Added 10/26/13. I read this as a library book years ago (and took many notes) but I decided to buy myself a copy and re-read it. So I bought a used cop...moreAdded 10/26/13. I read this as a library book years ago (and took many notes) but I decided to buy myself a copy and re-read it. So I bought a used copy online. It's full of helpful advice on how to talk to people and make good conversation. It takes a certain kind of skill to have interesting and friendly conversations. It's a useful skill. Barbara Walters shares her experiences in doing interviews and gives many "do-and-don't" suggestions.(less)
Till Morning Comes (1983)) by Han Suyin Added 1/27/09. I'll never forget this book. It told such a touching story.
================================== Add...moreTill Morning Comes (1983)) by Han Suyin Added 1/27/09. I'll never forget this book. It told such a touching story.
================================== Addendum 3/26/13: Amazon description: "Alone in exotic Chungking, beautiful foreign correspondent Stephanie Ryder is warned to keep silent about the atrocities she witnesses in the city's teeming slums. Defying a brutal Kuomintang officer, she is swept to an electrifying first meeting with Dr. Jen Yong, a handsome, dedicated and compassionate Chinese surgeon. For Yong, a sexual liaison with an American woman could mean a death sentence. For Stephanie, an affair with an Asian man would cause an irreparable breach with her Texas millionaire father. But just when dangers to threatens to separate them forever, their passion bursts into flame, and carries them on a fabulous romantic journey from the stormy depths of fear and desire, to the moving affirmation that enduring love is truly a many-splendored thing." FROM: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553... ====================================
Addendum 3/5/12: Below are some details about this book. The author, Han Suyin was a physician. A member review from LibraryThing says: ======================================== "This is a gritty and highly detailed novel of the Second World War in China. The Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-Shek has become corrupt and oppressive, sending flocks of patriotic Chinese to the Communist side. Han Suyin vividly describes the teeming poverty of China." FROM: http://www.librarything.com/work/138918 ======================================== Too bad I gave the book away. :-( 3/26/13-PS-I found a used copy of the book online and bought it. Maybe I'll read it again. :)
About its author, Han Suyin, Wiki says: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Her novel, A Many-Splendoured Thing, the story of a married British foreign correspondent Mark Elliot who falls in love with a Eurasian doctor, was made into a film called "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing". This also inspired a popular song." FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Suyin ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(less)
Added 1/3/14. Jim of my GR group recommended this story as one of his childhood favorites. I bought it "used" online and enjoyed it very much. It's a w...moreAdded 1/3/14. Jim of my GR group recommended this story as one of his childhood favorites. I bought it "used" online and enjoyed it very much. It's a warmly told story about a real champion horse named "Exterminator", and affectionately called "Old Bones". It was published in 1955 and is about 94 pages long with enjoyable illustrations.
The book won the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award (1957).
I read this book many years ago and am just getting around to adding it to my Netflix shelves.
1/29/12: Today I streamed the movie adapted from this book. It stars Maggie Smith. The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1987) IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093431/ Netflix: http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/The_L... NETFLIX DESCRIPTION: ============================================== "Maggie Smith (who won a BAFTA Award for her nuanced performance) stars as self-effacing spinster Judith Hearne in this emotional drama set in 1950s Dublin. Harboring a secret yearning for her boardinghouse neighbor James (Bob Hoskins), the modest piano teacher is pleasantly surprised to find her affection returned. But the lonely lady is headed for heartbreak when she discovers her new beau is a wily opportunist with ignoble intentions." ================================================== Maggie Smith is like a magnet (no pun intended). I can't stop watching her act. She's marvelous and this is an absorbing story. I gave the movie 5 Netflix stars out of 5.(less)
Added 12/12/11. I listened to the unabridged audio version of _Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog_ by John Grogan. It's the vers...moreAdded 12/12/11. I listened to the unabridged audio version of _Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog_ by John Grogan. It's the version read by Johnny Heller who does a great job of narrating. I recommended it highly, especially if one loves dogs.
