Books on the Nightstand discussion

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What are you reading? January 2011

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message 1: by Lil (new)

Lil | 216 comments I just received Unbroken as my first library e-book and I'm about 70 pages in and it is totally gripping and fabulous. I was hoping to use it to see how I like my new alternate ebook reader (more on that later in the ereader thread), but this book is so good, I could read it on loose pages of cardboard box!Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Also reading The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson from my own TBR collection. Funny so far, but will likely be totally put on hold until Unbroken is finished.


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 01, 2011 08:15AM) (new)

Started: The Most They Ever Had (written and narrated by the author, Rick Bragg) This is a memoir about the people of Jacksonsville, AL, whose economy revolved around cotton. The last mill was recently shut down and this is Rick Bragg's affectionate (but not maudlin) look at his hometown. I already recognize many of these people from Tunkhannock, PA and Medford, OR so really, inasmuch as this book is about a specific lot of people, it's really about a lot of people in the US.


message 3: by Kathie (last edited Jan 01, 2011 08:58AM) (new)

Kathie Somewhere I read that Jonathan Franzen rated Jane Smiley's The Greenlanders as one of the most underrated novels of recent years. Found a copy on my library's shelves and dug in. I am LOVING it.

It's an account, written in the style of a Norse saga, of life among the European inhabitants of Greenland in the 14th century. Pretty much forgotten by mainland Europe in the wake of the Black Death and other calamities, the Greenlanders eke out a precarious living, with relentless climate change making it harder each year to keep farms productive and to keep families fed.

The language is spare but still manages to flesh out characters and evocative imagery, and include sly humor.

I've told some friends about this book and their eyes have glazed over. But it's going to be rated among the best of the best for me.


message 4: by Shruti morethanmylupus (last edited Jan 01, 2011 03:57PM) (new)

Shruti morethanmylupus (morethanmylupus) | 54 comments I picked up A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as I it's been on my TBR list for years. I'm truly enjoying it.


message 5: by Flora (new)

Flora Smith (bookwormflo) I am currently 3/4 of the way thru Phineas Finn, and I actually have come to really love this book. I'm glad I stuck it out in the begining because it has improved so much.

I am also 1/2 thru The Confession which I got for Christmas and so far I like this one as well.


message 6: by Deb (new)

Deb (djzbaker) | 16 comments Is this a great title or what? "How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone" by Sasa Stanisic. The cover art is terrific too.

Very different for me, a translation from the German, about the war in the former Yugoslavia, from the perspective of a young boy.

Get out of your comfort zone, people! Try something brand-new. The rewards are breathtaking.


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
War and Peace, baby! 30 pages in and loving it!
Also started listening to the audiobook of Relic, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, to keep me eager to get to the gym!


message 8: by Jay (new)

Jay Bullman Just finished up Dead Until Dark
I liked it. I started watching Tru Blood on DVD and was curious how the books were. I think I want to read more.

I'm starting up The Book Thieffor my book club as well as working on The Wheelman. 2011 is off to a blazing start.


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) | 512 comments Shruti wrote: "I picked up A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as I it's been on my TBR list for years. I'm truly enjoying it."

one of my top 5 favorite books of all time


message 11: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) | 512 comments I finished a book I started in Dec, The Ice Queen & I am now reading Dead to the World


Shruti morethanmylupus (morethanmylupus) | 54 comments Becky wrote: "Shruti wrote: "I picked up A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as I it's been on my TBR list for years. I'm truly enjoying it."

one of my top 5 favorite books of all time"


LOVING it so far!


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I've just uploaded 3:10 TO YUMA (by Elmore Leonard; narrated by Henry Rollins) to my iPod (This does not carry an ISBN number and goodreads does not accept ASIN numbers so there's no link to the book.) This is a Classic Western written by the same guy who has written a number of fun crime fiction novels like GET SHORTY and OUT OF SIGHT. I don't really "get" Westerns" but I wanted to try some genre-busting so I thought I would try this. What's particularly appealing about this audio is that it's narrated by Henry Rollins. Henry Rollins was the lead singer of a hardcore punk band, Black Flag, in the 1980's of which I was a HUGE fan of.


message 14: by Arlen (new)

Arlen (abensen) | 1 comments I finally started "The Man in the High Castle" by Philip K. Dick. My son gave it to me last Christmas with high recommendations and I feel terribly guilty that a whole year has gone by and I haven't yet read it.
So far, good writing-depressing dystopia.


message 15: by Michael (new)

Michael (mkindness) | 537 comments Mod
I'm re-reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay for the BOTNS online reading group, Just My Type: A Book about Fonts because I'm a font nerd, and Best Food Writing 2010 because it's awesome.


message 16: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) | 512 comments Tanya wrote: "I've just uploaded 3:10 TO YUMA (by Elmore Leonard; narrated by Henry Rollins) to my iPod (This does not carry an ISBN number and goodreads does not accept ASIN numbers so there's no link to the bo..."

saw the movie, very good


message 17: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
Tanya wrote: "I've just uploaded 3:10 TO YUMA (by Elmore Leonard; narrated by Henry Rollins)

Does Rollins use his "Black Flag" style of vocals?


message 18: by Jeff (new)

Jeff | 41 comments I'm rereading A Storm of Swords. This is my third time rereading George R R Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. I'm looking forward to the HBO mini-series of the first book - A Game of Thrones.

