So, what are you reading now? (Part the second)

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I am the one who read An Unquiet Mind. I agree that it is a fascinating peak into the mind of a person who is bipolar. I also agree that the author was a fascinating person to be able to accomplish so much and to gain so much perspective on her condition. I have a bipolar stepson and found it very helpful in understanding him. I might add that he, too, has read the book and found it fascinating.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

Hi there folks! I have been amiss for some time. I've been busy with our little museum - big changes going very fast.
Well, I thought I had injured my knee terribly and was going to have surgery but in fact, it was a cyst that burst. Very painful, put nothing that didn't just dissipate on its own with an immobilizer brace and some percocet. So I read.
I read Gilead partly because it was a Pulitzer Prize winner and I think that's a fair reccomendation. It's about an older Congregationalist minister who married late and has a child. He is writing his memoirs, advice, and religious thoughts and struggles for the boy to read when he is older. As a skeptic, I still found it great! Endearing, interesting, unusual.
I used to work for a minister whom I still like and we are friends. However, he has never gone all the way through a proper seminary, as many preachers in small country. I think he'll love this.

(Zone 8a)

I tried with Gilead, I really did. I just couldn't finish it, one of only a handful I've ever abandoned.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

It got a bit slow in the middle, I'll admit, but I was still interested in his insights. Then at the end, more stories of the past and what happens with his namesake.
But the prose was terrific and I think it is a good book for any Christian who needs to see how a preacher can struggle and overcome.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I am currently reading Speech-less by Matt Latimer, a former speech writer for several prominent Republicans and for Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush. He didn't like the speech writing or his own party very much and writes a blistering story about the incompetence of the people he worked with in the Bush administration. Let's hope he isn't going to need a political job in the near future -- or ever. He doesn't think much of the Republicans and even less of the Democrats.

He is or was a young idealist who got to close to the political process. I don't agree with much of his very conservative politics or with his adoration of Donald Rumsfeld, but I really enjoyed his depiction of life behind the scenes in DC.

Kiss and tell books can be fun and this one is decently written.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

This is a bit dated now, Pajarito, but did you ever read Blinded by the Right by David Brock? It's a tell-all by the Republican operative who wrote The Real Anita Hill and The Seduction of Hillary Rodham. He later revised his philosophies and allegiances and did a mea culpa, describing how everything that liberals thought was going on behind the scenes in the 1990's really was - and then some.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Yes, Blinded by the Right is one of my favorite books. It was a real eye opener for me. This one is pretty good too, but perhaps not quite as much in accord with some of my philosophy. Still I admire the author because, though he is sticking with his conservative philosophy, he is quite blunt about those who have corrupted it. People like him would be very helpful to the Republican party if they would listen to him, but I kind of think he may have gone a bit too far in his criticisms of them to ever get another job with them.
He has lovely descriptions of his very liberal parents who were so dedicated to their philosophy that they actually gave him money to go to the Republican Party Convention when he was a kid. Now that is sticking up for one's beliefs, so it isn't surprising that Latimer is sticking up for his.
I find the book a page turner, but I admit I am more interested in politics than many.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Is this out in paperback? Might be a good Christmas present for DH, although that stuff gets him angrier than it does me. I mean, we all knew it anyway, didn't we?

What a nice nod to his parents. I wonder what they make of him!

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

Pajaritomt, I think I will enjoy Speech-less and will try it. I think we are of similar minds. But wouldn't it be nice to have a presidency without a lot of scandals either during or after the term of office?
I was on a list at our library to borrow South Of Broad by Pat Conroy. I was the 17th on the list and it finally came to me today. I hear it is great and I hope that is not based on the success of Prince of Tides.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I don't think Speech-less is out in paperback but I ordered mine for about $5 from bookfinder.com. The book hasn't been out long and is already on the remainer list, it appears. I guess that happens a lot.

I haven't read South of Broad but I liked The Great Santini and some other book of Conroy's. I was less fond of Prince of Tides, though it certainly kept my interest.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

Well, I'm trying to work on South of Broad quickly since so many library members want it.
I have to do a lot of studying on grant-writing right now. I've done a couple of small ones over the years but nothing like what I'm about to take on. 2 people in our organization have experience, but after committing, they never made an effort.
If you want something done, do it......................

