Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 194671 times)

redred

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #30 on: Apr 19, 2009, 10:26:12 PM »
Lisa Picard 'Reformation London: Everyday Life in the 1660s'

That sounds really interesting.  Is it?

it's a social history, which i like. The minutiae of daily life as opposed to something more high brow. For instance, Pepys had a bladder stone the size of a tennis ball removed when he was 25 (a common problem, because bread had a lot of grit in it). I read her Elizabethan one first and really enjoyed it - i found out the origin of how Lambs Conduit Street got it's name, for instance. And that a quill of water is, as a measurement, the amount of water that a lead pipe the size of the quill of a swan's feather would carry in eight hours (you could pay to have drinking water piped to your house like this).

lippy

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #31 on: Apr 19, 2009, 10:45:49 PM »
The Age Of The Warrior by war reporter Robert Fisk.

It's a fantastic selection of his best writing; analytical, well-researched & properly outraged. 

For anyone who loves Noam but finds him a bit chin-strokey, Fisk's your man.

Thanks - I shall check this one out.

Offline catwoman

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #32 on: Apr 19, 2009, 11:00:15 PM »
Ali Smith - The Accidental which I loved. So many double bluffs, so clever and so enjoyable to read. I wouldn't have chosen to read it but it was for the book group I run at work and it's exactly what a book group needs, loads to discuss, on lots of different levels.

Offline Night Nurse

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #33 on: Apr 20, 2009, 12:20:50 AM »
Netherland by Joseph O'Neill. It's set in post-9/11 Manhattan and features a lot of cricket, which doesn't sound gripping, but it is.

It's very beautifully written but it doesn't rub your nose in it. There's this line I can't get out of my head, in which the narrator describes the residents of New York's Chelsea Hotel as similar to the inhabitants of an aquarium he kept as a child: "a murky tank in which cheap fish hesitated in weeds and a plastic starfish made a firmament of the gravel".

Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard, but I think...

scintilla

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #34 on: Apr 20, 2009, 01:49:01 AM »
My Name Is Red, Orhan Pamuk (I was really bored by the time I got to the end, and felt very guilty, because apparently he's one of our great modern-day writers. Hmmm.)

Oh, I loved that book. Or bits of it, I loved. I loved the - how to put it? - experience of it; especially because I read it for the second time when I was in the first year of my World Art Studies degree. I loved how it submerged me in this world I'd never been to before. It realised for me what my course was trying to teach me; that there are many ways of seeing, and many ways of creating, and many meanings attached to both processes.

But yes, I was also quite bored of the plot by the end. I had been ready to leave for some time.


Ali Smith - The Accidental which I loved. So many double bluffs, so clever and so enjoyable to read. I wouldn't have chosen to read it but it was for the book group I run at work and it's exactly what a book group needs, loads to discuss, on lots of different levels.

Ooh, I just picked this up from a charity shop. I've been meaning to read some of her stuff for ages.

I'm also (re)reading House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. Another charity shop find; a friend of mine and I were talking about Allende recently and she mentioned she hadn't read that one. I really picked it up for her, but I'm rereading it myself before I pass it on...

I also just re-read Success by Martin Amis. In so many ways I hate that book, but the technique is beautiful. So skillful! The way the fortunes of the two protagonists switch over so subtly that you barely even notice it happen... I've read it about 4 times now trying to pinpoint one particular moment it all changes, and I've never been able to find one. It's seamless. In that respect, I admire it very much.

I keep thinking, "now what is that other thing I'm reading? The thing I'm desperate to get back to so I can find out what happens next?" ...I've just realised it's not something I'm reading, it's something I'm writing. I love being this wrapped up in something I'm writing. I know I have other things to do - like a dissertation - but ah, this is great! I'm on such a roll!

Bizoute

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #35 on: Apr 20, 2009, 02:39:40 AM »
i really like the house of the spirits.

there's this thing with allende where she refuses to go too dark - normally the outcome is some version of 'okay,' no matter what's happened. maybe just to keep certain details from being too unbearable. like in HOTS the father of the family despite being a total tyrant for most of it still basically comes off as 'loveable rogue.'

but ... it was my favourite of hers, and i do like her.

she doesn't regard herself as a magic realist writer because she says it's a certain life view she comes from, not a writing style. i like that.

Offline Elephant

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #36 on: Apr 20, 2009, 09:36:05 AM »
I've just finished Bernard Schlink's The Reader, which was a short but v thoughtful read

It's a very good translation, I think. And the transfer to film is actually prtty accurate too - some actual lines lifted from the book. It's one of my favourite books and I enjoyed the film.

Offline JuicyCrone

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #37 on: Apr 20, 2009, 10:19:19 AM »
Portrait in Sepia by Isabelle Allende - it was on the 2nd hand book table in our GP surgery for 50p - I can't comment on it yet as I have only just started it so only read the first chapter.

@Bizoute - I read House of Spirits a while ago and that is what prompted me to buy Portrait in Sepia; because I enjoyed it so much.  I also read Paula, which was the book she wrote about her daughter when she was dying - very moving, very sad and also very uplifting.
« Last Edit: Apr 20, 2009, 10:21:02 AM by JuicyCrone »
And she saw that she looked like the Goddess Mothers she had just seen. ...........She left the museum juicy, full and ripe with possibilities.

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Offline cwningen sinsir

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #38 on: Apr 20, 2009, 10:19:28 AM »
i'm currently reading peter ackroyd's dan leno and the limehouse golem which is slightly tough going, but mostly because there aren't girls kissing in it, & i'm out of practice.

gg

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #39 on: Apr 20, 2009, 10:20:59 AM »
Currently reading Nicholas Sparks The Choice... fairly easy reading but it's nice to read something uncomplicated...not sure what to pick up once I have finished with this though.

Offline Vandyke

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #40 on: Apr 20, 2009, 10:28:27 AM »
To those who enjoy literary biography, especially of lesbian writers I would recommend David Sweetman's biog of Mary Renault. As well as all Mary Renault's books. The first couple of books she wrote were more directly concerned with gay subjects...The Pursuit of Love,( I think that was the title, but I might have muddled it with a book by Nancy Mitford...not at all gay!) Friendly Young Ladies and The Charioteer. After that she dealt with historical times and themes, but there was always a gay subtext.

gg

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #41 on: Apr 20, 2009, 10:39:07 AM »
I love literary biography...so thanks for that.

Offline Brisbane

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #42 on: Apr 20, 2009, 10:49:48 AM »
Too Close to Home - Linwood Barclay. It is a pretty easy read. I have only just started it.
I *heart* facebook. it's just another forum for me to overshare massively, vainly take excellent pictures of myself and post them all over the place, and stalk my friends 'going-ons' like an obsessive maniac.

gg

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #43 on: Apr 20, 2009, 11:09:08 AM »
Have you read his stuff before?

I read No Time For Goodbye last week...another easy read.

lykopis

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #44 on: Apr 20, 2009, 11:12:08 AM »
I always feel very lowbrow when it comes to literary subjects. I keep wanting to say that I have finally got around to reading Occidental Mythology but if I'm honest its still gathering dust..

Instead I am reading: Celebrity (How entertainers took over the world and why we need an exit strategy) by Marina Hyde. Hilarious, cutting, frightening.