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Book a Week 2018 - BW2: Miyuki Miyabe and Haruki Murakami


Robin M
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Happy Sunday and welcome to Week two in our Open Roads Reading Adventure. Greetings to all our readers and to all following our progress.  Mister Linky is available weekly on 52 Books in 52 Weeks  to share a link to your book reviews.

 

Our author choices of the month are Miyuki Miyabe and Haruki Murakami.   

 

 

Miyuki Miyabe was born December 23, 1960 in Tokyo, Japan where she still lives at present.   She began writing classes at the age of 23 while working in a law office. Her  debut short story Warera  ga rinjin no hanzai (Our Neighbor's Crime) was published in 1987 and won the All Yomimono Mystery Prize for new writers.  

 

She has written short stories, a horror anthology - Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo,  numerous adult crime and thrillers plus  science fiction fantasy novels for children. She has received numerous awards for her work including Mystery Writers of Japan in 1992,  Japan SF Award in 1997, and The Best Japanese Crime Fiction of the Year in 1992. She also won the U.S. Batchelder award  for Brave Story as the most outstanding children's book which was translated into English by Alexander Smith.

 

 

Several of her novels had been made into tv dramas and films.  Brave Story was also adapted into a children's animated film in 2006 and  nominated for an "Animation of the Year" award for the 2007 Japanese Academy Awards. 

 

Her most recent best selling novels are St. Peter’s Funeral Procession , as well as Solomon's Perjury which has yet to be translated. 

 

Learn more about Miyuki through Reuter's interview Japan Writer wants world to see new face of Toyko as well as Miyuki Miyabe and Japanese Noir.  

 

If you are feeling really ambitious, check out Noriko Chino's doctorate dissertation from 2008 on Miyuki Miyabe's Place in the Development of Japanese Mystery Fiction

 

 

********

 

Haruki Murakami was born January 12, 1949 in Tokyo, Japan and will be 69 this year. He began writing at the age of 29, inspired by all things, a baseball game. Hear the Wind Sing, his first book in Trilogy of the Rat, was published in 1979 and he won the Gunzou Shinjin Sho, the Gunzo New Writer Award for new writers, established by Gunzo Magazine.

 

He soon followed up with two more books in his Trilogy of the Rat:  Pinball 1973 in 1979  and A Wild Sheep Chase in 1982.  He won the Noma Bungei Shinjin Sho (Noma Literary Award for New Writers) for A Wild Sheep Chase in 1982.  During this period of time he sold his bar, Jazz Cats, which he had opened in 1974, and began writing full time.

 

In 1985 he wrote Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the Year  for which he won the  Junichi Tanizaki Award.  In 1991 he moved to the United States where he taught at Princeton and also wrote The Wind Up Bird Chronicle which was published in 1994. He won the prestigious Yomiuri Literary Award.

 

He moved back to Japan in 1995 and has gone on to write numerous novels both fiction and nonfiction, including his latest short story collection released in 2017 - Men Without Women.

 

 

If you want to find out more about Murakami -  Check out his website, follow him on facebook, peak into his interviews in Japan Times including articles on  musicjazz and the brain, and danish award

 

Join me in reading both Miyuki Miyabe and Haruki Murakami this month! 

 

 

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

 

 

What are you reading this week?

 

 

 

 

Link to week one

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I'm in the midst of reading The Sunne in Splendor by Sharon Kay Penman and currently on page 185.  The journey so far has taken me through Ludlow, Yorkshire, London, Olney, Warwickshire, Middleham, Westminster,  and Coventry. 

 

I finished Murakami's Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Started A Wild Sheep Chase which not liking at the moment so will give it another try later since it may be a mood thing.   

 

In the middle of Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bone's.

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This week I finished the graphic novel The Best We Could Do and Max Barry's Lexicon and thought both were great. Currently reading Ta-Nahisi Coates' We Were Eight Years in Power which is also great. I'm learning a lot. I have The Hate U Give and The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning waiting for me at the library, and a couple more books around here that I could easily pick up.

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I finished the Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24717411-the-unexpected-inheritance-of-inspector-chopra and loved it! It was a good cozy and it had an elephant as a character. Elephant on the cover too, so my first Bingo square of 2018! The baby elephant was very cute and I liked the human characters also. I definitely will be reading the next one in this series too.

 

I also started my Murakami today. So far so good. Oddly an elephant was mentioned on the first page. ;)

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I read The Winds of War - 4 Stars - This story, told through the eyes and lives of a Navy family, begins in 1939 and ends right after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. It’s certainly not a quick read. It’s long, over 800 pages long. Reading it was tedious at times, especially all the details with war strategy and military plans, neitehr of which interest me much at all. However, I’m so glad that I stuck with it. It’s not great literature, but the story and portrayal of characters are what made it for me. I especially loved the patriarch of the family, Victor “Pug†Henry – strong, upright, old school, my type of man. I look forward to reading the sequel.

While writing this review, I just remembered that Herman Wouk also wrote “Don’t Stop the Carnival†which I read more than thirty years ago and loved. Totally different subject matter however, but one that I can relate to somewhat, since we live in the Caribbean.

 

Here are some of my favorite quotes.

