Sooz Sooz's Comments (member since Jan 29, 2010)


Sooz's comments from the Challenge: 50 Books group.

(showing 241-260 of 446)

Nov 23, 2011 08:19AM

2051 54. Tiger: a true story of vengeance and survival by John Vaillant.

i read (and loved) Vaillant's first book The Golden Spruce, and was happy to hear he had published another. Vaillant is a master story teller.

The Tiger  A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant
Nov 19, 2011 04:57AM

2051 53. A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941 - 1945

i don't read a lot of non-fiction (probably 3 or 4 a year out of 50 or so) and definitely do not read a lot of history .... so at first i wondered if i'd actually get through this book, but it actually wasn't an onerous task at all. Grossman had to follow party line while publishing in the Russian newspapers during the war, but he kept copious notes which were smuggled out of the country and became this book. lots of brief descriptions or conversations - vignettes that make for engaging reading.
A Writer at War  Vasily Grossman with the Red Army by Vasily Grossman
Nov 19, 2011 04:45AM

2051 personally i find it hard to do a specific challenge and keep to it. i am constantly be drawn to books that i hear mentioned, or read a review on, new publications of favourtite authors..... even the cover art or title of a random book on the library shelf. BUT .... my sister and i are visiting
Russian next summer, and so the first half of my 2012 challenge will definitely include reading lots about this country.
Nov 12, 2011 09:43AM

2051 Naomi: i love finding someone with your kind of eclectic taste in books. The Cat's Table and Zone One are two on my-to-be-read-and-soon list ... AND .... given how much i love John Steinbeck and some of the authors you love .... i should come by here more often!
Nov 12, 2011 09:28AM

2051 52. Snowdrops by A.D. Miller

another set in Russia, but this time is the crazy capitalism-gone-wild days right after the fall of communism when a lot of westerners thought they could capitalize on this new market only to be dubed by the immerging Russian mob. a short engaging book - it had it's flaws but all in all a pretty good read ... and from what i've about the 90's in Moscow, it's pretty accurate.

Snowdrops by A.D. Miller
Nov 02, 2011 06:46AM

2051 51. City of Thieves by David Benioff

a quest involving an unlikely hero, a friendship, travel, hardship and overcoming obstacles in search of an object of great value. City of Thieves is a great great quest story, and Benioff is a great great story-teller.

City of Thieves by David Benioff
Oct 27, 2011 09:54AM

2051 re Ann Patchett - you make a good point Rose. it's funny cause i am a science fiction fan so obviously i'm okay with a premise out of the realm of the everyday .... so it's interesting that when i read a book that is based in this reality i am less accepting of an idea that seems unlikely. double standard.

i did like her writting a good deal so at some point i will pick up another. any recommendations Rose? i know Bel Canto certainly gets good reviews. you called it exquisite. is it your favourite?
Oct 27, 2011 09:49AM

2051 re Hemmingway - the man, his writing and The Paris Wife. i have always prefered his short stories to his novels, but my all time favourite Hemmingway is A Moveable Feast which is his account of time he and Hadley were in Paris during the twenties, and Dangerous Summer which is his account of travels with a Bull Fighter.

i really don't think you need to be a fan of Hemmingway's books to enjoy The Paris Wife, but it probably helps if you are atleast familiar with the group of Americans he associated with in Paris at that time in his life.
Oct 23, 2011 05:41AM

2051 49. The Paris Wife

well Donna ... my reaction to this one is completely emotional, and so i am wondering .... is it a really good novel ...or ... have i just 'bought' the author's manipulative heart-string pulling??

see, i have no objective ground to stand on when it comes to Hadley. while Martha Gellhorn is the intellectual winner in the Hemmingway wives department, it is Hadley who steals my heart. she has always been my favourite of the wives. i loved reading A Movable Feast and loved reading The Paris Wife just as much.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain


50. The Guardians by Andrew Pyper

i've only a couple of chapters to go so TAH DA! here is my number 50 for the year. the November pick for my book club and definitely one that i would not have read otherwise ... and... one that surprises me as it is not bookclub material at all. it is a psychological thriller, a ghost story. a childhood fevorish dream ... well constructed, well told, a page-turner for sure ... but i am wondering what the group is going to actually discuss.
Oct 23, 2011 05:30AM

2051 Obsessedreader wrote: "Ann Patchett's State of Wonder is a brilliant book: the best book I've read all year. Her Bel Canto is exquisite.

