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What did you read last month? > What I read in August 2010

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Donna in Southern Maryland (cedarville922) | 207 comments Another month has sailed right by. What books did you read this past month?

Please remember to list them using the add book/author feature right above the comment box if possible. You can also add a picture of the cover too. When you do that, it makes it easier for the rest of us to check out your titles and add them to our own To Be Read shelves.

Your reviews and comments about the books are very important......please tell us what you thought of the books you read.

Donna in Southern Maryland


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 669 comments check out my books and "reviews" for August here:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...


message 3: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments I think this is the first time in years that I only finished one book for the month. :(

Last Night in Twisted River by John IrvingLast Night in Twisted River~John Irving
Rate 4
Fiction
I enjoyed the writing and the plot.

I did start but haven't finished yet
The Rise and Fall of Senator Joe McCarthy by James Cross GiblinThe Rise and Fall of Senator Joe McCarthy~ James Cross Giblin
Non fiction

I am about midway in the book and so far it is a 5/5 rating. It's very informative, well written and has good photographs. It's exactly what I am looking for in this type of book.


message 4: by Maria (last edited Aug 30, 2010 04:46AM) (new)

Maria | 12 comments Two weeks ago I finnished read book The Flying Carpet to Baghdad: One Woman's Fight for Two Orphans of War by Hala Jaber. Last Friday I finnished read book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.


message 5: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Aug 30, 2010 05:12AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I read People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks ,
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen ,
Messages by Bonnie McEneaney
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) by James Dashner
Yac Far from the Madding Crow by Hardy Thomas Far From the Madding Crowd
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins
and
Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins I really liked then all!


message 6: by Alias Reader (last edited Aug 30, 2010 09:58AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Marialyce wrote: I really liked then all!
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Wow ! That's some list, Marialyce. Congratulations on the great reading month.

I've also read and enjoyed,
Far from the Madding Crowd

Now how many people incorrectly think it is "maddening Crowd" :)


message 7: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments In August(where did the time go?)I read --

Bodily Harm Bodily Harm by Margaret Atwood Margaret Atwood

Something Dangerous Something Dangerous (The Spoils of Time, #2) by Penny Vincenzi Penny Vincenzi

Every Secret Thing Every Secret Thing by Ann Tatlock Ann Tatlock

Last Night in Twisted River Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving John Irving

Not a bad month. Right now I have 3 books started. Brave New World (our read), Little Bee (for another GR site), and Shop Class as Soul Craft (for my F2F)
I'll post links on these later on.

Barbara


message 8: by Alias Reader (last edited Aug 30, 2010 08:04PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Bobbie57 wrote:Not a bad month. Right now I have 3 books started. Brave New World (our read), Little Bee (for another GR site), and Shop Class as Soul Craft (for my F2F)
I'll post links on these later on. .."

=================

Barbara, Little Bee is next months selection for my F2F book club. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on it when you finish.


message 9: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments I can tell you right now Alias that I think Little Bee is an amazing book. And then we need to wait for you to read it as I don't want to give away a moment of it.

Let me know when you are ready. I'd be interested to know how your group feels about it.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Bobbie57 wrote: "I can tell you right now Alias that I think Little Bee is an amazing book. And then we need to wait for you to read it as I don't want to give away a moment of it.

Let me know when you are read..."


I thought that book was great. I think you will enjoy it.


message 11: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Bobbie57 wrote: "I can tell you right now Alias that I think Little Bee is an amazing book. And then we need to wait for you to read it as I don't want to give away a moment of it.

Let me know when you are read..."

------------

Thank you for the feedback, Barbara and Marialyce.

My f2f book club meets the last Monday in Sept.


message 12: by Jan (new)

Jan | 18 comments I just put little bee on my Kindle wish list.

