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Your Book Activity - January 2022

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2021 has departed and we are at the start of a new year. What are we all reading this month?

 

I’m most of the way through Agent Sonya by Ben MacIntyre and about 3/4 of the way through Fall by John Preston. Both are as good as claimed in the reviews.

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Posted (edited)

Happy new year everybody

 

Currently reading Zeno’s conscience by Italo Svevo

 

 

 

Edited by lunababymoonchild

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Happy New Year everyone! 
 

I’m reading We Are Wolves by Katrina Nannestad.

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Starting the year off with a book group read: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.  Given that one of my main aims is to read a few bigger books, this seems a reasonably appropriate start!

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I'm currently reading two (big/long) books. The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow (non-fiction, about early human history, borrowed from my dad), and The Wheel of Time Companion by Robert Jordan, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk and Maria Simons (this is an A-Z of everything in The Wheel of Time series, I'm reading bits from time to time). I'll start a new fiction read soon too, a friend and I are going to read the 3rd Hannah Swensen book together soon, Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke.

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8 hours ago, lunababymoonchild said:

Just abandoned Zeno's Conscience by Italo Svevo. I just could not abide Zeno's constant whining.

 

Did you get to the chapter about his marriage? That really gripped me especially since it's the thing around which his life revolves. For me, the book is entirely about unrequired love and his refusal to acknowledge it.

 

I also found his whining quite funny, like Erwin Sommer in The Drinker.

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Posted (edited)
On 06/01/2022 at 4:08 AM, Hux said:

 

Did you get to the chapter about his marriage? That really gripped me especially since it's the thing around which his life revolves. For me, the book is entirely about unrequired love and his refusal to acknowledge it.

 

I also found his whining quite funny, like Erwin Sommer in The Drinker.

 

I did read that chapter and thought that his character was getting more and more awful, not that there's anything wrong with that.  Yes, he is similar to Erwin Sommer in The Drinker but there was just something about this that just didn't gel with me. I started the chapter after his marriage and affair, think it's about business, and felt that I could not carry on. It was more about me not being suited to the book as opposed to anything wrong with the book, I just didn't get involved.

 

ETA I now know what my problem is.  Last year I read The Drinker, Hunger, The Sundays of Jean Desert, Les Chants de Maldoror, The Blind Owl and War and War, all with similar characters. Clearly I've read enough of them to do me for just now.

Edited by lunababymoonchild

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Finished American Wife this morning.  A fascinating book, 4/6 stars.  Most of the book was set in Wisconsin, so have replaced the incumbent title(The Art of Fielding) that I was going to read for this state, with this, a worthy replacement.  Takes my Tour of the US to 25 states now.

 

Have moved on to a Christmas present: The Burgundians by Bart van Loo, a chunky history tome. This could take some time!

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Currently reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, a book I bought on Amazon, but am going to put aside as the library book Sooley by John Grisham has become available for me to download. Pachinko is a fairly long book so it will have to wait until I complete Sooley. I was enjoying Pachinko and hope to get back to it when possible.

 

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Posted (edited)

Completed I Belong Here by Anita Sethi - her account of walking (parts of) the Pennine Way as part of her therapyafter  a traumatic experience of racial abuse whilst travelling by train. I so wanted to like this, but....whilst she has important things to say, and some valuable insights, I found her writing dreadful: a real chore to read.  Interestingly, it's had some rave reviews in the press, featuring in end of year recommendations (which is how I came to it), but now browsing Good Reads reviews, I see I'm definitely not alone.  I read it to the end only because there were those important moments, and almost felt I ought to, but all it did was convince me that this was in desperate need of a good editor.  2 stars out of 6 (it would have been 1 star for the writing alone).

 

Continuing with The Burgundians, which I am thoroughly enjoying.  Finding that I'm enjoying it most in relatively small bites and then reviewing what I've read - so much to take in!

