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Topic: Tis the Season - December and what are you reading

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Subject: Tis the Season - December and what are you reading
Date Posted: 12/1/2011 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,294
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I thought that I would start this thread for the new month - ALREADY!

Right now I'm just finishing an Arthur Upfield mystery titled Death of a Lake. After that, I'm not sure. I'm itching to start a historical mystery but am saving them for the challenge since I still don't know which I will use for that........

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Reading The Summer of the Barshinskeys by Diane Pearson. Enjoying the writing a lot, although I'm still not sure where the story ends up except it's involved somehow with the Russian revolution.

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I am starting the Dressmaker by Kate Alcott,   From the back cover blurb;

Just in time for the centennial anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic comes a vivid, romantic, and relentlessly compelling historical novel about a spirited young woman who survives the disaster only to find herself embroiled in the media frenzy left in the wake of the tragedy.
 
Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes.
 
Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable actions during the tragedy. Others—including the gallant Midwestern tycoon—are not so lucky.
 
On dry land, rumors about the survivors begin to circulate, and Lady Duff Gordon quickly becomes the subject of media scorn and later, the hearings on the Titanic. Set against a historical tragedy but told from a completely fresh angle, The Dressmaker is an atmospheric delight filled with all the period's glitz and glamour, all the raw feelings of a national tragedy and all the contradictory emotions of young love.


 

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 11:12 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 747
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I'm halfway through The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell.

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Reading The Glory Cloak by Patricia O'Brien, a novel about Louisa May Alcott and Clara Barton, which was my pick for next week's Book Club. The problem is that I won two tickets from PBS for the D.C. screening of War Horse which is of course on the same night.  What to do?

ETA: Actually, I already invited someone to the screening (my husband will be out of town) -- so there really isn't a dilemma. I just feel bad -- I almost never miss book club -- especially when I've picked the book. They'll just have to muddle through without me.



Last Edited on: 12/1/11 11:42 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/1/2011 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,393
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We would question your sanity if you had made any other choice other than the one you did, Deb. 

And, surely your book club crew will understand?

Also, how are you enjoying Glory Cloak? Linda has read it, and it now sits on my book shelf waiting patiently for me. I actually had it in my hand a few books back, but opted for something else instead ...

Kelly

 

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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I'm reading The Year the Swallows Came Early - Kathryn Fitzmaurice

One if my DD's Battle of the Books. I like to read as many as I can fit in so we can discuss.

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,099
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Happy Thursday everyone --- and Happy December (cannot believe it is here)!!!!

Still working on two Mystery/Thrillers right now.  "Pick a Number" by John Verdon and "The Lock Artist" by Steve Hamilton and thus far I heartily recommend both of them if any of you are ever in the mood for a thriller rather than history.

 

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2008
Posts: 267
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I have been reading Jillian Dare which is a retelling of Jane Eyre. It's a nice story, but it loses something in a modern setting. It doesn't help that I already know what's going to happen. After that, I'm probably going to read some fluffy Christmas novels. And that will bring my reading year to a close.

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
Posts: 9,495
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I'm reading an Urban Fantasy novel....Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep.  This year I introduced myself to two new genres.  Historical Fiction and Urban Fantasy/Paranormal/Dystopian....etc.  LOVE THEM!!!

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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I FINALLY finished Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky last night after reading it sporadically for 3 weeks.  Darn kidney stone (which has thankfully passed) threw everything off and now there is a good chance I won't be able to finish the 2011 challenge since I usually read 6 books in the time it took me to read that one.  crying

I am starting The Hypnotist by MJ Rose tonight.

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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Carolyn R, are you listening? How about Shelley?

I just finished The Last Kingdom, loved it, and last night started The Pale Horseman. It appears I am an Uhtred fan!

 

But, I chose another Bernard Cornwell for my New to You Challenge book, and I didn't care for that one. So, it must be Uhtred.  Do you think maybe he looks a little like a blond Jamie Fraser?enlightened

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Colleen, In my mind he is a blond Jamie Fraser.

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,877
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WHOOPEE!!!  Finished the HF challenge with Stephen Lawhead's novels  - Taliesin - a good read that I enjoyed, Merlin, a wonderful read, and Arthur which I enjoyed as well but I liked Merlin better.  Read The Last Child to complete the mystery challenge.  Read eleven of thirteen books for the classics challenge.  My last book was Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin, a novel written in free verse, which I thought would be a chore but it was fun.   Done with the contemporary challenge (The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, a wonderful, wonderful book - 5 stars).  My GR challenges are complete, the last of which was A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess for a gr group read which I used for a pbs YA read as well.   Keep getting sidetracked by other books.  As I work on the Lawhead series, I found myself reading 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization by Sam Stall, a quick fun little read about cats, many of whose masters were historical figures of our past and got involved in The Lord of the Rings which I had never read..  

