Books Books What are YOU reading?(See new thread)

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Marta608, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I've lost track of our general book thread and just read something I want quote for us CFSers.

    The book is In An Instant by Lee and Bob Woodruff. You probably recall Woodruff as the ABC foreign correspondent that got badly wounded last year on assignment in Iraq. He had several injuries but the worst was a head injury; injury to his brain.

    This got my attention. See if this sounds familiar to you:

    "Some days were worse than others. If I pushed too hard one day, I paid like hell the next, with the fatigue, more confusion, and a temporary lessened ability to find the right words." B. Woodruff

    Don't tell me CFS-ME isn't about the brain.

    Oh, and my summary of the book is that Bob Woodruff is married to a saint.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/02/2007]
  2. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Up until ten minutes ago I was reading Cypress Grove by James Sallis. A prolific author new to me. I always like to find a prolific author.

    I mean, it doesn't do much good to love the work of Margaret Mitchell or Harper Lee, now, does it? Anyway I read part of this detective story. Way too many abused kids in it. It's going back to the library pronto.

    W/ re: 2 our August book by Barbara Kingsolver, I put it on hold a month ago. I am something like 169 on the list so obvious I'll be lucky to get it by St Patrick's Day.

    So, I read another of her books: The Bean Trees. Turns out the bean trees are wisteria vines. Doesn't make too much sense, but the book was ok. Essentially about the friendship between two southern women.

    Then I got another one called Prodigal Summer. Gave up on that one. The main character didn't know what she was doing or what she wanted. And none of the characters had any charm or appeal for me.

    So, I am about to start a non-fiction book by a film editor. I remember about 35 years ago when Jaws came out, the film editor got a lot of credit for its success. But generally film editors labor in the dark, unseen and unknown to the public.

    Speaking of brain injuries, have you read any books by Oliver Sacks? They are fascinating. One was made into a movie. Think the name was Awakenings.


  3. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I think the new Kingsolver will be very different for the Book Club in that it's non-fiction but should be interesting in a healthy way. I should get the library copy around Labor Day. I've read a few of her fiction novels that I've liked but neither of the ones you mentioned.

    Other than that, I'm trying to find good books too. As you say prolific authors are hard to find, especially when they're dead. Did you ever finish Water for Elephants? It was discussed on NPR where the concensus was favorable.

    I've heard - maybe you said it? - that you read to your age in a book and then if you don't like it you quit. Does that mean that the likes of you and me are supposed to have more patience with books?

  4. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Marta, that Woodward quote sounds like an apt description of CFS.

    Lately, I've been reading one canto of Dante's Divine Comedy every morning. Figured I'd never read any Dante and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. But in very small doses. At this rate, it should take me about half a year to get through the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Not sure how far I'll make it.

    I'm also on an armchair mountaineering kick:

    --Ed Viestur's No Shortcuts to the Top (Ed was the first American to climb all fourteen peaks in the Himalaya over 8000 meters high).

    --Clint Willis's The Boys of Everest, about Chris Bonington and all of the great British climbers of the 60s and 70s.

    --The Eiger Obsession, by John Harlin II. Harlin's father was a famous American climber of the 1960s who died while climbing Europe's most treacherous face: the Eiger, in Switzerland. The book is about his relationship with his father and his attempt to climb the Eiger. News has it that they're making an IMAX film on the Alps based on this book.

    Rock, It's never too late to love Margaret Mitchell or Harper Lee. I'm still #90 or so on the hold list for the Kingsolver book, but at least they have a lot of copies. Still, it might be a while. Haven't read The Bean Trees, but I've got The Poisonwood Bible on my list.

    I read Oliver Sacks's Awakenings years ago and showed the film in class a few times. His books are fascinating.

    Who is the film editor you're reading? My favorite is Thelma Schoonmaker, the editor on all of Martin Scorsese's films since Taxi Driver. Did you hear that Ingmar Bergman died? I just checked out a 70s film of his, called The Passion of Anna. His films are depressing, but among the finest ever made. His most famous is The Seventh Seal, in which there's a famous scene of a knight playing chess with death.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/30/2007]
  5. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I'm happy to hear that we're all doing our summer reading. lol

    Ken, you're proof positive with Dante's Divine Comedy that your brain cells have suffered no damage with CFS. I think you'd like In An Instant since you like non-fiction adventure. Your wife would like it too. I finished it last night and still believe Lee Woodruff to be a saint even though Bob redeemed himself a bit. Got you wondering?

