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Topic: May - What Are You Reading This Month?

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Subject: May - What Are You Reading This Month?
Date Posted: 5/3/2009 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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Hard to believe it's May 3rd & no one has started this month's "reading" thread. So, here we go ...

I just finished The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, by Kate Summerscale. It's a non-fiction book about a murder that took place in the little town of Road, England in 1860.

I enjoyed the book and probably learned a lot more than I think I did. The book was meticulously researched and, maybe as a result of that, is a little dry and tedious in some parts. It's not just about this one murder, but rather a discussion of early detectives and the impact and effect of detective work in Victorian England - both real life and throughout the literature of the time. Wilkie Collins, Henry James, Charles Dickens & Edgar Allen Poe are all mentioned and referred to. Ms. Summerscale also quotes quite a bit from newspaper articles written at the time and intersperses other anecdotal information to flesh out the book.

Interesting & compelling, but not a page-turner.

Kelly

 

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,495
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I am reading Time and Chance by Sharon Kay Penman.  What a wonderful author she is!  This is about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine and Thomas Beckett.  Even though  I know a fair bit about these people Ms. Penman makes their lives seem fresh and alive. You feel like you know these characters and are invested in what happens to them, even though you know what happens to them!



Last Edited on: 5/3/09 2:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/3/2009 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2009
Posts: 53
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I am currently finishing The Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett, then I'm switching gears a bit and plan to read Deja Dead by Kathy Reiche.

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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Jamie, How are you enjoying the Lymond Chronicles? Is Disorderly Knights the 3rd one?

 

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I'm still working on Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.  I didn't have any time to read at all over the weekend!  (Boo hiss) I'm going to try to finish it up in the next day or two and then start As Meat Loves Salt, which I'm going to be reading along with Michelle L. and anyone else who cares to join us! 

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 8:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I'm about 100 pages into As Meat Loves Salt - so far it's holding my interest.  I've found I need to think when I read it though, so it's not a quick read.  I'm also going to start Pope Joan tonight - I found a local book club, and this is their May book.  I don't think they do HF every month, but I thought it was a good sign that they picked it my first month.  Hopefully I'll enjoy the rest of the books they pick, and I like that book clubs push me to read things I may not otherwise read.

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I like Sharon Kay Penman a lot, and enjoyed Time and Chance.

I'm reading April's BOM, The Book of Abraham, and enjoying it very much.

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2009
Posts: 53
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Kelly,

I'm enjoying them.  Yes, Disorderly Knights is the 3rd.  I just finished it last night.  I had gotten the next 2 in the series  but am reposting them.  I just need a switch-up in subject manner right now and didn't want to hord them if someone was waiting on them.  I'll certainly be requesting them and reading them later as it's a great series of books... just need a change of pace for right now. 

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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Jamie - glad you are enjoying the Lymond Chronicles - and I can more than understand needing a bit of a break! (It's an "involved" series to say the least!) I loved this series; in fact, the set I have are "Keepers."

I am anxious to start to the Niccolo series, but have some other reading commitments in front of me first. The books sit on their shelf and tease, tempt & tantalise me every time I go into the room!

Kelly

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2005
Posts: 456
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Still slogging through Palace Circle by Rebecca Dean -- it was a LT Early Reviewers selection that I was 'lucky' to receive.  It's okay, but nothing to rave about.  The best bit is the descriptions of 1920s/30s Cairo; but the England stuff is kind of dull.

Looking forward to beach weather which means I'll have more time to read than I have of late.  That and my upcoming vacation - I leave for Seattle/Alaska next Thursday -- so I have to decide what books to take.  I'll be gone 9 days, so I need to take enough to occupy my time.

 

 

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I've been reading and listening to fantasy and mystery--it's been awhile since I got to any HF! I would highly recommend the Niccolo series by Dorothy Dunnett...I devoured those a few years back and they're on my Keeper shelf, and have all of the Lymond books here just waiting.  I tried reading the first one a couple years ago and it just didn't catch me like Niccolo did, so I put it away...haven't got to it yet. But I will!

Cheryl

 

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,892
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I just finished an awesome one- Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill.  I am just getting started with Memiors of Cleopatra by Margaret George. 

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I just finished Perfume: The Story of A Murderer last night.  Eh.  I could see where this book would be fascinating to some, but I found it pretty much just plain weird.  LOL!  I'm going to start As Meat Loves Salt this evening.

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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I just finished Paint the Wind by Cathy Cash Spellman.  It had been on the TBR shelf for nearly a year. It is an adventurous epic/saga of the West in the late 1800s - complete with gamblers, whores, miners, Indians, circus people, and a gypsy.  Lots of great characters and an interesting love story.

When I pulled it off the shelf, I was thinking that I was choosing a novel for the challenge -- book from your region.  A senior moment I guess.  The challenge book is Ride the Wind, similar title.  Oh well, I'll read it sometime in the future.

Linda

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I'm reading Columbine by Dave Cullen.  Not really enjoying it.  It's tedious, skips around a lot and is hard to follow.   I bought it brand new so I want to finish it. 

Holly, Someone Knows My Name is on my WL.  Glad to hear you liked it.  I need to get back to HF.

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 7:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2009
Posts: 181
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Finished  The Pact (jodi picoult), a great read - and then it was requested the same day I posted it......and The Appeal (grisham) kept putting it down but finally got through it.

