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Glide2
06-02-2012, 05:19 AM
All your choice sound great except for "In Cold Blood". It's one of 2 or 3 books in my life that I have put down and refuse to continue after the first few chapters. It's too much for me.

On a side note. Did anyone watch the American Masters program about Harper Lee? There's quite a bit about her friendship with Truman Capote. If anyone's interested it's available online here. (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/harper-lee-hey-boo/watch-the-full-documentary/2049/) I also liked the one about Margaret Mitchell.


When I picked the book up in the store, I thought, I don't like the subject matter. Then I opened it, and read the first page, descriptions about Kansas. It was classic Capote. So I decided then I would read it and gloss over the pages when it gets to the difficult crime stuff. Similarly I fast forward violence in DVDs. But these review have me rethinking reading In Cold Blood at all. So I started reading The Grass Harp instead. It reminds me of his Christmas short story.

The Planets with the ice dancers, ballet, water ballet, etc. is .... odd. I don't think the water section worked at all. How did this ever get made? Orser was good. The sets remind me of the planets Captain Kirk would land on in Star Trek.

I watched both PBS shows about the Southern women writers, and they both made me want to read, especially Gone with the Wind. And it makes me view the character of the little dandy next door boy in TKAM so differently knowing now that he is likely based on Truman Capote. And I wonder if it was only Capote's drug use in late life that had him suggesting that he wrote Haper Lee's work.

A.H.Black
06-02-2012, 05:17 PM
I watched both PBS shows about the Southern women writers, and they both made me want to read, especially Gone with the Wind. And it makes me view the character of the little dandy next door boy in TKAM so differently knowing now that he is likely based on Truman Capote. And I wonder if it was only Capote's drug use in late life that had him suggesting that he wrote Haper Lee's work.

From the program interviews with Harper Lee's sister and Harper's friends, I more get the impression that Capote couldn't deal with the Harper Lee's critical acclaim. She won the Pulitzer and he didn't. I was so impressed with the actions of her friends in the beginning - making it possible for her to spend an entire year writing without needing to work - very cool.

As for me, I am currently reading a William F. Buckley, Jr. (Blackford Oaks) novel, a Diane Mott Davidson, and Vanity Fair.

Buzz
06-02-2012, 07:42 PM
Midnight In Peking by Paul French.
This is a wonderful book which paints a picture of a world that is lost to history. In 1937 Beijing, then known as Peking, was rocked by the murder of a young woman Pamela Werner. Pamela was the restless daughter of an elderly eccentric former diplomat who left home to go skating with friends. She told her father she would be home by dinner by never returned. The foreign section of Peking was off limits to locals and was laced expats of all nationalities and vices of every discription. Some of these "indulgences" would shock most people today. And the Japanese was at the city gates ready to invade, not to mention an ongoing civil war. It was against all this that Pamela's mutilated body was found at the foot of one of the city's landmarks, and it is all true. The book's author lives in Beijing and stumbled upon Pamela's story by accident. Her father hired detectives and compiled a file on what he thought happened to his daughter and it is this file that most the book's conclusions are based on along with the police files.

IceAlisa
06-02-2012, 07:45 PM
^^Sounds interesting, Buzz. Going to check it out.

Grannyfan
06-02-2012, 08:58 PM
Finished A Land More Kind Than Home last night. It was okay, I guess, but not as good as I expected. Reads very fast.

dinakt
06-02-2012, 11:37 PM
Wonderful use of language, rich geography, history, characters, action! I really enjoyed the first couple of books in the series (my only quibble...by about the fourth book it started to wear on me that the male characters and their relationships were so well drawn and beautifully depicted, while the female characters were always superficially developed and their roles were peripheral-to-negative. The men kept going back to sea - the only place they were truly alive - to escape the day-to-day drudgery of life, which the women seemed to represent :P. I don't think O'Brian liked women much :lol:.)

That quibble aside, they are very interesting and stimulating reading, IMO. Now I'll have to get out Master and Commander and re-read it!

It's definitely a boy's club, though some women get interesting development in the series ( Diana Villiers in particular). But for once I don't mind- women are seen though the eyes of the Royal Navy:), not so much in their own right.

