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View Full Version : Moms' Book Thread ~ Week 26 (June 28th - July 4th)



Negin
06-28-2015, 04:26 AM
:hi: everyone. Hope that it's been an enjoyable reading week for all.

I read The Miniaturist (http://www.amazon.com/Miniaturist-Novel-Jessie-Burton/dp/0062306847/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435483058&sr=8-1&keywords=the+miniaturist) - For most of the book, I thought that I would likely end up giving it 4 or 5 stars, that’s how much I liked it. All in all, it was a bit too enigmatic for me in certain areas. I liked it, but certainly didn’t love it. I chose to read this now, because it takes place in Amsterdam, and we’ll be heading there for a few days soon.

http://d4rri9bdfuube.cloudfront.net/assets/images/book/large/9781/4472/9781447250937.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/04/dc/f4/04dcf47f99c6803604e52fff2ce3154a.jpg
Courtesy: cajunmama.tumblr.com

And I love this poem.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/85/ec/10/85ec103d168fc32152326d8c17e6ff6c.jpg

Courtesy: zulily.hardpin.com

MY RATING SYSTEM
5 Stars
Fantastic, couldn't put it down
4 Stars
Really Good
3 Stars
Enjoyable
2 Stars
Just Okay – nothing to write home about
1 Star
Rubbish – waste of my money and time. Few books make it to this level, since I usually give up on them if they’re that bad.

Julie Y
06-28-2015, 11:20 AM
I just finished One Plus One. (http://www.amazon.com/One-Plus-Novel-Jojo-Moyes/dp/0143127500/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435508188&sr=1-1&keywords=one+plus+one) New author to me but I think I must have gotten her name from the Modern Mrs. Darcy book blog (http://modernmrsdarcy.com/). This book took a little bit to get into. At first, none of the characters were likeable, but they all grew on me. I ended up loving the book and am now on the quest to read others by Jojo Moyes.

Vicki P in VA
06-28-2015, 12:02 PM
Wonderful thoughts, Negin! I wholeheartedly agree with the kids of a bookworm quotation...my mom and dad were avid readers (mom still is), and I've certainly done my best to pass that trait on to my own kids! It's been so sweet during our house buying adventure to see the kids' excitement at the idea that we will finally have a room dedicated as an office/library. My eldest is already fantasizing about all the times she will sneak off into that room to read! I will definitely have to make some cozy reading spots in there. :)

I finished up two art books that I had been chugging through for a while: The Artist's Way by Cameron, and Painting Successful Watercolours from Photographs, by Geoff Kersey. Cameron's book isn't for everyone--it's a bit "new-agey" and definitely geared towards those who are struggling to find their creativity or just learn how to be free to create. It was perfectly timed for me, and I got a lot out of it, but I don't know that I'd recommend it to everyone.

The Kersey book, again, is perhaps for a select audience, but it is a wonderful book! It has gorgeous photographs, and you really feel like you are getting inside the artist's head as he explains his choices for taking the photos and painting his landscapes. It isn't really a "how to" book; you can't really learn adequately how to watercolor paint from this one. But as an inspiration book, and as a way to understand how to approach drawing and painting, it is fantastic. I think it would be a great book to use to show "artist's choices" if you're doing an art section for FIAR, especially if you're using a book based in the British Isles somehow (all of his paintings are set in various places there).

Once those were done, I started a book called Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die, by Diane Kochilas. (It's a long title, but I put the entire thing because it explains the point of the book so well!) This author was recommended to me by a friend the other day because she knows I love Greek food, and I found this book and another of Kochilas' at the library. The book includes recipes, but it is so much more than a cookbook--it is part travel guide, part health/nutrition guide, part gardening, and part amazing recipes! I am in love with this book so far, and want to cook most of what it contains! I even watched a Rick Steves episode on the Greek Islands last night I was feeling so inspired. :)

Finally, for fiction I started Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude. It's on my 2015 reading challenge list, and is something I've been meaning to read forever. I got sidetracked by Ikaria, so haven't gotten very far on that one yet, but hopefully will get more of it done in the coming week.

