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What Are You Reading? October 2013

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sun October 20th, 2013, 8:44 pm

Been up since 2AM (damn people who talk loud in the early hours in residential areas), so I've plowed through a so-so HR that started well until they made up and started having sex night and day :mad:

Been shuffling the piles, but I think I'm going to start Flora by Anne Weale. Starts in 1903, China.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Sun October 20th, 2013, 11:45 pm

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb
~Susan~
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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Mon October 21st, 2013, 4:40 pm

[quote=""Susan""]The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida[/quote]

I'll be interested in your take on this one. It's been on my radar, but haven't got it yet.
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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Mon October 21st, 2013, 7:33 pm

The Orchid House. Really liking it so far.
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annis
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Post by annis » Mon October 21st, 2013, 9:53 pm

Jim Crace's beautifully written but sinister novel, Harvest (shorlisted for this year's Man Booker prize). Multi-layered, with messages about our relationship with the natural world and what happens when we abandon it for profit; change and the inability to accept it (a favourite Crace theme); and the damage done when "good men do nothing". I'm almost afraid to keep reading - I just know this is not going to end well...

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Mon October 21st, 2013, 11:48 pm

Originally Posted by Susan
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida

[quote=""fljustice""]I'll be interested in your take on this one. It's been on my radar, but haven't got it yet.[/quote]

I was a bit disappointed because Jon Stewart praised it so highly on The Daily Show, so I guess I had very high expectations. The first part is questions and then answers, about being autistic (Why do you jump? being one of them, hence the title) and then there is a short story. It does give excellent insight into what it's like being autistic, and I can very much appreciate that. I think people who know autistic people would get a lot out of it because they would be able to directly relate to the answers. Last year, I had a high functioning autistic student in one of my classes (I teach 7th grade language arts) and I would have understood him better if I had read this book while he was my student.
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annis
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Post by annis » Tue October 22nd, 2013, 12:18 am

Finished Crace's Harvest - brilliant. It has been described as dense, resonant, mythic, allusive and yet also earthy, which captures the feel of the language nicely. So much going on here - Crace's rural landscape is lush yet dangerous - there's almost a whiff of Wicker Man wafting about. The harvest is a bitter one and I'm reminded of William Blake's "worm in the bud". Crace also looks at what happens to the land and communities when the business of agriculture passes into the hands of town-based owners only interested in profit through mono-culture. We are, of course, reaping the whirlwind of that approach today as a result, in the form of climate change.

Puzzled by a comment somewhere that it's set around the 18th century enclosures. Crace gives no concrete indication of the period, but those of social standing in this novel wear doublets and high hats which sound like copotains - I'd put it earlier, perhaps Tudor, when enclosures began to really bite into the ancient medieval way of rural life.
Last edited by annis on Tue October 22nd, 2013, 2:32 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Tue October 22nd, 2013, 12:42 pm

I'm reading "Wildfire at Midnight" by Mary Stewart, and "Moon over Soho" by Ben Aaronovitch.
Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue October 22nd, 2013, 1:18 pm

[quote=""Madeleine""]I'm reading "Wildfire at Midnight" by Mary Stewart, and "Moon over Soho" by Ben Aaronovitch.[/quote]

I saw your post in where are you now, and Wildfire was the book I thought of. MS picks the best settings.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
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Post by Madeleine » Tue October 22nd, 2013, 1:35 pm

She certainly does, loving the isle of Skye.
Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston.

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