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Robin M

Book a Week 2019 - BW7: Love is in the Air

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Happy Sunday and welcome to week seven in our 52 Books rambling roads reading adventure. Greetings to all our readers, welcome to all who are joining in for the first time,  and everyone following our progress. Visit  52 Books in 52 Weeks where you can find all the information on the annual, mini and perpetual challenges, as well as the central spot to share links to your book reviews. 

 

Exit

by

A.M. Klein
(February 14, 1909 - February 20, 1972)

The street is great festivity;
Snow is a royal canopy,
Made for a lover, made for me.

 This is the way love should go:
Winter, an orchard walk where blow
blossom petals of white snow.

 Kisses of mine which lent a grace
To Summer, run a frozen race.
Snowflake kissing, all my face.

 Love is in the air along with plenty of candy kisses, chocolate dishes, golden rings and red rose hearts. Odes to love abound accompanied by wine and song as well as our kiddo's nose nuzzles and heart felt wishes. Welcome to Valentine's week and the celebration of poetry and novels to literary couples and diversity in romance. 

 



Have fun following rabbit trails! 

What are you reading?

 

Link to week six

Edited by Robin M
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Diving back into Michener's The Source along with a reread of ebook Xiaolong's  Death of the Red Heroine.

Writing wise, reading Jordan Rosenfield's A Writer's Guide to Persistence

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Robin, I love that poem. Thank you for sharing. 

I read Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont - 4 Stars -  Although this story has an underlying touch of sadness, it was a delightful read. This is one of those books where nothing much happens, and it’s more about the prose, the depth of the characters, and the relationships. The story is about elderly people living in a London hotel during the late 1960s. The ending was a bit abrupt, but it was truly a lovely book.

 Some of my favorite quotes:

“Everything she did was unhurried, almost authoritative. She had always known how to behave. Even as a bride, in strange, alarming conditions in Burma, she had been magnificent, calm – when (for instance) she was rowed across floods to her new home; unruffled, finding it more than damp, with a snake wound round the banisters to greet her. She had straightened her back and given herself a good talking-to, as she had this afternoon in the train.”

 "I must not wish my life away, she told herself; but she knew that, as she got older, she looked at her watch more often, and that it was always earlier than she had thought it would be. When she was young, it had always been later.”

 “She realised that she never walked now without knowing what she was doing and concentrating upon it; once, walking had been like breathing, something unheeded. The disaster of being old was in not feeling safe to venture anywhere …”

 “As one gets older life becomes all take and no give. One relies on other people for the treats and things. It’s like being an infant again.”

 “It was like being a baby, in reverse. Every day for an infant means some new little thing learned; every day for the old means some little thing lost. Names slip away, dates mean nothing, sequences become muddled, and faces blurred. Both infancy and age are tiring times.”

9781844083213.jpg

MY RATING SYSTEM
5 Stars
The book is fantastic. It’s not perfect, since no book is, but it’s definitely a favorite of mine. 
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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1 hour ago, Kareni said:

I enjoyed looking at many of your links, Robin. From the one above, I've read all but two and a half.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Regards,

Kareni

I have only read 10 of the books in the Good Housekeeping Top 20 link.......I need to add some of these to my hold’s list.😉

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Hello everyone!

I started two books last week that I am really liking (knock on wood):

The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America by Tommy Tomlinson. Really good so far. 

and my bedtime kindle read Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin. My aunt recommended this to me a few years ago and I finally got around to it. I'm around the 20% mark and am looking forward to reading more.

Robin, I've read 6 out of Good Housekeeping's list. Some of those look pretty racy!
 

 

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I just finished a book that I quite enjoyed -- 

The Hum and the Shiver: A Novel of the Tufa. by Alex Bledsoe.  I think that others here might also enjoy it.

"The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe is an enchanting tale of music and magic older than the hills, and the first book in the wondrous Tufa series. . . .

"Imagine a book somewhere between American Gods and Faulkner. In brief: a good book. Absolutely worth your time."—Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author, on The Hum and the Shiver

Private Bronwyn Hyatt had left her small town of Needsville for the army to escape the pressures of her mystical Tufa family legacy. She returns a lone survivor after a disastrous attack overseas, wounded in body and spirit.

But cryptic omens warn of impending tragedy, and a restless haint lurks nearby, waiting to reveal Bronwyn's darkest secrets. Now Bronwyn finds the greatest battle lies right in her backyard, especially as young minister with too much curiosity arrives in town. If she makes the wrong choice, the consequences could be deadly for all the Tufa. . . ."

 I am definitely interested in reading on in the series.  I see there are six books in all.

Regards,

Kareni

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Looking back, I finished more books than I thought this week... maybe because I'm still reading Kirsten...  Finished four:

12. The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quammen (ebook) - I liked this book.  Many reviews complain he spends too much time talking about Woese, but I find all the personal stuff interesting (as well as the science).  4 stars.

13. Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons (ebook) - Though I have yet to comment on the other threads, I read this in a day. I liked it, but partly since I didn't manage to slow down and read it in sections, have needed time to process to comment in that much detail.  I might just comment on the third thread so I don't have to figure out how to separate out my thoughts...  4 stars.

14. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu - A lot of stuff never explained (what is a science fictional universe?  Is he in our universe or a pocket universe?  Where does he get his food while living 10 years in a small box outside of time?  How does the nonexistent dog have slobber and body heat? Why did the author name his very fictional time-traveling protagonist after himself? - and much more...),  but then just as I was thinking it was mostly absurdist and silly fluff, there was a long section on his father which touched on a lot of interesting themes of being a recent immigrant and finding one's path, dysfunctional family dynamics, ambition, regrets, and just generally being present for your life (or not).  A bit too much unnecessary wrapping around that for me (The author should have possibly written a foreword saying the book was a way for him to write about his relationship with his dad, similar to what Jesse Ball did in next book), but overall 3 stars.

