Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club
Just finished Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue. Not exactly a fun book but so well written and brilliantly tragic.
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength” - St. Francis de Sales
I'm about 1/4 of the way through A Tale for the Time Being, the latest by Ruth Ozeki. I loved her previous books (My Year of Meats and All Over Creation), but so far this one surpasses those. She's weaved together 2 characters' lives by the done-before but still effective device of a found diary -- but with the added twist of it floating in on the debris stream from the 2011 Japan tsunami that's washing ashore in British Columbia. Add to that her powerful imagery, engaging characters, and environmental themes, and you have a winner. Loving it so far!
I'm currently alternating One of Ours with the new Mae Murray bio. Murray has a rep for being the quintessential batshit crazy silent movie star with one great performance in her, The Merry Widow (MGM, 1925). I look forward to reading about her feud with director Erich von Stroheim (who plays Max in Sunset Boulevard). I'm particularly curious as to how she managed to survive the Depression after getting cleaned out financially by her husband and blackballed by MGM.
"...some people are moulded by their admiration, others by their hostilities.”
― Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart
After meting it out bit by bit since it's been published, I finally finished Robert Caro's "The Passage of Power" about the run up to the 1960 Presidential campaign through Johnson's years as Vice President and then through beginning of the Johnson presidency after the assassination of JFK. I'd recommend it as well as the rest of Caro's series on Johnson. I don't know what I'm going to do after the fifth and final volume is published.
"This, after all, is opera, opera in New York, not some dainty pastime like professional hockey..." -- Chip Brown, NYT Magazine 24 Mar 13
I just listened to the new book "Six Years" by Harlen Coben on audible and really loved it. It is full of suspense and very unpredictable - sort of a mystery/thriller with romance as the backdrop. I could have done with a little bit less description of his intense, unwavering feelings but in general I would recommend it. It would be a good summer read for lying at the beach.
On the off chance you guys are not tired of me mentioning WW2 books, I found another one that is worth reading. The book is called "Bringing Mulligan Home". It is new and written by journalist Dale Mulligan who's father was in Okinawa and was haunted by demons the rest of his life. The War in the pacific was totally different from the War in Europe and things there was not quite always clear. It was not until after his father died that Mulligan started to track down his father's former Marine buddies and piece together his Dad's wartime experiences. Haven't readily yet but plan to soon.
"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."
I deleted about 100 books off my Kindle last night. I read about 10 of them, the others were freebies that looked interesting at the time. There's easily 200+ left. There's also 2 shelves full of 'need to read' and another 6 next to my chair at home. I am now in the mindset that I must get through my piles of virutal and real books before I even think about buying another. This does not count my library holds though. I need those...
acraven keeps giving me her books that she's ready to part with much faster than I can keep up with reading them. Not to mention those I buy myself.
I bought another one and downloaded 2 freebies today. But, one was a free Hunger Games cookbook (unofficial) - does food count?
PS - thanks Puglover, I'll reserve that book, I was on the fence about it.
So I read Maeve Binchy's last novel A Week in Winter from the library. I'm glad I didn't spend money on it. It wasn't as syrupy sweet as Minding Frankie, but it had all the trademarks of her last several books: random strangers together, magical place making everything better, "spinster" woman whose mere presence solves everyone's life problems, etc...There was one character who walked away the same as she came and had real potential to have a story but that was not developed at all.
I remember loving some of her older work, especially Firefly Summer and Circle of Friends (which has a much less cloying ending than the movie version). But I feel like as she got older, she just loved her characters too much to put them through real tragedy or conflict or make them find their own way out.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...cm_cd_asin_lnk Reviews actually liked it. Not sure if it's a US only deal though.
I finished 'Sarah's Key' tonight. I really wanted to love this book. Dealt superficially with the 1942 French roundup of Jewish men, women, and children. It jumped back and forth between 2002 and 1942, and was too disjointed for me. Our 'heroine', a writer just annoyed me from page 1. And Sarah was ignored, although her story was the one that really mattered. It could have been great. Instead, it's back to the library and I'm glad I didn't buy it.
PDilemma - I've got A Week in Winter coming eventually from the library. The librarian summed up Maeve nicely 'she takes forever to make a point'. But, I love Maeve. And Rosamund Pilcher.
Finished The Killing Floor (first Jack Reacher novel) and loved it. I know many of you have read the others - are they as good? Might just buy the next two and then go from there.
Although it's definitely violent - I could do without the torture/sicko stuff, but thankfully that happened off camera so to speak - I enjoyed the aspect of it. There were a few logical leaps that seemed unrealistic such as
Spoilerhis smart brother leaving phone numbers and clues lying around - there's no way he'd need to write down those clues - and Reacher deducing where Hubble was? That was plain luck and far too convenient for this story - the author could have easily built in some clue from the prison time instead.
But one thing I really was the ending. Too often in these books - I'm looking at you James Rollins -
Spoilerthe hero falls for a girl he's known five minutes, then proceeds to risk his life and everyone else's for her, and at they ride off into the sunset together, *barf* and also totally unrealistic. Next book, they have to explain why the hero had to shed the love of his life, so as to free him up for the next hot chick. In this book, I loved that the chapter started with "it didn't work out," and logically explained why. For that matter, I liked that Roscoe got bundled off for the climax of the story, so that it was about Reacher, not her. Wouldn't mind if she turned up in future, but happy he's not tied to her.
And there's no way I'm seeing the movie, ever. Tom Cruise in Top Gun, Mission Impossible, etc no problem. But Jack Reacher? No flippin' way.
I know there are some romance novel readers out there. I took some time off last week and needed some really light reading and stumbled upon Julia Quinn's Bridgerton Series (the lives and loves of eight brothers and sisters, Regency style). The "formula" was easy to spot, but the characters were fun and she writes snappy dialogue. Good, fun fluff.
Am I there yet?
Nan, you've likely already run across this author before, but just in case you might want to try Jennifer Crusie. She started as a romance writer and evolved into a kind of anti-chick lit writer. Recently injecting more of the supernatural in her stories, which not everyone likes, and ditto her collaborations with another writer. But there's a chunk of books in the middle - around Welcome to Temptation and Faking It - that are quite good. Fun characters well drawn, romance that's a bit more real, light reads.
Thanks, Jenny. I'll look her up. I seem to swing back and forth between murder mysteries, science fiction, romance and a host of other things. Is that a sign of a multiple personality??
Am I there yet?