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And on to December, hurray!

Posted by rosefolly (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 1, 13 at 15:03

I have just finished up re-reading the Hunger Games trilogy. I saw and loved the second movie with my DH early last week. He also thought it was very good, and superior to the first one. I actually liked the first one myself. Seeing the movie inspired me to go back to the books and I thoroughly enjoyed them all over again. I have heard that they plan to split the final book into two movies which I am not so thrilled to hear. The density and length of all three books is evenly balanced, so I am concerned that this is a mistake. However the only vote I'm going to get is whether or not to go see them. I will reserve judgment.

Now on to my book club book, The Dinner by Herman Koch. I've picked it up but so far have not been able to push myself beyond the first couple dozen pages. I have until Tuesday so perhaps I can read something I will actually enjoy before I have to buckle down to it. I fear it is one of those depressing modern novels that instructs me how just how awful people really are, in case I had not noticed for myself.

I think I'll put a couple satisfying hours in the garden before I submit myself to that.

Rosefolly


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: And on to December, hurray!

merry christmas photo: Merry Christmas Everyone From Charlie Brown 17951_403117010720_4900340_n.jpg

Just thought I would help with the Christmas spirit here. I still love Charlie Brown's Christmas. I will be back later with my reading for this month.


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I'm well into a book my mother sent me some time ago, The Girl in the Green Glass Mirror by Elizabeth McGregor. Set in the present day, it has a mystery going back to Victorian times, two somewhat broken people who find each other, a quirky country home that has its own secrets, fine art - what more could I want on a cold December night?


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I have just finished the latest Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency mystery "The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon" by Alexander McCall Smith. Like the other books, the detecting is mostly done by listening to gossip! This series is one of the cosiest of the cosy genre and an enjoyable read.
I would like to see a further TV series based on the books as the only one to be made was very well done.


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I'm still interspersing The Puttermesser Papers with other books, this one another recommendation from Book Lust called Flint by Paul Eddy. It is a mystery and keeps me going with TPP.

Janalyn, I love your cartoon. I spent yesterday and this afternoon after church with Christmas decorating, which sort of makes me wish that little tree was all I have to contend with. I love it after I get finished, though, and that isn't yet.


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Finally my college course has ended, so I am back to reading for sheer pleasure for a time. I may take a stab at Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms".

Rosefolly, what a coincidence! Just last night late, I finished the Hunger Games Trilogy. I was addicted toward the end and I know my heart was racing. I absolutely love this series! I've not yet seen the new film. These books are meant for more than the YA audience, in my opinion.

Spoiler ahead: Rosefolly, what did you think of the ending where Gale is sort of dismissed casually? I was disappointed, as I was always rooting for him.


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Spoilers in the response as well.
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I did not think it was casual, but rather something that was slowly building. At some point Katniss says that she realizes that she has all the fire (anger) she needs already, and that Peeta's unselfish goodness complements her better than Gale's own anger does. She and Gale understand each other but do not add anything to each other. Also, while she seems to have forgiven him, she was never going to forget his unwitting contribution to the death of the person she loved most. Someone (in a non-RP discussion) pointed out the turning point came at the Nut, when he was willing to condemn innocent people to death to defeat the enemy, while she was not.

Had Katniss or Prim never been chosen for the Hunger Games, I suspect she would have remained single, though she and Gale might have continued as friends and hunting partners. She really did not want to risk ever having a child that could be sent to the games.

Rosefolly


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I am rereading books from my keeper shelves, partially with a view to culling. I have two on the go right now, Dogs and Goddesses by Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart and Lani Diane Rich, and The Raj at Table by David Burton. The first is a paranormal romance and the second a culinary/social history.

I'll probably move on to Dickens and A Christmas Carol once those are finished, and then perhaps Hogfather by Terry Pratchett.


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Rosefolly, thanks. I still saw a lot of good in Gale, but I see your point.


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Last night I started The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. I am ashamed that I have not read it before, and it has been on my TBR for years! There is something about the colder months which makes me want to read Victorian novels. Also chunkier books, which I tend to put off in the summer.


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I spotted another of the Mr. Darcy books "Dinner with Mr. Darcy" by Pen Vogler, a recipe book, so I will try it. The triumph of hope over experience!


