What BOOK are you reading right now?

Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 01:22 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Every fiction writer, I believe, ought to read Terkel's Working. I realize it's nonfiction, but, as Turkel succesfully conveys, work, usually for the worse, comprises so much of one's identity. A writer must consider this when developing a character.
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Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 01:45 pm
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris.
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Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 02:13 pm
just finished john mortimer's (rumpole of the bailey) :
"the summer of a dormouse" - published in 2000 . he is getting on in age - he was born in 1923 - he's now getting around in a motorized wheelchair .
he still hasn't lost his humour , though .

now reading valerie grove's : "a voyage round john mortimer - the autorized biography " . i have to say , reading about his two marriages and his numerous "lusty adventures" , i'm surprised he's getting around at all !
if he had had a motorized conveyance in his younger years , he probably would have had even more "lusty adventures" . Wink

he and his two wifes (both named penelope) plus "at least" one other lover had at least nine children from "probably" three fathers !
he found out about his son ross (bentley) only after the son was in his twenties !
two very good reads !

john mortimer - "family man"


Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 04:29 pm

I found a copy of http://www.marywardbooks.com/images/thumbslg/060370011.jpg... click at a Goodwill lately. I really enjoy Viennese Secession art in particular, and it's been great to find a good read about something visual.
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 04:34 pm
Consuming Passions by Philippa Pullar.

You would love it E. It all about food. Brilliantly written.
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Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 07:10 pm
I've been going through some packed boxes of books (and books and books) and hit one with a lot of 20th century italian authors, some of which I'd not yet read when I was packing.

I can hardly put down ---- a complete surprise to me as I wasn't sure I'd want to plough through even a minute bit more information on Auschwitz - Primo Levi's The Reawakening. As it happens, this isn't his main book about the holocaust, that was Survival in Auschwitz, which I haven't read, but now I might.

Man, I like this writer. He was 25 when he got out of Auschwitz, and didn't manage to go directly to his home in Turin... but circumstances had him on a near ridiculous journey through Poland, the Ukraine, Russia ... lots of stories. I don't know how long it took him, as I'm only on page 112 - started it this morning, eyeballs glued to the pages.

I don't mean to knock reading about the holocaust, but as a child I had seen a booklet my father had on Dachau, and as an adult I had watched the movie Shoah. Had read a fair amount. I know, not the same as being there, or it happening to my family. But let's say I haven't had an urge lately to review horrible stuff. But this writing is conveyed by the title, reawakening.

Right now, I want to read everything Primo Levi wrote -
copying the list,
Survival at Auschwitz
The Periodic Table (he was a chemist - I don't know anything about the book)
If Not Now, When?
Moments of Reprieve
The Monkey's Wrench
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 10:50 pm
Aaack, I'm sort of glad I didn't know all this - http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/primo.htm

I've followed Carlo Levi as well.

I had a friend with a close person who also did that.
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 11:07 pm
Well, that friend was Paola, early of abuzz and then a2k.

Oof, tears.
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 11:19 pm
I see I'm being ambiguous. I don't feel free to tell stuff re Paola and her family. Maybe that is silly, or maybe I'm right, re privacy.

But once in a while I get teary.
She was among the best of us, though on a2k only shortly.

Why does this even come up - Primo Levi and his story reminded me of the times.
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Mr Stillwater
Reply Sun 30 Nov, 2008 04:03 am

The city of Oxyrhynchos in Egypt was excavated in the late 19th Century. The rubbish pits were full of papyrus - preserved by the sand and the dryness of the climate. Absolutely marvellous - a piece of papyrus could be a fragment of a an unknown Gospel or a shopping list. The value in the collection is that is not one of the stories of the good and great or their sycophants.
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Reply Sun 30 Nov, 2008 04:20 pm
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Love it! I got it from my Indian colleague Narmada who thinks I should read something else than just crime novels... ;-)
Reply Sun 30 Nov, 2008 04:32 pm
I'm going through end-of-book tharn... just a few more pages. I may need to read it again, for the savoring.

I also have a few words to look up - a matter that I don't usually deal with as by virtue of age and a lot of reading in my past, I've a fair if not well-utilized vocabulary. In Levi's writing, I hit at least ten words I didn't know except by context, but didn't want to stop to look them up.

