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Archive through September 08, 2019

Reality TVClubHouse Discussions: The Library: Let's share...what are you reading????: Archive through September 08, 2019 users admin

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Uncle_ricky
Member

07-02-2007

Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 11:56 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Uncle_ricky a private message Print Post    
Tresbien! Yay! I'm so glad you liked Normal People!

I was very, very surprised to discover, after I finished reading it, that Louisa May Alcott's Little Women by was classified as a children's book. (!) I had no idea. And, worse, had I known that ahead of time, I seriously doubt I would've read it for that reason.

Happily, I thoroughly loved it and it never would've occurred to me that it might be considered a children's book. The writing was fabulous and the characters were a joy to get to know. I was really worried that two of the characters were going to end up together and I was very relieved when they didn't. I've never seen any of the film versions, so it was nice to imagine all of the characters in my head, which is always my preference. There's a new film of it coming out on December 25. I'm sure I'll see it, but not until it's available on Blu-ray. I hope it doesn't bomb!

Uncle_ricky
Member

07-02-2007

Sunday, August 18, 2019 - 8:24 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Uncle_ricky a private message Print Post    
About a year ago I was strolling through Barnes & Noble and came across a $5 copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, intending to finally read it. I got around to it this weekend and it definitely deserves its classic status. But let me warn you (should you be considering reading it), chapter 11 is a MAJOR WORKOUT. There are 20 total chapters. I read the other 19 chapters faster than I read chapter 11 all by itself. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can skip chapter 11 altogether and still enjoy the book!

Jimmer
Board Administrator

08-29-2000

Monday, August 19, 2019 - 8:15 am   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Jimmer a private message Print Post    
Was Chapter 11 extra long?

I don't know if you've read Les Misérables, but that was another workout. He'd go off on a tangent and not for just a few pages. Pages and pages later he'd still be talking about something that, as far as I could tell, had little relevance to the plot.

(Oops! Not to imply they are by the same author. It just reminded me of it.)

Uncle_ricky
Member

07-02-2007

Monday, August 19, 2019 - 3:31 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Uncle_ricky a private message Print Post    
No, it wasn't! It was just extremely dense with a lot of stream-of-consciousness tangents. It brought all the action that had occurred up to that point to a screeching halt. It almost felt like a gag that Wilde was pulling on the reader - a very unfunny one at that. I've never read Victor Hugo and I doubt I'll start anytime soon, now that you've shared that tidbit about Les Miserables. But thank you for doing so!

Teachmichigan
Member

07-22-2001

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 5:39 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Teachmichigan a private message Print Post    
I've taught Dorian Gray numerous times and Chapter 11 is a beast. I always tell my kiddos - skim it, keep track of what he's collecting and how it affects his hedonist/aesthetic philosophies (does it make him happy in the end?). Everything else about the book, though, I adore, and Wilde is such a fun author to teach! There is so much about Victorian England my students don't know (Molly Houses always amazes them - they really think some things have only been around in their lifetime! LOL)

I am still in the middle of five books: Olivia Butler's Kindred - SOOOO good! -- Ian Rankin's House of Lies, Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends, Dan Simmons' The Terror and Blake Crouch's Dark Matter (3 Kindles, 1 audio and 1 deadtree book). I have 2 other interlibrary loan books but I think I'll only manage to get one of them read before they're due back at the library and I start school up again.

While traveling I listened to Whisky from Small Glasses - definitely enjoyed it. I also finished Krysten Ritter's Bonfire and enjoyed it as well.

Uncle_ricky
Member

07-02-2007

Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 10:12 am   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Uncle_ricky a private message Print Post    
Teach, you TAUGHT me something new! I had to Google Molly Houses - I'm scandalized (as well as embarrassed) that I had no idea what they were.

Yesterday I finished Taffy Brodesser-Akner's marvelous debut novel, Fleishman is in Trouble. I think it's safe to predict that by year's end it'll be on Best Books of 2019 lists.

I thought it was great and got immersed easily into the narrative style. It's written in a non-traditional way (and that can be a little bit jarring), but not impossibly so. It's about a marriage that's on very shaky ground and told from three main points of view: the husband, the wife and a college friend of the husband.

A majority of the characters have negative traits and quirks, so some readers might have a problem with that. The writing is outstanding - it reminded me of Philip Roth, but more fun, since Roth's stuff is usually so serious. There's a fair amount of sex and a LOT of talk about sex. All of it is written in a witty, crisply controlled style that I'd describe as more conversational than anything else.

Finally, I'd recommend you try to get this one from the library because there's a chance you might find the characters too disagreeable. You can always stop reading and return it (I'd hate for you to buy it only to find you weren't connecting with it)!