(BTW, there are other audio versions of this book, but this one is probably the best version, as far as I can see. There's also a version of the book adapted by the author for the younger crowd, omitting adult material, entitled _Marley: A Dog Like No Other_.)
I watched the movie adaptation with Jennifer Aniston awhile ago. It was good but this audio version of the book is much better. The reader, Johnny Heller, adds so much to the experience, and of course, the book is always better. It's written and read with such humor!(less)
I enjoyed reading _Nobody's Fool_. As I was reading it, I couldn't help but picture Jack Nicholson playing the part of Sully. In fact, to me, the rasc...moreI enjoyed reading _Nobody's Fool_. As I was reading it, I couldn't help but picture Jack Nicholson playing the part of Sully. In fact, to me, the rascally Sully *was* Jack Nicholson. This idea popped into my mind, spontaneously and unbidden. In fact, I expected everyone who read the book to have the same idea. A short survey proved me wrong. That puzzled me because I was convinced that the choice of Nicholson would be obvious to everyone. So I was a bit disappointed when Paul Newman was chosen to play Sully in the movie. Even though I love Paul Newman, it seemed to me that he portrayed Sully in a quiet, low-key manner. I had pictured Sully as more of a lively and lovable rascal. To this day, I wish that I could see how Jack Nicholson would play Sully. I'm still looking for someone to agree with me.
BTW, this was the first and only time, while reading a book, that I imagined a specific actor in the part of the protagonist.(less)
In _Sarah's Key_ the chapters alternate between the war era and the time sixty years later. We watch as a reporter tries to find out mor...moreAdded 11/8/09.
In _Sarah's Key_ the chapters alternate between the war era and the time sixty years later. We watch as a reporter tries to find out more about what happened during the 1942 round-up of Jewish people in France (known as the "Vel' d’Hiv’ Roundup") (Vélodrome d'Hiver). We also watch the actual round-up as it is happening. The alternating views keep you reading as the suspense builds up.
This is a heartbreaking piece of fiction. It brings home the horror of those Holocaust days and warns that the events of that time must not be hidden away and forgotten.
Below is a quote from a review at Amazon: “This is a remarkable historical novel, a book which brings to light a disturbing and deliberately hidden aspect of French behavior towards Jews during World War II. Like Sophie's Choice, it's a book that impresses itself upon one's heart and soul forever.” –Naomi Ragen, author of The Saturday Wife and The Covenant
I finished reading this book in a very short time (for me). It's so compelling. I think I'll remember it for a long time.
PPS-The movie was well done. I watched it in January 2012 via a Netflix DVD. The young actress, Mélusine Mayance, who played Sarah as a little girl was terrific. Below is a link to her IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3274621/(less)
_Maisie Dobbs_ (Maisie Dobbs, #1) (2003) by Jacqueline Winspear This review has private notes. 4/1/11 - Started reading this book. I'm enjoying it. 4/4/1...more_Maisie Dobbs_ (Maisie Dobbs, #1) (2003) by Jacqueline Winspear This review has private notes. 4/1/11 - Started reading this book. I'm enjoying it. 4/4/11 - Finished reading. This book is a well told combination of mystery, history, and romance. It's a true cozy mystery, an absorbing story and an easy read, one of those books you like to curl up with.
The story is divided into 3 parts: Spring 1929; Spring 1910 to Spring 1917, and Summer 1929. In 1929 we meet clever Maisie Dobbs who resolves a missing person case which leads to other interesting developments. From 1910 to 1917 we see a younger Maisie coming of age. Then back to 1929 for the resolution of the story. Most of the story takes place in England with a bit of time in France.
The World War One love story is truly affecting, bittersweet as well as heart-warming. It's similar to many wartime love stories, but is told perfectly. All Winspear's characters are well developed. I felt that I knew all of them... and liked them too.
