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In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Posted by siobhan_1 (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 8:47

Hello, hello, I have been absent for too long! I have been reading away, though. My latest obsession is WW2 persons. I am reading biographies/autobiographies of Jimmy Doolittle, Omar Bradley, and George Patton, yes all at the same time. I read a couple of these many years ago, amazing how differently I see things now.

This post was edited by siobhan_1 on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 8:50


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Finished The Wind Is Not a River by Brian Payton a few days ago. My current library book is A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley, and on my Kindle I'm getting ready to start All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

This post was edited by georgia_peach on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 14:48


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Georgia -

I see you're about to start an Anthony Doerr. I recently read one of his collections of short stories, and loved his writing so I'm curious what your experience will be as well. I hope it is as good as mine was.

Reading in my life: been remarkably slow these last few weeks. I've been fighting off a flu-ish thing and it's amazing how that malaise can really wipe you out to doing anything much more than lying around watching tv and movies. Hopefully on the mend now.

I did pick up the Moonwalking with Einstein, stunt journo book about one man who studied memory and then entered the world championships for memory. Dreadful first chapter but now I'm in further, it's much better. Fiction-wise, another Agatha Christie -- Body in the Library which is a good one and perfect for my invalid brain this week.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

A friend kept recommending a book she really liked and wanted me to read so I finally placed a hold on it and started reading it last night. It's called Proof of Heaven: a Neurosurgeon's Near-death Experience and Journey into Heaven by Eben Alexander.

As I started reading it, I kept thinking it looked familiar although I didn't remember the title or author. Finally I went back and looked at my book records and found I had read it back in Dec of last year. I guess it didn't have as much of an impact on me as it did on her! LOL


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Georgia_Peach,
I read A Vision of Light years ago and still remember how good it was. I'd like to hear what you think of it once you read it.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Rouan, I have done that twice in the last two days...checked out a library book that I have already read. I read so many mystery series that it is hard to keep track sometimes.
I nearly actually bought what I thought was the latest Stephanie Plum but luckily read the first page in the queue before I got to the cashier.
I pass them on to my daughter so I don't have them at home to see what the new series number has reached.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Finished up the Agatha Christie mystery which I was reading - a good one as par for the course. I happened to go thrift shopping and found Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret - Judy Blume. This title had slipped through the net in my childhood reading, so I'm enjoying it now (although it's a bit late in my life!!). It is a good read, and I'm thinking if I know a young girl who would be the right age for this...


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I am under the spell of L. P. Hartley's "The Go-Between". Why did I put off reading this novel for so long?


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I am about to start The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown for my book club. It's non-fiction about the U.S. crew team in the 1936 Olympics. Crew is very popular here and most of us have kids on the public school crew team, so we'll be reading it as the season begins.

Lemonhead, I actually enjoyed Moonwalking with Einstein though I tend to find interesting those kind of "stunt journalism" books, as you call them.

I've also started The Magicians by Lev Grossman.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I'm reading The Moor by Laurie King, one of the Sherlock Holmes-Mary Russell books. The setting is Dartmoor, harking back to The Hound of the Baskervilles. I'm not very far along; had a busy and tiring weekend, so I keep falling asleep reading.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Merryworld - I am currently reading The Boys in the Boat also. I know nothing at all about the sport, but the book is fascinating. It is my town's One Read selection for this year.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Based on a recommendation from Lemonhead (I think), I'm reading Great Tales from English History by Robert Lacey. The chapters are short, the writing style is breezy, and I'm really enjoying reacquainting myself with some British history.

Merryworld, I really liked The Magicians very much, as well as the second book, The Magician King. I am going to have to re-read both (it's been a while) as the third book in the series, The Magician's Land comes out this week.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Magician's Land


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Tim, "The Go-Between" is one of my all-time favorites. Years ago, here at RP, we had a discussion going about the book. There is so much symbolism in it and we were trying to figure it all out. Maybe you were not a member then.

I am re-reading Marcel Pagnol's wonderful memoir of his boyhood in rural France: "My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle." I love the descriptions of the landscapes with wild herbs and the subtle humor.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Tim - I loved Hartley's novel... It was one of those "at-the-right-time-and-place" reads and it was close to perfect for me. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Finished up "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" by Judy Blume (which I probably would have loved as a kid that age). Now, strolling around the bookshelves for my next read.