15. Census by Jesse Ball - there is a foreword that explains that Ball wrote this book as a way to write about his brother with Down's Syndrome, and how he had imagined his relationship with him would be if he had lived longer and he'd been his caretaker (which he had always thought he would be).  The book itself is set in some kind of future that's different (seems to be a very different form of government and many less people) which is never explained.  So it helps a lot to know that that is irrelevant to the story.  There's also a lot about cormorants and clowning.  And yet I found it to be a lovely, contemplative story.  The framework is that a recently widowed old man, a doctor, has been given a short time to live, and he quits his job and takes his grown son with Down's Syndrome on a road trip to take the census (which is not like a normal census and whose real purpose is never explained).  4 stars.

 

Currently reading: 

- The Cross (Kirsten Lavransdatter #3)  - I should make more time for that and finish it!

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (audiobook)

- Irgendwo in Deutschland / Somewhere in Germany by Stefanie Zweig - This is billed as an 'autobiographical novel' - but unlike Laura Ingalls Wilder, who though she heavily fictionalized her story used her family's real names, or James Herriot, whose wonderful books are much more fictionalized than I realized but whose character shares his pen name, though not his real one, Zweig's characters have different names than her family's though the story is very much based on her life story - her family fled to Kenya to escape the Nazis (told in her previous book, Nowhere in Africa), and then 9 years later, after WWII was over, returned to Germany in spite of being Jewish (and although they had escaped, their extended family was wiped out).  It's an interesting perspective to be writing from.  No one can understand why they returned (including her character and her mother's).  Her father was a lawyer, and he wanted to continue working as a lawyer, and as he could only speak German fluently, and was only licensed to practice law in Germany, he thought this was the thing to do.

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Hi All…

Finally popping back in after a hectic start to the new year.  DD caught the flu, I had emergency gallbladder surgery and we've been travelling.  My reading has suffered for it, but now we are at home and healthy, so I expect it to pick back up.

Robin - I love that poem.   Thanks for including it this week.

A few weeks ago I finally finished Roger Ackroyd.  I enjoyed this one so much more as a re-read.  It gave me such a different perspective while reading it since I knew whodunnit.  I thought that would make me enjoy it less, but instead I was way more plugged into the clues and that caused me to marvel at Christie's genius.

I just completed Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong.  I really enjoyed this one!  Thanks for the suggestion!

DD is reading Justice The Right Thing to Do by Sandel.  It's mostly for school, but I find her reading it in her free time, so I think it's a hit.

I'm currently reading The Remains of the Day by Ishiguro and The Big Four by Christie.  I've never read the The Big Four and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I'm also working my way through Mary Oliver's A Poetry Handbook.  This little book is teaching me so much.  I understand meter better than I every have and she has introduced to me to several poets I've never read before.  

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5 hours ago, Kareni said:

I enjoyed looking at many of your links, Robin. From the one above, I've read all but two and a half.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Regards,

Kareni

I'm a non-starter, I've read two and a half.  Seconding @Mothersweets  some pretty racy looking covers/titles there.

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Dd has begun a brand spanking new schooling year  and we’ve started reading the book of Esther out of The Life Application Bible   (love that book!) together, she’s reading The Fallacy Detective   (quick logic review ) out aloud to us both and we’re back to daily poetry reading too. I’ll be counting those books towards my reading tally.   It is nice to have our school morning routine up and running again.

Completed: 

  • The Book of Job (The Life Application Bible - KJV) I prefer my printed copy of this book, but it’s still a bit heavy for me to start wielding about again, so the kindle version makes for a good 2nd in the interim.
  • One Child:  The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment ~ Mei Fong, narrated by Janet Song (epukapuka) (5)   N/F China    I wouldn’t recommend this as a read for a few  IRL friends who are navigating through ’beyond coping’ circumstances – portions of it make for very tough reading. (for anyone who may be interested, @Quill ,  I posted a review on goodreads ) 
  • Carnegie's Maid ~ Marie Benedict, narrated by Alana Kerr Collins        (epukapuka audio) (2-3*) Goodreads review      The portions of the book I listened to were definitely clean romance, not sure about the 3 chapters I skipped 😄 
  •   The Lady of Quality ~ Georgette Heyer   (repeat night time listen.  Definitely counts as flufferton)   (3)

Currently reading/listening to:

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1 minute ago, tuesdayschild said:

Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives ~ Richard Wiseman, narrated by  Peter Noble   N/F   Thank you (!) for this recommendation @Kareni  it’s making for interesting, rather fun, listening so far. 

I'm so glad you're enjoying it! It generated some interesting dinner table conversations here.

7 minutes ago, tuesdayschild said:

I'm a non-starter, I've read two and a half.

The real question is whether together we've read all twenty.  My two and a half unread were Fallen Too Far, The Notebook, and This Man.

Regards,

Kareni

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2 minutes ago, Kareni said:

I'm so glad you're enjoying it! It generated some interesting dinner table conversations here.

The real question is whether together we've read all twenty.  My two and a half unread were Fallen Too Far, The Notebook, and This Man.

Regards,

Kareni

Oh, yes, I can see why. It would make some very interesting table conversations if more than one person had read it (it's even interesting, enough, with just me rabbiting on about it... I'm trying to talk the Dc into listening to it too 😉 ).

Laughing!  No, we'd still be short of the total tally, I've not read any of those.  