    Molly, as to other books, I was on a Lee Child streak there for a while as I'm sure many here remember my talking about them. I don't know that you'd care for them though, since your favorites seem to be gentler reads. Right now I'm beginning a little series of mysteries set in England that you might like by M.C Beaton. I have trouble reading English authors for some reason - some of their phrases, I guess - but it's a gentle story - for a murder mystery! If you like The Cat Who books at all, consider these as an English similarity.

    I would be reading Child if I could find any I haven't read although it is possible to can get a bit weary of him and his folding toothbrush after six books in a row. If Patterson is a jet airplane, Child is a Hummer (without the gas gobbling problem).

    I've looked at the library for The Prince of West End Avenue with no result. Anyone read it? If so, is it worth my continued search or even - gasp! - purchasing it?

    Here's to books!

  6. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    I'm about half way through "Animals, veg, Miracle". I like it though I must admit I do skip some paragraphs. She can be a bit preachy on some subjects and it can get tedious. It's worth reading and I'm glad it was picked. I have to finish it soon so that I can give it to Molly to read.

    I'm ready to go out and buy my all my meat and veggies from local envirnmental friendly farmers!! I already buy as much organic as I can, but much comes from California or even Chili!

    I have learned so much already from this book. It makes me happy to have my tiny little organic garden in my yard!!

    The only other things I have been reading are magazines in drs offices! Too busy with the puppy and napping.

  7. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    I loved The Prince of West End Avenue, one of my most favourite books for a long time. I bought it second hand on Amazon but in UK.

    'Alan Isler's novel has been compared with the works of Isaac Bashevis Singer and Saul Bellow....can it live up to such praise, it can, it does'.

    I've just bought half a dozen books, one I've already read, brain fog always in evidence. Soon as I read first two pages I remembered.

    Read a few 'moslem' books lately - The Bookseller of Kabul - it was brilliant, about a family with a bookshop and how their lives were changed by the Taliban. Kabul was a thriving, beautiful city once!! Not all doom and gloom, funny moments too. The Kite Flyer, others that I cant remember the names of.

    Brick Lane by Monica Ali - about an immigrant area in London, again really eye opening and funny too.

    Anyway heart warming books showing that most people are just trying to live their everyday lives in peace no matter what their country or religion.

    The books I've just bought are all western - All That I have by Laurent Joffrin, bit of both as its about a real Indian Princess who worked as a spy for the British in second world war and was parachuted into France.

    Welcome to The Great Mysterious by Lorna Landvik, about two sisters in Minnesota.

    The Other Side of The Bridge by Mary Lawson, about two brothers this time.

    The Accidental by Ali Smith - this is one I've already read but might read again.

    Will let you know if any of the books are really worth reading.

    Looking forward to Barbara Kingsolver, bought it from Amazon as my library doesn't have it.

    Saw about Ingmar Bergman on news last night, hopefully we'll get a run of his films now.


    [This Message was Edited on 07/31/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 07/31/2007]
  8. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Dar, I'm glad to hear that Animal, Veg. Miracle is worth the read. I was a bit concerned when I suggested it because, due to it's eco-friendly non-fiction status, I thought it could be preachy. While I'm all for saving the planet not everyone wants to read about it. I'm looking forward to getting it.

    Rosiebud, it sounds as if you may have some winners there. I look forward to your book reports.

  9. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    OK, I'm typing this as a letter and will copy and paste. My computer, the server, the connecting wires, whatever, will not let me post a long message. Something always goes gefingenflugen somehow.

    I have started a new book that Gordon brought home a couple weeks ago. It's a pretty fat book. All about a teenage boy who is a wizard and goes to a special ed school. These fantasy books seldom catch on w/ the public, but I thought I'd give it a passing glance.

    At the moment he and his friends are using an "invisibility cloak" to spy on the Ministry of Magic. A rather hairy situation.

    Altho I did read more of Water for Elephants, Marta, I never read the last few pages. No, I never heard "you read to your age".

    Is that a typo? Shouldn't it be you read to a page, and then you stop? As for we should be more patient, I am too old to pay attention to "shoulds". I just please myself when it comes to reading.

    Ken, I never knew anybody who actually read Dante. Sounds too Catholic for me. The film editing book is "When the Shooting Stops" by Robert Bosenblum. He starts off telling how he remade The Night They Raided Minsky's" and then goes into film history.

    We find familiar names like Edwin Porter, Melies, Griffith, and Dorothy Arzner who was a film editor before she became one of Hollywood's few female directors. She was also a friend of Dorothy.

    The stunningly beautiful actress Ida Lupino also became a director. (If you don't remember her, you may recall the Lucy show where they go camping and ride in a leaky canoe.) "Ida" often shows up in crosswords.

    Oh, yes. Can't remember my play (playlet?) too well. Just some incident at the home of teenagers. (Thus the play was easy to cast.)

