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Literary Shop Talk > 2013 ~ What I Want To Read & Why

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message 1: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
So, what books do you hope to read in the coming year? Something bold and new? More of a genre you've neglected? Specific classics you've never read? How about rereads?

Curious, is all.


message 2: by Carol (last edited Dec 20, 2012 02:50AM) (new)

Carol | 10390 comments You want my list?
Gillespie and I
On Agate Hill
The Cove
Back to Blood
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Bring Up the Bodies *
Hotel Honolulu
Anna Karenina I already read this, but want to read this translation.

This is just for starters.

* already in the middle of this one


message 3: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
A couple of hysterical fictions, I see. And I once read and admired a Ron Rash book. Short stories, I'm almost sure.

Did you read the first Hilary Mantel? Of course you did. Seems chick littish, but...

And I can't tell if the reviews for AK are for THAT translation or any. I think it's any, because mine shows up (5 stars) and I read the Constance Freakin' Garnett translation!

Anyway, you'll have to let me know if you can discern any difference.


message 4: by Carol (last edited Dec 20, 2012 03:48PM) (new)

Carol | 10390 comments It is not chick littish at all more historical, about Thomas Cromwell. Murder, intrigue and mayhem in King Henry VIII's court. Better known as "Wolf Hall". Of course I read it. It was hard keeping all the Thomas's straight. I did pick up my nemesis today "The Winter of Our Discontent", thought what the hell give it one more try. Read the first few pages, and I was hooked. See what the years have wrought.

I will let you know about AK. I know there was a subtle difference in DZ. I only read P&V translation for WaP , and BK so I tend to radiate to their translations.


message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Just noticed, NE you didn't add your list.


message 7: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
As if I will finish all of THAT over a 10-day stretch!


message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Just added Jepp and am thinking about Old Ways. I will watch for your review about Old Ways.


message 9: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Jepp is YA, just so you know. Still don't have Old Ways in hand, but they say by Jan. 6 -- the Epiphany.


message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments I like YA. I liked the others you recommended. In fact "Wilderness" and "City of Thieves" are on my best book list for the year, along with a few others.


message 11: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Shucks. I love it when my recommendations actually fly. NE Wright of Kitty (heh) Hawk, call me....


message 12: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Anyway, I'll be back with more. I'm still building the list. Book building is fun.


message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Is this a private conversation, where is everyone else? Guess they don't plan on reading. I want to read more short stories this year and some poetry. I was never one for poetry, but ...learning.


message 14: by Arminius (new)

Arminius I am going to try and read a biography of each of the American Presidents which I have not yet read. In particular the less famous ones like Zachary Taylor, Chet Arthur and Rutherford B. Hayes. Currently I am reading a biography of Benjamin Harrison which I hope to finish before Christmas.


message 15: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Did you readJohn Adams? I found him fascinating. I just finished up a book about James GarfieldDestiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President. The political rivalry has not changed much .


message 16: by Arminius (last edited Dec 21, 2012 07:45AM) (new)

Arminius I haven’t read McCullough’s book but I did read Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph Ellis. I have been looking at James Garfield Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President. I hesitate reading it because I am afraid it would have more to do with his assignation than his life story. Did you find that to be true?

I always want to learn what makes these great men tick.

Politics is an honorable but a very dirty game.It has always been that way. I laugh when I hear reporters (and even politicians) talk about today’s terrible discourse. They should take a look at the 1824 election.


message 17: by Carol (last edited Dec 21, 2012 11:03AM) (new)

Carol | 10390 comments She writes a little about the integrity of the man, his overcoming extreme poverty and his political acumen. It deals mostly with the aftermath of his assasination and the state of the nation. I enjoyed McCullough's book. John Adams was brilliant. Garfield's election was just as down and dirty as that one. He never wanted Arthur as his running mate.


message 18: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Arminius wrote: "I am going to try and read a biography of each of the American Presidents which I have not yet read. In particular the less famous ones like Zachary Taylor, Chet Arthur and Rutherford B. Hayes. Cu..."

That's an ambitious goal -- depending on how many presidents remain in your bio-reading regime, that is. I've only read a bio of TJ, GW, and one non-president, Alexander Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton). Aaron Burr doesn't come out looking so good....


message 19: by Arminius (new)

Arminius Carol wrote: "She writes a little about the integrity of the man, his overcoming extreme poverty and his political acumen. It deals mostly with the aftermath of his assasination and the state of the nation. I en..."

Thank you, it does sound like a very good book.


message 20: by Arminius (new)

Arminius Newengland wrote: "Arminius wrote: "I am going to try and read a biography of each of the American Presidents which I have not yet read. In particular the less famous ones like Zachary Taylor, Chet Arthur and Rutherf..."

