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Topic: It's June, what are we reading?

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Subject: It's June, what are we reading?
Date Posted: 6/1/2010 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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I started Quo Vadis this weekend for my Classics challenge.  Didn't get very far and probably won't for a few weeks.  Too busy.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I am  going to read , for the letter Z     Zorro  by Isabel Allende

 



Last Edited on: 6/1/10 10:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/1/2010 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,955
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Finished Boneshaker by Cherie Priest for the fantasy read, and The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory just for fun.  I quite liked it.  It's told from the viewpoint of a girl turning into a woman who has occasional visions that Queen Mary and Princess Elizabeth find useful.  Somehow she falls in love with all of these royal characters recognizing and appreciating their differences.  She becomes unwittingly involved in many of the political plots of the court and grows into a beautiful young woman who finds a love of of her own but is too immature to accept it for what it is.  The story continues and is a nice change from dwelling completely on royalty.  Finally finished Wicked by Gregory Macguire and am halfway through another Chadwick novel from Letty, A Place Beyond Courage.  This one is flowing well.  Sometimes I almost think I'm reading about William Marshall again.  Finally finished Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (introduction is a third of the book)  for the classics challenge.  All in all the introduction was the most difficult part of the book but it was well worth reading.  Ordered The Zookeeper's Wife and four new fantasy books.  Just finished Ariana Franklin's City of Shadows.  She does a very nice job with historical mysteries.   I liked the book but was disappointed when she decided part of the ending should be like so many authors have chosen prior to writing this one.  The characters are wonderful and have great depth, realistic and exciting experiences.  How stressful it must have been to live in pre-Hitler German and all that chaos.  Nevertheless, I liked this one, too.  Done with Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn.   Lady Julia Grey is such a fun character while I thought that this was the final book in the series, I discovered that there is a fourth book.  Hooray!   Finished Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks.  Took awhile to get a copy but was it ever worth the wait.  I rarely give a book 5 stars but I gave them to this one.  I couldn't put it down for the last 100 pages.  It's an outstanding read!  Took time to read Midwives by Chris Bohjalian.  I didn't think it stood up to the reviews I read.  While it was a decent read and told from the viewpoint of the 14-year-old daughter, Connie, Sybil Danforth is the key midwife involved.  I'd give it 3 stars at most.  Also read Sabriel by Garth Nix, recommended by my 11-year-old daughter for my YA fantasy read.  A very good story and, of course, she wants me to read the sequel so I came home with another book!  Thirteen at Dinner by Agatha Christie was a good little read and at long last I'm reading The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo.  In addition, I've begun I, Claudis by Robert Graves and finished a mystery by Sarah Dunant, Under My Skin, which was a good read. 



Last Edited on: 6/22/10 8:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 10
Date Posted: 6/1/2010 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 482
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I'll be finishing up De Niro's Game soon.  I'll be offering it up to all of you as an unpostable (it is WL'ed) - long after I received it I noticed two burn marks in the very back of the book on the spine - no pages are affected but I wouldn't feel comfortable posting it.  I'm not quite finished yet but I definitely recommend it, especially if you have an interest in the Lebanese Civil War of the 80s.  A really interesting take.  Let me know if you want it.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Got a good start on Outlander this weekend.  Yes, I have finally plunged into the world of Jamie & Claire!

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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I stayed up late last night to finish Claude and Camille (by Stephanie Cowell). Good book, and I'd recommend it. I knew very little about Monet and was fascinated by this story- his passionate love for his wife, the Impressionist movement that he and friends created, his artistic struggles. I loved reading about his friendships with Renoir, Bazille, Cezanne, Degas, Pissaro, and Manet. The way they supported each other, both emotionally and financially, was inspiring.

 However, apparently I'm more practical than I realized b/c there were several times I wanted to grab Monet by the ruffled shirt and say, "DUDE! Your wife and child are starving! You keep getting kicked out of apartments and your creditors are after you. Stop begging your dad and your friends for money. Man up and get a JOB, you lazy bum!" But of course he was an artistic genius...he couldn't degrade himself by working in his dad's shop or, horror or all horrors, in a BANK! lol

Anyway, a good read overall. I'll continue to seek out books by Cowell.

On to Rebecca Ryman's Oliva and Jai, which has been on my TBR entirely too long!

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I started Dickens' Great Expectations this morning. I am pretty sure the only Dickens I've read is A Christmas Carol, so I'm looking forward to it. So far, very good. 

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,469
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I started Devil's Hunt by P C Doherty - another Hugh Corbett HF mystery - I love this series!

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,495
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I really meant to pick up and read Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn for my mini H/F mystery challenge, but gosh darn it, that Justin de Quincy got in the way.  So...I'm reading Cruel as the Grave by Sharon Kay Penman instead.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I just finished Kindred by Octavia Butler. 

"Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back again and again for Rufus, yet each time the stay grows longer and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana"s life will end, long before it has even begun."

Very thought provoking

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,892
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I started Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides last night. 

