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Book a Week in 2012 - Week 3


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Week 1

Daddy Longlegs - Kindle

Dear Enemy - Kindle

Bookends of the Christian Life, Jerry Bridges

A Secret Kept, Tatiana de Rosnay - not as good as Sarah's key

Week 2

Gospel Wakefulness, Jared Wilson

A Praying Life, Paul Miller - Kindle

Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen - ICK

Week 3

History of the Ancient World

History of the Greeks, both by Dorothy Mills

The Greek Way, Edith Hamilton

Organized Simplicity - kindle

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This past week I read/finished The Picture of Dorian Gray and Anne of Green Gables. Dorian Gray was so disturbing yet I both hated and loved it. In some areas I think Wilde overdid it a little but the themes in the book leave you thinking ...... and thinking ........ and thinking ...... Anne, of course, is Anne, and always delightful! :001_smile: I also finished The Forgotten Affairs of Youth by Alexander McCall Smith.

 

In progress are Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and The Iliad of Homer. They are not occupying a complementary headspace for me :D (switching between 19th century Russia and 1200 B.C. is not working well. :confused: I think I'm going to put the latter on hold and concentrate on the former).

 

____________________________________

Read in 2012:

 

1. The Book of the Ancient Greeks - Dorothy Mills

2. A Midsummer Night's Dream - William Shakespeare

3. Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery

4. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

5. The Forgotten Affairs of Youth - Alexander McCall Smith

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I'm on page 50 of Ahab's Wife. Waiting for it to grab me. So far, not so much. I keep finding myself glancing toward my bookshelf.

Oh dear. Maybe I shouldn't have spent $$ on this one. We tend to have similar tastes for the most part. I'm getting tired of spending $$ on books that I don't particularly care for.

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This past week I read/finished The Picture of Dorian Gray and Anne of Green Gables.

 

In progress are Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and The Iliad of Homer. They are not occupying a complementary headspace for me :D (switching between 19th century Russia and 1200 B.C. is not working well.

 

I read Dorian Gray a few years ago. Well, a number of years ago. I think it was pre-kids. I think I should reread and see what I think now.

 

I read the whole Anne of Green Gables series when I was a young teen. I remember being sad when it was over.

 

I'm also sad that my boys are not into Anne. ;)

 

 

Oh dear. Maybe I shouldn't have spent $$ on this one. We tend to have similar tastes for the most part. I'm getting tired of spending $$ on books that I don't particularly care for.

 

Oh no. Now I kind of feel obligated to keep reading. Maybe I'd end up liking it. I want to like it now that I know you actually bought it. I feel like *I* might have wasted money.

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I finally finished book #2, Henry V. It was the fourth Shakespeare play in my dd's Shakespeare study. Out of the eight we are doing, I was dreading this one. Imagine how surprised I was to have enjoyed it!

 

2. Henry V by Shakespeare

1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

 

Dd17 has been doing better at keeping up! She finished Henry V yesterday and Pygmalion last week. Her list...

 

3. Henry V by Shakespeare

2. Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw

1. She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

 

Dd11 has so many books going at once I can't keep up. (Obviously, I don't read like that so how in the world can she lol). I'm trying to get her in the habit of at least finishing some of them :) She finished two in the last couple days to bring her total to three.

 

3. Meet Julie by Megan Mcdonald

2. The Celery Stalks at Midnight by James Howe

1. Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah Howe

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I finished So Much For That last night around 1:00 a.m. I could not put the last 100 pages down. Typical of Lionel Shriver to grab you like that and force you to feel it all at the end when she has tightly controlled the previous 300 pages. Slow start for sure but I fell in love along the way.

 

To calm down, I got further into Ahab's Wife. And I answered an after midnight text from my best friend who's reading it for the first time. So that made me :001_smile: thinking of her 100 miles away tucked into her bed reading too.

