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Robin M

Book a Week 2018 - BW3: Travels along the Silk Road

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I finished Revolution is Not a Dinner Party and honestly, it was excellent.  :lol:

I'm surprised a bit that I enjoyed it as much as I did - if enjoyed can be the right word - more like I was caught up in it.  But that is a good thing with books!

 

 

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I finished The 100 Year Old Man this morning (I had a rare evening and morning alone). I enjoyed it, not a deep read but a page turner.

 

I also picked up Being Mortal, I don't know if it is a good idea or bad to read that when my fil is terminal, I might have abandon if it is the latter.

 

1-4 Dark Is Rising

5- The Art of Asking

6-The Hobbit

7- The 100 Yr Old Man

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I finished A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert yesterday. It's a harrowing read and I was on the edge of my seat worrying about the main characters through most of the book. It grabs your attention and doesn't let it fade until the very end. So if you're in the mood for WW2 historical fiction with all the grim reality left in, this is a great choice. If you don't want to deal with genocide, avoid this book.

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I

 

I also picked up Being Mortal, I don't know if it is a good idea or bad to read that when my fil is terminal, I might have abandon if it is the latter.

 

 

 

I've seen some reviews where people found it depressing. I found it eye opening and positive, because he gives suggestions for how to handle end-of-life issues. You'll have to decide for yourself once you begin. If you do have to abandon it because it's too difficult at this time in your life, I recommend going back to it at another time.

 

I'm sorry about your FIL  :grouphug:

Edited by Lady Florida.
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Last year I almost missed completing my alphabetical by author challenge because my planned Z book never came off of hold. I found something else but decided to get Z out of the way early this year because I already had a book on hold. Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33590214-young-jane-young is the story of a young woman caught in a political scandal (think Monica) and the aftereffects on her life and those around her for the next several years. Told through the eyes of the women in her (and his) life. It was essentially a beach read but it did make a statement. I probably won't be reading more by this author unless I really need a Z again. It was fine but didn't care for the multiple first person style.

 

I actually had another Z that I just cancelled my hold on so that I can use it next year! :lol: Authors with last names starting with Z will forever be associated with lengthy hold line's in my mind.

 

I also finished my audio book Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper. Planning to listen to the rest of the Dark is Rising series over the next couple of months.

 

Mom Ninja, I am glad your well is working again.

 

VC, I hope by now you have hot water.

Do you like Zola?

I like several but not all of his books, and could be used for Z author too...

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Do you like Zola?

I like several but not all of his books, and could be used for Z author too...

For Z, last year I read more than one book by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This year I've got three Z authors on my list; not sure if I'll read all of them, but they're Stefan and Stefanie Zweig (not related in spit of the nearly identical names) and Alice Herdan-Zuckmayer (this one was a rec from someone here on BaW :) )

 

This year I'm still short a Q author...

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Don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but here's a free Kindle deal:  Ellis Peters, Fallen into the Pit (link to Amazon), not part of her Brother Cadfael series, but post WWII detective fiction.   Here is the Goodreads link too.

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Don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but here's a free Kindle deal:  Ellis Peters, Fallen into the Pit (link to Amazon), not part of her Brother Cadfael series, but post WWII detective fiction.   Here is the Goodreads link too.

 

Thanks! I've only read her Brother Cadfael books but since I like her writing I took a chance on the freebie. I learned soon after I got my first Kindle that freebies often aren't worth the "price" and stopped gobbling them up. But a tried and true author is different.

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For Z, last year I read more than one book by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This year I've got three Z authors on my list; not sure if I'll read all of them, but they're Stefan and Stefanie Zweig (not related in spit of the nearly identical names) and Alice Herdan-Zuckmayer (this one was a rec from someone here on BaW :) )

 

This year I'm still short a Q author...

Yes of course!

I read both Stephanie and Stephan Zweig!

 

Mmm, Q, Quintin Blake has not written anything? Just draw pictures?

David Quammen?

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For Z, last year I read more than one book by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This year I've got three Z authors on my list; not sure if I'll read all of them, but they're Stefan and Stefanie Zweig (not related in spit of the nearly identical names) and Alice Herdan-Zuckmayer (this one was a rec from someone here on BaW :) )

 

This year I'm still short a Q author...

