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Everything posted by Readwine

  1. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

    Both the movie and book were brilliant. It is amazing to me that it was written by a man and he was able to capture the torments and trial of the Geisha lifestyle. Wonderful job Mr. Golden. And kudos to the film's photographer. Beautiful
  2. The 19th Wife by David Hebershoff

    I agree with you Vodkafan. It was a bit of a struggle to finish The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. Briefly, the storyline is set in two different time periods: 2005 (or thereabouts), and 1870-1908 (or thereabouts). The modern day storyline involves a young man who grew up in a compound of a renegade sect of the Mormon Church, which defiantly still practices polygamy (or the art of plural wives). As he reaches his teens, he is promptly excommunicated for being gay and expelled from the compound. Several years later, his mother, one of at least 20 wives, is accused of murdering her husband (the young man’s father) and placed in jail to await trial. Her son returns to Utah to help his mother prove her innocence (?). The second storyline presents the biography of Ann Eliza Young, the 19th wife of Brigham Young (the leader of the Mormon Church during its establishment in Utah). According to the research presented in the book, Ann Eliza could actually have been the 52nd wife. Regardless, Ann Eliza seeks to divorce her husband (unheard of at that time) and launches into a fervent nationwide crusade to abolish polygamy. Prior to reading this book, I must confess my knowledge of the Mormon religion was naught, so I can only assume that the biographical data in the book is true. It is very interesting, though its presentation in the book is quite dry and repetitive. I am glad, however, to have read the book. I found the modern storyline a little more gripping, but not very satisfying as a murder mystery. It shown a bright light, however, on the destructiveness of polygamy. All in all, though I struggled to get through the book at times (pretty hefty tome), I am glad I read it; it presents a very interesting topic. On a scale of 1-10, I give it a 7.
  3. Has anyone read...?

    I highly, highly recommend it. Here is my review. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese Brief Summary from Amazon: This is a magnificent, sweeping novel that moves from India to Ethiopia to an inner-city hospital in New York City over decades and generations. Sister Mary Joseph Praise, a devout young nun, leaves the south Indian state of Kerala in 1947 for a missionary post in Yemen. During the arduous sea voyage, she saves the life of an English doctor bound for Ethiopia, Thomas Stone, and experiences an awful assault. Later on, these experiences becomes a key moments in her destiny when the nun arrives in Addis Ababa. Seven years later, Sister Praise dies birthing twin boys: Shiva and Marion, the latter narrating his own and his brother
  4. Is it fiction or non-fiction. Unbroken by Tracy Elliott ?
  5. Pandorum

    Try The Descent by Jeff Long or Event Horizon by Steven McDonald.
  6. Browsing for another

    When I was about 12, I read The Iliad and The Odyssey in prose translation and they were wonderful. My recommendation is to get the revised translations by E. V. Rieu (Penguin Classics) as these are geared more towards young adults using modern English. In fact, they are going on my TBR pile again for a reread
  7. Unknown words

    I usually look up the word as I read to ensure I get the context of the meaning as used by the author. I have the OED on my iphone so it is very quick to look up. I am not good at remembering meanings, so it helps me a lot to look it up as I read.
  8. SK, you are in for a treat. I just finished the last book of the Millenium Trilogy and I think it was the best of all three. All three are superb. I shall really miss Lisbeth - fantastic character. Such a pity there shall not be any more
  9. Did anyone encourage you to read

    My first memory of wanting to read is when my mum use to take my sister and I to the park; we rented bicycles and rode about and my mum sat on a bench and savoured a book. I remember seeing her, as I rode my bicycle towards her, and becoming aware of such serenity surrounding her. Ever since then, I wanted to have the same peace and I learnt that I could achieve it through reading as she did. The rest is history
  10. By luck I saw that the Swedish version of the film was playing close by and was leaving soon. Took off work (shhhhh!) and went to see it. Fabulous. The actress who played Lisbeth was superb; so like how I imagined her. It is so refreshing to see a European style film without all the Hollywood tinsel. The film itself was thrilling and the suspense wonderfully done. Whoever composed the music to it did a spectacular job. I would suggest to read the book first as not all of the backstories can be presented in the film. I enjoyed it immensely and highly recommended it. I am now on the third and final book. Thoroughly enjoying it.
  11. Good Bye, Mr. Chipsby James Hilton. Has a good romantic theme as one of it's threads.
  12. Thief of Always by Clive Barker. The Holiday House is built by owner/architect. House is a central character I believe. Just a thought.
  13. Books With Exotic Adventures

