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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Finally finished Moby-Dick earlier this month; it left me wiped out for a week afterwards!

Yesterday, I started on Stella Gibbons' considerably lighter Cold Comfort Farm, which I've read once before -- well over a decade ago, after having seen the mid-'90s film version with Kate Beckinsale as Flora (aka "Robert Poste's child"). Flora is a young college-educated Englishwoman who goes to live with some relatives in the Sussex countryside after her parents die; she sets about trying to make their lives better, and hopes her experiences will inspire her to someday write "a novel as good as [Jane Austen's] Persuasion."
#811 - June 20, 2014, 03:54 PM
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 03:57 PM by G.R. »
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I'm reading Harry Potter, Page to Screen, which is a really cool, full color book on the making of all the HP films. It's COOL. I'm always fascinated with what I can learn from different kinds of storytelling, whether visual arts or film or music or whatever, and it's so interesting to read about how they created the effects and costumes, and the creative choices they made in adapting text to film. When making sets and costumes, so many of the things were "real," not CGI. The detail of it reminded me of when you're writing, the amount of research you can do that may never show up in the book, but which makes the whole thing alive. (I once came up with the genealogy of a family back to 1670, so I can sort of relate to the whole Sirius Black genealogy tapestry... :) )
#812 - June 20, 2014, 05:36 PM

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I just finished Helen Fielding's Mad About the Boy. It's an update on what happened to Bridget Jones. I liked it, even though I was expecting something as light and funny as the earlier books. I would somewhat recommend it.
#813 - June 23, 2014, 09:15 AM
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How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny.  Amazing!
#814 - June 26, 2014, 02:20 PM

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Just (FINALLY) got around to reading "Olive Kitteridge"...and now I'm sad that it's finished.


Sigh. SUCH a good book!
#815 - June 26, 2014, 02:29 PM
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A few weeks ago, I read WASH by Margaret Wrinkle. She did a WONDERFUL job with multiple viewpoints. Very tough subject matter, but beautifully written.


Here's a brief description:

[/size]Richardson, a troubled Revolutionary War veteran, has spent his life fighting not only for his country but also for wealth and status.  But when the pressures of westward expansion and debt threaten to destroy everything he?s built, he embarks on an audacious plan.  He sets Washington, a young man he owns, to work as his breeding sire. [/color]
#816 - June 26, 2014, 02:34 PM

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Tara, want to discuss MAD ABOUT THE BOY on the Book Talk forum? I have a thought or two about it.

I just finished a memoir, MY SALINGER YEAR, by Joanna Rakoff. I gave it a five-star review on Goodreads. A fun read for book lovers, writers, and people interested in book publishing.  :grin3

#817 - June 26, 2014, 05:35 PM
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Just finished reading  "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Toulane" - really enjoyed the description in the book and the artwork in color.

Now I'm reading  "The Girls of Atomic City - The Untold Story of The Women Who Helped Win World War II"  - very interesting.
#818 - June 26, 2014, 07:15 PM

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Jilly, I'll second Olive Kitteridge. Amazing writing.

I also finally got around to reading Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies". I was blown away by how clearly she can communicate with subtext and mundane events. I thought that each story was just a perfectly tightened piece of art.

And Barbara, I've posted some thoughts on "Mad About the Boy."
#819 - June 26, 2014, 07:26 PM
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Barbara, I enjoyed Mad about the Boy a lot. I then went back to read Helen Fielding's first novel, Cause Celeb, a pre-Bridget Jones book about aid workers in famine-struck Africa and the celebrities who adopt the cause for their own purpoases. It was amazing. And probably dropped like a stone when it was published so she went for something more commercial. I suspect she's sending a good chunk of the proceeds from the Bridget bonanza toward famine relief one way or another because it's obviously something she cares about a great deal. I believe she either covered it as a journalist or was an aid worker herself--perhaps both.
#820 - June 26, 2014, 08:30 PM

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I think I have to finally crack open "The Goldfinch" next -- I'm probably the last reading person on earth NOT to!
#821 - June 27, 2014, 06:31 AM
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Jilly, I still have GOLDFINCH waiting for me too. Starting a long book always feels like such a commitment so I drag my feet.


