New Providence Memorial Library's Online Reading Group discussion

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Monthly Discussions > July 2016 Talk

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message 1: by New Providence (new)

New Providence (npml) | 302 comments Mod
I am excited to have started down a new path. Am just 50 pages in to My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. It's part of a series of Neopolitan Novels about 2 childhood friends who grow up in Naples.

So many people have recommended it to me. And Naples holds a special attraction for me. It's on my list of absolute must-see places to go. I came close this year but decided against it for personal considerations. Maybe next year.

So far, Ferrante is drawing me in slowly with tidbits of information and snippets of character details.

And then, of course, there is the mystery of exactly who Elena Ferrante is. The author prefers to remain anonymous but has left clues in interviews so it is thought that Ferrante is a female and also that she is Italian give that she writes in Italian. Actual experts have examined the writing to determine the dialect and speech patterns! It's reassuring to know that there are still some mysteries and puzzles.

I just heard today that Karen is heading down the Outlander path and I am happy for her. I think she'll love the series and we'll soon be hearing about how she's losing sleep to keep reading.

Anybody out there jumped into a "new" series, i.e. one that they haven't read before that perhaps was recommended?

And has anybody read the Neopolitan Novels and/or been to Naples? Marilyn?

(Although you may not actually read a book a day, Marilyn, it sure seems like it!! You're so knowlegeable!)


message 2: by Judy (new)

Judy | 28 comments Sorry I'm going to miss the cooking and yoga sessions this month but it's because I'm on vacation so I guess I can't complain. Getting lots of reading done and working on the list for the summer online event. The Neapolitan series is on my long list of "to read".


message 3: by New Providence (new)

New Providence (npml) | 302 comments Mod
Glad to hear that you're getting away, Judy. But sorry to miss you.

I am now coming in to another few chapters of My Brilliant Friend and really enjoying it. The main character, Lila, is very much a product of her neighborhood and upbringing but has enough character twists to keep us guessing.

The neighborhood seems to be as much of a character in this book as the people. The insights into life in a stifling society where poverty, class and expectations thwart all but the strongest is a theme that shows up in many places.

Just saw Brooklyn over the weekend. I'd been avoiding it b/c I thought it was just a sappy ethnic love story of the sort that used to be called "Abe's Irish Rose." Well, that one was Jewish/Irish and this one is Italian/Irish but same premise.

It actually turned out to be a bit more and did a good job of showing the reasons why people wanted to come to America and what it represents, i.e. getting away from the stifling society where your life is planned from birth to death based on your station in society, parents, education, class, etc.

Anybody else seen it?


message 4: by Karen (new)

Karen Thornton (karenstaffordthornton) | 65 comments I saw Brooklyn and highly recommend the book. The book goes into detail about the voyage from Ireland to New York--a harrowing experience.

Looking forward to Outlander immensely!


message 5: by New Providence (new)

New Providence (npml) | 302 comments Mod
Keep us updated on your progress. I just put Dragonfly in Amber (#@2) on hold for somebody today. She's hooked. It is a good story with enough aspects to appeal to various tastes, i.e. the romance angle, the medical angle, the history angle and those who like time travel and are Celtic enthusiasts.

Will look up the Brooklyn book. There was a bit of detail about sea sickness and not eating during the journey and staking out your territory as far as berth and bathroom. I'm sure there's a lot more to it, tho.


message 6: by New Providence (new)

New Providence (npml) | 302 comments Mod
I just had to get on and tell you all that I am purchasing books and am reading the review of one that is actually called Highland Knits: Knitwear Inspired by the Outlander Series. 16 projects knit from bulky or superbulky yarn and include dowls, shawls, capelets and shrugs as well as socks and wristwarmers. What do you think? Is this a purchase, will we start seeing highland wannabees in capelets??


message 7: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn | 143 comments I enjoyed the movie and look forward to reading the book...one of these days.
Interesting but not surprising that a book has been published with instructions to knit Outlander fashion.


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