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Topic: What's everyone been reading this month?

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Subject: What's everyone been reading this month?
Date Posted: 5/18/2012 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I enjoy reading several books at a time. I finally finished Moby Dick (LOVED it) and Cross Creek (ditto). 

I'm still reading Wilkie Collins' Armadale and an enormous book of Poe stories (I can see why such a small number of them have received acclaim).

What's going on with the rest of you during this merry month of May?

                                                                                                                   Rose

Date Posted: 5/20/2012 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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I'm jumping between a few of classics right now on my EReader.  Don Quixote and The Aenied



Last Edited on: 5/20/12 5:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/24/2012 3:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 87
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I just finished Dostoevsky's The Idiot (for the reader's choice category) and followed it up with Victor Hugo's The Last Day of a Condemned Man (for the book I consider short category). Sorry, this will be long - I loved both books and authors! laugh

Dostoevsky is my favorite author, who wrote my favorite book, The Brothers Karamazov. I always know that with him I'll get more than just a good story - I'll get religious, philosophical, and political arguments, among other things. The Idiot was excellently written. Knowing about Dostoevsky's personal history, I found the descriptions of capital punishment in the early parts of the book to be particularly poignant. However, The Idiot was very different than what I expected. It seemed like Dostoevsky was asked a question (something like: What would happen if an innocent, Christ-figure came and lived among us?), and this book was his answer. It reminded me of a similar story Ivan Karamazov told in The Brothers Karamazov (the Grand Inquisitor).

Hugo's Last Day was mentioned in Dostoevsky's The Idiot. There are 3 parts to it: the preface (the nonfiction portion of the book), a short play (in which the characters talk about what a horrible book Last Day is), and the actual book itself - all three parts are extremely good. Hugo's work is a desperate plea for the abolition of the death penalty. I found it to be surprisingly modern and relevant for current arguments about the death penalty.

Date Posted: 5/28/2012 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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My "airplane book" at the moment is Sister Age. by M.F.K. Fisher, and it's VERY appropriate, because it's all about getting old.

But I brought my recently bought (brand new!) A Renegade History of the U. S. with me as "summer reading".   And I intend to pass along Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog  to my best "reading buddy" here.

But I do intend to resume the "Challenge"  list before much longer.

Date Posted: 6/7/2012 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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I'm starting The Fountainhead for my epic classics challenge pick.  I read it when I was probably 15 or 16, but all I can really remember of it is the crazy sex.

Date Posted: 6/11/2012 12:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 87
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I just finished The Letters of Abelard and Heloise for the 'letters written by an author" category. This edition included Abelard's letter to a friend (Historia calamitatum) in which he described all of the suffering he had been through, the personal letters between Abelard and Heloise (very fascinating!), and the letters between the two on how an abbey should be run/how nuns should act (personally, this part was extremely boring).

Date Posted: 6/12/2012 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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I'm sampling C.S. Lewis for the first time in my reading experience.   The work of his that came my way the other day is Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold.  It's a novel that treats of the Cupid-Psyche story from Greek mythology.  A very peculiar book, I must say.  But then, I've been given to understand that Lewis is a 'peculiar' writer . . . .

Date Posted: 6/13/2012 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,879
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It's June and I just finished my wit lit selection, A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh, a satire about a wealthy English couple.  Waugh does an admirable job of describing life of a wealthy segment of English society albeit with tongue in cheek.  This satire is so funny at times.  For example, when Tony describes his son's fall from his pony who says the pony "put in a short stop":  "Short stop my grandmother.  You just opened your legs and took an arser..."

The story of a rather uninteresting and bland couple, Tony and Brenda, is satire at its best.  Tony's interests do not include his wife until she leaves him for an even more uninteresting person named Beaver.  In fact, Tony has few interests at all except for reading the paper and giving a few speeches.  At first Tony misses Brenda but when she asks for a divorce and later suggests that she may come back he refuses and goes off on an extended trip to the Amazon.  Brenda finds her new life is not all what she expected, especially when Beaver abandons her, leaving on a trip with his mother.  
Date Posted: 6/15/2012 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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OK, I finished the C.S. Lewis book.  And I am thoroughly flummoxed.  I feel like some kind of uninitiated member of the reading tribe . . . ."dumb as they come", in other words.

Date Posted: 6/18/2012 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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I found a dandy counterdote to C.S. Lewis------it's Graham Greene's s Travels With My Aunt.  "Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time in over fifty years at what he supposes to be his mother's funeral."  This little book truly is, as the back cover blurb says, "intoxicating entertainment".  If you thought Graham Greene only wrote 'spy' stories, that's wrong!  (But the 'spy' novels are pretty good reading, too . . .The Quiet American, The Heart of the Matter, Our Man in Havana, and others).



Last Edited on: 6/18/12 5:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/18/2012 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,567
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Just started a short story collection by Ambrose Bierce, Terror by Night. Looking into an Edith Wharton book next or short stories by Faulkner.

16 yo daughter jsut finished 'The Crucible' for one of her summer reading assignments. She was totally angry that the teen girls got away with accusing the women of witchcraft which resulted in their deaths of course!

Date Posted: 7/19/2012 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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The owner of the second-hand book shop here (central Minnesota) is closing the shop and retiring, after 23 years' operation, and it saddens quite a lot of people in this town.  Close-out prices are so tempting, that I just spent $11 on a brief visit there!   And, talk about serendipity, one of the books is a book of Annie Proulx's stories, and it becomes my very next reading selection.  Three other books I bought as gifts for others (one of my granddaughters and my hairdresser).    One volume I posted as soon as I got home from the bookshop, and it was only a few moments later that PBS sent me a request for it!  Wow!

Planning one's reading is all well and good, but sometimes a person just has to go along with the serendipitous things that happen . . . .

P.S.  I finally got my hammock set up in the carport, and the car will just have to stand out in the weather, because the garage is full of furniture and "junque" being stored for family members.   Phooey, that's just too bad----I was very patient to wait this long for my favorite summer reading spot!

Someone has lent me a Kindle (tablet) and tutored me on how to use it, and I am now reading The Moral Landscape, by Sam Harris, on it.  (The person who lent me the device had loaded that book into it and read it, and recommended it to me.)



Last Edited on: 8/26/12 4:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 3