And I really need to cull my shelves as it's almost time for the FoL Book Sale and I have promised myself that I can only buy books that fit in the shelf space... (Need to make that shelf space!)


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Woodnymph, I highly enjoyed the movies based on Pagnol's memoirs. I think maybe I should go read the books now.

Lemonhead, I also came to Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret as an adult, and I would have loved to have read it at the "right" age.

I'm currently reading Mister Raja's Neighbourhood by Jeff Greenwald. It is the account, in the form of journal entries and letters, of 16 months he spent in Nepal in the 1980s. Years ago I kept finding this book on lists of "best" travelogues and ordered it online. I read about 20 pages, found it uninteresting and not at all good, but for some reason I decided not to get rid of it and it ended up among my collection of travelogues. I recently came across it when going through my bookshelves and decided it was time to give it a second chance. I'm a little more than halfway through it and enjoying it.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Starting another thrift store find (and an unfamiliar title/author to me): Only in London by a Lebanese writer called Hana al-Shaykh. It's still early in the book, but seems like it could be good. It's one of those plots where you have strangers who meet and have a common experience, and then they all go off and have their own lives with thin pieces of string connecting to each of them stemming from that original event.

Sheri - Glad that you are enjoying Lacey's work. I think that there are quite a few titles out there by him, and I've read all the English Tales ones. Now I'm on to his book about life in the year 1000. Just as fascinating as his other books!


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I may have just finished Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart. It was really so non-memorable I put it back on the shelf yesterday and wondered if I had, in fact, read the last chapter. I suppose I should check.
i know I have really read The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter by Matthew Dennison (brand new illustrated hard-back for a penny plus p&p).
Hardly a fast-moving suspenseful read as poor Beatrice had such a circumscribed life especially after her older sisters were married-off and her brothers left 'home'. Her life had been mapped out by the Queen, with no thought of her own feelings and when in her 20's she fell in love with a Battenberg prince her Mother refused to speak to her for almost a year; no mean feat when they shared the same dining table and B acted as her secretary.
Marriage was eventually allowed as long as her husband gave up his army career and the couple lived always with the Queen. B had about 10 years of happiness and four children. Her daughter became Queen Ena of Spain (not a happy union) and Beatrice went on to the huge task of editing the Queen's journals . .. and leaving out the dubious bits.
Luckily a family tree was included: so many Crowned Heads of Europe and very many of the younger ones called Victoria or Albert.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I finished The Moor, and guess what? Holmes and Mary solved another puzzle.

Have now started A Double Death on the Black Isle, second one by A. D. Scott. I'm so glad someone recommended Ms. Scott's books as a prelude to our trip to Scotland. They are wonderful (mysteries set in the Highands).


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I collected two "Mr Campion " mysteries I had requested, written by Allingham's husband. They were kept in the State Library archives and marked "Last Copy " with a sticker "$55 if lost"!
One cover was so grubby and sticky that I had to give it a wipe down before I wanted to handle it! After some seven years doing part time work repairing library books, I thought I could manage that safely!


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I've just finished Map of Another Town by M.F.K. Fisher, her portrait of Aix-en-Provence in France, where she lived for a few years in the 1950s. It was in a two book volume titled Two Towns in Provence and I felt tempted to go right on and reread the second book, A Considerable Town, her portrait of Marseille, but I decided to save it as a treat for later. In any case, I picked up another of her books at the same time as this one: As They Were, and am looking forward to reading that.

I wish I could find a current travel/food writer who writes prose as lovely as Fisher's. Her books are a true joy to read, like intricately put-together and delicious meals.

Now concentrating on Return of the Straight Dope by Cecil Adams, which I find to be a nice blend of humour and scrupulously researched fact. I love reading these kinds of trivia books.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I finished L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between a few days ago. I absolutely loved it. In fact, I am style under its spell. Sometimes when I finish a truly great book, it takes me several days for its afterglow to wear off. The weather has finally warmed up, so I feel a bit like in am still in the world of that novel.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Tim,

Felt the same when I read The Go-Between years ago, even though I thought it was sad. I read in winter and the warm weather in the novel was an antidote to the actual weather.

