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Past TBR lists > Kelly's 2019 TBR Takedown

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message 1: by Kelly_Hunsaker_reads (last edited Sep 26, 2019 06:18PM) (new)

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments 1. The Old Man and the Sea 2 May 2019
2. The Postman Always Rings Twice DPL audio, 116 pages
3. The Quiet American 3 Jun 2019
4. The Plot Against America 19 Mar 2019
5. All Quiet on the Western Front 25 Sep 2019
6. Gilead
Absolute Beginners kindle, OWN IT, 384 pages
7. Cakes and Ale 28 Jan 2019
8. Chess Story kindle $9, 106 pages
9. The Girls of Slender Means DPL audio
10. July's People 18 August
11. Keep the Aspidistra Flying kindle $1, 112 pages
12. Oblomov kindle $1, 203 pages
13. Pale Fire DPL audio & kindle, 322 pages
14. Pnin DPL kindle, 209 pages
15. The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick Feb 2019
16. An Artist of the Floating World DPL audio, 239 pages
17. Lolita DPL audio, 348 pages
18. Fingersmith 19 Apr 2019
19. Enduring Love DPL kindle & audible, 274 pages
20. King Solomon's Mines DPL audio, 264 pages
21. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer audible & library, 276 pages
22. By the Lake (That They May Face the Rising Sun) kindle $12, 348 pages
23. Watchmen own it
24. Brighton Rock July

message 2: by Kelly_Hunsaker_reads (last edited Jun 29, 2019 07:13PM) (new)

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments Potentials:

A Tale of Love and Darkness Kindle $10, 532 pages
Absolute Beginners kindle - OWN IT, 384 pages
Amok Koşucusu Kindle $6, 160 pages
August Is A Wicked Month dead tree used $5, 250 pgs
Cold Comfort Farm kindle $10, 242 pages
Fatelessness audible - OWN IT, 272 pages
Franny and Zooey dead tree, OWN IT
Home audible, 333 pages
Jakob the Liar
Kiss of the Spider Woman
Looking for the Possible Dance kindle $11, 256 pages
Miss Lonelyhearts dead tree used $5, 112 pages
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day kindle $9, 256 pages
On Love library, 240 pages
Smilla's Sense of Snow kindle $10, 482 pages
The Master of Petersburg kindle $12, 234 pages
The Sea, the Sea audible OWN IT, 530 pages

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments Feb - THe Goalie's Anxiety...

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments March - The Plot Against America

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments April - Fingersmith

darn this is one of few long ones on my list, and I am hosting Quarterly read plus have two other hefty books scheduled. Oh well. I will have to read even more!

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments April done.

Fingersmith review:

4.5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. I went into it blind, knowing nothing about it except that it was on Boxall's list of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. The only other book I had read by waters is Tipping the Velvet which I also liked a lot but I didn't know if it would be at all similar to this one. I am so glad that I went into it with no expectations as it made for constant surprise.

Fingersmith is in Victorian London, and although is a modern novel of historical fiction Waters created the charm of Dickens and the the suspense of Bronte. It feels as though it could have been written by their contemporaries. I loved that the novel is so full of intricate nuggets of suspense and that nothing is as it first appears. Two women are the focus of the novel: Maud and Sue. One is raised in house full of thieves and the other is raised as a Lady, in a mansion 40 miles from London. But everything changes in the lives of both women when the con, Richard Rivers comes into the picture. From there the book takes you on a twisty path full of complex, shocking surprises. It is a wonderful.

One of the things that makes the book most successful is that it is told from each of the two women's perspectives. In the first two parts of the book we learn the story of the same time frame as told by Sue first and Maud second. Each part gives new pieces to the puzzle due to this switch in narrator. When I got to the second part and realized what was happening I was enthralled and read this part of the book at warp speed. When I got to part three I was entirely gripped and ready for the two women to learn the truth. Then tension built in those first two parts was so good that it had me hooked for the rest of the story.

