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auralpoison
Well, I knocked out Twilight over the weekend. I didn't like it. It seemed to be mostly descriptions of how "godlike" & "angelic" & gorgeous & perfect Edward/the vamps were with brief into forays into nuzzling, kissing, & touching. I think my decrepit old bones are just too ancient for that kind of thing. Had it come out when I was sixteen, I probably still wouldn't have liked it much but would have understood the appeal more.
missladyj
Just started the third book in the twilight series . Lame completely lame. I have to remind myself that it is on the best seller list , not the best written list.
Also that the author graduated from BYU so the character Bella is like the lamest female character evah. worst vampire series I have ever read. Seriously it is atrocious.

and yet I will probably force myself to finish the third book and move on to the fourth. I am a maschocist.


the best vampire story as far as I am concerned in Matheson's I am Legend and no I didn't see the movie.

and Salem's Lot.

Has anyone read the Sookie Stackhouse novel's that true blood is based on? I am interested.



The best book I have read lately is Joseph Campbell. The Art of Living. He inspires me to follow my path.
bunnyb
missladyj, I've read the first in the Sookie Stackhouse series and it won't be winning any awards for best written novel either; it is what it is though, a popcorn book, which is enjoyable and addictive but not that substantial.

I'm reading The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi, which I'm still making my mind up about (it has some interesting Igbo tradition in it and is also quite disturbing in parts).

I enjoyed Toni Morrison's A Mercy and Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book and the readings/signings of both.

MaybeSparrow
I just read The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. It had kind of an Awakening feel too it, but overall it was pretty forgettable.

Right now, I'm working on The Book Doctor by Esther Cohen. Its a surprisingly clever book about the desire so many peole have to create a book, any book. The desire to write, but not knowing how or being to afraid is a relatable topic for a lot of people (or at least it is for me). I picked this book up on a whim and I highly reccomend it.

I also HIGHLY recommend Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. I cannot say whether this book resonated so deeply with me because of my love of Minnesota or not, but I was BLOWN AWAY at how beautiful this book was.

Next up is Bitter Grounds.
sassygrrl
I liked the Sookie Stackhouse series in a popcorn way. They were good commuter books.

Right now, reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and In the Woods. I'm still making up my mind about both of them. I picked up Sawtelle before the whole Oprah club book thing. I'm reading Bel Canto for my book club.
eleanorrigby2008
I didn't go through this whole thread, but one of my favorite books that I've been wanting to re-read lately was "Everything is Illuminated." I've never fouind anyone else who read it, but I absolutely loved it.

I loved Twilight, as did the rest of the world (I work at a bookstore and you won't believe how many people come in asking for those books every day).

Someone mentioned laughing out loud earlier, and I can say that one of the only books that did that for me was "The Areas of my Expertise" by John Hodgeman (the guy who plays PC on the Mac commercials). It's different because it's pretty much just a compilation of made up information, but how can you not love a book that has a list of hundreds of hobo names? I looked at the new one, "More Information that you Require," I think, and just the table of contentst made me laugh.

Over the summer I read "I Love You Beth Cooper," and loved it. It was like reading a teen-comedy movie, which is what it will be soon.
bunnyb
sassy, I've been wanting to read In the Woods so let me know what you think.

eleanorrigby, I LOVE Everything is Illuminated!

tes, could you be a bit more specific in what you're looking for? engaging family drama, humorous read, thought-provoking/political...

recently enjoyed reads: JM Barrie's Peter Pan (charming), Colette's Gigi and The Cat (I love Colette's writing and the latter was particularly well written), Helene Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road (beautiful).
auralpoison
"Everything Is Illuminated" is a GREAT novel. Read it at alll costs.

"Twilight", I still just don't get. Maybe because I'm a novelist myself . . . no, the writing was poor, cliche, & had absolutely NO impact . . . I expect to think when I read things. Yeah, Ed was all special-like, but he was TIRESOME. It's really a serious read for teenage girls that still think that "hawt" guy will fall for them someday even if they think they are a "freak". But it's lame bullshit.

