WHAT ARE YOU READING? - Part 6

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WHAT ARE YOU READING? - Part 6

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1AnnieMod
Dez 3, 2019, 6:57pm

With December here, time for the last thread for the year.

What are you reading as the year is getting to a close (and what happened with this decade? I swear, it was 2011 yesterday...) :)

2dchaikin
Editado: Dez 4, 2019, 1:21pm

On audio, Girl, Women, Other, which is suffering a little for immediately following Lost Children Archive...which I still think about.

In paper, finished a book on the geology of Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Vistas. I started James Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work, but haven’t gotten into it as it’s about classic movies I haven’t seen. So I’ve also begun Reading Dante: From Here to Eternity by Prue Shaw, which is really nice early on.

(Oh, and I’ve worked out a 2020 reading plan focusing on The Divine Comedy and Vladimir Nabokov’s Russian novels... although I haven’t posted anything yet)

3AnnieMod
Dez 4, 2019, 3:15pm

>2 dchaikin: I will be interested to hear what you think of Nabokov's novels when you get to them.

I've given up on any planning - either I ignore it or I get so frazzled that I read something just because it is there and that is no way to enjoy a book... :)

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo? Or did you mean Andric indeed as the touchstone assumed (I'd recommend anything by Andric).

4dchaikin
Dez 4, 2019, 3:36pm

>3 AnnieMod: oops. I’m listening to the Evaristo novel. Interesting about the Andric...

5thorold
Dez 4, 2019, 3:59pm

I’ve enjoyed A literature of their own, which just happened to be on the TBR (since 2014!) when I was thinking about doing some homework to prepare for tackling Dorothy Richardson in the new year. But it’s also made me want to try out quite a few of the 19th century women novelists Showalter talks about...

Finishing Katalin Street is next, then maybe a bit more TBR-pruning before the end of the year. And Germinal, if I can squeeze it in somewhere, so that I can finish the year with the Zolathon more or less on track for my three-year target.

6AnnieMod
Editado: Dez 4, 2019, 5:43pm

>4 dchaikin: If you are in the mood for a heavy book (emotionally heavy), The Bridge on the Drina is probably one of the best books ever written in Eastern Europe. It is closer to the Northern sagas in tone than to a modern novel -- it is a story of a bridge after all - but it is also the story of the times and the lands and the peoples that happened to pass/exist around the bridge.

PS: In a way he reminds me of Edward Rutherfurd or Michener :) Except that I was born closer to Andric's subject than to the other 2 - so I knew some of the history of the place that got weaved into the novel better than with the books of the other 2.

7baswood
Dez 4, 2019, 6:48pm

I am still reading Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, after a brief pause to take in a couple of books that I thought might help:

The Poetry of the Faerie Queene by Paul J Alpers
Allegorical Imagery by Rosemond Tuve.

8dchaikin
Dez 4, 2019, 7:01pm

Annie - I have read The Bridge on the Drina - but maybe ten years ago. I like your comments on it. Terrific book. I haven’t read anything else by Andric...

9dchaikin
Dez 4, 2019, 7:02pm

>7 baswood: special book. Enjoy Bas.

10AnnieMod
Dez 4, 2019, 7:11pm

>8 dchaikin: Dan, ah, I see. I am fond of his stories and most of his other novels as well so if your library happens to have the collection that got linked here by mistake, you may want to try it. Or any other collection really :)

>7 baswood: Bas, Spenser is so much fun - once you get into it :) Have fun with it.

11AlisonY
Dez 5, 2019, 6:26am

I've finally escaped from extreme internet Christmas shopping and household flu, so I've at last finished The Road to Oxiana (brilliant). I've now unintentionally started Roald Dahl's More About Boy: Roald Dahl's Tales from Childhood (it was the first thing I grabbed going out the door to read at my kids' swimming club last night and now I can't put it down).

12rocketjk
Dez 5, 2019, 10:12am

I'm about 2/3 of the way through Kate Remembered, A. Scott Berg's memoir/biography of Katherine Hephern.