 

“It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.â€

 

This one refers to the relief that Victor Henry felt after being in Berlin for a while. I can relate to this, since I feel that Americans are more genuine than most. I always say that you know where you stand with them. I know that others reading this may not appreciate my generalization, but oh well.

“Victor Henry loved being back among American faces, American talk, offhand open manners, laughter from the diaphragm and not from the face muscles, not a bow or a clicked pair of heels, not a woman’s European smile, gleaming on and off like an electric sign.â€

 

I didn’t even know that there’s a miniseries based on the book, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to see it anytime soon. 

 

9780316952668.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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Negin
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My first finished book of the year was a Christmas gift from my oldest ds who picked one of his favorite Star Trek novels to share with me. Captain to Captain was an entertaining romp through that universe with some very clever winks to details that only fans would get. I hated that the device used to move the plot forward was stupid decisions by a character who was supposed to be extra smart, but darn it if I'm not curious how it all ends as this was the first book in a trilogy. Kareni and Robin, and anyone else who enjoys Star Trek fiction, I think you'd really enjoy this one.


 


My other Christmas book from him was one of my Goodreads TBR books, Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto. It is the memoir of a woman who owned her own tree pruning business in the Bay Area, but took a year off at age 35 to study with a master gardener in Kyoto. I highly recommend this book (after only reading about a 1/3 of it) if you love to garden or have an interest in Japanese gardens or an interest in Japanese business and work culture. 


 


Trying to decide which book I want to download for my next audiobook. Do I dive into Kristin Lavransdatter (perhaps too much of a chunkster for now) or True Grit? Or perhaps I should finally listen to West with the Night. Three really good choices, but what to choose?!!


 


Hoping the promised rain materializes in the next few days --- I'd like it to be cozy and wintery (in a SoCal kind of way) so I can sit and read! Murakami's Wind up Bird Chronicles is waiting patiently for me to finish it!


 

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Well, I finished ZERO books this week!  That makes this the first week I haven't finished a single book since I joined BaW a year ago.... but, I think it's because I often finish up books that I'd started the week before, and I only had one in progress since I was rushing to finish up books before the end of the year.  And with all my kids home, we've been having a lot of fun time bingeing shows on Netflix...   :blushing: .   I have been reading, though, and have four books in progress, all of which I'm enjoying quite a bit...


 


Sein eigener Herr/ Independent People by Haldór Laxness - I am still enjoying this in spite of what an absolutely infuriatingly stubborn old git the main character is.  You just want to shake him!  And hey, I could have sworn a bunch of people here had read this book, but on Goodreads only El/fastweedpuller has it marked as read (although a ton of people have it on TR) ... who else read this? 


 


The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper - just loved this book when I first read it years ago, and am very much enjoying the re-read.  :)


 


-  One Day the Ice Will Reveal All Its Dead by Clare Dudman (audiobook) - Really enjoying this one, too.  Fictionalized story of the life of Alfred Wegener, the German meteorologist that came up with the idea of continental drift, and was roundly laughed at by all the geologists until it turned out that he was right (but I think that was after his death).  For some reason I'd always been interested in his story, and this is well told, with some beautiful language.  And I'm actually managing not to be annoyed when the narrator mispronounces some German words... 


 


Zealot by Reza Aslan (ebook) - I'm enjoying this book on the historical Jesus even more than I thought I would.  There's a lot of information about the history and politics and other religious movements of the time that I hadn't read anywhere in so much detail before, and it's really interesting.


 


Coming up...


 


I've put a bunch of stuff on hold on Overdrive, and will hope to read them as they come in - some have some fairly long waits!  And I've got my two books for my IRL SciFi book club out of the library (Way Station and A Door into Ocean), as well as The Devotion of Suspect X  (that will be the only Japanese book I'm getting in this month...) and La Belle Sauvage - and The Girl in the Tower (sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale) is in transit.  Looking forward to all of those!


 

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I read The Winds of War

 

Negin, have you read Wouk's Caine Mutiny? I pulled it off my parents' bookshelves and read it as an older teen, then assigned it to my reluctant reader to read when studying WWII. I thought it stood up well when rereading it along with him. Humphrey Bogart's portrayal in the movie version of Captain Queeg is iconic.

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Negin, have you read Wouk's Caine Mutiny? I pulled it off my parents' bookshelves and read it as an older teen, then assigned it to my reluctant reader to read when studying WWII. I thought it stood up well when rereading it along with him. Humphrey Bogart's portrayal in the movie version of Captain Queeg is iconic.

Jenn, not yet, but it is on my list. I'm embarrassed to admit that I haven't seen the movie either. There are still so many books I want to read and so many movies that I'd like to watch. I often wish that I could clone myself to do just that. 

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I just finished "the storm sister" by Lucinda Riley. I had the first of the series as a free iBook and enjoyed it enough to borrow the follow up. I wouldn't describe it as high quality literature but it was an enjoyable read. Well matched to the level of brain power I have available at the end of the day. The series describes a family of sisters who have all been adopted from various places around the world by a wealthy man and named after the seven sisters. However there is no seventh sister. The man who adopted them has died and left them clues to their family history and they each set out on a journey of discovery and in the process figure out a new direction in life. It is a bit over romanticised but still a fun read.

 

I don't know enough about the historical time periods to know how accurate the historical side of it is.

