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Book a Week in 2014 - BW21


Robin M
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Happy Sunday, dear hearts!  Today is the start of week 21 in our quest to read 52 Books. Welcome back to all our readers, to all those who are just joining in and to all who are following our progress. Mr. Linky is all set up on the 52 Books blog to link to your reviews. The link is below in my signature.

 

52 Books Blog - RIP Mary Stewart:  One of my favorite authors, Mary Stewart, passed away this past week at the age of 97.  Coincidentally, or whether it was serendipity, I began rereading The Crystal Cave a couple weeks ago. I first read the Merlin trilogy back during the late 70's, early 80's which consisted of The Crystal Cave (1970), The Hollow Hills (1973), and The Last Enchantment (1979), followed up by The Wicked Day in 1983.  Periodically, I would pull them out and reread them.  I read and reread all her books during that period of time, but unfortunately only kept the Merlin Series in my stacks.   The series has always stood the test of time and each time I get something new out of them.  

I only have to hear one of the titles of her books such as Touch Not the Cat or Nine Coaches Waiting or The Ivy Tree or Airs above the Ground to be taken right back into the story.   

The guardian posted a wonderful obituary,  so rather than reinventing the wheel so to speak, go check out their story of her life.  

 

Stewart introduced a different kind of heroine for a newly emerging womanhood. It was her "anti-namby-pamby" reaction, as she called it, to the "silly heroine" of the conventional contemporary thriller who "is told not to open the door to anybody and immediately opens it to the first person who comes along". Instead, Stewart's stories were narrated by poised, smart, highly educated young women who drove fast cars and knew how to fight their corner. Also tender-hearted and with a strong moral sense, they spoke, one felt, with the voice of their creator. Her writing must have provided a natural form of expression for a person not given to self-revelation.....

 

 

 

Stewart's fans were above all attracted to her wonderful storytelling, which she saw as a skill she was born with – "I am first and foremost a teller of tales" – but also by the warmth and vivacity of her characters and the sharply drawn settings. These ranged from Skye with icy mist coiling around the Cuillin mountains in Wildfire at Midnight (1956) to the searing heat of Corfu in This Rough Magic (1964), with its echoes of The Tempest.

 

 

 

 

If you've never read one of her stories, do yourself a favor and check her out. You'll be glad you did.  In honor of Mary Stewart, read one of her books this year.

 

 

History of the Ancient World:  Chapters 15 and 16

 

 

What are you reading this week? 

 

 

 

 

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In the middle of The Crystal Cave and thoroughly enjoying it.  On my ipad,  reading Daniel Silva's The Fallen Angel (# 12 in Gabriel Allon Series) Combines three of my favorite subjects: the Vatican, art and a mystery.

 

History of the Ancient World - If I lived during that time period would so not want to be part of the kings entourage and have to die and be entombed around him.  However, the pyramids, however they were made, still fascinate me. 

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Well I never saw that ending coming!  Speechless was my initial reaction when I finished reading Dorothy Dunnett's Scales of Gold, the fourth volume in the House of Niccolo series.  If I had the fifth, The Unicorn Hunt, I might have launched into it immediately but alas it is not on the shelves.  Probably wise to take a break between these intricately plotted chunksters though.

 

Scales of Gold follows Nicholas to Africa where Timbuktu proves to be more than a trading center for salt and gold. As expected with a Dunnett novel, I followed rabbit trails to learn about the Tuaregs and Songhai who fought for control of what had been a center of Islamic scholarship in the fifteenth century.

 

Next up?  I am staring at three books:  They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and Mr. Penumbra's 24-House Bookstore by Robin Sloan.  The first is in the stack because I have been reading/rereading the occasional Agatha Christie, finding them to be well plotted entertainments.  This book caught my eye though since Christie was married to an archaeologist. My son's archaeologist girlfriend spent five weeks this spring on a dig in Kurdistan (Iraq) so this book seems appropriate.

 

Wide Sargasso Sea is the "prequel" Rhys wrote to Jane Eyre.  Has it been discussed in a BaW thread? Having reread Jane Eyre this year, it should be an interesting book.

 

Mr. Penumbra is something that was recommended here.

 

So let's see where my mood takes me....

 

Jane (who failed to catch up in her HoAW reading--can someone post a midweek reminder??)

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Well I never saw that ending coming!  Speechless was my initial reaction when I finished reading Dorothy Dunnett's Scales of Gold, the fourth volume in the House of Niccolo series.  If I had the fifth, The Unicorn Hunt, I might have launched into it immediately but alas it is not on the shelves.  Probably wise to take a break between these intricately plotted chunksters though.