I am on 25 of the 44 presidents. I have read some other important political leader biographies too. Hamilton, Speaker Thomas Reed and Henry Clay are three of them.

Did you read Ron Chernow's Hamilton? Burr doesn't look too good nor does Jefferson.


message 21: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Jefferson was not very astute in his personel finances as I understand it. Hamilton was too much of a ladies man and Henry Clay was supposedly very hard nosed. Much like Congress is today. So what is your opinion Arminius? Of course I only read Ben Franklin's side of the stories, so it was a bit gossipy.


message 22: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
I have read Harold Fry Carol...lovely. And I read both Mantels and they are definitely not chick lit....beautifully tuned portrait of a man and a time.
I am still considering my list....will post soon.....


message 23: by Susan (new)

Susan I am reading some Proust, CanLit, WorldLit (in addition to) and Russians with some occasional mysteries and series addictions tossed in (BrownBag Lit?)


message 24: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Arminius wrote: "Newengland wrote: "Arminius wrote: "I am going to try and read a biography of each of the American Presidents which I have not yet read. In particular the less famous ones like Zachary Taylor, Chet..."

Yes, I read Chernow's book and 4-starred it. My review is rather brief: "The antidote to Jefferson mania." Like Adams, I have ambivalent feelings about Jefferson.


message 25: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "I am reading some Proust, CanLit, WorldLit (in addition to) and Russians with some occasional mysteries and series addictions tossed in (BrownBag Lit?)"

I bought the new Lydia Davis translation to Swann's Way. In fact, I have these new old books in hand -- ready and waiting for inspiration to read this year (inspiration being difficult to come by):

Swann's Way
Les Misérables
Oblomov


message 26: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Les Misérables is one of my absolute favorites. It has been a while since I read it. My copy is so battered, I suppose I should buy a new one.
Debbie , I ordered Harold Fry and Susan , I admire anyone who can swim with the Swann's. Never has been even a thought for me.

PS: NE , Jepp is coming soon. I wonder if it will be a series.


message 27: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Dunno. But the other problem I do know. In what order will I tackle these books? It's always an interesting dynamic -- one with little reason or rhyme -- the way we reach for a pile and prefer one over another in one particular moment in time.


message 28: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments I just looked in Amazon, I know better. I will soon have Hugo's book in my library. Maybe I will tackle it this year. It sure looked pretty. 1200 + pages and hardback to boot. I will need a crane to lift it .


message 29: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Yes, the Penguin Classic Hardcovers make for a tempting lot:

http://www.us.penguingroup.com/static...


message 30: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Have a good day. I have to work today, not too happy about that. The shop was closed for remodeling and was delayed, boo.
God why am I up at 3:30 am. I revised my list for 2013. I think I will re-read LM ,I will need to set aside a chunk of time.

I have to get some sleep, night or rather top-of-the-morning to you.


message 31: by Ken (last edited Dec 22, 2012 04:55AM) (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Good night (morning, whatever!), Christmas Carol. Sorry about that work bit.

Just off the morning Wall Street Journal and I'm adding these two new top-flight sounding YA non-fiction outings to my TBR list:

The Book of Blood: From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins

Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon


message 32: by Arminius (new)

Arminius Carol wrote: "Jefferson was not very astute in his personel finances as I understand it. Hamilton was too much of a ladies man and Henry Clay was supposedly very hard nosed. Much like Congress is today. So what ..."

Here is what I think, Carol:

My opinion of Hamilton was that he is a great under appreciated American hero. He was able to identify the problem and then find a solution. He recreated the capitalistic economy which turned into the greatest economy in history. Benjamin Franklin calling him a womanizer is like the pot calling the kettle black, in my opinion.
Jefferson was a back stabber whose political philosophies were wrong. His view of an agrarian economy, in particular, was entirely wrong. Hamilton understood this because he grew up in a society where poverty was prevalent.
The only things I give Jefferson credit for is spending his retiring years successfully bolstering his reputation and fostering a capable list of followers (Madison, Monroe, Jackson).

Henry Clay was a great statesman. Of course, his Missouri Compromise staved off the Civil War for a few years. Also, he had plans to increase tariffs to protect American business and use the money to help individual states build roads and canals to help boost business. President McKinley used this formula to help produce the industrial revolution. He also wanted to keep the National Bank (as President Jackson was killing it) as a way to stabilize the currency.

To summarize, Hamilton and Clay are great while Jefferson is not.