 

Next up I have little Coffee shop of Kabul waiting for me.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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Started (Well, re-started) Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jessamyn Ward.  I really appreciate her writing. Still listening to Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown I'm not loving it. The only other book I've read of hers was Rising Strong and I liked it so maybe this topic just isn't my favorite. (It's about fitting in, or not fitting in.)

 

I forgot to mention last week that I'm doing daily readings from Meditations from the Mat and Journey to the Heart, along with Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. (A book I was supposed to read during yoga teacher training last year but never made it through on account of it being dense and not exactly riveting.  :laugh:

 

Read so far: 

 

1. Murder on the Orient Express // Agatha Christie

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I didn’t even know that there’s a miniseries based on the book, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to see it anytime soon. 

 

 

 

Now I've never read the book, but I do remember watching the miniseries in 1982 or 1983. I was a high school student and my mom was watching it and I totally got sucked in! I loved the music and I remember the actor who played Pug (but not too much about the plot).

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Negin, I've been thinking of trying The Winds of War at some point, having liked The Caine Mutiny. But as you say, it's pretty long; and I'm still finishing a ~1500-page novel. Which reminds me, I should see the movie version of The Caine Mutiny.

 

ETA: Should have read on to Jenn's post first!

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I finished The Arkansas War by Eric Flint yesterday. Wasn't my favorite.

This week I'll probably finish my non-fiction book Conflict and Suspense by James Scott Bell, and take up a couple of short story collections. One is Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. The other is Sleight of Hand, by Peter S. Beagle. I'm really champing at the bit to read Sleight of Hand. Peter Beagle's book, The Last Unicorn has a special place in my heart as one of those books that I read and reread whenever I'm down and doubting myself. It's one of those books that is like opening a truly magical music box--it transports me to a place where everything and anything is possible and the extraordinary is never far away. 

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For my poem per week challenge a dutch untranslated christian poem:

 

 

Een mens lijdt dikwijls 't meest

Door 't lijden dat hij vreest

Doch dat nooit op komt dagen.

Zo heeft hij meer te dragen

Dan God te dragen geeft.

 

Het leed dat is, drukt niet zo zwaar

Als vrees voor allerlei gevaar.

Doch komt het eens in huis,

Dan helpt God altijd weer

En geeft Hij kracht naar kruis.

 

The poem is not translated, but these verses give the feeling of the first three lines:

 

Too often we suffer most sorely

and thereby feel most poorly

from dreaded aches and pains.

 

I finished the rectors wife.

I really loved the first 10 chapters, but then it went downhills :(

 

I also read Girls of Riaad, a kind of Arabic chick lit.

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I read The Winds of War - 4 Stars - This story, told through the eyes and lives of a Navy family, begins in 1939 and ends right after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. It’s certainly not a quick read. It’s long, over 800 pages long. Reading it was tedious at times, especially all the details with war strategy and military plans, neitehr of which interest me much at all. However, I’m so glad that I stuck with it. It’s not great literature, but the story and portrayal of characters are what made it for me. I especially loved the patriarch of the family, Victor “Pug†Henry – strong, upright, old school, my type of man. I look forward to reading the sequel.

While writing this review, I just remembered that Herman Wouk also wrote “Don’t Stop the Carnival†which I read more than thirty years ago and loved. Totally different subject matter however, but one that I can relate to somewhat, since we live in the Caribbean.

 

Here are some of my favorite quotes.

 

“It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.â€

 

This one refers to the relief that Victor Henry felt after being in Berlin for a while. I can relate to this, since I feel that Americans are more genuine than most. I always say that you know where you stand with them. I know that others reading this may not appreciate my generalization, but oh well.

“Victor Henry loved being back among American faces, American talk, offhand open manners, laughter from the diaphragm and not from the face muscles, not a bow or a clicked pair of heels, not a woman’s European smile, gleaming on and off like an electric sign.â€

 

I didn’t even know that there’s a miniseries based on the book, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to see it anytime soon.

 

9780316952668.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.

Negin, I read Don’t Stop The Carnival about 15 years ago. It was a book club book that I thought I wouldn’t care for and I ended up pleasantly surprised by it.
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I finished Uncommon Type this week. It’s the book of short stories by Tom Hanks. They were enjoyable, definitely worth reading for themselves and not just the celebrity factor. 

 

Other than that most of my reading has been guided by reading for or with the kids. My daughter and I had the “mother-daughter†book club she requested on Friday. We had tea and blueberry muffins that she made and discussed Nancy Clancy Super Sleuth. It was a very sweet time togther. My oldest and I are working through The Art of Reading from The Great Courses. This week we read two short stories before listening to a lecture (Updike’s Pigeon Feathers and Flannery O’Connors’ Revelation). I began reading The Diary of Anne Frank, which I assigned to my son to read for English. As a family we are reading A Wrinkle in Time.

 

I also just started The Alice Network for my book club. It’s about a ring of female spies in WWI. Haven’t gotten far enough to say much about it. 

 

I’m also listening to Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty on audiobook. The audiobooks are such ear candy. So fun and I love the Australian accent. It’s helped me keep my New Year resolution to exercise as I’ve been listening on the treadmill at the gym when my son swims. 