I dunno how many times I've read "84 Charing Cross Road". It's gorgeous. Such an enjoyable read. "RasPPPPPberries!" Sounds even better than framboises.
eleanorrigby2008
I admit that Twilight is terribly cliche and all that, but, just like ACDC, some formulas just work for me.

My two favorite books of all time are still Little Women and Jane Eyre, especially the latter. I read it in the 8th grade and have been in love with it ever since. Just the whole plain-girl falls for the hopelessly flawed anti-hero and still wins in the end thing. I love it.
bunnyb
QUOTE(auralpoison @ Nov 12 2008, 12:29 AM) *
"Everything Is Illuminated" is a GREAT novel. Read it at all costs.


Seconded. Tes, maybe this is one you should pick up; I can't compare it to anything else you may have read but it's sublime, funny and heartbreaking.

QUOTE(auralpoison @ Nov 12 2008, 12:29 AM) *
"Twilight", I still just don't get. Maybe because I'm a novelist myself . . . no, the writing was poor, cliche, & had absolutely NO impact . . . I expect to think when I read things. Yeah, Ed was all special-like, but he was TIRESOME. It's really a serious read for teenage girls that still think that "hawt" guy will fall for them someday even if they think they are a "freak". But it's lame bullshit.


So, AP, I take it you're not a fan?! laugh.gif. Fair enough; I get it. I want to be a writer and I admire and envy great writing; I also loathe to read chaff that has been poorly executed and yet is still published. Yet the Twilight series entertained me; it didn't provoke deep thinking or produce book envy in me (as in "I wish I wrote that") but it was a fluff read which engaged me for a while, which blocked everything else out whilst I was lost in a -not very taxing or convoluted but still an addictive- story. Sometimes I need that and sometimes I need literature. I like to lose myself and have some mindless enjoyment from some YA series once in a while though (Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses series is another, as is Harry Potter).

QUOTE(auralpoison @ Nov 12 2008, 12:29 AM) *
I dunno how many times I've read "84 Charing Cross Road". It's gorgeous. Such an enjoyable read. "RasPPPPPberries!" Sounds even better than framboises.


It was on my TBR list for some time and I finally got around to it one afternoon last week and wish I'd done so earlier. Since I'll be working in a bookshop on Charing Cross Road fairly soon, I thought it was good timing. I will be revisiting this frequently too as it's enchanting.

eleanorrigby, have you read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys? It's inspired by Jane Eyre and from the perspective of the madwoman in the attic (Antoinette Cosway, rather than "Bertha").
I love Little Women.
auralpoison
I think I'm just disappointed because people kept cramming Twilight in my face, saying, "Readthisreadthisreadthis!"

To *me*, all it was was descriptions of how hot Edward was (If I ever read the phrase "bronze-coloured hair" again I will fucking SCREAM. His hair was an odd colour, got it, no need to keep hammering it home. He's sexy & all Byronic, I got that, too.) & nothing actually happened until the last, what? Seventy-five pages of the book & even then it wasn't very gripping.

I didn't expect it to be literature, I just expected it to not make me want to retch with saccharine every other page & wonder why I do what I do when clearly nobody cares about the word anymore. If all people want is sexy & dumb, then I may as well join up with Joe & be a plumber. At least then I know I'll get a solid paycheque.

I have no problem with "mindless". I don't. I just like to be able to look forward to that few minutes of reading respite. I've read many a stupid, idle book just for fun. But Twilight was a chore. My OCD decrees that I complete everything I read. I can't not. It's why I read that awful, disastrous, preening Pessl thing to the almost end. So I had to read over & over & over (Over & over & over & over & over & over & & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over.) how attractive Edward was to Bella. Who was pretty much half-formed as far as I was concerned. It was just plain *lazy* to me.