I'm finishing up TALKER 25 by Joshua McCune, and it's fantastic. The book is set in modern-day but in a world where dragons also exist, and there's been an ongoing war between the dragons and the humans. I can't do the story justice by describing it here, but it's a book I would give to any HUNGER GAMES fans.
#822 - June 27, 2014, 01:20 PM
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
jenniferchamblissbertman.com

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Oooh, if I finish Goldfinch like a good girl, maybe I can reward myself with Talker 25! Sounds fun!
#823 - June 27, 2014, 01:40 PM
www.jillygagnon.com
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I've read the book Olive Kitteridge, and I didn't care for the book because I thought the stories were somewhat depressing which I don't think added to the nice writing.
#824 - June 27, 2014, 06:32 PM

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I am dusting off Flowers for Algernon for a trip back to my teen years. I have a theory that we don't really appreciate the books we were forced to read in school, so I am reading them again to see if I appreciate them more as an adult
#825 - June 28, 2014, 09:33 AM

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This week I read Shannon Messenger's Keeper of Lost Cities books (first two of a projected trilogy). My 12YO daughter cannot get enough of them--I think she's read them three times! They definitely hit all her hot buttons--fantasy, telepathy, other worlds, conspiracies, flying unicorns, interesting boys on an upper MG level... she was very disappointed to find out that just because a book shows up on line with a cover doesn't mean it's already out. (The last one comes out in November--but hey! That's convenient for her birthday. :) )
#826 - June 28, 2014, 09:38 AM

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I'm on a lucky streak lately picking good books.


How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied by Jess Keating
so funny - loving it!


The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch
OMG - LOVED THIS


The Chaos of Stars
Something about Kiersten White's writing, I just love. I think it's the wit. Great read.
#827 - July 04, 2014, 08:53 AM
ICE DOGS, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
FALCON WILD, 2017, Charlesbridge
SLED DOG SCHOOL, 2017, HMH
SURVIVOR DIARIES, 2017, HMH
 
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Just read Swindle by Gordon Korman at an 11-year-old's suggestion. Really well done. I couldn't imagine how the author was going to resolve the somewhat troublesome premise, but he did - beautifully.
#828 - July 04, 2014, 11:12 AM

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I just read the third book in Kersten Hamilton's Goblin Wars trilogy: WHEN THE STARS THREW DOWN THEIR SPEARS. I really enjoyed it--in fact, it felt almost eerily as if written specifically for me (or as if it came from a parallel universe I thought only I visited regularly): the poems I love best and recite to myself almost every day--are in this book. Songs I grew up singing--are in this book. Madeleine L'Engle is the book's patron saint (I'm guessing), and not even just the L'Engle everyone knows, but perhaps (to guess again) THE YOUNG UNICORNS. Sort of combined with Lewis's THE LAST BATTLE. I just wanted to hang out in the kitchen with these characters and recite poetry with them--but of course they're all busy saving the universe and stuff. :)
#829 - July 04, 2014, 12:12 PM
THE CABINET OF EARTHS -- HarperCollins, 2012
A BOX OF GARGOYLES -- HC, 2013
THE WRINKLED CROWN -- HC, 2015
www.annenesbet.com

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Just getting around to reading "If I Stay" and now I'm scared to drive!
#830 - July 04, 2014, 12:29 PM

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I'm reading "Creativity Inc." by Edward Catmull (with Amy Wallace). It's nonfiction about Pixar, and lessons learned over Catmull's experience in running it. I don't read a lot of nonfiction books, or any about business, but I picked this one up because I was curious about creative cultures. It has been a really interesting and inspiring read. Catmull also has a background as a scientist, and as someone who also has scientific training, I like reading about people who see art and science as intertwined. Catmull also really understands the creative process so it's soothing to read from the perspective of someone who gets how scary it is to create something out of nothing and to constantly reshape it until it doesn't suck anymore. I very much recommend it. :)
#831 - July 05, 2014, 07:58 AM
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Reading four at once.
 
THE GOLDFINCH.