    Dar, organic food is a nice concept, but it costs 4 x as much as regular food. At least it does here in Los Angeles. As James Burke points out, w/o chemical fertilizer, we would have widespread starvation. Anyway, I am too old and too sick to benefit from organic food.

    Molly, love Maeve Binchy. I always think that other writer is similar, but can never remember her name. Ah! Belva Plain.

    Rosiebud, had not heard of the Great Mysterious. Will have to look for it. The title seems a little weird tho. An adjetive is not a noun.

    Ok, we'll see how far I get in transferring this.


  10. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    Your organic food costs 4X as much!!! Yikes! I don't think I would buy it at that price either! We have some brands that are rather afordable here. One brand called Full Circle costs the same as regular name brand foods that are not organic. Kind of like a generic brand of organic.

    And I buy lots of organic now at Costco and save a bundle. My kids will not drink regular milk anymore, like it's poison or something. Not sure if that's a good thing or not! Organic milk is way cheaper at Costco! And the organic oatmeal is even cheaper than Quaker Oats. I buy it by the caseful as it goes very fast in this house.

    Meats are just too expensive tho, so I try to stick to amish chicken and Laura's beef when I have a coupon. My boys sure can eat and I expect my grocery bill to be so much less when the older guy moves out.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/31/2007]
  11. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Here organic food is slightly more expensive than the poisoned kind ;>) but I buy so much less prepared food that it balances out the cost. Rock, I don't think we're ever too old or too sick to benefit from eating well. Ugg. That sounds very prim and naggy. Not meant to be.

    I do wish you'd read the end of Water for Elephants because I thought of how much you'd like it when I read it. That's OK, you read what you want. Your current book sounds a little like Harry Potter. Has anyone read those books? I have an adult friend who absolutely loves them. She said this last one was over 800 pages. I can't imagine 800 pages of anything except the Bible and I haven't read every word of that either.

    Molly, by "a more gentle read" I mean less blood, gore and lethal mayhem. On the other hand, if you need to get rid of some aggression, Lee Child may be the author for you! They are sequential in that they have reoccurring characters but not enough to ruin the latest book. Kinda like Patterson that way. And as he wrote more, he wrote less; that is, shorter books. I zoomed right through the newest one but I remember thinking an earlier one would never end. I believe that was called The Hard Way. Well named. It went on forever.


  12. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    That was hilarious--your account of reading the unknown, obscure Harry Potter, that is. I suggest that for book club, we read the entire Harry Potter series during the month of September. Just kidding.

    Dante may turn out to be a bit too much for me. My wife is Catholic and it's definitely too much for her. Looks like it might be more time in hell than I want to spend.

    Will definitely check out When the Shooting Stops. I love reading about the early days of film: Melies, Porter, Griffith, Chaplin, Keaton, Von Stroheim, Murnau. A lot of great directors have been kicking the bucket lately--Altman, Bergman, Antonioni. Ever see an Antonioni film? Like watching paint dry, but mesmerizing one the less.

  13. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Will definitely In an Instant on hold, but not this instant; it's time for my nap.

  14. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    organic food costs a fortune over here in UK too - chicken 4 times as much. We buy organic when we can. There was a tv programme showing that the 'organic' chickens we are offered in the supermarkets are not even free range, they're kept in huge sheds but they charge 4 times as much for them.

    We have a large garden behind our wee cottage, large for here anyway, good soil, a very english, wildish country garden with loads of flowers and shrubs etc., so getting hub Tom to do some vegetable planting next year, he also bought a second hand greenhouse for £25 and will erect that for next year too. He refuses to put any kind of weed killer or stuff like that in our garden so the vegs will be organic, if they dont get eaten by the slugs that is.

    Get some tips from Barbara Kingsolver and hope too that she isn't preachy.


    [This Message was Edited on 07/31/2007]
  15. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I looooooooove English gardens with or without veggies in them. You're so lucky to have it/them.

    Ken, I'll be interested to know if you think Lee Woodruff (lots of Lees here today) is due for sainthood after you read the book.

  16. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Just mysteries, but I love trivial stuff. So much of my life was involved in serious stuff.

    Anyway, they are

    Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly

    Double Homicide by Jonathan and Faye Kellerman

    Gone by Jonathan Kellerman.

    I like these authors and these books look brand new. Looks like someone picked them up at Costco and took them to the thrift store. Wonder what the real story is?

    Anyway, think I'll start with Gone...

    After I fertilize my plants, etc.

  17. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    I have just spent 3 hours cleaning and throwing out and am ex-hosh-ten-ized. Then Gordon came home and said, "The place looks worse."

    Well, of course it did. I hadn't finished putting stuff back.

