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  1. #681

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    And now I am reading To Marry An English Lord. My husband wanted to know if this is a manual No, just real life stories of wealthy American girls who bought themselves English titles and coronets. This book apparently inspired Downton Abbey and there was indeed and American heiress named Cora who married an Earl and became a countess. I deserve a little frivolity after all that James, although naturally, James references abound.
    I read that a few years ago, and it was very entertaining as non-fiction books go... I knew about Jennie Jerome, but not the others.

  2. #682
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    I read that a few years ago, and it was very entertaining as non-fiction books go... I knew about Jennie Jerome, but not the others.
    I did know about one of them, well sort of, a Flora from San Francisco. There is a Sherlock Holmes story about such an American heiress bride named Flora either standing up her aristocratic English groom at the altar or skadaddling with a rude Amerikan boyfriend shortly after the ceremony. The real life Flora did go through with the wedding though.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  3. #683
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog is a good choice if you are in the mood for another funny but well written book.

    I just finished the last of the Christmas stack my darling husband bought me. Here's the order I'd rate them in:

    #1. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami- I don't know how I could find three pages of a character sitting and watching the moon so enthralling, but I did. I have to go read ALL his other books if they are this good.

    #2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon - just the right mix of heartbreak and hope.

    #3. The Time Traveller's Wife- I liked this a lot more than I was expecting

    #4. Oryx and Crake- I liked this less than I was expecting. I forgot how annoying I find it when Atwood writes SF like this. She explains every single detail, as if her audience won't get it without it being spelled out.
    Interesting, I have all of the above on my shelf, awaiting their turn. I did read TTTW a few years ago and her next book about the twins which was a lot less impressive, what is that book? Senior moment.

    Oh yeah, Her Fearful Symmetry, rather weak IMO. Thank you, Wiki.


    Also have Murakami's Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I have to keep reminding myself that this is not the work of Kanako Murakami.

    Does anyone know if Kate Atkinson has come out with anything since Started Early Took My Dog? I like her detective series quite a bit.

    Also, amazon is sending me The Human Stain. The movie made an incredibly strong, visceral impression on me--Anthony Hopkins was just outstanding and Nicole Kidman too, who knew? I do like me some Philip Roth occasionally and so am looking forward to that. If the book contains even a small part of the power of the movie, it has to be a masterpiece.
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 02-21-2013 at 08:34 AM.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  4. #684

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    Another on a (sort of) Henry James kick. The same discussion leader who ran my Moby Dick group last fall is now doing a short 4-session class on The Portrait of a Lady. I found the first 12 chapters an awful slog, but then I went to the first meeting on Tuesday, and once we all started discussing and chiming in and debating certain points, suddenly I got hooked. I am hoping this will lead to a greater exploration of James on my part.

    The book that defeated me was The Spoils of Poynton. I had to throw in the towel; I remember not being able to make sense of anything.

  5. #685
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    IceAlisa, if you can dig it up, there was a great six-part Masterpiece Theatre version of "The Golden Bowl" from the early '70's:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/archive/16/16.html

    Wharton is tricky: some of her later stuff was inconsistent and uninspired.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  6. #686
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    #4. Oryx and Crake- I liked this less than I was expecting. I forgot how annoying I find it when Atwood writes SF like this. She explains every single detail, as if her audience won't get it without it being spelled out.
    Have you read Year of the Flood? It's a lot better, imo. It's not a sequel to Oryx & Crake, but it is in the same universe re: circumstances before and after. But the setting is very, very different. IKWYM about the over-explaining, and I agree -- I can't say that that doesn't happen in Year of the Flood, but I do remember not being annoyed in the same way ... so that has to be a good sign!

  7. #687
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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post
    Another on a (sort of) Henry James kick. The same discussion leader who ran my Moby Dick group last fall is now doing a short 4-session class on The Portrait of a Lady. I found the first 12 chapters an awful slog, but then I went to the first meeting on Tuesday, and once we all started discussing and chiming in and debating certain points, suddenly I got hooked. I am hoping this will lead to a greater exploration of James on my part.

    The book that defeated me was The Spoils of Poynton. I had to throw in the towel; I remember not being able to make sense of anything.
    Haven't attempted that one yet. I am currently on a low-James diet. The Portrait was fairly manageable and a great read overall, hang in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    IceAlisa, if you can dig it up, there was a great six-part Masterpiece Theatre version of "The Golden Bowl" from the early '70's:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/archive/16/16.html

    Wharton is tricky: some of her later stuff was inconsistent and uninspired.
    Thanks! I did see the movie with Uma Thurman. About Wharton--yes, much less impressive than say, The House of Mirth but again, not entirely pointless. I ended up enjoying parts of it.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  8. #688

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    I just finished Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffen. It was TERRIBLE. I waded through it, waiting for something to happen (it sort of does, near the end) only to find out this is the first of a trilogy. Are all YA novels these days freaking trilogies???

