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Topic: April - What Are You Reading This Month?

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Subject: April - What Are You Reading This Month?
Date Posted: 4/1/2009 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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After finishing Martin Luther and a poor choice of a mystery as a break, I'm back among the medieval wanderers.

I hope that Barry Unsworth's Morality Play fulfills the theater/arts challenge although I may read something else later if I have time.  I'm definitely getting out of the middle ages with my next book though.

(Apologies to Shelley - I think we must have been posting at very close to the same time and I just now noticed that she had posted too.  I think it puts the time at when I start the message, not the actual post time (or is it the other way around?).  Sorry, Shelley!)



Last Edited on: 4/1/09 10:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/1/2009 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,390
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I finished Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell last night, and it was wonderful, just as one would expect a Cornwell novel to be.  Now I've started Legacy by Susan Kay, a highly recommended novel about Elizabeth I.

Linda

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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Last night I finished the Witch's Trinity by Erika Mailman and I really liked it, much better than the Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent IMO.  I also finished 3 Willows: the Sisterhood Grows by Anne Brashares.  My hubby was out here playing a stupid computer game  w/ a friend from NY and talking to his friend so loudly on the phone that he kept me up til 2 am so lots of reading time yesterday.

I just picked up The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak so I will be starting that one shortly.

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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I'm getting ready to start The Swan Maiden by Jules Watson

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,452
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I have temporarily left the world of H/F for a bit of fantasy.  I just finished Runes of the Earth by Stephen Donaldson.  This is a continuation of his Thomas Covenant series that ended many years ago.  The story and writing are wonderful but unless you had read the previous 6 books I wouldn't recommend the new books as you would be totally lost.  For Thomas Covenant fans though it seems as if we never left the Land.

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I really liked The Book Thief, enjoy.

Cheryl, my Dh likes that series.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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No worries, Diana!  Yep, it looks like we were posting at the same time.  Maybe someone will delete the thread I started, and we'll just use this one. 

I finished Memoirs of Cleopatra yesterday and started The Book of Abraham.  I'm about 100 pages into it, and I'm sorry, I'm just not getting into it at all. I might have to bail on it.  Too many similar names, too much just floating from generation to generation.  I'll sit on it for awhile and see how others who are reading it for April's BOM like it.  If they say it improves, I may give it another chance.  Otherwise, I'm going to start The Lady and The Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier today, which will be for H/F Challenge No. 7 (patron of the arts).  I'm kind of in the mood for a quicker read as the last two books I've read have been very long!  LOL! 

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 8:20 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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I'm still here, ladies.....

I finally finished slogging through Life Mask by Emma Donoghue (ick--see my posts in HF Challenge #9 thread, cannot remember hating a book that much for a very loooong time), and then enjoyed Pravda by Edward Docx (my HF #1)....have just begun I, Mona Lisa as my HF #7. I been reading-time challenged so far this year but I'm at least trying to pop on occasionally and get my challenge reading accomplished.

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2005
Posts: 66
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I am rereading Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher.  This is one of my favorite books.  Set in England durning WWll.

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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Hi Colleen!  Glad to see you're still here.

I throw tantrums and stomp around when I hate books.  It's not pretty.

Right now Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore is getting 50 pages and done.  It's not as stupid as it sounded but I don't think it's my thing either.  A lot of people certainly seemed to love it.

I wish they'd say if there were discussion questions in the back, BTW.  I happened to find the ones in Morality Play by accident because I was checking the # of pages.  I never know what to do with the questions (I'm supposed to think about that?) but there was also a bit of info on the time period.

Date Posted: 4/4/2009 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2005
Posts: 205
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I am reading Treason by Meredith Whitford. Its about the War of the Roses, told by a fictional cousin of Richard III. I am enjoying so far.

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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Right now I'm reading Dissolution by C. J. Sansom--a mystery that takes place in the Tudor era. It's fantastic.

Mimi, I've had that Peace To End All Peace book on my shelf for years--I really need to read it!

Diana, the plot of Morality Play sounded so familiar to me when I looked it up just now--have you seen the movie "The Reckoning" with Paul Bettany? I knew it must be based on the book, and it is.



Last Edited on: 4/5/09 1:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/5/2009 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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I thought I would try re-reading Wuthering Heights. I read it 20-or-so years ago for high school English. I'm going slowly and getting used to the language.

For a break, I'm planning to pick up Gossamer by Lois Lowry (YA fantasy).

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,390
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I've just barely started City of Darkness, City of Light, by Marge Piercy to satisfy my "Revolution" challenge (French Revolution). Linda read it last year and enjoyed is, so I'm sure I will as well. :-D

Kelly

 

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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I forget the name but as a break from the 14th century, I picked up one of Cyril Hare's mysteries.  I always have to adjust a bit since these are so old.  An acquaintance offered to get the main character's wife a pair of stockings if he knew her size and I was thinking "pervert?" and then I remember England WWII, rationing :-).