RI Jan


message 13: by Connie (new)

Connie (constants) | 73 comments The Best of Everything - Rona Jaffe. Written in 1958, set in 1952-4, this is the story of 5 young women living in New York and working in a big publishing house. Reading it was like hearing the stories of the women in the background scenes in "Mad Men." There's all kinds of scandalous stuff here - sexual harassment, affairs, abortion, obsession and I loved every juicy detail! This is a book that my mother and her friends were probably reading back in the day, and no doubt hiding from their husbands. What a great read. A+


Life Sentences - Laura Lippman. I've always wanted to read a Laura Lippman book - she is married to David Simon who wrote "The Wire" after all, but maybe this wasn't the one to start with. A young writer returns to her hometown of Baltimore to try to tell the story of a girl she grew up with who was accused of murdering her child. I kept losing track of the characters, past and present and this was one of those books which, when I set it down, it didn't "call" for me to pick it back up. I wanted to like it more than I did. C+


Rich Boy - Sharon Pomerantz. I have yet to read a bad review of this book, but I am about to write one. After much thought, I think the thing I didn't like was that I expected Rich Boy to be a more "substantial" book when it really is something of a "beach read." That's not a bad thing. That's just not what I was expecting, so for that reason I found it disappointing. I thought the characters were predictable. The tightwad mother. The mysterious first love. A gay man living in New York in the early 1980's.......gosh, I wonder what's going to happen to him. I wouldn't recommend that people not read it, just that they don't expect too much from it. B-


Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins. This is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy and it continues the story of Katniss and Peeta who triumphed in the first book but are thrown back into the arena to fight again here. I enjoyed the story and turned the pages eagerly, but I must say this is one violent story. Life continues to be very cheap in the futuristic country of Panem, but I loved the cliff-hanger ending of the book and am looking forward to reading "Mockingjay" - the final book in the series. A-


The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe
Life Sentences by Laura Lippman
Rich Boy by Sharon Pomerantz
Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins


message 14: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Connie wrote: but I must say this is one violent story. Life continues to be very cheap in the futuristic country of Panem, but I loved the cliff-hanger ending of the book and am looking forward to reading "Mockingjay" - the final book in the series. A-"

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I always love reading your reviews, Connie.

I've seen Mockingjay in the book stores. I wasn't aware it was part of a series. I don't care for violent books. They scare me ! So I guess I take a pass.


message 15: by Schmerguls (new)

Schmerguls | 16 comments What I Read in August 2010

4734 Over the Cliff How Obama's Election Drove the American Right Insane, by John Amato and David Neiwert (read 1 Aug 2010) This is a book detailing much of the nutty things the Far Right has indulged in since Obama was elected. It is a funny book at times when it tells what guys one hears on Fox News spout, and it is hard to understand how any thinking person can believe what they sometimes dish out. It is disquieting to think that the Republican party has been so intimidated by people like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, et al.,that most Republicans seem scared to disagree with them, If they have their way someone like Sarah Palin will be nominated in 2012. I can't believe the Republicans could be so dumb, but whoever they nominate will be scared to disagree with those nuts, I suppose.

4735 A Study in Scarlet, by Arthur Conan Doyle (read 1 Aug 2010) This was published in 1887 and is the first novel in which Sherlock Holmes is a character. The only other book by Doyle I've read is The Hound of the Baskervilles, which I would guess I read in 1943. This novel's first half is of some interest, as we are introduced to Sherlock Holmes--not a very pleasant guy, apparently a user of cocaine and much addicted to love of flattery. The murders turn out to be a revenge against evil Mormons who had caused the death in Utah of a beautiful girl and her father. The Mormons, including Brigham Young, are depicted as thoroughly evil and super-controlling. The same view of Mormons was evidenced in Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage, which I read 12 Jan 2001.

4736 The Hunters and the Hunted, by Jochen Brennecke Translated by R. H. Stevens (read 3 Aug 2010) This is a 1958 book by a German author telling about German submarines in World War II. It does not pretend to be a history, but tells of various events involving German submarines--all too often of their successes. It makes the German submariners out as noble and courageous--and also says only good things about the behavior of the British and U.S. men who had occasion to rescue or capture Germans. There are no footnotes and no attempt to tell where the accounts come from. The most amazing thing about the book is that there is utterly no recognition that the cause the Germans fought for was evil, and that defeat was necessary for right to survive in the world. Not a good book, but of interest nevertheless.