13LadyoftheLodge
Dez 5, 2019, 3:32pm

I just finished Conversations with Dickens and The Bake Shop which are both for NetGalley. I enjoyed both of them. Currently reading Let it Snow by Nancy Thayer.

14benitastrnad
Editado: Dez 5, 2019, 10:28pm

I started An American Marriage by Tayari Jones last night and finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore today at lunch. Dust jacket on Mr. Penumbra was outstanding. Very eye-catching.

15lilisin
Dez 6, 2019, 3:27am

Finished reading The Factory yesterday which I'm very excited about as this is the author, Hiroko Oyamada, I said I would love to translate some day (although I got beaten to it obviously) when I read her novel The Hole that will also be coming out in 2020. How exciting! (Although I still wish I could have been the one to have translated this although I have zero experience. In my dreams though I'm an excellent translator.)

16avaland
Dez 6, 2019, 6:48am

>5 thorold: I read that Showalter back in the 90s. It made me a fan of her work.

Have done little reading in the last month or month and a half. Too much going on. BUT, recently I finished the latest Edna O'Brien novel, Girl and enjoyed it. It tells the harrowing story of one of the girls from northern Nigeria who is kidnapped by the radical Islamist group Boko Harem (the girls are known as "Chibok Girls"). I previously read Helon Habila's short nonfiction book on the same subject to prepare for the novel.

17thorold
Dez 6, 2019, 8:58am

Finished Katalin Street (excellent!) yesterday, and finished Eliza Eliza, which has been hanging around with a bookmark halfway though for far too long.

Allowed myself the first couple of chapters of Germinal to celebrate, but I’m also busy with Alles über Sally, another Austrian novel that’s been loitering on the TBR. Taking my library books back at the beginning of the week without getting any new ones out is paying off!

>16 avaland: That’s about when I first heard of Showalter too. The chapter on Woolf is included in an anthology of Feminist literary criticism I used for a course I was doing in 1993. Only 26 years to get around to reading the rest of the book...!

18AlisonY
Editado: Dez 6, 2019, 6:18pm

I had a quick unintended (but enjoyable) segue into Roald Dahl's More About Boy. On next to Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You which I'm looking forward to - I'm ready for a return to contemporary fiction.

19LadyoftheLodge
Editado: Dez 7, 2019, 11:20am

I just finished Let It Snow by Nancy Thayer for NetGalley, plus another one that I could not finish because of the sexual content. I am starting The Hope by Patricia David.

I am getting excited about the 2020 Category Challenges and selecting my books!

20thorold
Dez 8, 2019, 12:49pm

Finished Alles über Sally yesterday, and also had time for The Pendragon legend, a very funny gothic/murder-mystery/Dornford-Yates-thriller pastiche from the thirties by Antal Szerb.

On the go: Geraldine Jewsbury's letters to Jane Carlyle, Szerb's essays in Gedanken in der Bibliothek, and Germinal.

21Jim53
Dez 8, 2019, 4:20pm

I just finished Elton John's autobiography, Me, which wasn't as exciting as some reviews suggested. Starting on John Scalzi's Don't Live for Your Obituary, subtitled "Advice, Commentary, and Personal Observations on Writing, 2008-2017."

22rhian_of_oz
Dez 10, 2019, 10:20am

I finished my commute book on the trip home and had literally 10 minutes before going out again so I grabbed Whisper from Mt TBR. It's a bit more YA than I feel like at the moment but I've read quite a bit of it so I think I'll press on.

23rocketjk
Dez 10, 2019, 12:59pm

Having finished, and enjoyed, A. Scott Berg's memoir/biography about Katharine Hepburn, Kate Remembered, I am now on to Irish history, reading Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion by Charles Townshend. This book was recommended to me by a bookseller in Cork last year.

24AlisonY
Dez 10, 2019, 4:41pm

I'm starting Robin Jenkins' Poverty Castle. According to the jacket Jenkins is one of the best kept secrets in British literature. He must be a very well kept secret indeed - there's not a single review for this book on LT. Let's hope that's not an ominous sign.

