What Are You Reading

Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by Lancealot, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. HanauMan

    HanauMan Practically Family

    Messages:
    809
    Location:
    Inverness, Scotland
    You may be interested that The Great Santini is a favorite read of many former military brats. Many of us identify with both the father figure and the son standing up to him. The book crops up in many 'must read' conversations amongst the military brat family.
     
  2. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    15,089
    Location:
    New York City
    "The Bookshop" by Penelope Fitzgerald

    She is one of my favorite authors for novelettes when I don't know what I want to read and am not willing to make a big commitment of time.

    Her books leverage a "small" story to bring several characters to three-dimensional and very real life, usually with painfully vibrancy. In "The Bookshop," a middle-aged woman in a small English village opens a modest bookshop in the late '50s to earn a little money, have something to do and provide a needed service to the community.

    All seems good at first, but our widow's humble bookshop unintentionally interferes with the plans of the community's self-appointed matriarch of the arts* and a one-sided war is waged against this out-of-her-league but oddly resilient heroine. Along the way, we meet several villagers as Fitzgerald quickly limns characters who echo people you know or feel you could know. And before you realize it, the story is climaxing and you're turning pages almost impatiently to know what happens.

    This is the third or fourth book of hers I've read and will be ordering more shortly.


    * This character reminds me of one of the busybody pain-in-the-neck women that Lizzy tells us about in her community.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  3. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,810
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    Decision in Normandy, Carlo D'este

    Analysis of Overlord.
     
  4. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,449
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Rereading "Antifragile" by Taleb. I am getting much more out of it this time around than from my first read. Just may read it again in 6 months. Time now to reflect on the "how" of implementing a portion of his ideas into my life.
     
  5. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,815
    Location:
    The Swamp
    Finished Papa La-Bas, a late (1968) historical mystery by John Dickson Carr. As a mystery it's head and shoulders above what anybody else can do nowadays: a young lady vanishes from a carriage while it's traveling under constant observation; a man tumbles down a flight of stairs, apparently pushed -- but there is no one anywhere near him at the time. As a novel, i.e. of character and emotion, it's okay. As a historical tale, it's pretty good: Set in the New Orleans of April 1858, it features U.S. Senator (and later Confederate official) Judah P. Benjamin as the detective, and has the geography of the city and a lot of the historical details right. * Clearly Carr visited New Orleans and picked up tiny details. (For instance, Carondelet Street is not pronounced "Caron-de-lay," but "Caron-de-lette.")

    * Yes, Marie Laveau is featured, though she herself never appears on stage. The ignition point of the story is the woman for whom one of the famous haunted houses of the French Quarter is named, Delphine LaLaurie. Amateur historian Carr takes the trouble to explode the usual story about her, that she kept and tortured slaves in her attic and that it's their souls which haunt the place.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  6. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,810
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    The Dodgers Aim for History-and a Championship, Robert O'Connell, The Atlantic 8/9/17

    The Cubs lost to the Giants last nite, and would be hard pressed to beat the Dodgers today.:mad:
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  7. Samuel

    Samuel Practically Family

    Messages:
    781
    Location:
    Central, California
    Women—by Charles Bukowski
     
  8. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,810
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    Looking for the late Ken Kaiser's behind-the-plate baseball memoir, Planet of the Umps.

    The Umpire Strikes Back.:)
     
  9. Zachary

    Zachary One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Dmitri Glukhovsky: Metro 2033.

    Made it to page 147 the first day of reading.

    Not as much vintage, I'm afraid …
     
    Mlle Elza likes this.
  10. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,815
    Location:
    The Swamp
    Just tried this one over the weekend. It's not a "big" story, it has little plot, and yet, as you say, she creates these vivid characters and describes them and their actions in this dry, witty, very "English" style. At times her narration reminds me of Anthony Berkeley/Francis Iles in his crime novels Before the Fact and Malice Aforethought. I'm trying another of hers, Human Voices, focusing on the BBC during the war.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  11. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,810
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    Not that much future either...;)
     
    Zachary likes this.
  12. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    15,089
    Location:
    New York City
    I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It's been a long time since I read "Human Voices" but I remember enjoying it. Also, "The Gate of Angels" was very good. All are similar - "small" stories with well-drawn characters and poignant moments.
     
