So What Are You Reading Now? (Part the Third)

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

We came from here:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1036836/

Good idea, Woodspirit!

(Zone 8a)

I'm currently reading Dave Boling's very good 'Guernica' about the town which was bombed by the Germans in the 1930s and which inspired Picasso to paint his famous mural named after the town. It's a novel and is about some of the townspeople with the historical events in the background. I've also recently read another novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which is set against the German occupation of the island during World War II. A bit lighter in tone, but quite an enjoyable read.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I am out of new books, so I am rereading Anne Tyler's Patchwork Planet and Village in the Vaucluse. I just finished Claire Messud's The Last Life; it's very well-written but so analytical and cerebral that I felt very little attachment to the characters.

Van Etten, NY(Zone 5a)

I just discovered this forum! I'm always looking for books to read and will start following this thread in earnest. In reading the last thread I saw some discussion of Marilynne Robinson's novel Gilead which I thought was very good. But I would highly recommend two others she wrote which I think are much better: Good Housekeeping (1980) and Home (2008). On the Philip Roth front, I just read The Humbling which is his latest. It is vintage late Roth. Full of black humor, angst, very surprising plot twists, and excellent writing. It's also quite short, almost a novella.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Welcome to the forum bebop2. I should look into some of those. I have now started Three Cups of Tea but haven't gotten too far in it. So far I like it.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

I loved Three Cups of Tea. I looked up their website when I read that Al Queda had shut down a school on the Afgan/Pakstani border. It was not one of theirs. However, I have since heard that another school building had been taken over by Al Queda and that it was mostly a girls' school, so I am afaid it was on that Greg Mortensen built. I'll be watching that group as they proceed.

Plano, TX

i just finished MR PRESIDENT, MR PRESIDENT about a press reporter for the white house --she covered frankly rooservelt, truman, isenhower, kennedy, johnson, nixon, ford, carter, reagan and clinton!! can you imagine the stories she had?!
i just loved the book--she covers each president with a little bit of personal stories, her impressions and what was going on and what they accomplished in office--about 20 pages for each--then at the end of each she tells a page or two about what went on in her personal life ---the end of the book had a brief bit about each first woman

an excellent book by a very impressive woman--very gutsy

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

That would have to be Helen Thomas. (Is she still alive?) I hadn't heard of the book, but it sounds like one I want to get!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

planolinda -that sounds great for my mom, thanks

Animal Magnetism by Rita Mae Brown Stories, observations , mostly from her childhood about wild and domestic animals she had and stories of her family at the time too, farm and hunt country life in Virginia. The writing is well done, although I lost interest about halfway. Good choice for an animal lover.

I think I might just be going to hell, Laurie Notaro I have read two others by her which I found very funny. She wrote first person as a married young adult , no kids, with typical family and pet goofiness. I really recommend those if you can find them. This one is as if she started with her real life and imagined a big change, moving to a small town in Washington State. Not sure if I like it a lot but I like her style.

Gap Creek by Robert Morgan Fiction of a young woman in a very poor rural town, 1800's, tryng to get started in life. Down to earth.

Van Etten, NY(Zone 5a)

Gap Creek sounds interesting. I just added it to my "to read" list. Thanks!

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Well, so far, Salman Rushdie's "Enchantress of Florence" is a no-go for me - I will read on a little further ; probably haven't given it a chance to get interesting. As we mentioned on a different author, so far it seems like a "guy" book.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)






This message was edited Jan 15, 2010 11:44 AM

Plano, TX

no-not helen thomas--here is a review from amazon--i understand the reviewers point but i think i liked the snippet style--

Sarah McClendon's memoir of her 60+ years covering the Presidency is by turns fascinating and frustrating. You get some insider details and a feel for the era--somewhat. You're witness to some funny and sometimes unexpectedly revealing stories about her encounters with various Presidents. Even if you're die hard liberal (like McClendon), you'll find her stories about Nixon and Bush the Elder affecting and human. Alas, there's not as much here as I'd like about the real business of being a correspondent, or enough on the actual press conferences she participated in. There are snippets, some sharp exchanges, but there should be more. The book might have also benefited from "other voices"--interviews with or reminiscences by those who worked with McClendon or who were the target of her laser beam-like questioning. Still, this is an entertaining look at Washington, from someone who trod the boards there for over half a century.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Edited per admin Terry

This message was edited Jan 14, 2010 4:07 PM

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)



This message was edited Jan 15, 2010 11:45 AM

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)



This message was edited Jan 14, 2010 4:08 PM

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Geez, no kidding - I would probably have melted in their position.