HYPERBOLE AND A HALF by Allie Brosch (a combination of web comic and blog) - very funny

HONEY, WE BOUGHT AN AIRPLANE by Doreen Graham, mystery with a humorous touch

A BIG, LITTLE LIFE by Dean Koontz (a memoir about his golden retriever, Trixie)

I need the two funny ones to offset the tragedy of THE GOLDFINCH. Because, really, I'm all about the funny.

 
#832 - July 05, 2014, 08:19 AM
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So this isn't a book I'm currently reading, but I read an advanced copy of ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman earlier this year and today is its publication day. You guys--this is SUCH a fantastic middle grade read. Tara is a friend, but I would feel that way regardless. It's described as a "foodie adventure novel", and it's about a young, culinary-obsessed girl who accidentally becomes a restaurant critic for a big New York paper. (And the way she goes about getting this position is funny and pulled off in a believable way.) This is a book both boys and girls would like too. It's fast-paced and funny, and has a classic feel to the writing. Anyway, just wanted to pass on ALL FOUR STARS as a book recommendation!
#833 - July 10, 2014, 10:24 AM
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 10:48 AM by J-Bert »
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
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I second J-Bert. All middle grade lovers should definitely read ALL FOUR STARS. It's so fun!
#834 - July 10, 2014, 10:28 AM

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Thanks for giving some information about the books you're reading instead of just listing the titles. I see a number that look interesting.

I'd be happy in solitary confinement, if I just had some books. (Do they let you bring books? Probably not.)

I'll just mention one I'm reading: WHAT A PLANT KNOWS by Daniel Chamovitz (Ph.D.in genetics, plus many publications and awards in biosciences). Here's a paragraph from the first page:

"Plants see if you come near them; they know when you stand over them. They even know if you're wearing a blue or red shirt. They know if you've painted your house or if you've moved their pots from one side of the living room to the other."

Of course, he doesn't mean "know" the way we "know," and he's careful to say that. But still..pretty amazing stuff.

And just today, there's a study out saying that plants can hear when caterpillars are crunching on one of their leaves:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-plants-hear-study-finds-that-vibrations-prompt-some-to-boost-their-defenses/2014/07/06/8b2455ca-02e8-11e4-8fd0-3a663dfa68ac_story.html

So be careful what you do and say around your houseplants...and always be kind to your celery.


 :flower


 






 
#835 - July 10, 2014, 11:53 AM
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PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

I am reading WE ARE NOT EATEN BY YAKS, the first book of the Accidental Adventure series by C. Alexander London. My ten-year-old-daughter-with-the-10th-grade-reading-level-who-hates-to-read loves this book. When I bought it for her off the bargain table at her school's book fair, she complained about the size. Now she is begging me to order the last book in the series so she can finish it this summer. Not only that, but she has started reading other books. She just finished THE HOBBIT. I figured I had to take a look at the book that turned her on to reading in such a big way.

The series chronicles the reluctant adventures of a pair of 11-year-old couch potatoes. In the book I'm reading, they travel to Tibet with their explorer father to search for their mother in the lost city of Shangri-La. The twins have been promised cable TV if they succeed.
#836 - July 10, 2014, 07:05 PM

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Betsy, that sounds fascinating. My sister (gardener extraordinaire, as opposed to me, who kills house plants by mere proximity), was just telling me that they've discovered plants can "feel." So I need to check that one out!
#837 - July 11, 2014, 08:02 AM

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Betsy, don't you remember The Secret Life of Plants (book and movie) from the 70s? Even Stevie Wonder titled one of his albums Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants.   :music:

Inspired by that, I once read from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass to a dying dwarf orange tree. (It may have enjoyed the poetry, but it died nonetheless).  :whistle
#838 - July 11, 2014, 09:26 AM
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Just finished and loved ABSOLUTELY ALMOST by Lisa Graff.
#839 - July 11, 2014, 09:32 AM
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I stayed up way too late finishing Leigh Bardugo's "Ruin and Rising," and I can't stop thinking about it. It, and the rest of "The Grisha Trilogy" really is the best of fantasy with multifaceted characters (and this is an understatement. The characters are so vivid), horribly difficult choices, and an amazing world. Whenever I think about them, there's a new thing to love, from female characters that are just as cocky about their physical appearances as the men, to perfect pacing. I know I'll reread them.
#840 - July 18, 2014, 06:45 AM
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