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December 2010: What are you reading?

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Kasthu
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Post by Kasthu » Sun December 26th, 2010, 9:36 pm

I read nearly all of Susan Vreeland's Clara and Mr. Tiffany on a plane ride out to Arizona yesterday evening; and then I finished it this morning. Very, very good.

Ash
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Post by Ash » Sun December 26th, 2010, 9:38 pm

(Where are you in AZ? Or did we have this conversation already?...)

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Post by annis » Sun December 26th, 2010, 11:05 pm

Posted by Ariadne
Yesterday I finished Elisabeth Storrs' The Wedding Shroud, about the Etruscan civilization circa 406 BC. Review forthcoming on my blog; it's very much worth reading though harder to obtain for non-Australian audiences, unfortunately.
Glad it's good- I've got it sitting on my TBR pile - who could resist a book about the enigmatic Etruscans? I was initially put off by the cover which didn't speak to me of antiquity at all.

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javagirl
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Post by javagirl » Mon December 27th, 2010, 1:08 am

I'm about half way through The Whiskey Rebels and loving every bit of it. Excellent story, character development, etc.

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Mon December 27th, 2010, 3:21 am

[quote=""Michy""]Yes, everyone mentions getting "hooked" on Dorothy Dunnett -- that, frankly, is the only thing that makes me willing to give her another try. Otherwise, the book would have hit the wall. As you say, the characters constantly spout highfalutin lingo that is over my head! :p And someone else mentioned that Dunnett purposely makes her prose "murky" -- apparently she gradually peels back the layers and reveals things to the reader. That appeals to the puzzle-lover in me. So I will give her another go one of these days.....[/quote] I'm taking a second crack at Dunnett's Game of Kings and have made it to page 140.... so far so good.... The dialogue -- particularly Lymond's -- seems to be getting a little less cryptic and the narrative a little less lofty (not so many OTT similes). And I have a fairly good sense of what's going on (always good in a book :D ), although sometimes I am still feeling a little lost. I know, for instance, that the whole novel is somewhat of an allegory to a chess game, but since I have only a rudimentary understanding of chess that element is going over my head. But I don't think it's really necessary in order to understand the plot (hopefully).

I am now picking up on what I think is her sardonic wit -- although sometimes I just have a sense that she's poking fun at something, but realize that I'm not quite getting the joke (not a nice feeling :( ). But the very best one so far was when the heavily-lisping Lord Grey said in exasperation, "Ith there no word in the Englith language wanting an Eth?" Which, after reading a entire page of his "th"-laden speech, is exactly what I was thinking! (which was obviously Dunnett's point!)

So I guess this means I'm making progress. :) Whether or not I feel she is worth the trouble (she does make her readers work), though, is something I probably can't decide until I've finished the book.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon December 27th, 2010, 6:42 am

She has a little byplay where Francis is pretending to be Spanish and describes himself as 'embarasado' which, although from the same root as the English 'embarrassed' has the cultural connotation of 'pregnant'. And the Spaniard gives him a startled look! :D

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Post by Ash » Mon December 27th, 2010, 3:12 pm

Ha! Love stuff like that.

Now reading Best American Travel Stories 2010. Several of the selections this year are filled with history - Ian Fraziers trip through Siberia includes Russian history in the area (tho in my opinion, the piece was much too long to be included in this collection), and Tom Bissel's story about travels in Israel had much about early Christian history. Good stuff.

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Kasthu
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Post by Kasthu » Mon December 27th, 2010, 3:31 pm

[quote=""Ash""](Where are you in AZ? Or did we have this conversation already?...)[/quote]

I'm in Scottsdale.

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Mon December 27th, 2010, 3:44 pm

[quote=""MLE""]She has a little byplay where Francis is pretending to be Spanish and describes himself as 'embarasado' which, although from the same root as the English 'embarrassed' has the cultural connotation of 'pregnant'. And the Spaniard gives him a startled look! :D [/quote] That was one of the (many) scenes where I knew there were jokes going on, but realized I wasn't getting all of them. I guessed "embarazado" meant "embarrassed", but it was obvious by the characters' reactions that that wasn't what it meant. Thanks for clarifying that.

But who was the actual Spaniard in that scene? I don't remember there being one, I must've missed it. Need to go back and re-read that part......

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Post by Ariadne » Mon December 27th, 2010, 3:48 pm

[quote=""annis""] Glad it's good- I've got it sitting on my TBR pile - who could resist a book about the enigmatic Etruscans? I was initially put off by the cover which didn't speak to me of antiquity at all.[/quote]

It didn't to me either, but that's covers for you. I assume it's meant to represent the decadence to which the main character's exposed. My review of it is up. It's surprising more novelists haven't written about the Etruscans, as their civilization is such a rich vein of material. I know of just one other, Sybille Haynes' The Augur's Daughter, and the author told me one more, Mika Waltari's The Etruscan.

Yesterday night I finished Patricia O'Reilly's Time and Destiny, a multi-period imagined biography of Irish designer Eileen Gray and her life in a bohemian 1920s Paris.

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