Just finished reading Colors of France, A Painting Pilgrimage by Margaret Hall Hoyback. Over a decade ago, she spent 6 weeks in France painting her way from the Basque country in southwest France to Monet's garden, Giverny. On the way she painted in Rocamadour, Limoges and Ile d'Yeu. All along she met very hospitable French people.

She explains that to paint at Giverny, an artist has to submit her/his work in advance to be juried. Once the permission is granted, they can only paint before and after visiting hours, and on Mondays, when the garden is closed to visitors. The book has only sketches, no finished paintings (that's okay with me).


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Hi all,

I have been reading quite a bit lately, some new, some not-so-new.

For book club, we just read The Inferno by Dan Brown. I do not care for his writing style, but the settings always interest me. Set in Florence, it is another whirlwind, hard to believe mystery-type book. I think the basic premise and the ending will spark quite a discussion on Thursday.

I also read Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. This book's main character is a young girl sent out West on the infamous Orphan Trains of the early 1900's which claimed to find homes for orphaned/homeless children. While it was full of good intentions, the reality usually turned out to be quite different. I thought it was "okay", not great, not bad, kinda memorable. Some of the scenes seemed planted just to keep readers' attention and that always irks me. Still, a good book club read as there are so many avenues for discussion.

Next came the new Virgil Flowers thriller by John Sandford. Not much to say.. either you love Sandford or you don't. I happen to be in the first category. I will not spoil it for any others who may be looking forward to reading it. I will just say that, as usual, Sandford delivers and I read the book in less than two days.

And after that, the new one by Lyndsay Faye entitled, Seven for a Secret. Set in 1800's New York, the main character is Timothy Wilde, a reluctant member of the newly formed Copper Stars, precursor to the police force. Timothy finds himself in the middle of a complicated mystery. Well written, but I confess that I did not fall into the book until I was about 100 pages into it. Many of the same cast as Faye's first book, The Gods of Gotham.

And tonight I just finished the new Rhys Bowen book, Queen of Hearts, a Lady Georgianna mystery. A fun potato chip of a book that finds Lady Georgianna on a liner crossing the Atlantic and then in Hollywood of al places. Same regular characters, some of which grow and evolve, some of which stay frightfully the same.

Currently reading The Plato Papers by Peter Ackroyd. Love it! It is making me think of archaeology from a totally different perspective and I find it both thought-provoking and at the same time, entertaining. Plato finds himself 2000 years in the future. It is his job to study any artifacts from our current time and explain what our lives and philosophies and emotions and environs were like to the people of his time. Quite imaginative. At times I am laughing so hard that I drop the book, other times I am making lists for further study.

PAM


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perhaps the title?

Sorry all... completely forgot to write the title of the new John Sandford book. It is "Deadline".

PAM


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

RIT -

I had no idea that people had to book reservations for painting at Givenchy. It makes sense when I think about it, but new to me!

PAM - you sound like you've been a reading fiend lately... and welcome back!

I've just read a pretty forgettable novel which had plot holes in it as big as the Grand Canyon. I wish that I could get that time back now. Meanwhile, finished up the never-ending Foer/memory book, and am now reading an interesting NF book which looks at the "new domesticity" (the craze of young people returning to the Martha Stewart/cup cake world) through a feminist perspective. (Sounds dreadfully serious, doesn't it? It's good right now.)

And then "Showing the Flag", a short story collection by Jane Gardam that my lovely mum sent me from UK. It's really good.

This post was edited by lemonhead101 on Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 15:35


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Finished The Straight Dope and am now concentrating on finishing Slow Boats to China by Gavin Young, which I started reading several months ago and then took a break from. It's about his journey from Europe to China in 1979-80, going as much as possible by sea - something I don't think would be possible to the same extent nowadays. Young was a skilful writer and I am thoroughly enjoying the book and already planning to buy the sequel, Slow Boats Home.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I'm re-reading "The Year 1000" by Lacey & Danziger. It's a fascinating depiction of everyday life in Anglo-Saxon England. Some of the information is quite surprising and amazing to me.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Lemonhead,

It was new to me too that artists would have submit work to be accepted to paint at Giverny (I suppose not everybody is accepted), as well as that they have limited time to non visiting hours. That's why I mentioned it. When I read it I thought in retrospect to 2 visits to Giverny (one in spring, one in early fall) and realized I had not seen anybody painting. The artists would be too much on the way of visitors, and vice versa.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Lemonhead, I read The Year 1000 a long time ago and remember really liking it, no wonder I'm enjoying Great Tales from English History.