As far as the rest of the world, I don't think too terribly highly of them, but I'm pretty much behind anything that gets their butts away from the tv to read *anything*. Even if it's the back of the air freshener bottle while they're on the pot. In that respect, I guess that reading that pure suck was a fair price to pay.

ETA, I should say I'm in a fucking MOOD today, so anything I say should be completely & wholly disregarded.
bunnyb
You'll love the fact then that Meyer's re-written Twilight from the perspective of Edward, instead of Bella wink.gif.

I understand the disappointment of reading a book that has been hyped up by everybody to then be completely disappointed. There are few books, however, that satisfy everybody (if only there were).

I admire your perseverance in finishing everything you read; there are so many books that I want to read that if one of them isn't doing it for me then I'll move onto the next (although I did for some stupid reason finish the Pessl).

The reading tastes of the rest of the world, and the publishing market, can be disillusioning, especially for bookworms and aspiring writers and it's frustrating to see writers (such as Meyer) perhaps sell out and earn millions for producing drivel when there are talented people out there who can construct a sentence but can't get the break... all we can do is read and write what we want and, yes, as long as the rest of the world is reading (I feel that way about chicklit and ghostwritten biographies of 21 yo footballers or F1 drivers, yawn.)
eleanorrigby2008
QUOTE(bunnyb @ Nov 12 2008, 09:37 AM) *
Seconded. Tes, maybe this is one you should pick up; I can't compare it to anything else you may have read but it's sublime, funny and heartbreaking.

eleanorrigby, have you read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys? It's inspired by Jane Eyre and from the perspective of the madwoman in the attic (Antoinette Cosway, rather than "Bertha").
I love Little Women.




I read that book last year. I thought that it was okay, but it never got really good. I do love those kinds of books where the story is told from the perspective of a secondary character (i.e. Grendel).
bunnyb
It's one of my all-time favourites! Hee. Again, different strokes for different folks. I'm really not a huge fan of Jane Eyre, I love the story but not the writing so prefer when writers like Rhys or Du Maurier or Jasper Fforde use aspects of the plot.
auralpoison
God, the Pessl! That was just straight shite! It was AWFUL & pretentious & just . . . a BIG pile of suck. It was so BAD! Painfully, & horribly bad. I'd have been ashamed were my name attached.

I perservere. I do my little things. I have a short story that will be published next month, the new book is going swimmingly. Knopf is actually looking at me for this one. I ain't got a cheque yet, but I'm feeling good.

Often when I take the time to look at the numbers . . . I am disappointed. I mean, I'm on the shelf here in *Pisswah*, no where. NO WHERE. But there it sits. Yeah, nobody knows it's me, I keep my light beneath a bushel. And it's USED, so I know somebody has read it at least once. But like many have said, the book shops are run amok with the likes of "Twilight". I'm all about people reading. I am.

But once the media gloms on to something . . . I'll never be sexy enough for Oprah.
bunnyb
In the hope of making auralpoison laugh.

Hee, this amused me (thanks to sidecar on facebook). After the comments today I text messaged my friend who is currently reading the text in question, "it's too girly and gushy for me," he replied, "please tell me there's some action soon", suddenly and without any forewarning there's some action. Hmph, all of this post-analysis is causing me to dislike the series! I must stand by my convictions - it was a popcorn series which allowed me to reclaim some of the girly, gushy naivete of my early teens.
mandolyn
bunny, thanks for that ... bwah!

i have yet to read twilight. i have no problem with light n'vapid - i read dean koontz for chrissakes! - but i just know in my heart i won't like it. not to offend or sound holier-than-thou, but i'm obsessively picky about my vampire reads. (ie: interview with a vampire and the vampire l'estat are my all time faves. the movies? pah! i took them as personal insults.)

i just started the god of small things. i'm hoping it grabs me and doesn't let go.
bunnyb
You're welcome, hun smile.gif.

