo and Nebula awards along with John W Campbell Memorial Award.
I'm now about at the halfway point in "Clan of the Cave Bear"...enjoying it very much.
#28--I've set my dvr for the Flash Forward premier.
I just finished The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle and wow, what a great book. Heartbreakingly sad.
The show (flashforward) seems like it might be fairly decent.
The Last Will of Moira Leahy is my most recent read.. it is a vine book and it is a lovely, easy, entertaining read. Just right.
Not sure what I will read next.
This book might be a good read for those looking for something to read for Halloween. (even if it's history)
Helen Duncan was a median and Spiritualist born in 1898. Who at a young age could see sprits, and see the future events.
What makes this book good is that the author does a good job of going back and forth though Helen's life, to keep your interest up. It seems that she had the "Gift" as they call it to deliver messages for the beyond.
She got it right on many occasions. Example;
1. She predicted in early 1940 that Germany would not invade England. (this was just after Dunkirk)
2. That England and Russia would be allies (after Germany and Russia signed the non-aggression treaty)
3. That the United States would enter the war (we were officially neutral at that time)
4. that the War would last 6 years and involve the world from the U.S. to Japan (this is before Pearl Harbor)
5 And would end with two large bangs (atomic bombs?)
But this is not what got her into trouble!.
She told of the loss of the HMS Hood on May 24, 1941, and the sinking of the HMS Barham this is when the war department was keeping these reports secret. They went to the extreme of sending fake holiday greeting to the families of the diseased Seamen from these ships so the general public would not know.
Then the plans for D-Day start and Helen's problems begin to grow. till in n 1944 Helen Duncan and her four co-defendants listened to the court clerk read the following charges;
(from the back cover)
"...You four conspired together, and with persons unknown, to pretend to exercise some kind of conjuration, though the agency of the said Helen Duncan, spirits of deceased persons should appear, and were communicating with living persons contrary to the Witchcraft Act of 1735"
There is a lot more to the story. I don't want to ruin it for any who wish to read it. I give it about 3/5 stars.
What I found so interesting in the book was the interest the whole nation took in it, and it's not well known today.
It was such a big story at the time, that Winston Churchill sent a personal note to the Home Secretary asking why the "Withcraft Act of 1735" was being used in this case and what was it costing the goverment to try this case.
But I've completed The Last Lecture...sad but inspiring,
The Secret...Very uplifting and inspirational in it's presentation and packaging, but this information is nothing new....the metaphysical assertions are what interest me though (see my review),
The Real Wizard of Oz: The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum...very interesting and more about that wonderful time period (1870 to 1920)...it's interesting how much TR's life and Baum are similar...they both went out West and worked for progress change,
Now I'm having fun with Weapons of Choice...time travel...it reminds me of the Movie The Final Countdown...it's the first book of a trilogy so I have the next on deck if this one pans out,
I'm thinking an HG Wells bio next...will see
It's better to see the Movie (in this case TV show) first and then read the book for me.
I know a bit about boating, but certainly have no navy experience. It was still a really fun book.
And for those who wonder why I only gave it 3 1/2 stars if I think it is so wonderful--it is because it is a well written, humorous book, but not a great book.
Glad you enjoyed Now Hear This. It's alway a rush to recommend a book and someone reads and enjoys it. That's what LT is all about.
Read the first 100 pages of Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. It seems good but my mental biorhythm's must be on a triple low just cann't wrap my mind around it at this time. Will pick it up again in a few months.
Am about 50% done with His Majesty's Ship by Alaric Bond Fairly good so far. He has a little different take on a well worn age of sail genre.
Resistance: A Frenchwoman's Journal of the War is one of my favorite reads this year. I hope you enjoy it, too.
>56 usnmm2:: usnmm2,
Thanks again for recommending Gallery. I plan to read more! As to Umberto Eco--I like to think that I am not a total idiot, but I had a great deal of difficulty with both Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum. I think it is in part something lacking in my education since I really did not understand what was going on some times. I always think I should try to reread those, but there are too many others waiting.
This is book #1 in Alaric Bond's "Fighting Sail Series". As an 'age of sail' story the action, tone and progression of the tale is on par with many other 'Age of Sail' books.
What makes this book different is the use of many characters and shifting point of views. You have the young boy that volunteers for service and is on a great adventure. The older men who were pressed into service and haven't been off the ship or see home in many years. Even some sailor's who belong to a clandestine group that is dedicated to the overthrow of England. A full gambit of officers from the older Midshipman who has almost no chance of making Lt.. To the Peer who has friends in high places, and one who has worked his way up from between decks.
With the many characters and shifting point views tends to make the ship and the sea going life the main characters in this story. This change in points of view is refreshing in a well worn age of sail genre.
After all there is only so many times you can follow Midshipman _________ to his rise to Admiral _______________. Don't get me wrong I've enjoyed every one of these series I've read (Hornblower, Bolitho, Ramage etc.). It's my feel good and safe genre. My comfort food of literature. But they can be a little repetitive. Anyway it's nice to see them handled in a little different and fresh way.
I have bought the 2nd book Jackass Frigate, which has met with good reviews. I hope Bond can keep it up.
For my YA book, I am reading Shiver which, unfortunately, has too many parallels to Twilight to be named. I keep trying to keep the other book series out of my mind but it keeps creeping in.
If you like vampire books you might try The Book of Common Dread/a Novel of the Infernal by Brent Monahan. It's a nice change to the standard vampire story.