I was watching "Who Do You Think You Are?" (a genealogy show) last night and the genealogists traced Valerie Bertinelli's family back to King Edward I. Despite all my reading I'm still a bit hazy on early English royalty, but the Lacey book was the perfect reference.

I'm now half way through a very engaging fantasy book by Scott Lynch, The Lies of Locke Lamora. His world building is outstanding, and I'm really enjoying this book. There are two more in the series available, with (I think) six or seven books planned in total.

I'm waffling on whether or not I want to commit to the whole series or just enjoy the first book and move on, mostly because I've found that the older I get, the less I recall about series books, especially if there's a year or two between them (sigh).

Next up will be Kate Atkinson's Life After Life for my book group. I really liked her Behind the Scenes at the Museum, so I hope this one is as good (it's had a lot of hype).


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Hi Sheri -

I adored Atkinson's "Behind the Scenes..." book. Not only was it a good read, but it had also had GUINEA PIGS in it (and guinea pigs are quite rare in literary circles apart from Olga de Polga et al.) We looked after guinea pigs when we were kids and we adored them. I still do, but with the dog and cats, it would be not be a good mix for the little piggy.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Now reading Pax Brittanica, the middle part of the trilogy of the same name, by Jan Morris. It's a history, or maybe rather a portrait, of the British empire. This book covers the pinnacle of the empire.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

This morning I finished the latest from the Australian thriller/crime author Michael Robotham, called Life or Death. Set in Texas, it has the main character escaping from jail the day before he is due to be released, and I really enjoyed it.
I will now go back and finish The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. I was enjoying that one too, and only left it because I was travelling interstate and didn't want to take a trade paperback with me.
After that I have The Heist by Daniel Silva and the new one by David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Reading now another find in a library book sale: A Shower of Summer Days by May Sarton, published in 1952. A middle age married couple, Violet and Charles, come finally to live in Ireland, after spending 20something years in Burma. They have just moved into the wife's childhood home, Dene's Court, which she inherited years ago (she is Anglo-Irish, he is British). While they are still settling, Violet's niece comes for a visit, supposedly to make her forget a young man she is in love with in America. This is the first book I read by May Sarton.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I'm reading Aloha, Lady Blue by Charley Memminger, his first book and, as you might expect, set in Hawaii. He lives on a yacht on the island of Oahu, and he and two dogs guard the basin. He is just getting back into really living after withdrawing from life when he was shot because of investigative reporting for the newspaper. It has some really funny lines, along with further investigation, and is a lovely travelogue about the island (and I love Hawaii).


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I am working on Brennert's Molikai, his second book was Honolulu. He loves Hawaii and its history. It's about a 7 year old girl sent to Molikai because she has leprosy. Does not sound like a good read but I found it very interesting and it ended well.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I have just completed a really good read of a 1947 novel called "Of Love and Hunger" by Julian McLaren-Ross, Set in 1939, just before WWII is declared, its lead character is Richard Francis Fanshawe, a former journalist now door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesman living in a dingy boarding house in an off-season seaside town on the south coast of England. He has recently returned from being fired at his job in Madras, India, and life in the Old Country is not turning out as he had planned. He's broke for most of the time, has to walk in the cold and rain with a heavy demo vacuum cleaner, has creditors constantly chasing him around. Then, his work colleague leaves town to work on a cruise line, and asks Fanshawe to look after his young wife whilst he is away... This book details what happens.

Really well written in first-person POV and written how Fanshawe would say things, using dialect (but not hard to follow). Very believable characters and by the end of this shortish novel, I felt that I really knew them in many ways.