4737 A Bright Shining Lie John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam, by Neil Sheehan (read 10 Aug 2010) (Pulitzer Nonfiction prize in 1989) (National Book Award nonfiction prize in 1988) I have been intending to read this for years. It is the 29th Pulitzer nonfiction winner I've read and the 27th National Book Award nonfiction winner I've read. It is the biography of John Paul Vann (born July 2, 1924, died in helicopter crash in Vietnam June 7, 1972), who did momentous things in Vietnam,often at odds with the policy being pursued. He was not a dove, but believed killing Vietnamese was not the way to win. His story tells so much about Vietnam, and one is appalled by so much that went on in Vietnam. The author is very much against the war but tells the story of Vann very well. During much of the time I was reading this I was convinced we should never have fought in Vietnam, and I was sad when I remembered that I supported the war for years before finally turning against it in 1968. This is a big book (790 pages of text, a 12-page bibliography, 25 pages of source notes) and some of the account of the fighting is not real interesting, but great gobs of the book are very good reading.

4738 The First Casualty From the Crimea to Vietnam: The War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist, and Myth Maker, by Phillip Knightley (read 14 Aug 2010) This is a 1975 book on war correspondents in the wars beginning with the Crimean War. The author does a good job telling how tough doing a good job as a war correspondent is, what with censorship and the wish for the government to have people only hear good news about the war. He concludes Vietnam was the best reported war--but points out that correspondents also stumbled there, e.g., how long it took for American atrocities to be written about. This book covers a lot of ground and is consistently interesting and often tells things one did not hear about when the war was going on.

4739 A Dangerous Friend, by Ward Just (read 16 Aug 2010) The author was a war correspondent in Vietnam. Since then he has written 15 novels and I decided to read this one, published in 1999, because it is about Vietnam. Sydney Parade goes to Vietnam employed by a civilian outfit aiming to help win the "hearts and minds" of Vietnamese to our side. It paints what I am confident is an authentic picture of wartime Vietnam--the impact of the U.S. on life there, the waste, and such. Syd comes to know a Frenchman and his American wife, and eventually gets information from them about a captured American, who is thus rescued, but the Army heavy-handedly inflicts disaster on the innocent place where he was held--entirely missing the enemy. The story line picked up towards the end this made the book good reading, as well as the book telling of wartime Vietnam. Sad story but well-done and worth reading.

4740 Road To Resistance An Autobiography, by George Millar (read 19 Aug 2010) This is a 1979 autobiography , covering his life from birth in 1910 in Scotland to 1945, when he married and took a yacht to Greece. The first part of the book covering his life prior to 1936 when he began work with a British newspaper, the Express, is not too interesting, at least compared to the years from 1936 to 1944. He enlisted in 1939, went to Egypt, was captured in Libya, was taken to Italy, tried to escape, was taken to Germany, where he did escape, managed to get to Spain and back to England, and on June 1, 1944, parachuted into northeast France to work with the French Resistance. It makes for quite a story, and was well worth reading. He lived till 2005, dying at age 94. A very able fellow, eager for doing daring things, and lucky not to have been killed. His youth was spent in fox hunting and the like, reminding me of the youth of Siegfried Sassoon, whose excellent biography by Max Egremont I read 30 July 2008.

4741 The Course of Empire, by Bernard DeVoto (read 22 Aug 2010) (National Book Award Nonfiction prize for 1953) This is the 28th National Book Award nonfiction winner I've read. It is carefully researched and has lots of esoteric notes which did not interest me often. The book relates explorations in North America from the early 1500's and concludes with a detailed account of Lewis & Clark's triumphant trek in 1804-1806. Some of these accounts were of interest but I admit many pages were not. The last chapters, on Lewis & Clark, were probably the most interesting. One marvels how lucky the U.S. was to acquire the Louisiana Purchase as effortlessly as it did. DeVoto points out, e.g., that Napoleon's treaty with Spain by which he acquired Louisiana provided that if France tried to sell Louiisana the transfer of it to France would be null and void. So really the U.S. title was deficient--but nobody paid any attention to that, probably because napoleon was such a dominant figure at the time he sold Louisiana.

