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Author Topic: Recent Books Read  (Read 302615 times)
Elizabeth77
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« Reply #600 on: August 14, 2010, 09:20:47 PM »

Kim Philby: The Spy I Loved by Eleanor Philby
I've seen this on my mother's bookshelf for years, but I only picked it up to read last weekend.  It is really a story about the relationship between two people.  I had to ask myself how I would respond were I to suddenly discover that my husband was completely different from what I thought him to be.  That's probably condensing it too much, but there it is in a small nutshell.

I spend many hours of my day working with my hands when my mind is not particularly challenged, so I listen to audio books.  Often I have read them before, but some are new to me.  Here's a few that I have enjoyed in the past couple of weeks.  I listened to them all at http://librivox.org/

The Log of a Cowboy (1903) by Andy Adams

The Intrusion of Jimmy (1910) by P.G. Wodehouse

Trailin'! (1919) by Max Brand

Officer 666 (1912) by Barton Wood Currie & Augustin McHugh

Patricia Brent, spinster (1918) by Herbert Jenkins  :)  This is one of my favorites.
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Conan
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« Reply #601 on: August 19, 2010, 12:00:16 AM »



This is the most amazing adventure against the elements story I've ever heard.  I had a vague understanding of what these guys did, but I didn't know they were literally jumping from ice flow to ice berg while hunting sea leopards (1000 pound monstrosities with jaws to match) to keep from starving.  A handful of them later went on to become heroes in WWI and WWII.
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Sylvie
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« Reply #602 on: August 19, 2010, 02:11:09 AM »


1966 french edition
today edition

You're right Conan, a beautiful and amazing book  !

My GodMother offered it to me (first book) for my 14th Birthday (yesterday !!!)  I read and read it several times, then a friend of mine wanted to read it ... it never came back home, (so I bought the second one) !
 I recently watched a beautiful tv program about that Odyssey, terribly moving, with old black and white pictures.
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Elizabeth77
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« Reply #603 on: September 02, 2010, 07:24:53 AM »

The Princess Priscilla's Fortnight (1905) by Elizabeth von Arnim

http://librivox.org/the-princess-priscillas-fortnight-by-elizabeth-von-arnim/

"Her Grand Ducal Highness the Princess Priscilla of Lothen-Kunitz was up to the age of twenty-one a most promising young lady."  Then she decides to run away to England and live like an ordinary person.  She orders the elderly court librarian to go with her and make all arrangements.  He decides to settle in a small village in Somersetshire where he once visited in his youth.  Neither one of them is really suited for running away and living a "simple life", especially when it comes to keeping track of money.  Their intention is to buy a very small cottage, but it must have room for Priscilla, Fritzing (the librarian) and the maid.  Also, it must have three bathrooms.  Three!  The adventure is doomed to failure from the start, but it does have a happy ending.

The general outlines of the story reminded me strongly of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday.  Interestingly, the princesses in both stories go back to the position they were brought up to, although the reasons behind their actions differ.

I previously enjoyed "reading" another of Elizabeth von Arnim's books, The Enchanted April.  She makes some interesting observations regarding the relationships between men and women, as well as the expectations of society and its effects the aforementioned relationships.
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« Reply #604 on: September 02, 2010, 08:11:24 AM »

I have just finished reading 3 of M C Beaton's Agatha Raisin books.   There Goes The Bride; Wizard of Evesham and Fairies of Fryfam.  Agatha Raisin is a, not very good, amateur detective.  The books are full mistakes in Agatha's detecting and her relationships with men.  Pretty bad choices in men really.  They are light and fun to read if you want a good book for the beach.  Agatha Raisin ran as a radio series starring Penelope Keith so I visualise her looking like Penelope, even though the description could not be more different.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #605 on: September 02, 2010, 02:24:36 PM »


Meanwhile, I've seen the first two Swedish movies and am awaiting the opening of the third one here, sometime this month I believe. And I'm NOT looking forward to the Hollywood remakes!


To me the third film was highly disappointing after the first two which were great.Therefore I´ve had troubles with the third book that I´m now reading.It`s okay but I think there`s too much details and too much pages and the fact that I know how things turn out do not help either...but I´ll read it as it`s a gift to me from my (ex`s) son  :)

Anyway my last read book was



As usually with Lee Child`s novels not a masterpiece but easy read and entertaining enough.
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dane with no name
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« Reply #606 on: September 08, 2010, 11:27:53 AM »

Quote
To me the third film was highly disappointing after the first two which were great.  
The problem is that the second and third movie was originally planned to be one long TV serie, but when Men who hate women became such a big success, the plans were changed and it was made into two movies instead. Lisbeth Salander is by far the most interesting person, and her lack of screentime in the third clearly shows  :(


I just finished reading


Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

A wonderful magical and philosophical tale set in present day America.
A man named Shadow is being released early from prison due to the death of his wife...
On the flight back home to the funeral, he is placed in the seat next to Mr. Wednesday, who is in fact an aspect of the Norse God Odin (Wednesday originally meant OdinsDay) who is going to recruit him as his little helper in a coming war against the new "gods" that has arisen in the modern world.