Hope you all have a wonderful fourth of July week, and plenty of time to read! :hi:

Michele
06-28-2015, 08:42 PM
Oh! I think that I read a Jojo Moyes book, Me Before You. I think that I liked it but I just can't remember (I have some odd "holes" since my stroke or perhaps...it's just being 51!!!! LOL! I'm hoping to read Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. I read The Namesake a few years ago and it stayed with me for quite some time. I'm thinking about rereading some books that I haven't read in a few years. Is there a rule of thumb for rereads? Three years or four perhaps? Five? I'm hoping to get in some reading this week (toward the end of the week) but we shall see.
Vicki, One Hundred Years of Solitude has been on my reading list for ages! Looking forward to your review.

JuliaT
06-28-2015, 08:45 PM
I have been enjoying some summer light reading lately. I have read 'Life With The O'Briens' by Lisa Genova (excellent book, Genova is a very good character writer. Even though I did like the book, I did not appreciate the ending,) 'Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins (really liked this book. It has been compared to Gone Girl but I didn't think it was anything like it. This book is much better than Gone Girl, imo. ) and 'Second LIfe' by S.J.Watson (the author of 'Before I Go to Sleep'.) I have just started the last book so I am not sure about it yet.

Kelly K
06-28-2015, 09:38 PM
Julie, I really liked The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo. I am reading 41 about George Bush. Great book.

Rebe
06-28-2015, 09:59 PM
'Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins (really liked this book. It has been compared to Gone Girl but I didn't think it was anything like it. This book is much better than Gone Girl, imo.

I agree.

I'm almost halfway through Call the Midwife and I love it! I rank it up there with James Herriot for a memoir that makes the place so memorable, as well as the characters. It's absolutely wonderful and I'm so glad to be on this board and thread -- otherwise I never would have thought to read this book -- never even knew it WAS a book! So thank you, was it Negin and Stacy? for recommending this. I am a very happy reader right now. :yes:

Stacia
06-28-2015, 11:05 PM
Have fun on your trip, Negin! Can't wait to hear all about it. :)

I finished Johannes Cabal The Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard. Overall, I enjoyed it & it's what I would term a light read even though the material itself is quite dark. (It is necromancy after all.) I think the first half is stronger than the second & I probably liked the first half more because it was wittier & more acid, imo. By the halfway mark, it felt like the story got a little more predictable (often my problem with books that are part of a series) & I feel like there were some chapters there just to fill the 'quota' & move the story to its end, if that makes sense. I liked the ending (mostly) & it sets-up the story to roll on into the next book. I'll probably get to the second one someday, but since I rarely read series books, it's just not something I'm in a hurry to get to. Still, a mostly fun fantasy/horror book with a sinister edge.

I've started Glimmerglass (http://www.strangehorizons.com/reviews/2015/03/glimmerglass_by.shtml) by Marly Youmans. It is delightful so far.

From the linked review, a couple of quotes...


"... Glimmerglass’s literary concern is fairytales and myth. It’s not a reworking of any one particular fairytale, but it revels in the forms and idioms of the genre. On the surface it’s a real-world drama about a woman’s later-life discovery of adventure, love, ambition, and artistry. In light of its concerns for both coming-of-age and the real rubbing against the magical, it’s fitting that much of the work is given over to images of thresholds being crossed, of locked doors being opened, and of rivers overflowing their banks. And while it’s a literary-critical truism to remark that the source material of many fairytales is much darker than their popular Disney-fied incarnations, Glimmerglass really is an adult fantasy, not in the sense that it’s violent and sexual (though this is an aspect of the text), but in its emotional complexities, and its themes of loss and redemption. It’s brilliantly well-written, shockingly raw, and transportingly—sometimes confusingly (but not in a bad way)—weird."

<>snip<>

"Which all brings me, in a roundabout sort of way, back to my original point: that of stories being renewed and changed by their retelling. Glimmerglass is, at its heart, a fairytale, re-cast as a late-life coming-of-age drama. Cynthia could be Snow White or Cinderella deferred by thirty years. Through her, Marly Youmans is challenging the stereotypical fairytale narrative that adventure, magic, and wonder are experiences exclusive to youth. Cynthia is middle-aged, but she is only just realising her potential. It’s refreshing that the character who’s finding her courage, falling in love, and chasing monsters through dark woods is an older woman. Perhaps this speaks to the paucity of such characters in fantasy—and fairytales specifically—where women’s aging is so often associated with acrimony: bowed witches whose ugliness, evil, and spite is directly related to their bitterness over faded youth."

