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Topic: March - What Are You Reading This Month?

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Subject: March - What Are You Reading This Month?
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 8:25 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Since I'm up early today, I'll start us out.  I'm currently reading Grania, March's BOM.  I'm only about 70 pages into it, but so far I'm enjoying it.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,481
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I'm back from vacation and got lots of good beach time reading in last week.  I read two more in the "Ladies Detective Agency" series by Alexander McCall Smith, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies  and Blue Shoes and Happiness.  Both were delightful as usual from this author.  I also read a freebie that I had gotten from a PBS member, The Squire's Tale by Margaret Frazer.  It was another detective series written about a nun in the 1400s, Dame Frevisse.  It was okay, but probably nothing I will continue with.  I am picking away at Alsion Weir's new book about Katherine Swynford and I have also started an intriguing fairytale called The Wild Swans by Peg Kerr. It combines the Hans Christian Anderssen story with a more modern era tale .  The author is from MInnesota, by the way, Shelley.  I just realized that sometime this month I have to start the BOM as well.  Oh, well, back to work and reality tomorrow.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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I started the Treasure of Montsegur this morning.  It's about the Cathars.

Cheryl, I love the Ladies Detective Agency books.  I've read three and enjoyed all of them.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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I'm reading Time and Again by Jack Finney so i can send it back to Booksfree and hopefully get my biography for the mini-challenge.  I'm really enjoying this story about time travel back to New York in 1892, complete with sketches and photos.  The descriptions are wonderful.

I should be starting my Sister Fidela (Peter Tremayne) book, Badger's Moon soon too.

Melody,

I ordered a book set in the period with the Cathars too - The Last Troubadour: Song of Montsegur.  I've had it on my list and decided it wasn't apt to show up.  I have an interest in books that integrate the tarot, although they are usually disappointing in that regard.  I attempted to use the tarot to choose my biography for the challenge. 

I was having a hard time because people I admired didn't have good biographies and some people that I thought would be interesting didn't exactly fit the "admire" requirement.   I was just sitting doing nothing and thought a spread might suggest someone.  I am either a bad reader or out of practice because I didn't do very well with it.  I finally went with Martin Luther.  Just for fun, I looked at the that spread again and those cards fit him very well :)  The Major is spot on.  It may be because I haven't read for so long.  It was a reminder that they need not be used for "doom and gloom" :-)

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I finished up Grania last night, and plan to start my Mini-Challenge book, Isabella: Queen Without a Conscience by Rachel Bard tonight.  I really enjoyed Grania and am looking forward to the discussion.

 

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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I'm reading The Master of Verona by David Blixt - a little bit out of my normal, but I've heard really good things about it.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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Diana, this is my first book on the Cathars. I vaguely remember some dates from European history.  It's fascinating though.  The lead character in this story has healing powers and belief that she has a direct link to God.  She has been accused of being a witch.  I do not know if these are basic Cathar kinds of things since I don't really know anything about them.  It is an interesting read though.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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Melody,

The Wikipedia article on Catharism is interesting.  They were a Gnostic sect at odds with the RC Church.  I'll wait for my book to see how it handles the concepts.  If I read too much now, I'll just forget it all anyway :)

Oh, I hope they do something interesting with the tarot.  There are some great historical decks.  There were the Italian ones but then there were the ones from France and Belgium, some of which did not title the cards "Pope" and "Popesse" like the Italian cards.  If this deck uses a RWS-type (ca. 1909) deck, I will stomp on it, lol.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I finished up Grania over the weekend, and am working on The Three Musketeers - after seeing Slumdog Millionaire, I'd remembered I'd not read it. It reads really quickly and is quite good.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,481
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I just read Destiny of Fire by Zoe Oldenbourg last month which was also about the Cathars- fascinating book about a subject I know very little.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I decided to change my Mini-Challenge book last night, and am now starting to read Harriet and Isabella by Patricia O'Brien.  It's about Harriet Beecher Stowe (the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin) and her sister, who were publically divided on their support of Harriet's husband when he was on trial for adultery.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2005
Posts: 205
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I am reading The Virgin Queen's Daughter by Ella March Chase. This is the first Tudor book I've read in quite awhile since I was kinda Tudored but I am enjoying this one. Before this I read Immortal by Traci L Slatton and well this book was different. I'm not really sure if I liked it or not!

 

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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Diana, thanks for pointing out the Wikipedia stuff on the Cathars.  In reading it, there seems to be some Eastern religious influence in their beliefs.  Someone can correct me, but didn't the Cathars believe they descended from Jesus (or do I have them mixed up with another group)?  It's fun to pick up a book about something that is new to me.

Subject: Books
Date Posted: 3/3/2009 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2007
Posts: 195
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Shelly ,

     Right now I'am reading . "The Shack " its a pretty good book so far . My daughter loaned it to me . And she has so many more friends that want to read it that I will not be able to post it .