I was disappointed by The God of Small Things; I found it to be one of those books which didn't live up to its hype but I would love it if it does grab you and doesn't let you go as we all need books like that.
anna k
I just started Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women. It's decent, though I don't really know what to make of it. It takes place in a rural town in Ontario in the 1940s, and has a lot of countryfolk characters. I have to read more to see whether I like it or not.

Twilight reminds me of Poppy Z. Brite's old novels about sexy young vampires preying on attractive goth teenagers. Everybody was bone-thin and pale and gorgeous and barely ate and drank a lot and had a lot of sex.
crazyoldcatlady
QUOTE(anna k @ Nov 13 2008, 07:57 PM) *
Everybody was bone-thin and pale and gorgeous and barely ate and drank a lot and had a lot of sex.


mwuahaha, that's like my fantasy. wink.gif

anyHOO,
reading mary mccarthy's the company she keeps. just started it, and it's brilliant writing, but i fear i may let it slip because each sentence carries so much weight. not a good right-before-bed read.
missladyj
bunny, that was the funniest review of Twilight evah! I'm glad I'm not alone in my disdain for it. highlarious
vixen_within
QUOTE(mandolyn @ Nov 13 2008, 01:17 PM) *
bunny, thanks for that ... bwah!

i have yet to read twilight. i have no problem with light n'vapid - i read dean koontz for chrissakes! - but i just know in my heart i won't like it. not to offend or sound holier-than-thou, but i'm obsessively picky about my vampire reads. (ie: interview with a vampire and the vampire l'estat are my all time faves. the movies? pah! i took them as personal insults.)

i just started the god of small things. i'm hoping it grabs me and doesn't let go.



re Twilight. I'm sorry to say I've read better Harlequins (tho I'm not sorry to say I've read Harlequins). Maybe I'm just burned out on the genre that I was obsessed with in the 90's or maybe I'm just picky too, I dunno. I too loved the Rice books. If you liked them Mando, you might also like Tanya Huff's Blood series. Not as epic as Rice, but still good stuff.
anarch
bunny, that review is hilarious! The comments are funny too.

I've started a couple of nonfiction books, The Brain That Changes Itself (fascinating, and especially hopeful if you know someone with brain damage) and Three Cups of Tea (mountain climber starts a non-profit to build schools for kids, especially girls, in Pakistan).

Anybody read Shantaram yet? People keep on raving about it to me.
crazyoldcatlady
the nyt 100 notable books of 2008
bunnyb
Valley of the Dolls is an amazing, feminist read. I was engrossed for four days, read as I walked (which is something I never do) because I didn't want to put it down and feel lost now that it's over. The three heroines live life on their own terms but are all tragic in their own way. The setting -and some of the actions/motivations- is ruthless and it is depressing at times to see women in the 40s-60s in such a sex-obsessed culture but their independence and strength is inspiring. It was an engaging and heart-wrenching drama and I definitely recommend it.
auralpoison
And I thought my views/that one bloggers views were vicious on the Twilight. I nearly peed I laughed so hard & agreed so heartily.
bunnyb
I read Bernard Schlink's The Reader quickly, mainly yesterday. It has languished on many of my bookcases, in different locations, for a decade and, with the cinematic adaptation about to be released, it was time to read it. It is an exploration of the post-Holocaust German experience; it also examines truth, betrayal, love and all of its complications (how can you love somebody who has committed atrocities? how can you reconcile yourself to loving someone who had committed atrocities, even though you were ignorant of who they were/had been) and how redemption and forgiveness are impossible. It is though-provoking, poignant, horrific and heart-breaking whilst also achieving a "numbness" that Schlink goes to great lengths to describe.

