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What Are You Reading? November 2011

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Mon November 28th, 2011, 5:27 pm

Just finished the Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas - 2 generation story set mostly in Kashmir in the 1940's and modern day. The familiar premise of relatives finding something on a grandparent's death (in this case a beautiful Kashmir shawl) that leads them to go and look for the hidden truth. It's very much on the same page as East of the Sun by Julia Gregson.
I loved this one. It was well written and evocative. I generally enjoy Rosie Thomas as an author.
Now reading The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey for Amazon Vine - 1920's Alaska. Good so far.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Brenna
Bibliophile
Location: Delaware

Postby Brenna » Mon November 28th, 2011, 7:56 pm

Just started A Crown in the Heather by N. Gemini Sasson on my Kindle. It's Book 1 in her Bruce trilogy.
Brenna

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Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Location: Georgia USA

Postby Ludmilla » Mon November 28th, 2011, 9:17 pm

Reading Michener's Caravans. The history is interesting but the characters are annoying. For Michener, I'm finding it just so-so.

A note for eReaders: I'm reading this on my Sony, and the OCR/formatting errors are atrocious.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon November 28th, 2011, 9:36 pm

"Ludmilla" wrote:Reading Michener's Caravans. The history is interesting but the characters are annoying. For Michener, I'm finding it just so-so.

I enjoyed Caravans when I was a teenager, so I re-read it after Jay and I became knee-deep in Pakistani-Afghani friends. Wow, what a come-down. I couldn't believe the motivations of the female character at all, and as for Michener's idea of the culture-- completely off-base. But then, he wasn't all that old when he wrote it -- it was before his long (and sometimes dull) place-and-population-themed doorstoppers, which are mostly a series of connected novellas rather than novels as I think of them.

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princess garnet
Bibliophile
Location: Maryland

Postby princess garnet » Tue November 29th, 2011, 12:27 am

Song of the Nile by Stephanie Dray
Sequel to Lily of the Nile.

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sweetpotatoboy
Bibliophile
Location: London, UK

Postby sweetpotatoboy » Tue November 29th, 2011, 12:19 pm

"MLE" wrote:I enjoyed Caravans when I was a teenager, so I re-read it after Jay and I became knee-deep in Pakistani-Afghani friends. Wow, what a come-down. I couldn't believe the motivations of the female character at all, and as for Michener's idea of the culture-- completely off-base. But then, he wasn't all that old when he wrote it -- it was before his long (and sometimes dull) place-and-population-themed doorstoppers, which are mostly a series of connected novellas rather than novels as I think of them.


I completely love Michener, especially his doorstoppers (only one of which I didn't take to), and I found Caravans great too when I read it a few years ago. Yes, I know nothing first or even second hand about the region, so I'm not in a position to comment on how accurate any of it is/was. But yes, it nonetheless occurred to me that some elements were far-fetched and probably not nuanced enough to reflect reality. But I think you have to recognise that this book was of its age and a certain genre, in terms of the male/female characterisations, and that it was written in 1963 and set in 1940s and he clearly made an attempt, however flawed, to understand the people and the region - something that must have been rare for an American at the time. In his later books, he veered away from this adventure/action type style. Over his career, he wrote about so many different parts of the world and eras. Even his biggest fans cannot therefore believe that he got it right all the time - I certainly don't. Did this book work for me as a great read? Yes - but I can see how, for others, the flaws might have got in the way of that.

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Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Location: Georgia USA

Postby Ludmilla » Tue November 29th, 2011, 5:16 pm

"sweetpotatoboy" wrote:But I think you have to recognise that this book was of its age and a certain genre, in terms of the male/female characterisations, and that it was written in 1963 and set in 1940s and he clearly made an attempt, however flawed, to understand the people and the region - something that must have been rare for an American at the time. In his later books, he veered away from this adventure/action type style.


There are some nice moments in the book when he's imparting information about Afghanistan and its very old history... the cities and peoples lost to cultural conflicts, war and time as they journey through regions seldom seen by any Westerner, etc. The book is a product of its time (1960s), though. I'm usually okay with that, but in this case I find the story rather shallow and I just can't stand Ellen Jasper. Mark Miller (the narrator) is so wishy-washy I want to slap him. I'm glad I've read it, but it will not make my list of favorites by the author.

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Wed November 30th, 2011, 12:30 am

Yes, I read and loved Caravans as a teen - I don't dare re-read now. I think I'll leave it as it was in my hall of memory!
Les proz e les vassals

Souvent entre piez de chevals

Kar ja li coard n’I chasront



'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'


Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal



www.elizabethchadwick.com

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Wed November 30th, 2011, 4:23 am

Posted by EC
I don't dare re-read now. I think I'll leave it as it was in my hall of memory!


Good idea, EC- I've ruined several happy book memories lately by revisiting old favourites :( I've decided to leave the rest as warm and fuzzy memories and not let my older, more cynical and critical self loose on the poor things!

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed November 30th, 2011, 5:00 am

"annis" wrote:Posted by EC


Good idea, EC- I've ruined several happy book memories lately by revisiting old favourites :( I've decided to leave the rest as warm and fuzzy memories and not let my older, more cynical and critical self loose on the poor things!

Aren't we turning into grumpy old things? If a book nowadays can entertain us, it's probably pretty darn good.


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