Also, I am sorry you have work today.


message 33: by Arminius (new)

Arminius Newengland wrote: "Arminius wrote: "Newengland wrote: "Arminius wrote: "I am going to try and read a biography of each of the American Presidents which I have not yet read. In particular the less famous ones like Zac..."

I read Chernow's books too. He is the best in the history business. His next book is going to be about U.S. Grant. I am waiting for patiently for it.


message 34: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments I agree whole heartedly Arminius. Jefferson is so over-rated, I would like to read more about Clay. Personally Jackson was a backwater SOB in my opinion. To bad Hamilton is not around today, and Franklin was a lecher and liked his cups a little too much. But it all worked and came together, because they all were so different. That is what is so amazing.


message 35: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Franklin was inventive. Give him that.


message 36: by Susan (new)

Susan Where is A Hamilton when we need him....

Swann's Way
Anna Karenina

Will be among the first of the new reads. Somehow ... I have several almost finished and library books to deal with.


message 37: by Ken (last edited Dec 23, 2012 12:26PM) (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
It helps, I suppose, to read the big boy classics with a group, but I've yet to take part in a satisfying group read here on Goodreads. Once upon a time I was part of a fantastic on-line group, but here (in various GR groups I've observed from the sidelines) the discussions are weird because posters tend to talk over heads and only to certain people, almost clique-like. Maybe real-life groups are the same, who knows. Maybe it's the geography of the room and who you are sitting next to or how forceful you are about injecting yourself into the conversation.

Anyway, Swann's Way got me thinking that way.... Blame Proust.


message 38: by Susan (new)

Susan I joined the Proust group for the year of Proust. I'm "Call me Lurker" on several groups and have observed Each group seems to take on its own identity though.

This way of reading an authour is new to me (group) so we shall see ....

Sometimes I just want to read and soak it up at my own pace.


message 39: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments I don't discuss books on a deep level as some people do. I don't explain my thoughts very well. Besides who cares what I really think, I don't offer a profound life changing, deal breaker ,thought. I joined a group for awhile and they made comments so far above me, that I realized how silly my own comments were. So I left.


message 40: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 15767 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "I don't discuss books on a deep level as some people do. I don't explain my thoughts very well. Besides who cares what I really think, I don't offer a profound life changing, deal breaker ,thought..."

Your comments never seem silly to me.


message 41: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Believe me they did in that particular group. It wasn't the one for me, that is all. I found my niche with the two groups I am active in. But thanks for the kind words.


message 42: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "I joined the Proust group for the year of Proust. I'm "Call me Lurker" on several groups and have observed Each group seems to take on its own identity though.

This way of reading an authour is ne..."


Yes, I often feel the same way, but then a little guilty about it and a little worried that I'm getting old and grouchy and overly insular. That must be guarded against, I suppose.

And Carol, you're words are full-fathom five here at L&G.


message 43: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments I'm happy as a worm in a book. :-) !


message 44: by Arminius (new)

Arminius Carol wrote: "I don't discuss books on a deep level as some people do. I don't explain my thoughts very well. Besides who cares what I really think, I don't offer a profound life changing, deal breaker ,thought..."


I care what you think and your explanations are completely understandable. And I am very impressed with your knowledge of history.


message 45: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments I loved history in school. It was my best subject, English , meh. That's why I joined this group, they make it so understandable after fifty something years.


message 46: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
See, you should've had me. Because you laugh at my jokes. Well, every other.


message 47: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments But I laugh at anything. Heehee haha!


message 48: by Ken (last edited Dec 24, 2012 03:18AM) (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Which is why we love you so....

BTW, I am about 140 pp. deep into Jepp and it is, for YA, very well written. I think the girls will take to it more than the boys. It's about the European courts' obsession with having court dwarfs. Dwarfs are people, too, and this little guy gets caught up in all manner of intrigues. A miniature (if you'll forgive) soap opera, turns out....


message 49: by Ken (last edited Dec 24, 2012 06:29AM) (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Don't worry, I'm not getting religion, but I've always had an interest in matters spiritual, thus Buddhism and philosophy and especially "secular" religion guys like Thomas Merton. In the spirit of Merton, I want to check out this James Martin guy this year:

My Life With the Saints
The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life

Also, I'm going to cheat and start with Book IV in the LBJ series because, frankly, I know I'll never read three behemoths to get to it...

The Passage of Power


message 50: by Carol (last edited Dec 24, 2012 08:28AM) (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Bodies has a woman dwart, who attends Anne Boleyn. Cromwell is plotting Anne's exit as Queen. Anne is plotting Cromwell's exit as Secretary to the King. Ann Seymore is next in line for Queen, and Henry just lives for fresh warm bodies. Didn't I say there was intrigue.


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