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View Full Version : So Many Books, So Little Time (The Reading Thread)



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chipso1
03-12-2010, 09:34 PM
I just finished "Kitchen Chinese" by Ann Mah and I highly recommend it. It's a really quick, easy read and a great story about "finding yourself."

star_gazer11
03-13-2010, 05:01 AM
Finished reading The Art of Racing in the Rain. It was sooooo good. HIGHLY recommend it.

Agreed, glad you enjoyed it as well. :)

For a quick teen/travel/art/Ocean's 11 type vibe, Heist Society by Ally Carter was fun.

I was kinda meh with how The Swan Thieves panned out, I think I preferred The Historian overall.

I've got a newish Jayne Anne Krentz book on hold at the library. I've only read her Jayne Castle titles so far.

IceAlisa
03-13-2010, 07:16 AM
Ugh, Serve The People, A Stir-fried Journey Through China is the most boring book on food and travel I've ever read. I am struggling through it but will keep it only because it provides some interesting-sounding recipes that I may want to try, e.g., Drunken Chicken, the Eggplant Sauce, a noodle dish and several others.

ETA: I give up. Flipped through it, read a few paragraphs on the history of Shanghai and skipped the rest. So badly written. Was the editor asleep? Shame.

If you are looking for a better food/travel book in China, read The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones.

Onward to Zadie Smith's On Beauty.

gosia.douceur
03-14-2010, 02:25 PM
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. Excellent read. The chapters alternate between the daily events of a detective and a storyline that simultaneously plays out in his subconscious. The book is also appealing with its interweaving of pop culture, cyberpunk, noir, and Japanese mythology.

I'm eager to explore some of Murakami's other works. :D

I enjoyed this book a lot, too. As for Murakami, I started with "The Wild Sheep Chase" and I think it's been my favourite so far. After I reached the ending I was feeling sorry it's over ;). If you like surrealistic climate, I think you'll enjoy this. I also like it how Murakami's books are written even though I know that judging it from my point of view isn't too safe as the Polish translations I'm reading are probably translations of English (or American? not sure) translations, which is why I consider buying English translations of some of his works. Anyway, while reading I sometimes happen to find an interesting, nice and somewhat philosophical sentence that makes me stop and think about it thouroughly, lol.

made_in_canada
03-14-2010, 03:50 PM
Reading Three Cups of Tea right now and am completely engrossed. I'm finding the bits about Pakistani culture quite interesting.

IceAlisa
03-14-2010, 06:57 PM
I am intrigued by siouxdonym's description of Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.. Will put on the wish list.

Due to a nasty cold I am stuck at home with On Beauty. I am about 100 pages in and so far I really like it. Although, of course it's an obvious tribute to Howard's End, so far the execution is promising.

The quality of writing is good, the characters are interesting and engrossing. I've read criticisms that Smith got the American slang all wrong. Well. The teenager Levi is only pretending to speak street talk because he really has no idea how to do it right. So if his lingo rings false, it's deliberate.

Now about Kiki: I have never been to Florida or to the South for that matter. Sure, I've met people from there but did not pay enough attention to be a good judge of the verisimilitude of Kiki's language (I've been using the word "verisimilitude" a lot lately, hmmm...) I do really like the way Kiki's character is done so far.

Also, I looked up Zadie Smith and her husband, the novelist on Google. What a pretty couple they are. They are both conventionally very good looking people which lends a first hand perspective to her discourse on beauty. Zadie Smith is not at all an outcast looking into the world of beautiful people. She is very much an insider of that circle.

Prancer
03-14-2010, 07:17 PM
Due to a nasty cold I am stuck at home with On Beauty. I am about 100 pages in and so far I really like it. Although, of course it's an obvious tribute to Howard's End, so far the execution is promising.

I really liked On Beauty--most of it, anyway.

I use some of her Rules for Writers in class ( as proof that I don't make all this stuff up myself :P): http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/22/zadie-smith-rules-for-writers

IceAlisa
03-14-2010, 07:42 PM
Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied. That is interesting because the first thing that struck me when I saw Smith' picture was how sad her eyes are.

ETA: interesting that Smith talks about writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Her writing about music is striking. Kiki's impression of the Requiem is terrifying and although very different from my own, it will stay with me forever.

