Charles's Reviews > Exit to Eden

Exit to Eden by Anne Rampling
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Oct 01, 11

bookshelves: literary

I don't know if this fits with "literary" or not but I'm not sure where else to put it. I enjoyed it quite a bit and thought it was fairly erotic in parts. Certainly it was well written and I liked it much better than trying to read her vampire novels.
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message 1: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly I've read all her books except the Christian ones. I don't mind the Vampire ones. You have to get past the first one because Lestat changes from the first book to a completely different character in the next ones. I prefer her Mayfair Witches, but then,she eventually had the two collections meet so it's best to read both eventually if you are interested. Whatever you do, never go near Violin. I don't know what she was on,but it wasn't good.


Charles I actually started Interview with the vampire but the opening really put me off and I put it down. I'd probably have liked it OK if I had gone ahead and gotten into it. But there's so much to read and so little time it seems.


message 3: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly So you probably like short stories and I hate them. I look for books that go on forever so I can live in that world and ignore the pit I inhabit. I plan to start the Shannara series as soon as I can afford the 12 or so books I'm missing and tackle Clan of The Cave Bear now that the last book is written (and I always start from the first book again) and re-read the Wheel of Time now that THAT one is finally finished. I actually take notes and underline but then,Germans are like that. What can you do? But you still forget so much with 1,100 page books and 14 books in a series. Books-sigh.


Charles I do like short stories and have even written quite a few. I read many fantasy and SF series from the 70s and 80s but these were mostly 70,000 word books. I have a hard time committing to those really large series, like the Wheel of Time.


message 5: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly The Wheel of Time is really worth it . I read it the first time when there were only 10 books. Then had to read it again when there were 12. I started it again upon reading someone was finishing the series but only got up to #6. There are many things I want to do,like finish writing a slim volume on Klumpe Dolls Vs. Roldan etc., continue my Vienna Bronze research, re-doing my family history and cookbook, but we've had very bad times and I can't concentrate. The best I can do is shut out the world with 2 15" stacks of books
and whittle them down to a manageble size-something I can't do with life. I started at 9 with Dr. Doolittle and now it's A Suitable Boy or The Wheel Of Time. I do like the last Dickson book I read of short stories. It's just that if they're really good,I want MORE. I need to move in. The Odd Ones by Dickson was so sweet I woke my husband up to tell him he's reading it next. I have him read Peter Mayles' Encore Provence and falls asleep with a smile at last. Lol.


Charles Maybe once I retire I'll start some of those big series. I di dread the Thomas Covenent series by Donaldson, at least the six orginal books. And I've read most of DAvid Gemmell's books. He has several series going. I read every day but with work and with my own writing I don't get in the hours I used to.


message 7: by Helga (last edited Oct 03, 2011 09:40PM) (new)

Helga Ganguly Thomas Covenent is a punishment. I can read 1 Wheel of Time volume faster than 1 Thomas Covenent book. I haven't been bad enough to ever have to read that again.Violin, T.Covenent,and Conan. Who needs Seconal?


Charles Well we may have to agree to disagree on the Covenant books. I liked them pretty well, although I hated the character of Thomas Covenant and hoped he would die. But the writing and the supporting characters were pretty good, I thought.


message 9: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly OK-so we do agree. I didn't mind the book but the character of Thomas Covenant was my main problem. I wanted,needed,demanded,his death. I will not read the new books with the sad hope that he stops whining and finally dies.


Charles Yeah, Covenant may well be the most hated character in all fantasy. He had no redeeming traits at all. I couldn't understand why some of the characters who were his allies didn't kill him. I guess they couldn't.


message 11: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly Ha ha ha ha ha. Rothflol is the new version I suppose. I think I only finished reading the series in the hopes that he would die. Fool me once... Now THAT should have been a short story.


message 12: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly Charles-I've been answering you from upstairs but today I'm downstairs where my main library is and discovered I have 12 volumes of Thieves World on my shelves (I knew the name and cover art was familiar.) Would you recommend them?


