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Book a Week 2017 - BW25: June Solstice


Robin M

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Happy Sunday and welcome to week 25 in our 2017 adventurous prime reading year. Greetings to all our readers and those following our progress. Mister Linky is available weekly on 52 Books in 52 Weeks  to share a link to your book reviews.

 

Happy Father's Day to all our dads.  Are you ready for the June solstice - the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest day in the Southern Hemisphere?   The Solstice is upon us Wednesday the 21st and Summer officially begins here on the northern side of the world.   However, it seems to have arrived a few days early.    We are in the midst of a heat wave with over 100 degree temps expected for a week or more, so I'll be hibernating at home, cool and cozy.    

 

You can jump into summer or winter reads, depending on your location,  choosing books that are synonymous with the season. Or you can dive into one (or two or three) of those chunky and dusty books sitting on your shelves that you haven't had to time to read during the busyness of the year. A number of Well Trained Mind 52 Books readers are taking the plunge with Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, including myself. 

 

If you've haven't read War and Peace, now would be a great time to do so.    If you've already read the story, it is the perfect opportunity to  reread it.  I read it a few years back and devoured the story in a couple weeks, so I'm looking forward to reading it a bit more slowly and taking in all the fine details.  

 

Tolstoy blends history with fiction to create a fascinating, educational, classical story about war, politics, society, family, love, culture, and power. A character study during the early 1800's and impact the French invasion of Russia had upon five aristocratic families. 

 

Synopsis (Briggs translation):  "At a lavish party in St. Petersburg in 1805, amid the glittering crystal and chandeliers, the room buzzes with talk of the prospect of war. Soon battle and terror will engulf the country, and the destinies of its people will be changed forever. War and Peace has as its backdrop Napoleon's invasion of Russia and at its heart three of literature's most memorable characters: Pierre Bezukhov, a quixotic young man in search of life's meaning; Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, a cynical intellectual transformed by suffering in war; and the bewitching Natasha Rostov, whose impulsiveness threatens to destroy her happiness. As they seek fulfillment, fall in love, make mistakes, and become scarred by conflict in different ways, these characters and their stories interweave with those of a huge cast, from aristocrats to peasants, from soldiers to Napoleon himself. Battles, love affairs, births, deaths, changing family fortunes, unforgettable scenes of wolf hunts, Russian dancing, starlit troika rides, the great comet of 1812--the entire spectrum of human life is here in all its grandeur and imperfection."

 

Have I talked you into it yet?  *grin*  If you aren’t completely convinced, check out Andrew Kaufman’s Give War and Peace a Chance: Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times.  Also check out Tolstoy Therapy’s  Why Read War and Peace: Reasons why I love Tolstoy’s Masterpiece  and also his  Tips for Reading War and Peace.

 

We're going to take it slowly with plenty of time built in to talk about the story as well as read other books. There are four volumes, with three to five parts each and the epilogue.  Each volume will probably take you approximately two to three weeks depending on your reading speed.  

 

 

Volume One

 

Part 1  Ch 1 to 25 (110 pages)

Part 2  Ch 1 to 21 (95 pages)

Part 3  Ch 1 to 19 (100 pages)

 

Volume Two

 

Part 1 Ch 1 to 16 (56 pages)

Part 2 Ch 1 to 21 (78 pages)

Part 3 Ch 1 to 26 (79 pages)

Part 4 Ch 1 to 13 (54 pages)

Part 5 Ch 1 to 22 (75 pages)

 

Volume Three 

 

Part 1 Ch 1 to 23 (87 pages)

Part 2 Ch 1 to 39 (154 pages)

Part 3 Ch 1 to 34 (122 pages)

 

Volume Four 

 

Part 1 Ch 1 to 16 (57 pages)

Part 2 Ch 1 to 19 (49 pages)

Part 3 Ch 1 to 19 (49 pages)

Part 4 Ch 1 to 20 (60 pages)

 

Epilogue 

 

Part 1  Ch 1 - 16 (157 pages)

Part 2  Ch 1 - 12 (41 pages)

 

This week we will start with Volume One, Part One.  Join us in reading Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace!

 

 

****************************

 

Story of Western Science – Chapter 20

 

***************************

 

What are you reading this week?

 

 

Link to Week 24

 

 

Edited by Robin M
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I have a number of chunky books to read on my plate at the moment  - War and Peace as well as Dean Koontz Ashley Bell and Robert Jordan's A Crown of Time, the 7th book in Wheel of Time.  I just finished the Steig Larsson's Millenium trillogy with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  

 

Contemplating whether I want to read David Lagercrantz continuation of Salander's saga in The Girl in the Spider's Web.   Have any of you read it? 

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Contemplating whether I want to read David Lagercrantz continuation of Salander's saga in The Girl in the Spider's Web.   Have any of you read it? 

Robin, I was very close to reading it. Then I saw that most of my Good Reads friends with similar tastes to mine didn't care for the book at all. I chose not to. If you do read it, I'm eager to hear your thoughts. 

 

I read:

We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir - 2 Stars - This memoir/travelogue wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be. The book alternates in what I thought was a rather tedious and predictable style, going back in the past remembering her musician hippy father and again forwarding to the present. It was mostly boring and made me fall asleep quickly several times.

 

Ambition and Desire: The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte - 3 Stars - I enjoyed learning about Josephine, Napoleon, as well as the history of France during that period. Before reading this, I really didn’t know much about Josephine at all, other than the fact that she was born in Martinique, not that far from where we live. Our local museum claims to have her bathtub, but I have my doubts as to whether that tub was really hers!

 

Josephine was a survivor. Her first marriage was simply dreadful. Her marriage to Napoleon was doomed most especially when she was unable to bear his child. Mind you, I would think that any marriage to either of them would likely be doomed.

 

Oftentimes, this book got far more detailed than I would have liked. I can’t say that I loved it or would recommend it.

