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What are you reading in 2017?
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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 677


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:20 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

A Time of Gifts is the first book of his tramping trilogy, Caro. I don't believe I can recommend it highly enough, with the caution that he frequently wanders off, metaphorically, into contemplations on history, art, religion and what have you, leaving the reader (this one) impatient for him to return to his journey. There is less of that in The Broken Road, perhaps because he never properly finished it.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2969


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ramblings off topic won't bother me, Joe.  As you know from reading my thoughts on The French Lieutenant's Woman that is a feature I enjoy in books  (as long as they don't go too long).  The main thing I enjoyed about Anna Karenina was the farming bits and the dog bits with Levin in them.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2969


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am still reading Huckleberry Finn slowly, interspersing it with Treasures, a collection of short stories by Irish writer Maeve Binchy.  They are light reading, warm-hearted, not always with happy endings, but with over 40 of them and many with a Christmas theme, so after a while they feel a bit samey.  I need to read just a few at a time.

Huckleberry Finn is a bit 'adventurey' for my taste and I am not sure how my book club will find it; I was talking yesterday to someone who had finished it and she was a bit ambivalent.  She did say Tom Sawyer joins the advewnture, so I might enjoy it more then.  She was reminding me of how young Huck must have been when he was narrating this, or at least when it was happening, so I should be taking that into account.  It has a long introduction (over 40 pages) which I decided to read at the end, but it might help me understand the subtleties of it.


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Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 3360


Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HUCKLEBERRY FINN has been called 'the great American novel'...


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2969


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard it called that, Mike.  I will suspend judgement till I've finished it and might just have to accept other people's judgement on that.

My last post on this disappeared into the ether when I pressed the wrong button. I will be more careful now.

I am off for a few days on Wednesday, and am taking it with me as well as PGWodehouse's short story compilation centred on Xmas - I have just read the first two and the first one is about Jeeves and Wooster, but the second one isn't.  It's rather reminiscent of the Maeve Binchy one I am also reading.  Both are collections of ss, and both are based around Xmas mostly.  Not the same style, of course, but both light and happy in tone.

I am also taking Huck Finn of course, and then a non-fiction one by Tessa Duder, a NZ author,mostly known for her children's books, especially the Alex trilogy about a young girl in a swimming rivalry with another girl and set in the 1950s.  This one, In Search of Elisa Marchetti, takes her to Italy to try and trace her great grandmother  - her search doesn't go very well, apparently, but the blurb says "a more powerful story takes shape: a story of deception and disappointment.  NZ in the 1870s was not the land of opportunity promoted so effusively in Italy and Elisa Marchetti's dream became a bitter and lonely reality".  That's probably more than I wanted to know.


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Hector



Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 294


Location: Leeds

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a short break, I'm now onto Book (or Part) Two of Don Quioxte. Still enjoying it immensely.


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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 677


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Started and abandoned 'The German Girl,' by Armando Correa, as somehow lacking in.....in whatever it is that keeps me reading a book.
At hand was The Brothers Karamazov, by F. Dostoyevsky. I think it will keep me busy for some time, not being the kind of story one can't wait to get back to. I note it's translated by a princess - something you don't run into every day.
The tone is quite unlike Crime and Punishment, which I remember being fevered and often confusing. This is quite staid by comparison.


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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1153



PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm afraid I am really struggling with "My Brilliant Friend" by Elena Ferrante.  It is such a disappointment as the book got rave reviews, including one from Nick Clegg's wife Miriam.  We are reading it for our book group and it certainly fits the brief of our group's European theme this year as it is by an Italian author and is a slice of Neapolitan life.  I studied Italian as part of my History degree and at one stage read quite a lot of Italian literature so I was really keen to read this.

The book starts with the disappearance of the narrator's friend whom she has known since childhood.  We are then taken back to how they met and their schooldays together.  I am now 12 per cent through on my Kindle read and I keep finding household chores that I have to do rather than read any more of this book (which is very unlike me usually, I can assure you).

My problems with the book are; all the children mentioned in the book seem to be part of large extended families and I find it difficult remembering who is related to who.  Also, the storyline of the children's activities seems bitty and not very interesting.  I find it difficult to care about any of the characters. The language is plodding; it reads like a bad translation.

Has anyone else read it?  I do hope someone has and will tell me that I am almost at the point when it becomes exciting.  Otherwise I can only see a long tedious plod in front of me.


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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1153



PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is an article in today's "Daily Telegraph" about the stage adaptation of "My Brilliant Friend" at The Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames.  All four novels in the series have been turned into a two-part production.
The article states: "The Ferrante novels tend to split people into two camps; either you don't get what all the fuss is about and stop half-way through the first instalment ,or you love them with an all-consuming, protective, fire-breathing passion."

I'm afraid I am in the former camp.




Last edited by Sandraseahorse on Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 677


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started reading the third of Robert Wilson's crime thrillers in his latest series about missing persons investigator Charles Boxer, called 'Stealing People.' Kids are being kidnapped in London. Other people are disappearing, and Boxer and those closest to him appear to be right in the middle of it.

Meanwhile.... there I was this morning in the clinic (you may call it 'surgery') waiting to see my doctor. I knew I was in for at least a half-hour wait, and I came prepared to read anything, being one of the last people in the world without a mobile phone to fiddle with. What do you know, this clinic is short of magazines, but has a selection of novels. It took me a while to get to one, thanks to a remarkably chatty casual acquaintance in the next chair, who felt the need to tell me every last detail about his three trips to Australia and New Zealand (Did you know koala bears can survive on blue gum trees?)

Well, I shouldn't make fun of somebody who is willing to chat in a waiting room, but after a few minutes of it I could feel the will to live slowly being sucked out of me. Just in time he was called in to see his (and my) GP, leaving me with an unwanted view of butt crack as he waddled off, and a clear path to the stack of books. I settled on 'Sully' the story of the US Air pilot who landed his plane in the Hudson River in New York City a few years ago. Impression after 30-or-so pages: Sully is a nice guy, but not very interesting.



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