Edited by Jennifer3141
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So I started Glass Houses last night at dinner time and finished it at 130am. It is a vampire book, total brain candy, I am sure it is classified as a young adult book in our library and totally worth staying up late for it. Of course using it to break up the nonfiction this week didn't happen. Going to work on my nonfiction today so that tonight I can start book 2 in the series "The Dead Girls' Dance". So that means 4 books done thus far.

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I forgot to post what I read last week so I'll just add it here. :)

Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange. LOVE Capt. Wentworth. sigh.

 

For this week I just finished:

My Dirty Life:A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball. Memoir about her first year running an organic farm with her soon-to-be-husband. It was okay - loved how she uses draft horses instead of a tractor. Interesting read but it didn't really click with me for some reason.

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My son requested that I read the YA novel Leviathan since he wanted to discuss the author's alternative WWI storyline with me. Scott Westerfeld has created a rather fascinating "Steampunk" world--I can see why my son loves it. He feels that the storyline is weak though and would love to see a stronger plot set in this alternative universe.

 

:iagree: Your assessment here & in your other post on it are quite spot on, but my ds loved it and it was the first long book he ever read for fun. Ds was 10 when he read it, so was the right age & with his limited reading background didn't notice any weakness in the storyline. He got the third one for Christmas & was thrilled. He likes the steampunk world, the action, etc.

 

 

I'm already behind but hoping I can catch up this week. This week I'm reading A Red Herring with Mustard by Alan Bradley. This is my second Flavia de Luce book and I'm undecided on whether or not I'm a fan. I'll know by the time I finish.

 

 

 

The first & third ones are better than the second one. I wasn't sure if I'd continue after the second one, but was encouraged by someone on the Book a Week thread last year.

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:iagree: Your assessment here & in your other post on it are quite spot on, but my ds loved it and it was the first long book he ever read for fun. Ds was 10 when he read it, so was the right age & with his limited reading background didn't notice any weakness in the storyline.

 

I think that your son is probably the right age for the book although the Steampunk concept certainly resonates with an older audience too. Has your son seen any of Miyazaki's films? I love Castles in the Sky.

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Finished Lamott's Grace (eventually) Thoughts on Faith. A collection of essays. Much weaker than other works I've read of hers- many of the essays ended weakly. She does tackle controversial subjects; euthenasia, politics and abortion, along with the usual- Bush ruined the world, conservative Christians don't read, think, are ruining the world, unlike the enlightened Uncle Jesus loving progressives, such as herself fodder.

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I'm 200 pages in and it hasn't really grabbed me yet either. I had expected to love it like others. Trying to decide whether to keep going.

Oh dear. Might have been a waste of my $$. :glare:

That's the problem with not having a library and to pay for books.

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Finished Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'Easter by Lisa Patton. A very good book about Southerners moving to Vermont and operating a bed and breakfast. I only planned to read a little bit and then move on to Ahab's Wife but I read it in one sitting. The writing style flowed very well. There just didn't seem to be a good part to set it down at:D

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I finished Margin by Richard Swenson, M.D. last night. I actually started it in December but took a while to get through it. He addresses the ways progress has crowded out margin in our lives; the physical, emotional and spiritual consequences of the loss; and how we can restore margin, and with it, health in those areas. I found it a little dull or repetitive at times, but overall very thought-provoking and practical.

 

1. Kilmeny of the Orchard

2. Margin

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I finished Margin by Richard Swenson, M.D. last night. I actually started it in December but took a while to get through it. He addresses the ways progress has crowded out margin in our lives; the physical, emotional and spiritual consequences of the loss; and how we can restore margin, and with it, health in those areas. I found it a little dull or repetitive at times, but overall very thought-provoking and practical.

 

1. Kilmeny of the Orchard

2. Margin

 

Just curious what you mean by margin? Perhaps this is something I'd find interesting.