The central precept of the novel is that gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe in them. Immigrants to the United States brought with them dwarves, elves, leprechauns, and other spirits and gods. However, the power of these mythological beings has diminished as people's beliefs wane. New gods have arisen, reflecting America's obsessions with media, celebrity, technology, and illegal drugs (such as the Televison, (stealer of time) The Car (most human "sacrifices" ever) the Internet (obviously) to name a few)

Mr. Wednesday  wants to unite all these older, half forgotten gods and spirits that followed all the immigrants from across the world when they arrived in America, for one last stand against the rising powers and new gods, and thus Shadow is pulled into a hidden, magical, but also sad and dying world that may soon be completely forgotten...

 Having read a lot of Neil Gaiman's work, I saw the ending coming, but it was still an excellent read, and if you have yet to read anything by Neil Gaiman I highly recommend this book  O0

If you find the premise interesting, but aren't completely sure whether to give this book a try, HarperCollins has put the first five chapters online for free

http://www.harpercollins.com/browseinside/index.aspx?isbn13=9780060558123&WT.mc_id=author_AmerGods_FullAccess_022208.
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Sylvie
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« Reply #607 on: September 09, 2010, 05:00:19 AM »

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=3899.msg89820#msg89820 AMERICAN GODS :
I read this amazing book in 2006 and told how I liked it in that topic ! I recently lent it to my younger brother !

 :) You're right Dane, it's a magical tale, that can be read several times with always the same pleasure and surprise sometimes ! I've never read other books by this writer, would you recommend some of them to me, please ?  :)
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« Reply #608 on: September 09, 2010, 05:39:31 AM »

Thanks Dane and Sylvie, This looks like a book for me too.  I will hope the library has a copy.
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dane with no name
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« Reply #609 on: September 09, 2010, 07:58:01 AM »

Quote
I've never read other books by this writer, would you recommend some of them to me, please ? 
Certainly Sylvie  :)

Good Omens that he co-wrote with Tery Pratchett is always good for a laugh. Gaiman's mythological knowledge combined with Pratchett's unique humor makes this book the funniest that has ever been written about the Apocalypse.
The book is a comedy/parody of the movie The Omen (and other books/movies of that genre), and is about the birth of the son of Satan, the coming of Apocalypse and the attempts of the angel Aziraphale and the demon  Crowley to stop it because they have become accustomed to their comfortable situations in the human world. A subplot features the gathering of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse — War, Famine, Pollution (Pestilence having retired in 1936 due to the discovery of penicillin), and Death — the last of one is a lot like Death in Pratchett's Discworld novels.

His best work in my mind is without any doubt the graphic novels entitled Sandman.
We follow Dream (also known as the dreamking Morpheus, the ruler of dreams) who is one of the Endless. One of the most powerful aspects of reality that exist. (as are his siblings Destiny, Delirium, Desire, Despair, Destruction and Death) The story starts out with Dream being captured by a mortal sorcerer and imprisoned for several decades, which sets a major plan of Dream in motion that'll eventually end 76 issues later.
Dream is initially haughty and often cruel manner begins to soften after his years of imprisonment at the start of the series, but the challenge of undoing past sins and changing old ways is an enormous one for a being who has been set in his ways for billions of years. In its beginnings, the series is a very dark horror comic. Later, the series evolves into an elaborate fantasy series, incorporating elements of classical and contemporary mythology, ultimately placing its protagonist in the role of a tragic hero.


Dream and his sister Death.

The story-lines primarily take place in the Dreaming, Morpheus's realm, and the waking world, with occasional visits to other domains, such as Hell, Faerie, Asgard, and the domains of the other Endless. Many use the contemporary United States of America and the United Kingdom as a backdrop, spanning from present day to several centuries back into the past.

When Lucifer quits his job, places the key to Hell in Dream's care and the story is not even halfway through, you know you're in for the kind of story that hasn't been done before  O0
 
The Sandman became a cult success for DC Comics and attracted an audience unlike that of mainstream comics: half the readership was female, many were in their twenties, and many read no other comics at all. By the time the series concluded in 1996, it was outselling the titles of DC's flagship character Superman.
All the comics have since been collected in nice big tradepaperbacks and even almost 15 years old now, they're still considered amongst the best comics ever written.


Apparently he has written a short novel entitled American Gods; Monarch of the Glenn which I am going to track down and have a go at. Apparently it should be another Shadow story.

I've read Anansi Boys as well (which contains several hints that Anansis may be Mr. Nancy from American Gods) but I almost gave up on reading it, seeing as it feels very "jumbled" at times. Not one of his better works, and not one I would recommend unless you're an avid Gaiman fan...

Nowadays4s Gaiman mostly writes short stories and graphic novels, with many of them having been made into movies (Stardust, Coraline and Mirrormask of the top of my head, and all quite good) along with a British TV serie called Neverwhere.
Coraline and Mirrormask are written as children books, though I would never recommend Coraline to any child, and Mirrormask may feel a bit too weird for a young mind, but if you like his style I'd certainly recommend them as well.
 
