Whatcha Readin' (July 09) Edition

To those of you celebrating a holiday this weekend, have a safe and happy holiday.

I have started Warbreaker which so far promises to be quite good. Sanderson’s world is original and the magic is AFAIK unique to him.

I have also started Bridge Of Birds which also has strong promise.

Due to some work constraints, my reading has really slowed, so I have no idea when I’ll finish either of these.

I have started Happy For No Reason. So far there is little or nothing new in it, but I will continue to read it for a while.

June’s Thread

I started The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet last night and just couldn’t put it down, I’ll probably finish it tonight. This is Reif Larsen’s first book and is surely the start of a fantastic career.

I gave up on The Gone-Away World, and am presently reading fluffy Living Dead in Dallas, while trying to decide between next reading Alastair Reynolds’ Chasm City or Iain M. Banks’ Consider Phlebas.

1959; The Year that Changed Everything, up to now I am not so impressed.

Just started The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro.

I’m liking it so far, but I’m almost a quarter of the way through the book and nothing seems to have actually happened yet. As others have said, it all seems to be build up for a future book.

How’d you know it’s to be a long holiday weekend over here, with Asanha Bucha Day and the beginning of Buddhist Lent both next week? :confused:

But anyway, I’m about 3/5 through An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser. It is LONG, but I am enjoying it immensely. Published in 1925, it’s fiction but based on a real-life 1906 murder in upstate New York. If I did not know beforehand this was a murder story, it would have come as a complete surprise, as there’s no inkling at all that there might even be a murder until after page 500. That is not a criticism. Dreiser goes into detailed background of the circumstances that eventually make a pleasant, mild-mannered youth from humble origins resort to murder. In real life, the perp was caught and then executed in 1908. Dunno how this ends yet, but it’s not looking too good for the protagonist right now, and the word “tragedy” is in the title, so I think I can guess.

This is a very well-crafted story.

Saturday (this weekend) is the 4th of July, the American Independence Day.

Sam was joking with me. He knew.

I see. I’ll just be standing over in the corner enjoying the nice whooshing sound.

Hee hee hee. :smiley:

There is always a Fourth of July party in Bangkok, but the one I attended years and years ago was a crappy affair. Mediocre hot dogs and inferior Budweiser beer. I never bothered to attend another one. Much better is Ploenchit Fair, sponsored by the Brits every November. A British fair.

That’s too bad, the end really brings it all together.

Hmmm, that is persuasive… :smack:

Get out! I started that this morning. Race you!

:slight_smile: Normally I would accept that challenge, but as stated, due to work restraints I have no idea when I’ll finish.

I’m finishing Steven Jay Gould’s Wonderful Life.

And still rolling through, as I do every five years or so, **Fundamentals of Aerodynamics **by John Anderson. I love this book. It makes me want to teach ground school for pilots. I’d draw an inclined line on the white board and say, “Now here we have a SIMPLE wing. How come it fly?”

LOVED this book. I wish “The Story of the Stone” was more readily available so I could continue with the series.


Skeletons in her Cupboard (Festschrift for Juliet Clutton-Brock) ~ bunch of essays on archaeozoology.
A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin ~ This was…ok. I didn’t see the point of the modern narrative bits when the flashback itself was enough. I also had another war book on the go and I think I was ‘warred out’ for the time being.
The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington by Jennet Conant ~ I didn’t think that a book with this subject could be dull but it was a slog.
The Prestige by Christopher Priest ~ Loved it
Eat Thy Neighbour: A History of Cannibalism by Daniel Diehl ~ Fun trash if you’re needing that sort of thing.
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer ~ more angst, this time with werewolves. Decent enough young adult fare.
The Corsair by Tim Severin ~ Young Irish boy is captured by slavers and gets to tour fun places like Algiers, Marseilles, and the Barbary Coast. While the story was so-so, the research is very thorough.
The Arsenic Milkshake by Sylvia Barrett ~ Forensics in Canada. An old favourite.
The City & The City by China Mieville ~ I bought this book on a whim since I had a shot at getting an autographed copy. It took me about half of the book to wrap my head around the concept of two cities existing on top of one another yet you are only allowed to acknowledge the one you’re in. Clever concept however it took me so long to understand what the heck was going on that I missed out enjoying the actual story.
The First Man in Rome by Colleen Mccullough ~ I’m pretty sure that I got this on a recommendation from this site so thanks whoever you were! I really enjoyed it, even though the Roman government (and names) were too confusing for me. I can’t wait to continue with the series.
The Medici Giraffe by Marina Belozerskaya ~ Some examples of gifts of exotic animals (and native peoples) to rulers throughout history. Alexander’s elephants, Julius Caesar’s giraffe, Josephine Bonaparte’s black swans, etc. The Roman chapter closely paralleled the events in the book above, a nice little bonus.
Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler ~ Must…read…more…Chandler

Presently reading:

Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People by Tim Reiterman ~ So far so good
*We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals That Change Their Lives Forever *by Benjamin Mee ~ very enjoyable. Keep those tissues handy.
The Moonlight War: the Story of Clandestine Operations in South-East Asia 1944-5 by Terence O’Brien ~ another recommendation from this site

My husband just got transferred to Alaska for the summer so I thought I’d get more reading done. Instead I’m just moping around the house. Hopefully I’ll snap out of it soon.

Oh, please keep us posted. I’d love to find a good book about Jim Jones and his crazy encampment and disaster.

American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White: The Birth of the “It” Girl and the Crime of the Century by Paula Uruburu. This was good. The author was a little over the top in terms of style … I had this mental picture of the author shouting every other line in a froth of excitement, but the (true) story is indeed intriguing. Evelyn’ husband murdered Stanford White, her former … I don’t even know what to call him, he took advantage of her and sort of forced himself on her as her sugar daddy, but there also seems to have been some genuine affection between the two as evidenced in her autobiography.

ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley. YA novel about a dead high school girl who is still trying all sorts of schemes to become popular. Not a bad premise, but it was poorly written and not very entertaining.

I’m reading the second Kedrigern, The Questing of Kedrigern by John Morressy, fantasy, suitable for kids and very funny. Something that intrigues me about Kedrigern is that occasionally he reaches into the future and brings things back. He doesn’t know what these things are, and from the description, neither do I. In Questing, he “takes a sudden detour into a dangerous future land called L.A.” Keddie has a bit of Crocodile Dundee in him – should be fun.

I also started Middlemarch at the urging of a friend. I spent a good five minutes parsing the first sentence of the prelude. I’m hoping the rest of it isn’t so dense. I don’t have a clue what it’s about. Usually I read this kind of stuff after seeing the film. Somehow I’ve missed out on this one.