 

                                        Dolores H.

Take a look at my bookshelf . All books mailed within 2 days !

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Michelle, let us know what you think about Harriet & Isabella. I read her last book, The Glory Cloak, and really enjoyed it. I didn't even know she had another book out.

Diana - Is "The Last Troubadour" by Derek Armstrong? I had the Armstrong book on my WL for ages, but I removed it because the line never, ever moved. It sounds good. I read the Oldenbourg book that Cheryl read and loved it. It made me want to learn more about the Cathars so I got a non-fiction book, The Perfect Heresy: The Revolutionary Life and Death of the Medieval Cathars by Stephen O'Shea. I haven't read it yet, but it had pretty good reviews at AZN. Let me know about "The Last Troubadour, please!



Last Edited on: 3/4/09 11:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/4/2009 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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Diana, I love Time and Again! It's one of my all time favorites---a very sweet book.

 

I've not had much time, but have had some flying time (unfortunately, a lot of it was overnight when sleeping is the goal so as to be able to walk off the plane at 7am local time and into a business meeting...  :( ) where I could read....and I'm working on my 09 HF Challenge books--Life Mask by Emma Donoghue. I forget which # it is for me--headless lady on cover, I think--but I am having a really hard time with it. The book is silly and foppish--which I think is exactly the tone of the era it is written about and so most likely done by the author to make the point...but it is just awful so far. And I rarely say that. So, it's going slowly.

Date Posted: 3/5/2009 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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Just finished Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King.  Loved it!!

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 12:03 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I just finished Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier.  Loved it!  It was beautifully written.   Here's a link to my review: http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780739340462-Thirteen+Moons+A+Novel

 

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 1:43 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 924
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I picked up and read Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict a couple of days ago. It was a fun little read that I was able to finish in one evening/early morning. :)

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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Just started The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd.

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Lynne, your review of "Thirteen Moons" was great! I really loved "Cold Mountain", and I have a copy of 13 Moons, but I haven't picked it up to read for some reason. I'm glad you posted and reminded me of it because I'd really like to read it. ;-)

"Time and Again" is the book I'd consider the absolute best of all historical time travel books. I'd recommend it to everyone, even those who don't usually care for time travel books. Also, the sequel "From Time to Time" was so well done. I usually find that sequels are not ever quite as good as the original book, but this one was pretty close to being just as good or maybe better. Both books are great! Try them out!

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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I finished Time and Again.  The descriptions of  NYC in 1882 were wonderful.  It was mind-boggling to imagine alll the horse-drawn traffic.  Perhaps I only imagine it, but I think my grandmother might have mentioned horse-drawn sleighs and it always sounded so neat to me.  There's a very vivid description of New York after a snow in this book and it still sounds neat.

I'm glad you found the article on the Cathars useful, Melody.  I didn't know anything about them but now that my book arrived, I did a little more reading and I didn't find any mention that they thought they were descended from Jesus.

Valli, it is the Armstrong book.  I looked over my wishlist and decided that one wasn't likely to show and bought it.  It looks like an easy read but I hope it's fun.  It has pictures :) 

I looked at the reviews on both books and I suppose the Burnham is more literary but it's not exactly my kind of book.  From the reviews, I gathered that neither was a particularly good historical account but there didn't seem to be a better alternative.  I'm not sure why Armstrong decided to incorporate tarot but I hope it works out all right.  The deck shown is one of the Visconti (Italian) decks which are the earliest known ones, but they are about 2 centuries later.  Armstrong says that he made up the tarot part so that's good.  The Visconti tarots must have been beautiful cards when they were new.  They were handpainted and decorated with gold and silver.  The reproduction deck pictured shows the tack holes (there is no complete deck existing so if you have one of those cards around....).

One of the reviews said the characters were broad but if they are based on the tarot majors, they are archetypes so perhaps that explains it.

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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I finished The Winter King two days ago, and immediately started Book 2 of this Warlord trilogy by Bernard Cornwell.  Cornwell is a favorite author, and at first I didn't think these books were as good as the others I'd read.  But with Enemy of God, it just gets better and better.  I'm really into the Arthurian legends now, and wanting more.  Will start Excalibur now.

Linda

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Linda - Aaaackk!  More Cornwell "must reads" for me? Must you tempt me?  LOL!  Having completed the Saxon Chronicles,  then A Crowning Mercy, and recently Agincourt,  I still have Stonehenge and the Grail Quest Trilogy books on my bookshelf begging me to read them.  Sigh.  Curse Bernard for being so prolific.  I'm not even going to think about the Sharpe books! 

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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I finished the Treasure of Montsegur by Sophy Burnham today.  What a wonderful book!  I didn't know much about the Cathar or their battles with Catholics in France.  It was a really well told story.  Very well written.

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