    Love Among the Butterflies - Travels and Adventures of a Victorian Lady by Margaret Fontaine. This is on my TBR pile
  14. On my TBR pile, Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco. Also I read Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez many many years ago and remember it was fabulous. I must reread it
  15. Cities A to Z

    Luss, Loch Lomond, Scotland ( okay maybe not a city )
  16. Orange Prize for Fiction 2010

    Poppyshake. My recommendation is NOT to get Lacuna in audio if it is read by Barbara Kingsolver herself. I made that mistake thinking it would be great to have the author read it. It is absolutely terrible. She may be a good writer - not a good narrator. Just my two cents I am actually surprised she won considering the competition. At any rate, worth a read.
  17. I have exactly the same thought.
  18. I will reread a book when the story particularly strikes me and it becomes memorable or when the writing is so lovely that I want to savour it again. For example, I read Watership Down when I was in my teens. I absolutely loved it so it is on my TBR pile to be picked very soon. It will be interesting to see how I like it after so so many years. I recently read The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Small book but beautifully written. I will definitely have a reread to savor Wilder's use of language
  19. Since joining BCF, I've discovered historical fiction. For some reason, I always discounted such books as I had it in my mind that they were more like romances. WRONG!! So thank you. For example, I just finished Gone with the Wind and absolutely loved it. I had never picked it up before because the cover had Rhett and Scarlett in a passionate embrace. It was superb and gave the reader great insight to the Civil WAr. Also, I am reading A LOT more and my pile is probably three times larger since I joined . I think the reading blogs and challenges make me feel a little more motivated to read
  20. Cities A to Z

    Yaxcopol, Yucatan, Mexico
  21. Recommendations please?

    Three come to mind: The Darwin Conspiracy by John Darnton (on my wishlist): Darwin's theories have been under attack since he first published The Origin of Species in 1859, but this grandly ambitious novel goes a few steps further to intimate that he was a fraud—and a murderer. Told by turns from three perspectives, the story opens in the present on a volcanic outcrop off the coast of Ecuador where Hugh Kellem, a British field researcher, while tracing Darwin's research path, meets Beth Dulcimer, a beautiful scientist rumored to be distantly related to Darwin. A quick shift shows an ambitious young Darwin about to embark on the Beagle. A little further on, Darwin's youngest daughter, Lizzie, enters via her journal entries, written in the 1870s, decades after Darwin's famous five-year voyage. As the three perspectives unfold, Hugh and Beth find themselves trying to solve the same mystery that intrigued Lizzie 130 years earlier: what happened on the "nuit de feu," the night that transformed the confident, robust Darwin into a haunted near-invalid for his remaining years? Stilted dialogue, perfunctory romance and expendable subplots make for a rough voyage, but Darnton (Neanderthal) puts real passion into his historical imaginings and recreations: the revelation of the "true" origin of the theory of evolution is particularly inspired and more than enough to sustain another Darntonian bestseller. And Labyrinth by Kate Mosse Mosse's page-turner takes readers on another quest for the Holy Grail, this time with two closely linked female protagonists born 800 years apart. In 2005, Alice Tanner stumbles into a hidden cave while on an archeological dig in southwest France. Her discovery—two skeletons and a labyrinth pattern engraved on the wall and on a ring—triggers visions of the past and propels her into a dangerous race against those who want the mystery of the cave for themselves. Ala
  22. Hauling Checks by Alex Stone details life of cargo pilot?
  23. Has anyone read...?

    Don't know the ages of your children, but The Princess Bride by William Goldman is fabulous as is the Harry Potter series and The Hobbit (Tolkien)
  24. Readwine's Reads 2010

    Solar by Ian McEwan Blurb from Booklist: Customarily, McEwan
  25. Scandanavian Crime Writers

    I recently read The Princess of Burundi by Kjell Eriksson and The Man from Beijing by Mankell (not part of the Wallander series). I particularly did not care for either of these books, but you might check out Mankell's stand alone novels or Eriksson's other books. Also, check out this website: http://www.scandinavianbooks.com/crime-book-1.html