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Topic: Reading for March!

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Subject: Reading for March!
Date Posted: 3/1/2012 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,878
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Finished Creatures of Accident by Wallace Arthur for Back to the garden:  a work having to do with gardens, the land or the environment.  It seems like an appropriate interpretation in light of all the attention on polar bears, seals and other endangered life.  ln addition, I finished The Tiger's Wife by Tia Obrecht.  When I finished this book, I realized that this read is not the one I expected.  Instead, it's a gentle read about memories, death, and the future.  Natalia loves her grandfather dearly.  He taught her so much about life and people that when he dies she begins to recall the many incidents that marked his life and hers.  She was the only one he told he was so ill to the distress of her grandmother.  He was her mentor so she, too, became a doctor.  One of the stories that is so memorable for the reader is that of the tiger's wife, a deaf-mute woman whose very existence evokes superstition among the village people.  The tiger is a thread that extends throughout the novel.  The other memorable story is that of the mora or deathless man whose encounters highlight her grandfather's life and whom, she, too, gets to meet.  If you expected an adventure tale skip this one but if you want one to read, muse about life and death and the tales therein this is a read for you.

And, I read The White Raven by Diana L. Paxson  for 2011 Redux: a work from your favorite category in the 2011 challenge (fantasy).  This is a romantic retelling the beautiful story of Tristan and Iseult for the contemporary challenge.  I cried as I read the last few pages.  It's enchanting.  The book could easily be used for historical fiction.  The author explains that Drustan and Marc'h lived as believed.  It appears that Drustan could have been Marc'h's son and  the author explains how this may be so.  Discovering a faint carving that was later addded to the Drustanius gravestone indicates that Eisseilt may well have existed as well.  And, because of the rules governing royal behavior at the time, Paxton explains why Branwen or someone like her may have helped the couple meet in spite of Eisseilt's marriage.  The author, who has been devoted to this romantic tale since college, details origin of the ballads, poems and stories told by Drustan and others.  Furthermore, she explains how the books parallels the political history of the time.  The research was considerable making the book even more fun.   

 



Last Edited on: 3/17/12 11:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 14
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 3/1/2012 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I have been enthralled by Nicholson Baker recently.  I like his style, but because it's usually an introverted first person perspective, I'm not sure how to fit the books into any category.  I am currently reading The Fermata, and I have Vox up next.  I also plan to read 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami soon, which is my choice for a translated work.

I did finish American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis last night...which I think I should be able to count for the "thou shalt not kill" category.

Date Posted: 3/8/2012 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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I just finished Secret Daughter , it was so good!

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 3/10/2012 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I am finishing up The Everlasting Story of Nory by Nicholson Baker for the "out of the mouths of babes" category.  It's not a YA book, but it's from a 9-year-old's point of view, and is very funny.  I suppose it's funnier because Baker is such a diverse writer, and the last book I read (The Fermata) is very sexual, and partly made up of purely pornographic scenes.

Date Posted: 3/10/2012 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,450
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Nothing right now, but a Henning Mankell is on the way to me.

Date Posted: 3/11/2012 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
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I did a search for books about gardens, and it came up with The Thirteenth Tale, and that is what I am currently reading.  While there are gardens in the book, I am not thinking this will qualify as a book meeting the criteria for the category.  It is a good book,though, with a couple of surprises I didn't see coming.  I have about 50 pages to go and will finish it today.  I'll be looking to see if it would fit another category.

Can't decide whether to do the murder mystery next or read A Beautiful Mind next.

Date Posted: 3/17/2012 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 244
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I'm also working on the "garden" category with Anthill

Date Posted: 3/17/2012 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I'm reading Leif Enger's Peace Like a River (for "the gang's all here" category): EXCELLENT.

 

                                                                                                       Rose

Date Posted: 3/25/2012 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2010
Posts: 143
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My March reading was devoted to working on  the Classics challenge as well as the Historical Fiction and Historical Fiction Mystery mini-challenge. I did read two really good novels in February for contemporary lit,  so I'll list them here (copy/pasting my reviews)

For the category Thou shalt not kill,  I read Benjamin Black. Death in Summer.

By day, he is John Banville, Man Booker prize-winning author of highly acclaimed works of literary fiction (The Sea, The Infinities). By night, or let us say “by noir” he goes by the name of Benjamin Black and is a best-selling author of the Dr. Quirke series of very dark mysteries set in Dublin in the 1950s and sixties, a Dublin that is “a faded little city with a past that felt far more immediate than its present.” If Ireland is, as Joyce famously said, the “old sow that eats her farrow” then mid-century Dublin is the epicenter of all of this nastiness leveled at her young – often young beautiful women living damaged, desperate, desolate lives. It’s all too much, and yet we can’t get enough of this, we keep coming back to witness and ponder over the haunted, the wounded, and the walking dead of Dublin, not least of whom is Dr. Quirke, who, as pathologist holding court in the basement of the Hospital of the Holy Family functions as,if not King of the Dead, then as Nemesis, agent of vengeance and retribution. 4.5 stars and I can’t wait for the next work in the series.

For the category The gang’s all here: a work about friends, family or community (including the workplace) I read Tom Rachman. The Imperfectionists.

This is the story of a once mighty and respected international English language newspaper headquartered in Rome (not surprisingly, Rachman once worked at the International Herald Tribune) that is now fighting for its life in a 21st century world of the Internet and an unfeeling and unresponsive corporate headquarters. Each chapter profiles one of the newsroom’s irrefutably but often lovably imperfect staffers – from ambitious, opportunistic Kathleen, editor-in-chief, down to Ruby, hired 20 years ago as an intern, who stayed on as a lowly, unappreciated, misunderstood copy editor. This is their story in all of its wry humor and messiness. Despite all, this assortment of loners and misfits share a common devotion to getting out the next day’s news. This is a novel about the ties that bind us in the workplace – ties that are often surprisingly and heart-wrenchingly strong. 3.5 stars

 

Date Posted: 4/4/2012 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
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Finished Thirteen Moons for the Gardens for the Back to the garden:  a work having to do with gardens, the land or the environment.  I thought it would be a perfect fit as it is historical fiction about the only white man to be Chief of the Cherokee Eastern nation, and he was instrumental in acquiring land for the tribe.  Terrible writing.  It was tough to get through it because most of the time I wanted to wall-bang it.  I only finished it because of the challenge.