 

 

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Well, since the LIW book, Prairie Fires, came available on my library loan, I started on it. I'm about 25% through (and better hurry up through the rest). So far, not a lot of surprises since I also started (but DNF) Prairie Girl. However, I just got into the part of PF that I hadn't gotten to yet in PG so the rest of the book should be interesting.

 

I admit to also starting (and now being halfway through) The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window (or whatever the long title is) since my Prime Audible has it on there. Good audio read.

ETA: And SWB's new book unexpectedly arrived yesterday. Squee!

Edited by RootAnn
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I finished Turtle In Paradise https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6871737-turtle-in-paradise yesterday.  It is a kids book but I found it a good read even as an adult as you can see so many more layers to things than younger readers might miss.  I also just needed a lighter read.
 

I am now reading Life Among the Piutes https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37796290-life-among-the-piutes which is very interesting so far.  It tells of the initial contacts with the white men and how the Indians perceived the contact and the challenges that came from it.  I have a special interest in Native history as my father's family was Native (Cherokee) and my MIL is full Ottawa/Chippewa.   I have learned over the years about how white washed the history I learned was.  There was a lot of evil on both sides and "manifold destiny" often meant killing off and abusing another group of people that were viewed as savages/less than human.

 

I am waiting on my replacement blue tooth speaker to come in the mail tomorrow so I can go back to listening to my audio books.  I find the sound on that so much better than the speakers on my Kindle Fire 8.

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I picked up The Arabian Nights again after a long hiatus.

 

I'm also reading My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. I had been looking forward to this one for some time, and so far think it is wonderful.

 

Glad to hear your assessment of My Brilliant Friend.  I really want to read this;  maybe it fits into a Bingo category somewhere?

 

This week I finished the graphic novel The Best We Could Do and Max Barry's Lexicon and thought both were great. Currently reading Ta-Nahisi Coates' We Were Eight Years in Power which is also great. I'm learning a lot. I have The Hate U Give and The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning waiting for me at the library, and a couple more books around here that I could easily pick up.

 

 

I feel like I should just trail behind you and you can toss books to me in your wake as you complete them.  

 

I'm still reading Georgia: An Arctic Diary and also reading Catastrophic Happiness by Catherine Newman.  The exercising/need to sleep is still getting in the way of reading.  Hoping that will even out a bit as I get used to my new schedule.

 

I finished reading The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery to the kids.  They both enjoyed it, much to my relief, since it's one of my all time favourites.  They took the first revelation about the identity of one of the main characters in stride but were completely gobsmacked and a bit upset about the second revelation.  Overall it was a lovely way to start reading aloud in the new year (although I think we started it shortly before 2018).  I think we're going to read Wonder next as our read aloud.  I've heard mixed things.

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I am still reading the same two books I was reading last week, so nothing to report.

 

All of this Herman Wouk talk is reminding me that I have been meaning to reread Marjorie Morningstar for a while now.  I read it as a teenager and I'm curious about how it would strike me now.  Somewhere around here I have a mass market paperback copy of Inside/Outside, which I also recall loving way back in the distant past when I could actually read print that small.

 

 

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Still working on the same nonfiction as last week, though I have also added David Ogilvy's Confessions of an Advertising Man as it come in from interlibrary loan and I need to get it back soon.

 

I also finished Nine Pines by August Birch, which is his free ebook you receive when you sign up for his mailing list. It's a collection of short stories about some of the residents of Nine Pines, which is the setting for a new series he is working on. Excellent story-telling in the thriller genre. And it's free :)

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I finished Uncommon Type this week. It’s the book of short stories by Tom Hanks. They were enjoyable, definitely worth reading for themselves and not just the celebrity factor.

Other than that most of my reading has been guided by reading for or with the kids. My daughter and I had the “mother-daughter†book club she requested on Friday. We had tea and blueberry muffins that she made and discussed Nancy Clancy Super Sleuth. It was a very sweet time togther. My oldest and I are working through The Art of Reading from The Great Courses. This week we read two short stories before listening to a lecture (Updike’s Pigeon Feathers and Flannery O’Connors’ Revelation). I began reading The Diary of Anne Frank, which I assigned to my son to read for English. As a family we are reading A Wrinkle in Time.

I also just started The Alice Network for my book club. It’s about a ring of female spies in WWI. Haven’t gotten far enough to say much about it.

I’m also listening to Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty on audiobook. The audiobooks are such ear candy. So fun and I love the Australian accent. It’s helped me keep my New Year resolution to exercise as I’ve been listening on the treadmill at the gym when my son swims.

I want to read Uncommon Type, I keep forgetting about it. I need a collection of essays for one of my book challenges. Thanks for the review!

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Well, since the LIW book, Prairie Fires, came available on my library loan, I started on it. I'm about 25% through (and better hurry up through the rest). So far, not a lot of surprises since I also started (but DNF) Prairie Girl. However, I just got into the part of PF that I hadn't gotten to yet in PG so the rest of the book should be interesting.

 

I admit to also starting (and now being halfway through) The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window (or whatever the long title is) since my Prime Audible has it on there. Good audio read.

ETA: And SWB's new book unexpectedly arrived yesterday. Squee!

I’ve had Prairie Girl on my shelf for a couple of years and haven’t gotten around to it. I flipped through it when I first got it and then haven’t ever felt the urge to read it.

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Just a quick note.  I'm on a borrowed computer so can't get the quote function to work for some unknown reason.