Plano, TX

since there has been some comment on political books that tell the story from the right i will include the one i just read--UNLIMITED ACCESS by gary aldrich--"an FBI agent inside the clinton white house"--
first of all mr aldrich is not the best writer (even with what i would think was a lot of help) and he is very partisan and very much to the right--also i do not believe all that he wrote--very much over the top in my opinion
but i did like reading it--not my views for sure but i love the inside stories! how things are run--day to day life in the white house - and i like reading about the clintons--i did end up feeling a little less enthused about both hillary and bill after reading it but maybe in some ways i had them on a pedestal
and it is a quick read-you can get it done in a day or two

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

But if the source may not be accurate is it still worth it, I wonder? I wouldn't mind reading a factual description of the Clinton White House, and I'm sure there's lots to tell no matter how much you admire the guy, but if it were tinged with someone's negative take on them it might be misleading. The same incident can be interpreted lots of different ways, especially if the narrator tries to get the full story and not just go on superficial appearances - and not just look for situations that support his bias.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

I think the Clinton White House was a lot more relaxed that the following administration. I liked Thomas Jefferson: American Sphinx

Plano, TX

well i know what you mean -why read a book that you don't feel is accurate--but i liked it even tho i didn't completely believe it all--i guess i feel smart enough to know a complete snow job--but i can't recommend it as any great writing that's for sure!

as for the clinton white house being relaxed--that was the whole problem he had with it--
you said you liked thomas jefferson:american sphinx--is that a book? movie?

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Woodspirit --- Please tell me that my MONTHS of wait for South of Broad will be worth it. I have enjoyed all of Conroy's books that I have read, but it has been so many years since the last one. I really liked Beach Music. I didn't care for the movie Prince of Tides, but did like the book. I have not read all of his books. I guess I should make the effort to go back and try to find the ones I never got around to reading.

I checked a couple weeks ago, and the library says that I should have South of Broad in another month or so. As soon as I heard there was going to be another book out, I called and asked to be put on the reserve list... they said the cutback in funding for libraries caused the wait to be so long. Many libraries do not have the money for new books, and those that do are getting fewer copies.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

A book all you politicos out there might enjoy from either side is "All's Fair:Love, War and Running for President" by Mary Maitlan & James Carville - two definite high-level Washingtonians from either side who ended up marrying. I didn't read it, but DH enjoyed it. http://www.amazon.com/Alls-Fair-Love-Running-President/dp/0684801337

Plano, TX

that would be a fun book i think! i like james carville and not as familiar with his wife but always love that they are at opposite ends of politics and married and making it work both the marriage and career wise!

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I bought it for DH a long time ago, and he put it away after he read it and I forgot about it. I'll see if I can find it. I was always amazed at the relationship between the two of them and wondered how they pulled it off. It's not like being a lawyer and defending someone just to make sure the law is upheld; these people have to believe in the politicians they're promoting. DH and I agree completely about politics; I don't know how couples who don't agree manage to maintain a peaceful relationship, although I know it's done all the time...

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I am with you all -- how did Mary Maitlan & James Carville pull it off? Yet they seem to have. I love James Carville, the ragin' cajun. I also liked his sidekick Paul Begala. I hated to see them become talking heads because they were both so good at what they did.
I think the reason I have enjoyed Speech-less so much is that the guy is so deeply honest about the failings of his own party -- and honest about them, too. This is a guy who was in love with his party and had his dreams smashed, not by failing to get where he wanted to go -- to be a speechwriter for the President, but to be so disappointed in the President when he finally got there.
To me that is different than someone who hated the Clintons telling ugly stories about them -- at least I am guessing that this guy didn't like the Clintons to begin with -- but correct me if I am wrong. I doubt if many of the FBI agents liked the Clintons from the get-go. The FBI a very right-wing organization -- long dedicated to fighting communism -- practically a wing of the Republican party.