Throughout the novel, there are bits of the wisdom from Maisie's mentor, Maurice Blanche. Maisie remembers his sayings and uses them as coping mechanisms. This added charm to the story. An example: p.205 "...he also told Maisie to pay attention to coincidence. Coincidence was a messenger sent by truth." In other words, look for facts which are connected; they may lead to the solution of a mystery.
I'm so glad this is the beginning of a series. I'd like to spend more time with Maisie.
BTW, before I read this book, I sampled the third book in the series, Pardonable Lies, as an eBook at: http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader... I decided I liked Winspears' style and her character, Maisie Dobbs. So I borrowed this first book in the series from our public library. It's been a good experience.
AWARDS: Agatha Award (First Novel, 2003) Macavity Award (First Novel, 2004) Barry Award nominee (First Novel, 2004) Edgar Award Nominee (Novel, 2004) Anthony Award Nominee (First Novel, 2004) Anthony Award Nominee (Historical Mystery, 2004) Alex Award (2004) AWARD LIST ABOVE IS FROM: http://www.librarything.com/work/25708(less)
November 2011: I listened to the audio version of this book, _Monica's Story_ by Andrew Morton, published in 1999 after the affair betw...moreAdded 11/24/11.
November 2011: I listened to the audio version of this book, _Monica's Story_ by Andrew Morton, published in 1999 after the affair between Monica Lewinsky and President Clinton, an affair which was in the news in the latter part of the 1990s. The book presents a sympathetic picture of the traumatic experience Monica went through during that time. Although over ten years have passed, the story is still a gripping one, especially interesting because time has given it a different perspective. I was left with the feeling that what the prosecutors and others did at the time, was worse than what Monica did.(less)
This fictionalized story is based on fact. The Godolphin Arabian is the ancestor of the finest thoroughbred horses. The story tells about a swift and spirited Arabian horse named "Sham" who is sent by the Sultan of Morocco as a gift to Louis XV of France. Sham eventually sires a colt which is the beginning of the Goldolphin Arabian breed.
Although this is a book for young readers, it's an interesting, touching, well-told tale which appeals to older readers as well. A customer review at Amazon says: ========================================================== "Marguerite Henry's fictionalized biography of the Goldolphin Arabian, one of the three founding thoroughbred sires, follows the horse Sham and his mute groom Agba from the stables of the Sultan of Morocco through hardship in France and England to celebrated triumph at stud. ... Agba, who never speaks a word, is one of the most absorbing characters in children's fiction. ... it's a must for horse lovers." ===========================================================
Seabiscuit: An American Legend (2001) by Laura Hillenbrand Added 4/6/08. I was surprised to find that I enjoyed the book, _Seabiscuit_, immensely, even...moreSeabiscuit: An American Legend (2001) by Laura Hillenbrand Added 4/6/08. I was surprised to find that I enjoyed the book, _Seabiscuit_, immensely, even though I'm not usually drawn to non-fiction. I read it as part of a neighborhood book group. I'm so glad I did! I found that I had great empathy for Seabiscuit's jockey, his trainer, and his owner, as well as for Seabiscuit himself. Seabiscuit's story was amazing!
(Although I added the book to my GR shelves in 2008, I'm sure I read the book before that, but can't say exactly when. It was probably around 2001 when it was first published. So I'll estimate that I read the book in 2002.)
Below is a comment I wrote at my GR group about the book: ===================================== "The book made me appreciate what goes into creating a winning horse and it also made me feel a lot of empathy for the horse, his owner, his trainer, and his jockey (the 3 main characters in the book). I also developed an affection for Seabiscuit himself.