25benitastrnad
Dez 10, 2019, 10:36pm

I am going to be in Munchen/Munich December 22 -24, 2019. Is anybody in this group up for a meetup? I was thinking coffee at Dalmeyer's, since I will be in the old city center. I would be thrilled to meet a fellow LT'er in Munich.

26RidgewayGirl
Dez 11, 2019, 12:16pm

>25 benitastrnad: Oh, enjoy your time in Munich! You've picked a great time of year to go.

27thorold
Editado: Dez 11, 2019, 12:46pm

I'm still busy with the three "proper" books mentioned in >20 thorold: — Miss Jewsbury is fun, in an understated way, and rediscovering Germinal after thirty years or so is great. In the meantime I've been picking off some more low-hanging fruit on the TBR shelf: a few poetry collections, a 1920s schoolbook and a crime novel. I'll probably go on letting myself be distracted that way for a while yet...

>24 AlisonY: best kept secrets — surely The cone-gatherers (which I still haven't read...) is on every list of "best Scottish novels"?
>25 benitastrnad: >26 RidgewayGirl: Glühwein season!

28Dilara86
Dez 11, 2019, 2:17pm

On the non-fiction side, I'm reading Cumin, Camels, and Caravans: A Spice Odyssey by Gary Paul Nabhan. Fascinating. On the fiction side, White Tears by Hari Kunzru. The first 30 pages or so were a bit of a slog (nerdy blues talk I could not relate to), but now I'm sucked in.

29MarcusBastos
Dez 12, 2019, 7:50am

Finished listening to The Complete Essays of Montaigne, by
Donald M Frame and Michel Eyquem de Montaigne. Review in my thread.

30Dilara86
Dez 12, 2019, 8:15am

>29 MarcusBastos: Out of curiosity, how long is the recording of the Complete Essays?

31RidgewayGirl
Dez 12, 2019, 10:00am

The Tournament of Books longlist has been announced and so I'm reading The Most Fun We Ever We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo, which is about a large family and is a lot of fun, The Night Swimmers by Peter Rock, which is a lot of writerly navel-gazing and one which I'd abandon now were it not on this list, and Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson, which is about as perfect as a novel can be, each word necessary and each scene so full and perfectly rendered.

And I'm reading The Body in Question by Jill Ciment.

32AlisonY
Dez 13, 2019, 3:28am

>27 thorold: yes, apparently The Cone Gatherers is one of the Scottish greats. I'm only 50 pages in on Poverty Castle but so far I'm hugely enjoying it, and scratching my head wondering why it hasn't got plenty of reviews.

33japaul22
Dez 13, 2019, 8:42am

I'm reading Midnight in Chernobyl, a fascinating nonfiction account of the nuclear disaster there. I'm also rereading Little Women in preparation for the new movie. And The Women of the Copper Country just came available at the library so I need to fit that in as well.

34dchaikin
Dez 13, 2019, 10:13pm

Back from a week in Kuala Lumpur for work. Finished Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo on audio, The Devil Finds Work, a long essay by James Baldwin) and Reading Dante by Prue Shaw. And I've started A History of London by Stephen Inwood - only 1000 pages (at 3.5 minutes a page so far...). The last is prep for a family vacation in London over the xmas holiday.

35rhian_of_oz
Dez 14, 2019, 11:28am

I returned a book to the library and The American Agent was right there.

36lilisin
Dez 16, 2019, 2:48am

Finished reading Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake which puts me one book away from 30 read for the year. I've started the sequel The Year of the Flood, hoping to hit that 30th read book which would have me matching last year's total.

37rhian_of_oz
Dez 16, 2019, 9:28am

Neil Gaiman is coming to town in February so I thought it was timely to read Neverwhere.

38AlisonY
Editado: Dez 17, 2019, 6:12am

I completely fell for Robin Jenkins' charms with Poverty Castle. A delightful and unexpected hit. Next up I'm back to Alan Hollinghurst with The Spell.

39thorold
Dez 17, 2019, 4:37am

Finished Geraldine Jewsbury's Letters on Friday — her voice is every bit as much fun as the Woolf essay suggests, but I also found it a frustrating book because of the way the letters were edited.