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I finished the newest Gail Carriger Finishing School book, Curtsies and Conspiracies. It's the second book in a YA steampunk trilogy, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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Do not ever take Bodily Harm on a beach vacation. I love most of Margaret Atwood but this book is the most depressing novel I have read all year. The irony is that I picked it up at the Cancer Clinic when I took my friend for her chemo treatment. It was on a shelf where you buy the book for 2 bucks and everything goes to cancer research. It's about a young woman who has a masectomy (more irony) and her life starts spiralling out of control and things well, just get worse. Atwood is a great writer and I couldnt toss the book for that reason, but in hindsight I wish I had. Ugh. The only thing I am grateful for is that I took it off the shelf before some poor person with breast cancer did...sigh. And Aloha! from Maui! Moving on to some sci-fi...


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I had to read "Takedown Twenty" by Janet Evanovich quickly as my daughter is coming from her mining town to visit. I give her the series as they are published. I have had this on the TBR pile while I read some popular library books that had to go back in a hurry. I do get three weeks to read these but if we all took that long, the person who is on the end of the waiting list might be ready for the next publication by the time they got this one!


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I'm currently engrossed in "The Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes, which won the Mann Booker prize in 2011. So far, so good, and very English, set in the 60's.


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I've finished my (approximately) biennial rereading of A Christmas Carol and enjoyed it (as always).

Unfortunately I haven't been as lucky with most of the rest of my Christmas reading. Some years ago I read a couple of novellas by Debbie Macomber that featured a trio of angels named Shirley, Goodness and Mercy and enjoyed them very much. Recently I came across two novels about them and have now read both, one after the other. I found one a bit too annoyingly saccharine for my taste while the other was pure glurge. It's a pity, because the novellas I read first were funny and uplifting and showed promise.


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Hi all -

I've been AWOL for a while, but I do have a good excuse.

I am having trouble reading right now.

I know. Who woulda thunk?

But I've really strained my back/neck and shoulders, and so can't hold any reading material in front of me at any level for my eyes to read from. The library has audio books, but they don't download to Macs (which is what I have for most devices at home), and magazines are too heavy!

:-(

I really miss reading.

However, if I *was* reading, I would be finishing up a travelogue with a questionable title of "The S*x Lives of Cannibals" by J. Maarten Troost -- very funny about a couple who go to live on a tiny island/atoll in the Pacific.

But until then, I'm working my way through that TV series, Damages.

Read whilst you can, my friends! Read away!


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As an antidote to Bodily Harm, see above, I went back to Connie Willis and her Miracle book...I was going to save it for the plane trip home. Even if you don't enjoy sci-fi, this book has the best ever Christmas reading introduction. Get it from the library just for the introduction alone. Reading it is like opening an early Christmas present for yourself.

Lemonhead how on earth did you do that. I have this image of you as a diesel mechanic flat on your back under a transit bus, hefting power wrenches and then shrieking, "OMG, there goes my back again!" Get better soon!


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Janalyn, you're in Hawaii? Lucky you!

I have read a couple more of the Book Lust recommendations that are much more to my liking. Read Cop Hater by Ed McBain, his first 87th Precinct book, and Henrietta Who by Catherine Aird. I have read some Aird mysteries in the past, but it has been a long time. This one was set in a village in England after WWII and was a nice cozy read.


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Carolyn, Aird is a favourite! I always have to laugh at Crosby with his "driving" ambition!


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Janalyn -

I wish I had an exotic and exciting explanation for my back injury, but no. I chalk it up for being old(er), carrying heavy luggage, sitting in a plane for 10 hours and slouching in front of the computer at work.

I could say I was being chased by a hungry pack of wolves at moonlight to rescue the crown jewels to ensure that the kingdom stays in the right hands.

But no. Nothing so exciting.

:-)

Thanks for asking!


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To my surprise, I have found myself reading and enjoying Stacy Schiff's Saint-Exupery: A Biography. A surprise because although I enjoy the famous author's work I have never been curious about him and I rarely read biographies these days. But I picked it up on a whim on my last library visit and although it is very dense and slow going, I find myself looking forward to reading it. One of those books that is a snapshot of days that are forever gone, a very interesting history lesson. And S-E lived a unique and interesting life quite apart from being a legendary writer.

Also continuing my gluttonous consumption of mountaineering books with Ed Viesturs's K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain. Great stuff!


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Lemonhead, I hope you make a quick recovery. All aspects of a back injury are bad, but not being able to read must be the most frustrating part.


