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  1. #941
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    Romance novel alert: disinterested parties may pass on by.

    I’ve been reading a lot of Lorraine Heath. There is a formula (why mess with what works?), but I’ve come to think of that as a standard cake recipe, it’s the extra ingredients that make each cake different and delightful. Heath writes interesting and fun characters and gives them wonderful dialogue. If they were real people, I’d love to have tea with the ladies and dance with the gentlemen.

    I recommend them all.
    If this is to end in fire
    Then we will all burn together

  2. #942
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    Twitter:

    Mental Floss ‏@mental_floss 14m
    8 Rare Books That Cost a Fortune — http://bit.ly/12NdWPD

  3. #943

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    Just finished The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It's the third book in a series and is set in post-WWII Barcelona (the first two books are The Shadow of The Wind and The Angel's Game). His writing is so pure and beautifully constructed it makes me feel like I'm worshipping in a word cathedral when I read it. And as if that were not enough, his storytelling is sublime and has me yearning for more when I've finished one of his books. It amazes me how much he can do with fewer than 300 pages. I can't wait to read the fourth book!

  4. #944
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I just ordered my copy of Atkinson's next novel Life After Life. I am a fan!

    Just finished the drudgery that was the 2nd part of The Buccaneers. First part was written by Edith Wharton and second part by some hack who got into Wharton's notes. Edith Wharton died before she could finish. What a huge difference. Wharton's part is lively, interesting and engaging. You care about the characters and are greatly entertained. When the hack takes over, the life goes out of the writing. I got sooooooo tired of the main character and her love woes. The literary devices were so obvious, they were pathetic. So that's over and done with now.

    While I wait for my copy of the new Atkinson (yes, I am still a Luddite), what should I read?

    Choices:

    -the Annotated Persuasion by Jane Austen, annotated by David Shapard. Read his annotated versions of P&P and S&S, so satisfaction is pretty much guaranteed.

    - China, Inc. by Ted Fishman.

    - Lenin's Embalmers by Zbarsky and Hutchinson. Yuck but interesting.

    -A Henry James. There's always Henry James.

    - Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.
    Not Margaret Atwood, but then I really don't like Margaret Atwood. I have started some of the annotated Austens, but I find myself bogged down in the annotations and I don't always agree with them. Usually, by the middle, I'm ignoring the annotations and just enjoying the book again. On the other hand, Persuasion is my favorite of her novels so, unless I had read it in the past year or so, that would be my choice.

  5. #945
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    That's what I started reading last night, The Annotated Persuasion.

    So far I like the annotations but then I always have. I don't know enough to find fault with them. Do you recall which ones you disagreed with?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  6. #946
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    Some of you must have read Italo Calvino's 'If on a Winter's Night a Traveller......'? I got terribly bored with the 'in-between' stuff, and found myself skipping through it. I also found the very beginning and end highly irritating, but the stories themselves are absolute stunners.
    Last edited by orientalplane; 04-26-2013 at 11:39 PM.
    I hear outside a million panicking birds, and know even out there comfort is done with; it has shattered even the stars, this creature at last come home to me.

  7. #947
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    Thanks so much for sharing the articles about E.L. Konigsburg. I still have an old copy of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (one of my all time favorites). I will reread it in her memory this spring - the book that made me go to art school! I had no idea she lived in Falls Church.

    Maybe someone will write a bio about her someday like the book I am currently reading: The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic. Or I'll meet up with A.H. Black at the Metropolitan Museum of Art & we'll lock ourselves in there for awhile & explore the place at night. You can read all about it afterwards in our memoir, written like The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie.

    RIP E.L. Konigsburg. The kid in me still loves your books to this day.

  8. #948
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    That's what I started reading last night, The Annotated Persuasion.

    So far I like the annotations but then I always have. I don't know enough to find fault with them. Do you recall which ones you disagreed with?
    It's usually the political ones or the ones that make statements about her personal life. Most of the personal ones are conjecture. As for the political ones, who knows how much the political struggles of the time influenced her - other than what she tells us herself. If it's factual history, I'm fine. Once opinion gets into it, I get irritated.
    Last edited by A.H.Black; 04-27-2013 at 12:38 AM.

  9. #949
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artistic Skaters View Post
    Thanks so much for sharing the articles about E.L. Konigsburg. I still have an old copy of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (one of my all time favorites). I will reread it in her memory this spring - the book that made me go to art school! I had no idea she lived in Falls Church.

    Maybe someone will write a bio about her someday like the book I am currently reading: The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic. Or I'll meet up with A.H. Black at the Metropolitan Museum of Art & we'll lock ourselves in there for awhile & explore the place at night. You can read all about it afterwards in our memoir, written like The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie.

    RIP E.L. Konigsburg. The kid in me still loves your books to this day.
    Can we make it the British Museum? I know E. L. wrote about the Metropolitan, but maybe we could strike out on our own.

  10. #950
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nan View Post
    Romance novel alert: disinterested parties may pass on by.