Janelle,

No, I haven't seen "The Reckoning."  I had no idea there was a movie based on this book - or questions in the back - or a study guide for it.  Those things scare me, LOL. 

ETA:  I looked up the movie and some of the reviews.  I was really surprised to see some of them call it a "thriller."  Well, hardly.



Last Edited on: 4/5/09 8:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/5/2009 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I finished The Lady & The Unicorn last night (which fulfilled my "patron of the arts" HF challenge), and I absolutely loved it!  What a wonderful book.  I started Mistress of the Art of Death today, which I plan to use for my "new to you" author HF challenge. 

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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I finished The Book Thief (really good book) and Girl with a Pearl Earring (really good too) and now I am taking my second stab at The Favored Child by Philippa Gregory.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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Began Meadowland by Thomas Holt, about the Viking discovery of America.  This is for one of the challenges and is a welcome relief so far.

Of course "so far" isn't very far yet.

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,390
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I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm reading City of Darkness, City of Light, by Marge Piercy. I am enjoying it very much and will comment more after I have finished it.

But what I really want to mention is two books I read last week - 84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff. These are delightful books and are meant to be read and meant to be shared.

Linda read these two books in February & I've reprinted her comments below. I endorse them and agree whole-heartedly! My only other recommendation is that one should either see the movie first (I know, a rare situation) or at least get Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins pictured in one's mind for the leading characters, because I'm convinced that they must be as close to the real people as one could get!

Mom's earlier review & comments:

Although not historical fiction, I have to tell you about a couple of very short, but very satisfying books that I just finished.  Several months ago I watched the movie,  84 Charing Cross Road, with Anne Bancroft and Sir Anthony Hopkins.  After seeing this entertaining movie, I read the book about an American writer in NY and a London dealer of used books who exchange letters over a 20-year span as the writer, Helene Hanff requests obscure editions of English literature and the dealer searches for them for her.  Over the course of the years the writer gets to know the staff at the shop, as well as the dealer's wife and daughter, and sends them gifts of such things as tinned meat, and dried eggs which are hard to get in post-war London. As the book 84, Charing Cross Road ends, the dealer has died, and Ms. Hanff gets permission from his family to publish the correspondence in the form of a book.

The book is an immediate success, publication rights are picked up by an English Publisher, and Ms. Hanff finally has the opportunity to visit London on a promotion tour.  This visit is a lifelong wish, a friend tell hers to keep a diary, and that diary becomes the book The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, one of the most delightful books I've ever read.

Anybody who loves reading, loves writers, loves people in general, and is fascinated by all things English should read this book.  It's one of those books where you notice a sentence or a description and think "I should make a note of this so I can share it with someone."  About half way through the book I started putting little sticky markers here and there; and soon I noticed I had as many as three on a page - it's that thought-provoking.  I laughed out loud, I cried, I read passages over and over just to relish the written word. 

In writing about her visit to the Roosevelt Memorial near Grosvenor Square she commented that following his death, the English government decided to raise money for a memorial by public subscription, but limited the individual contribution to one shilling so everyone could subscribe, and they said the subscription would be kept open as long as necessary to raise the needed money.  The subscription closed in seventy-two hours.  How neat!!! 

Hanff says that story moved her more than the Memorial did.  Her criticism of the Memorial is that the statue is of FDR standing.  She says, "I resent a staue of FDR standing, on legs that were shriveled and useless throughout his White House life.  You can't take the measure of Roosevelt if you ignore the fact that his immense achievements were those of a man paralyzed from the waist down.  I'd carve him sitting. Anything else belittles the gallantry and humor in that indomitable face.  Since the gallantry and humor are missing from the statue's face I don't suppose it matters.  It's nice to know so many Englishmen loved him anyway."

Duchess of Bloomsbury Street is 137 pages long. Reading it was very rewarding, great fun & the book is one to treasure and share! My highest recommendation!

Kelly



Last Edited on: 4/7/09 11:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/10/2009 2:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I made it through The Book of Abraham (and I'm very proud of myself for sticking with it, which was not easy!!).  Now I've moved onto my non-fiction book for the HF Challenge: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King.  I want to get this one in before I leave for Italy in May, since we're going to the Vatican.

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Michelle - Congrats to you for sticking with TBOA!  My hat is off to you. I couldn't do it.  I'm off to see if you posted comments on it. 

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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After quite a break from HF I'm now reading The Mistress of the Revolution.   It will be my first book for the challenge.  I'm getting a late start.

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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I just started Secrets of the Tudor Court:  The Pleasure Palace by KaterEmerson.

Date Posted: 4/11/2009 11:12 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,390
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I just finished The Dark Rose, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles - book 2 of the Morland Dynasty.  Enjoyed it very much, just as I enjoyed the first book of the series.  This one is set during the time of Henry VIII.  Several people have recommended this series and I'm grateful to each and every one.  Now I'm looking forward to book 3, en route via swap.

Linda

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