None of the characters were entirely good. All of them were flawed and the way that Waters drew the was intriguing because it allowed you to have empathy for each woman despite the fact that both did things that were nearly evil. I also liked the exploration of love between the two women and how that affected everything else that they thought, felt and did.

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments May - The Old Man and the Sea.

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments Finished The Old Man and the Sea - 5 stars

Hemingway writes about a subject that bores me, and yet the book charms me. I loved it because it was outstanding, and beautiful.

The novella tells the story of Santiago, an elderly fisherman who has not caught a fish in nearly three months. He is no longer strong, nor lucky, but remains hopeful and determined. He takes his little boat farther out to sea from the harbor and catches a giant fish which he is not strong enough to pull in and so the fish takes control. What follows is four days at sea, encounters with sharks, injury, and continued hope. And it is beautiful.

There are themes of courage, honor, struggle, suffering, old age and loneliness. It is about loss and about winning. Redemption and transfiguration.

This is a gripping and charming story, and I am so glad to have finally read it!

message 10: by Kelly_Hunsaker_reads (last edited Jun 03, 2019 05:52PM) (new)

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments My June book is The Quiet American by Greene. done 6/3/2019

Graham Greene's The Quiet American is a beautifully written, prescient book, and I am so glad that I went into it blind. The story is quiet and rich, the characters are unique, interesting and mostly likable but still flawed. But what impressed me most is that when I checked the publication date and saw 1956 I was surprised and even more impressed with what I had just read. This one is very close to a 5 star read for me.

Mr. Greene had his pulse on what happened in Vietnam. He gave us an insightful, strong and predictive novel that foresees the war to come and America's involvement in it. But he also seemed to talk about Western countries (especially the USA) getting involved where they may not belong, creating a political and financial mess and then leaving the country without fixing the problems. It is something that we have done many times all around the world, and of course did in Vietnam 10+ years after the publication of this book. Mr. Greene is not exactly arguing in favor of Imperialism, but he is certainly arguing that the anti-Imperialist USA is not handling things any better.

But, even ignoring this philosophical, political and prescient aspect of the book it is a darn good story.

Thomas Fowler has been living in Vietnam for more than two years. He is a 50+ year old British journalist covering the French/Vietnamese war. Thomas is in a relationship with a Veitnamese woman named Phuong, but he is also married to a woman who has remained in the United Kingdom. Phuong would like to get married, but Thomas is not willing to leave his wife. He is a cynical man with little to offer Phuong.

The title character -- the "quiet American" is Alden Pyle. Pyle is an undercover CIA agent. He is thoughtful, intelligent, quiet and idealistic. (Thomas sees Alden as naive.) Alden comes from a privileged background, with a brilliant father and a respected mother. He graduated from Harvard where he studied government. Due to his studies Alden has formed a strong opinion that neither Communism nor colonialism works. Alden falls in love with Phuong and aims to convince her to leave Thomas and spend her life with him.

Phuong is beautiful and young. She finds security with Thomas, but he offers her no future. Eventually she must choose between Thomas and Alden, and that choice will be about who offers her more protection. Phuong is a character that moves the story forward and yet she is never well-developed or revealed. We know little about her life, her desires or her thoughts. She is there to create the tension between the two men and to show what each man wants for Vietnam.

This is a book that I will definitely read again because I think I missed so much.

message 11: by Kelly_Hunsaker_reads (last edited Sep 26, 2019 06:19PM) (new)

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments July - Brighton Rock completed

message 12: by Kelly_Hunsaker_reads (last edited Aug 18, 2019 04:34PM) (new)

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments August - July's People completed 18 Aug

message 13: by Kelly_Hunsaker_reads (last edited Sep 26, 2019 06:17PM) (new)

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments September - All Quiet on the Western Front completed 25 Sep

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments Oct - Enduring Love

Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments November #8 Chess Story

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