 

Negin, Don't Stop the Carnival was a favorite of my father.  His interest came due to the fact that he managed hotels for most of his adult life; many of those were on islands -- Guam, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico come to mind. 

 

JennieD, he also liked Marjorie Morningstar.

 

And he liked The Winds of War.

 

I arrived one day late for my family visit due to the very cold East Coast weather.  When I was out earlier today, the temperature was eight degrees.  I have seen my mother twice but she has yet to see me as she was solidly asleep both times; I'm hoping tomorrow will be third time lucky.  I did enjoy a gathering with my niece and nephews today along with their significant others.  Crepes (an Opa and Oma tradition that is being carried on) were made and enjoyed.

 

Happy reading all.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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If anyone is interested and you are not on Facebook or didn't see this, Sue Grafton's daughter has added some items to CafePress with the saying, "The Alphabet Ends With Y." This is the link to the Facebook post and this is the link directly to the CafePress store. I ordered a coffee mug. I sure will miss Sue Grafton. I was eager to see what she might do when the alphabet series was finished.

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I finished listening to The Coroner's Lunch and liked it. I'm not sure I'll read any more in the series but I did enjoy this one. It was one of the free Audible audio books available to Amazon Prime members.

 

Other than that, nothing new. I'm still reading Prairie Fires, Pitch Perfect, and A Gentleman in Moscow. I'm going back to listening to the 5th Harry Potter book until I decide on my next audio book.

 

I'm still working on Shakespeare in a Year and this weekend included a bit of Venus and Adonis plus a few sonnets. The Taming of the Shrew is the next play on the schedule, starting tomorrow. Some of how the schedule is written has me scratching my head but I'm not going to make any changes to it. I would really like to get through everything on the list and I think the best way to do that is to go with it as written. The guy who set up the schedule has been doing it for a number of years so I'm not going to pretend I know better than he does.

 

 

I'm still working on my second pass of  Wolf Hall.  It's been several years since I read it the first time, and I'm enjoying as much or even more on this second pass. And seeing the passages I highlighted the first time- It's interesting to see what stood out for me then versus now. Some things are these wonderful quotes and turns of phrase, but other passages I'm like  :confused1: why the heck did I highlight that? Did the kids get a hold of the Kindle? 

 

Doing this has made me decide I'm going to focus on rereading beloved books this year. Not that I won't read any new books, but I've had so many special, amazing books that I've only read once. Some deserve to be read twice. Or more! So, my plan is to always have a reread going at least one week out of the month. 

 

Other books I'm currently working through: 

 

Home Eduction by Charlotte Mason. This might have been poor timing with SWB's newest to be delivered on my doorstep this week, but I needed something to replace the Suzuki book I dropped. 

 

And still listening to the Audible version of As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of the Princess Bride. It's very light and enjoyable, and inspired me to show my younger two kids movie The Princess Bride for the first time this weekend. They loved it, even as young as they are. My son wants me to read him the book soon. 

 

I've got a few others, but I've sidelined them while I attempt to get my Netflix and internet habits back under control after a holiday of binging on too much screen time.  :blush:

 

This is my year to reread some favorites too. I never used to reread books (with a few exceptions, most notably the Harry Potter series and anything by Jane Austen) but I've come to realize there are benefits to revisiting favorite novels. Wolf Hall is on my list to reread. I have both the audio book and the Kindle book. The first time I listened to the audio book, and I can't decide if I want to listen again or read it in print this time.

 

Home Education was among the first homeschooling books I read before we even started and it really stuck with me. We followed a combination of Charlotte Mason (who was really a classical educator) and WTM.

 

I loved the Audible version of As You Wish. It was such fun listening to Westley talk about behind the scenes. :)

 

 

Finished 4:50 to Paddington by Agatha Christie. I think I have seen part of the PBS movie of this story, but I hadn't read it before. Also, I couldn't remember who the bad guy was. Quick, fun read.

 

 

Agatha Christie is my go-to author when I want an easy, fun mystery. I've seen the movie version of that one but haven't read the story.

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My first finished book of the year was a Christmas gift from my oldest ds who picked one of his favorite Star Trek novels to share with me. Captain to Captain was an entertaining romp through that universe with some very clever winks to details that only fans would get. I hated that the device used to move the plot forward was stupid decisions by a character who was supposed to be extra smart, but darn it if I'm not curious how it all ends as this was the first book in a trilogy. Kareni and Robin, and anyone else who enjoys Star Trek fiction, I think you'd really enjoy this one.

 

My other Christmas book from him was one of my Goodreads TBR books, Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto. It is the memoir of a woman who owned her own tree pruning business in the Bay Area, but took a year off at age 35 to study with a master gardener in Kyoto. I highly recommend this book (after only reading about a 1/3 of it) if you love to garden or have an interest in Japanese gardens or an interest in Japanese business and work culture. 

 

Trying to decide which book I want to download for my next audiobook. Do I dive into Kristin Lavransdatter (perhaps too much of a chunkster for now) or True Grit? Or perhaps I should finally listen to West with the Night. Three really good choices, but what to choose?!!

 

Hoping the promised rain materializes in the next few days --- I'd like it to be cozy and wintery (in a SoCal kind of way) so I can sit and read! Murakami's Wind up Bird Chronicles is waiting patiently for me to finish it!