4742 The Arnheiter Affair, by Neil Sheehan (read 24 Aug 2010) Marcs Aurelius Arnheiter was captain of the Vance (DE 387) for 99 days , till he was removed as such on March 31, 1966. He was a much-hated captain, and did some really stupid things, including ordering the location of his ship to be falsely reported off Vietnam so that he would appear not to be where he wasn't supposed to be. This is a true story, but reminds me of the novel The Caine Mutiny (read 31 Jan 1954). In this case superior officers ordered the removal based on what they were told by people on the ship. Arnheiter put up a fierce fight, supported by some admirals and at least one Congressman. The Navy was right to remove him, but mishandled the way they did it. The book is very interesting, but not overly well-written. The book was removed from print when Arnheiter sued the publisher for libel and slander. Comments on Amazon re the book from crew members indicate the book is accurate.

4743 Tour of Duty, by John Dos Passos (read 26 Aug 2010) This 1946 book tells of Dos Passos' time as a war correspondent in 1945 in the Pacific--at various islands,including Saipan and Guam and in the Philippines, where he was when Manila was liberated. Then he tells of his time in Germany in 1945, including a bit about the Nuremberg war trials. He is pretty pessimistic about Europe and Russia--a pessimism that seems overblown 65 years later. Dos Passos can paint well what he saw and heard so I did not think reading this was entirely pointless.

4744 Money to Burn, by James Zagel (read 28 Aug 2010) When I learned that James Zagel, the Federal judge who presided over the Blagojevich trial in Chicago, had written a novel I found it and read it. It is an account of Paul Devine, a fictional Federal judge in Chicago, who devises a scheme to steal money which the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago is to burn as damaged money. The elaborate planning to carry out the scheme drags some but the account of the actual theft and events thereafter are engrossing and enjoyable, far-fetched. though the scheme is. In the last 100 pages or so the story line descends to farce and I did not like the way it came out. The evil judge goes through bad times, but ends up still a judge! While much in this book was fun to read I can nol but decide the book is a failure.

4745 America and the Progressive Era 1900-1919, by Fon W. Boardman, Jr. (read 29 Aug 2010) This is a 1970 book written for juveniles but it neatly summarizes the years 1900 to 1917, years which are full of nostalgia for me since they are the years of my parents' youth. It is a balanced book and written with the assumption that the reader knows nothing of the time. Any kid interested in the time would enjoy it, as I did.


message 16: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Great reading month, Schmerguls. Thanks for sharing.

I was in Washington, D.C. this past week on vacation. I was so happy we were leaving early Saturday morning before the Glen Beck rally began. Sarah Palin also spoke at the rally.


message 17: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova -Elizabeth Kostova
A Death in Texas by Lisa Smith -Lisa Rene' Smith
Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving -John Irving
The Money Changers by Upton Sinclair -Upton Sinclair

Because of some interruptions, I'm still reading to my kids Beautiful Joe by Margaret Marshal Saunders -Margaret Marshall Saunders


Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 82 comments We have a daughter and her two young ones living with us for a few months, so my reading has been affected. In August I finished:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley. Enjoyed this very much. About an eleven-year-old English girl whose passion is chemistry. She finds a body in the garden, and sets out to solve the crime.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie


Phantom Prey, by John Sandford. I find this Lucas Davenport series interesting and quick reading, but usually not for the squeamish.

(I can't get rid of the first book (Sweetness) in the "add book" box.)

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson. I liked this, but not quite as much as I had anticipated. Main characters are likeable, but some others are stereotypes and detestable.


My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme. Loved this! What an interesting life. She and Paul were a great match, and she threw herself with enthusiasm into each new city that his foreign service career took them to, learning the languages and joining the local community. But she truly fell in love with Paris, France, and French food. Nicely written, a quick read.


message 19: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Rebekah wrote: The Money Changers-Upton Sinclair ..."