Charles I would. I especially liked the first six volumes or so. There's some really good writing in there, from a bunch of different writers. Janet Morris did some great stories, and C. J. Cherryh, although I think Morris wasn't in the first couple of volumes. It really hit its stride at about volume 3, but you need the earlier stuff to understand what's going on. These are short stories, but they are all inter-related, which gives you a bit more of a novel type experience.


message 14: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly Thanks! You never know what you'll find on my library shelves. I remember you writing something about Thieve's World and every time I think of it,I'm on the wrong floor. We have another 4 or 5 6 ft tall bookcases spread around the house and smaller collections in the bedroom (to-read) but I had a library custom built in our last 2 houses.I have a lot of Aspirin. I must have collected them from a used book store during an Aspirin phase and forgotten. Well-that settles what I start on tonight.Yippee! Now-if only my husband could get the job he's been interviewing for,I can start buying all those holes in my collections and resume life instead of cringing in fear of foreclosure.Ha- my son's hair would turn white but I still dream of adding a second library upstairs. Books never betray you or lie,or leave you friendless. They have been my finest companions.
I wanted to be a hermit when I was 9 and live in the alps,like Heidi,with some cheese and kaiser rolls and fresh books dropped in by air every 6 months. I see no reason to change my opinion after 50 years. An Austrian curmudgeon. For reals-lol.


Charles Aspirin used to live here in New Orleans. I saw him a couple of times. Never really got to meet him. I liked his work in Thieve's world but haven't read much of his other stuff, which I understand is very humorous.

Books have always been great companions for me too, and have set most of my role models.


message 16: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly His books weren't classics. They were the kind you could read in a day. I had all the Phule and Myth books. My son was a great reader and by the time he was 10,the teachers ran out of material to recommend for him so I gave hime sci-fi. Most of it was mind,expanding and good for his vocabulary,and had a minimum of sex. Since he went through 3,000 pages a month, it helped that I knew the material. Heinlein,Spider Robinson (sans Sally's) Asimov, and of course,Dune were his favorites after Daniel Pinkwater. How is N'awlins? My daughter just moved to Shreveport after getting her MS. Her boyfriend is at the ULa Hosp. getting his Phd. in Microbiology and gave me the Nick Sagan Idlewild trilogy to read. I've infected as much of my family as I could. And she at least,got a job today.


message 17: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly Sweet-Took the first 3 upstairs and saw large print ! Old eyes-and there was the stamp Book Market, Bothell Way,which means I bought them when my (now) Shreveport daughter was in private Bharatanatyam dance classes till we moved from Washington in '96. She's 28 now and head of HR for 4 casinos with a Masters in Psychology,but an MS since she really doesn't like people much more than I do. One child I don't have to worry about. 2 to go. As soon as my husband gets a job,I'm buying some of those books you mentioned. Powell's is my friend. If he gets this job,he will be traveling a lot and I will go with him some of the time,books in hand. French book stores. Austrian book stores. Canadian book stores. And TV in German. Possibly Indian book stores. Oh happy day. I'll leave you alone now. He had his final interview today and it's been 4 years without a job so I'm a little spacey. Just a little. He'll still be home on the computer all day long but perhaps, just maybe,
there will be a chance we can keep the house, and I can spend money this Christmas-on books. Auf wiedersehen.


Charles Good luck to your husband. I sure hope he gets the job. Right after Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area it looked for a while as if I'd be without a job. They fired half the faculty at my university but I lucked out and they kept me on. I would be a basket case, though, if I didn't have one. I hope everything works out so you can keep the house and can start to get books again. Fortunately, books are not nearly as expensive as some of the things you can buy. AS for New Orleans, it's still here and most of it is back to normal. There are still areas that have never returned after the hurricane. My son is 24, by the way, and finishing up college this spring in architecture.


message 19: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly Architecture-what a creative field. I love old buildings and seeing the difference in the houses in Milwaukee and Philadelphia and San Francisco, never mind New Mexico. European buildings make me swoon. My husband probably won't get the job-we have extremely bad luck-but if he does,I can go home again. The European office is in Salzburg.Katrina-what a horrible mess. "Good job Brownie." I hate Bush. I was in Kolkata when Katrina hit and only got the Indian newspapers but it was still big news. They showed the storm but not the American bungling and human disaster. Kolkata is used to flooding so the locals couldn't really understand since Mumbai and Kolkata buildings all seem to have water marks about 5' high in their buildings. Architecture is different,buildings being stone or daubed mud and the populace is used to living outside if they have to and cooking outdoors. and coping with extreme hardship. As for transportation,I've seen a family of 5 on one bicycle with grandpa sleeping on the fender while they move through traffic. It's a 24 hour circus.
My husband is till the Ceo of a biomedical company. It just has no funding and no salary. And yes,he's a basket case. We both are. Unemployment is about to run out and even though used books don't cost much,we can't afford our prescreptions and had to drop our insurance. The kids tell us to move to a tiny apt. to save money. I tried to tell my daughter yesterday that even though my utilitie might be $200 less a month because of the size of our house,where do we find a $200 apartment?Her apartment in this area was $2000 a month and they raised the rent to $2,500 when she moved. It was a dinky 2 bdrm Lvgrm/diningroom kitchen combo.Kids-can't live without them and it's illegal to kill them.Our oldest is 34. And yes,he knows everything.I know. I'm rambling. But we are waiting for "the call" today and Hank Williams Jr. Is on Colbert and I may spit up after seeing that idiot Jindal too. (No Chin Bobby) Verdammt.
I'm glad New Orleans is recovering. It doesn't look like it on the shows I've watched or on Treme .


