Victoria B.C. (Book Club) discussion

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2010 Reading List > What are you reading?

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message 1: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
What are you currently reading and do you have any special reads upcoming in 2010?


message 2: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments Nophoto-f-25x33 I only joined Goodreads recently and first joined the 144 books in 2010 group as I want to motivate myself to record what I am reading. So far this month I have read 13 books. I have included some audio books on the list. The most recent books read include Michael Chabon "Gentlemen of the Road", Alexander McCall Smith "At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances" and Kasuo Ishiguru "Nocturnes". I'm currently reading "Lacuna" by Barbara Kingsolver.



message 3: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
Dot wrote: "Nophoto-f-25x33 I only joined Goodreads recently and first joined the 144 books in 2010 group as I want to motivate myself to record what I am reading. So far this month I have read 13 books. I hav..."

13 books already, you are a pro! I am a big Kingsolver fan. Lacuna sounds like a departure from some of her other books. How did you like "Nocturnes"?


message 4: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments I think I have read all the Kingsolver books except for her non-fiction and liked them all. I think the first few had a lot in common with each other but I feel she branched out with "The Poisonwood Bible" and "Lacuna" is more in keeping with that. It is set partly in Mexico and partly in the US, and involves some historical figures such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. I was fortunate enough to be in Mexico City a few years back so I have seen some of the Rivera murals, and I went to the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery a few years ago so it is nice to know something about these characters.

As for Nocturnes, I like his novels better than his short stories. I liked the fact that most of the stories were linked in some way, but I couldn't identify with the main protagonists, and felt that the author raised some issues that I would have liked him to explore more than is possible in a short story format.




message 5: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
My favorite Kingsolver book was "Prodigal Summer" followed by "Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven". I was not a big fan of "Poisonwood Bible". Last November I read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and found it interesting and thought provoking.

As for Ishiguru, I loved "Remains of the Day" and have it on my list to re-read.


message 6: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments John wrote: "My favorite Kingsolver book was "Prodigal Summer" followed by "Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven". I was not a big fan of "Poisonwood Bible". Last November I read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and found..."

I too loved the 3 books you mention...so did my daughter. What are you reading now?




message 7: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
Dot wrote: "John wrote: "My favorite Kingsolver book was "Prodigal Summer" followed by "Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven". I was not a big fan of "Poisonwood Bible". Last November I read "Animal, Vegetable, Mirac..."

At the moment I am reading "An Ice-Cream War" by William Boyd. It is a story based on World War 1 in East Africa. It totally forgot about Britain and Germany fighting in East Africa but I shouldn't have having read and watched "African Queen". The book centers around a farmer in Africa and a British soldier who has just gotten married in England, who returns to India, only to be shipped to Africa. I assume the two meet up further on. The book is ok, a little slow but interesting.


message 8: by Jessie (last edited Jan 26, 2010 04:00PM) (new)

Jessie Tyson (JessieBTyson) | 4 comments Hi folks, Rather than leaving this small group I have set my new post notifications to none. So if you reply to anything I posted I will not be notified of it. No offence peeps, but each time one of you replies to a post, I receive it. I'd rather read posts inside the email. With messages from this group, I have to visit to the site to read them. I find that frustrating.

Dot, I know you have my email. Have fun. Regards, Jessie


message 9: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments John wrote: "Dot wrote: "John wrote: "My favorite Kingsolver book was "Prodigal Summer" followed by "Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven". I was not a big fan of "Poisonwood Bible". Last November I read "Animal, Vege..."

I haven't had much luck reading William Boyd. I recently read "The Singapore Grip" by JG Farrell...a novel set in Singapore just before the Japanese invade Malaya. I was astounded by the incompetence of the British generals in the area...but I suppose that Britain had it's hands full with the war in Europe. Farrell is a wonderful writer ..I've only just been introduced to him. He won the Booker in 1971 but died young so there are only a few novels.


message 10: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
I'm about to start "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". I don't often read mystery books but this is the book of the month for the "You'll Love This one" group.


message 11: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie | 1 comments I'm nearing the end of 'The Book of Negroes' and I definitely recommend it. It's a great fictional account of the slave trade. I found myself staying up way too late to read this book, with the repeated broken promise of going to sleep as soon as I finished whatever chapter I was on.


message 12: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
Chrissie wrote: "I'm nearing the end of 'The Book of Negroes' and I definitely recommend it. It's a great fictional account of the slave trade. I found myself staying up way too late to read this book, with the rep..."

I read this too, back in 08, and really liked it. I have picked up his newest book but it is still way down in my to-read pile.



message 13: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments John wrote: "Chrissie wrote: "I'm nearing the end of 'The Book of Negroes' and I definitely recommend it. It's a great fictional account of the slave trade. I found myself staying up way too late to read this b..."