    And the love triangle. One of them is a manipulative drug dealer. The heroine is totally passive.

    I shouldn't hate a steampunk retelling of Poe this badly. It should've been awesome.

    Oh, and it was written by a high school English teacher. She might want to re-look at some of those lessons on characterization.

  9. #689

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    I just finished Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffen. It was TERRIBLE. I waded through it, waiting for something to happen (it sort of does, near the end) only to find out this is the first of a trilogy. Are all YA novels these days freaking trilogies???
    No. Some are part of longer series

  10. #690
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    After finishing the dreck that is Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, I decided to re-read for the zillionth time Where the Red Fern Grows. All grown up and that book still makes me bawl like a baby
    "Beautiful things don't ask for attention." -The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

  11. #691

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    IceAlisa, if you can dig it up, there was a great six-part Masterpiece Theatre version of "The Golden Bowl" from the early '70's:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/archive/16/16.html

    Wharton is tricky: some of her later stuff was inconsistent and uninspired.
    I love Wharton -- late Wharton, early Wharton, doesn't matter. It's true that some of her works are better than others, but I still devour everything of hers I can get my hands on.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
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  12. #692
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    Wharton! In general, I am rather hung up on late 19th--early 20th century in general, Russian, English, French, American lit.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  13. #693
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    Just finished "The Snow Child". I really wanted to love this book. Instead I only mildly liked it and am irritated at parts of it. I also hate when authors don't use quotation marks in books.

  14. #694

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    I'm reading dreck but at least it's popular dreck: James Patterson's "Private Games" about homicidal maniacs running loose during the London Games.

    I would read the New York City Telephone Directory before I'd open another Edith Wharton book.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  15. #695

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbell1 View Post
    Just finished "The Snow Child". I really wanted to love this book. Instead I only mildly liked it and am irritated at parts of it. I also hate when authors don't use quotation marks in books.
    I really wanted to love it, too, because everyone I know who has read it did. Alas, I couldn't even finished it. It was so slow paced for me.

    Right now I'm reading "Memoirs of a non-enemy combatant" which is okay, but I'm getting increasingly annoyed at the narrator/main character and I'm antsy to finish it.

    Speaking of books, one of my favorite memoirs is The Glass Castle, and I just found it's going to be made into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence. I think this could have award noms written all over it if done well

  16. #696
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    That's next on my list to read because Jennifer's in it

    I'm reading Exiles by Ron Hansen, which is another heavily Catholic book but also very interesting. It's about Gerard Manley Hopkins writing his most-famous poem about the wreck of the Deustchland, and the lives of the five nuns who died in the shipwreck who inspired the poem. It mixes fact with fiction and, while it isn't quite as beautifully written as Mariette in Ecstasy, it's still very beautiful.

  17. #697

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    Just a heads up, it's incredibly depressing.

    ETA: Also, love that you love Jennifer as much as I do My sister and I are OBSESSED.
    Last edited by oleada; 02-27-2013 at 02:31 AM.

  18. #698
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    That's fine.

  19. #699
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbell1 View Post
    Just finished "The Snow Child". I really wanted to love this book. Instead I only mildly liked it and am irritated at parts of it. I also hate when authors don't use quotation marks in books.
    Ditto. I find that so irritating that I gave up after a few pages.

    Quote Originally Posted by oleada View Post
    Just a heads up, it's incredibly depressing.
    I liked the book very much, but I think I will pass on the movie.

    I've been reading short stories for a class I'm doing and I am surprised, as always, by how much I've been enjoying it. I don't often pick up a book of short stories, but when I do, I usually like them more than I expected. Yet the next time this comes up, I will once again be surprised by how much I enjoy a collection of short stories.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  20. #700

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    In the frothy theme mystery category, I'm nominating Andrea Penrose's "Sweet Revenge" for Oddest Mishmash of History and Cooking. It's the first in a series set in Regency London. The main character is Lady Arianna, the daughter of a disgraced aristocrat who fled England and dragged her around the world in hardscrabble fashion until he's murdered in some island dive. Arianna returns to England and poses as a French chef (male) to avenge his heath. She's an expert cook and specializes in that new-fangled dish: edible (as opposed to drinkable) chocolate. Every chapter opens with a recipe for some exotic dessert and a tidbit of choclate history, but the book's plot is only lightly hinged on the subject. Calling Arianna a Lady is a stretch and the Lord assigned to investigate an attempt at poisoning the Prince Regent with a bite of her chocolate is sterotypically Over-the-top aristocratic in contrast. But it's light reading and that's what I need right now.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

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