Plus - it was a perfect read as summer here in Texas is going on forever, and I had been interested in reading about cold dreary wet days.

Again, great read. McLaren-Ross sounds like a drunk loser to me (in his personal life), but this was good. He's written other things, but this is the one that rises to the top book-wise.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I had been starting to read "Pope Joan" but now "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doeur has been put into my hands, so I think it will override my other choice, for now.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Lemonhead,

If you want to read something that helps create a vicarious winter around you, I'd recommend The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier, if you haven't read it already. It's one of those novels in alternate chapters: half of them take place in the Antarctic winter, and in the other chapters is not summer either. It is a good read on its own, meteorological merits aside ("merits" is relative here: I read in winter--for a book club--and I felt awfully cold while reading it).


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Sioban, since you are reading WW2 themed books, I thought I would send a title your way. I also love that theme and haven't read nearly enough about it.

Gardening is one of my fascinations and someone pointed me toward a book that was about gardening during WW2 in England. About a horticulturist who is sent to an old estate to manage 'land girls' who are all there to try to raise food during the war and in the process renovate the garden. The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys. You might enjoy it, it explores the war from a perspective that doesn't normally get much attention.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

RIT - Thanks for the recommendation. I'll get ordered from the library...


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Prairiemoon2,
The Lost Garden, IMO, is one of those little gems that are not well known, though it should be. I read it years ago and still have my copy. It is beautifully written.

Lemonhead,
Let me know what you think of The Brief History of the Dead, and if it tricks your brain to make you feel cooler.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I'm reading An Unwilling Accomplice, a new Bess Crawford book by Charles Todd. It has started off really well, with Bess being taken in by a recovering patient.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I was just checking out Helen Humphrey's work (I have either read her book The Lost Garden or one very similar) and came across Coventry about the German blitz on that Midland industrial city in 1940, probably the most concentrated attack on a single target outside London, since the start of WWII.
Co-incidentally my parents met for the first time that night at an army camp dance on Salisbury Plain and the music of the band was drowned-out by the sound of the bombers flying North. Apparently my father said "I bet you they are heading to Coventry." Not the most romantic remark, but they were tough times . . . and he was proved right.

Liz/lemonhead no need to feel cooler here in the UK as the temps have suddenly dropped to the low 50's, even the 40's last night . . . and when you consider that August is the school holiday month I bet there will be much teeth chattering and goose-pimples on the beaches. ;-(


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Veer - You're bringing back some fond holiday memories!! Shivering in a beach hut "having fun".... Maybe that's why I miss the cool temperatures. Cold and goose pimples and sand = good times! :-)

I've read Humphries' Coventry a while back. I remember it as a good read, so would recommend it if you're after a WWII homefront life book.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I've recently finished Case Histories by Kate Atkinson; the first of her PI Jackson Brodie stories. It is the sort of book that needs reading over a few days; not as I did, over about three weeks as it was difficult to keep the characters in order, especially as in true Atkinson style she does flit back and forth between 'now' and 'then'. None the less an enjoyable read, though RP'ers should be warned some of the content is rather meaty.

Liz the beach hut brings back memories of meths-smelling cups of tea made from water boiled on a primus stove, jam sandwiches flavoured with sand that crunched between the teeth, more sand being rubbed off wet cold little legs (didn't it hurt) and the wind blowing off the North Sea as we made castles and paddled wearing sweaters on our 'top halves' to prevent hypothermia.
Happy Days!


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I, too, liked "The Lost Garden." As for books with WWII themes: how about "Suite Francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky? Also, Anthony Doeur's "All the Light We Cannot See". There is also "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Veer - I used to love that feeling of thawing out after a dip in the sea and then wearing a jumper whilst we make sand castles. All cosy. I do, however, think that you must have been on holiday with my lovely family in order to have those same exact memories from seaside adventures. (I laughed out loud when I read your memories, esp about the rubbing the sand off little cold legs. Ouchie.)

Wood - what do you think of Anthony Doerr's writing so far? I've just got another collection of short stories by him from the library, so planning on delving in to those pretty soonish.

And RIT - going to library tomorrow to pick up my own personal air-conditioner-in-a-book from your reccie.