I also have to get out my maps, or do some googleing. His tale of his post-auschwitz meanderings is extensive, is descriptive re places, vast areas I don't know about.

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Reply Mon 1 Dec, 2008 07:32 am
I adore Rumpole. Both the books and the BBC series -- Leo McKern effected one of the best book --> film transitions ever.

I just finished Jhumpa Lahiri's "Unaccustomed Earth" -- she's just spectacular. I liked "The Namesake" a lot too but short stories are really her forte. She links three short stories at the end for a real emotional whomping, somewhat dulled by the fact that I'd read the first two in the New Yorker already. Nonetheless, the whompiest was the third (and final story in the book).

Then for book club I read "The Lovely Bones" in the course of a few hours. Mixed feelings. As a type, it was pretty well done. There was a lot of book-club discussion fodder. ("Did you notice how during the camp section she said she thought an icicle would be a perfect murder weapon... and then look what happened to Mr. Harvey!" Etc.) The first eighth or so was absolutely brutal though -- kept circling back to graphic descriptions of the rape and murder of a 14-yr-old. I couldn't decide if this was necessary to anchor the rest of the story or just sensationalistic. It got better from there but not exactly something I'd recommend, I don't think.
Reply Mon 1 Dec, 2008 07:40 am

I couldn't decide if this was necessary to anchor the rest of the story or just sensationalistic. It got better from there but not exactly something I'd recommend, I don't think.

That's interesting.

I guess I am kind of de-sensitized to such descriptions, so I didn't react particularly, but that kind of relates to a topic I put up some time back, about all the abuse books that are about at the moment.

I have just finished The 19th Wife, and am casting about.

I am off to the back of beyond again tomorrow, so may take only work books so that I am disciplined to read them.

Though...I HAVE just bought the John Clarke scripts....The Catastrophe Continues......and, as some of you know, John is a god to me...
Reply Mon 1 Dec, 2008 08:14 am
Welcome Home by Stuart McLean
Across thousands of miles, the Canadian population clusters like loosely strung beads on the thread of the 49th parallel. This is truly Canada"a vast stretch of land and a bounty of small towns. In Welcome Home, Stuart McLean takes us on a heartwarming journey from one coast to the other to visit these small yet vibrant places and meet their remarkable citizens.
We visit Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, an old-fashioned "cow town"; Dresden, Ontario, once a destination for escaped slaves using the Underground Railroad; St-Jean-de-Matha, Quebec, where the world's strongest man is buried; and Foxwarren, Manitoba, a quintessential hockey town. We wander along Main Street in Sackville, New Brunswick; explore Nakusp, B.C., which may have been the home of an illegitimate child of royalty; and watch the icebergs float by in Ferryland, Newfoundland.

Each town Stuart visits tells us a little about Canada's rich and often forgotten history and a lot about who Canadians are today. With a storyteller's eye for detail and an effervescent sense of humour, Stuart McLean introduces us to seven truly wonderful places and dozens of extraordinary people.
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Reply Mon 1 Dec, 2008 08:36 am
Oh, you read it? ("The Lovely Bones")

What did you think?
Reply Mon 1 Dec, 2008 02:25 pm
Um...read it ages ago...I recall quite liking it at the time.....

I wasn't fazed by the depiction of her assault...thought it quite restrained.
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 08:15 pm
I'm reading Detainee 002, about David Hicks and his incarceration in Guantonomo Bay.

The author takes an evenhanded approach, which initially looks like justification of what I consider a warped policy, but is actually putting the whole thing in context.

About 1/4 of the way in, it looks like a good read.
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2008 06:51 pm
I just finished Luisa Valenzuela's book, Synthesis. She's the argentinean writer I was going on about. Powie!

I started to turn off to the writing as she got into fairy tales, as I've never been fairy tale fascinated myself. Ah, but she does a tour de force of short story riffs relating to some.

The last story, tough to read, but gives background for some of the others.

This is one I'm going to immediately reread to cement it in my mind as I'm a fast reader (had read other books between now and when I first mentioned her) who tends to remember best with layered brain infusions.
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Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2008 07:05 pm
Just started reading They F**** Up* - How to survive family life, by psychologist Oliver James. Families & how we get to be the way we are. He comes out strongly on the side of nurture in the n or n debate. Interesting reading.

*Title taken from thePhillip Larkin poem, which I think is spot on & veryfunny.

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