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Topic: It's July! What are you reading?

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Subject: It's July! What are you reading?
Date Posted: 7/1/2008 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,446
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I guess I'll start off this month.  I just finished  a really interesting biography about Mary Stuart by John Guy, Queen of Scots.  I've been working away at this one for a while.  I hadn't read much about her for a number of years, maybe since the Antonia Fraser bio came out.  I was interested to learn or remember the extent of William Cecil's machinations in the course of her life and ultimately her death.  The author presented her life in a more rounded fashion; less schemeing siren or political innocent than she has been previously written about.

 

I'm also reading our BOM and I have started a fantasy The Name of the Wind that looks great so far.

 

I've finished The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.  What a beautifully written book!   Hey Jennifer if you see this, what bothered you about it?  All I can think of is that the book is finished but the story obviously is not done and I have to wait for another book to come out!  I am enjoying our BOM and I am trying not to read too far ahead so I think I will start  on The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith next.

 

 



Last Edited on: 7/8/08 2:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/1/2008 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2007
Posts: 782
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Cheryl, I read The Name of the Wind a few months ago and really liked it. It has a great storyline, although there was one thing about it that annoyed me. I wont say anything else until after you have finished it.

Date Posted: 7/1/2008 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Thanks for launching the thread, Cheryl. You may be interested to know that John Guy's wife is Julia Fox, the author of Jane Boleyn. It's just an interesting bit of trivia I picked up when I read her bio at the end of the book.

I'm reading 2 books - The Last Kingdom (2nd time around) and The God of Spring by Arabella Edge. The first is, of course, the book of the month. The second is about Theodore Gericault, the artist of the magnificient, The Raft of the Medusa.

Genie

Date Posted: 7/1/2008 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,446
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Was Jane Boleyn George's wife?  Thanks for the tie-in information.  I find that painting fascinating.  I had no idea there was a book about it.

Date Posted: 7/1/2008 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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Who wrote The Name of the Wind?

Date Posted: 7/1/2008 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2007
Posts: 782
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The Name of the Wind is written by Patrick Rothfuss.

Date Posted: 7/1/2008 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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Thank you Jennifer.Again you have been a big help.

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 6:49 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2005
Posts: 456
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Cheryl - yes, Jane Boleyn was George Boleyn's wife.  Or, if you prefer, Anne's sister-in-law.   I have the Julia Fox book on reserve at the library.

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I'm participating in the July BOM so I'm reading The Last Kingdom.  I'm also going to be starting a second book to read at the same time (don't want to get ahead of the weekly assigned reading).  I'm thinking something non-fiction so as not to confuse me!  LOL!  I'm leaning towards The Yoga of Jesus by Paramahansa Yogananda as I've had it on my TBR pile for a long time, and I'm a big fan of his writings. 

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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I just finished Fingersmith by Sarah Waters--what a great read! It's the story of a young small-time thief in Victorian London and a plot to fleece some wealthy folks she gets caught up in---great period detail and dialogue, excellent and unpredictable plot twists--I happened to pick it up at a used book store because the book cover description was intriguing and then learned that she was also the author of Tipping the Velvet, which is on my WL. Great and unusual historica fiction, I highly recommend it. It reminds me of As Meat Loves Salt--not at all the same period or story, but in the way it deals with an unusual subject in history, told from an unusual point of view.

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Genie, I got The God of Spring a few weeks ago and I'm dying to read it. Let me know what you think of it! And, if you haven't read Alexander McKee's N/F book The Wreck of the Medusa: The Tragic Story of the Death Raft, you really should give it a try. It made it easy to understand how Gericault could have become so obsessed with the story. McKee's book also has some of Gericault's preliminary sketches for the painting, and it was interesting to see his progression and what he ended up leaving out of the painting. Really, it's a page turner of a book that anyone would find hard to resist. Unless, of course, you have something against madness, murder, and cannibalism. ;-)

Colleen, I loved Fingersmith! I've only read two of her other books, but it's the best of the three by far. I haven't read As Meat Loves Salt yet, but I think I should move it to the top of the TBR soon.

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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LOL, Valli, as long as there aren't any cows! ;-) Actually, I think it would be a fascinating read. I think Edge is doing a good job (I'm about 100 pages in to this 300+ page book) of explaining the times and Gericault's state of mind when he learned about the shipwreck.

The only thing I'm fuzzy on is the time period of the French Revolution. (I haven't had time to do any research.) The book opens in 1818. Isn't that about the right time period. If so, I'm not picking up any background information. I suspect the whole upheaval must have played a role in the shipwreck and Gericault's desire to resurrect it through the painting.