Latimer found things to lie about Bush, too, but overall was very disappointed in him.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

planoLinda (I love the play on your name),
I think with Clinton's White House, while people were not afraid of him, to the point of not giving their opinions, I heard he could show temper from time to time. I also believe Obama has surrounded himself with excellent advisors and deserves a lot for making Hillary his Secretary of State. However, it is difficult for her to deal with some of the muslims, being so western.
There are a lot of "snow jobs" going on with the extremists now.
daylily, I am still reading that book. So far, so good. I have been really busy with the museum and now writing an essay. Stay on the list and then one day, magically when you have almost forgotten, a library worker will call you. Our library is faced with no money for new books too, and laid off a lot of part-time workers, including me. I worked in the history room, after volunteering in the county's archives for 6 years. I moved the archives to the library and merged my papers with their historic information. It is first class but now closed on Saturdays.
I miss my baby terribly. It took a lot of years to put together that collection. I am known locally as MS. History

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Sounds like you have done a wonderful job for your library and your town. How sad that they have no money to pay you! It's not like part-time library workers get paid all that much! I am disappointed that this happened, but I know it is happening all over the country. It seems to me that our national priorities are messed up if we can't keep part-time library workers but we can pay directors over various agencies 6 figures. Who provides the greater service?

(Zone 8a)

I've run out of books so I'm re-reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova which I loved first time around.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

If I have no idea what I want to read, I check the American Book Awards winners list, the Pulitzer Prize winners, and even the Nobel Prize for literature. But I bought a copy of David Copperfield at the library's annual book sale to see what I think of it since I first read it in high school.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

I am *still* reading Jayber Crow (by Wendell Berry). I don't think I've ever taken so long to read a book in my life (and have completed other books in the middle of it!) .... it isn't a fast moving, big-grab-gotta-finish-it sort of book, not at all. It is, however, deeply thoughtful in its considerations of life, love, religion and community. I think I'm half in love with Wendell Berry. If he's anything like his main character, he's a very kind man who enjoys a good laugh now and again.

Plano, TX

last summer i went to colorado for first time and while there saw the columbine memorial--well it got me thinking about columbine and turns out it is the 10 year anniversary -- a new book by someone who has studied it all these years came out this year--it was highly praised and so i got on the library list and now after 4 months i got it on thursday--it is such a well written, exciting, interesting book that i really could not put it down and finished it in 3 days--it just covers so much--personality disorders, FBI, lawsuits, how people coped, motives, religion, lots of columbine myths, and so much more-- the title is columbine (forgot the author but published this year)

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Thanks, linda. That sounds like something I would enjoy.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

That does sound fascinating ...

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

I am still reading South of Broad. It gets better and better as it goes along. Some of the characters were orphans or abused in childhood and rose above it all, but had a time coping with the elitism of folks who live south of broad street in Charleston's old family mansions. The story pursues a storyline that is intriguing as the group, who have stayed close for the most part, goes to San Francisco to help a group member find her missing brother. I am at the point of finding it hard to put the book down - chores are calling. My gardens got neglected this year and my beds are a mess. I did manage to keep parts of my rock garden going though.

Thumbnail by woodspirit1
Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Wow, woodspirit, I may have to read that book. I always like a page turner. My garden is a mess, too due to the two vigorous young husky crosses I adopted. They are delightful companions but are hard on all of my plants. I just got through ordering some iron fencing to block some of their favorite places to knock over my plants. I tried the cheap stuff and they ran right through it.
I am hoping for a better year next year! Now it is time to curl up with books.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

great rock garden woodspirit.

Plano, TX

i am starting the potato peel society today---book club choice--

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

That was a good book. I liked it a lot better than I expected I would!

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

Yes, I liked it. I returned it immediately because the waiting list was up to 18. I didn't dare keep it late. I would have gotten lynched, especially since I worked there until June.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

I thought it was sweet...a little fluffy, but a good read. Especially now that I'm in the middle of 'Columbine' ... no fluff there.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Yes, it was fluffy. It reminded me a little of Cold Comfort Farm because of her immersion in the island community. That's a good read, by the way, if you like tongue-firmly-in-cheek and British humor in general.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Thanks, gg, that name sounds awful familiar to me. Maybe because of Cold Mountain...

Has anyone read The Forgotten Garden? It's pretty well rated on Amazon.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

No, but it does look good. Orphans are always so appealing... When I was a kid we had quite a few books about children who were orphans or who were in orphanages; not a modern subject, but I always loved them.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Yeah, and they promote it as a grown-ups version of "The Secret Garden", one of my very very favorite-est childhood books. More orphans and a great mansion with walled gardens.... mmm....

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I loved "The Secret Garden" but also Hector Malot's "Nobody's Girl." That seems not to be a very well-know classic but it was a wonderful story about a girl who had courage and ingenuity - not common female traits in books when I was a kid.

This message was edited Nov 17, 2009 8:43 PM

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