 

 

  Kristin Lavransdatter is wonderful and I think you'll really like it but save it for a little bit later and read True Grit next!

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I finished the three books I got at the library last week, and the kids knocked out a couple books each.  

 

Me: 

1. Outlaw by Ted Dekker - ok but not amazing

2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - meh

3. The Residence - entertaining

4. The Crucible - love it.  OK, to be more clear, I've discovered that I love it after the fact.  When I finished it I was just all sorts of annoyed with these people believing these teenagers.  It still annoys me, but at the same time I figure I really did enjoy it for it to bring forth such a reaction from me lol.  :D

 

Link (13):

1. The Jungle Book

2. The Importance of Being Earnest

 

Astro (12):

1. The Adventures of Robin Hood

2. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

 

Pink (8.5):

1. Why Not, Lafayette?

2. Pokemon Adventures graphic novel

---- and I'm pretty sure she's finished at least one more from last week's library trip, just not sure which one.

 

 

I've still got Too Small to Ignore sitting here partially read, but I haven't picked it back up to finish it yet.  It's good, and I love it when I'm reading it, but for some reason I just have to be in the mood to actually do so.  

 

I'm also doing the Blossom Bookology challenge, and I've knocked out C, H, and R, with T soon to come when I finish this one.  

 

I may pick up some Murakami this week at the library.  Link is getting his braces put on Tuesday, so we may head to the library tomorrow instead of our usual day (Tuesday), as I'm not sure what our day will look like by the time that's done.  And tomorrow I'm hoping and praying I get in to see the chiropractor - Friday I wasn't even doing anything, just sitting with the kids during school work, and my lower back just started hurting terribly.  Worse than it has in years.  By Friday night I could barely walk... I spent the day yesterday resting as much as possible; today I had to do a few more things, and it is feeling better than Friday at least.  But I really hope the chiro can help me out here!!!  

 

 

All right, now I'm off to all these open tabs on goodreads to check out these books.... :)

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Happy New Year everyone! This year I'd like to read at least 52 books, finish War and Peace (I'm at 78% on my kindle!), and maybe join in the Mystery Bingo. 

 

 

Today I finished the 7th Inspector Gamache mystery - A Trick of the Light https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10680329-a-trick-of-the-light?ac=1&from_search=true Another good installment from Louise Penny. I almost had the right person picked out as the killer, haha. I do sometimes wish the author would just get on with it and not spend quite so much time analyzing each character's mind. I have the next 2 or 3 in the series ready to go on my kindle but I want to read something a bit different at the moment. 

 

I have David Leibovitz's new book - L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home  - on hold at the library. I think I'm eighth in line for it and it feels as though I've been waiting F.O.R.E.V.E.R. for it. Didn't someone here read it?   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34347751-l-appart

 

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Finished 4:50 to Paddington by Agatha Christie. I think I have seen part of the PBS movie of this story, but I hadn't read it before. Also, I couldn't remember who the bad guy was. Quick, fun read.

4:50 is one of my favorites probably because I really like the old movie with Margaret Rutherford. Dd and I had fun picking out the differences and for once vthey didn't bug me too badly.

 

I ran into this when verifying Rutherford's name, interesting for Marple movie fans. http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2000/09/28/many_faces_of_miss_marple_article.shtml

 

  

If anyone is interested and you are not on Facebook or didn't see this, Sue Grafton's daughter has added some items to CafePress with the saying, "The Alphabet Ends With Y." This is the link to the Facebook post and this is the link directly to the CafePress store. I ordered a coffee mug. I sure will miss Sue Grafton. I was eager to see what she might do when the alphabet series was finished.

Thanks for the link. I had fun looking. Sniff. I have to agree I really wanted to see what was going to happen when she ran out of letters.

 

Peacefulchaos, I hope your back starts feeling better!

 

Kareni, Glad you checked in. I hope your mom see's you today! :grouphug:

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This week I finished The Intimitable Jeeves and The End of Your Life Running Club.   A couple of you were talking about audiobooks with non-American accents, and I that is something that I love in an audiobook!   Jeeves was so much better to listen to with a cool British accent.   I read the Cary Elwes book last year, and I really wish I had heard him read it.  The End of Your Life Running Club was also interesting.   It went on a bit, but I enjoyed it.  

 

I was reading Victoria and Abdul but it was so boring, I think I am giving up.   The point is, Queen Victoria was very close with an Indian servant the last 10 years of her life.  Whoopie.  It feels like they are trying to make something exciting out of nothing.    

 

I'm also still reading Alexander Hamilton. which again, BORING.   So I can't really stand to read 2 boring books at once.   

 

This week I am reading My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout.   And Plainsong by Kent Haruf.   

 

I also have 2 audiobooks on hold and won't have time to read them both, so will have to pick one.   Either The American Heiress or The Circle.   Any votes on which one I should pick?   

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I am reading Gary Taubes’ The Case Against Sugar. It is quite compelling. I have liked other dietary books by Taubes and this one is no exception. I was reading How to Not Die but I either quit it permanently or laid it aside. I read Forks Over Knives last year and HNTD is of the same ilk. These eating concepts are just too extreme for me, so I’m giving up on it before I spend 18 more hours on it. The sugar book is more compelling while being way more feasible. I did, however, buy the HNTD cookbook, mainly because the soups look good and there are some nice-looking desserts that don’t have sugar in them. I want to try the banana-based “ice cream†this week.