Taliesin:  A good read but not as well done as some of his other work.  The tale of Taliesin reads smoothly and his wife, Charis, is very interesting.  The sections about Charis were more intriguing.  She dealt with her mother's death, her life in the bullring, her love for her family and estrangement from her father, and finally, her life with Taliesin.  Lawhead's characterization of this strong, independent woman is so well done.  The book ends on a note that leads you directly into the next in the series - Merlin,. which was fun indeed.  Merlin tells his own story in this novel, the second in the Pendragon series.  I loved the tale which begins with Merlin's musings about his life, his various educational experiences, his chosen isolation in the wilderness after the murder of his beautiful wife and child and his recovery from his grief to become a force in his world.  Lawhead writes so well as Merlin that the transitions from one portion of the novel to another flow effortlessly and keep one turning page after page.  When he saves the child who will become known as Arthur, Lawhead describes his misgivings about raising a child.  Merlin only knows that he must hide this lad from those who would kill any offspring who has a rightful claim to become high king of Britain.  It's a book well worth spending one's time reading.  Arthur was a very good read.  The tale is told by different characters but still flows well.  Arthur's rise to become High King is difficult as he works to gain the support of all the kings in the kingdom.  Battle after battle must be engaged to free the kingdom of invaders and to prove to these kings that he is the leader they need.  Even when he attains the crown his support among some is tenuous.  The impact of Morgian, her father, and her son Medraut takes its toll on Arthur's supporters.  When Arthur and his knights leave the Summer Kingdom to assist Rome, Merlin and Gwenhwyvar, the queen, are captured and held prisoner while most of those he left behind have been murdered and his kingdom pillaged.  While I enjoyed this read my favorite in the series is still Merlin.      

Also wrapped up the YA challenge with Holes, a good little book indeed about a boy who is bullied in school because of his size and is arrested for picking up a pair of stolen tennis shoes that fell on his head from the freeway highway.  Sidetracked by Clear Out Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston.  Since I rather like the ideas in feng shui I tend to pick up a book about it now and then.  This one is a pretty good read - one bad chapter and one silly example about how the author learned to "love" ironing when she bought the cadillac of irons.  How could anyone who hated ironing suddently start loving it?  Finished an ARC called Jake Fades, which became interesting, sad and realistic in the last fourth of the book.  Why do some  books not get going until near the end?

 

.



Last Edited on: 1/2/12 9:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 29
Date Posted: 12/2/2011 7:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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Happy December everyone!  I've been crazy busy...I have a new job, but more about that in a minute.  I finished 2 audio books, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and then Saving Ceecee Honeycutt, and loved both of them.

I'm currently listening to Lisa See's Dreams of Joy.  (Is that the title?  The sequel to Shanghai Girls.)

On the reading front, I've read five of Aaron Elkins' books about physical anthropologist Gideon Oliver.  They are so much fun, but again, this is what I majored in, so...

But for a break, I decided on EC's A Place Beyond Courage.  I'm almost 250 pages in, almost 1/2 way, and enjoying it.  OH, and I skimmed Explosive Eighteen, and heartily agree with Deb.  Anyway, I'm just waiting for John to drop Aline! She's driving me crazy.

New job:  My boss resigned to move on to something different, and I have been hired as the director of our county library system.  I'm the Big Kahuna.  Or...actually, I've used Czarina in the past.  But I'm thinking about Empress of All She Surveys.  It has a nice ring, don't you think?  laugh  I'll be in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations of five libraries.  This should be a fun challenge!

 

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 8:11 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I vote for Empress of All She Surveys, curtsies and then says whoo hoo!  That is wonderful news Viicky congrats.

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 8:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I vote for Empress of All She Surveys, curtsies and then says whoo hoo!

Same vote here, and congrats as well.

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 8:46 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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Congrats, Vicky!  Your library system is lucky to have you!  Love the title.  My honorary title at work was "Empress of Engineering" and now "Project Empress".  I love the title because it is so flexible and can grow with me throughout my career...Empress of Projects, Vice Empress of Operations, Global Vice Empress, Chief Executive Empress.....see?? It sounds good no matter what you pair it with!

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,294
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Congratulations Vicky! It's good to know that the people you work with/for can appreciate a valuable "Empress". smiley

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,456
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Congratulations Vicky on the new position.  i think that "Empress of all She surveys" is very appropriate given the job description.

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,099
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Vicky --- How delightful for you!!!  Sounds like a very busy position.  They are so fortunate to have you and not to have to do a big search.  Hope you truly enjoy it.

I just loved the "Guernsey" book and I have "Cee Cee" here on the TBR so I am happy to have your opinion on that one.

Not much reading yesterday.  Cleaned out a closet, in fact two closets.  Was not meaning to, I just went into both of them looking for one thing and the disarray got me, so I just went thru them throwing out stuff and putting stuff in the pile for the church flea market.  It is simply amazing what one can accumulate and never use!!!  Anyway, by the time I hit the bed I could hardly keep my eyes open!!  Perhaps tonight will be better.

 

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Congrats, Vicky -- that's wonderful! I wanna be an Empress too.

Becky -- c'mon over -- I have lots of closets for you to clean. I'll even throw in a couple WL books as bribes!

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 747
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Congrats Vicky!

Colleen - devil  He sure is Jamie Fraser!  Thank goodeness I was impulsive enough to buy the whole series. 

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Congratulations, Vicky! Tsarina and Empress really mean the same thing, so both work, don't you think? 

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 482
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Congrats Vicky! That's great news! I love the word Tsarina, it just sounds so beautiful and powerful at the same time. But there are no more Tsars or Tsarinas... so I guess I'll cast my vote for Empress wink

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