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51 minutes ago, tuesdayschild said:

Oh, yes, I can see why. It would make some very interesting table conversations if more than one person had read it (it's even interesting, enough, with just me rabbiting on about it... I'm trying to talk the Dc into listening to it too 😉 ).

I think I was the only one here who read it, if I'm remembering correctly.  So, I guess I did the 🐇 🐇 🐇here.

Regards,

Kareni

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Some bookish posts ~

From author Ilona Andrews ~ Review of How To Draw Fantasy Art and RPG Maps

http://www.ilona-andrews.com/review-of-how-to-draw-fantasy-art-and-rpg-maps/

Kickass Women in History: Madame Tussaud

https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/2019/02/kickass-women-in-history-madame-tussaud/

Top 10 musical novels
Novelist Rebecca Kauffman chooses  

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jan/23/top-10-musical-novels

7 Fantasies Told from Multiple Points of View

https://www.tor.com/2019/02/06/7-fantasies-told-from-multiple-points-of-view/

Five Fantastic Recent Books about Humans Colonizing Other Planets by Charlie Jane Anders

https://www.tor.com/2019/02/07/five-fantastic-recent-books-about-humans-colonizing-other-planets/

Regards,

Kareni

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Still listening my way through The Others, only two more to go and then I will be ready for the new book!

The Sunday Philosophy Club https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15904.The_Sunday_Philosophy_Club is a book that has been recommended to me for years, I have checked it out many times........I have never actually looked at a single page of it before.  😍Oh my! I am in love with this series, it isn’t perfectly lovely like a DE Stevenson, but it is a good read at 60%.  I actually checked the next  one out already.  My Scottish reading shelf for the 10’s is why I finally opened this book........thanks Robin!   

Now back to the Good Housekeeping top 20 romances.....I haven’t read the 2 1/2 books @Kareni is missing either!

 

 

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7 hours ago, Kareni said:

I enjoyed looking at many of your links, Robin. From the one above, I've read all but two and a half.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Regards,

Kareni

I've read a few:   Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, Thorn Birds, Outlander, Dark Lover, Jane Eyre, Vision in White, and Rosie Project.  

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Not sure if I can fully participate in this one. Romance novels are so boring to me unless there is a lot of wit or a murder somewhere.

Can I count Georgette Heyer's "The Grand Sophy" as Flufferton (from last week) and one of Heyer's other books, "April Lady" as a romance?

Audiobook:

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer. Funny and reminiscent of Austen

Books:

 "April Lady" by Heyer - have just started. Too early to know but judging from the little I read, it's going to be good.

"Backfire" by Coulter. Another thriller / murder. I can't seem to stop.

Non-Fiction:

"The Psychopath Inside" by James Fallon. A book about brain science presented in a very accessible and quirky style.

"The I 5 Serial Killer" by Henderson. Finishing this one up. I don't want to drive at night anymore now...

 

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I finished The Red Badge of Courage.  It took a while to get going, but about half way through my interest increased and I was able to finish it fairly quickly.

To give myself a break from the classics I've been working through, I read The Princess Diaries.  And then I watched the movie with some of my girls just because.  :)

I'm still working through The Man in the Iron Mask.  I am really enjoying it and it doesn't bother me that I'm taking a while to get through it.  Usually I feel like I have to rush to get to the end of a book, but this one (for me) is like a really, really rich dessert that you appreciate more fully in small quantities.

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No books finished this week due to book abandonment and a spontaneous weekend family vacation. But I'm almost done with Henry James' first novel, Watch and Ward, which I suppose would count for this week's "romance" theme. It's evident why it's not often read today. First, James is just finding his feet, and despite a yeoman attempt at character complexity, he makes his villains too openly villainous and his heroes/heroines insufficiently nuanced. But besides that, the plot itself makes the book nearly unreadable. A young man, freshly refused by the woman to whom he offered marriage, becomes through incredible circumstances the unofficial adoptive parent of an eleven-year-old girl, whom he decides to raise to be the perfect wife for himself. All one can think throughout is, "Was this as creepy in James's place and time as it is now?"--and it creates too much of a distraction to let the reader really enjoy the early James promise. I keep wanting to put down the book and notify CPS.

Edited by Violet Crown
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15 hours ago, mom22es said:

Finally popping back in after a hectic start to the new year.  DD caught the flu, I had emergency gallbladder surgery and we've been travelling.  My reading has suffered for it, but now we are at home and healthy, so I expect it to pick back up.

That was a hectic start! Here's hoping for more peaceful days to come.

Regarding Henry James' first novel, Watch and Ward:

1 hour ago, Violet Crown said:

 A young man, freshly refused by the woman to whom he offered marriage, becomes through incredible circumstances the unofficial adoptive parent of an eleven-year-old girl, whom he decides to raise to be the perfect wife for himself. All one can think throughout is, "Was this as creepy in James's place and time as it is now?"--and it creates too much of a distraction to let the reader really enjoy the early James promise. I keep wanting to put down the book and notify CPS.

That does sound like a disconcerting premise, Violet Crown! I'll be interested to hear the outcome.

Regards,

Kareni

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16 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

 

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (audiobook)

- Irgendwo in Deutschland / Somewhere in Germany by Stefanie Zweig - This is billed as an 'autobiographical novel' - but unlike Laura Ingalls Wilder, who though she heavily fictionalized her story used her family's real names, or James Herriot, whose wonderful books are much more fictionalized than I realized but whose character shares his pen name, though not his real one, Zweig's characters have different names than her family's though the story is very much based on her life story - her family fled to Kenya to escape the Nazis (told in her previous book, Nowhere in Africa), and then 9 years later, after WWII was over, returned to Germany in spite of being Jewish (and although they had escaped, their extended family was wiped out).  It's an interesting perspective to be writing from.  No one can understand why they returned (including her character and her mother's).  Her father was a lawyer, and he wanted to continue working as a lawyer, and as he could only speak German fluently, and was only licensed to practice law in Germany, he thought this was the thing to do.