 

I most enjoyed reading the parts about her love for Chateau de Malmaison. She loved botany and collecting rare animals. One of my favorite descriptions:

“Her most cherished animal was a female orangutan possessed of a remarkably sweet nature. The little lady strolled about the house fully dressed, and when anyone approached her, she pulled her coat over her legs and would ‘assume a modest, decent air to welcome the visitor.’ She always ate at the table, using a knife and fork, and was particularly fond of nibbling on turnips. After dinner, she loved to cover her head with a napkin and then pull funny faces. When she fell ill and was put to bed, she lay with the cover drawn up to her chin and her arms outside it, completely hidden by the sleeves of the dressing gown. If anyone she knew came into the room, she greeted him with an appealing look, shaking her head gently and pressing his hand affectionately.â€

 

9781402288630.jpg   9780345522832.jpg

 

MY RATING SYSTEM

5 Stars

Fantastic, couldn't put it down

4 Stars

Really Good

3 Stars

Enjoyable

2 Stars

Just Okay – nothing to write home about

1 Star

Rubbish – waste of my money and time. Few books make it to this level, since I usually give up on them if they’re that bad. 

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Hugs to all who need them.

 

Several of us really enjoyed Helen Simonson's debut novel Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.  In fact, I recall that both Ethel and I had it on our lists for favorite novels read in '16.  Thus it was with a bit of trepidation that I approached the author's second book, The Summer Before the War, as it often seems that the second novel fails to live up to the hype of the first.

 

Initially I found the dialogue within the first third or so of the book to be stilted.  But I warmed to the story and was pleased that Simonson did not paint a romantic picture of WWI.  She did her research.  No, this is not the heartwarming novel that Pettigrew was but it is a good read. 

 

I have dipped a toe into the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace.  With summer travels and house guests, I doubt if I will be able to maintain the pace.  Packing a doorstopper book on a plane is just not an option for me!  But I do look forward to an overdue reading of this volume that for too long has lived in my dusty stacks.

 

For a lighter book, I am also reading The Case of the Missing Servant, a mystery set in India, by Tarquin Hall.  I found this book on one of my library lists.  Did one of you recommend it?

 

Anyone need an idea for a belated Father's Day gift?  Ginkgo Press offers The Manly Art of Knitting.  What a cover!

 

c01.jpg

 

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Last week I read the latest in two cozy mystery series that I enjoy. GM Malliet latest in the Max Tudor series wasn't bad. Devil's Breath takes place on the coast in a completely different setting from Max Tudor's normal vicarage location. I have read most of this author's books so would have to say this book was entertaining just not a Max Tudor but very much like her other books. Somehow he lost his 007 feel in the move!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29939369-devil-s-breath

 

Hannah Dennison's Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall was the best in the series so far. The cast of characters is huge and in this one was finally under control. This series is of the over the top cozy variety but I still put holds on each new release so I must like them! ;) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31451176-murderous-mayhem-at-honeychurch-hall.

 

Cursed in the second in Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka. It's a paranormal series set in London with a future seeing mage as a main character. Great easy read. I will definitely keep reading this series. It was perfect for our super hot 86 F day here. Life in England really gets odd over 75degrees! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13274082-cursed

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Here's a little something I've put together in honor of the War and Peace read along. It can be enjoyed whether or not you are reading along. I bring you....

 

The War and Peace playlist!

 

Snippets of music and tidbits of classical music lore have been swirling around in my head as I read War and Peace.  I wonder what works the ladies play at the piano, if they are by different composers than those played by the ladies in Jane Austen’s work. And I think about Beethoven who originally dedicated his 3rd symphony to Napoleon, only, as legend has it, to scratch the name “Bonaparte†off the title page in such a rage that he tore a hole in the manuscript. I think also of the 1812 Overture which tells the story of the Russian victory over Napoleon through the melodies of Russian hymns interwoven with the Marseillaise.  Don’t let the Boston Pops fool you. Even though they perform it every year on the 4th of July, the work has NOTHING to do with the USA or our War of 1812!

 

I thought I’d share my musical response to War and Peace through a playlist, and in researching to create my list, discovered that someone at BBC Radio4 beat me to it!  That playlist has all the works I was thinking of in addition to others I hadn't thought of or wasn't familiar with. I thought it would be fun to recommend a couple of pieces from the list each week, and add a few comments in the hopes you might enjoy the music, too. For better or worse, this the soundtrack of my mind!

 

First up is something to set the scene for Book One. Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin opera is set in the 1800s, though not the time period of War and Peace. Nevertheless, I agree with the BBC4 playlist that this exuberant waltz from the opera captures the “glamour and glittering opulence†of Russian society we see at the opening of the novel. I love this particular performance mostly because it captures the pure joy of playing Tchaikovsky, and as you’ll see the conductor is having such a jolly time.

 

 

 

Next up is a sample of some piano music by the composer J.L. Dussek. Princess Marya Bolkonsky is busy practicing a passage by him during her 2 hour practice time while her father naps. (Must be a big house to be able to practice piano while someone tries to sleep!) I don’t know if Dussek would have been something the ladies in Jane Austen’s world would play. They often talk of Italian works and certainly would have played lots of English country songs and dances.

 

Dussek piano sonata op.9 no.1

 

Enjoy!

 
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Stacia - I am so very sorry. Your cat looks very much like our cat, NOAA. Hugs to you and yours.

 

We're vacationing in the country of the pointed firs (Maine!). My spouse has just dropped DS off to his first ever sleep-away camp, so we will be sans boy for the week. I've got a stack of books with me, including Andrew Kaufman's Give War and Peace a Chance. I'll start W&P next Saturday once we're home.

 

I just finished Deborah Johnson's The Secret of Magic. 5 stars. Seriously brilliant interweaving of various strands of a story within a story, taking place in post WWII Mississippi, amid the nascent stirrings of the mid 20th century civil rights movement...