Negin
06-29-2015, 04:09 AM
Once those were done, I started a book called Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die,
Finally, for fiction I started Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Vicki, the Greek Island longevity book sounds nice. Greek food is my second favorite food in the world. I absolutely love it. Unfortunately, there's none to be found where we live, so I either have to live with my cravings or start cooking. :D

I've been hesitant to read "One Hundred Years". My friend, a former bookstore owner who knew my taste very well, said that I wouldn't like it. I do plan on trying it out, but when is a good question. Too many books to read!


I'm thinking about rereading some books that I haven't read in a few years. Is there a rule of thumb for rereads? Three years or four perhaps? Five?
Michele, I don't think there's any rule of thumb. I've read that C.S. Lewis said that it's always a good idea to re-read an old book in between each new book. I would only re-read a book that I love. I keep planning on re-reading some of my favorites, but I also keep getting sidetracked by newer and more appealing ones. I have been working on a rota - a sort of plan for all my books to read, organized in different genres, etc. I keep fiddling around with it.


I have been enjoying some summer light reading lately. I have read 'Life With The O'Briens' by Lisa Genova (excellent book, Genova is a very good character writer. Even though I did like the book, I did not appreciate the ending,) 'Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins (really liked this book. It has been compared to Gone Girl but I didn't think it was anything like it. This book is much better than Gone Girl, imo. ) and 'Second LIfe' by S.J.Watson (the author of 'Before I Go to Sleep'.) I have just started the last book so I am not sure about it yet.
Julia, I just came across an excerpt of "Life with the O'Briens". I want to read pretty much all of the titles that you've mentioned.


Julie, I really liked The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo.
I have at least one book of hers on my kindle. No time to read it yet.


I'm almost halfway through Call the Midwife and I love it!
:) So happy to hear that you're enjoying it, Rebe.


Have fun on your trip, Negin! Can't wait to hear all about it. :)
I finished Johannes Cabal The Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard. Overall, I enjoyed it & it's what I would term a light read even though the material itself is quite dark. (It is necromancy after all.)
I've started Glimmerglass (http://www.strangehorizons.com/reviews/2015/03/glimmerglass_by.shtml) by Marly Youmans. It is delightful so far.

Stacia, thank you. We still have some time left, but when I'm gone, please ladies, continue with this weekly thread.
I'm giggling at your comment about Necromancer being a bit dark, since it is necromancy after all :lol:.
Glimmerglass is a lovely title. Off to look at both your books.

- - - Updated - - -


I just finished One Plus One. (http://www.amazon.com/One-Plus-Novel-Jojo-Moyes/dp/0143127500/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435508188&sr=1-1&keywords=one+plus+one) New author to me but I think I must have gotten her name from the Modern Mrs. Darcy book blog (http://modernmrsdarcy.com/). This book took a little bit to get into. At first, none of the characters were likeable, but they all grew on me. I ended up loving the book and am now on the quest to read others by Jojo Moyes.
Julie, as I mentioned above, I really do want to read a Jojo Moyes book soon. I keep hearing her mentioned everywhere.

Michele
06-29-2015, 07:18 AM
I just can't take it anymore !!! I'm also re reading JojoMoyes Me Before You (I found it hiding within my Kindle purchases). :lol:

Stacia
06-29-2015, 10:41 AM
Re: One Hundred Years of Solitude...

I finally read it a few years ago. I tend to love magical realism & think it's really a critical work to read from the genre. I quite enjoyed it (but didn't love it) & found some of the sentences & descriptions beautiful & dreamy. It's definitely one that could be reread & savored many times. I'm also glad that I read it because the first book I read by Marquez was Love in the Time of Cholera, a book that had been highly, highly recommended to me by various people, & I absolutely hated that one. So, I'm glad I read One Hundred Years, partly so I know that I do like some of Marquez' work.

I first tried to read it when my children were very young, but I quickly realized I was too sleep-deprived at that point to be able to read a book where many of the characters have the same name! :lol:

Negin
06-29-2015, 11:12 AM
I just can't take it anymore !!! I'm also re reading JojoMoyes Me Before You (I found it hiding within my Kindle purchases). :lol:
:lol:


Re: One Hundred Years of Solitude...
I finally read it a few years ago. I tend to love magical realism & think it's really a critical work to read from the genre. I quite enjoyed it (but didn't love it) & found some of the sentences & descriptions beautiful & dreamy.