As an aside: for anybody interested in Holocaust literature, I cannot recommend enough Time's Arrow, or the Nature of the Offence by Martin Amis. The surrealism of the text is stunning and the reader is active, instead of passive, with events in the life of the narrator -Nazi Doctor and assistant to Josef Mengele in Auschwitz-Birkenau- in reverse order so that you have to consciously work at reading and deciphering what is actually occurring, which makes it more shocking.
crinoline
I read The Reader as assigned reading for one of my Holocaust classes, and it was a pretty powerful and unusual book. It was my first encounter with literature that portrayed a Nazi perpetrator in a somewhat sympathetic light. We read it as part of our chapter covering the "student generation", or the children of those involved with Nazism and the Holocaust. very interesting read
I'm surprised to see that they're making it into a movie, though. It's such a sensitive subject

I'll check out those books, bunnyb!

On Twilight ...I'm not impressed. One of my best friends called me very excited because she had read a book all the way through. She then devoured all of the other books in the series in a week. This is a girl who usually takes a month to almost read a book (she usually doesn't finish). So I read the first one to see what she was talking about and... not so great. I do have a bad habit of reading historical romance novels (like, one a day). And I have to say that I've read romances that were far better written. For vampire books, I vastly prefer Laurell K Hamilton, who got a little too smutty in her later books, but has well rounded and interesting characters and plotlines.
I get that Twilight is pretty accessible to a market who read a few books a year, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who loves books, or even vampire books.
On the plus side, my friend is now turned onto reading and wants to try Anne Rice next (also not my fave, but far better than Twilight).
raisingirl
It's been FOREVER since I've posted in this thread! *waves*

So, let's see: I haven't read Twilight and I'm not interested. Mormons. Vampires. Blah. Next. There are so many other hyped books I'd rather read (like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a thrift store find, ha!)... I, too, feel in my heart of hearts that the Twilight books aren't for me, just like how I know Harry Potter likely isn't for me. I feel indifferent about these books and I trust my gut. I like mindless, too, but I want to connect to the mindlessness.

I tried a while back, but I couldn't get into Jami Attenberg's Instant Love at all. I was really put off by the name-dropping of bands (and they're bands I like, so what difference does it make*) and other pop culture references, as well as being put off by something else I can't put my finger on, and so I'm passing the book on to someone who wants to read it.

I was pleased with Laura Moriarty's The Center of Everything. Picked it up over the summer at a thrift store for a buck (do you see a trend here?), didn't have any expectations at all (but was intrigued by it being the author's first novel), and was rewarded with a pretty decent story about a mother/daughter relationship and the daughter's coming-of-age (well, and the mother's, too, to some extent). I don't want to give anything away. It was a smooth, easy read, one I found myself reading while waiting for the laundry, waiting for mass transit, waiting for my coffee to cool off, etc. It was told well in the present tense. I think I'm going to pass it on to a relative who doesn't read a lot but who I think will like it. I hadn't heard about this book, but I have to say for a first novel it was much better than overhyped crap like Prep (soooooo disappointing -- don't get me started on a rant).

I finally read Cisneros's The House on Mango Street. Oh! What a delight. I ignored the snow accumulating outside for a couple of hours. Do you ever feel like there are some books that come to you at a certain time in your life and it's so perfect? This was one of them. I mean, it had been sitting on my shelf for a few months (and I'm not sure how I made it this far in life without reading this book before now -- I've read other stuff by Cisneros, but never this one, even though it's her most well known, go figure), but it was only today that I actually opened it up. I will definitely read it again.

I have a collection of Dickens Christmas stories (it includes A Christmas Carol and The Cricket on the Hearth). Each month I am making a point of reading at least one classic I've been wanting to reread/read for the first time, and this collection is my pick for this month. It's nerd out time!

Bunny, I wish I liked Valley of the Dolls as much as you did. It's not that I hated it, but... maybe I'd feel differently about it now?

I started James's The Portrait of a Lady before going to bed one night. BIG MISTAKE!

Okay, that's enough for now.


*Smiths. hee.
missladyj
AP- that review was so fantastic!

