I'm halfway through PURITY. It's no masterpiece, and Franzen can surely be didactic, but I find it entertaining overall. It's dessert -- not very healthy but it tastes good (and reads fast).
Roscoe, if that little bit of snark caused you to put the book down, I'm assuming you didn't read far enough to spot his most self-referential joke.
I guess not, Larry. I might pick it up again sometime, but I was just not engaged by the first 25 odd pages. Does Frannie make some adorably clever self-deprecating joke involving Oprah?
Not quite. He references Jonathan Safran Foer (somewhat bitchily), which leads to a small tangent on the spate of "literary Jonathans".
After about 310 pages the narrative switches to first person, which is much more enjoyable, if that's any incentive.
I got to the end of Purity. Long, dull and exhausting, if I hadn't been on a long journey (with a dead iPod), I'm sure I wouldn't have finished. That'll teach me for trying to keep up with the literary Joneses - or maybe not, 'cos I'm about to start A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, of which I have higher hopes.
I am currently re-reading the Harry Potter books. Decided to make it fun so I am downloading the soundtracks from the movie of each book as I read them and I am watching each movie right after reading the book. I am on book 3 and enjoying them just as much as the first time. It was interesting watching the first two movies right after reading the books. Caught more thing they changed and left out this time around.
I've been meaning to re-read them for ages now, too - there's a new fully illustrated edition out next month, so maybe (if I save hard) I'll get that, or perhaps I'll just get it from the liberry. I'm a sucker for beautiful hardbacks, and the pictures look great.
Illustrator - Jim Kay
Just finished the Ian Fleming Bond novel " You Only Live Twice". Previously read all of them but wanted to re-read this one as I wanted to see how much the movie differed.Other than the title and the Japan locale , it was totally different.Some followed the book closely. This one did not even try.
Now on to a book on the JFK assassination.
Just finished The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman in preparation for the TV series. Now re-reading The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub (my personal favorite of the King works).
Got a couple books for Christmas, the first one I am reading is An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chis Hadfield...really enjoying it so far.
Riedel's Razzle Dazzle . It was a Christmas Present.
Just Finished "The Adventure of English-the Biography of a Language" based around a BBC radio and the TV presentation a very accessible ( if occ light) overview of how English became and remains the dominant language of the world.
Did a few Linda La Plante novels british police procedurals Backlash and Bloodline, both quite good for what they are.
Starting on Mistress of the Elgin Marbles- Bio of Mary Nisbet Countess of Elgin and a bunch o other places It was really her money that brought the Elgin Marbles to England and their status is still being fought over.
Also as a "fun" read, the Captain Lacey mystery novels by Ashley Gardner set in the late 18th century about an injured semi retired Army Captain who will keep getting involved in all sorts of disreputable situations. I think the writer must have studied the period professionally, she fills the books w delightful arcane details about pugilism and womens hairstyles/decorations etc.
next up- Religion and the Decline of Magic! by Keith Thomas
Just finished Dave Hare's memoir, The Blue Touch Paper. Wonderful and honest, especially about his own work (only up through Plenty, alas, but what a great account of Plenty) and the reasons for its mixed reception.
Tender by Belinda McKeon
Catherine and James are as close as two friends could ever be. They meet in Dublin in the late 1990s, she a college student, he a fledgling artist - both recent arrivals from rural communities, coming of age in a city which is teeming - or so they are told - with new freedoms, new possibilities. Catherine has never met anyone quite like James. Talented, quick-witted, adventurous and charismatic, he helps Catherine to open her eyes, to take on life with more gusto than she has ever before known how to do; she begins to enjoy her new home, to find her voice as a writer and to meet with the people who will shape her new world. But while Catherine's horizons are expanding, James's own life is becoming a prison; as changed as the new Ireland may be, it is still not a place in which he feels able to truly be himself.
Mona Lisa by Alexander Lernet-Holenia
Florence, 1502. Marshal Louis de La Trémouille's small army has stopped off en route to Naples, to buy objects d'art for King Louis XII of France. Naturally, Leonardo da Vinci's workshop is on the shopping list; and during their visit to his house, the young nobleman de Bougainville chances upon the not-quite-finished Mona Lisa. He promptly, utterly and hopelessly falls in love with the woman in the painting, and is determined to find her - despite rumours that she has long ago died.
Both highly recommended!
Re-reading Steinbeck's WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT
Just finished re-reading the Harry Potter books the other day and am now reading TELL ME HOW LONG THE TRAIN'S BEEN GONE by James Baldwin.
My Brilliant Friend by Elena FerranteThe first in a quadrilogy about the lives of two women - the first set in 1950s Naples. Apparently it's been a sensation for the last couple of years, but I'm only cottoning on now. Easy to read and compelling.(Another penniless Friday night on my own! )
It by Stephen King. Love it.
I love It. Probably Stephen King's best novel. I'm reading Wild Swans by Jung Chang. Really amazing but really hard to read sometimes, due to the horrific nature of some of the stuff she writes about.
Trying to make my way through that damn Hamilton biography. It's excellent, but it's not exactly light reading. Recently, I finished Isaac Oliver's Intimacy idiot, which is very very funny, the fascinating Devil in the White City, and Vampires in the Lemon Grove, which is a fantastic collection of short stories by Karen Russell.
Finished "Nightshade" a collection of female authored horror/fantasy many based around series. Nice to see so many wymn in the field. Finishing "The Humans" by Matt Haig. What happens when an alien sent of a mission to Earth goes "native". Took a while to get into ( and i'm still not clear why he "drinks the kool aid" but some nice concepts and well expressed.
Just finished The Widow by Fiona Barton. If you love Gone Girl/Girl on the Train kind of mystery it's s great read. No crazy twist and it ends how you'd imagine it to, but getting there is fun and exciting.Any good page-turner type mysteries you can recommend?
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