 

Scales of Gold follows Nicholas to Africa where Timbuktu proves to be more than a trading center for salt and gold. As expected with a Dunnett novel, I followed rabbit trails to learn about the Tuaregs and Songhai who fought for control of what had been a center of Islamic scholarship in the fifteenth century.

 

Next up?  I am staring at three books:  They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and Mr. Penumbra's 24-House Bookstore by Robin Sloan.  The first is in the stack because I have been reading/rereading the occasional Agatha Christie, finding them to be well plotted entertainments.  This book caught my eye though since Christie was married to an archaeologist. My son's archaeologist girlfriend spent five weeks this spring on a dig in Kurdistan (Iraq) so this book seems appropriate.

 

Wide Sargasso Sea is the "prequel" Rhys wrote to Jane Eyre.  Has it been discussed in a BaW thread? Having reread Jane Eyre this year, it should be an interesting book.

 

Mr. Penumbra is something that was recommended here.

 

So let's see where my mood takes me....

 

Jane (who failed to catch up in her HoAW reading--can someone post a midweek reminder??)

 

Making me want to read Niccolo Rising, sooner rather than later.  Moving it up in my stacks.   My vote is for Agatha Christie although I do have Mr. Penumbra's on the shelves and have been eyeing it lately myself.

 

Midweek reminder - check!  I just caught up myself so it will help me keep on track too.

 

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The Wine-Dark Sea by Patrick O'Brian. #16 in the Aubrey/Maturin series and I just could not get into it. I found it somewhat repetitive and boring and am just waiting/wanting them to get back home to England and see what their families have been up to for the past couple years.

 

Frederica in Fashion by Marion Chesney. This is #6 in a series but I haven't read any of the others. I enjoyed it - easy, fluffy read.

 

 

and I didn't know that Mary Stewart had passed away! :( I'll have to re-read Nine Coaches Waiting in her memory.

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Yesterday I read Uncertain Voyage by Dorothy Gilman. I know I've read it before, years ago. This one had an indirect, but not concealed feminist message in the story: Woman, you don't need man, security, and conventions to define you, you can break out and be yourself; the people worth knowing will see and accept the real you. The story was of a young woman who was stifled by her husband and her fears, then spent years in analysis for a mental breakdown. She goes on a European trip to face the insecurity inherent in life and ends up embroiled in an espionage intrigue which challenges her more than she bargained for. It was a very quick read.

 

I haven't decided what's next.

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I've started The Sekhmet Bed and so far am enjoying the detailed account of domestic life in ancient Egypt as well as the trajectory of the story. It's very much a women's vantage point which I am thoroughly enjoying. It's the first of a four-part series entitled The She-King Saga

 

 

It remains to be seen whether I'll continue with the rest of the books though I'm pretty sure I want to read the second one which is about Hatshepsut's reign. The books are part of my 5/5/5 focus on women in ancient history. Last week I finished, The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd and this weekend I finished the audiobook of Mother Night :: Myths, Stories and Teachings for Learning to See in the Dark by CPE. Excellent and resonant book and her reading is stellar. I get far more from listening to her voice with this material than reading it on my own. This brings my yearly total to 26.

 

And finally with all the fairy tale threads going I have been dipping into both Grimm's and HCA's versions of these ancient tales. I bought two kindle books of the complete tales from each of these authors and they're well formatted for ebook. I've reread several of my favorites as well as some of ds's and dh's and some mentioned on the various threads.
 

 

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I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig. 

 

I loved the Shakespeare book, and I'll be checking it back out from the library this summer to try it out with my kids. My Goodreads review:

 

 

 

I have read plenty of times the idea that my children should memorize this or that poem or passage with vocabulary and structure too complex for my children to understand, and I always wonder what the point is in having my children memorize a series of meaningless syllables.

Part of what makes this book great is how the author breaks down, explains and rewords the passages, explaining not only what the words mean, but what has been going on up to the point of the passage. Then you can turn around and explain it to your children. These explanations are not only useful, they are enjoyable. And now your child can memorize a series of syllables that is beautiful, meaningful, interesting, entertaining and important.

Another thing this book has that makes Shakespeare more fun and accessible is the author's infectious love of Shakespeare's work. 

He isn't a stodgy old professor saying, “You should like this because I said so, as did my professor, and my professor's professor and so on! Look at how perfectly these lines scan! You will like it or you will get an F!â€

He is able to show what makes Shakespeare great in terms that are not dry and stuffy. This makes the book a good learning resource for the parent, too.