Rose"


Rose: i had really mixed feelings about State of Wonder. the premise of the whole book i found flimsy and unbelievable ... it had the feel of a made-for-t.v.-movie ... so i found the first few chapters tedious, but once the story moves to the jungle it takes on a whole new life for me. i have to say i do like a good redemption / transformation story ... and .... the redemption Dr. Singh finds in the jungle and the awakening of her spirit is wonderfully told. but then i found the climax a little hard to buy ... the discovery (that harkens back to the premise) reinstated the-made-for-t.v. feel. guess i will just have to read Bel Canto!
Oct 18, 2011 01:53PM

2051 46. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.

another chosen by my book club that i doubt i would have read otherwise. it was okay - actually better than okay, it probably deserves good. it is the first Patchett i've read. i would be up for trying Bel Canto ... supposedly her best.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

47. The Genizario & the Artist by Napoleon Garcia

wow. i am amazed good read has this book listed. it is a written by a man who still lives in the tiny New Mexico village where Georgia O'Keefe lived. as a boy the author did yard and garden work for her, and he knew her and helped her out for the rest of her life. it is a little book and simply written and only of real interest to me as i was in New Mexico and visited the village where she lived and the landscape that she painted.

The Genizaro & The Artist by Napoleon Garcia

48. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

i had the pleasure of reading the last half of this book on the plane as i returned home from a holiday in Santa Fe New Mexico. the book is a historical novel set in the early Spanish colonial days in this area - long before it became part of the United States. again, it was mostly because place names like Isleta Pueblo, Pecos and Chama River had become real to me that i read and enjoyed this book. it offered great insight into the Spanish and French missionaries that came to the new world.
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Oct 01, 2011 07:17AM

2051 45. The Siege by Helen Dunmore

wow. apparently i have been on a reading hiatus. this was okay but honestly, i struggled to finish it. to be fair, i'm not sure that was the fault of the book ... but after reading Dunmore's The Betrayal that deals with Stalin's persecution i was really keen to read this one about the seige of Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) during w.w. 2. The Betrayal has this whole cat and mouse atmosphere that makes for good reading while The Seige is a much bleaker less dramatic story. how many different ways can you describe being cold and hungry. really really cold and really really hungry?
The Siege by Helen Dunmore
Sep 10, 2011 05:14PM

2051 Rose: i love the topic - the exploration of the French collaboration with the Nazi occupating army ... but the narrator comes across as so damn smug ... so morally superior. it is, as you say tedious. i find, that many are blinded by an emotional response to a book. they tend to love a book for the simple reason it evoked a strong sentimental emotion. they think this makes it a good book. well. sometimes yes. sometimes no.

44. Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay.

well ... in sharp contrast to Sarah's Key, Hay offers us her most recent novel. it takes me a little while to get into it - mostly because i am reading a few pages at a time and Hay flips from first person to third. it's not until i devote an afternoon just to the book, that i slid into the story and become enthralled with it. i would say - in sharp contrast to Sarah's Key - that this book is a beautiful example of how to wrap up a story in a way that feels honest and natural and satisfying.
Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay
Sep 08, 2011 12:28PM

2051 Donna wrote: "Sooz wrote: "41. Sarah's Key by Tattiana de Rosnay.

a New York Times best seller, i was hoping for something more. it is another novel, that feels contrived. all the emotional threads are ti..."


you make perfect sense to me Donna. now, i did enjoy reading it - it was fast, easy and entertaining .... but ... like i said i expected more. how's your cake coming along this year(as in easy as _______ cause you like it better)?? read anything really spectular??
Sep 05, 2011 08:23AM

2051 43. The Wreckage by Michael Crummey.

a story set in Newfoundland -as Mr. Crummey is apt to do- it has none of the magical realism of Galore. it is instead a very down-to-earth story of love and war and the wreckage of life itself.

The Wreckage by Michael Crummey
Sep 05, 2011 08:21AM

2051 42. China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh

a soft sci fi that i thought at first was set in the future, but it doesn't really feel like the future so much as it does a slightly altered reality of the present. it is the story of a young man - ABC (American Born Chinese) and gay - and the people that weave in and out of his life.

China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh
Sep 05, 2011 08:14AM

2051 41. Sarah's Key by Tattiana de Rosnay.

a New York Times best seller, i was hoping for something more. it is another novel, that feels contrived. all the emotional threads are tied up in a bow at the end ... and done so in rather obvious ways.

i Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Aug 26, 2011 06:14AM

2051 40. Zen and Now by Mark Richardson

the author follows the route made famous back in the 70's by Pirsig in his book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Richardson weaves his own traveloge with that of Pirsig's as well as gradually filling in Pirsig's life in the years since that he took that pilgrimage with his son so many years ago. a decent read, but unless your a fan of the original work, i doubt you'd find it very interesting.
Zen and Now  on the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Mark Richardson
Aug 21, 2011 06:39AM

2051 39. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

this is currently on the best seller list and i can see why. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Aug 15, 2011 11:47AM

2051 i tend to think of the most recent ones i've read i guess.
The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin was sooooo good. one of my recent favourites fiction or non.


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