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Topic: What are you reading this winter?

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Subject: What are you reading this winter?
Date Posted: 1/4/2016 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2007
Posts: 1,223
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People are reading such great books, I thought maybe you want to talk about them, even if you're not doing a challenge. 

El Nino has arrived here, so I will be indoors reading.  I'm reading The Odyssey and it will take me all month.  I read it 30 years ago, so I remember the exciting events, but now I am able to look at the structure the Homeric poets used and dip into a couple of translations.  I'm using the Rouse from 1968 in prose and the Richard Lattimore, which is poetry and somewhat slower reading. Might have to dig out Margaret Atwood's "Penelopiad" for a different perspective.



Last Edited on: 1/4/16 1:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2016 7:38 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
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I have only read the prose translation of the big O. I never liked it much. I prefer the Aeniad. Much more interesting story for me. Aeneas a refugee from Troy who becomes the founder of Rome. Somebody should remind the Europeans today of their own history regarding immigrants. smiley

Date Posted: 1/13/2016 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Just finished Tortilla Flat by Steinbeck.  Since I visited Monterey last summer I find myself wanting to know more about that area and picking up his work.  Did Cannery Row for last year's challenge.  I've been meaning to tackle The Odyssey for a long time but haven't yet gotten to it.  One day...



Last Edited on: 1/13/16 8:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 1/13/2016 4:12 PM ET
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A great treat for us was to visit the National Steinbeck Center museum in Salinas, CA.  We passed through there on a vacation when my kids were teens and they both became big fans of his work.  They had only ever read The Pearl and Of Mice and Men in school.

Subject: The Odyssey of Homer
Date Posted: 1/27/2016 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2007
Posts: 1,223
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I reread The Odyssey, which I read for a class in high school.  I think when you read it at that age, it is just a linear series of events and everyone knows the exiciting parts (The Cyclops, the Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis, Penelope and her weaving, slaughter of the suitors).  When you read it 40 years later, you can appreciate the structure of the epic and the more discursive parts written by an older Homer.  And picking a congenial translation (or two) makes all the difference.  There are many stories of someone trying to get home and their "epic" journey.  (Even Wizard of Oz comes to mind)

Having read this, I'm going to give James Joyce's "Ulysses" another try, with a reading guide to help.  Might just understand it, this time.  And Margaret Atwood's "The Penelopiad" is on my shelf somewhere...

Date Posted: 1/28/2016 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
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speaking of getting home. Apollo 13 was a modern day odyssey. a number of challenges to overcome in order to get home. and the wives and family waiting at home. If you were there when it happened the whole world was watching. It touched a lot of people. just like the original must have touched people who heard it spoken.

Date Posted: 2/3/2016 6:54 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Have begun my first book by Anthony Trollope book, Barchester Towers.  Has anyone else read it?  Hoping someone here comments.

Date Posted: 2/3/2016 8:53 AM ET
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I have only read a travel book by Trollope. North America. The trip was done in 1862 so he only went through the northern tier of states because of the Civil War.

I don't know about the novels. Is there any need of reading the books in order? I think maybe The Warden is the first book in that series.

Date Posted: 2/3/2016 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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You are right about a series but Barchester Towers is supposed to be the best according to the reviews I've read so I chose that one.

Date Posted: 2/3/2016 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2007
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I read them all and enjoyed them very much.  It's been years, but as I recall, each is about a different set of people in the village and you can read them somewhat out of order, leaving The Last Chronicle of Barset for, well, last.  Then you have to read the Palliser series.  Victorian politics, romance, theft, the Irish Problem, standardizing the pound, etc. 

You have many thousands of pages to look forward to in Trollope!

Date Posted: 2/8/2016 11:10 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Thanks Susan.  Quite enjoyed this book even with small print which just takes me awhile longer to read.  I discovered that the books in this series can easily be read as stand alones so I am putting the author on my TBR so I can read more of the series. 



Last Edited on: 2/15/16 2:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/2/2016 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
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I liked Barchester Towers for the monstrous Stanhopes. I even felt bad for Slope by the end. But the other ones in the series were as good, I think.

Dr. Thorne (1858) had a very slow start that took a lot of patience,But this turned out to be a marvelous novel peopled with believable characters like Sir Roger Scatcherd, one of literature’s best high-functioning alcoholics and nobody’s fool Martha Dunstable, the richest woman in England.

Framley Parsonage (1861). All I gotta say is that anybody in the bondage of debt and its attendant money worries – i.e., all of us – will feel for Mark Robarts’ troubles. The Lucy and romance angle is made bearable by the very plausible Lady Lufton. Griselda Grantley starts getting creepy in this one.

The Small House at Allington (1864). Fantastic. Crosbie jilts Lily to marry a countess. And, son, does Crosbie ever pay. Another small-minded, tiny-souled guy an over-sympathetic reader like me will feel sorry for. John Eames also rose in my estimation by the end of the book, though he would act against his own best interests.

The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867). It’s repetitious when we reading gluttons break off 70-page chunks and relish them down. But wonderful. Crawley and Lily both fall into ruts in their thinking, giving me to wonder how prone we oursevles are to rigid thinking without even knowing it.



Last Edited on: 3/2/16 8:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/7/2016 10:56 AM ET
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spent a little time last night reading in The Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.



Last Edited on: 3/8/16 2:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/20/2016 10:28 AM ET
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The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty. 1st person narrator. chatty

I couldn't finish this. I read about half of it and quit. I don't think I have ever read anything by Welty that I really liked. I have a book of her stories that are set mostly during the depression and they are mildly interesting but nothing extraordinary.



Last Edited on: 3/29/16 5:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/1/2016 10:51 AM ET
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The Engagement by Georges Simenon. pub in 1933. This is sometimes titled Mr Hire's Engagement. short book but powerful story. This is the first of Simenon's books I have read that was not a Maigret detective story. In this book the wrong man is suspected of a crime but the extenuating circumstances create much ambiguity.