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What are you reading? July 2011

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Tue July 5th, 2011, 4:40 pm

[quote=""javagirl""]I'm starting Robert Harris' Pompeii today.[/quote]

That's on my TBR pile. Looking forward to hearing how you like it.
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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Tue July 5th, 2011, 5:39 pm

On vacation at the moment so not reading much, but have beeen reading a little from "Winter Song" by Roberta Gellis. Might read Cameron's "Tyrant" when I'm done with Gellis.

annis
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Post by annis » Tue July 5th, 2011, 7:00 pm

Have been struck down by some nasty virus- I always know I'm really sick when I can't read anything! So i've been taking it easy and catching up with a bit of YA stuff like Siobhán Dowd's excellent and affecting Bog Child.

I did manage to read Robert Goolrick's A Reliable Wife yesterday, though. Brilliant, poetic novel about lives of quiet, stoic desperation led in bleak, rural Wisconsin in the early years of the 20th century, punctuated by spasmodic episodes of violence and madness (murder, suicide, self-harm) which are accepted by the community as necessary collateral damage in a rigid and repressive society, rather as we accept the toll caused by automobile deaths and injuries as a necessary evil today. Remarkable, and not at all what I was expecting from the book's blurb, which indicated a standard murder-mystery.

This book struck a chord with me, because here in New Zealand we have a history of stoic rural lives led in often desperate conditions, marked by a streak of melancholia, alcoholism and random violence, dating from the Victorian period. It's by no means all that we are, but it is a recognizable thread in our culture and a noticeable theme in much of our writing and artwork. We call our beautiful but often unforgiving country "Godzone", but there's more than a touch of irony in the name.
Last edited by annis on Wed July 6th, 2011, 1:48 am, edited 7 times in total.

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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Wed July 6th, 2011, 2:24 am

I've finished 2 books today:
"The Italian Boy: A Tale of Murder and Body Snatching in 1830's London" by Sarah Wise (319pgs, 2004)*. A fascinating look at this infamous murder case of killing a young boy to sell to London anatomists. Well written and interesting to read.

"Victorian London: The Life of a City 1840-1870" by Liza Picard (419pgs, 2006)*. Another good book from Picard. Victorian life is very interesting and not at all as stuffy as most ppl would think.

SM
Last edited by SonjaMarie on Wed July 6th, 2011, 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Wed July 6th, 2011, 3:07 am

[quote=""fljustice""]That's on my TBR pile. Looking forward to hearing how you like it.[/quote]

I loved Pompeii. I was completely enthralled. I'm currently reading Harry Turtledove's Ruled Brittania. Fantastic.

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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Wed July 6th, 2011, 3:08 am

[quote=""Alisha Marie Klapheke""]I loved Pompeii. I was completely enthralled. I'm currently reading Harry Turtledove's Ruled Brittania. Fantastic.[/quote]

I've read both "Pompeii" and "Ruled" and both were very good.

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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Wed July 6th, 2011, 3:27 am

Yes, I wish I could write in Shakespearean speak. It makes me giggle like I've just received a compliment from a cute guy.

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Post by Ash » Wed July 6th, 2011, 3:42 am

annis, like you, I was really surprised by A Reliable Wife. I was expecting just the usual murder mystery. I loved this; just when I thought I knew what was happening, the rug was pulled out from under me again! We are reading that this month for our book group, its going to be an interesting discussion esp as many in the group have trouble liking the book if they don't like the main character. I don't think any of them are likable, but boy are they interesting!

Now reading a bio, Pearl Buck in China. She was one of my favorite authors, I read Good Earth many times since Jr Hi, and have read several of her other books. I am not a big fan of bio, but this one does a nice job of focusing on what influenced her writing, rather than digging the dirt or dropping names.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed July 6th, 2011, 4:57 am

I'm reading my first Roberta Gellis (At least the first that I know of-- a lot of author's names have faded over my long reading life). I bought Roselynde fro my kindle. Since everybody loves it, it's probably quite good.

Just finished The Creation of Eve. It was good, not brilliant. But then it's set in a time and place I know very well, and I kept wondering why so many major and interesting players were offstage (as in, not mentioned). And little missteps kept jerking me out of the story, altho they won't even be recognized by 99% of the readers out there. But I'll forgive much for a book that moves along at a good pace, with a likeable, believable MC. Always nice not to be in everlasting Tudor England.

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Wed July 6th, 2011, 12:52 pm

YA The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, the first in the Percy Jackson series, since some of my students read these books.
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