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Sylvie
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« Reply #610 on: September 09, 2010, 09:25:39 AM »

 :) Thank you so much Dane for this long and brilliant answer ! I will try to find Sandman,  here in Clermont Ferrand where there is a famous comic/ graphic bookshop !  O0  I will let you know about it !
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dane with no name
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« Reply #611 on: September 09, 2010, 03:13:39 PM »

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Thank you so much Dane for this long and brilliant answer ! I will try to find Sandman,  here in Clermont Ferrand where there is a famous comic/ graphic bookshop !  Thumbs Up  I will let you know about it ! 
You're welcome Sylvie  :)
(BTW, would that happen to be the Evil One)  8)

When DC comics decided to create Vertigo, a sub-department that would create graphic novels for the mature audience, Sandman was moved from the "DC Universe" to the "Vertigo universe" so if you are going to look for it, you have to look under the Vertigo imprint, not the DC.
However, Vertigo has placed the entire first issue of Sandman available for download on their website, completely free and legal, as a part of their "the first fix is free" policy  ;)
So if you want to have a closer look at it, feel free to follow the link below.

http://www.dccomics.com/vertigo/graphic_novels/?gn=1696 

The art do have a heavy 80's feel to it, but it improves (seeing as Sanman ran for eight years) and as mentioned in my last post, the series start out with a very dark horror feel to it, but that mood change around the end of the first TPB. 
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« Reply #612 on: September 14, 2010, 11:17:24 AM »

The long walk to school  by Miss. D. Bus

Bubbles In The Bathtub  by Wynn D. Bottom :D

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KC
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« Reply #613 on: September 14, 2010, 05:27:29 PM »

;D Naughty TwoMules!
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« Reply #614 on: September 15, 2010, 09:18:25 AM »

;D Naughty TwoMules!

Sorry KC,  I just couldn't resist the temptation ;)
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Elizabeth77
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« Reply #615 on: September 15, 2010, 11:09:04 AM »

What Maisie Knew (1897) by Henry James



http://librivox.org/what-maisie-knew-by-henry-james/

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The story of the sensitive daughter of divorced and irresponsible parents, What Maisie Knew has great contemporary relevance as an unflinching account of a wildly dysfunctional family.   - Wikipedia

I can't describe the story any better.  Maisie is used by her parents in various ways to hurt each other.  They begin by fighting over who will get to keep her, but as time goes on they each try to throw her off on the other as a burden.  The only people seem to care for her at all are her two step parents and her governess.  Time shows that only the governess cares what becomes of Maisie, while the rest pursue their selfish desires or are morally too weak to follow the right course.  As for Maisie, her knowledge is of the sort small children should not be burdened with.  She is fortunate to eventually have a guide in the person of her governess.

I had difficulty at times keeping track of who thought what about whom and the reasoning behind it.  Maisie reaches many conclusions by inference that are not necessarily correct.  The adult reader is left to read between the lines and make the correct inference.  While a little challenging, I found it a fascinating look into the way people think.  We often draw conclusions in conversation with other people without ever actually having anything concrete said that would back up those conclusions.  We think we know what is meant by what is said, but don't ask for elucidation.  The result may be that our conclusions are false.
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Elizabeth77
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« Reply #616 on: September 20, 2010, 12:36:59 PM »

The Man Who Never Was by Ewen Montagu


http://i10.ebayimg.com/04/i/001/38/0f/0f8e_12.JPG

I've read some of the discussion in recent years as to the true identity of The Man Who Never Was, so went back and read the book again.  I came to the conclusion that it does not matter to me who the man was.  He has a special place in history.

The cover art for the Bantam Pathfinder Edition of the book is my favorite out of all the versions I've come across.
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« Reply #617 on: September 27, 2010, 08:07:21 PM »

Haven't been reading too much lately, just re-reading a few favorites.

Novel:


Comics:



And I'll probably work my way through the rest of the series too.
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Sylvie
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« Reply #618 on: September 27, 2010, 11:35:16 PM »

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Elizabeth77
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« Reply #619 on: September 28, 2010, 11:08:06 AM »



I read it again, this time to my family while traveling in the car.  Dr. Lehman served as a physician in Mt. Eaton, Ohio and was named 1998 Country Doctor of the Year.  At that time he had served his Amish, Mennonite and "English" patients for nearly 35 years.  During that time Dr. Lehman delivered 6,145 babies, cared for numerous emergencies in his office that most doctors wouldn't touch outside of a hospital, made house calls to his elderly patients so that they could remain in their homes and receive the care they needed, and tried to understand why wounds disinfected in kerosene tended to heal quickly and without trouble.  The kerosene sounds like a home remedy that works, but no doctor could ever recommend it.  ;)

I was inspired to be more concerned about the lives of the people I'm associated with.  Maybe that way I can have a positive impact on my world.  :)
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