Charles I haven't actually traveled a lot, but I do enjoy the unique qualities of local architecture. Josh, my son, is both talented mathematically and artistically so he's matched his goals well with his talents.

As for New Orleans, I think most of those shows focus deliberately on those areas that haven't come back well because of the drama. Right after Katrina, though, the whole place was a nightmare, with few restruants open and very few services such as automobile garages and so on. A lot of people, like we did, moved across the lake from New Orleans to areas that weren't as hard hit by the storm,


message 21: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly That's good. I hope to visit my daughter some day and have always wanted to see New Orleans. I haven't traveled a lot per se. I was born in Austria,emigrated to Iowa after the war, fled to Wisconsin as soon as we got our citizenship, and moved to L.A. the day after our wedding,since my husband was getting his 2nd and 3rd Master's Degrees at USC. (He's sort of a Sheldon,from Big Bang Theory.He was a T.A in Physics at 18 when he came to the U.S.) After that ,we didn't travel. We followed his jobsThe worst was our move down here. The company folded before we could close on the house. But when he got a job,it was back in Washington and he commuted for 6 years till 9/11 killed that job. But we did get frequent flyer miles that allowed us to travel to Europe 4 times before it ended. He was on the last plane to land at La Guardia on 9/11. He was supposed to interview a prospect in the Towers that afternoon.We left for the annual Biomedical conference in France in Oct. ,2001, three days after the U.S started bombing Afghanistan. The San Francisco airport had 2 cars in the parking lot other than our's. It was bizarre.We also used to travel to India when we could but my mother-in-law died after our last trip so there's no point anymore. It's a lonnnng trip. As you can probably guess,I married interracially long before it was chic and just after it was legal. Hell-I just thought he had a great tan.


Charles I did not have nearly that kind of experience with travel after 9/11. But my brother, who used to travel a lot, told me some stories about similar experiences. Is your husband looking for academic type jobs? They are indeed a bit tough to come by these days, and older applicants often have a hard time.


message 23: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly No,I wish he would lol. I always thought I'd marry a professor-someone in tweed with a pipe and patches on his sleeves. I knew I didn't want a Doctor. I wanted 9-5. A large family. Right. Dipu (Dipankar) was a physicist who switched to Bio-medical engineering. After working for 3 or for big companies,he became a start-up junkie.He always worked long hours but since 1983,he's been on a 6am-2 am schedule,usually 6 and 7 days a week. He has 10 patents. Nope-he gets no money for them,thought a urologist sitting next to him on one of his commutes between Washington and San Jose gave him a standing ovation on a flight. He found out Dipu had invented the BVI-Bladder Volume Instrument. If you are in a wheelchair especially, you know his invention. Previously,to judge whether it was time to catheterize a patient to empty their bladder,you had to risk introducing infection. The BVI is an ultrasound device that bypasses that. His contributtion was the complicated algorithm that makes that possible. I'm simplifying. It took 2 years. He's worked on other inventions but they keep running out of money. Usally,he's hired as a VP and eventullt-in 6-9 months,ends up the CEO because the board sees the one they have is inadequate. They make progress. The economy tanks. And we are off hunting again. There are only so many CEO or VP jobs. The Ceos take one look at him and ,I suspect,are threatened, It's in his resume after all. Our kids think he should get "any $30,000 job" but that's not possible. He's over-educated for a programmer's job,etc. It's death to your career to take a lower position. CEO,VP,CTO,COO,those are the jobs he can fill. The job we are waiting on is Director level which would ordinairily be a step down. Our son was the youngest Director ever at Yahoo before he quit to start his own company several years ago. But he would be Global Director of a company with 42,000 employees so I suppose it would all even out-medium frog in a large pond. Professor-a quiet life. Don't I wish. Please Don't Eat the Daisies. He's a terrible teacher of math-to our kids-but great with grad students and colleagues. I've worked in the office when we had our own company inventing the continuous cardiac output monitor.Presently,he's stalled on a non-invasive tool for diagnosing breast cancer. Testing has been done In Russia but-funding collapsed.These sentences are so brief. They can't begin to describe the ups and downs ,sometimes daily,of failed experiments,money,embezzlement by one of the main money men,Chapter 11 bankruptcy, (suspicion on my part when Dipu described transferring one of the man's suitcases that cracked open to reveal dozens of pairs of shoes.) Bizarre. I know there's a book in there somewhere. Oh well. It is Dashtami,one the 2 biggest days of Durga Puja and I have to cook and listen for the phone that never rings.