There are plays by Shakespeare that I adore and others that I kind of toss aside like, “Yeah, I see how it took skill to write that, but I'm not entertained. Whatever.†Even if he can't quite make me fall in love with the plays in the latter set, he helps me understand why other people like those particular plays so much, appreciate them more, and consider giving them another try. He makes it easy for me to see the play from a different perspective and take a closer look at at least a few passages.

But this book isn't just about memorizing a few passages, or even about memorizing and understanding them. Ludwig includes tidbits and sometimes whole chapters explaining some of the most-loved characters, historical and biographical information, the “all the world's a stage†metaphor that comes up repeatedly in Shakespeare's plays, and explanations of drama in general. He doesn't, however, give a method for teaching anything beyond recitation. He explains things and sometimes suggests you make sure your children understand them, but leaves it up to you to figure out how.

 

I started The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. My current thoughts on it are that while there is some good information here, I'm not sure I would like the author as a person. Something about his tone, or communication style or attitude bothers me, and it makes me hesitate to pass this book on to anyone. I will definitely continue it myself, though.

 

I am still working on Eight Skilled Gentlemen and some Robert Frost.

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In light of our discussion last week I thought folks might be interested to know that there's a good article in this weekend's NY Times Book Review by Salman Rushdie on Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the magical realism genre. He describes it well here...

 

"The trouble with the term "magic realism," el realismo magico, is that when people say or hear it they are really hearing or saying only half of it, "magic," without paying attention to the other half, "realism." But if magic realism were just magic, it wouldn't matter. It would be mere whimsy--writing in which, because anything can happen, nothing has effect. It's because the magic in magic realism has deep roots in the real, because it grows out of the real and illuminates it in beautiful and unexpected ways, that it works"

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I read Fantasy Lover, book 1 of the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon a few weeks ago.  I was discouraged because my library doesn't carry any of them and they are expensive on ebook ($6-$8 a book).  Today I saw on Facebook that the first 23 ebooks are $19.99 on amazon for anyone who may be considering them.  Now I know to always check for compilations of books before I buy individually, lesson learned.  ;)

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Love that quote about magical realism, shukriyya. Beautiful. And true.

 

Last night I had tea & coffee, making me not sleep.... Which, in turn, gave me plenty of time to stay up way too many hours last night & finish Background to Danger by Eric Ambler. I think you would like it if you enjoy spy/thriller type books. It's the type of thing that I'd term a beach or pool read, though maybe slightly more dense than you generally want to read in the searing sunlight. LOL. I've passed the book on to dh now as he likes that style book & I think it's one he will enjoy. I would read more of Ambler's books down the road....

 

That got me to #26 for the year, getting me halfway to my 52!

 

Have now (barely) started the lovely-looking Aurorarama by Jean-Christophe Valtat. I also found out that there is at least one sequel to this (not sure if there are or will be others beyond that).

 

For those who are falling-behind on the HotAW challenge, here's a very tiny version of world history that you can read in a few seconds. :lol: Voilà! You are now caught up!

 

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

My Goodreads Page

My PaperbackSwap Page

 

My rating system:

5 = Love; 4 = Pretty awesome; 3 = Good/Fine; 2 = Meh; 1 = Don't bother

 

2014 Books Read:

 

01. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (5 stars). Around the World – North America (USA).

02. This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (3 stars).

03. Aiding and Abetting by Muriel Spark (3 stars). Around the World – Europe (England).

04. Sunjata by Bamba Suso & Banna Kanute (5 stars). Around the World – Africa (Gambia & Mali).

05. The Lunatic by Anthony C. Winkler (4 stars). Around the World – Caribbean (Jamaica).

06. The Joke by Milan Kundera (4 stars). Around the World – Europe (Czech Republic).

07. One Hundred Years of Vicissitude by Andrez Bergen (3 grudging stars). Around the World – Asia (Japan).

08. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley (5 stars).

09. The French Connection by Robin Moore (4 stars). Around the World – North America (USA).

10. The Way Through Doors by Jesse Ball (4 stars).

 

11. Eat for Health by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. (4 stars).

12. Lotería by Mario Alberto Zambrano (1 star).

13. Fantômas by Pierre Souvestre & Marcel Allain (3 stars). Around the World – Europe (France).

14. The Ways of White Folks by Langston Huges (5 stars). Around the World – North America (USA).

15. Asleep in the Sun by Adolfo Bioy Casares (3 stars). Around the World – South America (Argentina).

16. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett (5 stars).

17. Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi (5 stars).

18. Boxer, Beetle by Ned Beauman (3 stars). Around the World – Europe (England).

19. Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney (3 stars).

20. Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen (4 stars). Around the World – South America (Argentina).