The one good thing about Twilight is that it has gotten some of my students who never read to pick up a book. My hope is that they will continue to read and one day realize how horrific that series really is .

I am reading Coraline by Gainman. NOw it's been made into a film. animated. cool.

In terms of Holocaust reading I would suggest I Never Saw Another Butterfly which is a collection or art and poetry by children in the camps and Jerzy Kosinski's Painted Bird. As a Jew we read alot of Holocaust work and those two had the greatest impact on me.
tommynomad
Mando, The God of Small Things is wonderful.

I'm reading The Tao of Muhammad Ali. It started a little too self-indulgently, but when the author finally got to sit down with the Champ at his mother's house, it's picking up. It feels a little like Tao-as-you-go: not an exploration like The Tao of Pooh, but more like a Tao experience.

Also finally got my fingers on the new Adbusters: whee! I almost got killed walking home reading it yesterday.

Those Twilight reviews are hilarious. I picked up one of the books in the bookstore and read half a paragraph before it fell from my quivering, clammy, shaking, unsteady, oddly-cool-and-yet-wet hands.
crinoline
raisingirl- I would not dismiss Harry Potter simply for it's wild popularity. Unlike Twilight, it is a fantastically written series. The books mature with the characters in a way I've never encountered in another series. It really is a must read for anyone who is even remotely interested in fantasy or magic.
auralpoison
I wouldn't put HP in with Twilight, either. The HP books have a density & intelligence that trumps the flimsiness of the Twilight series. Sadly, I lack the imagination to get into the HP books. I tried. They are unbelieveably well written, but they're just not my cuppa. I'm just not a fantasy type o' gal.
raisingirl
Sorry, let me clarify: I was only putting HP & Twilight in the same category for popularity. I'm fully aware that the writing in HP is a whole lot better, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm not interested in the fantasy genre or wizards.
HotHotPenny
auralpoison- I was reading that review during work and just started laughing.

I can't believe that people really love those books. The other day a friend mentioned she wanted to name her new puppy Bella after the main character in those books!
auralpoison
Welcome HHP! Love love love the newbies! Be sure to stop by the Community Forum & introduce yourself!

Oh, no. I knew what you were going for, Raisin. We're kindred that we're just not into that. I've tried. I really wanted to like the HP books. But for some reason, I just don't get it. They just seem silly to me. Just not my bag. And don't even get me started on the slash.

And this from a girl that was pretty much all scifi from the womb. Heinlein, Ellison, Bradbury, Dick, I'll buy all that shit. Me da had me read all the Heinlein & Herbert I wanted to before I was twelve.

I am SUCH a dork.
sybarite
I'm a dork too then AP. I grew up literally surrounded by shelves of Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, as well as Cruz Smith, Joanna Russ, Marge Piercy... I like William Gibson and Kim Stanley Robinson, but these days sci-fi has to hit a high bar before I'll read it and aside from China Mieville I don't really go for fantasy at all.

Bunnyb, I agree that Valley of the Dolls provides great drama but it's so badly written, which used to distract me (I appreciate I'm sounding a bit precious here...)

I've just read Revolutionary Road and it is fantastic and tragic. I hope the movie is halfway decent...
rogue
This is the best thread! It gives me new ideas for books to read, which is great. Since finishing university two years ago I have finally been able to get into reading for myself again (because I always found it soooo hard to read anything that wasn't for classes in uni because it derailed my focus).

Currently I am reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown because one of my best friends just gave it to me for Christmas; I have read The Da Vinci Code but not this one, and I am devouring it. It is amazing. I don't know what my obsession with these novels are. I am also working on A Moveable Feast by Hemingway and The Beedle and the Bard by J.K. Rowling. It's been too long since I read anything to do with Harry Potter, so I am happy about that as well.