I'm still afraid to read this book...I still have memories of reading and seeing "Roots" all those many years ago, not to mention more recent books about slavery, and fear I'll be too upset by man's inhumanity to man...but people keep telling me how good it is so I really should pluck up the courage.


message 14: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments John wrote: "I'm about to start "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". I don't often read mystery books but this is the book of the month for the "You'll Love This one" group. "

I don't think I'll be reading as many this month as last. I've just finished "Bearded Tit" by Rory McGrath, a humourously told memoir about love and birdwatching in UK. Am listening to "Musicophilia" by Oliver Sachs on audio, and have also started on "The Last Station" by Jay Parini.




message 15: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
Speaking of birding books, have you ever read "The Big Year"? It was a fascinating book, as much about obsession as about birding.


message 16: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments John wrote: "Speaking of birding books, have you ever read "The Big Year"? It was a fascinating book, as much about obsession as about birding. "

No I haven't...I'll add it to the list!


message 17: by Roberta (new)

Roberta | 193 comments I just started Burmese Lessons by Karen Connolly and, so far, I;m liking it. My bookclub is doing The Hotel at the Corner of Biter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and we just finished The Other Side of the Bridge by mary Lawson (lovely book). I'm looking forward to reading A Stopover in Venice by Kathryn Walker and Mysteries of the Middle Ages by Thomas Cahill. I'm also rationing out chapters of The Childrens's Book by A. S. Byatt because I don't want it to end.


message 18: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments Roberta wrote: "I just started Burmese Lessons by Karen Connolly and, so far, I;m liking it. My bookclub is doing The Hotel at the Corner of Biter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and we just finished The Other Side of the..."

All those sound really interesting Roberta...I very much like Thomas Cahill's books but haven't tried that one. Have decided to look at the library catalogue for fThe Childrens's Book by A. S. Byatt . I sometimes find her difficult to read but you sound enthusiastic so I'll try it.



message 19: by Roberta (new)

Roberta | 193 comments It's dense and thick. A bit like committing to a Dickens novel. I love that period of time. Reminds me a little of what I think the 1960's and 70's might have been like. Hope you like it.


message 20: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
I gave up on "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". The premise of solving a forty year old disappearance sounded interesting but I found the book kind of boring and I had no interest in any of the characters.

Now I have started "The Good Mayor". It has been more interesting in the first 10 pages than TGWTDT was in the 260 pages I read.


message 21: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
Time to switch themes from the romance of "The Good Mayor" to the story of the "Ark Royal" a famous WW2 aircraft carrier.


message 22: by Roberta (new)

Roberta | 193 comments How was The Good Mayor? You read an interesting variety of books.


message 23: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
I really like "The Good Mayor". Actually I loved the first half. The second half was very good but not as up beat and a little more magical. It is certainly worthwhile checking out!


message 24: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine (SaanichLori) I'm currently reading a Nevada Barr novel "Flashback" set on Dry Tortugas National Park, which is a place I'd never heard of before. These are tiny little islands 70 miles west of Key West in the Caribbean Sea, just north of Cuba. The Anna Pigeon novels each take place in a different park and are pretty good reads if you like mystery and adventure in unusual locales.

I intend to re-read Mary Stewart's The Moonspinners pretty soon, but have a book on hold at the library "The Blind Side" so will have to read that first. This is the book that inspired the movie. Also have The Book of Negroes at home, so will read that some time this year. I also have to re-read some of the P.D. James books - I think it will be "Shroud for a Nightingale". And also I've been thinking I should re-read Mansfield Park.


message 25: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments John wrote: "I really like "The Good Mayor". Actually I loved the first half. The second half was very good but not as up beat and a little more magical. It is certainly worthwhile checking out!"

I've been reading "The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" which is set in the Dominican Republic. I hadn't known much about the history of that island and this story is set against the backdrop of the dictatorships which were pretty horrific. I'm now reading "Drown" by the same author...Junot Diaz.



message 26: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
Time for little travel. I am starting "Miles From Nowhere: A Round-the-World Bicycle Adventure" - Barbara Savage. It is almost 30 years old so it may be little dated.


message 27: by Roberta (new)

Roberta | 193 comments I'm reading Shanghai Moon by SJ Rozan. It's a mystery featuring PIs Lydia Chin and Bill Smith. Mysteries are my default when I relax and this is better than most. Well written and dealing with a piece of history I knew nothing about - Jews from Hitler's Austria taking refuge in war time and Japanese occupied Shanghai. Very interesting, especially the letters from the 18 year old Rosalie to her mother in Salzberg.


message 28: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments Roberta wrote: "I'm reading Shanghai Moon by SJ Rozan. It's a mystery featuring PIs Lydia Chin and Bill Smith. Mysteries are my default when I relax and this is better than most. Well written and dealing with a..."