 

21. The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason (3 stars).

22. The Fig Eater by Jody Shields (5 stars). Around the World – Europe (Austria).

23. Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie (4 stars). Around the World – Asia (Pakistan).

24. I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal (5 stars). Around the World – Europe (Czech Republic).

25. My Kind of Girl by Buddhadeva Bose (3 stars). Around the World – Asia (India & Bangladesh).

26. Background to Danger by Eric Ambler (3 stars). Around the World – Europe (Austria).

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Every time I see the cover of that book, Stacia, I'm transported somewhere lovely. The title is a mouthful though. It doesn't slide easily off the tongue and makes me feel like a cat responding to birds from its perch by the living room window :lol:

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I just finished One Night in Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore.  It ended up being very good.  Rather multilayered. At first (when I posted yesterday) it appeared to be a story about a group of students who were the children of the Soviet elite who were involved in an incident gone very wrong.  It was well written and a bit intriguing but I remember the list it was on being very intimidating.  There just didn't seem to be enough information to be on that list at first, then the book took off and wow.  It packed a whole lot in the last half of the book.  It was fiction with real incidents and people weaved in. I don't want to do spoilers because I know a couple of you are considering reading this.

 

Not sure what I am going to read next.  I have Tell No One going on the Kindle.  It is amazingly like the movie other than the setting is not France.  :lol: We were supposed to go on a mini vacation tomorrow but unsure because of weather if we will go anywhere since the hotel can be cancelled until 1 and driving.  Weather at home is forecasted as sunny.  Not sure what to start because if we are traveling I read something that Dd would like also. Cuts baggage.

 

I am also behind on History of the Ancient World.  Maybe this week I will catch up. ;)

 

 

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Over the course of the past week, I've been rereading Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega series as bed time reading.  (It's easier to put down a book I've already read than run the risk of reading to 3:00am with a new book.)  I've now reread

 

On the Prowl (which has the original Alpha and Omega novella which starts the series)

 

Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega, Book 1)

 

Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, Book 2)

 

Next up is 

 

Fair Game (Alpha And Omega).

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Hi ladies!

 

I kind of bypassed this thread for a while... I've skimmed the posts but reading has taken a backseat for a while.  I just finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy... thought the first book was great, the second and third were fairly good.  We finished up school on Friday, so I'm stocked up on brain candy for a while, and I'll be reading some cozy mysteries next.  :)

 

As of right now I'm at 24 books for the year.

 

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I started Winter's Tale late last night...I have been waiting for that one for quite awhile from the library and am excited to read it. I have not seen the movie yet. I am only a week behind in HoAW, I will try and get caught up on that today. I also have Monument's Men on my Goodreads "Currently Reading" shelf, but I've not really been reading it. Last week I was stuck on the couch for most of the week with a strained neck, and I thought it would be a great chance to read, but I ended up just being in more pain than anything. I hope to get more reading done this week.

 

31 books read YTD.

 

I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig. 

 

I loved the Shakespeare book, and I'll be checking it back out from the library this summer to try it out with my kids. My Goodreads review:

 

 

I started The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. My current thoughts on it are that while there is some good information here, I'm not sure I would like the author as a person. Something about his tone, or communication style or attitude bothers me, and it makes me hesitate to pass this book on to anyone. I will definitely continue it myself, though.

 

I am still working on Eight Skilled Gentlemen and some Robert Frost.

 

Thank you for this great review of the Shakespeare book - I just got it for my birthday and am anxious to read it. I was not a fan of Jim Trelease's book, which on this forum is heresy! I have it on my shelf and I have taken it to a few used curriculum sales but have never sold it, so it keeps returning to my shelf. Maybe I'm supposed to read it again, lol.

 

Every time I see the cover of that book, Stacia, I'm transported somewhere lovely. The title is a mouthful though. It doesn't slide easily off the tongue and makes me feel like a cat responding to birds from its perch by the living room window :lol:

 

Oh, I had that book in and out of my Amazon cart a couple of times last week, and then when she posted something about turquoise pages.... :svengo: I have this nagging feeling that I won't like the book, though. I am waiting to hear her review. I may just have to buy the book for its beauty, though, lol.

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Oh, I had that book in and out of my Amazon cart a couple of times last week, and then when she posted something about turquoise pages.... :svengo: I have this nagging feeling that I won't like the book, though. I am waiting to hear her review. I may just have to buy the book for its beauty, though, lol.

 

Just turquoise endpapers, not the pages themselves. Not super far into it yet (about 50 or 60 pages), but it seems a mix of fantasy/steampunk, maybe a little dystopian tossed in. A wide mix. Liking it so far.