 

Is it written with a heavy emphasis on the atrocities or more philosophically focused on rebuilding lives after WWII? Were you able to get the book in German? Wonder if my library has it.

Edited by Liz CA
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Happy Monday, everyone!

My February romance indulgence will likely be a relistening of an Audible freebie from a few years back: Richard Armitage (what a voice!) reading famous love poetry from Shakespearean sonnets to Lord Byron to Shelley to Keats. 

Last week I read a satisfying Ian Rankin mystery, A Question of Blood. It had a serendipitous tie in with the Belfast based thriller I'd read a week early in that both books deal with the personal toll to those who fought in both sides of The Troubles.  My other Irish read is much gentler and so much fun. A Secret Map of Ireland is by an Irish poet and journalist who writes about something unique and quirky in each of the 32 counties of Ireland. Each chapter is a short essay, making it the perfect "sip" book. 

While I am enjoying Michelle Obama's memoir, it is a bit long, and I wanted something different and lighter to listen to over the weekend. So I put Becoming aside and started listening to a fun Brandon Sanderson YA, Rithmatist.  The premise is utterly ridiculous -- certain people have the ability to do battle through chalk drawings, and some of those drawings have come to life and are fighting on their own. But it totally works with its Harry Potter like setting of a school with plucky teens. 

@Kareni I've added the Hum and the Shiver to my "want to read" list. There were a few titles I'd like to read from that list you linked of musical books, but I'd probably add a few others as well, such as Patrick Rothfuss's work. He really captures what it is to be a musician. 

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15 minutes ago, JennW in SoCal said:

Happy Monday, everyone!

My February romance indulgence will likely be a relistening of an Audible freebie from a few years back: Richard Armitage (what a voice!) reading famous love poetry from Shakespearean sonnets to Lord Byron to Shelley to Keats. 

Last week I read a satisfying Ian Rankin mystery, A Question of Blood. It had a serendipitous tie in with the Belfast based thriller I'd read a week early in that both books deal with the personal toll to those who fought in both sides of The Troubles.  My other Irish read is much gentler and so much fun. A Secret Map of Ireland is by an Irish poet and journalist who writes about something unique and quirky in each of the 32 counties of Ireland. Each chapter is a short essay, making it the perfect "sip" book. 

While I am enjoying Michelle Obama's memoir, it is a bit long, and I wanted something different and lighter to listen to over the weekend. So I put Becoming aside and started listening to a fun Brandon Sanderson YA, Rithmatist.  The premise is utterly ridiculous -- certain people have the ability to do battle through chalk drawings, and some of those drawings have come to life and are fighting on their own. But it totally works with its Harry Potter like setting of a school with plucky teens. 

@Kareni I've added the Hum and the Shiver to my "want to read" list. There were a few titles I'd like to read from that list you linked of musical books, but I'd probably add a few others as well, such as Patrick Rothfuss's work. He really captures what it is to be a musician. 

Jenn, I finished The Sunday Philosopy Club earlier today and really thought it felt quite accurate for Edinburgh.  Not sure if you have already read these or not.......you may very well have been one of the people recommending them......but if you haven’t tried them I think you would like them.  For purposes of a definite ongoing romantic storyline (I cheated and read several descriptions ahead) I think these require in order reading.

 

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18 hours ago, mom22es said:

Finally popping back in after a hectic start to the new year.  DD caught the flu, I had emergency gallbladder surgery and we've been travelling.  My reading has suffered for it, but now we are at home and healthy, so I expect it to pick back up.

Not a nice start to the year!  (hug)  Are you back to good strength, or still regrouping that?

18 hours ago, mom22es said:

I'm also working my way through Mary Oliver's A Poetry Handbook.  This little book is teaching me so much.  I understand meter better than I every have and she has introduced to me to several poets I've never read before.  

Sound so good!  (I've started following you on goodreads, hope you don't mind )

12 hours ago, Liz CA said:

Romance novels are so boring to me unless there is a lot of wit or a murder somewhere.

Can I count Georgette Heyer's "The Grand Sophy" as Flufferton (from last week) and one of Heyer's other books, "April Lady" as a romance?

My version of romance (so witty too) is Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, and, D.E Stevenson (off to check out that 'similar to' book you mentioned up thread @mumto2) so I'd be counting Heyer .... well, if I was doing the romance challenge 🙃  I'm not: I'm trying to work on other challenges this week (the letters 'Q'  and 'N"  , and,  'China')

**

I've just added two more books to my reading stash, one as a sip read (very encouraging so far, even though I'm not a CPW),  The Church Planting Wife ~ Christine Hoover,   and the other one is for my "China" (Chinese invasion) reading focus, Coming Home to Tibet: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Belonging ~ Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

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1 hour ago, Liz CA said:

Is it written with a heavy emphasis on the atrocities or more philosophically focused on rebuilding lives after WWII? Were you able to get the book in German? Wonder if my library has it.


The book is written in a fairly matter-of-fact manner, more about that family in that place and time, which just happens to be unusual.  I don't think I've every read a novel set in this time right after the war, certainly not by anyone who lived through it.  Mention is made that the Germans seem to have collective amnesia about what happened to their Jewish neighbors.  I'm surprised by how many Jewish people there still were there after the war; some returned from exile, others who survived the death camps.  Antisemitism still rears its head (a Jewish man in a fender-bender has the other driver tell him 'we forgot to gas you'), but it isn't dwelt upon.  In West Germany right after the war, every adult had to prove to the occupying forces they hadn't been Nazis (I only recently found how each person had to prove this in the graphic novel Belonging), so even if was latently there, people were mostly not freely expressing it.  Part of the reason they come back is that he's offered a position as a judge in Frankfurt - they had a hard time finding people to fill the positions that didn't have Nazi taint.  After a while he opens an office as a lawyer where many of his clients are Jewish people (both local and emigrants) who are trying to get reparations from Germany.

