June's 2011 Reading Journal

KeskusteluClub Read 2011

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June's 2011 Reading Journal

Tämä viestiketju on "uinuva" —viimeisin viesti on vanhempi kuin 90 päivää. Ryhmä "virkoaa", kun lähetät vastauksen.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 2012, 7:07 pm

I give up. I cannot do what many LT posters do -- create a list and read the books on the list. I'm too fickle. I end up not reading the books on the list but others that catch my interest. I'm too old to force myself to read a book I don't like just because it's on my list. So I will create a reading journal of what I have read but will still use categories to encourage myself to read widely. Reading should be fine dining. Hence, the categories listed below.

Category 1 Appetizers (mysteries)
Seventy-Seven Clocks
A Red Herring Without Mustard
A Drop of the Hard Stuff
The Crossing Places
Very Bad Men
The Cut
Rip Tide
House of Silk
The Drop

Category 2 Salads ( novels)
Old School
Leaving Van Gogh
Love and Summer
The Submission
The Sense of an Ending
The Art of Fielding

Category 3 Entrees (nonfiction)
Just My Type
Steve Jobs: A Biography

Category 4 Desserts (light-weight fare)
Zone One

Category 5 Coffee (others)

Category 6 Comfort Foods ( feel goods)
A Month in the Country

Category 7 Homecooking (read or reread of books I own) New category as of 7.30.11.
The Sparrow

Categories subject to change.

toukokuu 14, 2011, 8:31 am

Nice categories!

toukokuu 14, 2011, 9:17 am

Welcome! I love your categories. :)

toukokuu 15, 2011, 6:57 am

Thanks torontoc and janepriceestrada. Life is very hectic with the end of school and a busy gardening time. I'll do the categories more justice later. I'm retiring in 18 days. I may even have to add a cheese or nuts category! Right now I'm working on an entree (Moonwalking with Einstein) and an appetizer (Field Gray bu Phillip Gray).

toukokuu 15, 2011, 6:30 pm

Welcome, June! Yeah, I'm not much of a planner either when it comes to reading. I like to wander here and there.

Clever categories, indeed (however, I would argue that contemporary fiction at its best is more entree than salad (but then, some salads are a substantial as entrees, aren't they?)

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 18, 2011, 8:53 am

I'm with you, June. If a book goes on a list, I'm more likely than not to avoid reading it. Go figure!

It is fun, however, to list books I read and hear what others have to say about those books.

I, too, like your categories. :)

kesäkuu 7, 2011, 2:31 pm

I am going to add another category - comfort foods. I just read and reviewed A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr. The review can be accessed through the title. I can relate to Tom's story as I am experiencing a similar, though less traumatic, situation. I have just retired from teaching 33 years. I could feel stress slipping away as I enjoyed this book while lounging on the porch. The beauty of my garden and the busyness of the birds and my beagle in the cool of the early morning is doing for me what Yorkshire did for Tom. Isn't it interesting how the reader's state of mind improves the story?

kesäkuu 7, 2011, 2:35 pm

June, congratulations on retiring! It seems like you're enjoying it and putting it to good use. And I love your categories!

kesäkuu 7, 2011, 6:37 pm

Thanks, Fasciknitting. One of my goals is to be a better LTer. In that vein, I have submitted a review of Old School by Tobias Wolff and Seventy-Seven Clocks by Christopher Fowler. The reviews can be found through the titles. I gave Old School four stars, A Month in the Country five stars and the mystery Seventy-Seven Clocks three stars.

kesäkuu 16, 2011, 7:23 am

I thought I would get more reading done upon retirement. I did not factor in the time I spend pausing to watch the birds, chipmunks, rabbits, etc. in my back yard. It is a luxury to have time for to do so. I did finish A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley. It is my favorite Flavia de Luce title so far. Flavia has matured somewhat and is beginning to see that others care for her. I have to agree with the People review on the back cover stating that the real delight is Flavia's wicked wit and the eccentric cast.

kesäkuu 19, 2011, 6:51 pm

It's really a pleasure to read a mystery by a good writer. I just finished A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block. The plot was good but the pace of the narrative and the character development were great. According to the blurb he has authored over 50 books and won numerous awards. I must have read most if not all of this Matt Scudder series as well as the Bernie Rhodenbarr Burgular books.

heinäkuu 3, 2011, 8:47 am

I read Embassytown, well all but the last 40 pages. I really wanted to like it and China Mieville. I keep trying his. I guess I am too literal to appreciate SF.

elokuu 3, 2011, 8:03 pm

I finished The Crossing Places, a mystery by Elly Griffiths. I admired the main character but the story was too gruesome for me. The teaser for the next book in the series is also gruesome so I will not read any more.

elokuu 15, 2011, 7:20 am

I finished Love and Summer by William Trevor. It is longlisted for the Man-Booker Prize this year. I hope it wins. The writing is beautiful as in all of William Trevor's books. Also, the characters are very well developed; they feel and act as you would expect people with their experiences to act. So many of the nominees are gut-wrenching. This one is emotional without being heartbreaking. I'm tired of having to abandon well-written books because the content is too stressful.

elokuu 15, 2011, 7:33 am

This weekend I also read Very Bad Men by Harry Dolan. I would give it 3.5 stars. It was nice to have a detective that is normal, not alcoholic, depressed, damaged, etc. The description of the settings -Ann Arbor and Saulte Ste. Marie- was interesting. I would like to have had more. The author should have allowed more time for the detective to interact with his girlfriend and her daughter and for his everyday life and less time on excessive plot twists. This is only Dolan's second book. I hope he improves with experience.

