The Novella Club discussion

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Just for fun > List ten books you intend to read in the new year.

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message 1: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
List ten books you intend to read in the new year. At the end of the year we'll see who met their challenge.

[my list to follow]


message 3: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Good luck! I'll have to look over my to-read list and see which ones I am sure I'll get my hands on.
Looking forward to your insight on True Grit in particular.


message 4: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Lora wrote: "Good luck! I'll have to look over my to-read list and see which ones I am sure I'll get my hands on.
Looking forward to your insight on True Grit in particular."


I got it for Christmas and was going to start it today, but made the mistake of picking up The Thin Man last night - and the rest is history.


message 6: by Patrick (new)

Patrick I was so glad to have finally tackled and finished Ulysses. For me, it truly lived up to its reputation.

I'm 2/3 through Mark Musa's translation of The Divine Comedy for Penguin. It is superb.


message 7: by Buck (last edited Jan 01, 2018 05:49AM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments 1. The Night Circus A group read for January. I started it this morning, New Year's Eve.
2. Middlemarch A group read for December 2017, but I didn't get to it.
3. Binti Won recent Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards for best novella
4. Oliver Twist My ongoing mission, still in its early stages, to read Dickens.
5. Bear Town Fredrick Backman has become a new favorite author. Everything I've read of his so far ranges from good to very good to outstanding
6. The Dark Forest the second in the trilogy that began with The Three Body Problem
7. Obama: An Intimate Portrait: The Historic Presidency in Photographs Not so much because I am a fan of Obama, but because I am a fan of photography.
8. Before We Were Yours Recommended by my daughter who hosts an IRL book club.
9. All the King's Men This Pulitzer prize winner has been on my to-read list for a long time. I hope finally to get it done.
10. The Swarm I've read all the others in the Enderverse. This is the first in the second prequel trilogy. I really don't want to start it until at least the second one has been published.


message 8: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 70 comments Patrick wrote: "I was so glad to have finally tackled and finished Ulysses. For me, it truly lived up to its reputation.

I'm 2/3 through Mark Musa's translation of The Divine Comedy for Penguin. It is superb."


I've been poking along in Clive James' translation for some time now, and I'm still in Purgatory (ha!). Maybe I need a different translation.


message 9: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Some interesting titles here. I've been clicking away reading descriptions.


message 10: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Nathan Coulter
The House of Baltazar
Laughing House
Project Pope
The Citadel / The Keys of the Kingdom
The Castle on the Hill
The Life of Charlotte Brontë
Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley

I have become a huge Wendell Berry fan, especially of his Port William novels.
I love old books with slow, deeply compassionate ways to them.
I love Elizabeth Goudge now that I have finally had her pointed out to me.
I like Gaskell as an author, I like Bronte stuff, so two books are a kind of reading theme like I like to do from time to time, where I explore a historical event, an artist, or a series of some sort for a real in-depth immersion. And by the way, Jenny Uglow is a very enjoyable historian, too. Her research and her writing are exquisite.
The last one is a bio on a prophet of our LDS church. It is written by an incredibly gifted writer as well. I often avoid these religious bios because they have more love of the person/topic than skill in writing involved- not a bad thing, in itself. It distracts me, that's all. But Dew is well spoken and well researched. Hinckley was a man I saw in person a few times and have always respected deeply. I look forward to reading this.


message 11: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Buck, I once made Middlemarch my big winter read. It lasted for three months.


message 12: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments Lora wrote: "Buck, I once made Middlemarch my big winter read. It lasted for three months."

Yes, it is very long. I like novellas. Middlemarch is antithesis.


message 13: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Ivan wrote: "1. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

2. Christmas Holiday: Vintage Christmas by W. Somerset Maugham

3. [book:The Machine Stops|20628360..."


update - I've read three this month - True Grit, The Thin Man and The Ghost and Mrs Muir. I have Christmas Holiday by the bedside and The River and To the Lighthouse on order.


message 14: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Has anyone made any progress?


message 15: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments Ivan wrote: "Has anyone made any progress?"

I was kind of planning to make a victorious celebratory post here when I had completed all ten but I guess progress updates are better. I've read The Night Circus and Middlemarch. I'm almost finished with All the King's Men.

I couldn't assemble a cogent assessment of my thoughts about The Night Circus. I don't know what I thought of it. I didn't write a review.

Here is my review of George Eliot's Victorian classic Middlemarch: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Should be done with All the Kings Men in two or three days, I hope. It's been a bit of a slog.

I expect to start Oliver Twist and Binti soon. Binti, thank goodness for the change, is a novella.


message 16: by Ivan (last edited Feb 11, 2018 07:43AM) (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Buck wrote: "Ivan wrote: "Has anyone made any progress?"

I was kind of planning to make a victorious celebratory post here when I had completed all ten but I guess progress updates are better. I've read The Ni..."


I read All the King's Men so long ago - but I remember it as being long and stodgy - very slow going.

