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What are you reading? > july jottings

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message 1: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2424 comments truly the days are whipping by.
its good to pause occasionally, to note how what we are reading contributes to how we are experiencing.


message 2: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2424 comments Ellie, hope that all went well and that you are experiencing a speedy recovery, with books


message 3: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments I'm getting there-but at the moment I'm having trouble concentrating on reading. Hopefully, that will pass soon. I think I have too many things going on bookwise! I'm really liking The Angels Die.


message 4: by Petra (new)

Petra | 883 comments Ellie, I hope things are well.

I started reading and am quite enjoying Six Records of a Floating Life. For such an old book, it reads quite modern.

I had to put that one down to read My Brilliant Friend. Its a library book with no renewals so I have two weeks to read it. It started slowly but I am enjoying it now.


message 5: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 55 comments I am trying to read as many books written by Canadian authors for the month of July and starting The Stone Diaries this morning.


message 6: by Ellie (last edited Jul 03, 2016 08:13AM) (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Petra wrote: "Ellie, I hope things are well.

I started reading and am quite enjoying Six Records of a Floating Life. For such an old book, it reads quite modern.

I had to put that one down to re..."


My recovery is going extremely well! Thank you.

I loved My Brilliant Friend-and if you like it, there's the rest of the series to look forward to (4 books - all good/outstanding). I'll have to check out Six Records.


message 7: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments ❀ Susan wrote: "I am trying to read as many books written by Canadian authors for the month of July and starting The Stone Diaries this morning."

It's a long time since i read Stone Diaries but I remember loving it. I'm looking forward to reading your reactions.


message 8: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2424 comments @ Ellie. so glad to hear things went well! Now for the fun part of recovery, the excuse to do nothing but read.
I am just finishing up Bakewells Montaigne and absolutely loving it. thanks again for putting me on to it
I too loved the stone diaries when I read it, seems another lifetime ago. As for the Ferrante, was it only last summer I managed to have all 3 out from the library at once for a real banquet. the 4 book was available shortly after. From a great start, the series keeps getting better IMO
@petra...looked up the floating world. Not only did I become fascinated in the story and the story around the story, but I discovered a very smart woman who wrote a great review. Thanks!


message 9: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments I'm making some headway with Against the Day and enjoying it (although how much of the larger picture I understand is another question). I also finally started another book my son has been pushing me to read-Mephisto by Klaus Mann. I'm still at the beginning but I think I'm going to enjoy this one a lot.


message 10: by Petra (new)

Petra | 883 comments Finished Six Records of a Floating Life. What a wonderful treat to read. I really enjoyed this book.
Shen Fu was a natural writer and artist. His words make him real and alive.
He was very observant and loved to live life. He felt his grief and sorrows but they didn't keep him down. His travels through China show his love for his country.
A very delightful little book.


message 11: by Ice, Pilgrim (new)

Ice Bear (neilar) | 767 comments I have returned to Lisbeth Salander's world of hacking in the (posthumous) fourth book of the Millenium series The Girl in the Spider's Web.

Otherwise quietly contemplating where to read next ........ which may have to wait until I take the grandsons to Eurodisney.


message 12: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Ice wrote: "I have returned to Lisbeth Salander's world of hacking in the (posthumous) fourth book of the Millenium series The Girl in the Spider's Web.

Otherwise quietly contemplating where t..."


Hope you enjoy The Girl in the Spider's Web as much as I did.

I'm still struggling with Against the Day!

But stopped to enjoy Jenny Diski's In Gratitude. It has an account of Diski's very special relationship (as a quasi-ward) with Doris Lessing (a favorite writer of mine). The rest of the book is a scary accounting of Diski's cancer (that she died of shortly after the book's publication). Very well-written and if you like Lessing probably especially interesting.


message 13: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (last edited Jul 12, 2016 05:36PM) (new)

Magdelanye | 2424 comments oh no! jenny diski was so gracious...we corresponded a bit after I wrote her . I had no idea. I will have to find this book.
Ellie, re the Pynchon's, it does get more engaging


message 14: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Magdelanye wrote: "oh no! jenny disk I was so gracious...we corresponded a bit after I wrote her . I had no idea. I will have to find this book.
Ellie, re the Pynchon's, it does get more engaging"


I am so sorry to have dropped the news on you so brutally. I had no idea... She was a very good writer.

I'm hanging in with the Pynchon (trusting your judgement).


message 15: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (last edited Jul 12, 2016 06:04PM) (new)

Magdelanye | 2424 comments Ellie wrote: "
i'm hanging in with the Pynchon (trusting your judgement).

thats a heavy burden!
the trick is to find the momentum!

