(member since Jan 01, 2009)
True... maybe they have whetted my appetite for the supernatural! Or maybe I'm just not feeling very original this morning.
OK - how about....
books set in wartime? (any war)
I have just realised that we will be indulging in a bit of the old three-way-sex again in our February read! Perhaps we should rename this book club 'The three-way-sex book club'... it would have the biggest membership on Goodreads in no time....
Books with an element of the supernatural
I did try not to buy books but went to the library... but when they didn't have the books I wanted it was straight to Waterstone's I'm afraid.... no backbone, that's my trouble!
Although I can see the heaven analogy..... isn't it nicer to believe that an old man gets to spend the last of his living years doing what he loves, rather than being gradually forgotten by his family and slowly allowed to die, being over-medicated to keep him quiet? I loved the ideas that (a) an old person can be valued and treasured in such a way in the real world and (b) Joseph's life had come full circle, with the circus rescuing him one more from a decline into grief and hopelessness. In fact, although I loved this book all through, it was the fact that the ending was so very positive that will make me remember it.
I rejoined the library last year when I totted up how much I was spending on books (gulp) and I'm so glad I did - I've ended up reading different things (Agatha Christie
, John Le Carre
, as well as re-reading books I'd not thought about in years.
I noticed last time I was at the library that I could volunteer to go in and select books for people who are housebound. I think I might sign up - it seems like a fairly easy thing to do to help out people who (horror of horrors) may not have access to books otherwise.
I cannot wait to read this book again. It completely blew me away the first time, and the second!
That makes more sense to me... I know Keira Knightley plays young, but I wasn't sure how she was going to go that young!
Truly, Madly, Deeply
Shrek Shakespeare in Love
Sense and Sensibility
It was Keira Knightly, who also played Elizabeth Bennett in the recent Pride and Prejudice movie. I think she is a terrific actress although she does seem to have more than the usual allocation of teeth.
Heather, I would throw yourself into Vanity Fair. I re-read it about once a year because I love it so much. (I also have a bit of a thing for books that are big and fat and you can have a proper relationship with, rather than getting through them in a day and a half. I have just realsied how terrible that would sound if you substituted 'men'- or indeed 'women' - for 'book'!)
I think because I know so little about the culture, I found the factual aspect of the narrative engaging and enjoyable. But I can see that if you already know a bit about it, it would be dull!
I did get fed up with the constant references to 'clouds and rain' which I found a little fey. It also kept making me laugh, because I train creativity and the best way I have found (well, stolen from Chuck Dymer) to explain the difference between concepts and ideas is to see concepts as clouds and ideas as rain. (Clouds are full of good stuff but no use if you're thirsty. Rain will solve your immediate problem but a cloud has a lot more possibilities.) So whenever someone was making clouds and rain with their husband I caught myself thinking, 'what on earth are they doing discussing ideas and concepts? I thought women weren't supposed to participate in intellectual life'....
I'd like to nominate The Well of Loneliness
by Radclyffe Hall, banned for portraying lesbianism as normal.
The Well of Loneliness is a 1928 lesbian novel by the English author Radclyffe Hall. It follows the life of Stephen Gordon, an Englishwoman from an upper-class family whose "sexual inversion" (that is, homosexuality) is apparent from an early age. She finds love with Mary Llewellyn, whom she meets while serving as an ambulance driver in World War I, but their happiness together is marred by social isolation and rejection, which Hall depicts as having a debilitating effect on inverts. The novel portrays inversion as a natural, God-given state and makes an explicit plea: "Give us also the right to our existence". (extract from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Well...
I think this will be an interesting read in terms of the changing portrayal of homosexuality. And I'd be very happy to lead a discussion on it!
And we still have a culture of mutilation for the sake of beauty, don't we? There must be a lot of women who go through a lot of pain with repeated breast implants, for instance. Nose jobs, eye lifts, tummy tucks.... even waxing ain't a walk in the park. I might throw up mt hands in horror at the idea of footbinding, but I've got an awful lot of shoes in my wardrobe that make my feet and calves ache for a couple of days after wearing them....
Even when we don't cause ourselves pain, we still remodel parts of our body to appear more attractive/socially acceptable - dyed hair, shaped eyebrows, bleached teeth, push up bras, scary pants..... (I wasn't just describing myself, btw!)
Also maybe no three-way sex, spiritual or not? (I know, I know, I'm such a prude... )
I thought that the mother was the most interesting character in the book, someone who tried the new way but went back to the old under stress. I read her as trying to protect her daughter but also being desparate to protect herself. And I was fascinated by the fact that footbinding was a way to relative freedom for Ren's third wife.
I do find that my reaction to books is almost wholly goverened by the mood I'm in when I read them, though, so if I was stuck on a train or had a cold when I read Snowflower I will forget that and just remember that I didn't like the book!
Also true. But within a genre there could be 2 wildly different books - so sci-fi might include Margaret Atwood as well as Isaac Asimov, f'rinstance.
D'oh! So she was. Cheese for brains today.
I've just finished Peony in Love and really enjoyed it. Did anyone else find themselves thinking of The Lovely Bones
all the way through? Untimely death... watching from the other side... three way ghost sex thingy...