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I'm reading Bitter River by Julia Keller. It is her second book set in a very small town in West Virginia. Our heroine has returned to her home town and been elected county prosecuting attorney after having lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for a number of years. She divorced her smooth, lobbyist, out for what he can get, adulterous husband and brought their daughter out of that environment; but now that she is a teenager and in the previous book was kidnapped, she has chosen to live with her dad and his trophy girlfriend in Washington. So, lots of angst and another mystery to solve in this one. The books are quite well written.


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As usual, I have about three books going at the same time. But one that I am reading in small segments is Alistair MacLeod's "Island." This is a book of complete stories, set in the Nova Scotia area. I weep as I read them, but think they are wonderful. I "see" the area so well. Now I must read his "No Great Mischief". I don't know when I have been so impressed with an author.


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I am bad about posting here! I do ck what everyone is reading, then don't post!

Since getting my kindles I have 'found' some really good 'new to me' authors. I have read several in the series by Joseph Flynn about MacGill who marries the 1st female President, I really like that series, the 1st one is The President's Henchman.

I also read a series by Scott Pratt about lawyer Joe Dillard in Tennessee, I have read 6 in that series, The 1st one is An Innocent Client

I just finished reading Ender's Game by Scott Card and plan to read the others in that series by him.

Meanwhile I am reading the 3rd in a English mystery series by Katherine John-another new to me author, the 1st one is Without Trace.

Pat


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Pat!!! I was wondering where you have been, glad you finally showed up! An early Christmas present!

I reread the last two Hunger Games books at the airport and on the plane - the plane was delayed and I couldnt sleep on the flight back. Is it true that the final book will be shot in two movies? Its so dark, I just wonder how they will pull this off because so much of it is character introspection.

I've also read Madame Stalkers book , Crossing to Safety and loved the writing style. The characters were born the same year as my grandparents so I kept contrasting their lives...while the protagonists might be considered "poor" in that novel, my grandparents seemed like veritable pioneers, struggling heroically. Interesting. The fact that my grandmother made it to Gr.8 is amazing, in the circumstances she was living in. One of the things I loved about reading good novels is how they enrich your life, by making you really look at your own.


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Janalyn I too recently reread the last two books in the Hunger Games series. I really enjoyed the 1st movie and thought it well done and thought it followed the book as well as I could expect. I have still to see Catching Fire. The friend that went with me to see The Hunger Games told me that she would NOT go with me to see the 2nd one-so I haven't made it yet. I hate going to the movies alone and miss that my daughters aren't around as they enjoy the same movies & books that I do.
I had heard that they are planning on making two movies about Mockinjay-a mistake IMO.

Pat


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Finally remembered Barbara Kingsolver's name and checked out 'The Lacuna'. Did something I rarely do. Skip-read the last piece about McCarthy's witch hunt. Blood pressure rising. Thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the book and gained a feel for Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo's tempetuous personalities.
At same time was reading 'The Kite Runner'. Another fictional auto-biographical tale of a boy growing into manhood. A worthwhile read.
Finished William Boyd's 'Brazzaville Beach' today. Wow. How come I never heard of this author?! Don't read it if you cherish chimpanzees.
There, 3 non-mysteries in a row. Need to get to the library fast.


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I've not been able to post here for several days.
I just finished a memoir, "Elsewhere" by Richard Russo. It was mainly about his mother, a victim of OCD. I've not read his novels, but this book was extremely well written and gave a marvelous portrait of Gloversville, a small town in upstate New York.
I finished Julian Barnes "A Sense of an Ending", but cannot say that I either liked or understood the plot or the characters.

Pat, good to see you posting here again. I'm a strong fan of the "Hunger Games" trilogy.


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Mary, did you get my email? I tried replying to yours but not sure you got it because it said you hadnt permitted emails on your MY PAGE. You need to actually activate that in order for people here to contact you.
In the New Year I am going to start a Hunger Games thread since so many of us have read the books and gone to the movies. :)


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I finished Bitter River this afternoon (Christmas is interfering with my reading time). For awhile near the beginning, I thought it dragged a bit, but it improved to the point that I hated to see it end today.


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Carolyn, As you recommended this author, I checked out the review for Julia Keller's first book to start reading this series but it sounds rather violent. Is it? I prefer cosies!
I am struggling to read "Sound and the Furry" and have renewed it several times. I have been sent several Poirot DVDs as well as "Becoming Poirot" and have been trying to fit them into a rather busy schedule!