I'm an incredibly, incredibly picky fantasy reader, but Martin's series is very, very good. Adult themes, realistic battles and combat, well-drawn characters. I highly, enthusiastically recommend the series.


message 19: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (brandonsears) Halfway through Countdown to Lockdown: A Hardcore Journal by Mick Foley. Just fantastic..really relaxed and enjoyable read.


message 20: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 04, 2011 05:56AM) (new)

Eric wrote: "Tanya wrote: "I've just uploaded 3:10 TO YUMA (by Elmore Leonard; narrated by Henry Rollins)

Does Rollins use his "Black Flag" style of vocals?"


LOL, no, though I would find that immensely entertaining! Since his Black Flag days he has been doing a little acting and voice-over work, though the mainstay of his current professional life is doing spoken word performances. He's written a couple of books, most notably his autobiography of his time with Black Flag, Get in the Van: On the Road With Black Flag. I heard he still performs with a band and that, onstage with the band, he's still as raw as he ever was. Apparently there's something of the Jekyll and Hyde syndrome going on with him: As an spoken-word performer and author, he's quite approachable, signing autographs and chatting with fans; but as a lead vocalist, he's ever the anarchist.

UPDATE: 3:10 to YUMA turned out to be a short story and so I've finished reading it already! It's about a deputy from Bisbee who is responsible for transporting a convicted felon to prison. He just needs to get his charge from the hotel to the train. The writing has strong imagery and characters, not a wasted word anywhere. As for the narration, no anarchistic vocal renderings, but no complaints either ;-)

Now I'm listening to The Haunting of Hill House (by Shirley Jackson; narrated by Bernadette Dunne.) Just from the book's description (four people sent into a haunted house to investigate) it looks like Richard Matheson was heavily influenced by this work when he wrote HELL HOUSE.


message 21: by Alexia (new)

Alexia (crittersmom) | 29 comments I am reading The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1) by Alexander McCall Smith The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency for our Church book club and so far I am underwhelmed. Perhaps I am jaded. The book club was my idea and I was hoping to read more spiritual books, but my plan got hijacked. Still, I find the dialogue stilted and childish and the plot nonexistent. Oh well, I'll stick it out and just hope we have a good discussion on it.


message 22: by Lynsay (new)

Lynsay Tervit (lynsaytea) | 18 comments I'm reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and its great!! Interested to see where its going to go, I'm about half way through now!!


message 23: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 330 comments I'm finishing up my Christmas/mental holiday reads with Death du Jour which is the second in Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan series. Not that much of a break in a sense as there's lots of gruesome death and autopsy detail in it. This series isn't outstanding literature but it's diverting at times.

After I finish this, I may polish off another library book from my holiday mystery stack and then I have to start on Tortilla Flat for my book group (especially since this was my pick.)


message 24: by Jenn (new)

Jenn E. I started small this year - I just picked up Cloaked in Red and am really enjoying it so far.


message 25: by Robin (new)

Robin (mcrobus) | 254 comments Lil wrote: "I just received Unbroken as my first library e-book and I'm about 70 pages in and it is totally gripping and fabulous. I was hoping to use it to see how I like my new alternate ebook reader (more..."

Just finished Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Loved it. Just wonderful. Reads like a novel.

Also finshed Just Kids by Patti Smith. Moving. I am the same age and grew up in NJ, leaving home at seventeen to study art. Lot of memories. well written.


message 26: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 330 comments Ooh Robin, I'm intrigued by the Patti Smith book. She had a very touching appearance on Fresh Air speaking about it.


message 27: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (saratogaknitting) War and Peaceand The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean! War and Peace for bedtime and The Wave for the gym!


message 28: by Rita (new)

Rita | 147 comments I'm reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon so I can participate in the book club call-in show this month.


message 29: by Melissa W (last edited Jan 04, 2011 03:33PM) (new)

Melissa W (melissawiebe80) | 199 comments I am reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, The Long Winter, and Room. I am going to start War and Peace in the next few days.


message 30: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (pinkrain718) | 33 comments My book club is reading Murder on the Orient Express and I'll be starting that soon. I have only read on other Agatha and I'm excited to read another.


message 31: by Pam (new)

Pam Lauman | 99 comments Michael wrote: "I'm re-reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay for the BOTNS online reading group, Just My Type: A Book about Fonts because I'm a font nerd, and [book:Best Food..."