I read another "random cycling book" (Amsterdam-Delphi: op de fiets naar het orakel by Rosita Steenbeek) over the weekend, and finally got around to finishing the Antal Szerb essay collection Reflections in the library yesterday.

I'm now busy with Alma Schindler-Mahler-(nearly Kokoschka)-Gropius-Werfel's Memoirs.

40LadyoftheLodge
Dez 17, 2019, 10:55am

I am still working on NetGalley reads this month. Just finished (skimmed) The Little Bookshop on the Seine which was a cute and quick read. I seem to be getting a lot of those lately.

41benitastrnad
Editado: Dez 17, 2019, 11:01am

I started my “airport” book this morning. Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon is what I will be reading in the airport and on the plane. I really like these mysteries set in Venice.

I hope to also start Bells in Their Silence by. Michael Gorrai in preparation for my trip to Germany this week.

42rocketjk
Dez 17, 2019, 11:17am

I finished and reviewed the excellent history, Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion by Charles Townshend. Time for some lighter fare! I've started on English whodunit, Death of a Mystery Writer by Robert Barnard.

43shadrach_anki
Dez 17, 2019, 3:38pm

I've been reading a lot, but I've been rather lax in updating my personal thread lately.

My most recent finish was The Christmas Hirelings in audio (a freebie from Audible last year), which was short and sweet and rather predictable, but also narrated by Richard Armitage, who has a truly lovely voice. I also did a combination read/listen of Naomi Novik's Spinning Silver, and it was excellent (this is how a retelling/reimagining of Rumpelstiltskin should be done).

As for current reading, I am doing a combination read/listen of David Grann's The Lost City of Z, which has been a fascinating experience. It's also bumped a few other books higher up on my "need to read" list. I'm also still working my way through A Case for the Book of Mormon by Tad R. Callister. I should finish both of these before the year ends.

On the fiction front, I am in the last story in Connie Willis' A Lot Like Christmas, and I am doing a buddy read of Erin Bow's Plain Kate with my sister. Before the year ends I hope to sneak in a reread of The Dark is Rising, and I want to see if I can also read Georgette Heyer's A Christmas Party.

44bragan
Dez 19, 2019, 7:18am

Since I last checked in on the previous thread, I've read:

The Making of You: The Incredible Journey from Cell to Human by Catherine Vestre (an Early Reviewers book), which was a little simplified for my science-nerd tastes, but interesting, anyway.

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins, which was interesting and creatively written, but didn't work for me quite as well as I would have liked.

Common Sense by Thomas Paine, which was remarkably readable for a musty old historical document.

The Black Company by Glen Cook, which irritated me so much in the beginning that I couldn't enjoy it even after it improved.

American Housewife by Helen Ellis, a collection of stories I mostly wanted to like more than I actually did

Nod by Adrian Barnes, a weird and original apocalypse story that I enjoyed.

And I'm now almost finished with Kameron Hurley's The Geek Feminist Revolution.

45benitastrnad
Editado: Dez 19, 2019, 2:47pm

I started reading a German travel book today. Bells in Their Silence by an American author Michael Gorra. It has been a challenge trying to find a travel book about Germany.

46benitastrnad
Editado: Dez 19, 2019, 2:47pm

>44 bragan:
Geek Feminist Revolution has been on my TBR list for a long time. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

47rocketjk
Dez 19, 2019, 3:17pm

Well, not surprisingly, it didn't take me long to read Robert Barnard's whodunit, Death of a Mystery Writer, which was lots of fun.

I've now started Isaac Singer's memoir of his pre-WW I childhood in Warwaw, In My Father's Court. It's been a while since I read any Singer, and I'm looking forward to getting deeper into this. The memoir is really more a series of anecdotes culled from his memory. His father was a rabbi who conducted a Talmudic court in his home, as was common for Jewish communities in Eastern Europe of the time.

48dchaikin
Dez 19, 2019, 5:08pm

>47 rocketjk: You have me thinking about these Singer memoirs. They left a strong impression on me.

