I've just finished DANCING IN THE DARK, by Morris Dickstein. Fascinating, remarkably well organized and written study of culture (high and low) during the Great Depression. I particularly recommend for anyone with an interest in movies of the 1930s. A terrific literary and cultural history.
Post by alliehalliwell on May 25, 2010 19:41:20 GMT -5
If you like quirky and strange, then I suggest "Pride & Prejudice & Zombies" by Seth Grahame Smith (and Jane Austen) or "Sense and Sensability and Sea Monsters" by Ben H Winters (and Jane Austen).
Both are okay. Honestly I've only ever read 1 Jane Austen book all the way through (Northanger Abbey) and was not a fan. I tried the others but it couldn't hold my interest and my mind would always wander.
P&P&Z - there's a scene with Elizabeth Bennet fighting Ninjas which I found really funny...and yeah, its her world dropped in the middle of a land full of Zombies.
S&S&SM - Colonel Brandon has tentacles hanging off his face as part of his 'condition'. I'm only 1/3rd way through it but its amusing. So far, I love the very first page first. I love the way they describe the attack of the crustacean.
Both books would have Jane Austen rolling in her grave though, so if you like those books and think any changes to them would be blasphemy, then don't read them. However, if you're a person who likes reading fan fiction you'll probably like these books.
Oh and yeah, I heard there's a book out now called 'Little Vampire Women' which is a play on Little Women. I think its supposed to be by the same publishing company (Quirk Press) so it should have the same feel. When I find that book, I'm gonna read that one too.
Post by alliehalliwell on Aug 27, 2010 15:29:04 GMT -5
Currently I'm reading "The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton. It's actually pretty good, I find her style of writing pulled me in real quick and I just like the way it flows. It jumps from a few different time frames back and forth but I am not at all confused. Its an easy read so far and I'm on page 200 (I started 2 days ago) out of 550. I like that there's already been some surprises in the plot and its not predictable at all. I hate when I read a book and know what's going to happen before I'm even halfway done.
The story starts with a little (nameless girl) waiting in hiding. She's 4, alone, and was told to wait where she was and not to say anything to anyone. We discover she's really been abandoned, but a man who finds her takes her in and raises her as his own. I don't want to give anything away but we do discover that there's more to that story and its not so simple. The story is sad so far and even though I'm not done the book yet, I think its probably a book I'd recommend to others. It centers around 3 strong women, in different generations and its a story of survival.
A successful New York author recuperating from heart surgery discovering who he is by reading his journals written in the late 70's. Basically a journey of self-realization with the dynamic between creativity and commerce tossed in.
Last Edit: Aug 30, 2010 11:38:03 GMT -5 by Moonbeam
I recently finished CHARLIE CHAN, a study of the Chinese American Detective, his creator and the real life Honolulu detective who was his model and Chan's role as both a negative and positive image of Asians. The author, a Chinese-American born and raised in China, occasionally lets his own story get in the way of all the other stories he's telling, but this is largely a very successful cultural history.
And I just returned STIFF: A HISTORY OF CADAVARS by Mary Roach to the friend who recommended it to me. It's a fascinating, occasionally moving, often very funny study of how bodies have been used in the past, how they may be used in the future, what happens to them, and how we feel all about this. Ms. Roach sometimes tries to be too funny and glib, but that's a minor point. I really liked this book.
I'm trying to start THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO. I'm about two chapters in, and it's not really grabbed me yet. Two chapters is about all I usually give a book. Am I missing something here? Should I give it more of a chance?
Despite the number of recs I've had, I haven't read TGWTDT, yet either. I keep skimming it everytime I see it at the store and haven't yet felt like I had to take it home. I guess I'm waiting for a time when there is nothing tempting already waiting for me on my shelf.
Now, I don't want to be a negative nancy, but my last 3 reads were a little disapointing to me.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossaine The Secret History by Donna Tart Mockingjay by Susanne Collins (3rd in the Hunger Games trilogy)
Bla, bla, blabbity bla.
The Kite Runner was easily the best of the three (and is also on the banned books list!,) but I really disliked the melodramic stuff near the end. It not only wasn't neccessary, imo, but it read like bad daytime tv to me.
The Secret History ... gods, don't get me started. If you read this book, be prepared to hate the narrator -- a boring, selifish, intellectual elitist who worships the rich. It's possible that it was the authors intention to make the reader dislike the narrator, but that doesn't change anything for me. I don't read fiction to become disgusted, disheartened and angry. I get all that from watching the news
Last, but not least, Mockingjay ... To me, this was just a redux of the first two books, which I guess isn't altogether terrible, as the first two were pretty good books. I guess I've been spoiled by YA writers who manage to weave in a subplot to give their series finale a bang that both ties the whole series together and reveals something to make the reader look back and say, "Oh!" I was expecting that "oh!" from Collins. In fact, I was sure I knew what that subplot was, and then *poof* the story ended and it was all very bare bones.
Thanks for these recommendations and (non) recommendations. LOL at the Banned Book List - so true, it makes you want to read them even more. It beggers belief that there is such a list in the twenty-first century.
I understand what you mean about trying to read a book. I've recently started Jed Rubenfeld's The Interpretation of Murder and it's just not drawing me in. I thought it would have been a sure thing because it has Siegmund Freud and Carl Jung as characters and the author has even woven the split between them in his story-line. Has anyone ever read this book and, if so, does it get better as it progresses?
"Jeff is a nice guy and an excellent actor, whose work has often inspired me. It's a huge honour that he'll be replacing me". Vincent D'Onofrio 2009.
I love, love, love David Sedaris. His new one is on my list, too, though I'm torn between whether I want the hard cover or the audio -- he does his own audio books, you know.
Speaking of that, what's your opinion on audio books? I find them very hit or miss. I love listening to David read his stories, though I think that's because my first exposure to him was on NPR way back when.