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Rebekah, I read and enjoyed The Jungle by Sinclair very much. The Moneychangers seems like a book I would like. What did you think of it?


message 20: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Carolyn (in SC) C234D wrote: My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme. Loved this! What an interesting life. She and Paul were a great match, and she threw herself with enthusiasm into each new city that his foreign service career took them to, learning the languages and joining the local community. But she truly fell in love with Paris, France, and French food. Nicely written, a quick read."
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Hi, Carolyn !

I read My Life in France with a f2f library book group. The majority of the group felt the way you did. I thought Julia came off a bit cold at times. For example, she mentions Paul going into a nursing home in one paragraph and then just goes on with the story.

I also thought she should have told the other women whom she wrote the book with about the TV success in the U.S. I don't think she would have come here, but she should have been told. Child says something like "I didn't want to bother her with it" I didn't ring intellectually honest with me.

To be fair, I think she was deceased when the final copy of the book came out. Maybe she would have changed things or given it a different tone.

The persona in the book just seemed so different than the movie or even her personality on her TV cooking shows.

Someone here on BNC wrote that the actress who played Childs, Meryl Streep, said she played her as she wanted her to be, not as she was in real life.

I was at the Smithsonian last week in Washington and they have her entire kitchen set up as one of the exhibits. It was a very popular exhibit. We enjoyed seeing it.

Thanks for sharing your monthly reads with us !


Donna in Southern Maryland (cedarville922) | 207 comments Rebekah, I was so glad to see that you are reading Beautiful Joe! I remember reading it, and some things have stayed with me. I read it in Elementary School in the 60's! I remember his poor ears...........You'll have to let us know what your kids think of it.

Donna in Southern Maryland


Donna in Southern Maryland (cedarville922) | 207 comments Carolyn (in SC) C234D wrote: "We have a daughter and her two young ones living with us for a few months, so my reading has been affected. In August I finished:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley. Enjoy..."


Carolyn, enjoy your time with those grandkids! I have "Sweetness" on my TBR list.

And I noted your problem with the "ADD" box. Just type over what comes up! Easy Peasy! :o)

Donna in Southern MAryland


message 24: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1204 comments My August Reads:

Six Months in Sudan: A Young Doctor in a War-torn Village is about a doctor with Doctors without Borders (called something else in his country of canada which I can't remember exactly) who goes to the middle of nowhere in Sudan and tries to treat people with very little resources available to him.

Four Spirits: A Novel is a historical fiction novel that takes place in Birmingham AL during the civil rights era of the early 60's and told from the point of view of many different characters, both black and white.

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel is a WWII novel written to be a different take on the story of Hansel and Gretel (kids find a "witch" in the woods, big oven, bread crumbs etc) but is much more than that too.


message 25: by Rebekah (last edited Sep 05, 2010 09:45AM) (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) Donna in Southern Maryland wrote: "Rebekah, I was so glad to see that you are reading Beautiful Joe! I remember reading it, and some things have stayed with me. I read it in Elementary School in the 60's! I remember his poor ears......"

I'ts going pretty slow now. My daughter just had my first grandchild on the 28th at 3am! I stayed three nights with her in the hospital, then she came and stayed with me a few days so I could help her and bedtime reading kind of went away for a while, although I did get them to read their own chapter books before sleeping.
My teacher read it to our class in 3rd grade. Heidi, Beautiful Joe and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Books were my favorites until I got to 4th grade and met Nancy Drew!


message 26: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 669 comments Congratulations, Rebekah. There is no greater joy than a grandchild.

I am confused....who was reading the chapter books?


message 27: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) Alias Reader, The Money Changers by U. Sinclair is kind of creepy. If you excahnged electric for gas lights, long dresses for paintsuits and cars for carriages, this book could be what happened in our recent past when CEO'smade off with millions while the average people lost all their life's savings. You will see history repeats itself and this was written before the 1929 crash!


message 28: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Congratulations, Rebekah. There is no greater joy than a grandchild.

I am confused....who was reading the chapter books?"