Thank you, Stacia. I'll try to read it at at time when there are fewer distractions and stress (as if there is such a time, but one can always hope!). :lol:

Stacia
06-30-2015, 01:38 PM
Just finished Glimmerglass (http://www.curledup.com/glimmerglass.htm) by Marly Youmans. This is a grown-up's version of a fairytale interlaced with magical realism & mystery. So, there's a mix of the fantastical, the dreamy, a muse, lost (& found) dreams, the prince, the evil character, a mystery (a murder?), secrets hidden & shared, learning, growth, & redemption. It's a pretty quick read & one that is best read in one sitting to maintain the flow & magic. Like good fairytales, the path may be gnarled, but the telling is simple & straightforward, pulling you in deeper & deeper for a decently delightful diversion on a summer's day.

Stacia
07-01-2015, 10:56 AM
So, I've started a book that I have no idea where I heard about it or why I requested it. :lol: (I do that all the time. Does anyone else have this problem???)

I *think* I might have seen it on the Words without Borders website (http://wordswithoutborders.org/book-review/david-albaharis-leeches).

It is Leeches by David Albahari. It's stream-of-consciousness (sort-of) & the entire thing (300+ pages) is one long paragraph. No chapter breaks, no paragraph breaks. For a bookmark, I'm actually using one of those narrow post-it notes for marking the line I last read.

http://images.indiebound.com/023/015/9780151015023.jpg

The NPR review: 'Leeches': A Tale Of The Balkans, Breathlessly Told (http://www.npr.org/2011/07/14/135770061/leeches-a-tale-of-the-balkans-breathlessly-told)

Book description:



The place is Serbia, the time is the late 1990s. Our protagonist, a single man, writes a regular op-ed column for a Belgrade newspaper and spends the rest of his time with his best friend, smoking pot and talking about sex, politics, and life in general. One day on the shore of the Danube he spots a man slapping a beautiful woman. Intrigued, he follows the woman into the tangled streets of the city until he loses sight of her. A few days later he receives a mysterious manuscript whose contents seem to mutate each time he opens it. To decipher the manuscript—a collection of fragments on the Kabbalah and the history of the Jews of Zemun and Belgrade—he contacts an old schoolmate, now an eccentric mathematician, and a group of men from the Jewish community.

As the narrator delves deeper into arcane topics, he begins to see signs of anti-Semitism, past and present, throughout the city and he feels impelled to denounce it. But his increasingly passionate columns erupt in a scandal culminating in murder. Following in the footsteps of Foucault’s Pendulum, Leeches is a cerebral adventure into the underground worlds of secret societies and conspiracy theories.

and

the closing paragraph of the Words without Borders review:


"The book is, ultimately, both compelling and original, a postmodern meditation on souls living and dead, the interwoven nature of relationships of both hate and love, war and order, religion and politics. The Kabbalistic elements of the book serve as a trope for the chaos bred by hatred, and ignited by limited economic opportunities, fomenting an environment of xenophobia and bigotry. Its translation is smooth, and lets this ambitious, pulsating book run its course without stumbles. Despite its sometimes confounding concatenation of detail, Leeches is a grand contemplation of the novel’s role in a society that is equally confusing. In the book, Albahari himself explains both the chaos and the order of the book: “No one can convince me that real life is as orderly as a novel, and that in real life everything is tidy and purposeful, that people appear precisely when their arrival fits into the plot, not a moment too soon or a moment too late, and that all else leads to a climax and a resolution, after which, there is nothing left unexplained."

Read more: http://wordswithoutb...s#ixzz3eehRpN8C

Shauna
07-01-2015, 01:15 PM
It's definitely one that could be reread & savored many times. I'm also glad that I read it because the first book I read by Marquez was Love in the Time of Cholera, a book that had been highly, highly recommended to me by various people, & I absolutely hated that one.

I hated it—and Florentino—so much that I didn't finish the book.

Negin
07-02-2015, 02:52 AM
So, I've started a book that I have no idea where I heard about it or why I requested it. :lol: (I do that all the time. Does anyone else have this problem???)
All the time. :lol:


is one long paragraph. No chapter breaks, no paragraph breaks. For a bookmark, I'm actually using one of those narrow post-it notes for marking the line I last read.
Stacia, can't wait to hear your thoughts on this one :). The cover looks great. The no chapter breaks and so on, would be a huge challenge for me!