It's not really philosophical or trying to hit you over the head with a message; it's an interesting story about the family's life - the parents have a rather bicker-filled relationship, Regina (Stefanie Zweig's character) is a teenager who grew up in Kenya and considers that home while her father had been homesick for Germany the whole time.  He says he hates the Nazis, not the Germans, and is a bit naive about acknowledging how many of the latter may been complicit with the former.  The youngest child in the family is only two when they return and doesn't share Regina's memories of Africa.  Life is hard at first, the buildings are in ruins and the people are starving (at one point Regina is sent to Switzerland to a family for a few months to get her better nourished), but after a few years things are much better for them.  Regina's father still misses home - the family comes from a part of Germany that after the war became Poland, so there's no real going home.  The people in Frankfurt speak a different dialect, eat different food, and have a different way about them, and there's lots of resentment from the locals toward refugees from what were the eastern parts of Germany.   And he still misses Africa - he and Regina will sometimes speak in Swahili when the mother isn't around - the mother didn't much like Africa, but she also didn't much want to come back to Germany.

I'm reading it in German, but Amazon has both books in English.  Many reviewers like the first book set in Kenya better, but I'm really enjoying this one, maybe even a bit more than the first.  

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3 hours ago, mumto2 said:

Jenn, I finished The Sunday Philosopy Club earlier today and really thought it felt quite accurate for Edinburgh.  Not sure if you have already read these or not.......you may very well have been one of the people recommending them......but if you haven’t tried them I think you would like them.  For purposes of a definite ongoing romantic storyline (I cheated and read several descriptions ahead) I think these require in order reading.

 

 

Do you think it is a better Edinburgh book than 44 Scotland Street (which I have on my shelves)? I actually read about half of it several years ago but it never engaged me the way the Ladies #1 Detective Agency did. 

ETA: While I was at the library this afternoon I found and checked out the Sunday Philosophy Club. 😉

Edited by JennW in SoCal
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The last TWO weeks I thought I'd posted an update on my progress, but it was still sitting in the reply box on the previous week's thread! Oops!

My overall reading goals are to take in a mix of fiction and nonfiction, spiritually enriching, informative, and fun selections; to keep up with the Druid book discussion/study group I'm in, to put eyes on words not related directly to work more often than last year, and to read books that I bought ages ago and still haven't read.

My currently reading list:

The Stand (unabridged) by Stephen King (on audiobook; it's over 48 hours long, so this will definitely take me more than a week, as I listen to audiobooks on my commute and when driving for work, about 6-10 hours a week). Update: After leaving it for a bit, I came back and had to backtrack because I lost my place! I'm now on Chapter 46.

The Táin translated by Ciaran Carson Update: I've finished the fourth chapter. I'm reading the end-notes as I go, too.

Odin: Ecstasy, Runes & Norse Magic by Diana L. Paxson (this is one of those "bought ages ago and still haven't read" books) Reading on Kindle, I have finished 4 chapters.

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor On Chapter 25.

George Carlin Reads to You by George Carlin. Started this one riding in the car with my co-worker again.

Next Up:

I think I have one of Kamala Harris' books on hold from the library on audiobook. I picked up The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin on Audible (not available on audiobook from my local library). I still feel like I need to finish some more of my current reading list before I go looking for more! 

My 10x10 challenge categories:

1. humor

2. science (nonfiction)

3. fantasy & science fiction by new-to-me authors (Thank you to those who made suggestions, I'll be going back to refer to them later!)

4. LGBT

5. classic fiction

6. folklore (The Táin will satisfy this)

7. religion (nonfiction) (Odin: Ecstasy, Runes & Norse Magic by Diana L. Paxson will satisfy this)

8. law (nonfiction)

9. modern fiction in translation (i.e., originally published in a language other than English)

10. books by women of color (Stone Sky met this requirement)

The books must of course all be separate selections, though they may fit into more than one category, they cannot be used for more than one, so that I read 10 books for it.

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7 hours ago, tuesdayschild said:

Not a nice start to the year!  (hug)  Are you back to good strength, or still regrouping that?

Sound so good!  (I've started following you on goodreads, hope you don't mind )

My version of romance (so witty too) is Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, and, D.E Stevenson (off to check out that 'similar to' book you mentioned up thread @mumto2) so I'd be counting Heyer .... well, if I was doing the romance challenge 🙃  I'm not: I'm trying to work on other challenges this week (the letters 'Q'  and 'N"  , and,  'China')

**

I've just added two more books to my reading stash, one as a sip read (very encouraging so far, even though I'm not a CPW),  The Church Planting Wife ~ Christine Hoover,   and the other one is for my "China" (Chinese invasion) reading focus, Coming Home to Tibet: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Belonging ~ Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

Just a bit of a warning as it is modern day Edinburgh and I have great 😉hope for romance for the main character but ........  I think some adult content may eventually happen in later books but this one tends to refer to things in terms of the ethics.   The main character is the editor of a Philosophy Journal so ethics and her submissions are mentioned.   I liked it because I found the world quite comfy and I fell easily into it, rather like a Stevenson...easy read. I hope you will like it!  

ETA.....in case of audio, I think one of the articles she ponders might be sensitive.