 

Looking forward to your review of Winter's Tale. Wondering if it's one I would like. I haven't seen the movie either.

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Just turquoise endpapers, not the pages themselves. Not super far into it yet (about 50 or 60 pages), but it seems a mix of fantasy/steampunk, maybe a little dystopian tossed in. A wide mix. Liking it so far.

 

Looking forward to your review of Winter's Tale. Wondering if it's one I would like. I haven't seen the movie either.

 

Yes, I thought that it was either the endpapers or the title page or something like that! (Turquoise is my favorite color and I was already salivating over the cover, lol.) Fantasy/steampunk sounds great, I'll be curious about the religious aspect of it.

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I finished two books over the past two weeks:  #29 - The Perfect 10 Diet by Aziz (reviewed here) and #30 - Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Collins (reviewed here), which was a read aloud with the boys.  I need to spend this week working on lit for DD and making some progress with HOAW, but I'd rather just curl up with something fun.  I'll have to see what I can squeeze in timewise.

 

To be read:

The Birds by Aristophanes and Antony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare to discuss with DD

Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods by Collins - reading aloud to DSs

 

In progress:

Bible - finished 1 Chronicles and started 2 Chronicles, a few chapters behind

History of the Ancient World by Bauer - no chapters this past week

Julius Caesar by Shakespeare

 

Finished:

 

30.  Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Collins

29.  The Perfect 10 Diet by Aziz (non-fiction)

28.  Medea by Euripides (ancient lit.)

27.  Michael Vey Battle of the Ampere by Evans (Peru)

26.  Michael Vey Rise of the Elgen by Evans (Peru)

25.  Black Order by Rollins (BaW, Germany/Nepal/South Africa)

24.  Michael Vey: the Prisoner of Cell 25 by Evans (USA)

23.  Urchin and the Heartstone by McAllister

22.  Gregor the Overlander by Collins

21.  The Prince of Mist by Zafon

20.  St. Peter's Fair by Peters (12th century, England)

19.  Monk's Hood by Peters (12th century, England)

18.  Map of Bones by Rollins (BaW rec, Italy/Germany/France)

17.  W.A.R.P. Book 1 The Reluctant Assassin by Colfer

16.  Getting Things Done by Allen (non-fiction 646.7)

15.  Urchin of the Riding Stars by McAllister

14.  Agamemnon by Aeschylus (ancient lit, Greece, 882)

13.  One Corpse Too Many by Peters (12th century, England)

12.  Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles (ancient lit, Greece, 882)

11.  Oedipus the King by Sophocles  (ancient lit, Greece, 882)

10.  The Week That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Bradley (BaW rec, England)

9.  Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Cain (non-fiction 155)

8.  Sandstorm by Rollins (BaW rec, Oman)

7.  The War of the Worlds by Wells (classic lit, Great Britain)

6.  A Morbid Taste for Bones by Peters (12th century, Great Britain)

5.  Anitgone by Sophocles (ancient lit, Greece, 882)

4.  Secrets of an Organized Mom  by Reich (non-fiction 648.5)

3.  Phantastes by MacDonald (classic lit)

2.  The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Bradley (BaW rec, Great Britain)

1.  The Odyssey by Homer (ancient lit, Greece 883.1)
 

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Congrats, Stacia, on making it half way to 52.  I think that I am at the same place as you, if not then I am at Book #25.

 

I am stumbling here, though.  With the advent of spring and gardening, I am not getting much reading done.  I am currently reading  Her Majesty's  Spy  by Susan Elia MacNeal.  This is the third installment of the Maggie Hope series.  It is ultra fluff but it is all I can manage at this point in time.  :laugh:

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I started Winter's Tale late last night...I have been waiting for that one for quite awhile from the library and am excited to read it. I have not seen the movie yet. I am only a week behind in HoAW, I will try and get caught up on that today. I also have Monument's Men on my Goodreads "Currently Reading" shelf, but I've not really been reading it. Last week I was stuck on the couch for most of the week with a strained neck, and I thought it would be a great chance to read, but I ended up just being in more pain than anything. I hope to get more reading done this week.

 

Sorry to hear about your neck,hope it is feeling better. Whenever I pull my back, end up sitting for hours on the heating pad.  I have Monuments Men on my goodread's currently reading too and haven't touched the book in days.  Bad me.   Anyone else making any progress?

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Since we like lists here, I offer some hardcore literature (hee, hee, really not) http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/moviestvliterature/tp/SummerWitchyFiction.htm

What? No Pratchett on the list?! Tsk! Tsk!

 

He's got such a funny sense of humor for the absurdity of humans, lol. Love his humor.