Have you seen the movie "The White Countess"? It's set in Shanghai in teh same period.



message 29: by Roberta (new)

Roberta | 193 comments Haven't seen or heard of it but will keep an eye out. Did you like it?

Just finished Shanghai Moon and recommend it. Now back to Burmese Lessons and The Children's Book.


message 30: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments Roberta wrote: "Haven't seen or heard of it but will keep an eye out. Did you like it?

Very Much...it has Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha Redgrave playing mother and daughter...possibly Natasha's last movie.



message 31: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments I'm not getting on very well with the book of short stories "Drown" by Junot Diaz, although I did enjoy the novel by the same author. The stories seem sort of pointless...more fragments of stories than completed works. In fact I've decided to give up on it. What do you guys do in these circumstances....does it count as a book I've read....or not?


message 32: by Roberta (new)

Roberta | 193 comments I think it's whatever makes sense for you. You've read enough to form an opinion.

I have many books with a bookmark 1/3rd to halfway in. Sometimes when I return to them, I see them in a whole new light. Other times, not.

Life is too short to read books you really don't like.


message 33: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments Roberta wrote: "I think it's whatever makes sense for you. You've read enough to form an opinion.

I have many books with a bookmark 1/3rd to halfway in. Sometimes when I return to them, I see them in a whole ..."


"Life is too short to read books you really don't like. "

Amen to that!





message 34: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
I agree with your "life is too short". When I have over 130 books piled in front of me in my to-read pile I can't waste time on a book I don't like.


message 35: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments John wrote: "I agree with your "life is too short". When I have over 130 books piled in front of me in my to-read pile I can't waste time on a book I don't like."

:-) You sound like me John...I have a 2 shelves of a bookcase double stacked, plus a leaning tower of Pisa on my nightstand....and still I go to the library! I guess I'm just an addict!

But if I'm keeping track of 'books read', does it count if I don't finish it?



message 36: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
I interpret read as at least I attempted to read it. I just mark them as a DNF. I have a shelf called "chose-not-to finish".


message 37: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments John wrote: "I interpret read as at least I attempted to read it. I just mark them as a DNF. I have a shelf called "chose-not-to finish"."

Thanks...I'll do the same.




message 38: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
I think you can look at my shelves if you want to just by clicking on my name.


message 39: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments John wrote: "I think you can look at my shelves if you want to just by clicking on my name."

OK...you've talked me into putting "The Good Mayor" on hold at the library....as if I don't have enough to read! :-)



message 40: by Roberta (new)

Roberta | 193 comments Oh whew! I thought I was the only one. I can have 6 books on the go and still be trawling the library shelves. Just in case, you know?

And I just picked up The Good Mayor at the library this morning. Sorry Dot.


message 41: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments Roberta wrote: "Oh whew! I thought I was the only one. I can have 6 books on the go and still be trawling the library shelves. Just in case, you know?

And I just picked up The Good Mayor at the library this ..."


No worries...I've got lots to be going on with! Haven't read all my Xmas presents yet! I've just started another Michael Crummie...called "The Wreckage"....Newfoundland during WW2



message 42: by John (last edited Feb 21, 2010 10:27AM) (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
I read "The Wreckage" back in 07 and really enjoyed it.


message 43: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments John wrote: "I read "The Wreckage" back in 07 and really enjoyed it."

Oh good...I am only on about page 20 but seems good so far. I read "Galore" recently and really liked it.


message 44: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments I finished "The Wreckage"...quite a powerful book, I thought. Rather sad in many ways, and the sections in the POW camp rather hard to read, but an excellent read. Have you read any of his others, John. I'm thinking of looking out for "The River Thieves".


message 45: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments I started on "New Yrok : the novel" but the library emailed to say that "The Good Mayor" was waiting for me...and since it comes so highly recommended, and the story is set in a town called "Dot", I really have to read that next!


message 46: by Roberta (new)

Roberta | 193 comments We will be reading it at the same time Dot. I'm just finishing Her Fearful Symmetry, which I enjoyed intermittantly.


message 47: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy  (Vilette) | 248 comments Roberta wrote: "We will be reading it at the same time Dot. I'm just finishing Her Fearful Symmetry, which I enjoyed intermittantly."

I'll start this evening ;-)


message 48: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
Dot wrote: "I finished "The Wreckage"...quite a powerful book, I thought. Rather sad in many ways, and the sections in the POW camp rather hard to read, but an excellent read. Have you read any of his others..."

I read "The River Thieves" a couple of years ago. I don't remember liking it as much as "The Wreckage" but I gave it three out of five stars.


message 49: by John (last edited Feb 26, 2010 05:31PM) (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
Next I am going to read "The Long March". It is from an English course I took at UVic about 40 years ago. The book cost $1.25 brand new at the time!


message 50: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Mod
One of my favorite books from last year was Art of Racing in the Rain. Now I am going to start How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, I hope it is as good.


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