Grooch
Member

06-16-2006

Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 10:29 am   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Grooch a private message Print Post    
Lol! I just looked it up because of your post, Ricky. Definitely wouldn't have guessed that.

As they say, you learn something new everyday. :-)

Heckagirl631
Member

09-08-2010

Sunday, August 25, 2019 - 10:55 am   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Heckagirl631 a private message Print Post    
Finished "Urge to Kill" by John Lutz. It reminded me more of a book by Stephen King. It was good. In the back of the book it said Mr. Lutz wrote the book that the movie "Single White Female" was based on. I did not know that. Saw that movie many years ago.

Teachmichigan
Member

07-22-2001

Sunday, August 25, 2019 - 12:29 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Teachmichigan a private message Print Post    
YAZZZ!!! Seriously, Rik - as much as you read, I thought for sure you'd know what a Molly house was. IIRC, I "learned" about them in a Diana Gabaldon novela about Lord John Gray, but when I was doing my research before teaching Wilde for the first time, they came up. I knew the kids would love the controversial element of them, so we did Jon Stewart style interviews with Oscar Wilde on topics like Hedonism, Nietsche, Molly Houses, Victorian women, etc. All kinds of fun!

I've finished Kindred and Conversations with Friends - highly recommend them both. Still working on Dark Matter and House of Lies and started another Merrily Watkins mystery on a Kindle that was now free from a library book. :-)

Seamonkey
Moderator

09-07-2000

Sunday, August 25, 2019 - 12:55 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Seamonkey a private message Print Post    
I had to look it up as well. I knew of the places, but not of the name for them.

Tresbien
Member

08-26-2002

Monday, August 26, 2019 - 4:23 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Tresbien a private message Print Post    
Amor Towles wrote a story called The Line that is available free for a limited time here: https://granta.com/the-line/ Enjoyed it very much.

Heckagirl631
Member

09-08-2010

Monday, August 26, 2019 - 5:48 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Heckagirl631 a private message Print Post    
I have not read anything else by Towles, but I enjoyed it as well. Thanks!

Tresbien
Member

08-26-2002

Monday, August 26, 2019 - 6:21 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Tresbien a private message Print Post    
Oh, Heckagirl, please please read A Gentleman In Moscow. You will not regret it. Promise!

Grooch
Member

06-16-2006

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 4:48 am   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Grooch a private message Print Post    
Thanks, Tresbien. I enjoyed it, too.

Uncle_ricky
Member

07-02-2007

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 10:32 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Uncle_ricky a private message Print Post    
Tonight I finished Well-Schooled in Murder, which is the 3rd book in the Inspector Lynley series by Elizabeth George. I've got a long way to go before I'm all caught up since there are 20 total books. WSIM was really, really terrific - I couldn't believe the number of surprises that were revealed by the time I'd reached the end!

On the bus to work tomorrow, I'm going to read The Line -- thank you, Tresbien, for letting us know it's available - I can't wait to dive right into it in the morning.

Jimmer
Board Administrator

08-29-2000

Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 8:18 am   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Jimmer a private message Print Post    
I'll have to give that series a try. I think I mentioned before that I used to read a lot of murder mysteries when I was young because my Mom was such a fan of them.

I may have posted this before but along the line of silly thoughts, I find that sometimes new technology messes with me when I read books published even a few years ago. I keep thinking that a character should get out her cellphone and call people or look things up on the Internet.

For example, in the early books I keep wanting Harry Bosch to call people. Detective work was sure a lot harder back then!

Uncle_ricky
Member

07-02-2007

Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 11:25 am   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Uncle_ricky a private message Print Post    
I agree with all your points, Jim! I'll keep my fingers crossed you like the good Inspector. I like Bosch a little bit better, but that's only because he lives here in L.A. and it's fun to recognize all the local landmarks that he frequents in each of the books.

I finished The Line this morning and LOVED IT. Thanks again Tresbien!

Tresbien
Member

08-26-2002

Friday, August 30, 2019 - 12:40 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Tresbien a private message Print Post    
Glad you all got to read The Line and enjoyed it. Amor Towles has another story coming out on September 17 that's free for Prime members. It's a science fiction story titled, You Have Arrived At Your Destination.

Grooch
Member

06-16-2006

Friday, August 30, 2019 - 12:55 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Grooch a private message Print Post    
Here's something interesting to think about.

Somebody posted a link to a blog from the News and Views area. The author was using some stories to use as examples for her point. One of the stories was The Tale Of The Fisherman and The Fish.

From Wikipedia Here is the summary of its plot.