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Finished Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'Easter by Lisa Patton. A very good book about Southerners moving to Vermont and operating a bed and breakfast. I only planned to read a little bit and then move on to Ahab's Wife but I read it in one sitting. The writing style flowed very well. There just didn't seem to be a good part to set it down at:D

 

 

That actually sounds kind of cute!! You read it in one sitting? :001_smile:

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I read Dorian Gray a few years ago. Well, a number of years ago. I think it was pre-kids. I think I should reread and see what I think now.

 

I read the whole Anne of Green Gables series when I was a young teen. I remember being sad when it was over.

 

I'm also sad that my boys are not into Anne. ;)

 

 

Yes, please re-read if you can fit it in! I would love to know what you think about it. Strangely I expected to hate it and ended up, as I said, liking it too, while Anna Karenina, which I thought I'd love, I feel very "meh" about. I'm only 1/4 of the way through so hopefully it will get better.

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Well, for some reason, I feel like I've been in a reading slump & felt rather blah about the books I was reading. So, I returned one to my shelf (Rumo by Walter Moers -- an author I normally love but I'm just not in the mood to read this book right now; I will definitely return to this one later) & returned the other one to the library (The Bells by Richard Harvell -- normally, I enjoy historical fiction & this seems like it might be a good book, yet I just felt no draw to continue picking it up & reading).

 

As soon as I did that, my doorbell rang & I had a surprise book delivery from Robin! :D THANK YOU!

 

So, now I'm starting In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut. This book was a finalist on the 2010 Man Booker list (one reason I was interested in reading it). Also, when I looked at my reading over the last few years, a majority of the authors I've read are from England, Canada, & the US (w/ various other places represented). I noticed a dearth of African writers on my lists, so I decided to try & read some works by African authors (as well as authors from other locations around the world if I haven't read much from their countries). Damon Galgut is South African. Here is the NY Times review of the book.

 

From Publishers Weekly:

 

"Starred Review. There's a lot of travel in Booker Prize finalist Galgut's (The Good Doctor) new novel, but he's more interested in depicting the randomness, heightened sensitivity, dread, and possibility that come from unfamiliar places than in seeing the sights. A South African man travels in Greece, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, and India, forming the complicated, tenuous relationships that provide the book's three sections titles (Follower; Lover; Guardian). This character, who bears the author's name and seems to share his history, is both "he" and "I." Though these shifts can occur in the space of a sentence, they're surprisingly easy to accept, and attentive readers will get a subtle, frank depiction of some of the problems of writing; "he" seems to be Galgut, but often experiences himself as divided, uncertain, and blurry as a fictional character evading his creator, "I" often steps in to remind us of the limits of memory and the artificiality of genre distinctions. At its best Galgut's tale has the feel of arriving in a destination you'd never planned to go. It's not always pleasant, but it's strangely fascinating."

 

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I think that your son is probably the right age for the book although the Steampunk concept certainly resonates with an older audience too. Has your son seen any of Miyazaki's films? I love Castles in the Sky.

Yes, he's the right age. My dd's & I read the entire series as well, but I was continually disappointed in the story line, especially in the third one. His Ugly books have better story lines than that, although not stellar either, but I read them when my eldest dd read them (at least, I think that's how it went. 2011 wasn't a stellar reading year when I saw it in review, although I liked some of what I read quite a bit.)

 

I don't know those films, but I'll see if I can get them through the library network.

 

In the mean time, I'm wondering why I enjoyed Moby Dick so much when I was growing up. I read it for fun. There are parts I do like, but the writing changes so much (like a play sometimes, like a manual sometimes. You can't really connect with anyone.) So far I haven't finished a single book, but am slogging through Moby Dick. I plan to finish one I started in 2010 and count it (after all, I'll be finishing it this year) and have restarted another one from then. My problem is that I've gone back to watching TV shows. First my db's, then another, a third was so that my middle dd & I could have something together, a fourth with my eldest, and now I think I"m watching 5 or 6 shows (series, not per day), but mainly online so the commercial breaks are shorter. This is truly nuts because I can get addicted. Some of them should end soon and then I'm not allowed to pick up any more. It's hindering my reading & my time on this forum.:tongue_smilie:

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I finished Grand Duchess Elizabeth: New Martyr of the Communist Yoke and The Republic last week.