I am 3/4 through The River and just hit a very sad section. I was reading Christmas Holiday but set it aside as I felt rather manipulated - it's what I'd label a melodrama - but I may resume it when I finish the other.


message 17: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 70 comments So far I finished the two kids' books: Show Way and Elijah of Buxton.

Show Way was very good, although I prefer some of Jacqueline Woodson's other picture books over it.

Elijah of Buxton was really special. It's the type of book an African-American Mark Twain fan would write. On the way through the book, it presents a lot of aspects of slavery and race in the 1800s that other children's books don't even try to handle. Also: vomit jokes.


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 8 comments Buck wrote: "Middlemarch A group read for December 2017, but I didn't get to it..."

Lora wrote: "Buck, I once made Middlemarch my big winter read. It lasted for three months."

Middlemarch was an assigned reading in a graduate course I took. We were given one week to read it. It took me most of the semester to get through it.


message 19: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
11. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell - I should have included this on my list as I have attempted to read two times. Now I'm reading it and want to move in with these people and just lay about doing nothing.


message 20: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) I have read two of mine and started a third:
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
And
Keys of The Kingdom, which refused to come up in a search for a cover for some reason.
So a spy novel and a Catholic historical fiction. The spy novel was ok, the plot and tense pacing kept my attention but dang, i wanted to buy every one of those characters fifty years of personal therapy. The Keys book was quite moving in its story of a Catholic priest and his missionary efforts in China. At times i was very deeply moved.
The third one is the biography and i only just started it. Gordon B Hinckley's family and life are well documented so this is a fat book. The fascinating thing is how even his oldest ancestors who came as Puritans to this country kept so many personal journals and records. The intimate accounts of childhoods, period life, etc, just stirs the armchair historian in me. The power of the personal journal abounds through these pages!


message 21: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Susan wrote: "Buck wrote: "Middlemarch A group read for December 2017, but I didn't get to it..."

Lora wrote: "Buck, I once made Middlemarch my big winter read. It lasted for three months."

Middle..."

Wow. Just wow.


message 22: by Bruce (new)

Bruce | 14 comments Huckleberry Finn
Kidnapped
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
A Study in Scarlet
Ivanhoe
The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard
The Sign of Four
Dracula
Orphan Star
Splinter of the Mind's Eye


message 23: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Ooh, lots of cool lists!


message 24: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 70 comments Bruce wrote: "Huckleberry Finn
Kidnapped
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
A Study in Scarlet
Ivanhoe
The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard
The Sign of Four
Dracula
Orphan Star
Splinter of the Mind's Eye"


Cool list, Bruce. Let us know how it goes.


message 25: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Bruce wrote: "Huckleberry Finn
Kidnapped
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
A Study in Scarlet
Ivanhoe
The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard
The Sign of Four
Dracula
Orphan Star
Splinter of the Mind's Eye"


I wish I was going to read A Study in Scarlet again for the first time - oh, and The Sign of Four.

Have fun Bruce - I know you will based on your list.


message 26: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World by Aldous Huxley should have been on my list - I guess I'm adding titles to my list. I've been meaning to read this for years (and years, and...) and have made several false starts. I'm reading Crome Yellow and I'm very much enjoying the satire of the Bloomsbury Group.


message 27: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments I read Brave New World years ago. And then I read it again not too long ago. It is a precursor to Orwell's 1984 written almost two decades later. Brave New World is certainly worth reading. 1984 is the ultimate dystopian novel, and the only book I've read more than twice.


message 28: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Dystopian is my least favorite genre. But I did like 1984.


message 29: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments Here are my reviews:
3. Binti - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
4. Oliver Twist - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
7. Obama: An Intimate Portrait - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
9. All the King's Men - I didn't write a review of this one.

6 down. 4 to go.


message 30: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments Ivan wrote: "I read All the King's Men so long ago - but I remember it as being long and stodgy - very slow going. "

Yes. It took me forever to read this and it is slow moving. But not bad.


message 31: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) I've read two of mine ten so far. I started a third, but it is a long involved biography. I will probably be in there for some time to come. In the meantime I am reading other things alongside. Perhaps too many other things!


message 32: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
I think Christmas Holiday is a wash. I can't imagine my going back to it - just not holding my interest. I have two books on order - one I'm reading on my Kindle (not my preferred choice) - it's My Uncle Silas which is funny and well written, but it's about a drunk - and I know the author wants us to appreciate the ribaldry of his behavior, but sometimes its disgraceful and pitiful and nasty instead of being humorous or endearing. I'm really struggling with Jacob's Room - it's beautifully written, but slow going. I'm just get started of Merry Hall by Beverley Nichols - a book I've been meaning to read for a few years. I've read the first chapter and think this will be a real treat. I've another Vita Sackville-West book on order - Passenger to Teheran - and it's coming via Pony Express - so I'll enjoy the Nichols book until it comes.


message 33: by Buck (last edited Mar 18, 2018 03:28PM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments I've become a big fan of Fredrik Backman. Beartown is different from other books he has written. My review is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Now I think I've read everything he's written that has been translated into English. I await his next book.