I really want to read Revolutionary Road, which I see you just finished, sybarite, and I really want to read Atonement because I saw the film and loved it and I heard the book was also amazing. Has anyone else read any of these? Thoughts?
sybarite
Hi rogue! IMO, Atonement the novel wiped the floor with Atonement the movie, which to me was primarily about Keira Knightley looking wan and beautiful (which, to be fair, she does very well). I did like the end of the film though, and would be interested in what you thought of that ending after reading the book. The novel is more subtle and its characters more ambiguous than in the film; I read it a few years before seeing the movie and enjoyed it a lot.
rogue
I figured as much about the Atonement novel, Sybarite. I think someone told me that before. I really want to get it and read it and the best thing to do would be to go to a library and get a library card but I am all about owning the books I read, for some reason. I don't mind borrowing them but I like to own them. I love books (I taught myself to read when I was three years old and have been an avid reader ever since!) so I don't know - just have to own them. I might try and pick it up this week as I get paid on Friday and have been horribly broke since Christmas. I really liked the movie so I would really like to see how the novel is as well.


I just finished reading Angels and Demons this morning and have moved on to The Da Vinci Code for the fourth time or so. Angels and Demons was amazing; I totally did not expect most of what happened in that novel! I was reading it and the whole time kept commenting out loud while Rougeboy was playing Xbox, causing much confusion. It was just one of those books that totally sucked me in! I would like to read more of Brown's work but I don't know if I would like them as much as I like these two books.

I will definitely let you know what happens once I get Atonement. I am glad to hear that someone hear has read it and therefore has some insight!
crazyoldcatlady
i keep trying...

about 60 pages into the wind-up bird chronicle, which i've heard fabulous things about and am mildly intrigued by so far. we'll see what's up.

went to amazon today and bought stacey richter's twin stories; i read her last book, my date with satan, a number of years ago and loved it- highlarious, and quirky. also bought reading like a writer, because i like reading about the writing process. i'm like that asshole who buys work-out and fitness books but then doesn't work out.


i think i know why i haven't had the attention span, and the reason scares me: b/c of the internets, and heavy science material i have to read on a daily basis, i've mastered the art of skimming and speed reading. books are a marathon, and i've been sprinting. i love a perfectly crafted sentence, or paragraph, but i have to slow the fuck down to appreciate it. i hope this tendency to skim is reversible.
rogue
QUOTE(crazyoldcatlady @ Dec 30 2008, 06:16 PM) *
i think i know why i haven't had the attention span, and the reason scares me: b/c of the internets, and heavy science material i have to read on a daily basis, i've mastered the art of skimming and speed reading. books are a marathon, and i've been sprinting. i love a perfectly crafted sentence, or paragraph, but i have to slow the fuck down to appreciate it. i hope this tendency to skim is reversible.


I totally know what you are talking about, COCL; the same thing happened to me while I was in uni - I was a history major and I spent most of my time reading a lot of heavy reading material and lost my ability to read "normally" because I kept skimming the books for the relevant, important information. I was able to get back to it, but it took a long time. I hope it doesn't take so long for you as well! =)
rogue
I have finally started reading Atonement and I wanted to come in here and gush about how good it is! It is very descriptive and a little slow in the beginning but now that I am at the second part of it I have been sucked in. I kind of don't want to do anything but read right now. Good thing I have a long bus ride to and from work every day because I am a woman possessed!

I also passed along Angels & Demons to my mother and she's in the same boat that I am. Can't wait for the movie and I hope they don't screw it up, whichr reminds me, they did a really good job of the Atonement film from what I can tell reading the book. I'm impressed!

Anyone else reading anything good lately?
bunnyb
QUOTE(bunnyb @ Jul 2 2007, 09:59 AM) *
Atonement came highly recommended to me too, sukouyant. I finished reading it this morning and it was a good read; I enjoyed parts more than others - the second half dragged a little although picked up in the last 50 pages or so. I liked its commentary on writing and the first half was impeccable. I was not a huge fan of the characters but they redeemed themselves IMO in the last section. I enjoyed McEwan's style and would definitely read more of his work.


rogue, I had a look back to see what I'd written about Atonement when I read it and have narcissistically quoted myself. Note to self: USE your book journal for note-taking as you're reading.

