Challenge: 50 Books discussion

*Retired* 2008 Lists > Natasha's Books

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message 1: by Natasha (new)

Natasha (natashareads) I am getting a late start this year on my reading, but so far:

1) Currently reading Crabwalk by Gunter Grass. I'll update when I've finished!


message 2: by Emily (new)

Emily | 74 comments Would like to hear your opinion about this one. This It's on my shelf, but I know nothing about it. I think I picked it up at a Friend's of the Library sale. Good luck with your 50!

message 3: by Natasha (new)

Natasha (natashareads) Hello, Emily.

I am still in the middle of the book, but thus far I am experiencing the book as a meandering tale told from the viewpoint of an intellectual, emotionally distant and under ambitious (from his mother's point of view) protagonist. Without giving too much away, the protagonist narrates the story in the style of a crabwalk: "scuttling backwards to move forward". Despite the emotional distancing of the narrator (At least thus far--perhaps he will undergo a metamorphosis as the story progresses. Can't say yet), the story itself is at once emotional (interweaving past WWII tragedies with past and current family drama) and cerebral.

I hope that gives you a sense of the book! At the halfway point in the book, I do recommend it :-)


message 4: by Natasha (new)

Natasha (natashareads) Finished Crabwalk and wrote a review here. Highly recommended!

Rather doubt that I'll get to 50 books this year--late start and I do take my time. It will be fun to see how close I get :-) This group does inspire!

Have begun Book #2: You Can't Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe.

This is set just prior to WWII, and another husband recommendation. Likely will go for Jane Austen or Edith Wharton for #3.


message 5: by Natasha (new)

Natasha (natashareads) While on vacation last week, completed Book #3, Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, and started #4: Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country.

My review of Unaccustomed Earth is found here.

After finishing The Custom of the Country, will return to You Can't Go Home Again.

On summer break--let's see how many I can read by summer's end :-)


message 6: by Natasha (last edited Jun 20, 2008 08:29AM) (new)

Natasha (natashareads) #4 The Custom of the Country. The protagonist is easy to dislike as she is self-involved, materialistic, and superficial as heck. Edith Wharton's depiction of upper class culture in the early 20th century in the U.S. and among American citizens abroad is compelling and rich. Such a satisfying read!

Back to You Can't go Home Again. Also started another What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain.

message 7: by Natasha (new)

Natasha (natashareads) Finally, finished #2 You Can't Go Home Again. Sadly, the author died before the book was published, and I do wonder if that affected his editor since the book looks to me like it needed a stronger editing eye.

Also, finished #5 What the Best College Teachers Do, and I wrote a brief comment about the book here

Started #6: Only a Theory by Kenneth R. Miller. I saw the PBS documentary, Judgment Day, about the 2005 trial he participated in, in which folks from a Pennsylvania school district attempted to subvert the teaching of evolutionary theory. The book thus far outlines Intelligent Design and its main ideas, and why it does not pass muster as a scientific theory. He does a good job at taking the theory seriously, but it quickly falls apart when scrutinized. So far, too, he is discussing the public relations problem scientists seem to have. Interesting stuff!

message 8: by Natasha (new)

Natasha (natashareads) #7: The True Story of Hansel and Gretel.

That's it for 2008?! Okay, starting over for 2009--hope to get closer to the challenge goal!

message 9: by Natasha (last edited Jan 03, 2009 02:51PM) (new)

Natasha (natashareads) Oh, wait! 3 more :-)

#8: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Gladwell does a beautiful job of weaving together the results of individual studies in cognitive psychology and presenting those in such a way as to be meaningful and practical for the reader. The implications of study results for society at large is addressed in the end. Beautiful work.

#9: The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I enjoyed Albus Dumbledore's analyses :-)

#10: BUtterfield 8

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