7/10


message 34: by Buck (last edited Mar 18, 2018 03:35PM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments A little research shows me that Us Against You, a sequel to Beartown, is scheduled to be published in September 2018.


message 35: by Susan (new)

Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 8 comments I recently finished The Stepford Wives. I don't know why I waited so long to read it. Here's my review.


message 36: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments I saw The Stepford Wives movies, but haven't read the book.

Levin also wrote Rosemary's Baby. The great movie is almost word for word from the book.

I read This Perfect Day by Ira Levin years ago and reread it more recently. It is a futuristic utopia/dystopia. It put me in mind of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World except perhaps more technologically modernistic.


message 37: by Ivan (last edited Mar 19, 2018 05:45PM) (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
I think I've read most of Levin's work - including some of his plays Veronica's Room: A Melodrama, Deathtrap and Dr. Cook's Garden.

He wrote the play No Time For Sergeants and the musical "Drat the Cat" (including the lyrics) - which starred Elliott Gould. He sang a song called "She Touched Me" which his then wife Barbra Streisand recorded as "He Touched Me" and had a top-ten hit in the 60s.

I'm a fountain of useless information.


message 38: by Susan (new)

Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 8 comments This Perfect Day sounds interesting. I'm surprised to see it's 320 pages after the brevity of The Stepford Wives . I wonder how Levin does with a longer format.


message 39: by Susan (new)

Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 8 comments Ivan, I had no idea Levin wrote plays. I wonder if they have been adapted into movies.


message 40: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Ivan, I had no idea Levin wrote plays. I wonder if they have been adapted into movies."

Yep. he started out writing dramas for live TV. His longer fiction is quite good A Kiss Before Dying, Rosemary's Baby, The Boys from Brazil were terrific. Sliver was a fun read but not one of his best efforts. I never could bring myself to read Son of Rosemary, no, just no. Ira, baby, come on. What are you doing?


message 41: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) What, you weren't on the edge of your seating awaiting Return of Son of Rosemary? And Revenge of Son of Rosemary?


message 42: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Lora wrote: "What, you weren't on the edge of your seating awaiting Return of Son of Rosemary? And Revenge of Son of Rosemary?"

Yeah....no.


message 43: by Susan (last edited Mar 20, 2018 03:36PM) (new)

Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 8 comments I never saw Rosemary's Baby. I don't recall how old I was when it first aired on television ~ probably around twelve. I wanted to watch it, but I wasn't allowed. That was over forty years ago, so maybe now my mom will finally let me watch it, lol.


message 44: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "I never saw Rosemary's Baby. I don't recall how old I was when it first aired on television ~ probably around twelve. I wanted to watch it, but I wasn't allowed. That was over forty years ago, so m..."

Buck is correct...it's a great film and almost letter perfect adaptation.


message 45: by Bruce (new)

Bruce | 14 comments No Time for Sergeants was written by Levin, but based on material from another source.

I saw Deathtrap over 20 years ago in a professional stage production. It starred Elliott Gould and Mariette Hartley.

I saw the movie of Rosemary’s Baby first, then read the book. I agree. It’s either word for word or very close. I noticed it when I read it. The movie of Maltese Falcon is one of the only other ones I read that is that close.


message 46: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Bruce wrote: "No Time for Sergeants was written by Levin, but based on material from another source.

I saw Deathtrap over 20 years ago in a professional stage production. It starred Elliott Gould and Mariette H..."


I just re-watched Maltese Falcon after finally reading the book - and I was amazed by how closely John Huston stuck to the book - dialogue came off the page and out of the actor's mouth. Huston was always very faithful to the source material when adapting books for the screen.


message 47: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Five down. Read The Machine Stops - which was interesting, though very bleak.


message 48: by Buck (last edited Jun 05, 2018 05:41PM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments My review of Before We Were Yours is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I abandoned The Dark Forest. My brief review is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Only one book left: The Swarm. I've been putting it off in the hopes that the second in the series will be published.


message 49: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Well, I finished three of mine. I already spent my book budget for this month, but I have some on my '10' list that are cheap as kindle copies. Others are proving harder to find. One used to be available through the library, but now they list 'none' in their entire inventory. I guess that book disappeared! This has happened before. The librarian chalks it up to either mis-shelving or theft. They really try hard to find these books for me, so I hope they can.


message 50: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Ivan wrote: "1. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

2. Christmas Holiday: Vintage Christmas by W. Somerset Maugham

3. [book:The Machine Stops|20628360..."


Having the hardest time with "To the Lighthouse" - but I'll keep it and keep trying because I want to have read this and I adore the edition I found. The Maugham book is going to the used book store - I think I've about had enough of books with convoluted plots that just seem too contrived. I made a mistake and read Laurie Lee's book about walking across Spain and now I have no desire to read "South from Granada." Still haven't located a copy of "Picnic at Hanging Rock." I do have "Lulu in Hollywood" - love the edition I have but don't ever reach for it. Right now I'm reading "The Easter Party" by Vita Sackville-West and I'm loving it.


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