Charles I'm really glad to be a college teacher teaching older kids rather than young ones. Some of us are best suited for one or the other. It would be nice if some of your husband's patents would start earning him some money. HOpefully.


message 25: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly Nope-you assign them to the company. Our best chance was the BVI. We had a chance to buy in to the rights for $60,000 in the 80's. It might as well have been 6 million. I'm able to come to terms with that. He made a great contribution that helps people every day. Our kids,however,think we're losers. The baby-I had her at 40- left 11 days after her 18th birthday to move in with her boyfriend's family. She'd known the boy (lovingly known by us as "it") for 6 weeks. What a wake -up call. We'd had a flood in the downstairs on 9/30/09-our son's 32nd birthday,and the house was torn apart. The entire downstairs was stripped and the floors went down to poured concrete. She left for Washington for Christmas to stay with her brother. Our holiday-wasn't. I normally make elaborate Christmas eve dinner,ther are 100+ presents under the tree to open at night, we have a special breakfast,dinner,more gifts,stockings with chocolate, and 18 boxes of decorations plus 2 or more trees. I write this to explain there was "something to come home to" in our house. Every holiday was special,even though I am 1/2 Jewish 1/2 Catholic and Dipu is a Hindu. We loved celebrations.The Chrismas,we sat in a dark,bare house,no decorations,no gifts,not even a phone call from our kids, no-nothing. And in January,she was gone to strangers. She didn't want to "live poor" anymore. Oh but they all had suggestions for us-give up the house and move to a 1 bdrm apt. We worked and saved so that our kids could have a house and a yard and the right to make noise without the neighbors complaining and now they want us shoved into an anonymous box.
The nursing home will be here soon enough,thank you . We disobeyed and fought for our house. It wasn't easy since the first 3 groups to "help" us took the money and ran. We have a lawyer now,and a bankruptcy lawyer,fees paid (we used the claims money from the flood) and held on to a house they said we'd lost to foreclosure in July,2009. Three more months and unemployment runs out and then it's a moot point. But we pay no rent now and the kids (and I had this discussion with my 28 yr old daughter this week) still think a dinky apartment would be cheaper and save money because we'd save on the utilities. We don't turn on the heat or the ac. Sweaters and blankets in winter,spray bottle of water and the fan in summer.Nothing new.OK-we have 40,000 pounds of posessions-books,bookcases,and a 37 years long marriage worth of memories. I'm an antique collector so I can't just dump my things and in today's market,I can't even sell them. Cheapest storage? staying in the house. 3 more months. Then we become-cannibals. Come on phone,ring. The house is-very intelligently designed. No wasted space. When it was being built, they left a few openings in the walls that weren't sheetrocked. I had them filled with bookshelves. The house sits alone on one side of the street. There are no neighbors on three sides but we back up to a cattle ranch and the hills. I look out all day at California oaks,the hills, cows, sometimes people on horseback, eagles, wild turkeys,wild boar, coyotes,mountain lions, hummingbirds, rose finches, deer once wandered the street and ate our first 3 front yards.It's quiet,peaceful, and rare for the area. We have a miniature fruit tree orchard on one side and veggie garden on the other.There are fewer bob cats and mountain lions now than when we moved in 15 years ago, but we're getting a whole new wave of exotic birds. I've been taking pictures to send to a birder in Wisc. I see it as an omen of renewal. Or-an alternative to cannibalism.
Ring phone,ring.


Charles we see a lot of wildlife here as well, though no mountain lions or bobcats (there has been a supposed sighting). We see a lot of deer, racoons, coyotes, and many, many kinds of birds. We've seen eagles, owls, many herons and egrets, and a lot of migratory birds come through. My wife is photographer so she gets a lot of local wildlife pics. I really love to live in the country. Some birds are changing their patterns or moving directions slightly because of climate change. It's altering some of the regular routes the birds and other animals take.


message 27: by Helga (new)

Helga Ganguly We also have rattle snakes and scorpions and tarantulas. They as well as the bob cats,stroll across the drive way. Owls and bats and foxes are common. We have a patio upstairs off our bedroom. Lovely with a lovely view. We had to close it off with windows when bats used it to mate in and left potato bug remains on the floor every morning.And rabbits and quail-lots of whole families crossing the street. Amzingly,if this job comes through,the office is 3 miles away. His last office was in Livermore,more like 50 miles away-1 1/2 hours during rush hour. Ring ,phone,ring. NOW!


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