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Topic: What's everyone reading in August?

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Subject: What's everyone reading in August?
Date Posted: 8/7/2012 3:43 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I've nearly finished reading Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It's far more comprehensible than Ulysses, but I know I'm not getting everything.

How is everyone else doing?

                                                                                                       Rose

Date Posted: 8/8/2012 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Read my noir selection. "The Postman Always Rings Twice."  

It was pretty awful. I didn't know it has sadism in it.no

Date Posted: 8/12/2012 4:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 87
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I also finished my noir selection: Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. I liked it, but don't really know why. I've never liked this genre on film and was expecting to have the same feeling towards the book, but it was okay. It did feel a lot more modern than I was expecting.

I'm glad I gave this category a try. I'm actually planning to read another of Hammett's, The Thin Man, next.  

Date Posted: 8/13/2012 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 482
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I'm reading A Room with a View by E.M. Forster and I am finding it delightful. 

Date Posted: 8/13/2012 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Today I learned of a new book by Rajiv Chandrasekan, entitled Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan, when I heard the author on NPR discussing his book.  It so happens that what I am reading just now is an old novel about Afghanistan by James Michener, entitled Caravans.  

Chandrasekan's title comes from the nickname given by the Afghani to a planned community built for the American engineers who went there in the 1950s to build some dams in a project intended to encourage agriculture in that arid desert land.   Chandrasekan's topic is the whys and wherefores of American interventions in Afghanistan and their outcomes. 

The Michener book was published in 1963, but the story takes place in that barbarous land in 1946.  Okay,  another half-century later, the "Afanistan" Chandrasekan describes is dismayingly like the one Michener describes (cruel, primitive, misogynistic) but lacking Michener's "romantic" embellishments (adventure, scenery, and sex).  Of course a film was made of it, with Anthony Quinn and Jennifer O'Neill in leading roles.

Once again, my reading reminds me "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (the more that changes, the more it's the same thing). 



Last Edited on: 8/24/12 11:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/13/2012 11:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2010
Posts: 143
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Just finished Sylvia Townsend Warner's Lolly Willowes for the fantasy selection. Had never read her before and found this to be a delightful read. Written in 1922, this is a story is about an unmarried woman whose role is to be an appendage to her family -- the loving aunt, the sister-in-law's helpmate, the unpaid drudge in a large household. Let's just say she finds her inner devil and leave it at that.

Janet

Date Posted: 8/15/2012 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,515
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some unfamiiar Poe Tales and Agatha Christie's Why Didn't They Ask Evans?.

I recently  discovered a list of Christie stories that somehow I missed reading in the 70's and 80's.

Date Posted: 8/24/2012 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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After finishing James Michener's Caravans, about Afghanistan in 1946 (and learning a lot about the terrain, people, beliefs and superstitions, folkways,agriculture, trade and transportation), I returned to my Challenge categories #7 - Dystopia and #11 - Short Stories.  I'm finishing Animal Farm, by George Orwell, and Heart Songs, by E. Annie Proulx.

I am intrigued by Orwell's imaginative little book,  and I recommend this earlier book of short stories of Proulx's to anyone seeking a selection for that category.  Of course, another book of her short stories, Close Range: Wyoming Stories, is probably better known, because it contains the tale of the two cowboys, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, entitled Brokeback Mountain.



Last Edited on: 8/26/12 1:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/29/2012 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I want to read Janet's selection" Lolly Willowes."  That sounds really good, and oddly very close to my cyber name.

Date Posted: 8/15/2013 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,617
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this month I have read

The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry

The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks. I don't think I would have known of this book if I had not seen the movie.

I have just picked up Little Heathens. Have only read a few pages.

regarding Afghanistan there is an interesting travel book called Searching for Zarathustra. sorry I forgot the author's name. It might deal with a little of the same landscape.

I was wrong about the title. It is In Search of Zarathustra.



Last Edited on: 8/16/13 6:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/15/2013 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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For August of 2013, I'm reading (and enjoying) Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, by Stephen Leacock, a wonderful Canadian humor writer.

Date Posted: 8/16/2013 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 318
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Last Edited on: 2/7/15 3:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/19/2013 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 314
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RE "I'm glad I gave this category a try. I'm actually planning to read another of Hammett's, The Thin Man, next."

I finished The Thin Man last night. I was surprised that critics think it is the least successful of Hammett's novels.Granted, the plot is rather thin and Nick and Nora's boozy banter didn't do much for me. But I found interesting the theme of building a theory while knowing you don't know every important detail. Nora expects detectives to nail down details, but Nick proceeds with the assumption that "probably true" is good enough to build a theory on. Anyway, even if we don't bring cognitive psychology to the novel, it's a portrait of a dog eat dog Depression-era world that is as scary as the long excerpt about Alfred G. Packer, famed American cannibal.



Last Edited on: 8/19/13 12:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/19/2013 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,515
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Still wading through  The House of the 7 Gables.  uggghhhhhh.....................

17 yo daughter is nearing the end of Pride and Prejudice for school.......not her cup of tea.  In July she finished Tess of the D'ubervilles and though the ending upset her, she did stay attentive through it and talked to me about the plot twists every day.

Date Posted: 8/25/2013 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,617
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recently finished Maigret at the Hotel Majestic by Georges Simenon. He is my go to writer for mysteries. I've never been disappointed by one of his books. I'm thinking of maybe reading The Great Train Robbery by Crichton next.