What we're reading
Posted 06 December 2010 - 11:04 PM
Planet Narnia, by Michael Ward. Highly recommended.
Is it like Planet Hollywood?
Posted 24 December 2010 - 10:55 AM
Posted 24 December 2010 - 11:40 AM
Posted 25 December 2010 - 10:21 PM
Reading Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry, and it's as good as everybody has been telling me it is.
With your online name, I guess it's about time you read it! (And I agree, it is a terrific book - one of my favorite Berry books.)
My family in Maryland and Virginia sent me three books for Christmas that I can't wait to read:
- And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris, by Alan Riding
- At Home in Japan: A Foreign Woman's Journey of Discovery, by Rebecca Otowa - I started this one today, and so far, it's been a pleasing, informative look at daily life in rural Japan, from the point of view of an American woman who married a Japanese husband in 1981, managing his family's 350 year old farmhouse and raising a family of her own in the meantime
- In Ghostly Japan, by Lafcadio Hearn - a collection of Japanese tales of the supernatural, a classic from the late 1800's-early 1900's
Posted 26 December 2010 - 03:38 PM
Posted 27 December 2010 - 03:09 PM
I thought I remembered the book being panned fairly recently, maybe in the Atlantic, but the copyright is 2007, which means my memory is incorrect or accurate but much more distant than I think. Funny how, as I get older, the things that happened years ago can seem like they took place months ago, and sometimes vice versa.
I read 60 pages of the book yesterday and found it compulsively readable -- consumable like a good cup of Starbucks coffee. I didn't learn much -- OK, I did enjoy the bit of history about how coffee consumption replaced beer consumption centuries ago in England among workers.
Those were the days, eh?
Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:35 PM
Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:56 PM
Posted 03 January 2011 - 10:47 AM
Just finished Franzen's Freedom. The last chapter was excellent, but I could have done without a lot of the rest of the book. (And I think the last chapter would work fine as a standalone story.)
I just finished Franzen's The Corrections, which I liked a lot. It made me cringe constantly, sure, but it was pretty incredible.
Also finished Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising Sequence with the final book, Silver on the Tree. Fantastic writing here, though many of the climatic events in the book hinge on remembering and capitalizing on (what I think is) minutia in Welsh Arthurian folklore. Still, a good read, and a nice end to a great series.
Posted 03 January 2011 - 11:27 AM
Posted 03 January 2011 - 03:05 PM
Got "Matterhorn" for Christmas. What an uncomfortable first chapter.
Ah, one I've been meaning to get.
Two I started reading this past weekend:
-Neal Stephenson - In the Beginning...Was the Command Line. This is a fairly short, novella-length essay Stephenson wrote about the culture surrounding computer operating system communities, and how free OSes are the way to go. Much of the information is obsolete, since this was written in 1999, but it's still an enjoyable and informative read.
-James Lowder - Knight of the Black Rose (Ravenloft #2). The second pulpy novel in the Dungeons & Dragons-based gothic horror setting. I was pleasantly surprised with how good the first novel in this series was. This one is, so far, pretty awful. There were several pages that made absolutely no sense, at all. I guess it's a toss-up when you have various entries in a series by different authors. Hopefully it gets better.
Posted 03 January 2011 - 03:34 PM
Posted 16 January 2011 - 05:31 PM
-Telling Secrets, Fredrick Buechner. A brief memoir, and Buechner's third. It touches on a number of things, including his father's suicide, and it's beautifully written.
Posted 19 January 2011 - 10:06 PM
Has anyone read Haruki Murakami's <i>South of the Border, West of the Sun</i>? Honestly, I picked it up because I wanted to try out a Murakami novel but wanted to start with something short. I'm enjoying the story, but the writing is really unimpressive, which is surprising considering the quality of his stories that I've read. Does Philip Gabriel translate all of his English publications, or could my disappointment be with Gabriel's work?
I grabbed these two posts, although there are others about Murakami, to highlight [url=http://murakamichallenge.blogspot.com/2010/12/haruki-murakami-reading-challenge-2011.html]the Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge[,url]. Best part about it? You have to read only one book. That's challenging!
I don't know if Gabriel translates all of Murakami's works, but he's the translator also of <i>Kafka on the Shore</i>, which I'm reading presently and enjoying greatly. The quality of the writing seems tip-top to me - an engrossing tale of entwined lives, with more humor than I recall from Murakami's other book that I've read, <i>The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle</i>.
I'm currently weighing which Murakami book to read in 2011.
Posted 20 January 2011 - 10:16 AM
Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:04 PM
However, I've now started the first part of Proust's 6 volume novel bonanza; In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way. In a slightly comedic way, I didn't realise it was the 6-volume novel but now that I am a few chapters in, I am so happy it is. I can not begin to describe its beauty, I can only encourage everyone to pick it up and start reading and I promise you will not be disappointed. It's astounding. Aside from a very limited number of exceptions, all books I have read pale in comparison.
A happy accident. If I had known what it was I would never have embarked on this 'project' in the final year of writing my thesis. As is, I expect it will keep me sane and give me much needed perspective.
See further comments in Proust thread.
Edited by gigi, 20 January 2011 - 06:04 PM.
Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:54 PM
Now, I'm moving on to A MAGGOT (also by Fowles).