49rocketjk
Dez 19, 2019, 5:20pm

>48 dchaikin: He was such a wonderful writer. The last book I read of his was the Modern Library collection of his short stories. I'm happy to be back in his world for a while.

50dchaikin
Dez 19, 2019, 9:52pm

>49 rocketjk: Yes, completely agree. Have some his books here unread, among the neglected multitudes on the shelves calling. Appreciate the reminder.

51rocketjk
Editado: Abr 9, 2020, 11:07pm

>50 dchaikin: You may or may not recall that for about 7 1/2 years I owned a used bookstore here in northern California. I sold it a bit over a year ago. At any rate, one day a fellow brought in a couple boxes of books to donate. Didn't even want store credit. The books had been his mother's, she'd passed away, and he had no interest in them. My taking them off his hands was all the payment he wanted. Well, mostly the boxes were full of old mystery paperbacks, but also somewhere along the line she'd had a membership in the Franklin Library Signed First Edition Society, and there were several such volumes at the bottom of the boxes. I had an almost unbreakable rule that books brought to the store stayed at the store for sale, rather than coming home with me. However, I broke this rule for the copy of The Death of Methuselah signed by Isaac Singer.

52dchaikin
Dez 20, 2019, 11:08pm

>51 rocketjk: you have some great stories - this is a terrific one. Special find.

53bragan
Dez 21, 2019, 2:23am

>46 benitastrnad: It sat on my TBR shelves for years, too, but I'm glad I finally got around to it. Definitely worth reading!

54thorold
Editado: Dez 21, 2019, 5:02am

Finished Germinal yesterday, the high-point of my Zolathon. I’ve been taking it slowly because it deserves it. And followed it up with an old crime-story off the TBR pile, Tsing-Boum.

I’ve started Ordesa, a recent Spanish novel.

>45 benitastrnad: There are loads of good travel books about Germany. What about:
- Three men on the bummel
- Boswell on the grand tour: Germany and Switzerland
- A time of gifts
- A tramp abroad
...just for starters, not to mention stacks of more recent and more regional ones. Also many by German writers, of course. Tagmash: https://www.librarything.com/tag/Germany,+travel

55thorold
Dez 21, 2019, 7:24am

>54 thorold: ...thinking about that, and the present season, made me get down a volume of Thackeray from the top shelf and re-read his 1850 Christmas Book, The Kickleburys on the Rhine, which is a jolly little satire of the English abroad (in Germany). Great fun!

56japaul22
Dez 21, 2019, 8:42am

I am about to finish The Women of the Copper Country, a new book by Mary Doria Russell. I've also started No Stopping Us Now: the Adventures of Older Women in American History which is a really fun book sharing snippets of the lives of "aging" women (definition of "aging" changes in different time periods!). It was a gift from a friend of mine - we recently turned 40 and frequently joke about aging.

I'm going to start The Expendable Man by Dorothy Hughes next. I have quite a bit of time off of work over the holidays, but with family visiting and my kids home all day I might not get as much reading done as normal. We'll see.

57BLBera
Dez 21, 2019, 3:06pm

I finished The Secrets We Kept, which is really two novels.

I just started Optic Nerve.

58Jim53
Dez 21, 2019, 8:29pm

I read a few mysteries, which seem to be the easiest thing to stick with in my reduced state. But today I started Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which was on a bunch of year's-best lists, and I'm really enjoying it.

59MarcusBastos
Dez 22, 2019, 9:24am

49 hours, 39 minutes.

60MarcusBastos
Dez 22, 2019, 9:28am

Finished listening A Little History of Philosophy, by Nigel Warburton. Review in my thread.

61thorold
Dez 22, 2019, 9:39am

In a (probably) last attempt on the North Face of the TBR pile before the Christmas storms make it unreachable, I've knocked off the posthumous Robert Walser collection Tiefer Winter (what better moment to read it?) and James Pope-Hennessy's delightful 1950s travel book, Aspects of Provence.

62baswood
Dez 22, 2019, 2:02pm

I am reading The Beckett Trilogy Molloy: Malone Dies: The Unnamable.