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Good morning! Last week I read 

 

Winter Wedding by Joan Smith https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1054204.Winter_Wedding Yes, it's another fluffy Regency :) I enjoyed this but kept getting pulled out of the story by what felt to me anachronistic details. The banter between the H and h  was good - the author knows her way around snappy dialogue for sure.

 

Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams by Susan Branch https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28638288-martha-s-vineyard-isle-of-dreams Love love love Susan Branch's books. I have the next in this series on request from the library but I suspect I will end up buying myself a copy of all three in the trilogy. 

 

The Dry by Jane Harper https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27824826-the-dry I don't normally read contemporary novels but as this one is set in Australia I thought I'd give it a go. It is set in a small farming town that is suffering from a long drought and there has been what looks like a murder/suicide. The story pulled me in right away and I just had to keep reading to find out whodunit (I was wrong). It was tightly plotted and although it kept me up until after 1am I find I just didn't feel much for the main character. After I finished reading I felt as though I had wasted my time watching a police procedural on tv. Guess this one just wasn't for me!

 

And I am ready to start War and Peace! I liked the advice offered late last week by JennW, I think? to not worry about which translation and just dive in and start reading. 

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Anyone need an idea for a belated Father's Day gift?  Ginkgo Press offers The Manly Art of Knitting.  What a cover!

 

c01.jpg

 

Love this cover!

 

Here's a little something I've put together in honor of the War and Peace read along. It can be enjoyed whether or not you are reading along. I bring you....

 

The War and Peace playlist!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Thank you! What a great idea!

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We're also suffering through a 100+ degree extended heat wave, but we have no AC. We went to a cool movie theater yesterday, and when we got back it was 88 deg in the house! It "cooled off" to 75 overnight and is already 79 in here at 11 am. This does not bode well. We often have summer temps that peak above 100, but usually it's just a peak, not an extended plateau. It's definitely getting old. We will probably need to go see another movie. Or head for the beach, maybe tomorrow.

 

The movie we saw yesterday was The Book of Henry. I can recommend it: a good story, well told, but definitely a tear-jerker so don't go see it if you aren't in that mood. Even dh cried a few tears.

 

My current NF stack includes Brave New World Revisited, Economix, How To Cook a Wolf, Real Food Fake Food, and The Other Side of Impossible: Ordinary People who faced daunting medical challenges and refused to give up.  For fiction I'm reading Send a Fax to the Kasbah, a Dorothy Dunnett mystery, set in the 90s. Oy veh, we've come a long way, baby.

 

Books completed in June:

125. Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson

124. Houston, Houston Do You Read? - James Tiptree Jr.

123. One - David Karp

122. Commonwealth - Ann Patchett.

121. The Summer Book - Tove Jansson

120. The Iron Heel - Jack London

119. Predictably Irrational - Dan Ariely

118. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Mark Manson

117. Walden - Henry David Thoreau

116. Imperfect Ideal: Utopian & Dystopian Visions - Great Books Foundation

Edited by Chrysalis Academy
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Jenn - Love the music! While listening, I was reminded of my once-in-a-lifetime trip to St. Petersburg and the glittering gold carriage that was on the first floor of the Hermitage Museum. You too can tour the museum from the comfort of your couch.

 

 

Hugs to all who need them.

 

Several of us really enjoyed Helen Simonson's debut novel Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.  In fact, I recall that both Ethel and I had it on our lists for favorite novels read in '16.  Thus it was with a bit of trepidation that I approached the author's second book, The Summer Before the War, as it often seems that the second novel fails to live up to the hype of the first.

 

Initially I found the dialogue within the first third or so of the book to be stilted.  But I warmed to the story and was pleased that Simonson did not paint a romantic picture of WWI.  She did her research.  No, this is not the heartwarming novel that Pettigrew was but it is a good read. 

 

I have dipped a toe into the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace.  With summer travels and house guests, I doubt if I will be able to maintain the pace.  Packing a doorstopper book on a plane is just not an option for me!  But I do look forward to an overdue reading of this volume that for too long has lived in my dusty stacks.

 

For a lighter book, I am also reading The Case of the Missing Servant, a mystery set in India, by Tarquin Hall.  I found this book on one of my library lists.  Did one of you recommend it?

 

Anyone need an idea for a belated Father's Day gift?  Ginkgo Press offers The Manly Art of Knitting.  What a cover!

 

c01.jpg

Jane - Love that cover! I've got Helen Simonson's The Summer Before the War on my TBR list, but probably won't get to it any time soon.

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I spent last week in a cabin near Lake Lure, NC, with 10 other family members. Not much reading happened. When I got home, I dove into Parnassus on Wheels and finished it quickly. I had not expected an amusing, old fashioned love story. It was a very pleasant, feel-good book. Last night I started The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman.

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Rose--don't prejudge Dunnett's Lymond or Niccolo series on the basis of her silly Johnson Johnson series.  Oy!

 

I tried the first Lymond book, and I have to say, it didn't click for me. I didn't like any of the characters, or sympathize with them, and the language - the way he spoke, specifically - was annoyingly allusive and unclear and flowery. So I've been nervous about tackling Niccolo. Also because of its length! Ditto with King Hereafter - there were so many characters with similar names, and it was so long, I figured I might as well be reading W&P. So I thought that a quick and silly mystery might be a good way to check off the Dorothy Dunnett square. If I'm feeling more focused later I might try Niccolo later for the Italian Renaissance square.

 

I've been finding it easier to focus on short books, these days - so many distractions with my family situation and dd's health. I feel unusually scatterbrained.

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Here's a little something I've put together in honor of the War and Peace read along. It can be enjoyed whether or not you are reading along. I bring you....

 

The War and Peace playlist!