I used Thomas De Quincey, which is a little cheaty, but Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, read in the context of our current opioid crisis, was timely and interesting. The only other one I can think of is Arthur Quiller-Couch; I think I've got a collection of his lectures here somewhere....

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I finished The 100 Year Old Man this morning (I had a rare evening and morning alone). I enjoyed it, not a deep read but a page turner.

 

I also picked up Being Mortal, I don't know if it is a good idea or bad to read that when my fil is terminal, I might have abandon if it is the latter.

 

1-4 Dark Is Rising

5- The Art of Asking

6-The Hobbit

7- The 100 Yr Old Man

 

Sorry about your FIL Soror.  

 

It might be a bit much for you now, but if it is, I also strongly recommend to try it again in a year or so.  It is a book I wish everyone could read.

 

I finally finished another book!

 

5. Less by Andrew Sean Greer - this was recommended on a blog I follow and I tend to enjoy her recommendations but I was only so so on this one. The main character, Arthur Less, is so completely hapless that I cringed throughout the book.  How could so much misfortune (that ends up mostly working out) follow one person?  Some found it hysterically funny - I found it rather caricatured and over the top.

 

I started on The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui as my graphic novel and so far I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

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Yes of course!

I read both Stephanie and Stephan Zweig!

 

Mmm, Q, Quintin Blake has not written anything? Just draw pictures?

David Quammen?

Hmmm, Quammen's who I used for Q last year, but looks like he's written a lot of other books, and it also looks like they're not all the doorstops that the Dodo book was. I did like the Dodo book, but I felt like it took forever to get through!

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This week I finished "The Best Kind of People".  It's a novel about a successful, prosperous family in which the father, a popular and heroic teacher, is accused of sexual abuse.  It's well-written and I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it.  But I will probably read it again because I found parts of it a bit incomprehensible, and that always bugs me until I go back and read it again to see if I missed something, LOL.  Do I recommend it?  I'm not sure.  Maybe?  Kind of?

 

The other book I want to talk about is Survivor Cafe.  I am not sure whether it is fair to say that I finished it.  It is about the aftermath of the Holocaust as it played out for various people including the author, whose father was imprisoned in Buchenwald during WWII.  But it ranges very far beyond that, to other genocides, to how survivors who 'were there' (primary) differ from secondary (their children) and tertiary (their grandchildren) ones.  It raises and gives examples of possible answers to questions like, How does one rightly memorialize something like that?  How do the memories get embedded into the GENETIC MATERIAL of primary survivors and passed on through the generations?  May artistic license apply to work on art about these things (Judy Chicago comes to mind, for me.)?  What emotional support needs differences are there between primary, secondary, and tertiary survivors?  What about survivors of the PERPETRATORS?  What about remembrance down the road?  What is appropriate?  Is the Passover ritual a model for this?  What about reconciliation?  What can truly resolve these areas of life?  

 

The author breaks/documents new ground in these secondary/tertiary questions, but also I think has blind spots about them.  For instance, she visits a support group for the secondary survivors, and the leader says basically, your parents are very strong already, you should not feel guilty for needing support that they don't need because they have already survived the worst possible thing.  The author is sympathetic to this POV, but I find this inconsistent with the many stories she cites elsewhere in the book of primary survivors committing suicide at various points, some much later, some very specifically at the end of documenting what they survived in detail over decades of time--as if they kept themselves alive despite life having become unbearable specifically to finish this life's work before they allowed themselves the 'rest' of death.  Still, I was particularly glad to see her development of the secondary/tertiary themes because she did so without downplaying the primary victims, and also because just in the last year or two I found out that a friend of mine from high school, who was born to Holocaust survivors over 10 years after the war ended, has permanent, debilitating bone damage due to her mother being irradiated in the camps.

 

A theme that is developed is that genocide is fundamental to the human condition, despite its unacceptability; recurrent and not entirely preventable.  This is argued well, subtly but convincingly, and is a paradigm shift for me despite my being very familiar with the evidence for it--quite disturbing as you might imagine.  Perhaps this is the main reason why I could not seem to read this book from cover to cover, but rather picked it up, read some, not necessarily immediately following what I had read before, put it down for couple of days, picked it up again, etc.  I believe that I read the whole thing, some parts several times, but not the whole thing straight through.  I just couldn't bring myself to do that.