A shallow observation: Smith goes on about the charming freckles that one of her characters has while she has them herself. (http://www.brunel.ac.uk/2219/english/ZadieSmith.jpg) It's amazing how much of themselves, inside and out, writers invest into their characters. But the most interesting is their ability to step inside another mind and be completely at home too.

Satellitegirl
03-15-2010, 02:55 AM
Started Jane Goodall's book "Reason for Hope" today. I really like it so far....easy reading and she's such an interesting person. One of my favorite people. So that makes 3 books going at the same time....but at least I have something for whatever mood I'm in lol.

Matryeshka
03-16-2010, 05:20 AM
I know there are many Stephanie Plum readers here, and I heard the most distressing news from my mom, who is also a fan of the Plum. They're *finally* making it into a movie, and they've cast Katherine Heigel as Stephanie Plum, which is just FRONG.

I don't hate Heigel, I think she's fine for light romantic comedies and overwrought TV, but she's so sophisticate LA, and Stephanie's soooo Jersey. It's not even the looks in how she's described in the books. It's just the wrong demeanor, wrong everything.

GRRRRRR. They'd better cast someone good as Lula and Ranger. :mad:

Prancer
03-16-2010, 05:41 AM
I know there are many Stephanie Plum readers here, and I heard the most distressing news from my mom, who is also a fan of the Plum. They're *finally* making it into a movie, and they've cast Katherine Heigel as Stephanie Plum, which is just FRONG.

I don't hate Heigel, I think she's fine for light romantic comedies and overwrought TV, but she's so sophisticate LA, and Stephanie's soooo Jersey. It's not even the looks in how she's described in the books. It's just the wrong demeanor, wrong everything.

Eys, I saw that in Parade on Sunday and was :mad:. You just KNOW the script will be a mess, too. I don't think I've ever seen a funny book that has translated well into a funny movie.

Janet Evanovich was quoted as saying she was pleased and knew Katherine was right for the role when she saw her in 27 Dresses (I think) and Katherine dropped the F-bomb with the right Stephanie attitude.

Nope, not buying it.

But it's still a movie in development, which means it may not happen.

Evilynn
03-16-2010, 10:32 AM
I'm slowly but surely working through my shelf of unread books, and my current subway book is Doris Lessing's Love, Again (http://www.amazon.com/Love-Again-Doris-Lessing/dp/0060927968/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268734939&sr=8-1). I'm about 60 pages into it, and so far so good. The last Lessing novel I read was Memoirs of a Survivor (which I really liked), and this is far more easily accessible.

rfisher
03-16-2010, 10:43 AM
Eys, I saw that in Parade on Sunday and was :mad:. You just KNOW the script will be a mess, too. I don't think I've ever seen a funny book that has translated well into a funny movie.

Janet Evanovich was quoted as saying she was pleased and knew Katherine was right for the role when she saw her in 27 Dresses (I think) and Katherine dropped the F-bomb with the right Stephanie attitude.

Nope, not buying it.

But it's still a movie in development, which means it may not happen.

Odd that they're doing it now when JE's latest is not on Border's top ten pre-sell list although the publisher date's been known over a month. The last 3 books were terrible and sales have dropped. Also, the new Jennifer Aniston flick titled Bounty Hunter sort of scoops the female bounty hunter comedy.

mkats
03-16-2010, 04:42 PM
I finished American Wife last night. Eh... it was a decent ride but I wouldn't reread it again. What mostly annoyed me was that the main character always seemed to prim and reserved yet had no issues with being quite descriptive about her sex life :shuffle: I read a review last night that mentioned the author's past two books being heavy on sex scenes, so I suppose she felt the need to inject some in here as well.

I've got The Lost Symbol, Girl who played w/ Fire, and ...something else... on reserve at the library. I picked up two smaller novels that looked interesting but whose names I can't remember right now to tide me over until they come in :)

milanessa
03-16-2010, 05:16 PM
Can't say I'm reading it yet since I've only just finished the preface, but...Sugar of the Crop by Sana Butler has gotten my attention. It's an account of her search to find and get oral histories from the children of US slaves. Intriguing subject and she writes in a manner that's both engaging and provocative. At least so far. :)