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Ann, violent things happen in Keller's books, but they did not affect me in reading the books. I do read a lot of mysteries and am never sure how insulated I have become, but I don't read horror books, e.g., Stephen King, or torture stuff.


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I’ve coming off from quite a long reading’s hiatus, more than one year. So I picked something easy . The confession by John Grisham. (Even Umberto Eco said that it was a book worth reading , if you are against the capital death.
Next wil be… I have to choose among : Loser Takes all or The confidential Agent ; both by Graham Greene, or Death Sentence by David Lodge


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Woodnymph, funny you mentioned Gloversville. I was once offered a job as a school librarian there but decided to take a different position. Hadn't heard of that town in many years.

I've read several books that I did not mention here because they weren't vey good, but I did recently read one I liked. It is a fantasy/historical novel by Guy Gavriel Kay set in a fictional country based on China of the Tang Dynasty. Characters, plot, everything well done; a thoroughly satisfying story.

Rosefolly


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Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my fav fantasy authors. Pick up the Lions of Al Rassan first then move on to his others. Song for Arbonne. Sailing to Sarnatium. All excellent.
And hello Grelobe, it has been a long time! Nice to see you posting again and hope you are having an easier time finding English novels. :)


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Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my fav fantasy authors. Pick up the Lions of Al Rassan first then move on to his others. Song for Arbonne. Sailing to Sarnatium. All excellent.
And hello Grelobe, it has been a long time! Nice to see you posting again and hope you are having an easier time finding English novels. :)


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Sorry, I completely forgot to give the title. It is called Under Heaven.


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Earlier this week I finished A Settling of Accounts a 1976 book by Carolyn Hart. It was totally different from and much better than her Death on Demand and Bailey Ruth light-hearted series that she writes now and was absolutely wonderful. It was set in 1966, and the main character was a New Orleans antiques dealer who had been a spy for England, working in France during WWII, returning to London and encountering the man who betrayed her and her helpers to the Nazis. Very tense toward the end.


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I finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn last night and hated it! I decided I had no desire to read another book by her and was glad that I got it for my kindle when it was heavily marked down in price.!

I have barely started Innocence the new one by Dean Koontz.

Pat


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I've been on a mountaineering book reading binge for the past month or so. I've re-read some and found a lot of new ones. I've enjoyed all of them thoroughly.

K2 - Triumph and Tragedy - Jim Curran

Into the Void - Joe Simpson

The Beckoning Silence - Joe Simpson

The Other Side of Everest - Matt Dickinson

Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer

K2 - Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain - Ed Viesturs and David Roberts

The Mountain - My Time on Everest - ibid

The Mountains of My Life - Walter Bonatti

Annapurna - Maurice Herzog

Five Miles High - Bates/Birdsall/House/Houston/Petzoldt/Streatfeild

And I should have a couple more arriving via ILL today!


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Siobhan, my goodness, aren't you giddy from all that virtual climbing?


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I finished Innocence by Dean Koontz last night and really enjoyed it. It was a little mystical and with a surprising ending-at least I was surprised!

I have d/loaded so many good sounding books in the past couple of weeks not sure what to start next-I have really enjoyed all the price cuts that Amazon has had recently.

Pat


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I finally finished a gift book: "Book of Ages: the Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin" by Jill Lepore. This is about the sister of Benjamin Franklin. It is a very scholarly work, with no less than one third of the volume filled up with notes upon notes, etc. The author is a professor at Harvard University. What made it slow going for me was that Lepore insisted upon using Jane's original spelling throughout. This truly detracted from the narrative, in my opinion. Jane led as modest a life as her brilliant brother led in the spotlight, he being well known on several continents.

Now, I've begun "Codex" by Lev Grossman, quite a change in pace, thank goodness.


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Oh Pat (sherwood38), you didn't like Gone Girl? I liked it a lot. Was it the general unpleasantness of the characters' personalities and actions that put you off?

I just finished The Dinner by Herman Koch. I loved it. (Again, there were unscrupulous characters, a bit like Gone Girl, but it was fascinating.) I chose it because it appeared on the "Best books read in 2013" thread. Thank you for the recommendation, Artiste8!


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Kathy-that was part of it. I didn't get that her parents were so clueless as to her character after all the incidents-she was always so right-and they had Psychology degrees?
I didn't like that she got away with so much-I wanted her punished, she didn't care whose life she ruined and had no remorse! Then I was so disappointed that Nick caved-terrible ending. I only gave it 1* review on Amazon and there were over 1500 reviews very similar to mine.