Thank you JoAnn. Today is my daughter's birthday and all I can think of is when she was the same age as her baby is now!
Was that last question for me about the chapter books?


message 29: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 669 comments Rebekah wrote: ".Was that last question for me about the chapter books? .."

yes, it was. In a previous post you had written:

My daughter just had my first grandchild on the 28th at 3am! I stayed three nights with her in the hospital, then she came and stayed with me a few days so I could help her and bedtime reading kind of went away for a while, although I did get them to read their own chapter books before sleeping.


message 30: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) Oh lol! Those esrly am feedings made me lose my mind! It's a good excuse anyway: )
My children (twins) are in 3rd grade and read chapter books. My son is really into Magic Treehouse and books about Daniel Boone, Sam Houston and all those rugged males. Skyla perfers animal stories and princess stories. She is behind her brother so her books are usually simpler. I tried starting her on Junie B Jones, but then I realized how confusing and difficult it was since Junie B makes up words and also it doesn't help with spelling.

But i'll keep reading to them at night as long as they want. We often get into discussions about what we read and it's a good way to wind down and spend quality time. My mother read to us until 6th or 7th grade, even though I was reading books far beyond that.


message 31: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Meredith wrote: "My August reads were

[book:Empire Falls|1..."

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I enjoyed Empire Falls, too. I plan on reading more Russo for sure.


message 32: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Rebekah wrote: "Alias Reader, The Money Changers by U. Sinclair

You will see history repeats itself and this was written before the 1929 crash! ."

-----------------------------------

Sad but often true, Rebekah.

Thanks for reminding me about this book. I definitely want to read it.


message 33: by Diane (last edited Sep 06, 2010 05:36PM) (new)

Diane (dianescrivener) This is what I read (and attempted to read) in August.

Grace Walk What You've Always Wanted in the Christian Life by Steve McVey

The Sister by Poppy Adams

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy Abandoned

Audio Collection by Edgar Allan Poe

Labor Day A Novel by Joyce Maynard

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

The Butterfly House (Mira) by Marcia Preston

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Smart Women by Judy Blume


Outlander (Outlander, #1) by Diana Gabaldon From Cradle to Grave The Short Lives and Strange Deaths of Marybeth Tinning's Nine Children by Joyce Egginton

The Possibility of Everything by Hope Edelman

The Help by Kathryn Stockett


message 34: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 06, 2010 05:51PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Diane wrote:
The God of Small Things Abandoned "


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Diane, your one abandoned book is on my TBR stacks. I've nominated it a few times in the past for our group read. Maybe it's the type of book with others reading and contributing makes it an easier read.

I recall when I was on line at Borders buying it a few years ago, the person next to me said it was terrific. Perhaps it is a love it or hate it type read.


message 35: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 669 comments Rebekah wrote: "Oh lol! Those esrly am feedings made me lose my mind! It's a good excuse anyway: )
My children (twins) are in 3rd grade and read chapter books. My son is really into Magic Treehouse and books abo..."


WOW, you have 3rd graders AND a grandchild!


message 36: by Diane (last edited Sep 06, 2010 08:18PM) (new)

Diane (dianescrivener) Alias... yes, I read the reviews before I got the book and it seemed as though many people loved it and also many people didn't.

I myself was disappointed because (judging from the synopsis) I was expecting a wonderful story.. (and it may be).

The issues I had with it were these...
1)They introduce many characters all at once without really giving you any time to get to know them. For me this is necessary in order for me to remember them. Also, when introducing them they would give you a name, a nick name, as well as a confusing title (my mother's unlce's brother kind of thing). The names are foriegn as well and some of them looked similar which also made it difficult.

2)They would go back and forth between present and past in a way that (for me) didn't flow well. So often times you would have to read a ways before you even realized you were in a different time. Due to this confusion sometimes it also made it seem that the info didn't "gel".

3)They were parts in the book that were kind of nasty or gross that did nothing to add to the story. They were just... gross. Not necessary. I think I got about three chapters in and it just wasn't doing it for me.

Clearly from the reviews, there are others out there who were able to piece it together or understand it better than I and found it to be a great book. I just couldn't do it myself.