Prancer
06-02-2012, 11:58 PM
15 Summer Reads Handpicked By Indie Booksellers (http://www.npr.org/2012/05/25/152681721/15-summer-reads-handpicked-by-indie-booksellers) and Literary Look Ahead: 13 Great Books On The Horizon (http://www.npr.org/2012/05/24/153376163/literary-look-ahead-13-great-books-on-the-horizon), a list of books due to come out this summer, just in case anyone needs some new ideas :).

TygerLily
06-03-2012, 12:15 AM
Yay! Thanks, Prancer!

Spinner
06-03-2012, 04:13 AM
15 Summer Reads Handpicked By Indie Booksellers (http://www.npr.org/2012/05/25/152681721/15-summer-reads-handpicked-by-indie-booksellers) and Literary Look Ahead: 13 Great Books On The Horizon (http://www.npr.org/2012/05/24/153376163/literary-look-ahead-13-great-books-on-the-horizon), a list of books due to come out this summer, just in case anyone needs some new ideas :).

From your first link, I just loved BOOK OF JONAS. In your 2nd link, GONE GIRL was also wonderful and I'm starting AGE OF MIRACLES next.

PDilemma
06-03-2012, 04:33 AM
I read two novels this week. Very different but both with generally unlikable protagonists.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin--story of an Irish girl who emigrates to NYC in the 1950s. She is so passive that I wanted to wring her neck.

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani. I have read some of Trigiani's other novels and they were enjoyable for light reading. This one...not so much. The heroine is annoying as hell and the book has too many pointless characters and pointless things happening to them.

IceAlisa
06-04-2012, 01:07 AM
Re-reading Balzac after many years, Cousin Bette. A couple of observations:

1) Yup, Balzac was as bad an anti-semite as the rest of them. As an example of the odious character of the cousin Bette he cites her insisting on working and earning her bread after having walked into some money. In this she acts like a typical country bumpkin or like the Jews. :rolleyes: The Jews didn't have much choice, given their usually precarious situation in most host countries and neither did the poor. Wanting to work is a good thing but not at the time and circle of M. de Balzac.

2) Madame Marneffe's long list of lovers brings to mind the character from Best In Show. Cookie? Cookie Gugelman? Some things never change which is why Cousin Bette is a classic.

Marge_Simpson
06-04-2012, 04:10 AM
I finished "The Woman in Black" and liked it very much - very spooky. I'm a sucker for a good ghost story. I wanted to read quickly to find out what happened, but the writing was so good, I had to force myself to slow down and savor the excellent writing.
Any Joan Hess fans here? I prefer her "Maggody" series but am currently reading her latest Claire Malloy, "Deader Homes and Gardens" So far, so good.
I am not embarrassed to admit I recently bought "The Girl Who Was on Fire: Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy: and "The Hunger Games and the Gospel" :lol:

Artemis@BC
06-04-2012, 04:26 PM
Finished A Land More Kind Than Home last night. It was okay, I guess, but not as good as I expected. Reads very fast.

Yup, that was pretty much exactly my feeling about it too.

immoimeme
06-04-2012, 10:30 PM
sticking to the "hit lit" list has me reading the hunt for red october-seen & enjoyed film many times, cant say same about bk-by pg 200 decided i would not miss much skipping the ship-sub-plane porn... maybe if it had pictures? at least a world map! in other news-i loved love story all over again.

LilJen
06-05-2012, 12:19 AM
15 Summer Reads Handpicked By Indie Booksellers (http://www.npr.org/2012/05/25/152681721/15-summer-reads-handpicked-by-indie-booksellers) and Literary Look Ahead: 13 Great Books On The Horizon (http://www.npr.org/2012/05/24/153376163/literary-look-ahead-13-great-books-on-the-horizon), a list of books due to come out this summer, just in case anyone needs some new ideas :).

Hey, there's a book by What the Buck? in that list! It sounds hilarious (kid "superhero" nerds. . . they use things like asthma inhalers and wires from their braces to save the world).