    I’ve been reading a lot of Lorraine Heath. There is a formula (why mess with what works?), but I’ve come to think of that as a standard cake recipe, it’s the extra ingredients that make each cake different and delightful. Heath writes interesting and fun characters and gives them wonderful dialogue. If they were real people, I’d love to have tea with the ladies and dance with the gentlemen.

    I recommend them all.
    I forget if you are an e-book reader or not. but if you are, there are a lot (as in, I think, all) of Lorraine Heath's books for sale on B&N's revolving cheapie list right now: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/eboo...less/379003856 If B&N has it on sale, Amazon usually does, too.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  11. #951
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.Black View Post
    It's usually the political ones or the ones that make statements about her personal life. Most of the personal ones are conjecture. As for the political ones, who knows how much the political struggles of the time influenced her - other than what she tells us herself. If it's factual history, I'm fine. Once opinion gets into it, I get irritated.
    Hmm, thanks! I will be on the lookout for the political and personal notes now.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  12. #952
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    Finished "Fly Away" by Kristin Hannah tonight. Sequel to "Firefly Lane". Would have helped to reread the first book, but there was enough backstory in it to remember most of the important parts. Not bad in parts, but not something I'd get for 'the shelf'.

    I think I need some 'light reading', so I'll go back to Anna Quindlen again.

  13. #953
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    Double posting.

    Gave up on Anna Quindlen. It was too much 'we're all fabulous women' for my tastes. Reminded me of some overachieving school PTA mother who won't shut the hell up.

    I'm 75 pages into The Orphan Master's Son and I hate it. I'll give it until page 100 before it goes into the 'return early' pile. It jumps around too much and the main character is an enigma.

  14. #954
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    A list of 10 books from the 21 century everyone should read according to Yahoo, anyway:

    http://shopping.yahoo.com/news/10-bo...213232125.html

    Of these I've read The Human Stain which was all kinds of awesome and have White Teeth on my shelf because I loved her On Beauty. Not familiar with the rest.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  15. #955

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    A list of 10 books from the 21 century everyone should read according to Yahoo, anyway:

    http://shopping.yahoo.com/news/10-bo...213232125.html

    Of these I've read The Human Stain which was all kinds of awesome and have White Teeth on my shelf because I loved her On Beauty. Not familiar with the rest.
    Could you list them? The link is broken ( for me, anyway), and I tried to make a search with no result. Any list must be taken with a grain of salt, but I am curious. I've had Zadie Smith on my shelf for a while and yet I have managed to procrastinate. Perhaps it will finally push me over the edge.
    improving my ballad- like lines

  16. #956
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    All the shopping/news links aren't working for me right now. Maybe it'll work later.

  17. #957

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    All the shopping/news links aren't working for me right now. Maybe it'll work later.
    You are right! It opened on Google Chrome.
    It's a good list, from what I gather.
    I adored "Corrections", my husband speaks very highly of the " Fortress of Solitude" and "The Road" is powerful, though I find it emotionally hard to read McCarthy.
    The unread rest of the list looks scrumptious.
    improving my ballad- like lines

  18. #958

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    That's what I started reading last night, The Annotated Persuasion.
    Good choice

    The only other book on your list that I've read is Alias Grace - I would say worth reading, but with some caveats. It's been a while since I read it, but my recollection was fascinating premise and starts out extremely strong, but then at some point (maybe the last third or so) it starts to drag and the ending was disappointing. Not up to the standard Atwood set for herself in The Handmaid's Tale, which is her best work IMO, and probably also a bit weaker than The Robber Bride and The Blind Assassin, but better than any other Atwood books I've read. Cat's Eye also had similar problems with a strong premise and compelling first two-thirds and then failing to live up to the promise in the last third.
    Last edited by Erin; 04-28-2013 at 01:35 AM.

  19. #959
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    Thanks for the heads up. I agree that The Handmaid's Tale is her best, iconic work. I liked The Robber Bride too and am surprised it's not a movie yet. It's so wanting to be a movie IMO. The Blind Assassin was OK.

    I think I will read the Atkinson next once it arrives and then White Teeth by Zadie Smith.
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 04-28-2013 at 01:31 AM.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  20. #960
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinakt View Post
    Could you list them? The link is broken ( for me, anyway), and I tried to make a search with no result. Any list must be taken with a grain of salt, but I am curious. I've had Zadie Smith on my shelf for a while and yet I have managed to procrastinate. Perhaps it will finally push me over the edge.
    Apologies.

    Here's the yahoo list:

    1. The Corrections : Jonathan Franzen (2001)

    2. The Human Stain : Philip Roth (2000)

    3. The Road : Cormac McCarthy (2006)

    4. White Teeth : Zadie Smith (2000)

    5. True History of the Kelly Gang : Peter Carey (2000)

    6. 2666 : Roberto Bolaño (2008)

    7. Tree of Smoke : Denis Johnson (2007)

    8. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned : Wells Tower (2009)

    9. Fortress of Solitude : Jonathan Lethem (2003)

    10. Pastoralia : George Saunders (2000)





    dinakt, check out Zadie Smith's On Beauty. Really great book.
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 04-28-2013 at 01:39 AM.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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