I loved the biography of St. Elizabeth; her life is so inspiring, and the letters and photos included in Millar's book were fascinating.

Plato, well, I managed to get through it. :001_smile: I read it with DD 15 last year and was so relieved when we finished it. This year, DH has been trying to read more of the classics and I agreed to read along with him. I was not pleased when he told me he wanted to read The Republic, but I hoped I might get more out of it the second time through. No such luck. :glare:

 

I've got seventy-or-so pages left in The Eyre Affair, which I'm loving. I didn't think the alternate universe setting would be my style, but I've been pleasantly surprised. I also think it's time for a re-read of Jane Eyre; maybe I'll start this week.

 

 

1.Boom! – Mark Haddon

2.Grand Duchess Elizabeth: New Martyr of the Communist Yoke – Lubov Millar

3.The Republic – Plato (trans. Desmond Lee)

 

 

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Book #7: Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott

 

--------

 

From the blog:

 

The story follows a teen's descent into drugs and alcohol and her parents reactions. I did not like this book. I couldn't identify with any of the characters. Everyone, including parents, were past drug or alcohol abusers. The dialogue seemed unbelievable. There were many times that I couldn't figure out who was speaking. And when they were speaking, I was thinking, "No one talks like that." Amazon's reviews on this book are pretty split, but most agree that she's a better non-fiction writer. I'll try one of her non-fiction books later, but I won't be recommending her as an author anytime soon.

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Book #7: Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott

 

--------

 

From the blog:

 

The story follows a teen's descent into drugs and alcohol and her parents reactions. I did not like this book. I couldn't identify with any of the characters. Everyone, including parents, were past drug or alcohol abusers. The dialogue seemed unbelievable. There were many times that I couldn't figure out who was speaking. And when they were speaking, I was thinking, "No one talks like that." Amazon's reviews on this book are pretty split, but most agree that she's a better non-fiction writer. I'll try one of her non-fiction books later, but I won't be recommending her as an author anytime soon.

 

I totally think she's a better non-fictino than fiction writer. I did like this book, though. Intersesting view and rang true to me- we've lived in CA and a close friend of ours (former homeschooler)kidnaped their own kid to take them to a wilderness camp- he was doing lots of drugs and dealing out of their home. Just finished Grace (Eventually) and I though many of her essays ended weakly. I have been thinking a lot about her writing though. If interested you can read my thoughts here and here.

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Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange. LOVE Capt. Wentworth. sigh.

 

 

 

I'm always hesitant to read spin offs of novels. I find myself intrigued, but feel like I'm cheating on the original author of the character.

 

 

 

Finished my 800 page Stephen King novel today--it was amazing. If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend it. Not sure what's next..

 

As a rule, I don't read Stephen King. I do not read horror, gory, or too disturbing books. My sister told me I have to read his The Eyes of the Dragon. She says it's not scary. Is this one disturbing in any way?

 

Ever since I became a mother I just can't handle disturbing or scary as I once could.

 

I put all my other books aside and picked up WTM to read the logic section. I need a refresher. :)

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I totally think she's a better non-fictino than fiction writer. I did like this book, though. Intersesting view and rang true to me- we've lived in CA and a close friend of ours (former homeschooler)kidnaped their own kid to take them to a wilderness camp- he was doing lots of drugs and dealing out of their home. Just finished Grace (Eventually) and I though many of her essays ended weakly. I have been thinking a lot about her writing though. If interested you can read my thoughts here and here.

 

Thank you! I don't know anything about her, but your reviews have given me a great starting point.