Michael,
Is there a way to sign up for this group? I have heard so much about this book and purchased it yesterday so I can read along with guidance!


message 32: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) | 512 comments Well I swore I wasn't going to buy any books but....I had a $50 gift card from my husband for Christmas....so I bought with a 50% off coupon + 10% off-The False Friend The False Friend by Myla Goldberg & from the clearance table at 3.99 + 10% offThe Mercy of Thin Air The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue & these 2 I just got the 10% off of each...Let the Right One In Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist & Soulless Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate, #1) by Gail Carriger


message 33: by Callie (new)

Callie (calliekl) | 646 comments I finished Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter today, and thoroughly enjoyed it, much more than I thought I was going to. The story is told as a biography, ostensibly using found journals of Abraham Lincoln as source material. And though the book is a work of fiction, it did something that I feel good nonfiction should do- it made me want to research the material further!

I am probably going to go back and finish The Tourist, which I had put down for the holidays.


message 34: by Kim (new)

Kim (catmommie) I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, read that back in the day.

Reading Metro Girl.


message 35: by Shona (new)

Shona (anovelobsession) | 178 comments I'm reading The Imperfectionists and my first stab at a graphic novel - Revolver. 2011 is the year of reading completely off my BOTNs recommendation shelf and these first two books are absolutely fantastic.


message 36: by Robin (new)

Robin (mcrobus) | 254 comments Vanessa wrote: "Ooh Robin, I'm intrigued by the Patti Smith book. She had a very touching appearance on Fresh Air speaking about it."

Yes, I heard that Show to.
That is what got me interested in the first place. I used to go into NY to see her in concert way back when.


message 37: by Amy (last edited Jan 05, 2011 12:22PM) (new)

Amy | 463 comments Just finishing Great Expectations for book club (started in December, but just barely). I will read Russian Winter to test out color eReading on my husband's iPad if the library gets it to me this month. I will be reading The Book on Writing and also beginning Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind for some MBA classes. Finally, I will begin Free For All (a book about school lunches, which is my newfound passion!).


message 38: by Jenn (new)

Jenn E. I just started The Appeal by John Grisham. It's alright so far. I used to be a huge fan of his but, unfortunately, all of his books lately have been just alright. Nothing will live up to A Time to Kill ...


message 39: by Melissa W (new)

Melissa W (melissawiebe80) | 199 comments Finished reading Room last night and have just started reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.


message 40: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) | 512 comments Melissa W wrote: "Finished reading Room last night and have just started reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption."

Can't wait to hear what you think of Unbroken


message 41: by Alexia (new)

Alexia (crittersmom) | 29 comments I finished The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. My opinion of the book has not changed. My mother is not fond of it either. There are rumors that we may be going through all the books in the series for our Church book club. If so, I'm going to have to decline. Life is too short to read books you don't care for.

I have started The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery The Elegance of the Hedgehog and am absolutely loving it. I'm am also re-"reading" (a.k.a. - listening to) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Michael York is so much fun to listen to. I read these books as a tween and feel in love with them then. I've been trying to get my son to read them but he's not interested :(


message 42: by Flora (last edited Jan 06, 2011 07:39AM) (new)

Flora Smith (bookwormflo) Finally finished Phineas Finn, and altho I had doubts about this on in the begining I ended up really liking this one. It was well worth dragging myself thru those first few chapters.

Now I still have the last half of The Confession to finish


message 43: by Lil (new)

Lil | 216 comments Just started The Reapers are the Angels on audio and so far it's excellent. I love the whole zombies shmombies attitude of the heroine.

Still reading Unbroken and it will definitely be in the top of 2011.


message 44: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 06, 2011 08:40AM) (new)

Lil wrote: "Just started The Reapers are the Angels on audio and so far it's excellent. I love the whole zombies shmombies attitude of the heroine."

The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell The Reapers Are the Angels

Oooh, I loved that audio! I was pausing so often to write down a phrase that I eventually gave up on the note-taking and bought a hard copy later!Truly a beautifully written book.


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Alexia wrote: "I finished The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. My opinion of the book has not changed. My mother is not fond of it either. There are rumors that we may be going all the books in the series for our Church book club. If so, I'm going to have to decline. Life is too short to read books you don't care for. "

I listened to the audio and didn't care for it either. Though Lisette Lecat did a fine job of rolling her Rs and keeping the pace steady, there wasn't enough plot or tension in the story to keep me interested. I read it for a group discussion and decided that the series just wasn't my cuppa red tea :-)


message 47: by Lil (new)

Lil | 216 comments Tanya wrote: "Lil wrote: "Just started The Reapers are the Angels on audio and so far it's excellent. I love the whole zombies shmombies attitude of the heroine."

The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell..."


Tanya, I'm reading it on your previous recommendation! Thanks!


message 48: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Brady (dawnallyn) | 22 comments I'm going to be beyond busy in January, so I am reading My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me by Kate Bernheimer . I can squeeze a story in between clients or while I'm on the elliptical.


message 49: by Alexia (new)

Alexia (crittersmom) | 29 comments Tanya wrote: "Alexia wrote: "I finished The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. My opinion of the book has not changed. My mother is not fond of it either. There are rumors that we may be going all th..."

When you read a book from a popular series and don't like it you feel odd. While I'm not glad to hear you didn't care for the book either, Tanya, it's reassuring to know that I am not the only one.


message 50: by Beth (new)

Beth Knight (zazaknittycat) | 65 comments I just started reading Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow


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