elokuu 31, 2011, 7:35 am

I reread Amsterdam by Ian McEwan. I placed it in the salad collection even though it is a reread since I don't own it. I had actually forgotten that I had read it which is odd since it is pretty good. I am trying to read some Bookers to compensate for the mediocre books I've been reading lately.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 6, 2011, 9:15 am

Just finished The Cut by George Pelecanos. It's the first in a new series. There was lot to like -- the writing, the setting, the young marine as the main character. I had some problems with the plot though. Even though we are reminded that the investigator is learning his business I find it hard to believe that he would not consider that the bad guys would retaliate by threatening someone that he cares for. Also, the bad guys left the kidnapped person alone so someone could just go in and release him? Liked it enough to continue the series.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 9, 2011, 7:31 am

Really liked Rip Tide by Stella Rimington. It's really more of a thriller than a mystery so could possibly have included it in the Salad category. It's not challenging but very suspenseful. The characters are not complex but are likeable. I have read two others in the Liz Carlyle series and will get the other two if possible. I don't understand the title, though.

lokakuu 10, 2011, 8:00 am

Just My Type was very interesting. I have never paid much attention to fonts before but this was a real eyeopener. Chapters on typography alternated with those on the history of individual fonts. I learned several things:
1. Serif is the little foot things seen on the bottom and sometimes on the top of some fonts to anchor them. Sans Serif are fonts without serifs.
2. Some fonts are very old.
3. Typographers don't get paid well compared to other designers.
4. A lot of people want to ban Comic Sans.
5. Most used fonts include Helvetica, Futura, Garamonde, Univers and Gill Sans.
6. Calibri is the best font to use on a screen.

lokakuu 10, 2011, 8:07 am

Moneyball is great. It tells the story of a general manager who used information to create his teams rather than baseball lore. The story is good and the information is interesting. Billy Beane and his educated young staff expanded upon sabremetrics to collect data that is meaningful. He used this data to draft and trade for inexpensive players to create teams with a low budget. I took notes on radical ideas to see if they apply to the college team I watch each spring. Looking forward to the movie.

lokakuu 22, 2011, 7:54 am

The Submission is the best novel I have read on 9/11. In 2003 a jury was set up to select a memorial. Clare, a wealthy, educated widow, represents the families. The anonoymous submission chosen turns out to be a garden created by a Muslim American, Mohammed Khan, causing many to fight the installation. Clare likes the garden but the architect refuses to explain his design and motivations.

marraskuu 18, 2011, 7:10 am

I added Zone One by Colson Whitehead as lightweight fare since it is about zombies. However, his writing as usual is very good. I would give it 4 stars. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, the 2011 Booker prize winner, was well-written and had much to say about memory. The revelation did not quite work for me, though. So 4.5 stars.

joulukuu 3, 2011, 7:23 am

I finished The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz. It was the only Sherlock Holmes novel ever approved by the Holmes estate. They asked Horowitz to write it. He is such an experienced writer that he was able to write it in four months. I love his screenplays for Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War and his YA novels are great for middle schoolers. It would be difficult for someone unfamiliar with the canon to distinquish this story from Doyle's. Horowitz had the voice, the pace , the setting, etc. just right. The resolution was less satisfying but that may be due to the fact that we in the US are now hearing a great deal on the subject. I would not have wanted this ending when I read the canon at age 10. Otherwise, I cannot see how the story could have been more true to Doyle. Four stars.

joulukuu 3, 2011, 7:35 am

Looking back over this thread I see that I often say that a book is well-written and interesting but that I did not like the ending. That might be my problem, not the authors'. The resolution for the two main characters in The Art of Fielding kind of says that life often puts people in the place they should be even if they are resistant. I believe this to be true in RL. I will probably choose this novel as one of my favorites for the Books on the Nightstand 2011 poll. It is especially accomplished for a first novel. 4.5 stars

joulukuu 14, 2011, 8:49 am

Some authors are too big to edit like some businesses are too big to fail. Stephen King is one. 11\22\63 would have been better if about 200 pages had been removed. The characters tended to be too good or too bad rather than the flawed humans we all are. I liked the good characters with the exception of the love interest. Being clumsy and smoking like a chimney did not endear her to me. I needed other reasons to like her. The plot moved rapidly with some creative events. Other events not so much. Three stars

joulukuu 26, 2011, 7:10 am

I find it hard to separate the person Steve Jobs from the biography. Because I find Jobs to be a mean person, I think less of the book. Not fair. The book is well researched and well written. I never saw anyone so arrogant. Eventually it cost him his life. He refused surgery preferring to try wierd diets, etc. for nine months. I agree that he created great products but only at the expense of other people's lives.

tammikuu 2, 2012, 7:05 pm

I read The Drop by Michael Connelly in about two days. I like his Harry Bosch books much more than his lawyer books and his standalones. His Harry is so focused, much more than I am. He lives by the code everyone counts or no one does. That means he is as interested in solving cases with unknown victims as much as he is in solving cases involving celebrities.


In The Drop the celebrity death was much less sensational than the unknown victim's murder.

Harry seems to be mellowing as he approaches retirement but he's passing his knowledge on to two others. I wonder if either of those characters will be featured in later books.

tammikuu 2, 2012, 7:12 pm

I have reread The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. I wanted to refresh my memory before starting the sequel, Children of God. Well, I read most of it. Again, I couldn't read the last 40 or so pages due to the violence. The Sparrow is one of my alltime faves but it seems that no matter how good their intentions, aliens always disrupt the cultures of the inhabitants resulting in death and destruction.

tammikuu 2, 2012, 7:16 pm

So, since I have retired until the end of the year I have recorded 24 books here. I started others and abandoned them. At 62 I don't have time to waste on those that I don't care for. I am going to have a similar thread in Club Read 2012. See you there.