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message 1: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Anyone interested in reading authors from around the world? I posed this in another group that I am in and hoping some of you will take me up on this. I am, of course, starting with Russia -- War and Peace. You can pick your own book/author from the countries and it would be fun to see how many countries we visit in a year.

So, if you are game,come join me, sit back, relax and travel the world.


message 2: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 553 comments I like it. I am doing lots of challenges this year but not one that will take me all over the whole world. I will see what I come up with. I usually end up with tons from England and the US..ha!


message 3: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Excelllent, like I said, I am starting in Russia!


message 4: by Cindy (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:39AM) (new)

Cindy (cyndil62) | 1774 comments Great idea Meg! I guess Three Cups of Tea would count, if I can ever finish reading it! How's War and Peace coming along?


message 5: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Three Cups of Tea definitely counts! War and Peace is coming along nicely, have you started? I love reading books about other places, culture etc. This is a fun journey.


message 6: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 553 comments I think this will be a fun journey too. I have traveled to places by where the book takes place before but not by the author themselves so this will be fun to research too...or are you just going from country to country as a setting?


message 7: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments We can make our own criteria. It would be fun to do some research along with it. Are you willing to start with Russia?


message 8: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I have been thinking about trying something like this, so I am definitely interested!


message 9: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 2175 comments This sounds like fun, especially if we all branch out and try many different books and could compare what they had to say about the country of origin. I think Russia would be a great place to start as there's a lot of literature to come from there. Plus, it would give me a little kick to try Dr. Zhivago again...


message 10: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 553 comments I do have a Russian book on my pile but I think we will all read at different speeds so not sure we can stay together. I was in a group a few years ago that read several Russian authors and I really liked some of the reads we picked.
Do we want to keep a thread here and report our reads?


message 11: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Yes, let us keep the thread and we all agree on Russia as our first stop? I have already started War and Peace so that is my book. We can all pick our own, or some can read the same book. But let us post what we picked and we can go from there. It will be fun to see how many countries we can go to in a year.


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Interesting idea Meg! I may hop on this wagon!


message 13: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Please do, I would love for you to travel with us!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Do you have any suggestions for Russia Meg? (Besides War & Peace) A Day In the Life of Ivan Donisivich (I know I spelled that incorrectly) came to mind.


message 15: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments OK here is a quick list, but I am sure some of our chicklits can add to this

Russia
Gulag Archipelago - Solzhenitsyn (he just died so it might be a nice tribute)
Nicholas and Alexandra - Massie
Dostoevsky - Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov, or The Idiot
Bernard Malamud (immigrated to America but his stories are about Russia other than the Natural) The Fixer, the Tenants, or The Assistant

If none of these interest you, I will think harder!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Thank you Meg! I'll look into these & if I don't find any interesting, I'll do some googling!


message 17: by LinBee (new)

LinBee Anna Karenina by Tolstoy is also a good one for Russia.
I think I want to be in on the adventure too!


message 18: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 553 comments I have read Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (this is the name the guy is given in the book the Namesake by Umphari (Sp?); Gogol = The overcoat
Anton Chekhov has some plays
Alexander Pushkin - Eugene Onegin ( this also was made into a movie with Liv Tyler that I really liked)
Ivan Turgenev - Fathers and Sons
Boris Pasternak - Dr Zhivago
Leo Tolstoys other works Anna Karenina and I have Death of Ivan Illyich stories
and yes I really really liked One day in the life of ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.



message 19: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Join us Linda!


message 20: by Vicki (new)

Vicki A quick question, do we just read books written by the author in the country, set in the country, or both?


message 21: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments I am going to try to do both, there might be some countries where that won't be possible. For example, if you want to choose Malamud, his family emmigrated here and I think he was born here but his books depict Russia and life in Russia. He really was a favorite of mine for a long time.


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I think I have Ivan some place & may start with that.


message 23: by LinBee (new)

LinBee It's kind of ironic, I was walking by the shelving cart today (I work at the library), and just happened to spot "The Idiot" by Dostoevsky. I took it as a sign, and I think I'll try and read that for my Russia book. I am greatly interested in "visiting" India too, because of my husband being of Indian origin.


message 24: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Oh there are so many wonderful books with Indian backgrounds. I loved The Idiot.


message 25: by April (new)

April (sallysal) | 25 comments I'd love to participate. I'm also reading War and Peace.


message 26: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Great! We would love to have you.


message 27: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (findingjackie) | 214 comments I'm in! I'm looking for things to push me out of my comfort zone, so this is just what I need.

I'm reading War and Peace.


message 28: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Yeah I am so glad you are!


message 29: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Can we all pick our Russian books by 2/1?

Of course those of us that are reading War and Peace have it easy!

If we can post our books by Monday it would be great.


message 30: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I am going to go with War and Peace... though I haven't started yet. I need to get reading!


message 31: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments I am enjoying War and Peace, but it is not a book to read while watching TV!


message 32: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments My tricks for reading Russian classics:

1. A lot of the novels have many characters. I make a list with some information for each. This way when they pop up chapters later you will know who they are. If you are reading War and Peace, and have the new translation, they have 2 pages of characters listed.

2. I read with sticky notes. When something happens that I think is interesting or important I will write something on a sticky note and leave it on that page.