I just started Stoner by John Edward Williams it is strangely engrossing

i see you loved it elliie. I think Ice would too,



message 16: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Magdelanye wrote: "Ellie wrote: "
i'm hanging in with the Pynchon (trusting your judgement).

thats a heavy burden!
the trick is to find the momentum!

I just started Stoner by [author:John Edward Will..."


Don't think of it as a burden-the worst that can happen is I'll feel differently!


message 17: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments I'm at page 782 in Against the Day and am really enjoying it. It's still difficult but so rewarding (even if I feel like I don't understand half of it!).

I'm also reading a much easier book, The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard, an author I enjoy. It's built around 9/11 and is bringing back so many memories of that day. It's painful but mesmerizing. The book doesn't stay with this so I don't know how I'll enjoy the rest but I'm zipping through this part.

I also started M Train by Patti Smith. So different from Just Kids which I loved. I don't know yet how I feel about this one; it's the kind of book that teaches you how to read it so I need to give it some time and work.


message 18: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Ellie wrote: "Magdelanye wrote: "Ellie wrote: "
i'm hanging in with the Pynchon (trusting your judgement).

thats a heavy burden!
the trick is to find the momentum!

I just started Stoner by [auth..."


I admired Stoner immensely but I did find it one of the most depressing (if well-written) books I've ever read. Not like A Little Life, however, which I was sorry I'd read. I really admired and got a lot from Stoner. I was just left feeling very drained. Some of the feelings hit too close to home, I guess.


message 19: by Ice, Pilgrim (new)

Ice Bear (neilar) | 767 comments Icelandic Crime Hypothermia, Science Fiction Earth Awakensand Fantasy Nights of Villjamur, all being considered for a trip to Eurodisney with the Grandsons


message 20: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Ice wrote: "Icelandic Crime Hypothermia, Science Fiction Earth Awakensand Fantasy Nights of Villjamur, all being considered for a trip to Eurodisney with the Grand..."

I've only read Hypothermia which I enjoyed. I'll be interested in what you end up choosing and how you like it/them.


message 21: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Just finished The Usual Rules which I loved. I didn't realize it was a YA novel (I probably wouldn't have read it if I had) but it was an excellent portrayal of 9/11 and grief.

I'm making progress with Against the Day-I was going more quickly but I've hit another difficult section. It's beginning to look as though I'm going to be able to finish it. A very complicated book but I think worth the work.

I also started M Train by Patti Smith. It's very different from Just Kids (which I loved) but fascinating. She's a favorite of mine; I like how her mind works and how she's lived her life.

I'm also moving slowly through a new collection of Kafka, Konundrum that I got from NetGalley. It includes some letters and diary entries as well as the short fiction. Much of it is familiar to me but I am reminded how much I loved Kafka and his strange stories that for some reason usually make sense to me. Of course, it's not a fast read and I worry I won't finish it in time to write my review before it's archived. I love Kafka but as short as his stories are, I need time to digest each one.


message 22: by Magdelanye, Senior Flight Attendant (new)

Magdelanye | 2424 comments I love Patti smith too and I not sure why but I found m train very sad.
I love it Ellie that you are are persevering with the Pynchon!
also,sometimes I adore YA fiction


message 23: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 1278 comments Magdelanye wrote: "I love Patti smith too and I not sure why but I found m train very sad.
I love it Ellie that you are are persevering with the Pynchon!
also,sometimes I adore YA fiction"


The YA was a good break from the Pynchon.

Triumph! I finished Against the Day and I am so glad I did. It really is a wonderful, albeit difficult book. I wish I'd understood it better and if I really wanted to say I read it, I feel as though I should read it again but it really exercised my mind and I feel as though I learned something about reading, that I am a better reader, because of it.

Your reaction to M Train is interesting. I can sort of see why although I'm too near the beginning to really form judgments. There is a strong tone of nostalgia, of loss (along with the possession of the memories).

I am at the part where Smith has discovered Murakami, a favorite of mine, and it's such a pleasure to read her responses to him. She's such a passionate reader, such a passionate person!

Because of Smith, I've finally started reading 2666, which has been on my list for years. I'm reading too many books (as usual) and this is a big project. I hope I have time to finish it this summer.

I'm also reading Homegoing, which so far lives up to its hype. Very smooth reading but so sad.

And I've started an ARC book from NetGalley, The Fortunes which looks at the American experience from the perspective of Chinese Americans. So far, I'm impressed with the writing. Not super easy but rewarding and well-crafted. I can't wait to get to the part that uses the old-time movie star, Anna May Wong. I want to see how Davies uses her to explore Chinese-American identity and the world of movies in the 1920s.


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