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 4:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,715
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Cheryl...enjoy Justin!  *Sigh*

I'm reading "Outlaws of Sherwood" by Robin McKinley.  It's billed as YA, but I'm enjoying it so far.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/28/2005
Posts: 226
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I am reading Innocent Traitor about Lady Jane Grey.  Even though I know what's going to happen, I can't put it down.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Arika, I loooooved Olivia and Jai. Just you try and guess the book twist around page 250. Just you try.

About halfway through Confessions of Catherine de Medici.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2008
Posts: 741
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Just finished Paint The Wind by Cathy Cash Spellman.  Takes place mainly in Colorado after Civil War and has a little bit of everything from Indians, silver mining, romance - an absolutely fantastic read.  Don't let this one pass you by if you like reading about the West in this time frame. 

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Oh, I loved Paint the Wind. Haven't had much luck with her other books but this one is a real winner.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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I just finished reading, and was terribly disappointed, by Susan Higginbotham's The Stolen Crown.  I've read her earlier two books, enjoyed The Traitor's Wife, was luke-warm re. Hugh and Bess, but was basically looking forward to reading this novel.  The earlier part of the story, told  from the POV of Kate (Woodville) and Harry (Duke of Buckingham),  was a pleasant and entertaining, fairly light romance while they were young at the court of Edward IV.  But, just over half-way through the book I was tempted to quit, when the king died, and the author's blatant bias and prejudice against Richard III took center stage.

Linda

Date Posted: 6/2/2010 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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Reading a classic bodice ripper, The Kadin by Bertrice Small. It's very tame sex-wise (certainly not the case with Small's other books!), but soaked in detail about the social structure and intrigue in the harem world and the sultans and princes that is their focus. Very interesting!

Date Posted: 6/2/2010 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,469
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Thanks so much for that good review, on The Stolen Crown, Linda. As Deb would say, it helps to eliminate books from our WLs!!wink

Date Posted: 6/2/2010 11:09 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Yep -- guess I can take that off my WL -- thanks, Linda!

Just finished Laurie King's The God of the Hive, her just-released installment in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series (set in the early 20th c). This book is the follow-up to her 2009 The Language of Bees which, after more than 400 pages and much to my irritation, ended with the words "to be continued." But, given that this is one of my favorite authors and series, my forgiving nature kicked in. As is often the case with series, later books don't necessarily measure up to earlier ones. Still, I liked both these books -- but the tenor has changed. The earlier books focus much more on the relationship between Russell and Holmes and include delightful and witty bantering and repartee. These last two books in particular focus much less on the relationship than on the plot -- which is twisty and filled with more adventure and thrills than with their partnership and deductive mystery-solving. For those who like this genre, I recommend these books. Of course, I would read them in order, starting with The Beekeeper's Apprentice -- but it is possible to read just these two.



Last Edited on: 6/2/10 1:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/2/2010 11:10 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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misfit- of course I'm totally intrigued about Olivia and Jai now! I could hardly put it down last night, and ended up reading until 2am, which I'll pay for today....lol.

Date Posted: 6/2/2010 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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Jeanne,

A little side note ... after Linda read SKP's Sunne in Splendour, she did quite a bit of additional research, read several more books re: R-III and, while not an apologist for him, is completely convinced that he did not murder his nephews and then spirit their bodies away under a cloak of secrecy. She actually gets quite militant adamant about it and will engage in a spirited conversation with anyone who persists in believing Shakespeare's caricature of the King. So, not surprisingly, her family is quite familiar with her position!

Jennifer - my daughter - actually read The Stolen Crown before her grandmother did and after she finished, Jenn called me & the first words out of her mouth were that "Grandma should probably not read this book, Mom; I think it will make her mad." Then Jennifer & I had quite the discussion & Q&A about the princes - who, why, how, when - conversations we have all had in some forum or another.

I wonder where the truth actually lies & if anyone will ever definitively figure it out ...

Kelly

Date Posted: 6/2/2010 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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I wonder where the truth actually lies & if anyone will ever definitively figure it out ...

This is why the brainiacs needs to seriously get cracking on time travel. Although, imagine how HF would look if we had people going back in time and messing around with stuff (deliberately or inadvertently). The mind boggles.

Date Posted: 6/2/2010 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2010
Posts: 153
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I finished A Plague of Sinners by Paul Lawrence.  I enjoyed the historical detail and his wit (at least in the first half), but couldn't get into the mystery.  I didn't feel the need to solve the crime because, frankly, the main character didn't feel any urgency until the last 100 pages or so.  I got it from Goodreads and it looks like 2 other reviewers gave the book 5 stars, but I only gave it 3.  Hmm...  

I have the book on my shelf if anyone is interested in giving it a shot.  The history part (about the plague) was very interesting.

Date Posted: 6/2/2010 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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Linda,

I'm sorry you didn't like The Stolen Crown - I read it a few months ago and enjoyed it.  I'm not convinced Richard did it either but I"m OK with bias in fiction (just not non-fiction so much) and I think Higginbotham is a good storyteller.

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