"As for the movie, it was interesting, but the book had a greater effect on me." ==============================================
5/5/11 EDIT: I just watched the movie _Secretariat_, about another champion horse. While Seabiscuit became famous during the 1930s and 1940s, Secretariat became famous in the 1970s. Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973. See my review at: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
NOTE ABOUT SEABISCUIT: In 1937 (?), Seabiscuit finished "the year with a second place at Pimlico." "In 1937, Seabiscuit won eleven of his fifteen races and was the year's leading money winner in the United States. However, it was War Admiral, having won the Triple Crown that season, who was voted the most prestigious honor, the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year." FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seabiscuit
"The American Award for Horse of the Year [a category of the Eclipse Award] is the highest honor given in American thoroughbred horse racing. It has been awarded since 1887 to the horse, irrespective of age, whose performance during the racing year is deemed the most outstanding." FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipse_...(less)
2/14/13 - I finished _Ender's Game_. It was terrific! As they said at our library's group discussion on Monday, it's rich with interesti...moreAdded 4/21/12.
2/14/13 - I finished _Ender's Game_. It was terrific! As they said at our library's group discussion on Monday, it's rich with interesting themes to talk about, one of them being the problem of the manipulation and control of people. However, even without the important themes, it's a great story!
I really enjoyed this story. I listened to the audio version. It was great! Very engrossing!
On 1/22/13 I wrote: "I am currently listening to the audio-version of this book. I downloaded it from audible.com. Here's audible.com's page about _Ender's Game_: http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?...
_Ender's Game_ (first published 1985) by Orson Scott Card Literary Awards: Hugo Award for Best Novel (1986), Nebula Award for Best Novel (1985)
EDIT: In February 2013, I wrote the following at my GR group: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2/9/13 - I'm still listening to the audio version of Ender's Game. I never thought I could get so engrossed in descriptions of battles and the antagonisms between fighters. I'm hooked on this story and its characters.
I'm spending HOURS listening to this audiobook. It's almost 12 hours long. Listening to a book takes longer than reading it but I like the dramatization of the dialogue. I want to finish it before our local library book group discusses it. It should be an interesting discussion.
Here's an interesting excerpt from about halfway through the book: -------------------------------- [To beat Bonzo you had to]: "hurt Bonzo enough so that his fear was stronger than his hate".
"Peter had been right... the power to cause pain is the only power that matters... the power to kill and destroy. Because if you can't kill, you are always subject to those who can. And nothing and no one will ever save you." ----------------------------------
Frightening words when applied to international relations. But who can dispute those words?
PS-I found a page where you can read the Sci-Fi book, Ender's Game, online. Here's the link: http://www.litmir.net/br/?b=125900&am... The page linked above is page #1. (To "turn" to the next page, click on the appropriate number in the box in the row of squares near the top of the screen. It's right above the author's name, Orson Scott Card.)
BTW, it's a Russian web page. The text of the book is in English but the rest of the page is in Russian. LOL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One Goodreads member wrote the following: ================================== “Epic, inventive, and haunting. In the future, Earth has already survived one battle with an alien race known as the Buggers, and they’re preparing for another invasion by sending gifted young children into space to attend Battle School. Ender Wiggin is a 6-year-old boy who will not only be sent to Battle School, but may end up being the savior of the human race.” See more of the review at: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ==================================
Below is another link to an interesting member-review of _Ender’s Game_: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... The review recommends the audio version. It says: “The audio version of this book had a long commentary at the end by the author in which he told about how he conceived of the story. In his commentary he said that he believed that the audio format is the best way to consume this book.”
There’s a movie of “Ender’s Game” coming out later this year, starring Harrison Ford. “Ender’s Game” (2013): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1731141/ IMDb DESCRIPTION: “70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion."
Our local library book group in Glens Falls, NY, will be discussing this book in Feb. 2013.
ADDENDUM 4/4/13: I found a page which gives a good summary of the book and some interesting comments. See it here: http://www.giraffedays.com/?p=610 I found the following at the above linked page: "If everybody came to agree that stories should be told this clearly, the professors of literature would be out of a job, and the writers of obscure, encoded fiction would be, not honored, but pitied for their impenetrability." -Orson Scott Card, in the preface to his book, _Ender's Game_.