 

 

6 hours ago, JennW in SoCal said:

 

Do you think it is a better Edinburgh book than 44 Scotland Street (which I have on my shelves)? I actually read about half of it several years ago but it never engaged me the way the Ladies #1 Detective Agency did. 

ETA: While I was at the library this afternoon I found and checked out the Sunday Philosophy Club. 😉

I have no idea!  I have never read a Ladies Detective Agency (saw an episode of the show once.....) and actually thought 44Scotland Street was in my series......I checked, they are separate.🤣. This one talks about music and the love of music.  She also goes to watch a visiting orchestra that is on tour......that instantly made me think of my friend Jenn!

This wasn’t the most thrilling of mysteries and the there was a bit near the end which is odd......it was fairly meandering with a main character I liked a lot.  There is an ending that seemed real.......

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I just finished the second Tufa book; it surprised me initially in that I'd expected the main character of the first book to play a larger role in this book. Such was not the case. That said, I enjoyed this book and would like to read on.

Alex Bledsoe's Wisp of a Thing: A Novel of the Tufa (Tufa Novels Book 2)

"Alex Bledsoe's The Hum and the Shiver was named one of the Best Fiction Books of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews. Now with Wisp of a Thing Bledsoe returns to the isolated ridges and hollows of the Smoky Mountains to spin an equally enchanting tale of music and magic older than the hills….

Touched by a very public tragedy, musician Rob Quillen comes to Cloud County, Tennessee, in search of a song that might ease his aching heart. All he knows of the mysterious and reclusive Tufa is what he has read on the internet: they are an enigmatic clan of swarthy, black-haired mountain people whose historical roots are lost in myth and controversy. Some people say that when the first white settlers came to the Appalachians centuries ago, they found the Tufa already there. Others hint that Tufa blood brings special gifts.

Rob finds both music and mystery in the mountains. Close-lipped locals guard their secrets, even as Rob gets caught up in a subtle power struggle he can't begin to comprehend. A vacationing wife goes missing, raising suspicions of foul play, and a strange feral girl runs wild in the woods, howling in the night like a lost spirit.

Change is coming to Cloud County, and only the night wind knows what part Rob will play when the last leaf falls from the Widow's Tree…and a timeless curse must be broken at last. "

***

Last night I finished Tessa Bailey's Getaway Girl, a contemporary romance which I quite enjoyed. (Significant adult content)

 "This unlikely getaway driver never expected to help the mayor escape…

After a six-year absence, Addison Potts is back in Charleston to stir things up. And what better place to make her villainous return than her estranged cousin’s wedding? Only, the nuptials hit a snag when the bride doesn’t show, leaving Addison to play getaway driver for the jilted groom. A groom whose heartbreaking smile and deep, southern drawl she should not be noticing… 

Elijah Montgomery Du Pont is the future mayor of Charleston. From his military career to city hall, every detail of his life has been meticulously planned. Until now. His only respite from life’s sudden upheaval is Addison, his new, improbable best friend. She makes him happy. Grounds him. And public disapproval be damned, he’s not willing to give her up. But with an election on the line and public pressure rising, Addison—and the cruel hand of fate—might not give him a choice. "

Regards,

Kareni

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A free ebook from Tor.com. This is a short term offer.

Regards,

Kareni

Download a Free Ebook of Witchmark by C.L. Polk Before February 16, 2019!

Each month, the Tor.com eBook Club gives away a free sci-fi/fantasy ebook to club subscribers.

We’re excited to announce that Witchmark by C. L. Polk is the Ebook Club pick for February 2019!

 

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans’ hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.

Witchmark is available from Feb. 12, 12:01 AM ET to Feb. 15, 11:59 PM ET

Download before 11:59 PM ET Feb. 15, 2018.

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Some bookish posts ~

An intriguing post:  The High Costs of Fantasy Sainthood
Jessica McAdams

https://www.tor.com/2019/02/06/the-high-costs-of-fantasy-sainthood/comment-page-1/#comment-788477

10 Creative Audiobooks to Artistically Inspire Your Mind Through Your Ears

https://mymodernmet.com/best-audiobooks-january-2019/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Audiobooks&utm_term=BookRiot_Audiobooks_DormantSuppress

15 Creative Gifts for Writers That Are Way Better Than an Ordinary Notebook and Pen

https://mymodernmet.com/gifts-for-writers/

“O Uommibatto”: How the Pre-Raphaelites Became Obsessed with the Wombat

https://publicdomainreview.org/2019/01/10/how-the-pre-raphaelites-became-obsessed-with-the-wombat/

Regards,

Kareni

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On 2/10/2019 at 11:23 PM, Liz CA said:

Not sure if I can fully participate in this one. Romance novels are so boring to me unless there is a lot of wit or a murder somewhere.

Can I count Georgette Heyer's "The Grand Sophy" as Flufferton (from last week) and one of Heyer's other books, "April Lady" as a romance?

"The I 5 Serial Killer" by Henderson. Finishing this one up. I don't want to drive at night anymore now...

Romantic Suspense novels are full of murder and mysteries. Nora Roberts Northern Lights,  Anne Stuart's Black Ice,  most books by Linda Howard, Sandra Brown, Jayne Ann Krentz, Cindy Gerard to name a few are good authors to check out.    

Oh my! The I-5 book sounds scary.  

On 2/10/2019 at 5:17 PM, Kareni said:

I just finished a book that I quite enjoyed -- 

The Hum and the Shiver: A Novel of the Tufa. by Alex Bledsoe.  I think that others here might also enjoy it.

"The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe is an enchanting tale of music and magic older than the hills, and the first book in the wondrous Tufa series. . . .