  13. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,946
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Sirius by Jonathan Crown.

    I LOVE this book so much. Here's the description:

    The remarkable story of a little dog who changed world history.

    Berlin, 1938: Sirius, a dashing fox terrier, lives a charmed life with the German Jewish Liliencrons. But, with the rise of Nazism, the Liliencrons decide to leave Berlin for Hollywood.

    Sirius takes his destiny into his own hands with the kind of melancholic mirth exclusive to his breed. He becomes a celebrated film star and circus performer, friend to Rita Hayworth and Cary Grant. But, when a magic trick goes wrong, Sirius ends up back in war-torn Berlin. Never one to despair, he finds himself in the Führer's headquarters as Adolf Hitler's lap dog... and an informant for the resistance.
     
  14. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    15,089
    Location:
    New York City
    That one is going in the Amazon queue today - sounds outstanding.
     
  15. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,175
    Location:
    Oahu, North Polynesia
    I am finishing the last sad chapters of "Rat Pack Confidential" by Shawn Levy.
    Don't get me wrong: the book is a wealth of information. However, I picked it up looking for a light-hearted lark through the last few years of the golden era.
    Sure enough, it started out as a fun escape to Vegas ---bigger than life stars, booze, cigarettes, starlets and showgirls, high stakes gambling, glamour, impromptu comedy schticks and GREAT music--- but the story quickly grew darker: Mob money, organized crime, corrupt elections, plans to kill Castro, pimping, Kennedy's assassination, Marilyn Monroe's death, people getting beat up (or rubbed out) and multiple marriages and infidelities. The Rat Pack was squarely in the middle of it all. Whew! I feel like I need to take a shower to get the sleaze off of me. Frank, of course is confirmed as a gold-plated jerk. Sammy had real talent but, boy, did he suffer. Peter Lawford was used and abused by both the Kennedys and Sinatra... the only thing that keeps him from coming across as a complete loser was that he genuinely tried to help Marilyn Monroe and she called him one of the few nice guys in Hollywood. (Man, Lawford's mom was a certifiable nut case!) Joey Bishop was a mouse among Rats, but he also wrote a lot of their material when they were appearing almost nightly in Vegas. Dino is the only one who comes off as being half ways normal/admirable or at least charming. Anyway. Glad I read it, but it turned out to be a little more slimy than I expected. Ring a ding, ding!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  16. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,946
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I finished it last night. Such a charming, delightful story. I hope you enjoy it!
     
  17. DNO

    DNO One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,815
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    'Field Gray' by Philip Kerr. I'm a lifelong avid reader...don't know how many thousands I've read. Lately however I've developed a serious intolerance for books that can't hold my interest. A new failing on my part, I'm sure. I'm a quarter of the way through Kerr's book and I have yet to throw it down in disgust...that's a good thing.
     
    AmateisGal likes this.
  18. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,946
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Definitely NOT a failing on your part! :)Why waste your time on books that do not hold your interest? There are SO MANY books out there waiting to be discovered and read! If a book doesn't hold my interest after the first few chapters, I put it down and pick up a new one. I don't want to waste my valuable reading time on a book I don't like.
     
  19. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,815
    Location:
    The Swamp
    Until fairly recent times, I sort of felt that I was not "sticking it out" if I gave up on a book before the end. Now I don't worry about it. I bring home 5-6 volumes from my library, partly to provide backups if I don't like one or more of 'em.
     
    AmateisGal likes this.
  20. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,946
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I always get at least three novels from the library for the same reason. :)
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.