 

Snippets of music and tidbits of classical music lore have been swirling around in my head as I read War and Peace. I wonder what works the ladies play at the piano, if they are by different composers than those played by the ladies in Jane Austen’s work. And I think about Beethoven who originally dedicated his 3rd symphony to Napoleon, only, as legend has it, to scratch the name “Bonaparte†off the title page in such a rage that he tore a hole in the manuscript. I think also of the 1812 Overture which tells the story of the Russian victory over Napoleon through the melodies of Russian hymns interwoven with the Marseillaise. Don’t let the Boston Pops fool you. Even though they perform it every year on the 4th of July, the work has NOTHING to do with the USA or our War of 1812!

 

I thought I’d share my musical response to War and Peace through a playlist, and in researching to create my list, discovered that someone at BBC Radio4 beat me to it! That playlist has all the works I was thinking of in addition to others I hadn't thought of or wasn't familiar with. I thought it would be fun to recommend a couple of pieces from the list each week, and add a few comments in the hopes you might enjoy the music, too. For better or worse, this the soundtrack of my mind!

 

First up is something to set the scene for Book One. Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin opera is set in the 1800s, though not the time period of War and Peace. Nevertheless, I agree with the BBC4 playlist that this exuberant waltz from the opera captures the “glamour and glittering opulence†of Russian society we see at the opening of the novel. I love this particular performance mostly because it captures the pure joy of playing Tchaikovsky, and as you’ll see the conductor is having such a jolly time.

 

 

 

Next up is a sample of some piano music by the composer J.L. Dussek. Princess Marya Bolkonsky is busy practicing a passage by him during her 2 hour practice time while her father naps. (Must be a big house to be able to practice piano while someone tries to sleep!) I don’t know if Dussek would have been something the ladies in Jane Austen’s world would play. They often talk of Italian works and certainly would have played lots of English country songs and dances.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Thank you!!!

I love the idea, I love music and just enjoy the muskc now :)

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I tried the first Lymond book, and I have to say, it didn't click for me. I didn't like any of the characters, or sympathize with them, and the language - the way he spoke, specifically - was annoyingly allusive and unclear and flowery. So I've been nervous about tackling Niccolo. Also because of its length! Ditto with King Hereafter - there were so many characters with similar names, and it was so long, I figured I might as well be reading W&P. So I thought that a quick and silly mystery might be a good way to check off the Dorothy Dunnett square. If I'm feeling more focused later I might try Niccolo later for the Italian Renaissance square.

 

I've been finding it easier to focus on short books, these days - so many distractions with my family situation and dd's health. I feel unusually scatterbrained.

.

 

It's been a while since I read the first Lymond book, but I think I had to make a couple of go's at it before I got past the style at the beginning and realized what was really going on in the book. At that point, I was hooked. I did wish, however, that I knew more Latin and French.

 

I really enjoyed the 2nd book, too, but fizzled out in the 3rd. A friend of mine told me that it's worth it to get through the 3rd book, though, because in her opinion books 4,5, and 6 made up for it. I tried twice several years ago and keep thinking that I am going to give it another shot, but it's still sitting on my shelf.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Edited by Angelaboord
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.

 

It's been a while since I read the first Lymond book, but I think I had to make a couple of go's at it before I got past the style at the beginning and realized what was really going on in the book. At that point, I was hooked. I will say that Lymond may not be everything he seems to be. [emoji6] I did wish, however, that I knew more Latin and French.

 

I really enjoyed the 2nd book, too, but fizzled out in the 3rd. A friend of mine told me that it's worth it to get through the 3rd book, though, because in her opinion books 4,5, and 6 made up for it. I tried twice several years ago and keep thinking that I am going to give it another shot, but it's still sitting on my shelf.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

The Lymond and Niccolo handbooks are really handy for translations, geopolitical background info, etc.  Elspeth Morrison wrote the Companion Books.

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I finished Economix: How Our Economy Works (And Doesn't Work) In Words & Pictures - Michael Goodwin.  I hate reading comic-book style books, and almost let that keep me from reading this, but I'm so glad I didn't. It's an excellent, approachable history of the economic system and how it all works - and doesn't. We'll be using this for our Econ class next year. 

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I finished Economix: How Our Economy Works (And Doesn't Work) In Words & Pictures - Michael Goodwin. I hate reading comic-book style books, and almost let that keep me from reading this, but I'm so glad I didn't. It's an excellent, approachable history of the economic system and how it all works - and doesn't. We'll be using this for our Econ class next year.

I'm waiting for this book since January....!

Is worth to pay the money to put the book on hold?

 

Dd read for her finance square 'The mendibles' she liked it so much she thinks I have to read it too :D

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I'm waiting for this book since January....!

Is worth to pay the money to put the book on hold?

 

Dd read for her finance square 'The mendibles' she liked it so much she thinks I have to read it too :D

 

I read the library version, but I'm going to buy us a copy to keep. So, I'd say yes, worth it!

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Finished 3 books this week:

 

61. Lincoln in the Bardo (audiobook) - the audio was very well done.  I'm not sure of the point of the book in the end, though... didn't feel like I learned anything new about the Civil War, Lincoln, or Willie.  The ghosts were well-written and fun and all, but that's got to be the most depressing view of the afterlife outside of Dante's Inferno.  Or worse?  Do the innocents get saved there?  2.5 stars.

 

62. Seven Surrenders - Also really liked this one, but perhaps not quite as much as the first.  But it kept me engaged and made me think   I will probably read the last two once they're both out.  4 stars.

 

63. Song of the Dodo - finished it!  Finally!  It was actually a lovely book and well-written.  I already knew a lot about biology, though, so not a ton of new info for me.  I'll use it for Q on A-Z authors and Biology for Big Bingo... so I did want to finish it!  3 stars.

 

Currently reading:

 

- The Cat's Table by Michael Ondjaate (audiobook) - most of the way through this now.  Quite enjoying it.  Not a lot of plot, but as a well-described memory evoking a turning point in a boys' life, it's well done.  Narrated by the author.  Picked this up because the one in my queue wasn't ready.  This will go on the Ondjaate square for Big Bingo.