Below is an insightful quote from the book: "Once he named the feeling, he could control it." _Ender's Game_ by Orson Scott Card(less)
**spoiler alert** I have finished reading TGD. As I have said, it was a great story, stylishly written... and the ending was a good one, except for so...more**spoiler alert** I have finished reading TGD. As I have said, it was a great story, stylishly written... and the ending was a good one, except for some questions the book has left me with. In the final pages we read letters from a cousin of the main character. The cousin was a holocaust survivor and in her letter makes some vague references to the holocaust. One letter reads as follows: "... the holocaust was an accident in history as all events in history are accidents... The pious fantasizers wish to claim that the Nazi's genocidal campaign was a singular event in history, that it has elevated us above history. This is bullshit... There are many genocides, so long as there has been mankind. History is an invention of books."
I wondered if the cousin were trying to minimize the holocaust and why. I wonder what Joyce Carol Oates was trying to say by including that passage in the final pages of the book. It seemed to suddenly shift the emphasis of the story in some way. I was left off balance. I had expected closure of some sort for the main character. She had finally survived her terrible life's journey and had also located her long lost cousin. But the long lost cousin takes the book into what seems to be an ambiguous and unsettling tangent. Could it be that Oates had intended the book's ending to be unsettling and controversial? Maybe. ======================================================================= You may also be interested in my discussion topic at: ====> http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...(less)
Edit (added 1/17/12): Angle of Repose (published in 1971) is an excellent book about the West. It's not a "Western" in the usual sense....moreAdded 11/16/08.
Edit (added 1/17/12): Angle of Repose (published in 1971) is an excellent book about the West. It's not a "Western" in the usual sense. It centers around the mining industry. The title refers to "the maximum angle to the horizontal at which rocks, soil, etc, will remain without sliding".
At LibraryThing.com I found the following awards for the book: Pulitzer Prize (Fiction, 1972) The Modern Library's 100 Best Novels: The Board's List (82) New York Times bestseller (Fiction, 1971) San Francisco Chronicle list of The 20th Century's 100 Best Fiction of the American West (1999) Esquire's 75 Books Every Man Should Read FROM: http://www.librarything.com/work/16878
I read the book as part of an online book group in the late 1990s. I'm so glad I had the experience of reading it. I recommend it. I've never forgotten how good it was. Stegner was a wonderful writer. I just now discovered that Goodreads' description of him says: "Some call him 'The Dean of Western Writers'." (less)
I remember laughing out loud while I was reading this book, _SeinLanguage_ by Jerry Seinfeld. I recently gave it away to our library's fundraiser and...moreI remember laughing out loud while I was reading this book, _SeinLanguage_ by Jerry Seinfeld. I recently gave it away to our library's fundraiser and I'm sorry I did. So now I'm going to borrow it from the library so that I can read it again. It's a short, skinny little book. So it won't take me long.(less)
RE: _The Space Between Us: A Novel_ by Thrity Umrigar
My AAUW in-person book group read this book for their November 2009 discussion. The GR book desc...moreRE: _The Space Between Us: A Novel_ by Thrity Umrigar
My AAUW in-person book group read this book for their November 2009 discussion. The GR book description immediately drew my interest.
I stayed up all night during the wee hours finishing this book. _The Space Between Us A Novel_ (2005) by Thrity Umrigar. It's one of those novels which compels you to keep reading. I think that what caught me up was my feeling for the character of Bhima, a servant in a rich home. She suffered so many setbacks in her life. My sympathy was aroused by the skillful way in which the author tells the story. Excellent dialogue. I recommend this book highly. The story is set in modern-day India.(less)
_My French Whore_ by Gene Wilder (first published 2007) Added Jun 23, 2008. I read this book around Jan. 2009.
I enjoyed this book immensely! I think eve...more_My French Whore_ by Gene Wilder (first published 2007) Added Jun 23, 2008. I read this book around Jan. 2009.