I just finished reading another delightful book by D.E. Stevenson. I suppose her books are considered "cozies", but I enjoy them for a change of pace after reading a murder mystery. In December I read Miss Buncles's Book, then Miss Buncle Married and the one I just finished was The Young Clementina, they are dated of course taking place in the 1920's but a loving look at life in an English village back in the day....

Pat


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I must admit that your points about Gone Girl are well taken, Pat. I can't deny those weaknesses. I guess I was just impressed with the overall cleverness of her plan and how well it worked out for her. Thanks for sharing your point of view. It's always interesting how people react differently to the same book.


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After renewing the last library book for about two months, I am not borrowing again unless a request arrives! I am backed up with so many recorded TV programs and a shelf full of TBRs to get on with.
Also in this hot weather I find myself re-reading chapters from old favourites, nothing too taxing!


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I've finished reading Vestal Fire by Compton Mackenzie. It's an enjoyable novel about a community of expatriates on an Italian island (based on Capri) whose way of life begins to fade and alter for the worse when a egotistical French Count arrives on the Island like an apple of discord in their midst.

The characters are so well imagined that you get the feeling you know them and the story, while serious, has a light and humorous undertone that little by little fades into a nostalgic reverie and regret for a past that will never be revived.

The only annoyance was all the Latin quotations. One or two precede every chapter and some of the characters quote Martial, Horace and other ancient Romans all the time. I started out with the intention of finding translations of them all, because they do have a bearing on the text, but found that having constantly to run to the computer to google Latin phrases or to the dictionary to decipher words was breaking up the reading too much. I might be taking a couple of courses in Latin next winter and will leave them until then.

I did discover, to my joy, that I understand much more Italian than I thought I did and was able, for the most part, to make out most of the Italian phrases. If you plan to read this novel there is also a considerable amount of French to be got through.


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Odd you should mention Compton McKenzie, as I am watching for the first time the TV series from his work "Monarch of the Glen", set in modern-day Scotland. I'm finding it delightful and love the vibrant characters.


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December has been a good reading month for me. After finishing The Moonstone, which I really enjoyed, I read Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie, Dark Matter by Michelle Paver, and most recently, The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier.

The du Maurier novel has been mentioned recently by some other RPers, so I thought I would give it a try. I have mixed feelings about du Maurier as a writer, but somehow she's able to draw the reader in and keep them enthralled. She might not have been a great prose stylist, but she's a great story-teller.

There were a lot of things to love about The Moonstone but my favorite was its humor. I suspect sometimes this was unintentional. The young lovers in the book are meant to be sympathetic, but they are almost hilariously self-centered and caught up in themselves. Other characters die, sometimes horribly, and its just water off a duck's back to the hero and heroine. The character of Miss Clack has to be one of the funniest in Victorian fiction. Wilkie Collins was certainly brave in so ruthlessly lampooning sanctimonious religious ladies.

The Didion book, which is a memoir of the year following her husband's sudden death (from a heart attack) seemed appropriate as there has been a lot of illness and death in my circle of family and friends this year. One of my closest friends lost her mother unexpectedly about ten years ago, and I witnessed first hand some of the coping mechanisms Didion describes.

Dark Matter is a ghost story set in the Arctic. A young meteorologist finds himself alone at a research station, when he becomes aware that there is the ghost of a murdered man wandering around his camp. The book is seriously spooky and atmospheric. If you like books about winter, you'll probably enjoy this novel. Paver thoughtfully includes a list of fascinating books about the Arctic for further reading. She mentions a book called A Woman in the Polar Night which is the memoir of a trapper's wife who finds herself stranded and alone at an arctic camp during the season of perpetual darkness. I get the impression this book was published in the 1950s or earlier. I think the author's name was "C. Ritter", though Paver's discussion of the book is a bit unclear. Definitely sounds interesting though.


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After a long string of forgettable romance novels, I finished out the year on a strong note with Footsteps in the Dark, a mystery by Georgette Heyer. I've always loved her Regencies, and I think I'll be reading more of her other mysteries, as well.

Next up is Jojo Moyes Me Before You for my January book group. I'm also looking forward to reading Call the Midwife for the RP discussion in February.


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I finished out December and 2013 with Divergent-much touted-but to me a very poor imitation of The Hunger Games. The characters were not very interesting and the plot-well-as I said it was NOT the Hunger Games. I have no plans to read the other two books in this series.
Anyone else read it?

Pat


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