I'm waiting very impatiently for one of yous guys to put As Meat Loves Salt up. It looks like a fascinating read.

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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LOL, No cows, promise! The French Revolution took place in the last years of the 1700's (1789-1799), so it shouldn't play a part in this book.  How old was Gericault at the time he painted The Wreck of the Medusa? I was thinking he was pretty young. I really can't remember now, but if he was very young, he may not have been too personally influenced by the revolution. I know that Gericault died at the age of 32 and the painting didn't sell for a good many years, so I think he had to have been pretty young when he painted it. I need to check his age at the time of the painting because not remembering those kinds of things bugs me!

Yesterday, I found that there has been a more recent N/F book written by Jonathan Miles about the wreck of the Medusa, so it may be a better source than McKee's book. It sounds like he included more about the politics of the time and the painting than McKee did in his book. I definitely want to read this one too.

I'm so glad to hear that you are enjoying the book! You might want to try her book, The Company, too. It's based on Jeronimus Cornelisz who was fleeing Amsterdam after his views on sorcery were judged as heretic. This one has a shipwreck and a gruesome story too. ;-) It was goooood.....

I'd post my copy of As Meat Loves Salt to you, Genie, but you know I have that smokin' hubby. :-/  I hope you get a copy soon because it really does sound like it would be a great story. I need to pull mine out and start reading! There are so many books that I want to read RIGHT NOW!

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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I have The Wreck of the Medusa: The Tragic Story of the Death Raft here to read and have put The God of Spring on my wishlist.

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Anne,

Would you be interested in trading when you're done with The Wreck? I'm currently reading The God of Spring.

Genie

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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Gene that is a good idea. I need to straighten by books while I am on vacation. I will look for The Wreak today or tomorrow and read it so we can trade.

 

 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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How old was Gericault at the time he painted The Wreck of the Medusa? I was thinking he was pretty young.

Thanks for the history lesson, Valli! According to the historical note in the back of God of Spring, Gericault died six years after painting The Raft of Medusa. So, yes, he was young. And you're right about the French Revolution not influencing him, per se. I guess I was looking for a feel for the times from the background information. But that would have made it a much longer book.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the style - French Romanticism - come as a kind of response to the French Revolution?

Genie

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 1,932
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I just finished The Star of Lancaster (Jean Plaidy's Plantagenet series #11) and am now reading You're Wearing That? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation. Then back to #12 in P-series, The Red Rose of Anjou

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 5:34 AM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2007
Posts: 782
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I started Immortal by Traci L. Slatton last night, and although I am only 50 pages in so far, I think it is going to be an excellent book.

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 7:06 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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Jen: Immortal sounds good.I just put it  on my wishlist.

 

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Somebody else said Immortal was real good a few weeks back. I put it on my WL then, but I may have to ILL it.

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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Reading The Amber Room by Steve Berry.  So far so good!

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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Finished Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey  by Alison Weir a couple of days ago.  Now I'm working on the BOM and Pillars of the Earth.  POE is due back at the library on the 19th.  I'm not so good at reading two books simultaneously so I may have to renew that one :)

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 8:25 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Genie, thanks for the details of Gericault's life. I couldn't remember! I'm sure he did grow up hearing about the French Rev, plus the older people in his life would have gone through it, and that surely would have had some affect on him. I'm not sure if French Romanticism came about because of the French Rev or not. Really, the only things I know about French art came from the few books I've read about French artists and those books were mostly fiction. I haven't been obsessed with French art yet, but maybe now is a good time for me to find some non-fiction about it. You've made me curious! I'd defiitely like to find a non-fiction book about Gericault.

Wasn't part of the outrage that the public directed toward the painting due to the style of the painting? Or, was it directed more towards the subject of the painting? I can't remember that either! I need to start reading The Gods of Spring and find out!

Date Posted: 7/10/2008 8:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I'm still reading the BOM, and I've also started The First Americans series by William Sarabande. I haven't read much Prehistoric fiction, and I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying this series. I read the entire first book in two days, and started the second book this morning.

I like the characters, but I really love watching them evolve in their way of thinking about their band and the environment around them. There's a lot of great info about how the Earth changed over this time too. It's much more interesting than I thought it would be. I read a couple of Aul's books back in high school, but I only remember the basic details, and I wonder how this series compares to the Aul books. It's pretty obvious that Sarabande must have done a huge amount of research.

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