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Zemgirl
07-02-2012, 06:08 AM
Yes, we always have something to eat, and often it's related to the story somehow. One woman actually made potato peel pie when we discussed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (kind of bland). We made Persian stuff (ranginak, a type of date cake, and a fruit salad) when we discussed Reading Lolita in Tehran. Just two examples of many of the things we've eaten over the years. Food is an essential part of the book group experience, you know. :P
We started the themed stuff when we decided to read Alice In Wonderland a couple of years ago. We had a tea party, wore hats, and wrote little stories like the sad tale/tail in the book. It was fantastic. One of my friends is really good at coming up with games and assignments based on the book, which IMO can be just as important as the food!

zaphyre14
07-02-2012, 02:00 PM
I didn't like Jonathan Strange or the Historian either. Strange was so boring, I only made it through the first two chapters before it went in the library donation pile. The Historian had some moments, but overall, it too was pedantic and boring. I read it by skipping huge sections of angst and self-rumination. In fact, that was the dullest Dracula novel I've ever read. I would never read another book by either author.

That pretty much sums it up for me, too. Although I made it more than half-way through Jonathan Strange before I decided that I didn't care enough about it to keep struggling through it. I also saw multiple copies of The Historian donated to my town library and church book sales last weekend, so I'm guessing that a lot of people found it just as boring as I did.

Artemis@BC
07-02-2012, 09:29 PM
...One woman actually made potato peel pie when we discussed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (kind of bland). ...

Yeah, I can't imagine that would be delicious. Unless it was a kind of twice-baked potato thing with lots of cheese and onion ... but that would hardly be historically accurate!

BTW, when I was looking something else up for Kate Winslet on imdb I spotted that she's going to play Julie in the upcoming movie for this book (currently in pre-production, scheduled for 2013). I hope they actually film it on Guernsey. Shouldn't be a problem visually since much of the Channel Islands are largely unchanged since WWII, but they're not the easiest place to get to!

dinakt
07-02-2012, 10:17 PM
That pretty much sums it up for me, too. Although I made it more than half-way through Jonathan Strange before I decided that I didn't care enough about it to keep struggling through it. I also saw multiple copies of The Historian donated to my town library and church book sales last weekend, so I'm guessing that a lot of people found it just as boring as I did.

That's OK, I'll stand alone in my Jonathan Strange love:) I love long yarns, and thought the language was beautiful and the story had a point and was wonderfully imaginative.

PrincessLeppard
07-02-2012, 10:42 PM
I just finished Going Bovine and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it.

*SPOILER ALERT*


She cops out with the "but it was all a dream" to avoid having to come up with a real ending, imo. And even though you know it's coming, it's still a let down. Obviously, some unrealistic stuff goes down (the gnome is possibly one of my most favorite literary characters ever) but it's not as if Beauty Queens was grounded in reality, either. And of course, you wonder what happens to the main character's sidekick, who, in the "dream" section, was able to escape his over-protective mother and find himself, for lack a better term. So it's sort of depressing to think he's still in her clutches.

Oh, well.

hoptoad
07-03-2012, 02:53 AM
Oh! Oh! Oh! You must get her To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/77773.To_Say_Nothing_of_the_Dog?auto_login_attempt ed=true) I loved it. My non-sf reading daughter loved it (I left it lying on a table at her house). I want everyone to read it! It's a charming, funny, feel-good romp of a tale- perfect summer reading. It's got 4 1/2 stars on Goodreads!

Just passing by, and I have to say that I loved this book. Fun read. I also recommend Tom Stoppard's "The Invention of Love" to go along the "Three Men in a Boat" theme.

zaphyre14
07-05-2012, 06:06 PM
I whipped through Mary Jo Putney's "No Longer A Gentleman" over the holiday, since it was too hot and sticky to do much other than sit around and read. I like her Regencys; she usually has unique characters and there's generally a pretty strong plot to hang the romance on. This one features a feckless handsome English lord who gets caught dallying with a Frenchman's wife and spend 10 years in his private prison before being rescued by a female spy and returned to his rightful place in Britain. :) Both leads have some serious baggage they're hauling around and need each other's help to carry it. There's a lot of travelling, disguises and shocks but it felt like a satisfying read. I'm going to have to dig out the others in the series.