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:iagree: I so wanted Ahab to come home to her. :( I kept thinkimg Melville DID leave open the possibility of him being adrift at sea or something. But no...wishful thinking.

 

I found myself wishing for a different ending for Ahab too. That's why AW touched me. I don't really care about Ahab in Moby Dick. But seeing him through Una's eye, I do. In MD, he's just a whacko. With Una, he's tender and passionate.

 

I also started Imperfect Birds a few days ago. I'm only a couple of chapters in but so far, it's ok. I wouldn't stay up to read it like I did find myself reading her book about her infant son but the characters hanging out and doing drugs and just gernally loitering reminded me of my brother is high school.

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Just finished Imperfect Birds by Lamott. The ending was not conclusive but very satisfying. I could not be her kind of Christian but I love her ability to create believeable, real characters. And I think she does a great job of capturing a culture.

 

The bolded part = :iagree:

 

Finished Lamott's Grace (eventually) Thoughts on Faith. A collection of essays. Much weaker than other works I've read of hers- many of the essays ended weakly. She does tackle controversial subjects; euthenasia, politics and abortion, along with the usual- Bush ruined the world, conservative Christians don't read, think, are ruining the world, unlike the enlightened Uncle Jesus loving progressives, such as herself fodder.

 

:iagree: Am hopefully finishing this today ...

 

I totally think she's a better non-fictino than fiction writer. I did like this book, though. Intersesting view and rang true to me- we've lived in CA and a close friend of ours (former homeschooler)kidnaped their own kid to take them to a wilderness camp- he was doing lots of drugs and dealing out of their home. Just finished Grace (Eventually) and I though many of her essays ended weakly. I have been thinking a lot about her writing though. If interested you can read my thoughts here and here.

 

I read your two blog posts and :iagree: :iagree: :iagree: and again :iagree: !!! When I finish Grace Eventually, it is definitely time to get off of this side street.

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My #9- No Rest For the Dead- by 26 authors. I thought it was fabulous how well the chapters merged. YOu really couldn't tell overall that the authors kept changing. In terms of the mystery- I knew at least part of the answer very soon after starting so it wasn't the best mystery but it was a good read and did make me think a bit about justice.

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Finished "The Silent Oligarch" and it was good, but not great. A spy thriller without the thrill. Halfway through Ahab's Wife and still enjoying it. A lot to think about. I can see why could be read several times.

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Finished "The Silent Oligarch" and it was good, but not great. A spy thriller without the thrill. Halfway through Ahab's Wife and still enjoying it. A lot to think about. I can see why could be read several times.

 

"A spy thriller without the thrill" cracked me up. I don't think I'll rush out to get that one. :001_smile:

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What are you reading next? I need something fluffy and non-political!:lol:

 

:lol: I do, too! With perhaps ten minutes of reading left in Lamott's book, I have standing close by a Lisa Samson novel, The Moment I Saw You. I've read a few of hers over the past few years; easy, light. None, however, has quite captured my attention like my intro to her did - Quaker Summer. My current selection, published in 1998, according to the back cover, has to do with an enchanting country inn whose new proprietor has left the fast-paced corporate world, and a scholar of English medieval history spending the month of Christmas at that inn writing a book. The back cover asks, "Do heroes exist in real life?"

 

Definitely fluffy and non-political!

 

Have you decided what your next book will be? :)

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"The Princess Bride" will be our next readaloud.

 

Rosie

 

That's our read aloud right now. There's a bit more than the movie as far as dialogue both inner and outer. I'm also editing a bit. There are very large sections thrown in there by Goldman that just don't interest children. I'm also editing parts of the original text. I've skipped over most of the torture scenes in the Zoo of Death, and also I skipped over a couple of Buttercup's vivid and scary dreams. I actually read the first dream not expecting anything bad, and was surprised at how bad it was. My oldest was horrified and asked me not to read any more of her dreams.

 

The movie is much more child friendly for sure.

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