I liked the Dan Brown that I read; in a completely pulp-fiction, addictive, escapist way.

syb, I think that's why I liked Valley of the Dolls; I was oblivious to the writing because I've read a lot worse, but also a lot better. The way it was written wasn't an issue to me because it wasn't sheer rubbish or pretentious twaddle. I love literature and I love most levels of accomplishment when it comes to literature and I know what to read or what I want when it comes to good writing. Does that make sense?

cocl, how did you find The Wind-up Bird Chronicle? I love Murakami.
I am also working my way through Reading Like a Writer in small chunks, to savour the ideas.

Just finished reading The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif. Engrossing family saga; liked the interweaving stories and plots in past and future; loved the use of different narrators/stories in different mediums (letters and journals) and the confusion of three different languages -Egyptian, English, French- by characters was well captured; dragged a bit two-thirds through and felt ending was rushed.

I'm now reading Nicola Beauman's A Very Great Profession: The Women's Novel 1914-39 and it's an interesting read and not as dense as I'd assumed.
crazyoldcatlady
QUOTE
cocl, how did you find The Wind-up Bird Chronicle? I love Murakami.


interweb user suggestion smile.gif
BUT, i'm totally 2/3 of the way through, further than any book in a while. it's so trippy, but engrossing.

random note, though. i don't read many translated books, and i can't help but keep my mind from wandering every few pages or so about the interpreter who translated it, and how s/he worked all the nuances in, or how much license s/he had with his work. is that weird?
raisingirl
Any opinions on Plexus by Henry Miller? (I used to have a love/hate thing for him and I'm wondering if I should give this one a chance, as I haven't read anything of his in ~5 years.)

Highly recommended recent read: Giovanni's Room. Excellent. It's short, but I alternated between reading a lot in one sitting and reading only a couple of pages and then putting it down for several hours because I wanted to savor it. I especially recommend it for any of you interested in writing -- reading as a writer and all that. It's rich.
sassygrrl
CCL, I kept thinking the same thing with Kafka on the Shore. It was a good read though. I read it very quickly.


I'm reading the new Stephen King stories and The Life of Oscar Wao right now. I need some more good books to read after that. Was Revolutionary Road good syb? I've been meaning to read it. Thanks for the reccomendation RG!!
rogue
I just finished Atonement on the bus coming home last night and I am definitely impressed with it. The writing was amazing and I absolutely fell in love with teh characters, much like in the movie. For some reason I wanted to buy the book a year ago and didn't because I was afraid I wasn't going to like it but I am glad that I finally took the plunge (I am a strange girl who cannot borrow books from a libary; I must own them and add to my collection). It was very, very good. I kind of want to start it from the beginning again right now - does anyone else feel that way when they finish reading a book they love? - but I have other books to read and need to get to them. I just grabbed Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery from my bookshelf this morning (bought the book years ago but never got around to reading it) and I am also finding it to be well-written and very enjoyable.

I am also glad to hear your take on Atonement, bunny. The funny thing is, it was the opposite for me: I found the beginning to be slow and the end to be much faster, but that might be because I studied military history during my degree at school and so anything to do with WWI or WWII is highly interesting to me, which might not be the cup of tea of others. laugh.gif
raisingirl
Oh, I've GOT to read Vanity Fair this year! Enjoy it, Rogue. /nerdiness
bunnyb
Vanity Fair is one of my all time favourite Victorian classics.

I finished reading A Very Great Profession (interesting, illuminating and now I have an increased to be read list) and I'm undecided what to read next... I'm off to the bookcases to peruse and pick at random.

eta: I think it's going to be The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham; it's been ages since I have read any Science Fiction (the film Village of the Damned was based on this book).
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