PRlady
07-05-2012, 08:29 PM
That pretty much sums it up for me, too. Although I made it more than half-way through Jonathan Strange before I decided that I didn't care enough about it to keep struggling through it. I also saw multiple copies of The Historian donated to my town library and church book sales last weekend, so I'm guessing that a lot of people found it just as boring as I did.

I floved The Historian and gave up on Jonathan Strange halfway through. Just goes to show you there's no pattern with books.

But dropped by to say I just finished The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger and thought it was wonderful, about a cross-cultural marriage between a Bangladeshi woman and an American. Really well-written and great characters.....

Grannyfan
07-06-2012, 01:52 AM
But dropped by to say I just finished The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger and thought it was wonderful, about a cross-cultural marriage between a Bangladeshi woman and an American. Really well-written and great characters.....

Have you read Major Pettigrew's Last Stand? A retired British military man falls in love with a woman from Pakistan. One of my favorite reads from the past couple of years. Poignant and very funny.

Artemis@BC
07-06-2012, 04:36 PM
I finished The Retribution last night, the latest in the Tony Hill / Carol Jordan series from Val McDermid. Wow, that woman knows how to keep readers guessing. Just when you think you've figured things out, she throws another twist at you. And consequently I had 2 nights of not enough sleep.

Not for the faint of heart, though -- her books are more gruesome than most of the mysteries I like to read, but worth it because the characterizations and the writing are so darned good.

gkelly
07-06-2012, 05:11 PM
I finished The Retribution last night, the latest in the Tony Hill / Carol Jordan series from Val McDermid. Wow, that woman knows how to keep readers guessing.

Maybe there, but a few months ago I read Trick of the Dark (http://www.amazon.com/Trick-Dark-Val-McDermid/dp/1932859950) and I figured out the who fairly early on, although not all the details. But the structure and intentions there may be different. It was set up not so much as a whodunit as did she-or-didn't she. I figured the answer would have to be Didn't in order to get any satisfying twist at the end, so from there it was easy to guess who would be the most unexpected . . . but expected by someone analyzing the structure in advance because there was no strong reason for that character to be in the book at all otherwise.

Artemis@BC
07-06-2012, 08:07 PM
^ In The Retribution, the "whodunnit" part is secondary, and it's really more about "what's he going to do next?" Plus of course the continually developing dynamic between Tony & Carol.

But dang it, now I have to wait for so long for the next one! I actually discovered these books originally via the TV series, so it took me a while to catch up to the author in the books.

dbell1
07-07-2012, 05:38 PM
Just finished "Bloodline" by James Rollins. I'd describe his books as scientific military thrillers and his Sigma series is incredible. If you hate Dan Brown's childlike writing style, you'll love Rollins. :lol:

My 'brain candy' books this summer is the Home Repair is Homicide series by Sarah Graves. Set in Maine, it's a series about 2 amateur snoopers, a falling down 1800's house that's haunted, and pretty funny in parts.

Still too many books in the corner to be read. :shuffle:

Wyliefan
07-07-2012, 07:13 PM
Cannot wait to get my eager little paws on this one (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/loverly-dominic-mchugh/1110868127?ean=9780199827305)! I've been crazy about My Fair Lady since I was 11.

Prancer
07-07-2012, 08:07 PM
I finished The Broken Teaglass (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/broken-teaglass-emily-arsenault/1100298130?ean=9780553386530) by Emily Arsenault that was recommended by a friend, and I am still not sure what I think of it.

In the story, recently degreed Billy is hired by Samuelson Dictionary as a lexicographer and spends his days looking up cits (citations from sources using words that end up in the dictionary) and trying to figure out how to define terms like "beauty queen." He and another young editor stumble across an odd cit--a quote that both seems inappropriate and appears to refer to their workplace. They begin pawing through the cits looking for more to alleviate the boredom of their days and begin to piece together a mystery.

The "what lexicographers do" storyline is interesting (really!) and the puzzle is quite intriguing at first but......maybe I'm too old for 20-something angst, but I didn't like Billy at all and the puzzle turned out to be.....I dunno. It's hard to say anything about it without spoiling it, but by the end, my main response was "What was the point of doing this?" There is an explanation, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

However, I think some of you might like this one. And if nothing else, it's a good source for some killer Scrabble/Words with Friends words :EVILLE:.