 

Looks like a pretty good list. I've read only the first Dresden Files book.... Dd hasn't read the Bernard Cornwell book mentioned, but has read quite a few from his Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories series.

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Since we like lists here, I offer some hardcore literature (hee, hee, really not) http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/moviestvliterature/tp/SummerWitchyFiction.htm

 

Great list - Loved Robert's Three Sisters Island trilogy - read it several times.  Thumbs up to the Mists of Avalon. Chocolat ended up shelving because couldn't stand first person pov or the writing.  Looks like I'll be adding a couple to my wishlist.

 

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I mentioned in the other thread that I finished Blood and Beauty. Then whipped through The Fault In Our Stars in 4 hours instead of sleeping. *lol* I started Charlaine Harris' Midnight Crossroads and I hope it's good. I've enjoyed pretty much everything she's ever done so here's hoping! I'm going to take a hot bath with it right now. Might be another up too late kinda night... but seeing that we're stuck at home with really not much planned seeing that we finished our school year, I'm okay with that. ;) 

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I read The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon and it was a solid ghost story.  Quick read.

 

Now, I'm on to The Secret History by Donna Tartt.  I like it a bit so far...there are certain descriptions that are really well done and remind me of my own life, surprisingly, but then the Greek quoting seems a tad pretentious and forced.  It feels like Tartt is trying just a bit too hard and not quite succeeding at the literary plot.

 

Next up is a teen love story called Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (hippy parents, anyone?  lol) which was recommended to me.

 

Then, I'm going to read the last 2 stand-alone Harlan Coben novels!

 

Genres?  Don't care!  LOL 

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What is it with all you people who lose bookmarks or resort to scraps of paper and bobby pins??? :001_tt2:

 

Hangs head in shame.

 

 

 

 

I caught up on my Bible reading schedule. I'm off probation! Picking up A.A. Milne for another delightful short story as my prize.

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Well, I guess it's a little late to post a 'best of 2013 book list', but I'm going to anyway because I enjoyed seeing the books & variety on NPR's list. Plus, they show all the covers, which is how I like to look at books when I'm looking at lists.

 

http://apps.npr.org/best-books-2013/

 

Quite a few books on there that have been read by BaWers too! (And plenty more you'll probably want to add to your tbr lists!)

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Well, I guess it's a little late to post a 'best of 2013 book list', but I'm going to anyway because I enjoyed seeing the books & variety on NPR's list. Plus, they show all the covers, which is how I like to look at books when I'm looking at lists.

 

http://apps.npr.org/best-books-2013/

 

Quite a few books on there that have been read by BaWers too! (And plenty more you'll probably want to add to your tbr lists!)

 

Just a few of them...

 

 

Posting from my phone so I can't give the full-on smilie vibes but...Stacia, whaaaaaaat are you doing...so many great books that list (phone typed that as lust hehe) I've got my fingers in my ears and am doing the la la la dance...

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I've started The Sekhmet Bed and so far am enjoying the detailed account of domestic life in ancient Egypt as well as the trajectory of the story. It's very much a women's vantage point which I am thoroughly enjoying. It's the first of a four-part series entitled The She-King Saga

 

 

Is Ahmose's divine gift a blessing or a curse?

 

The second daughter of the Pharaoh, Ahmose has always dreamed of a quiet life as a priestess, serving Egypt's gods, ministering to the people of the Two Lands. But when the Pharaoh dies without an heir, she is given instead as Great Royal Wife to the new king – a soldier of common birth. For Ahmose is god-chosen, gifted with the ability to read dreams, and it is her connection to the gods which ensures the new Pharaoh his right to rule.

 

Ahmose's elder sister Mutnofret has been raised to expect the privileged station of Great Royal Wife; her rage at being displaced cannot be soothed. As Ahmose fights the currents of Egypt's politics and Mutnofret's vengeful anger, her youth and inexperience carry her beyond her depth and into the realm of sacrilege.

 

To right her wrongs and save Egypt from the gods' wrath, Ahmose must face her most visceral fear: bearing an heir. But the gods of Egypt are exacting, and even her sacrifice may not be enough to restore the Two Lands to safety.

 

The Sekhmet Bed is the first volume of L. M. Ironside's series The She-King, a family saga of the Thutmosides, one of ancient Egypt's most fascinating royal families.

 

It remains to be seen whether I'll continue with the rest of the books though I'm pretty sure I want to read the second one which is about Hatshepsut's reign. The books are part of my 5/5/5 focus on women in ancient history. Last week I finished, The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd and this weekend I finished the audiobook of Mother Night :: Myths, Stories and Teachings for Learning to See in the Dark by CPE. Excellent and resonant book and her reading is stellar. I get far more from listening to her voice with this material than reading it on my own. This brings my yearly total to 26.