 

- Ficciones (ebook) - well, I read one more story so I guess I haven't abandoned it yet.  Still may put it aside for later... lots of other good stuff to read right now...

 

Coming Up:

 

- The Vegetarian is also already checked out in Overdrive.  Will have to get to that before it expires in 12 days.

- Tooth & Claw for my fantasy read for the month.  Also fulfills "No human characters" for Big Bingo (they're all dragons, apparently)

- Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck is here from the library for my birthstone read

- War and Peace, of course!  Yay, I finished my other doorstopper so I will have room to start this one. :D

 

Edited by Matryoshka
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So far, in W&P, I am reading one chapter in the Maude version, then the same chapter in the Briggs version. I'm rather enjoying doing it this way to see the subtle differences in translation/interpretation, as well as the similar, but slightly different, footnotes. Plus, reading each chapter twice ensures I'm really following the story.

 

Not sure I'll be able to keep it up (because, if I do, I'll have effectively read W&P twice), but I like it so far.

 

LOL, well that is very impressively thorough. :)  I'm going to give myself a big pat on the back if I get through just one version!

 

And  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  about your kitties.

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Stacia, many hugs of comfort in memory of your dear cats. Life is giving you a hard go of it lately.

 

Jenn, thanks for the playlist. When I read W&P last time, I listened to a recording of Russian liturgical music, including the hymn Spasi, Gospodi, Lyudi Tvoya, which is incorporated into the 1812 Overture. Now I firmly associate the novel with that music.

 

Jane, that is the best photo. Real cowboys knit!

 

This week I finished my collection of Max Beerbohm's writings (mostly essays or radio broadcasts). Does anyone else here like Beerbohm? I feel lonely in my reading lately. This week I'm working on my history of Culloden and its aftermath, and on Conrad's An Outcast of the Islands. Francis Bacon is backburnered for a little while. And I just acquired a nice Oxford collection of the major poetry of John Clare, "the English Burns." Tomorrow features a couple hours on a train, so maybe I can make some progress.

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I finished Real Food, Fake Food (since it's too hot to do anything but sit under my ceiling fan and read . . . ).  It was very informative. I live in a big foody area, work in sustainable ag, my dh worked in fine dining restaurants for 20+ years, and I still learned a lot from this book. I will change some of my shopping habits based on what I learned - not too many, I do pretty well already, but some. I read this for my "Cheesy" square - it's got a big chunk of Real Parm on the cover and a chapter called "Cheesy Cheese."

 

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So far, in W&P, I am reading one chapter in the Maude version, then the same chapter in the Briggs version. I'm rather enjoying doing it this way to see the subtle differences in translation/interpretation, as well as the similar, but slightly different, footnotes. Plus, reading each chapter twice ensures I'm really following the story.

 

Not sure I'll be able to keep it up (because, if I do, I'll have effectively read W&P twice), but I like it so far.

Respect!

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I'm envious of those of you who have been reading this weekend. I've been doing a much needed deep cleaning of my house - windows, curtains, dusting those dratted huge wooden mini blinds (never buy these if you can avoid it), stripping beds, etc.

 

I have decided to join the W&P group but have to run to the library and find a copy tomorrow. Unlike Stacia, I'll be sticking with one version and hoping to do my best with whatever the library has on hand.

 

I'm enjoying the chatter about the Bingo. I'll have to try that next year. I'm simply ecstatic that I have actually read 24 non-work related books and am on task.

 

 

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As usual, I don't remember what I've posted 🙄 So I have finished Anne's House of Dreams - another sweet installment - actually I think I remember saying that so I believe I posted that 🙃 I finished a YA book, Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn - a book that was billed as "a novel of the Titanic" in which the Titanic didn't even make an appearance until 200 pages into a 300 page book. The author pushed modern day issues into the early 1900's with characters making statements that I didn't feel were period appropriate. She also tried to fit as many historical characters into 300 pages. It was a hot mess! And I finished listening to New Moon by Stephenie Meyer - I'm really new to audio books and I'm still shocked at little things I pick up on when listening to a book. I am a fan of the Twilight books as fluff, and this has always been my least favorite. But I found myself really rolling my eyes while listening. One can only take Bella gushingly describing Edward's features so many times. 😠I must ignore that in the books!

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Anyone need an idea for a belated Father's Day gift?  Ginkgo Press offers The Manly Art of Knitting.  What a cover!

 

I'm reminded of another book on the same theme ~

Knitting With Balls: A Hands-On Guide to Knitting for the Modern Man  by Michael del Vecchio

 

- Tooth & Claw for my fantasy read for the month.  Also fulfills "No human characters" for Big Bingo (they're all dragons, apparently)

 

 I look forward to reading your review as I've yet to read any of the author's fiction.  I've enjoyed Jo Walton's columns at Tor.com.  In case you're interested, some of her columns are collected in this book ~

What Makes This Book So Great: Re-Reading the Classics of Science Fiction and Fantasy

 

My book group will be reading one of her other books next February.  (We plan ahead!)

 

Regards,

Kareni

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A one day only currently free classic for Kindle readers ~

 

The Life of Reason by  George Santayana
 
"George Santayana’s renowned work of moral philosophy outlines his vision of the ideal life.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
 
George Santayana’s The Life of Reason stands as one of the most influential and beautifully written works of philosophical naturalism. In it, Santayana articulates his vision of human progression from chaos to reason and the pursuit of the ideal life. Focusing his thought on the lived experiences of people, these phases are traced through humanity’s many endeavors, including art, science, politics, religion, friendship, and reason. Drawing on a range of influences, from Democritus and Aristotle to Spinoza and Schopenhauer, Santayana develops a materialist system of thought that stresses the importance of imagination and spiritual experience.
 