63thorold
Dez 22, 2019, 4:18pm

>62 baswood: Christmas cheer starts here :-)

64baswood
Dez 22, 2019, 6:26pm

>63 thorold:: sucking stones for Christmas.

65rhian_of_oz
Dez 23, 2019, 5:13am

Since I am officially on holidays, I picked up The Summer of Sunshine and Margot at the library for a light, summer read.

66AlisonY
Dez 25, 2019, 6:25pm

Well, the kids are happy, no one's failed on the gain-five-pounds-in-a-day Christmas dinner challenge, and I got an unexpected reading window for an hour or so at the end of a long day. It's all good.

I was glad to finish Hollinghurst's The Spell as it wasn't overly grabbing me. Tomorrow morning I'll be sitting up in bed with a mug of tea and plate of toast starting Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge and trying not to think about what on earth I'm going to feed a glut of visitors on Friday.

67rhian_of_oz
Dez 26, 2019, 11:01am

I started Being Mortal on Christmas Eve - so far so interesting.

68AlisonY
Editado: Dez 26, 2019, 4:34pm

>67 rhian_of_oz: I found that to be such an important read. I hope it resonates with you in the same way.

69thorold
Dez 26, 2019, 5:17pm

I finished Ordesa today— clever, witty, self-deprecatory and very Spanish, but still a middle-aged divorced dad novel. I’m not quite sure which of those things wins...

Started Propriété Privée for a bit of light relief.

70lilisin
Dez 27, 2019, 7:04am

I got in a very quick read: My sister, the serial killer. I gave it to my mom for Christmas to read on the plane as we traveled and we both have already finished it. We enjoyed it over all as the simple fun read that it is.

71rachbxl
Dez 27, 2019, 7:19am

Time for something gentle, so I’m back in Three Pines with Inspector Gamache and friends for The Brutal Telling. Admittedly, the title doesn’t sound at all gentle, but other than the murders, the world Louise Penny conjures up in each of these books is charming.

72thorold
Dez 29, 2019, 4:11am

Enjoyed Propriété privée, not quite convinced by my book club holiday assignment The secret history, and I’m now enjoying Gerald Murnane’s Inland.
After that, I’ll probably go on to The photographer at sixteen.

73japaul22
Dez 29, 2019, 7:33am

I'm reading Memento Mori by Muriel Spark and No Stopping Us Now, a nonfiction survey of what it's been like for women to age in America over the centuries.

74ELiz_M
Dez 29, 2019, 8:35am

I am reading too many books. I should finish Pilgrimage and Memory of Fire this month and am still reading Anniversaries. I've also picked up Her Body and Other Parties and Bad Feminist.

75bragan
Dez 29, 2019, 6:38pm

Since last I visited this thread, I've read Still Alice by Lisa Genova, Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham, and Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler.

I'm now reading The City of Brass by. S. G. Chakraborty, which I'm enjoying so far. Most likely I won't finish that one before the year ends.

76dchaikin
Editado: Dez 29, 2019, 9:23pm

Got a little carried away with A History of London. Its 1000 pages and I'm not quite half way through after 30 hours of reading. Took a break today on my flight home from London and read Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss and really enjoyed it. Seem that will be my last book of this decade.

Before I left town, I was listening to 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak. I'll get back to it this week as I start commuting again.

77dchaikin
Dez 29, 2019, 9:30pm

***The 2020 CR group is up and running: https://www.librarything.com/groups/c

78rocketjk
Dez 31, 2019, 1:11pm

>67 rhian_of_oz: I'll be reading Being Mortal very early in 2020.

I just got back from 6 whirlwind days of catching up with family and friends (and gorging as much as possible on the sights and sounds of Manhattan) in New York City and New Jersey, so I'm a bit behind in my LT posting. Jumping here to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Just before leaving for our trip, I finished Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen. During the trip (especially during those San Francisco to NYC plane rides) I read the novel Gods and Generals, Jeff Shaara's U.S. Civil War prequel to his father's famous novel of Gettysburg, The Killer Angels. I'll be posting more about both on my individual thread.