 

And finally with all the fairy tale threads going I have been dipping into both Grimm's and HCA's versions of these ancient tales. I bought two kindle books of the complete tales from each of these authors and they're well formatted for ebook. I've reread several of my favorites as well as some of ds's and dh's and some mentioned on the various threads.

 

Sounds interesting. Waiting to hear how you like it.

I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig.

 

I loved the Shakespeare book, and I'll be checking it back out from the library this summer to try it out with my kids. My Goodreads review:

 

 

I started The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. My current thoughts on it are that while there is some good information here, I'm not sure I would like the author as a person. Something about his tone, or communication style or attitude bothers me, and it makes me hesitate to pass this book on to anyone. I will definitely continue it myself, though.

 

I am still working on Eight Skilled Gentlemen and some Robert Frost.

The read along handbook was not a favourite of mine. Pretty sure it went in the great book purge. I just remember it as full of things that were not going to work!

Over the course of the past week, I've been rereading Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega series as bed time reading. (It's easier to put down a book I've already read than run the risk of reading to 3:00am with a new book.) I've now reread

 

On the Prowl (which has the original Alpha and Omega novella which starts the series)

 

Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega, Book 1)

 

Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, Book 2)

 

Next up is

 

Fair Game (Alpha And Omega).

 

Regards,

Kareni

I need to go back and finish both of those series. Enjoy your rereads!

Sorry to hear about your neck,hope it is feeling better. Whenever I pull my back, end up sitting for hours on the heating pad. I have Monuments Men on my goodread's currently reading too and haven't touched the book in days. Bad me. Anyone else making any progress?

Monuments Men is not getting finished very quickly for me either. I had decided to purposely go slow, a little bit each day. Don't seem to be accomplishing that. Plan to just read it through in a few days because I am enjoying it.

 

Phoenix -- missed the quote I think. I hope your neck is much better today. :grouphug:

I mentioned in the other thread that I finished Blood and Beauty. Then whipped through The Fault In Our Stars in 4 hours instead of sleeping. *lol* I started Charlaine Harris' Midnight Crossroads and I hope it's good. I've enjoyed pretty much everything she's ever done so here's hoping! I'm going to take a hot bath with it right now. Might be another up too late kinda night... but seeing that we're stuck at home with really not much planned seeing that we finished our school year, I'm okay with that. ;)

I am on a wait list for Midnight Crossing. Looking forward to you review. Somehow it sounds different then her others, should be interesting.

Hangs head in shame.

 

 

 

 

I caught up on my Bible reading schedule. I'm off probation! Picking up A.A. Milne for another delightful short story as my prize.

Great job catching up! I find it amazingly hard when I fall behind to make myself catch up. Yet I seem to be in that situation weekly with Not AS.
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Well I never saw that ending coming!  Speechless was my initial reaction when I finished reading Dorothy Dunnett's Scales of Gold, the fourth volume in the House of Niccolo series.  If I had the fifth, The Unicorn Hunt, I might have launched into it immediately but alas it is not on the shelves.  Probably wise to take a break between these intricately plotted chunksters though.

 

Scales of Gold follows Nicholas to Africa where Timbuktu proves to be more than a trading center for salt and gold. As expected with a Dunnett novel, I followed rabbit trails to learn about the Tuaregs and Songhai who fought for control of what had been a center of Islamic scholarship in the fifteenth century.

 

Next up?  I am staring at three books:  They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and Mr. Penumbra's 24-House Bookstore by Robin Sloan.  The first is in the stack because I have been reading/rereading the occasional Agatha Christie, finding them to be well plotted entertainments.  This book caught my eye though since Christie was married to an archaeologist. My son's archaeologist girlfriend spent five weeks this spring on a dig in Kurdistan (Iraq) so this book seems appropriate.

 

Wide Sargasso Sea is the "prequel" Rhys wrote to Jane Eyre.  Has it been discussed in a BaW thread? Having reread Jane Eyre this year, it should be an interesting book.

 

Mr. Penumbra is something that was recommended here.

 

So let's see where my mood takes me....

 

Jane (who failed to catch up in her HoAW reading--can someone post a midweek reminder??)

Mr. Penumbra is waiting to be read.  Just requested Wide Sargasso Sea.  I am trying to build up a stack for Dd and I to share while traveling.  Both of these look like possibilities.  Could I ask for a warning if these end up not being Dd appropriate?  Basically that means no really explicit scenes.  ;)

 

I did go through and like.posts. A my likes are missing now.  I have a message saying that there is a problem storing my likes.  Consider yourselves liked.