Originally published in five volumes, from 1905 to 1906, The Life of Reason is Santayana’s most complete statement of moral philosophy and an inspiring account of human dignity."
**
 

 

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I didn't finish anything last week, but that's because I was reading from too many books and my primary book is about 500 pgs. If I had concentrated solely on it, I might almost have finished it; as it stands, I'm about halfway through with 2 books and 3 chapters into a very slim third.

 

Theft By Finding: Diaries 1977-2002, David Sedaris -- This was one of the "extra" books you could get along with your Book of the Month pick this month. I am consistently on the fence about my subscription because I seem to find the books kind of meh on the whole. If anything I enjoy their "extra" picks more. I have never read anything by David Sedaris, so I doubt I am getting as much out of this one as a regular Sedaris reader, but for some reason I am hooked on this book. I'm not sure I can say I'm "enjoying" it because of the plentiful crude language and crude situations; it's more like I'm watching the train wreck of the early part of his adult life and rooting for him to turn it around. He says in the preface that he thought it would be a book to dip into and not read straight through, but I think that would be jarring. I like getting a sense of autobiography and personal history building up. Also, I like reading diaries and I like the idea of having built up 40 years of diaries that you can edit into two big volumes. I am also appreciating this book from a writer's point of view, because Sedaris is very good at capturing the specific. (And the ridiculous, the absurd, and the crude, but then again I tossed a number of old notebooks last year because all I did was talk about how exhausted I was and completely missed most of what was going on around me.)

 

2. Chemistry, Weike Wang (fiction) -- This is one of the actual Book of the Month picks and again, I'm feeling meh. It's basically about a Chinese-American PhD student (in chemistry) having a nervous breakdown. I'm halfway through the book and she's never even given her name. Also, the character seems uncomfortably close to the author. I know writers are often given the advice to "write what you know", but... I do think there's a line there that might come too close. At least for me. I do like the science-y bits, though, and some of it is funny.

 

Animal Farm, George Orwell -- Pre-reading this for the coming year. Have no idea how I have managed to miss this book.

 

I do hope to finish all 3 books this week and start War and Peace. I am not sure if I'll be able to keep the pace, but at least I'll give it a shot.

 

ETA: Chemistry will just barely work for the Debut Author 2017 bingo square at 211 pages, so I will probably count it there. Although I guess I could also count it for One Word Title! [emoji846]

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Edited by Angelaboord
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May I whine for a minute? It is 91 deg inside my house. Still better than the 101 outside, but still. I'm feeling aggrieved. Salad for dinner.

 

At the pool today, I started Native Tongue, another classic feminist sci-fi, it seems somewhat similar to The Handmaid's Tale without the religious component. It's by far the best written book from this bunch of feminist sci fi I've been making an effort to read, but mostly abandoning. I'm hopeful it will be a keeper.

 

Hmm, it might even qualify for Ugly Cover. Weird, for sure, what do you guys think?

 

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I found Lincoln in the Bardo interesting overall, mostly for the style of writing, I think. Like you, I don't think I specifically learned anything about the Civil War, Lincoln, or Willie; but I'm also not sure I was expecting to. I knew it was fiction & figured it might not have new info, just a different story perhaps?

 

Yeah, it's not just that I didn't learn anything new - but the main story - so the gist is that (spoilers in white) little kids who die get tortured for eternity if they don't immediately pop off to someplace where apparently you also get tortured for eternity unless you're the lucky dude in the swimsuit?  Okay, then?

 

Angela, I meant to quote your post but didn't. I love David Sedaris in audio format or on the radio, but his print books less so. I think a lot of his humor & emotion is conveyed through his voice & intonation &, to me, that doesn't always come across adequately in print. He is one of the few authors of whom I say that.

 

Well, if you want to listen to L in Bardo on audio, heads up that David Sedaris reads one of the main parts (the suicide with all they eyes and arms).

 

 

So glad you're reading The Cat's Table. I loved it. I think he writes beautifully. I read it back & 2012 & here's what I wrote about it on Goodreads:

 

Lovely review, thanks for sharing. :)  I'm enjoying it even more as it goes along.  I'm enjoying the author reading it, too.

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Angela, I meant to quote your post but didn't. I love David Sedaris in audio format or on the radio, but his print books less so. I think a lot of his humor & emotion is conveyed through his voice & intonation &, to me, that doesn't always come across adequately in print. He is one of the few authors of whom I say that.

 

]

I had wondered about that. These are his diaries, so I imagine they're a bit different than his essays; he's just noting stuff he hears or sees or reads, or writing down what he does or things that happen to him. Often at the IHOP. And he keeps track of the price of chicken legs a lot. So some of it is funny, and some of it is not. He's editing his entries, of course, so they have sort of a narrative flow, but I think this book is probably fundamentally different than his other stuff, and that I would like to listen to his essays on audio. If I could do it without my kids listening in! [emoji5]

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Yesterday I finished Royally Matched (The Royally Series Book 2)  which was a pleasant read by Emma Chase; I don't think it's a book I'll be re-reading though.  (Adult content)

 

"Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him "space"—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world's most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit... and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I finished our book club book we're supposed to discuss this Tuesday, Jess Walter's Land of the Blind. We all enjoyed his Beautiful Ruins in March so just picked another one by him. I found this a quick, enjoyable read--not perfect, but I do like his writing. The problems I had with it had to do with falling out of the world of the story when I think he got a detail wrong (is one of his primary characters realistic as a somewhat disabled person, for example).

 

I started Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch while we were camping at the coast this weekend--a perfect book for camping, I thought. This ended up on my hold list when a couple of people mentioned it a month or two ago. I will be continuing with that this week and starting War and Peace. Spaceman in Bohemia also came available from my hold list, so I'll start that when I finish Midnight Riot. May not be this week.