I've had this one in my virtual stacks for quite a while. Thought I had read it, but maybe not.  Moving it up to read sooner rather than later. 

On 2/10/2019 at 5:41 PM, mom22es said:

Hi All…

Finally popping back in after a hectic start to the new year.  DD caught the flu, I had emergency gallbladder surgery and we've been travelling.  My reading has suffered for it, but now we are at home and healthy, so I expect it to pick back up.

Robin - I love that poem.   Thanks for including it this week.    

Glad to hear you are and your daughter are feeling better.   

My pleasure! Always interesting reading poems by poets I've never heard of before. Exploring poems on line always leads me on plenty of rabbit trails. 

 

@Kareni Thank you for all the wonderful links.  

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20 hours ago, Mothersweets said:

Forever Amber is a great read!! Think Scarlett O'Hara level shenanigans but with a heart, lol.

Oh, I can't wait to read it! I love Scarlett! 

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My library, for the first time, has a winter reading program. It's much more low key than the summer reading program, and a big part of it is dedicated to reading down one's library fines (which is frankly wasted on me). The grand prize is a five dollar credit for the small annual friends of the library book sale.

One challenge involved reading a travel memoir/guide, and I chose to read a local 100 Things to Do guide. I've lived here over fifteen years, so many items in the book were known to me however some were not. I shared a couple of discoveries with my husband, and he intends to pursue one. It was a worthwhile read.

Regards,

Kareni

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I finished The Source finally. I skimmed through a fifth of it, tired of reading about death and more death, concentrated on the present day archaeological and religious discussions which were much more interesting.  The book was about 400 pages too long.  Not sure what I'm going to read next. 

In my internet meanderings found 

How do you "see" the books you read?

The Underground worlds of Haruki Murakami

For chilly February, three romances to warm your heart.

Bookriot's celebrating History Fiction day with a round up of Historical Fiction - plenty of rabbit trails to follow

We've been watching movies practically every night thanks to James and so far the past few days have watched:  Shrek which I hated the first time around, but it wasn't so bad the 2nd time.   Morituri - suspenseful wwII movie with Marlon Brando and Yul Brynner which is so full of twists have to pay attention every moment.   The all female remake of Ghostbusters which was absolutely awesomely good.  Highly recommend it.  And Top Gun which was just as good with amazing flying and Cruise was just a young hottie.  

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Theological Reads -  We have decided to read and discuss The Descent of the Dove by Charles Williams which will probably take us through the rest of February and most of Lent. We'll be starting next week and the book is available in kindle or print format. 

We will also be starting a 2019 sip read of The Paradise of the Holy Fathers Vol 1 and 2   available online or on Amazon in Kindle or print format. 

I'll try and come up with a reading schedule by the end of the week.  Please join us if you haven't already. 

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1 hour ago, Robin M said:

In my internet meanderings found 

How do you "see" the books you read?

I know we've discussed this on the board in the past but I can't find a link. I did find an article I previously posted which is on a similar topic.

On 9/6/2016 at 8:29 AM, Kareni said:

A bookish post on a topic that has been discussed here in the past ~

What Do You See When You Read?  by James Wallace Harris

My experience when reading:

When I begin reading it’s as though I’m narrating in my head. Ultimately though I get caught up in the story and am barely aware that I’m turning pages. I see nothing but the words on the page — no smudges, no soundtrack. The lack of a movie in my head has not hindered my love of reading at all. I do recall being amazed though to learn that my experience was not common to others — my daughter and husband both have a movie experience when reading.

What is your experience?

Regards,

Kareni

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16 minutes ago, Kareni said:

I know we've discussed this on the board in the past but I can't find a link. I did find an article I previously posted which is on a similar topic.

My experience when reading:

When I begin reading it’s as though I’m narrating in my head. Ultimately though I get caught up in the story and am barely aware that I’m turning pages. I see nothing but the words on the page — no smudges, no soundtrack. The lack of a movie in my head has not hindered my love of reading at all. I do recall being amazed though to learn that my experience was not common to others — my daughter and husband both have a movie experience when reading.

What is your experience?

Regards,

Kareni

I see the movie, I think that is why I have such a hard time seeing my books turned to movies.  They are never right!

 I found the articles interesting because one said that no one could describe their character’s nose when they saw movies in their head which seemed to be a judgement on the movie quality which cracked me up.  I couldn’t describe most people’s noses that I see most days unless they are really distinctive so I consider that to be a really poor test of how good my visual movie is!

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I don't see an actual 'movie' -- in fact I have trouble when I try to see something clearly in my head.  At the same time, I definitely end up "in" the story and have a clear idea of what a movie version 'should' look like.  Not so much the actual people/scenery (unless clearly wrong -- such as the tall/short example someone gave), more towards the 'feeling' of the person/scenery but still a definite opinion.

Along these lines, I would have said I read every word -- but when I started reading aloud to my children -- I found that really I skimmed any 'boring' parts without really realizing it 😄  (skimmed might not be quite the right word -- I don't do what I would do if I were skimming a text  or even skimming a fiction book looking for a specific section where I skip MOST parts-- this is more towards speed reading  ) 

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3 hours ago, Robin M said:

 

I'll try and come up with a reading schedule by the end of the week.  Please join us if you haven't already. 

I think I figured out a simple schedule that starts with week 8 and will take us through the rest of the year for Paradise of Holy Fathers.  Volume one chapters are relatively short and volume two are long. So week 8 intro, week 9 life of St Anthony and starting with week 10 Six chapters per week which takes us to week 35. Volume 2 has 17 chapters total so at one chapter a week takes us to the end of the year.  Make sense?  

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11 hours ago, Kareni said:

I know we've discussed this on the board in the past but I can't find a link. I did find an article I previously posted which is on a similar topic.