 

A metaphor that is a thread in many parts of the book is that of Japanese potters who decorate cracks and breaks in their vessels with gold, highlighting the broken spots and enabling them to enrich and decorate the pots rather than destroy them.  At the end of the book, she writes, in a fitting epitaph,  "Sometimes we fill the cracks with gold.  Sometimes with dust."

 

 

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Do you like Zola?

I like several but not all of his books, and could be used for Z author too...

Thank you, I put Zola on my wish list for now. Mandelbrot the Magnificent is the other Z author I was waiting for. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35083307-mandelbrot-the-magnificent?ac=1&from_search=true

I do want to read it eventually. I just didn't want to wait any longer.

 

 

  

For Z, last year I read more than one book by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This year I've got three Z authors on my list; not sure if I'll read all of them, but they're Stefan and Stefanie Zweig (not related in spit of the nearly identical names) and Alice Herdan-Zuckmayer (this one was a rec from someone here on BaW :) )

This year I'm still short a Q author...

I don't seem to click with Zafron. I have tried several times and let myself quit after a few chapters. I found a Stefan Zweig that looks really good. I added it to the list also.

 

Q......is always easy for me because I really enjoy Julia Quinn's historical romances.

 

Another good Q author is a local one for me, Nick Quantrill. I am not sure how accessible his books are elsewhere because I just discovered he has an indie publisher so Bingo Square. I only read the first in his series https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7172157-broken-dreams. I read it a long time ago in preparation to meeting him at a library function. I may well have been a bit too enthusiastic on his Goodreads rating but I did like it. I plan to pick up the next in the series next week.

 

Spencer Quinn of the Chet and Bernie series is another Q idea.

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Happy Saturday!  It's my turn to work at the shop and it's quiet for the moment.   In my internet wanderings -  

 

Elena Ferrante to become Guardian Weekend's new columnist

 

3 Percents rather long rambling post about It's 2018 and where have all the translations gone

 

The Millions - Why I Write Postcards

 

Speaking of postcards, it's time to update our 52 Books postcard address list since we have a few newbies.   If you'd like to include your name and get in on the fun of sending out postcards from your travels or just because, pm your name and address to me.  Email addresses are also helpful, particularly if you are doing Bingo or want to send and/or swap books.  

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Happy Saturday!  It's my turn to work at the shop and it's quiet for the moment.   In my internet wanderings -  

 

Elena Ferrante to become Guardian Weekend's new columnist

 

3 Percents rather long rambling post about It's 2018 and where have all the translations gone

 

The Millions - Why I Write Postcards

 

Speaking of postcards, it's time to update our 52 Books postcard address list since we have a few newbies.   If you'd like to include your name and get in on the fun of sending out postcards from your travels or just because, pm your name and address to me.  Email addresses are also helpful, particularly if you are doing Bingo or want to send and/or swap books.  

I think the postcard exchange sounds lovely but I'm at capacity of things I can handle, as it is my reading goes in fits and spurts. I'll binge a bit and then let life consume me and not read anything for awhile.

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Don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but here's a free Kindle deal:  Ellis Peters, Fallen into the Pit (link to Amazon), not part of her Brother Cadfael series, but post WWII detective fiction.   Here is the Goodreads link too.

I read that last year. It was very interesting to see the post WW2 Britain try to get back on its feet. The main detectives are two tweens one of whose father is the local policeman. It's a fun mystery and its got a lot of local and historical color but its not historical fiction, it's contemporary to the author. The second in this series jumps several years and just isn't as good since its just one of the tweens and their interaction was one of the best parts of the first book.

Edited by chiguirre
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OH, I started on Being Mortal, it has been a good read so far, I've found it comforting in an odd way. 

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I read The Capsule Wardrobe by Wendy Mak (there are a dozen books with similar names and ideas). I thought the idea was good but that most of the basics didn't really apply to my life. I don't need 4 pairs of dressy trousers or two blazers since I don't dress up that often. I do need more than one pair of jeans or shorts. However, the idea was solid and can be easily adapted to other lifestyles. But, I suspect that many people already follow this strategy even if they don't label it a capsule wardrobe.

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Check those links.  They all go to the first book.

Thank you for letting me know. My wifi was wonky this morning. 

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