In Pushkin's poem, an old man and woman have been living poorly for many years. They have a small hut, and every day the man goes out to fish. One day, he throws in his net and pulls out seaweed two times in succession, but on the third time he pulls out a golden fish. The fish pleads for its life, promising any wish in return. However, the old man is scared by the fact that a fish can speak; he says he does not want anything, and lets the fish go.

When he returns and tells his wife about the golden fish, she gets angry and tells her husband to go ask the fish for a new trough, as theirs is broken, and the fish happily grants this small request. The next day, the wife asks for a new house, and the fish grants this also. Then, in succession, the wife asks for a palace, to become a noble lady, to become the ruler of her province, to become the tsarina, and finally to become the Ruler of the Sea and to subjugate the golden fish completely to her boundless will. As the man goes to ask for each item, the sea becomes more and more stormy, until the last request, where the man can hardly hear himself think. When he asks that his wife be made the Ruler of the Sea, the fish cures her greed by putting everything back to the way it was before, including the broken trough.


And the author of this story is by Alexander Pushkin.


Here's a link to Pushkin's wikipedia page. Pretty interesting life. Link

So when you put the story and Pushkins life together, you can see where Towles got his inspiration from. And if you read the actual story, you can see Pushkin, the character, and his wife resemble the fisherman and his wife.

How odd the two totally different posts happened at about the same time to catch it. :-)

Jimmer
Board Administrator

08-29-2000

Friday, August 30, 2019 - 1:00 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Jimmer a private message Print Post    
Cool how these things connected. What timing!

Tresbien
Member

08-26-2002

Friday, August 30, 2019 - 1:42 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Tresbien a private message Print Post    
This is what Towles wrote in his email update, "At one point in A Gentleman in Moscow, the character Mishka ruminates that the line was one of Lenin's greatest innovations: "He established it by decree in 1917 and personally took the first slot as his comrades jostled to line up behind him. Then one by one, every Russian took his place, and the line grew longer and longer until it shared all of the attributes of life." After writing this passage, I was taken by the notion of a Russian citizen who, given his personality and upbringing, was destined to be the perfect man to wait in lines..." Agree it's no accident that his main character is named Pushkin.

Uncle_ricky
Member

07-02-2007

Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 6:51 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Uncle_ricky a private message Print Post    
Fascinating! Thanks Grooch and Tresbien!

This afternoon I finished Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney. I recall that Kookliebird liked it, so I looked for it at the library and there was a copy available. Ms. Feeney writes very well and this is her debut. It's a thriller that's highly entertaining. (Ellen de Generes liked it so much that she optioned the book to be turned into a TV series.) There were a couple of plot points that kept me from loving the book. I liked it, but I thought I would like it more until those sketchy plot points disrupted my enjoyment of the story. She has since written her second thriller, (I Know Who You Are), so I'll be curious to see how that one compares to her debut.

Rieann
Member

08-26-2006

Tuesday, September 03, 2019 - 3:11 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Rieann a private message Print Post    
There were a couple of plot points that kept me from loving the book. I liked it, but I thought I would like it more until those sketchy plot points disrupted my enjoyment of the story.

Me too, Ric. I felt the way it ended could have went in a few different directions. I thought there would be a sequel. Lol

I still enjoyed it as a page-turner.

Uncle_ricky
Member

07-02-2007

Tuesday, September 03, 2019 - 10:55 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Uncle_ricky a private message Print Post    
I agree, Rieann, definitely a page-turner (and a quickie, too, only 258 pages). I'll be surprised if there isn't a sequel to it down the line.

Today I finished the latest by Becky Masterman, We Were Killers Once, and the 4th in the Brigid Quinn series. Our intrepid (and retired 65-year-old) FBI agent is in hot water again with a nasty villain who causes havoc for her and her husband Carlo in their quiet Tucson neighborhood. I love how Masterman never allows Brigid to be anything other than the toughest person in practically every scene of this book and the three previous ones. This newest one is definitely her best!

Uncle_ricky
Member

07-02-2007

Sunday, September 08, 2019 - 6:27 pm   Edit Post Move Post Delete Post View Post Send Uncle_ricky a private message Print Post    
Last night I finished Lisa Jewell's 5th published novel, the engaging (and sweet and funny), Vince and Joy. Released in 2005, it follows a pair of teenagers who meet as 19-year-olds over a brief holiday weekend in the UK and then go their separate ways (not by their choice). We follow them over the course of the next 17 years as they mature, have other relationships and then bump into one another a few years after their initial meeting. I love Lisa Jewell's writing! Only 11 more to go and I'll be all caught with her collection.