Edited by willoyd

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Posted (edited)

I'm currently reading Civlizations by Laurent Binet for one of my book clubs, an alternative history where the Vikings didn't just find America they colonised it and introduced horses, leading to the Aztecs conquering part of Europe. It should be interesting but I'm finding it a bit of a chore, there's very little charecterisation and it tends to read like some of the duller history books we had at school (I loved history too). I've set myself a target of 30 pages a day.

 

Otherwise I'm reading Night Trains by Andrew Martin about the demise of night trains (though since he wrote this in 2017 they're coming back in Europe). Some of it is wonderful, I'd really like to do the Nordstrom sleeper in Norway but he's got more knowledge than skills as a writer so it's worthy and interesting and misses out on being fascinating which it could so easily have been.

Edited by France

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On 09/01/2022 at 3:15 PM, France said:

Otherwise I'm reading Night Trains by Andrew Martin about the demise of night trains (though since he wrote this in 2017 they're coming back in Europe). Some of it is wonderful, I'd really like to do the Nordstrom sleeper in Norway but he's got more knowledge than skills as a writer so it's worthy and interesting and misses out on being fascinating which it could so easily have been.

 

That's interesting, because he's quite a well-regarded fiction writer too. 

It's good to see night trains making a comeback: we've long used trains as our main means of transport in Europe, and it was really saddening to see all the overnight routes that we used to use being struck off one by one.  They were/are particularly useful for us as cyclists!  That was particularly so as the ferry routes were being destroyed too - and they've not started coming back, rather the reverse continues, the latest being Hull-Zeebrugge.

Edited by willoyd

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Finished We Are Wolves by Katrina Nannestad. Good story, so I’ll give it a 4 and a half out of 5.

 

Had The Green Planet by Simon Barnes delivered this morning! The BBC programme, with David Attenborough, was wonderful on Sunday evening. So that will be my reading matter next.

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Finished reading Sooley by John Grisham. Rate it a 4/5 as I did enjoy the story but not one of Grisham's better books.

In a little over 2 weeks I have a dental appointment in Charlottesville, VA with the same dentist that Grisham visits.

 

Currently about 70% into Pachinko. Very good reading and I am thoroughly enjoying the book. Glad that it is a fairly long book. 

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On 14/01/2022 at 8:26 PM, lunababymoonchild said:

Currently reading P'ere Goriot by Honoré de Balzac, A. J. Krailsheimer (Translator)

Read that last year for book group - will be interested in reading what you think of it.  I've not read any Krailsheimer translations - I gather that's a relatively new one from Oxford World's (relatively, as I know he died in 2001).

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1 hour ago, willoyd said:

Read that last year for book group - will be interested in reading what you think of it.  I've not read any Krailsheimer translations - I gather that's a relatively new one from Oxford World's (relatively, as I know he died in 2001).


I'll let you know.

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Finished reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. rate it a 4.5/5. Epic story involving 4 generations of a family in Japan/Korea. Interesting reading and I learned some of the Korean/Japanese culture.

 

Currently reading The Short Ghost Stories of Charles Dickens.

Edited by muggle not

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I carried myself out of the old year and into the new reading a few  Dorothy L Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey stories.  Comfort reads that took me elsewhere. 

 

Currently reading The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. It is subtitled 'one boy's voice from the silence of autism'. 

 

 

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Had to put the two books I'm currently reading (Bright Days - JB Priestley, The Burgundians - Bart van Loo) aside to read Mr Wilder and Mei - Jonathan Coe - in time for a book group meeting next week.  A quick read - essentially two sittings on two consecutive evenings, eminently readable, with some interesting points, but for some reason never really, deeply, engaged me. Fuller review later on my blog thread once I've had a chance to think that through..  3/6 stars.

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Finished Bright Days this evening - superb read.  My first JB Priestley, and am going to seek out more.  5/6 stars.

Have started my first Read Around The World book, The Promise by Damon Galgut (South Africa).

Edited by willoyd

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Finished Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac.  Not sure quite what to make of it so will let it sit for a while before writing a review

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