Diane


message 37: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianescrivener) Out of the books that I've listed above for my August reads my favorites were...

"Grace Walk"
"The Butterfly House"
"Outlander" and
"The Help"

I kind of go back and forth on "The Sister". I'm torn on that one. I liked it.. and I didn't LoL.

"The Possibility of Everything" I may have abandonded too honestly, but I won it from first reads and wanted to honor the request for a review so I made sure to finish it in order to do that. But I didn't like it. That too, though was a personal thing. Others may see it differently.

Judy Blume's "Summer Sisters" and "Smart Women" were of course good, but those I had read years ago and wanted to re-read them just because I remembered loving them so much. However, it's funny how people change as they grow. I still enjoyed them (Judy Blume is wonderful how could you not).. but they did not mean the same to me this time around.

"Rebecca" was ok.
I didn't like "Labor Day" at all.

Diane


message 38: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Rebekah wrote: "Oh lol! Those esrly am feedings made me lose my mind! It's a good excuse anyway: )
My children (twins) are in 3rd grade and read chapter books. My son is really into Magic Treehous..."


And a daughter that turned 21 today!We always joke about it when her birthday falls on LABOR day.

btw, She loved the treehouse books too and had almost everyone up to about the time she got too old for them. So I gave them to a friend overseas that had a 2nd grader that loved them. Not knowing I was going to be having twins that loved them!lol


message 39: by Rebekah (last edited Sep 06, 2010 09:12PM) (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) Alias Reader wrote: "Diane wrote:
The God of Small Things Abandoned "

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Diane, your one abandoned book is on my TBR stacks. I've nominated it a few times in the past for our group read. Maybe it's t..."


Don't you just find all those Indian/Pakistan books have depressing endings? For our book club in Delhi, I asked the local book shop owner if there were any Indian books with happy endings as my book club was getting morbid and depressed. It took him a while but he finally came up with R.K. Narayan and his made up village of Malgudi and Ruskin Bond but you still have to get the right book by these authors.


message 40: by Schmerguls (new)

Schmerguls | 16 comments I went back and looked at my comment on The God of Small Things:

3260. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy (read Oct 24, 1999) This won the Booker Prize in 1997 and I am sort of "doing" those winners, so I read it. This is a powerful book I did not enjoy much. The book has much to be said for it, but of course I have objections to it--what 1990s fiction do I not have some objection to? The author's use of scatology is jarring because it is relatively rare and so unnecessary. The sex scene is more explicit than it needed to be. But all in all one has to admit this book is an absorbing work taken as a whole. I still have 21 Booker prizewinners I haven't read, and I don't suppose I'll get them all read unless I concentrate on them.


message 41: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments RE: The God of Small Things

Diane wrote:
1)They introduce many characters all at once without really giving you any time to get to know them. For me this is necessary in order for me to remember them. Also, when introducing them they would give you a name, a nick name, as well as a confusing title (my mother's unlce's brother kind of thing). The names are foriegn as well and some of them looked similar which also made it difficult.

2)They would go back and forth between present and past in a way that (for me) didn't flow well. So often times you would have to read a ways before you even realized you were in a different time. Due to this confusion sometimes it also made it seem that the info didn't "gel". "

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Oh, no. :{ That's two big things I usually don't like in a novel.

I often have issues with a huge number of characters. I can't keep them all straight. I end up writing the names down, but that is a hassle.

I also like a linear story. I don't like ones that hop back and forth.

The book is slender and I already own it, so at some point I will give it a shot.


message 42: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 07, 2010 09:03AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Schmerguls wrote:
I still have 21 Booker prizewinners I haven't read, and I don't suppose I'll get them all read unless I concentrate on them.
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This is the list of books from the list that I've read.

List of winners and shortlisted authors of the Booker Prize for Fiction

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...


Penelope Fitzgerald The Bookshop
I don't recall the plot anymore. :(

Rohinton Mistry A Fine Balance
Very well written. However, I found it to be unbearable depressing. So much so, that it made me numb to all the horrors.


Yann Martel Life of Pi
I read this with my f2f book group. I was one of the few that didn't care for it.