Left or right, I think we all agree that there's some things that desperately need fixing - and I think we can all agree that the job situation is a biggie, among all of them (and there are a few, for sure).

I wish everyone would stop with the huge blame game, however - it's like everyone is supposed to know all of the causes and effects of a decision in an enormously complex and complicated world. I am really sick of the "red and blue" division, it's a bunch of bunk and only serves to worsen the problem. The people "in charge" still put their shoes on the same way we all do. Imperfect, brilliant in some areas and totally dense in others. Who could possibly be right all the time? I think the presidency should be a triumvirate, of three people known for being able to work out problems in a group.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)



This message was edited Jan 14, 2010 4:08 PM

Plano, TX

sarah mc clendon was very much a feminist so each president she covers she mentions how women were viewed/treated--as well as her treatment in the press

she really is very outspoken but also very kind and generous in her ability to see a lot of good in every one of the presidents both on a personal level and as a leader

she also tells the not so good sides too but not in a mean or bitter manner--got herself into a lot of trouble over the years for her outspoken manner
i agree with everyone who mentioned not liking the locked in blue/red liberal/conservative labels --i guess i always think someone like that isn't too bright!

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Most of my friends are cross-dressers; blue in some areas and red in a few others. They tend to care a great deal about the environment and social issues but are fiscal conservatives and strong believers in personal responsibility and privacy rights. Especially in local elections I vote the person and his platform, and not the party.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Deleted at the request of admin:Terry

This message was edited Jan 14, 2010 10:02 AM

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Pajarito, two hearts that beat as one! I used to work in a facility for the mentally handicapped; I would assign an individual an IQ of 5 just for maintaining life functions, even if there was no reaction to visual or auditory stimuli. I think they got a 15 if they could track a moving object. One really has to wonder....Of course, this was many years ago when my own adult son was a mere infant, so there are more options now.

Van Etten, NY(Zone 5a)

I just finished Flesh and Blood by Michael Cunningham. It's a good read and was hard to put down. It is a family epic spanning three generations and explores the dynamics of parents and siblings. I wouldn't rank it as high as The Hours but the man can write.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I didn't like it as well as I liked The Hours either, but then the device that The Hours hinged on was unusual and interesting.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Hmmm! So many books! So little time. But I keep trudging along. Need to go on a plane trip. That is where I do most of my reading.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Opposite problem; I read very quickly so it's hard to keep myself in good material. Thank heavens I reread! My main problem is getting through the pile of New Yorkers, though. Somehow when I'm collapsing in an easy chair for the evening I feel like something more absorbing than a magazine which may or may not have articles in it that I want to read at that moment. Sometimes I save them for doctors' offices so I can leave them there when I'm finished, and feel virtuous!