    Marta, your friend is exaggerating. The last Harry Potter is 759 pages. Haven't seen any Antonioni films, Ken. I don't like most foreign films.

    I never saw a foreign film till I got to Hamline. They had free showings of The Seventh Seal, Roshomon, La Strada, etc. I was impressed w/ the films and the school too.

    Rosie, I have several albums by Mary O'Hara including one on which she sings An English Country Garden. She has recorded in both Irish and Scotts Gaelic. Think how many albums she could have made if she had escaped from the convent sooner.

    Last time I was in Minnesota, my brother pointed out some empty fields. He said the owners were going to start organic farming, but they had to let the fields lie fallow for three years first. Ouch! Three years! Can't get much income that way.

    I haven't seen any organic meat for sale here. The supermarkets charge 4 to 6 bucks for produce that can be bought at the Armenian or Chinese market for 1-2 bucks.

    Of course the stuff at the supermarket looks prettier, but other than that...Modern food isn't so flavorful. I've read it isn't as nutricious either.

    You should see the peppers on display at Ralphs Supermarket. Six different colors. Beautiful! 6 dollars a pound.

    Right now they've got Queen Anne Cheeries at 6 or 7 bucks a pound.

    I don't know how middle class families w/ kids can manage these days.

    Sue, I read all the Kellerman stuff. I found Double Homocide to be their worst work. I think it was really a project to foster togetherness rather than one aimed at putting out a good book.

    Well, I have to go back to cleaning. The new Dustbuster seems to be busted. Guess what. We have a Bissell carpet sweeper. My mother had one just like it 60 years ago.

    We are having an inspection by the city tomorrow.

    Wish I had a magic wand like you know who.

  18. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    Rock - why do you get an inspection by the city????? Is this a regular thing??? What about your rights to privacy??

    FOREIGN FILMS - I do like a good subtitled foreign film BUT last night there was French one on late cinq fois deux - 5 x 2 - and I watched it all because I wasnt tired but it was so artyfarty that I nearly screamed at the end - it went BACKWARDS - started with the couple's divorce then went into 5 different stages of their relationship ending with when they met. How clever is that - NOT! There was no content, didnt know who these people were or why they divorced.

    However, I have seen a some excellent French films and other foreign ones. An Innuit film, The Running Man, fascinating, great story, great acting too, of course subtitled as they spoke their native language. And I adore Chinese/Japanese films about the olden days.

    Food is really expensive here too as is everything else, you would all have a fit if you had to pay the prices we do and is it any better, not at all.

    I'm blethering.


  19. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Fivesue, good titles. Be sure to let us know how you like them.

    Rocky, cleaning isn't all it's cracked up to be. You get done and then a year later it needs to be done again.

    I cannot believe the prices on food there! No wonder my son and DIL work so hard with those three little kids to feed.

    Rosiebud, I confess I'm not into foreign films. I have enough trouble figuring out the ones made here now and watch few.

  20. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    I am currently reading Harry Potter, the film editing book, a thriller by Lee Child and another Barbara Kingsolver book. I believe more is more.

    The Kingsolver (what a name) is the third of her books I've tackled. "Pigs in Heaven". Best one yet.

    Our inspection, Rosie, is by the city to make sure that the apt meets whatever standards the city has. It is for the protection of the tenants. The landlord is a little nervous, but he really needn't be. The appliances and fixtures work. The structure is sound. We don't have rats or cockroaches.

    Of course, this is Calif. and an earthquake could level everything in a few seconds, but no inspection can prevent that.

    The landlord did ask me twice if I would be absent when the inspector came around. I said, sure. I'll go to Amoeba, the huge music store and buy another CD or two to further clutter up the place.

    Ken, if you don't want to spend too much time in Hell, how much time DO you want to spend there? I don't believe in any of that superstitious stuff. The funny thing is, if I'm right I won't know it, and if people like Pat Robertson are wrong, they won't know it either. Haha

    The question of how expensive food is, I read, is determined by what percentage of your income it takes. I read decades ago that Americans spent 15% of their income on food.

    Recently I read it is about 11%. Also found these statistics: Japan 18%; Mexico 25%; India 52%.

    Marta, I agree w/ you about cleaning. A year or two later you have to do it again. I said almost the same thing to Gordon last night. "Funny how dusty a corner gets if you ignore it for a year or two." On the other hand it only takes a minute or two to have it all spiffy again.

    I am munching an apple: best price: free. From the landlord's tree. Reminds me of the ones we used to get when I was a kid. We would get apples from trees all over our village. Nobody every complained or said, "Get outta my tree."

    Well, time to do the dishes and then my cleaning spree will be officially concluded.


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