 

I have, waiting in the wings, The One Hundred Year Old Man... book that was mentioned here and in it’s own thread on the Chat board. That looks interesting. My IRL book club is supposed to meet this week, so presumably I will be getting a book for that.

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I just finished "A Scone to Die For" by H. Y. Hanna.  It was fine, just a cozy mystery.  

I am currently reading "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See.  It is set in China and I am reading it for the January Blossom Bookology challenge.

I am also reading "Quiet" by Susan Cain which was mentioned on the non-fiction thread.  I am an introvert so it is an interesting read.

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Evening ladies. It’s been a hectic day full of busyness. Did stumble upon this gem though and with so many of us enjoying what’s on our nightstands, figured I would share.

 

http://www.raptitude.com/2017/12/go-deeper-not-wider/

 

😘

Thank you for posting this, Robin. I thought it was a great article, and I shared it with my DH. My stated intention to my family for the new year is to use what we already have across many categories: books, hotel points, art supplies and forgotten kitchen gadgets. I might sound contradictory because I am not under a self-imposed book buying ban, but I'm fine with a bit of contradiction in myself :)

 

The thing I need to balance it against is the sunk-cost fallacy. If I have an angel food cake pan and no interest in making angel food cakes or unread books that no longer appeal then I would rather pass those things along than feel obligated to use them.

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Glad to hear your assessment of My Brilliant Friend.  I really want to read this;  maybe it fits into a Bingo category somewhere?

 

 

Raifta, it would fit in the translated square. I am at 70 percent now and still in love with it.

 

To all: I am sorry for the times that I serial post, but I cannot multi-quote for some reason.

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Robin mentioned a hectic day full of busyness, it's like that here too and we're supposed to be on summer break.

 

To books :)

Overdrive gifted us with a plethora of titles to get through.  I am really happy about that as I've just tossed the third title in as many days onto the 'discontinue reading' shelf.   Sometimes I'm just not in the frame of mind for a certain book, and other times certain titles are just never going to be a good reading fit.

Permanent discards are:

The Alice Network ~ Kate Quinn    (audio.  swearing was too explicit for me.)

The Garden Party and Other Stories ~ Maeve Binchy

A House in Sicily ~ Daphne Phelps (nf)    I really wanted to like this book.

 

I've shifted some of my other reading to sip-reading so that I can make good use of my load time with the Overdrive items.

Current titles:

The Dc and I are listening to The Bettencourt Affair ~ Tom Sancton (n/f).   A very interesting story about the heir to the L'Oreal fortune.

The Third Man Factor ~ John Geiger (n/f)      the third man syndrome is a documented happening where an unseen presence/being provides support during traumatic/life-threatening experiences.  Interesting so far

News from Thrush Green ~ Miss Read     Nice, lite, English cosy. 

 

Still reading The Zookeeper's Wife  â™¥, and, Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret ~ Howard Taylor.  The later title took me until, nearly, the third chapter to want to keep reading.  If a book is not clicking at about/ around the fourth chapter, we usually part company.

 

Looking forward to seeing what the guidelines for the English/England Mystery Road Trip will be.

 

ETA:  Non-fiction seems to my preferred genre at the moment.

 

Edited by Tuesdays Child
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I was reading Victoria and Abdul but it was so boring, I think I am giving up.   The point is, Queen Victoria was very close with an Indian servant the last 10 years of her life.  Whoopie.  It feels like they are trying to make something exciting out of nothing.    

 

I'm also still reading Alexander Hamilton. which again, BORING.   So I can't really stand to read 2 boring books at once.   

 

I have Victoria and Abdul on hold, so your comment grabbed my attention.

 

Grin.  Multiplied book boredom is bad.  

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Raifta, it would fit in the translated square. I am at 70 percent now and still in love with it.

 

To all: I am sorry for the times that I serial post, but I cannot multi-quote for some reason.

Perfect!  I will retrieve it from the bookshelf and start it once I've finished one of the other books I'm currently reading.  Hopefully tomorrow.

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I had several books in progress that I was able to finish this week, with many excellent reads.

Books finished last week:

  • Strange Weather by Joe Hill. Horror. A collection of four short stories centered around unusual weather events.
  • The (Mis)behavior of Markets by Benoit Mandelbrot. Finance - Theory. A mathematician argues that prevailing financial theories are incorrect. This is the book I wanted The Black Swan to be, with less snark and more mathematical proof. Along with his co-author Wall Street Journal writer Richard L. Hudson, Mandelbrot, most famous for his work on fractals and chaos, explains his thesis in clear, concise, approachable terms, tying together turbulent behavior, chaos theory, and fractal patterns. The appendix includes more detailed explanations for the mathematics as well as an extensive bibliography. Originally written in 1997, I’m interested to see more current research. Highly recommended, but only in physical form - the graphs and pictures are critical for understanding.
  • The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle. Finance - Personal. The founder of the largest index-only mutual fund company explains why index investing is best for long-term investment growth. Since my background is finance, I knew most of the information here, yet it was still a good refresher. Recommended if you’d like assistance in making investment decisions.
  • Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett. Fantasy. A woman joins the army as a man, and discovers she’s not the only one with secrets.
  • Patient H. M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich. Science - Medicine. The grandson of a famous neurologist follows the life of and research centered on his grandfather’s most famous patient.
  • For Isabel: A Mandela by Antonio Tabucchi, translated from Italian by Elizabeth Harris. Magical Realism. A mystery man searches for the whereabouts of his missing friend.
  • All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, translated from Japanese by Alexander O. Smith. Science Fiction. A soldier finds himself stuck in a time loop after killing an alien invader. The basis for the movie Edge of Tomorrow (recommended), I thought the book was better with a more engaging main character and an interesting setting in Japan. My e-book didn’t have the illustrations so I’ll be interested in picking up the graphic novel. Recommended.
  • The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, translated from Italian by N.H. Thomson. A prominent Florentine politician offers advice to his Medici patron on gaining, controlling, and keeping political power.
  • In Praise of Defeat: Poems of Abdellatif Laabi by Abdellatif Laabi, translated from French by Donald Nicholson-Smith. Poetry-Modern. A collection of poems written by a Moroccan dissident who was imprisoned and tortured for several years. This was 800+ pages, with the French on one side and the English translation on the other. I’m willing to ship it to anyone interested, but be warned there’s a few poems with descriptions of torture.
  • This is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information by Kyle Cassidy. Nonfiction - Libraries. Portraits of librarians from around the United States as well as essays on the meaning and purpose of libraries from author Neil Gaiman, musician Amanda Palmer, author Richard Russo, and others.
  • Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett. Fantasy. A murderer is loose in the city, and the Night Watch finds evidence that no one living is the killer. What does being alive mean? If a thing is a tool, can it be a slave? Can too many thoughts cause insanity? I swing between loving the City Watch books and feeling lukewarm. Here is one I love. For me, it’s near the top for the Discworld series and second only to Thud! In the City Watch sub-series. Highly recommended, but you should read Guards! Guards! to introduce the characters.

I’m trying to finish up The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers as this is my second time requesting the book. My hold for Ron Chernow’s Grant came through plus a big stack of library requests. I also received notification that SWB’s Rethinking School is on its way. I haven’t finished a single book in my NPR top science fiction and fantasy list. How quickly New Year’s goals fall by the side. I’m looking for another poetry book so I welcome any suggestions.

A poem from my poetry reading:

The World is Not Mine
     - Abdellatif Laàbi
This world is not mine
and I have no other
I contest no one’s realm
I covet
only that which covetousness
has passed over:
an acre of fallow land
a handkerchief of sky
infused with lavender
a trickle of water
more for the eye’s pleasure
than to slake the thirst
a piece of fruit
that last left on the tree
collector’s editions of books
tattered from use
friendships built on the heart alone
a comforting star as confidant
in times of struggle
crumbs to attract
the swallows of vision
a pilgrim’s stout staff
to set out
ever and always
on the only worthwhile journey
the journey to the center of man

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I haven't finished any of the books I've started, but I have made progress. I have to constantly replay sections of Murder on the Orient Express as I inevitably am interrupted within 20 minutes of starting to listen. Battle Cry of Freedom is going to take me forever to finish. I usually get 20 - 30 minutes of reading in followed by another 20 minutes of Googling, lol. This is pretty much how I read anything historical, lol. I started Tips for Living by Renee Shafransky - it was a freebie and I decided to start it on a whim. So far it's ok but the characters seem kind of flat. If the story line plays out like I think it will I will be very disappointed, but it's too early to tell. 

 

I've been working on my reading list for the year but it keeps expanding every time I read this thread or read an article about what books this famous person recommends reading. It's becoming a list for the decade! I need to get back into using Goodreads, which I haven't even looked at in over a year.

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I read The Winds of War - 4 Stars - This story, told through the eyes and lives of a Navy family, begins in 1939 and ends right after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. It’s certainly not a quick read. It’s long, over 800 pages long. Reading it was tedious at times, especially all the details with war strategy and military plans, neitehr of which interest me much at all. However, I’m so glad that I stuck with it. It’s not great literature, but the story and portrayal of characters are what made it for me. I especially loved the patriarch of the family, Victor “Pug†Henry – strong, upright, old school, my type of man. I look forward to reading the sequel.

While writing this review, I just remembered that Herman Wouk also wrote “Don’t Stop the Carnival†which I read more than thirty years ago and loved. Totally different subject matter however, but one that I can relate to somewhat, since we live in the Caribbean.

 

Here are some of my favorite quotes.

 

“It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.â€

 

This one refers to the relief that Victor Henry felt after being in Berlin for a while. I can relate to this, since I feel that Americans are more genuine than most. I always say that you know where you stand with them. I know that others reading this may not appreciate my generalization, but oh well.

“Victor Henry loved being back among American faces, American talk, offhand open manners, laughter from the diaphragm and not from the face muscles, not a bow or a clicked pair of heels, not a woman’s European smile, gleaming on and off like an electric sign.â€

 

I didn’t even know that there’s a miniseries based on the book, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to see it anytime soon. 

 

9780316952668.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.

 

I liked the sequel War and Remembrance more, but some sections were very difficult to read.

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