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Now it's morning here, I can add some review to my 'read'-books.

 

I was very surprised by Rebecca.

The first part of the book is pretty standard, sometimes almost boring.

And then, suddenly in the middle of the book the whole dynamic of the book changes, and goes in a direction one never expected.

According the biography I read recently Daphne du Maurier was frustrated by critics who categorisized her as 'love story writer'.

Our library classified the book that way too,

But I think that 'spannend' (whichs covers detectives and thrillers) will be a much better place!

Dd read the book and felt in love for the book :)

 

The glass palace is one I discovered through the goodreads feed.

I liked it very much. Birma / Myanmar is a country I don't know much about, and the book was wel written for most of the part (the end can be a little boring) It discribes the relation ship between Birma - India - United Kingdom in fiction form.

 

After Bloodlands and Black Earth from Timothe Snyder I hesitated to read something about WWII again.

But The librarian of Auschwitz is totally different. I consider this book for dd to read.

It tells what happened but not too detailed, and with a ray of hope (the teenage main character survives)

The message of the book is that man obviously can't without food or drink, but that books / culture bring people alive / hope.

A very BAW appropiate read about the love for books...

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Now it's morning here, I can add some review to my 'read'-books.

I was very surprised by Rebecca.

The first part of the book is pretty standard, sometimes almost boring.

And then, suddenly in the middle of the book the whole dynamic of the book changes, and goes in a direction one never expected.

According the biography I read recently Daphne du Maurier was frustrated by critics who categorisized her as 'love story writer'.

Our library classified the book that way too,

But I think that 'spannend' (whichs covers detectives and thrillers) will be a much better place!

Dd read the book and felt in love for the book :)

 

.

Rebecca remains one of my all time favourites. I loved sharing it with dd when she was around your Dd age. The old movie is really good too. ;) You probably really need to watch it....https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2012/aug/07/my-favourite-alfred-hitchcock-rebecca

 

I finished our book club book we're supposed to discuss this Tuesday, Jess Walter's Land of the Blind. We all enjoyed his Beautiful Ruins in March so just picked another one by him. I found this a quick, enjoyable read--not perfect, but I do like his writing. The problems I had with it had to do with falling out of the world of the story when I think he got a detail wrong (is one of his primary characters realistic as a somewhat disabled person, for example).

 

I started Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch while we were camping at the coast this weekend--a perfect book for camping, I thought. This ended up on my hold list when a couple of people mentioned it a month or two ago. I will be continuing with that this week and starting War and Peace. Spaceman in Bohemia also came available from my hold list, so I'll start that when I finish Midnight Riot. May not be this week.

 

I enjoyed Beautiful Ruins when it first came out. Midnight Riot is great! :)

 

 

 

 

I guess I found Lincoln in the Bardo sad in that these souls aren't moving on for various reasons. And the longer they linger, the more they distrust, the more they become paranoid, pessimistic, mean, selfish, etc.... And, yes, it does get ugly; not a nice place for a child to linger. But Lincoln visiting Willie, sharing his grief & caring & loving, gave these lost, lost souls a long-forgotten spark of hope. I found it immensely sad & yet with the tiniest inkling of hope I think.

 

I know that was supposed to make me want to listen to the audio book that I was close to next on but I now know it would be a bad choice for me right now.

 

Sending more :grouphug:

 

May I whine for a minute? It is 91 deg inside my house. Still better than the 101 outside, but still. I'm feeling aggrieved.

:grouphug: Lets just say I know how you feel. We are supposed to hit 90 before the thunderstorms roll through tonight! High 60's tomorrow! Last night the house near our house that is under a huge remodelling project decided to burn their construction rubbish in the garden. They keep doing this and we (multiple neighbours) keep complaining to them. Sort of legal as long as it doesn't bother the neighbours, which they are. Filling everyone's house with odd smelling smoke on the hottest day of the year sent us over the edge last night. Formal complaints are going in today. We are done with polite.

 

The Moonstone audio book is actually really good. I spent awhile trying to locate where the shivering sands were/are on the Yorkshire coast. I am relieved to report that they don't exist!

 

Currently reading The Secret Pearl.

Edited by mumto2
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Contemplating whether I want to read David Lagercrantz continuation of Salander's saga in The Girl in the Spider's Web.   Have any of you read it? 

Ugh don't bother with it.  As a fan of the books and the (native) movies, it was a disappointment; I felt I needed to read it because it was a book club selection.

Here's a little something I've put together in honor of the War and Peace read along. It can be enjoyed whether or not you are reading along. I bring you....

 

The War and Peace playlist!

MOST AWESOMENESS! thanks X1000!

At this point, I am planning to at least start W&P with you gals. I'm so sad & depressed I'm not sure if I can sustain a 'heavier' reading, but maybe the distraction of concentrated reading will be what I need.

 

I looked through & read the first two chapters of the various versions of W&P I have here. At this point, I'm reading both the Maude version & the Briggs version. Reading the first paragraph of W&P, you see that Anna Pavlovna refers to Napoleon as the Antichrist. In Russia Against Napoleon, I think this reference may be explained. In 1807, Napoleon & Alexander I signed the Treaties of Tilsit. The meetings took place on a raft in the middle of the river.

Stacia, life's walloped you pretty hard of late.  I actually like a heavy read when otherwise overwhelmed by stuff; takes me out of my head, but it does require a bit of commitment to get there and sometimes we just don't have the steam.  So double credit for your double read :grouphug:

 

I've been finding it easier to focus on short books, these days - so many distractions with my family situation and dd's health. I feel unusually scatterbrained.

Rose, my absence from BaW meant I missed a lot...so I am sorry both about your dd and your folks.  We are in the process of putting my mom in care (kicking and screaming) as she's been affected by both memory loss and cancer, and it's been a bit of a relief (care) and a shock (cancer) but I feel we've all rounded a corner.  So hugs, it's hard being the sandwich generation.