Just started  Shields of Pride (Elizabeth Chadwick).  I always have to buy her books (usually alibris) as she's not readily available here, just in UK and Canada.  I just love the way she weaves historical people/events with romance.

Trish

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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I just finished The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier.  If I remember correctly, others on the patron of the arts thread commented that they liked this novel better than Girl with a Pearl Earring.  So did I !!  It was a quick read, but very enjoyable.  I'm glad there were pictures of the tapestries included -- wouldn't it be wonderful to see them in person?  The novel was told from several different viewpoints, but that was not as confusing as one might think; in fact I think it added to the strength of the novel.  Highly recommended.

Linda 

Date Posted: 5/8/2009 7:05 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I finished up Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross last night.  What a great book!  I breezed right through it because it was so enjoyable, and now I've been searching on the internet to see if there really could have been a Pope Joan.  I love books that make me think and leave me wanting to learn more!  I leave for Italy this afternoon and will bring As Meat Loves Salt, which I'm about 100 pages into and am reading with Shelley in May.  This one seems to be a tougher read, and isn't pulling me in yet like Pope Joan did, but it shows promise so I'll keep going.  I'm also going to bring The Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowther, which is my May mini-challenge book about a mother.  I don't plan to read at all in Italy, but I've got a long layover at JFK, so I'll probably get some reading in then.

Date Posted: 5/8/2009 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Linda - That was me who said I like TL&TU better than GWAPE.  I loved TL&TU!  I think the fact that the story was told from different viewpoints is what made it stay fresh and interesting.  I really liked that.  I got another book here off PBS just because one of the reviewers said it reminded them of TL&TU.  Check out the tapestries on line.  They really are gorgeous, and I have a whole new appreciation for them after reading the book.

Michelle - Have an awesome trip!  I'm about 30 pages into As Meat Loves Salt, and it's not pulling me in either.  However, everyone raves about it here, so I'm thinking it'll get better for me.  It's not bad, it's just a bit tough to read. I feel like I really have to pay attention so that I'll know what's going on.  I'm hoping to finish it soon, though, as I have Drood from the library and want to get to that before I have to return it. I also plan on reading Signora Davinci this month for the May mini challenge.



Last Edited on: 5/8/09 1:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/8/2009 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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I'm still working waaaay too much, but some of that work has entailed travel, which at least gives me flight time to read :)....so I <GASP> took a break from HF to read The Shack, which has been just getting so much buzz that I felt I needed to read it to make polite conversation. I"m curious if any of my HF buddies have read it and if so, what you think.

Of course, I immediately reverted to type, and am tackling my HF Challenge book-that-has-been-on-your-shelf-over-a year, for which I chose Dickens' Great Expectations. I am enjoying it hugely! It's narrator is a scrappy, insecure little country orphan with a very wry, look back on himself and laugh, sense of humor. Very subtle and tremendously engaging. I'm halfway through, and I'm enjoying it.

Date Posted: 5/8/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Colleen - I read The Shack last month. I don't often venture away from HF nor do I usually read the current "it" books, but like you, I was curious about the buzz and intrigued by the premise of the book.  I really enjoyed it!  Then again, it fit in with my concept of the nature of God.  I know many people have had a strong averse reaction to it.  I thought it was beautiful and moving. 

Well, I picked up Drood from the library today.  My goodness!  The book is huge!  It's 771 pages.  Egads!  How I'm going to finish it before it's due is a mystery, and I know I won't be able to renew it because it's in high demand.  I need to finish As Meat Loves Salt first, which I just started.  I also want to read Signora Davinci for the May mini challenge this month.  I guess I'd better re-prioritize so I can get all my reading in this month.  Guess the kids and DH can forget about suppers, clean laundry, a tidy house, etc.  LOL! 

 



Last Edited on: 5/8/09 6:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/9/2009 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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I started John Adams by David McCullough the other night but we are on the road again this weekend and so I haven't gotten very far with it.

Date Posted: 5/9/2009 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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I'm well into Devil's Brood, by Sharon Kay Penman and it goes without saying that I'm loving it!

At one point, Henry is wondering why his offspring are so mulish and headstrong. When I read that, I thought, "Really? That's what you're wondering?!? Isn't that really just proof of parentage???"

 

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I haven't been reading much H/F lately at all which is really odd for me, but other books have been calling my name.

I did read five of the books in William Sarabande's "First American Series" a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed them a lot more than I expected. It's very rare for me to read any series back to back like that, but I couldn't get enough of these books and just had to keep reading. I even requested all of Sarabande's other books and plan to begin a new one shortly. I haven't read any pre-historic fiction since I read Jean Auel back in high school and this series was a welcome change of pace for me.

I've also been reading a lot of modern day adventure stories; one about a guy who sailed the ocean on a balsa raft, one about two ladies imprisoned by the Taliban, one about kayaking the Tsangpo river, and one about a series of shipwrecks that occured in 1999. I've been busy with armchair adventuring! I don't have a whole lot to say about these books, but I will recommend giving up any ideas you may have had about sailing a balsa raft across the ocean. Take a boat! :-D

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,495
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Right now I am reading River God by Wilbur Smith.  First book by this author that I have read and it is very good so far.  It's about ancient Egypt, but I haven't able to quite place what era it is yet.

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