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Too scatter-brained this morning to multi-quote and converse with y'all, so I'll just post a quick reading update.

 

I finished Farthing by Jo Walton, which was a mixed bag.  Good enough to keep me turning pages and to send me looking for the 2 follow up books in the library.  My complaint is that the characters are a little too card board -- the protagonists a little too perfect, the bad guys too predictably bad.  The plot is intriguing, though.

 

I'm wading into The Way of Kings, a chunkster of a fantasy chunkster!  I know a few of you have read it, and my college boy really loves it.  Brandon Sanderson writes compulsively readable books, so I've no doubt I will enjoy it.  The best part is having it both on audio and on my iPad so I can switch from one to the other depending on what I'm doing.

 

I'm also listening to the 10th in the Master and Commander series, The Far Side of the World.  

 

The fires are all either out or contained, leaving some spectacularly charred hillsides and 20 or so homes destroyed.  Everyone seems to be recovering from the jittery nerves and life is back to normal again.  

 

 

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Sounds interesting.  Waiting to hear how you like it.

 

 

Re The Sekhmet Bed...I'm about a third of the way in and am really enjoying it. The protagonist in this book ends up giving birth to Hatshepsut who will be the protagonist for the second book so I'll likely read book two, at least, having invested in her mother already :D

 

 

I'm wading into The Way of Kings, a chunkster of a fantasy chunkster!  I know a few of you have read it, and my college boy really loves it.  Brandon Sanderson writes compulsively readable books, so I've no doubt I will enjoy it.  The best part is having it both on audio and on my iPad so I can switch from one to the other depending on what I'm doing normal again.  

 

Curious to know how you like moving back and forth. I've seen this option on some of my ebooks and wondered about how it would feel. Are you able to maintain the atmosphere of the story?

 

 

The fires are all either out or contained, leaving some spectacularly charred hillsides and 20 or so homes destroyed.  Everyone seems to be recovering from the jittery nerves and life is back to normal again.  

 

Glad to hear you're safe and sound though so sorry to hear about those whose homes were destroyed.

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I read Mr. Penumbra a few years ago -- don't remember anything inappropriate, but maybe someone who has read it more recently can verify?

 

I read it last year (when it was published) and agree with Onceuponatime.  Nothing but that one, quick reference to sleeping together and I really enjoyed the book!  My dd18 read it, too.

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I may have gotten sidetracked with Boy, Snow, Bird when I got an email saying it was available from my library for Kindle. Enjoying it so far, about 1/4 of the way into it. And then Aurorarama came in to the actual library so I may have borrowed that one, too....I will finish something this week, just not sure what!
 

Sorry to hear about your neck,hope it is feeling better. Whenever I pull my back, end up sitting for hours on the heating pad.  I have Monuments Men on my goodread's currently reading too and haven't touched the book in days.  Bad me.   Anyone else making any progress?


Monuments Men is not getting finished very quickly for me either.  I had decided to purposely go slow, a little bit each day.  Don't seem to be accomplishing that.  Plan to just read it through in a few days because I am enjoying it.
 
Phoenix -- missed the quote I think.  I hope your neck is much better today.   :grouphug:


Thanks for the well wishes for my neck - today is the first day I feel "human" again! I'm glad I'm not the only one who's not flying through Monument's Men; I really would like to read and get into it! 

 

The fires are all either out or contained, leaving some spectacularly charred hillsides and 20 or so homes destroyed.  Everyone seems to be recovering from the jittery nerves and life is back to normal again.

 

So glad to hear this.

ETA: That there is containment and getting back to normal. The destroyed homes is devastating. :(

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I think Wide Sargasso Sea is steamy.

 

Finishing up a bunch of things but not excited about anything I'm reading right now. 

 

The Grand Tour was the second book after the fantasy novel Sorcery and Cecelia. I enjoyed the first one more, but this one was fine. I sometimes have trouble telling the 2 main characters apart. 

 

Dead Men Do Tell Tales vacillated between interesting and annoying. I think they had Maples pad it. The ending cases were all interesting. I enjoyed the history. I didn't even mind his alpha '50s male personality or the early memoir chapter. I found that amusing. There were a few chapters which pulled together 'grossest vignette I can think of' type stuff.' I skipped around a bit. Uneven writing. 

 

Henry and Clara was a historical novel about the couple who sat in the box with the Lincolns at Ford Theater. The historical parts were interesting. The psychology of the main characters was subtle, but I couldn't really like the main characters and I didn't feel a lot of interest in their relationship. 

 

 

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