 

Now it's morning here, I can add some review to my 'read'-books.

 

I was very surprised by Rebecca. <snip> :)

 

The librarian of Auschwitz is totally different. I consider this book for dd to read. <snip again>

A very BAW appropiate read about the love for books...

I loved Rebecca!  I read it as a mopey teen.  And thanks for the book selection for WW2...looking to cover it this year.

 

For once, I powered through one and only one book this week.  It was completely outside of my normal reading, but a search for another of his books turned up empty on Overdrive and so I read Jon Krakauer's Where Men Win Glory:  the Odyssey of Pat Tillman.  Part history, part hagiography, part I don't know, documentation of bureaucratic incompetence, it was like Brazil without the humor.  I don't recommend it but I did have all the feels it was written to make me feel. 

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A one day only currently free classic for Kindle readers ~

 

Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm

 

"This satirical novel of life and love at Oxford University is one of the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels

Max Beerbohm’s only novel is a comic masterpiece set in the privileged environs of Judas College, Oxford. When beautiful prestidigitator Zuleika Dobson gains admittance to the all-male campus, romance is suddenly in the air. But the smitten undergraduates are out of luck, because this femme fatale can only love a man unaffected by her charms.
 
The snobbish and taciturn Duke of Dorset appears up to the challenge, but his wall of indifference crumbles when Zuleika falls for him. She immediately rejects him for reciprocating her feelings, of course, and the Duke is driven to despair. He resolves to kill himself to teach her a lesson, but one small problem remains: Zuleika thinks suicide is romantic—and every lovesick undergraduate at Oxford is dying to agree with her."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I'm so happy you all enjoyed my playlist! 

 

I'm racing though War and Peace, thanks to my long commute. It has been the right approach to the book as I'm able to listen to long chunks at a time, and since I'm alone in the car I can exclaim out loud about it! There are sections I will want to reread and savor in the print edition. 

 

And Ms. Mertz, (can I call you Ethel?), I enjoyed taking a virtual tour of the Hermitage. St Petersburg is definitely a bucket list destination.

 

I have lots of down time in the show I'm playing, and since the orchestra pit is nice and deep (the audience can't see us), I'm getting some extra reading done. The book I settled on is Lab Girl, which I know several of you read and loved. I didn't realize the author is a geochemist -- she talks so much about trees, and all who have read it talk about trees, I had assumed she was a botanist. I'm really enjoying it, and am amused by the incongruity of reading it in the midst of War and Peace and the Elton John score I'm playing. (It's a production of the Broadway Aida.)

 

 

Edited by JennW in SoCal
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Rose, I think that book could count for Ugly Cover. It made me grimace when I saw it. 

 

 

I haven't gotten much reading done. I'm listening to Crime and Punishment (about half way through) and I have not finished Harry Potter #2. My attention has been on my kids' school stuff, planning vacation, and house improvement. 

 

 

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Thank you, Jenn for the musical accompaniment.  

 

 

Robin, I was very close to reading it. Then I saw that most of my Good Reads friends with similar tastes to mine didn't care for the book at all. I chose not to. If you do read it, I'm eager to hear your thoughts. 

 

Ugh don't bother with it.  As a fan of the books and the (native) movies, it was a disappointment; I felt I needed to read it because it was a book club selection.

 

 Thanks, good to know and won't waste my money.  

 

 

I still need A and R for Pearl.  Have had Relic, (#1 in the Pendergast series) by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child in my virtual stacks for quite some time. Started reading last night and enjoying it so far.   

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This afternoon I finished TA Moore's contemporary romantic suspense novel Liar, Liar  which I enjoyed.  (Significant adult content)

 

"Just another day at the office.

For some people that means spreadsheets, and for others it’s stitching endless hems. For Jacob Archer a day at the office is stealing proprietary information from a bioengineering firm for a paranoid software billionaire. He’s a liar and a thief, parlaying a glib tongue and a facile conscience into a lucrative career. He just has one rule—never get involved with a mark.

Well, had one rule. To be fair, though, Simon Ramsey is dark, dangerous, and has shoulders like a Greek statue. Besides, it’s not as though Jacob’s even really stealing from Simon… just his boss and his brother-in-law. Simon didn’t buy that excuse either after he caught Jacob breaking into the company’s computer network.

That would have been that—one messy breakup, one ticket to Bali booked—but it turns out that the stolen information is worth more than Jacob thought. With his life—and his ribs—threatened, Jacob needs Simon to help him out. Or maybe he just needs Simon."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I read The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh this morning. It was one of the best historical romances I've read. That led me to find this list https://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2013/09/trysting-with-heroes-mary-baloghs-betas which Kareni and Amy will enjoy. I checked out one that will lead me to one of the heros this afternoon. The need to read in order can be a pain! ;)

 

Robin, I remember liking the first Preston/Childs book quite a bit. I didn't make it much further in the series. There was a reason but I can't remember it.......

 

Our complaints regarding burning appear to have worked. We went to the sea this afternoon to cool down and when we arrived home the area they were burning is completely cleaned up. The Council website said they act on this sort of complaint same day, I guess they do. Wow.

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I made it to the library and picked up the Briggs edition of War and Peace. I have my fan (no central air in my house) and a cup of iced chai waiting for me to settle in and read.

 

While I was at the library, I signed up for the Summer Reading Program. The theme is Read by Design and the recommended books all are about some type of design inspired by the creativity of authors, illustrators, builders, inventors, artists, architects, and everyone who makes our world a more interesting, livable, accessible, and beautiful place. Each person registering for the program was given a free advanced reading copy of a book. My DGD chose that time to have to use the restroom so I quickly grabbed The Blue Line by Ingrid Belancourt.

 

I picked up a YA copy of The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin and a children's book about the rivalry between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. I had to get a book about tennis. Just had to.

 

Here's to W&P!! 

 

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