DBC Pierre Vernon God Little
I liked it. But it's not for anyone who has objections to cursing.


Monica Ali Brick Lane
I really enjoyed this one a lot. I would read more by this author


Sacred Hunger- Barry Unsworth
Very, well written. The last half of the book slowed a bit, but this is a terrifically well written book.


message 43: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 669 comments Alias and Diane, I think we are sisters. I also do not like tons of characters, especially ones that are not well-defined. And I hate "back and forthing". GRRRR


message 44: by Schmerguls (new)

Schmerguls | 16 comments Julie, you did not tell us what you thought of Four Spirits. I knew I had read it but forgot what I thought of it till I went back and read my comment on the book:
4224 Four Spirits a novel by Sena Jeter Naslund (read 1 Nov 2006) This is a 2003 novel by a woman who is from Birmingham, AL. Because of books like Carry Me Home Birmingham, Alabama The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution, by Diane McWhorter (read 16 Nov 2002) (Pulitzer Nonfiction prize in 2002) which I enjoyed greatly, I thought this might be good to read. It details an account involving a few whites and some blacks in Birmingham in the years 1963 and 1964, with the four spirits being the four black girls killed in the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham on Sept 15, 1963. It tells several stories involving different characters, and is quite diffused and toward the end seems rather pointless. Some characters die due to racist hatred, but the story line meanders. For a while it held my interest but toward the end it was, frankly, boring and I was glad when it limped to an end.


message 45: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 224 comments Julie wrote: "My August Reads:

Six Months in Sudan: A Young Doctor in a War-torn Village is about a doctor with Doctors without Borders (called something else in his country of canada which I c..."


I also read The True Story of Hansel and Gretel in August for the Historical Fictionistas group. I was impressed with both the use of Hansel and Gretel and the characterization.


message 46: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianescrivener) JoAnn... I don't mind back and forth too much as long as it is clearly defined. The name thing however makes me crazy.


message 47: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianescrivener) Alias, yes.. if you already own the book you might as well try it. Maybe it will be different for you. If you don't end up liking it, there's always the swap! As I said before there were plenty of people who left positive reviews so... who knows! That may be a terrific find for someone else! =)
Diane


message 48: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1204 comments Schmerguls wrote: "Julie, you did not tell us what you thought of Four Spirits. I knew I had read it but forgot what I thought of it till I went back and read my comment on the book:
4224 Four Spirits a novel by..."


I liked parts of it very much but it seemed too long and, like you, I thought parts of it were slow. I think if it was shortened, it would have been much better. I wrote a review which you should be able to see if you go to my books.


message 49: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) Alias Reader wrote: "Schmerguls wrote:
I still have 21 Booker prizewinners I haven't read, and I don't suppose I'll get them all read unless I concentrate on them.
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Alias, I've read five of the books you posted and I'm going to read the Penelope Lively Booker Prize Winner for a challenge I am doing.
How did you feel about A Fine Balance? Have you read any of his other books?

When did you start reading all the Bookers? I started reading all the Pulitzers, and it's been a few years. They go all the way back to 1919 and many were really difficult to find. I have one more left but I'm finding it hard to get started. I thought I'd like to go to Bookers or National Book Award next.. whatever is shortest this time! lol
Someone told me they were trying to read a book about each of the American Presidents and I thought that might be interesting too.



message 50: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 07, 2010 10:38PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Rebekah wrote: "Schmerguls wrote:
I still have 21 Booker prizewinners I haven't read, and I don't suppose I'll get them all read unless I concentrate on them.
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Rebekah,no, I haven't read any other books by
by Rohinton Mistry.

I think Schmurgals has read all the Pulitzers, if I am not mistaken.

I was the one who wants to read a book about each president. I think Deborah (madrano) also said she may try this next year.

Even if I don't accomplish the goal, I like to have a direction and not just aimlessly read. If I was just reading for entertainment that might be fine. But for some of my non fiction reading I like a clear path.

As to reading by choosing books that make a prize list, I think that's a good way to find quality books that one may not hear of otherwise.


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