I enjoyed this book immensely! I think everyone would enjoy it. It's simple and sweet and entirely compelling. Leave it to Gene Wilder to write such a lovely tale.
At Amazon.com I found the following short description: ================================= "In 1918 when Paul Peachy's marriage is failing, he decides to join the army. Since he speaks German he's sent for to help interrogate notorious German spy Harry Stroller. Afraid of being sent to the front he deserts and passes himself of as Stroller. The German officials treat him like royality and give him a French whore for comfort." FROM: http://www.amazon.com/My-French-Whore... ==================================
RE: _Gone With the Wind_ (1936) by Margaret Mitchell (This review has private notes.) (This novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937.) (Time's All-Time 100 N...moreRE: _Gone With the Wind_ (1936) by Margaret Mitchell (This review has private notes.) (This novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937.) (Time's All-Time 100 Novels selection) (Among: "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die") (The Modern Library's 100 Best Novels: The Reader's List)
March 2011: My enthusiasm for this book is evidenced in the following message I posted to a Goodreads friend as I was nearing the end of the story: --------------------------------------- Nina, you will LOVE GWTW! If you love Clark Gable, you will find him in the book! :) It's a grand story of the Civil War and the people who went through it. Scarlett is a unique character. For me the book is cozy reading. I guess that's because of the romance which is a big part of it. But there's so much more. You get to LOVE all the characters. I am in awe of Margaret Mitchell. She wrote wonderful dialogue! She also described Scarlett's inner thoughts so well. I can't say enough good things about the book. It's easy reading too. Very straight-forward. No convolutions of the plot. Very well done. ---------------------------------------- I wonder why I waited so long to finally read this book. Better late than never!
BTW, Rhett didn't say "Frankly I don't give a damn." (as in the movie) In the book he said, "My dear, I don't give a damn." Then Scarlett watched him go up the stairs. In the movie, Rhett goes out the door. I'll be making more comparisons soon as I watch the movie. I've seen bits and pieces of the it, but I don't think I've ever seen the entire movie.
3/29/11 - While watching the movie I noticed that Scarlett's two children (by Charles and Frank) were not mentioned in the movie.
About the DVD of the movie: The bonus section of the 70th Anniversary Edition (2009)(Warner Home Video) has a wonderful commentary by Historian Rudy Behlmer. He gives a detailed background on the movie and its performers. Very interesting, especially if you enjoy Hollywood talk.
PS-Below is a summary I've copied and pasted from our library catalog. (I've edited it and added to it.): (view spoiler)[ "Summary: Scarlett O'Hara is the daughter of a wealthy southern plantation owner. Ashley is the love of her life, but he is going to marry his cousin Melanie Hamilton. At a barbecue at Twelve Oaks, Scarlett meets Rhett Butler. News of the Civil War starting arrives at the barbecue. As the war continues, Scarlett becomes a widow, all while still pining for Ashley. After the war, Scarlett travels to her family's plantation only to find it in ruins, with no food, animals and her mother dead.
Scarlett uses all her strength, wiles, and abilities to make a life in which she will find security and comfort, no matter how she offends other people or crosses cultural boundaries in doing so. Later, Rhett courts Scarlett and they get married and have a daughter, Bonnie.
"When Bonnie dies, Rhett goes mad. Then Melanie dies. Rhett feels that Scarlett will go to Ashley to be with him. Scarlett tells him she realizes now that she really loves him and not Ashely. Rhett tells Scarlett how he's loved her all those years, but did not want to tell her because he thought she would take advantage of his love and overpower him. In the novel it says: 'And she could understand his shrewd caginess, so like her own, his obstinate pride that kept him from admitting his love for fear of a rebuff.' Rhett says to Scarlett: 'It seems we have been at cross-purposes.' and 'I will not risk my heart a third time.' He walks out on Scarlett. (hide spoiler)]
Added more shelves 4/8/11.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)