3. Don't get frustrated if you don't understand something, or lose some detail as you are reading. There is usually a lot of detail in the writing, as long as you get the gist you are golden.

4. Don't feel you have to read hours and hours a day. If you are reading a really large book, make small goals like 20 pages a day if that is doable. If not, go to 15 pages.

5. Remember, this is enjoyable and a great goal.

6. It is a good idea to know what period of history you are reading about. It adds to the story and understanding.

If anyone else has suggestions please feel free to add.





message 33: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 553 comments I am not sure if I will read this one or not but I have it on the top of my pile. The Death of Ivan Ilych and other stories by Leo Tolstoy. I have some other choices for Russia but for now I will list that as my book.


message 34: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments That is one that I haven't read so I am anxious to hear about it from you.


message 35: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments I hope by now you have selected your book. It would be a good idea to post the book you are reading and just tell us the time period that the book takes place.


message 36: by LinBee (new)

LinBee Meg wrote: "1. A lot of the novels have many characters. I make a list with some information for each. This way when they pop up chapters later you will know who they are. If you are reading War and Peace, and have the new translation, they have 2 pages of characters listed. "

I started doing that for one book I was reading...I think Anna Karenina, and thought I was being OCD...good to know I'm not the only one!

I think I am going to read "The Idiot" by Tolstoy.



message 37: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Are you sure it isn't by Dostoevsky? I have read the one by Dostoevsky and it is really good.


message 38: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cyndil62) | 1774 comments Meg, I believe that you wanted to know what we were reading by Monday. Well it's only Tuesday so I'm not doing too bad! I am going to try and participate and finish reading Anna Karenina. Hopefully, this will prod me into picking it back up!
Thanks!





message 39: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 2175 comments I'm going to try to read Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak which is set around the Russian Revolution. I tried reading it a few months ago, but couldn't get into it. The Russian Revolution is an event that really fascinates me, so I'm gonna give it another go.


message 40: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Cindy if you have trouble try going on Oprah's website and go to the archives they did it for one their book picks. Should be pretty interesting.

The movie Dr. Zhivago is a classic. If you have trouble getting into it, or read some of it, try watching the movie. Omar Sharif is eye candy.


message 41: by LinBee (new)

LinBee It probably is Dostoevsky, I seem to get him and Tolstoy mixed up most of the time. Either way...that's what I'm going to attempt to read!


message 42: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments I really loved that book. It is a little slow going but it is definitely worth it. I will be here cheering you on!


message 43: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 553 comments RUSSIA- The death of Ivan Ilych and other stories by Leo Tolstoy. This had four stories in the book: Family Happiness - sort of a first love and last chance at love kind of story. It really surprised me and it was light and joyous for the most part.
The Death of Ivan Ilych - well ol Ivan dies so that is no surprise but this is more about the coming to grips with it not only from Ivans pov but everyone surrounding him.
The Kreutzer Sonata - said to be his most famous and controversial story. The working title of this story is How a Husband killed his wife and that pretty much says it all. It was gripping to say the least.
and lastly
Master and Man - a very short short story but it packs a wallop. Sort of a role reversal in the relationship of a man with his servant and horse. I found it hard to put down.
I have to say overall that Leo's stories about life, love, living and dying really transcend time and could have been written today with just as much relevance.


message 44: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Wow,that is a great review. I must say that it is very different from War and Peace. When Tolstoy wrote War and Peace he was not happy with the final product.

What period of history did he write this? And, in so many Russian novels from that time there usually are casts of characters, was that true with this?

And lastly, would you have read this, or another Russian piece of literature if you did not join the challenge?

And the final question (I promise) where would you like to travel next? I am thinking Cuba or Kabul.


message 45: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 553 comments Well unlike the other books of his I have read: War and Peace and Anna Karenina that have events placing these books in history's time line. Family Happiness was 1859 as far as him writing it, Ivan -1884-5, Sonata -1886, Master -1895.
They each have a small set of characters usually a wife and husband or and only a couple othter people that secondary characters like a doctor or servant, some people on a train, some towns people etc.
Yes I would have read this because I bought it last year at a library sale and planned to read it myself because I liked his other books so well. :)

I am already a few pages into a Japanese author??


message 46: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments What book and author?


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I was biting off more than I can chew in the 'currently reading' area & realized I wasn't enjoying what I was reading, just reading to finish & move on to the next on my list!

So today I said "enough!" I love reading, it's not supposed to be a chore for me!

This Autumn just passed I started reading a lot of novels, mostly memoirs, that take place entirely (or almost entirely) in France, more specifically Provence. I now have 2 or 3 fiction books which take place there that I want to read and I just got "Under the Tuscan Sun, at home in italy" by Frances Mayes (memoir) from the library today. (I LOVE the movie!)

So, France & Italy are where I'm staying for the time being! I hope everyone enjoys Russia! Send me a post card!


message 48: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments That sounds very awesome to me. I loved Under the Tuscan Sun and I am sure you will. We are traveling around the world and it doesn't matter where you start and where you end. Which Italian authors will you be reading? I am not sure if I have read any Italian authors so I am very anxious to know.


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I'm not sure actually! I'll see where Under The Tuscan Sun may lead!


message 50: by Dolly (new)

Dolly (dollya) I liked the book and the movie Under the Tuscan Sun too :)


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