What if there were only 5 or 6 vampires in the world and they could go into a church and be out in daylight and not burst into flames when coming in contact with a cross
This book and it's sequal The Blood of the Covenant: A Novel of the Vampiric are the first oringinal vampire books since Dracula was published.
#63 I'm on the library reserve list for Dexter by Design, but I'm pretty far down the list. I'm looking forward to it--I stumbled onto those books by accident and I love them!
It is set in 15th century Florence Italy, during the time of the Medici family's influence on the art of the day, including Botticelli. I recently completed a series of art appreciation lectures w/slides about Botticelli, which adds to my enjoyment of "The Birth of Venus".
My current fiction book is Easy by Phillip Depoy, which is an offbeat mystery set in Atlanta. It features an investigator who uses a combination of old-fashioned detective legwork and meditation to help solve his mysteries (the current case involving as strange a cast of characters, living and dead victims, as one could ever hope to find in one book).
Non-fiction, I'm reading Report from Ground Zero. Wow. The first part of it (which I'm reading now) is mainly first-person accounts by police and fire personnel of their experiences on 9/11.
It's funny and interesting, but I can only read it in small doses. Otherwise it's a bit mind-numbing.
Too much description and too heavy handed in getting the life lessons across. I think the points could have been made more entertainly and more interestingly via dialogue and action.
Re your reading aloud comment--yes, having someone who lets you read to them does make it a more promising activity ; )
Currently reading Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions by H R Ellis Davidson - good, dense comparative mythology.
I'd love to try reading to the driver when we're on a long trip, but unfortunately I can't read in the car. Bus, train, airplane, no problems, but I get car-sick reading in a car. :-(
She was remarkable, and far more complex than she is usually credited with being. I am so glad I found this book.
Also reading Resilient Leadership by George S. Everly, Jr. I got this as an Early Reviewer book and then kind of forgot about it. I appreciated the reminder from LT that I hadn't reviewed it yet. The book is very timely as our offices are going through layoffs like we've never seen before. As a regional HR manager, I have lots of opportunity to exercise resiliency and leadership.
As a post-apocalyptic story this one is about par with a many others in this sub-genre of science fiction. What makes it good is the way McCarthy tells the story. Using a sparse economic writing style that is matter of fact, and has a cadence that draws you into this treck of this dark, bleak hopeless world. You can feel the cold and smell the ashes.
Overall I enjoyed this book, but like many others I could't tell you why.
This one is on my top 11 favorite contemporary books on my author website (http://megwaiteclayton.com/meg_books.shtml). 11 = weird number, I know, but which one to cut?
I've been brought kicking and screaming to Julia Child's memoir, My Life in France - and am really glad to have been. Surprisingly delightful!
I also enjoyed Empire Falls!
The Missouri Readers Group is trying to entice a few more members to join our discussions of MO books & authors. If any of you have a MO connection or a MO interest, please pop over and join us!
A great book!!
One of the best books I've read in many years. Full of characters good and bad and I cared for everyone of them. I can add nothing to the positive reviews that have already been written by many readers.
I haven't read a new Stephen King book in years. But this one caught my attention, so here it goes for 1071 pages. This should take me into 2010.
I read Julian more than twenty years ago. Can't believe I waited this long to read Creation.
I so love this book. So so so so so love this book. If I could write like this...
I am now reading My Sister, My Love by Joyce Carol Oates and it has me at the edge of my seat. She, so far, has done a wonderful job building tension and suspense for, what promises to be a horrible event involving a 4-year old skating prodige.
Next up is the new Inspector Montalbano, The Wings of the Sphinx by Andrea Camilleri.
"A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini, "Whisper to the Blood" by Dana Stabenow, and "A Risk Worth Taking" by Robin Pilcher. I'm currently reading "Portrait In Sepia" by Isabel Allende".
#135 Ibradf, I like your "Books off the shelf Challenge" idea! I do that periodically with my books, most recently last spring/summer (2009).
Edited for lack of spelling
**** Minor spoiler below:********
Not to bad book, sort of a combination of The Stand and the "Goldfish Bowl" by Robert Heinlein.
Stephen King has used the theme of higher order 'beings" before in Insomnia.
The major drawback is by the middle third of the book there are so many characters that the the story gets confusing as Sk jumps between them, sometimes a whole chapters are only 1 or 2 paragraphs. This changing point of view robs the story of its natural flow.
Overall I enjoyed the book and I think most Sk fans won't be disapointed. (I give it 21/2 to 3 stars)
After the epic Under the Dome, I needed to still my mind. After looking in my TBR pile I found this book.
In 1955 Jan De Hartog was an author of some repute of books about sailors and the sea, a young boy after reading one of his books decided to go to sea and wrote him to ask his advice on going to sea. This book was the resault of that request.
about the mutiny on the HMS Danue in 1800.
The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland and One Girl's War: Personal Exploits in MI5's Most Secret Station by Joan Miller. My wonderful library got a copy for me through Interlibrary Loan all the way from San Jose State University Library! (I'm in Seattle)
I love my library! Without it, I would have spent so much on books I'd be bankrupt and homeless, living on the streets in a hut made of books. In 20 years, there have only been two books they could not get for me.
I tried listening to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie but the narrator's voice grated on my nerves. I'll have to try the paper version.
Still reading Stranger in the HOuse, which is absolutely fascinating, but I'm also on The Mystery of Edwin Drood - partly because I've always meant to get round to it and partly because I have Drood waiting on Mount TBR so wanted to read this one first.