Plano, TX

i liked the hours a lot too--

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

We get the New Yorker, too. I don't even attempt to read the articles, though they are wonderful. I do read them from time to time. Mostly DH and I just enjoy the cartoons which are incredible. And he reads the reviews of plays and movies and we talk a lot about seeing major theater in NY. But so far we haven't done it together. I did once. I took a trip to NY City to see the first part of Angels in America. It was before I married DH. When Angels in America came out in video by HBO, a very excellent job, I made him watch it and he liked it so much that I bought it for him for Christmas or a birthday some year.
DH is involved in theater locally which makes it hard for him to leave at times and also has a demanding job, so I completely understand why he never really flies off to New York to see plays, as he constantly threatens to do.
But if I ever want to know if a current play or movie is decent, he will almost always have the answer.
I guess one would say both of us have our quirks and that is why we get along so well. I think I am going to have to start abandoning old New Yorkers in doctors' offices as well. Until very recently we still had practically every New Yorker we had ever received and we have been married 22 years. And I had the subscription before I married DH. It took some doing but he has begun letting go of some of our old New Yorkers.
I love reading, but spend most of my time reading news on the internet. Would love to read more books but the phone is always ringing and things need to be done. And I do garden quite a bit. And we don't watch TV, even the good stuff.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Pajarito, I don't read the stories in the New Yorker because I find most of them too depressing! I don't know if that's supposed to be more modern or something, but I do prefer books and movies that leave me feeling as if there's some point to going on... silly me! Many of the articles are excellent, and that and the Sunday NY Times keep me feeling as though I haven't completely lost touch with culture. My sister lives in NYC but we just don't go in there; we're not city people. A couple of years ago we did make it to the Met for the opera, though.

We used to save all of our magazines, too. We had stacks and stacks of a wonderful magazine with fantastic photography that dealt with country living, but we finally just chucked them - or donated them to schools for children's projects. I used to bring our old Smithsonians in to the school where I worked, and I gave a pile of magazines to the art teacher at my granddaughter's school last year. We get a bunch of periodicals and there's a limit to how much we can keep, plus I found that as much as I liked to read them, I never really did go back and reread an issue. Even if I wanted to check something out, it was too hard to locate that specific article!

Once in a while I catch The Daily Show; otherwise we mostly watch TV5 Monde when we turn the set on at all. It's interesting to see their take on the news, and they often show good films.

Plano, TX

vanity fair has great articles--
one i loved from the last issue was about the english royalty ---the "rules" you are expected to follow, traditions, etc and how it is often disrupted when one divorces to marry an american (evil stepmother!) who doesn't quite understand or care that the castle or mansion is not owned but that you are more of a caretaker who lives there and looks after the art and collections while adding to them and then passing it all to the next eldest son to continue the line--the whole article starts with the marriage of kit kennedy to royalty (forget the title)

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

That does sound very interesting.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I subscribe to Vanity Fair for the articles as well, but don't get a chance to read them all. Last one I read was a few months ago about the Kennedy family commissioning and then suppressing William Manchester's novel The Death of a President.
I am in the middle of settling my MIL's estate and she had lots of books, so one of my friends suggested we look for it. Alas, so far I haven't found it, but am still finding more caches of books. It would be neat if it were there. Apparently copies cost $400 and we would all like to read it now that we have read the article.
DH is doing the paperwork of the estate -- which is considerable and I am working on clearing out the house and preparing it for sale. I have to begin by opening all the boxes that she moved here 15 years ago to see if what we should keep, what we should throw, and what we should sell. A huge job. I have found lots of wonderful books that I neither have the time to read nor space to store. So I am disposing of many of the books we have around the house in order to take in some of hers that are more interesting.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

That sounds like a lot of work but also potentially very interesting. What do you do with books that you want to dispose of? Our library has an annual book sale so I often donate to them, but I sometimes wonder whether eBay or Amazon would be a better idea.

I ended up with a lot of my uncle's books when he died - a complete set of Kipling, for instance, although I don't think it includes Kim which is my all-time favorite of his. You may find some gems.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

Well, I think I will end my part of the political talks (which we're not supposed to do) by saying that the Pope had a lot to do with downfall of the Soviet Union, too. I am not Catholic but there was a definite impact there.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)



This message was edited Jan 14, 2010 4:13 PM

Plano, TX

reagan the pope and --oh the russian leaders name escapes me now worked together to bring it down

pope john paul had come from communist poland and was motivated to bring freedom of religion to all communist countries

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)



This message was edited Jan 15, 2010 11:47 AM

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

planolinda, was it Yeltsin or Gorbechev?

Plano, TX

thanks--gorbechev

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)




This message was edited Jan 14, 2010 4:10 PM

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