As for me, I am just about to start Canadian author Richard Wagamese's Indian Horse. It's a novel which was selected for a "Canada Reads" and has some great reviews. Tim - have you heard of or read this?

And NF is a critical look (academic "critical", not "negative review" critical) at the New Domesticity where Gen Y people are really into learning knitting/Etsy/making jam etc. It's really interesting so far. Homeward Bound by Emily Matchar.

And then my classic sort of book is The Lake by George Moore, an Irish novel written in 1905. No idea where I found the title, but it's not bad so far.

This post was edited by lemonhead101 on Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 16:37


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Summer here in Ontario tends to be very hot and dry. But this year, summer has been anything but. Nonetheless, I am ready for fall. I love ghost stories, and tend to stockpile them for October. My longing for autumn might explain why I am reading Dark Entries, the first published collection of "strange stories" by the legendary British writer of the macabre, Robert Aickman. My copy is a recent, very attractive reissue by Faber and Faber. (Aickman's books went out of print after his death, and were only available at an exorbitant cost.)

His stories are longish (about 50 pages), but filled with the kind of atmosphere I love: footsteps echoing on the stairs of an empty house, oddly deserted little towns at night, etc. Very spooky, without being grotesque or graphic.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Finished reading A Shower of Summer Days by May Sarton. There are only 4 characters and The House, a character in itself. A good part of the "action" happens inside people: thoughts, memories, feelings, and small gestures or a change in the weather acquire significance. All in all, it was okay, though I do not feel inclined at the moment to read another novel by her. I have somewhere her Journal of Solitude, but haven't read it yet.

For once we are having a proper summer with more than the average 24 days at 80 degrees or above. Our average temperature for August is 76. Great weather to grow sweet peas.

Lemonhead,
Yes, read The Brief History of the Dead now that it's still warm. You don't want to read it in winter. .


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Vee, I used to wonder at the Famous Five wearing their blazers to the beach - I could never understand it! We rarely went swimming until the temperature was into the mid to high eighties, so blazers (or indeed anything more than a t-shirt) were unnecessary :)


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Liz, I really like "All The Light We Cannot See" thus far, although I am only 100 pages in. I think his style is beautifully descriptive. I realize I am breaking my own "rule" re not liking to read very long books, but this novel is exceptional. It is the sort of book one hates to put down.

RIT, I have read "The Journal of a Solitude" and thought it well-written. I think May Sarton's prose is far more powerful that her poetry.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Kath, the temps here almost never hit the 80's; we get weak with excitement when they reach the 70's. We have a near-by outdoor swimming pool which is fed by a stream. It is always SO cold that hardy types eager to 'swim the English Channel' use it for practice. Tonight frost is possible and the fire is already alight in the living room. And this is the mild SW'ish side of the country!


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I am well into The Book of Life, the end of the Deborah Harkness "creatures" books. It is "outside my comfort zone" per Frieda's thread, but I have enjoyed this series.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Vee, in the summer of 2003, I was staying in a hotel in Southend on Sea with a number of people who had been invited as a group. Our hosts had arranged for British summer (mainly indoor) treats and activities, also kindly gifted us shopping bags with a pocket containing folding umbrellas.
They were completely thrown by the weather which reached 100F! The hired coach which transported us to the various organised functions had no cooling system so was quickly well stocked with iced drinks and tubs of ice cream!


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Thanks for the reccie, Prairiemoon! I have requested The Lost Garden from the library. I do love this sort of book. Wars are a horrid tragedy, that goes without saying, but at least good books come from them.

I've had some fun discussing these war biographies, etc. with my mother. She lived through the war and doesn't particularly like to talk about it. However, it is nice for me to be able to talk a bit about these things without having to explain who everyone is. My mom knows who Jimmy Doolittle and Omar Bradley were!