My experience when reading:

When I begin reading it’s as though I’m narrating in my head. Ultimately though I get caught up in the story and am barely aware that I’m turning pages. I see nothing but the words on the page — no smudges, no soundtrack. The lack of a movie in my head has not hindered my love of reading at all. I do recall being amazed though to learn that my experience was not common to others — my daughter and husband both have a movie experience when reading.

What is your experience?

Regards,

Kareni

 

I will get isolated images into my head, but it doesn't run like a movie. Like, I'll have an idea of what I think the character or described scenery looks like, but it doesn't run like a movie. The closest I'll get to "movie" is when I'm reading an action sequence. Then I'll tend to visualize the moves described, but again, it's not really visual like a movie is, more like...a sense of it that's not visual but still shows movement. Like, prioperception (your sense of your own body's movement and position in space), only of the action. It's enough that if it's badly written so that I can't follow it in a way that makes sense to me, I will notice.

I will add that when I was younger, I tended to think in written words, rather than "hear" what I'm thinking or reading in my head. This is despite thorough phonics instruction. I can read aloud just fine, but when I read to myself, I don't "hear" it any more than I see/visualize it. I don't think in writing so much anymore, except when I'm planning in my head something I'm going to write. This is all to the good, as I have gotten better at focusing on/absorbing things I hear (though still weaker on recall of visual input), which is important in my line of work.  

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9 hours ago, LaughingCat said:

I don't see an actual 'movie' -- in fact I have trouble when I try to see something clearly in my head.  At the same time, I definitely end up "in" the story and have a clear idea of what a movie version 'should' look like.  Not so much the actual people/scenery (unless clearly wrong -- such as the tall/short example someone gave), more towards the 'feeling' of the person/scenery but still a definite opinion.

Along these lines, I would have said I read every word -- but when I started reading aloud to my children -- I found that really I skimmed any 'boring' parts without really realizing it 😄  (skimmed might not be quite the right word -- I don't do what I would do if I were skimming a text  or even skimming a fiction book looking for a specific section where I skip MOST parts-- this is more towards speed reading  ) 

I think my skimming technique was hugely developed by all the reading aloud I did with the kids!  I used to read for about 4 hours each day if it was all added together.   My eyes were always a few sentences ahead of the words and I edited away....understandable vocabulary to them if I wanted to keep moving, anything someone would find upsetting that probably wasn’t required, and a million other things I fixed without consciously fixing after awhile.  This leads me to the fact that I fix everything I read out loud..... I have to refuse to publically read things like the Bible because I change the wording without thinking about it.  The stress of worrying I will change the wording is more than I can handle.....it really isn’t the reading.........

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I too skimmed and edited while reading to the kids. But the funniest thing I did was when reading aloud the exciting bits of good books, like some of the Harry Potter books -- I'd stop speaking and just be reading to myself and wouldn't realize it!! My kids would get so exasperated! We'd have to figure out where I left off and start again.

 

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I'm several weeks behind in these threads an am not even going to try to catch up. Two things do stand out from past threads though -

I count a book in the month I finished it regardless of whether I read most of the book in the previous month(s). I'm not usually doing any month specific challenges though so it doesn't matter where I count it. I will consider counting a book in either the previous or current year if a December book runs to January. In that case I count it in the year I read most of the book

Lethal White - I agree with others and was disappointed in this one. Actually I started to get discouraged with the series in the previous book. It started out strong and I thought I was going to enjoy the series but I really dislike how the character of Robin is written. She's supposed to be a smart woman but she makes stupid mistakes, she lets her man belittle her, and she always ends up becoming the damsel in distress. That's not my cuppa and I'm hoping things will begin to turn in the next book. I'll read the next one to give Rowling a chance to redeem herself but if nothing changed I won't continue with the series.

I finished several books since I last posted -

Wide Sargasso Sea - This was a book club book and while we all were glad to have read it none of us really liked it. The writing seemed forced and it felt like the author was trying to capture the mystery of island religious practices without really understanding them. One member didn't realize it's a Jane Eyre prequel and it was kind of fun to hear her describe the moment it hit her.

Ellen Foster - This short book is rather powerful. I might consider it for book club next time it's my turn to pick a book. 

Lords of the North - Number 3 in the Saxon Stories. It's still behind what I've watched in the Netflix series (The Last Kingdom) but as a book usually does, it fills in details. Also, while tv Uhtred is yummy to look at I really missed book Uhtred. In the series things happen in real time. In the books he's an old man recounting his younger days. Book Uhtred says things like "The young are rash and foolish and I was no exception" or "I trusted him. I thought he was my friend". Those aren't exact quotes but give the idea. Those are small things but they make a difference when reading the novels.

Love's Labour's Lost - I wasn't familiar with this play having neither read it or seen it performed. You can tell it's early Shakespeare and he's still maturing in his writing. There's a lot of word play in this, much more than in subsequent comedies. I made the mistake of renting the movie version with Kenneth Branagh. Normally I'm up for anything that has Kenneth Branagh and Shakespeare in the same sentence but this was awful. If you've ever considered it, save yourself the three dollar rental fee.

The Song of Achilles - I loved Circe and though I'm not a fan of Achilles I thought I might like Madeline Miller's retelling of his story. She tried to make him more likable and failed imo, but I still enjoyed the story. 

Other books I finished - The 7-1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle  (fun but with a rushed ending with a twist I don't think worked), The Poison Squad (history of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the beginning of the FDA - anyone who thinks our great grandparents ate more "real" food than we do should read this). 

Current reads in another post to keep it from getting too long (like it isn't already too long 😄 )

 

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