I'm also enjoying The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic, a book I think several readers here will enjoy if they haven't already. An ordinary woman walks into an old cemetery, reads aloud an inscription and finds herself in another world, where magic is part of regular life. To be honest, I don't normally like this type of book very much, but I like the heroine - I can relate to her.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Just finished Linda Fairstein's Terminal City. This is a murder/mystery and the author was the head of the SVU unit in NYC so she has the knowledge to create a formidable storyline. Unfortunately, in my opinion, while her facts and procedure are awesome, the writing was just mediocre. I thought the book was jumpy and had very little "flow". In all honesty, this book is the latest in the series and since it is my first read by her, I may just be complaining about stuff that followers of the series already know and understand. Not sure I will try another by this author. At any rate, I learned fascinating tidbits about NYC's Grand Central Terminal. No one can say that Fairstein skimps on the homework.

Next up, Chaucer's Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury by Paul Strohm. Only read the introduction but itching to dive in.

PAM


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

PAM - I like that you bold your book titles. I picked that up from you once before, but then lapsed back into italics. You've inspired me again. (I like glancing back through the posts and quickly seeing the title I'm interested in.)

I am reading a kid's book at the moment - YA, I suppose. It's Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. It's an amusing, though sad, story about a young girl named Salamanca. In naming her, Sal's mother was trying to honor the Native American tribe her great grandmother belonged to, and discovered later she'd made a mistake. It was the Seneca tribe she was meant to name her baby after.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Okay, I'm on board with the bold.

I can't believe this, but I have been reading World War Z by Max Brooks and can barely put it down, foregoing both sleep and food. Even more incredible is that I came to it by way of the film with Brad Pitt, which I have watched umpteen times. I don't remember why I ever watched a 'zombie movie' in the first place, but I am thoroughly sucked in. All I can say is that it is very different than I would have thought. The film and the book are completely different, yet the feeling is the same. Can't say I have ever had quite this experience with books and film.


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

I picked up a 50c book from a charity shop "AirHead" by Meg Cabot along with some children's books. It is a Young Adult novel, not my usual reading matter but was quite amusing and I realised it was part of a trilogy. I put in an online request with my library although these books were at other branches. To my astonishment the books were on the requested book shelves at my local library by the next morning! How is that for service?


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

As August draws to a close I have four books going at once. First is the fifth in George RR Martins's Game of Thrones series, A Dance with Dragons. I am halfway through, but am reading it as an ebook when I travel. We've been traveling a lot this summer and I do expect to finish it. I'm not in a hurry. It may well be years until he releases #6, and who knows if we will ever see #7, or if #7 will indeed complete the story?

Second is Superfreakonomics, which my husband Tom read, enjoyed, and passed along to me. It is every bit as engaging as the original Freakonomics was, and I do recommend it to people who enjoy this kind of book, an analysis of human behavior based on economic principles written for a popular audience.

Third is The Time in Between by Maria Duenas, which I am reading for my book club. This hefty volume is a historical novel based in mid 20th century Spain. It is moving along well so far. At this point it does not seem like great literature, but the plot has pulled me in and I am enjoying it. If it keeps on this way, I'm sure I will find it to be a thumping good read. And if it does not, well, I will thump it down on the floor in disgust.

Finally I am looking forward to opening up a book I just got from the library. It is Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. This novel about an early stage dementia patient who suspects a murder caught my attention this summer in a bookstore in Edinburgh, but I decided to wait until I returned home to read it. Apparently it is as popular here in the US as it was in the UK, because I had to go on the waiting list for several weeks before I could hold it in my greedy hands.

Finally I should mention that I also read The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, last month's book club selection. Not to my taste, I'm sorry to say, but I believe it does have its fans. I found it slight. I'm all for reading lighthearted fun, and do so unabashedly, but not when it earnestly tries to be Significant.

Rosefolly


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RE: In August summer still yields - What are you reading?

Oh, Rosefolly, I do despise books that earnestly try to be Significant.

I finished The Book of Life, the last of Deborah Harkness's trilogy on witches, vampires, and daemons. It is part love story, part fantasy, and part good fun, as well as consisting of three very long books. It is certainly not my usual fare, but I enjoyed them all the same.

Then I read Murder on Waverley Place from Victoria Thompson's New York Victorian series. I came to these late, have been reading them for some time, and am about to catch up to the last of them. The main character is a midwife.

Now I have begun North Sea Requiem by A. D. Scott. It is the fourth of the Scottish Highlands and Islands mysteries she has written. I've read the first two, and this one came from the library out of order but I will manage, I'm sure.


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