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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    9,324

    What are you reading?

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    Spring break is nearly upon us, which means I will have time to read. I'm looking for suggestions. My tastes are pretty varied - I like George RR Martin and I enjoyed Physics for Future Presidents.

    What are you currently reading? I recently read Secrets of a Happy Marriage , which I really liked, and The Magician's Assistant.

    Thanks for your suggestions!

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,367

    What are you reading?

    I am currently rereading a series called The Saxon Tales by Bernard Cornwell. He writes really fine historical fiction with good storytelling, characters that you connect too, and period accuracy. The particular series is set around 870 AD, in the reign of Alfred the Great, and follows the story of Uthred, a Saxon, whose father, Lord of Bebbanburg, is killed in a raid by the Danes when he is 10. He is raised by the Danes but ultimately swears loyalty to Alfred. He becomes a warrior and plays both sides of the fence with ultimate goal in mind to get his fortress back from his uncle who usurped it.

    Each book is based on actual events and battle during the reign of Alfred. I find I connect with the stories and the characters. This is real historical fiction, not romance novel pretending to be historical. If you are watching Vikings on History Channel right now, these books are set in the same time period-ish, but have their English history a little more accurate.
    Last edited by Irulan; 04-05-2014 at 08:47 AM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,565
    Well, I'm in the middle of Game of Thrones series, which you've read. It takes me forever to get through a book these days since I don't have much free time and I'm tired when I start reading so I'm lucky if I make it through 20 pages before I fall asleep.

    I just finished reading And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. It was excellent. And I recently read Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Also exceptionally good.

    Some time (maybe a year from now after I'm done with George RR Martin) I'll have to check out the Saxon series. I really enjoy historical fiction.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162
    Just finished "The Invention of Wings" By Sue Monk Kidd - great historical fiction.

    Picking up "We are Water" today as soon as the library opens.

    I will also look at the Saxon series.

    Thanks for the thread
    Sky King
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    I just finished American Shaolin by Matthew Polly. It's about a (white) American who lives for 2 years in China's famous centuries old birthplace of kung fu, Shaolin Temple in the mountains. It's a great book for insight on the whole world of traditional kung fu training, techniques, fighting and cross-cultural stuff, also life among kung fu acolytes, skirmishes, the women they sneak around with. (Yea, sure. Monks. Maybe some of them.)

    Yes some of the manoeuvres are true..breaking bricks over head, etc. But it does result in some abnormalities....

    The author later...seems to leverage his knowledge for....um MM fighting. (which I never get excited watching that stuff). The author does prepare, by learning Chinese in advance..which makes a difference what he writes and the level of detail he can recount conversations, jokes with the monks.

    If you like a book that blends cross-cultural living, travel and a sport that the rest of the world doesn't yet understand ...but want to learn more about sport that is both athleticism, art and (a bit) meditation.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-05-2014 at 07:57 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,436
    I just finished "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which I loved. Just starting "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves" by Karen Joy Fowler, and am rereading Josephine Tey's "Brat Farrar", an old favorite.

    And Chris and I both loved "The Goldfinch".
    Last edited by salsabike; 04-05-2014 at 09:38 AM.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,324
    I read Goldfinch at Thanksgiving break - really liked it.

    If you like short stories, Machine of Death and This is How You Die are really good.


    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,436
    Those short stories collections sound totally cool! Just bought Machine of Death on kindle--thanks.

    I have also fallen wildly in love with audiobooks, which are a new source of steady income for a lot of really great actors. Audiobooks can bring some books vividly to life that haven't worked for me as well in text. Chris listened to the audiobook for "The Goldfinch", and I will probably listen to it someday. I read it on the kindle. And I have a little crush on Boris from that book. Just couldn't HELP myself.

    Oh, yes. I am also reading all of Daniel Woodrell's books. He is the author of "Winter's Bone", which I loved. He paints his own world of the Ozarks beautifully, and it's a world most of us don't know. I like his writing very much.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301
    Janny Wurts Curse of the Mistraith and Seanan McGuire Discount Armageddon. I'm also listening to The Lord of the Rings on Audible for the 100th time. It's rare when I don't have multiple books going at once.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    32
    The Forgotten Garden Kate Morton ....AWESOME!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    I may already have mentioned Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization, by Richard Manning. It's fascinating, and actually a much easier read than my long slog through it suggests, it's just that I haven't had a lot of energy for nonfiction lately.

    I read We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves over the winter, and really loved it. Americanah is on my list to read sooner than later ...

    Seanan McGuire is a recent guilty pleasure of mine, too. For those who haven't read her, she's sort of a cross between Janet Evanovich and Men in Black (except with "monsters" aka cryptids instead of aliens).

    Just finished Jennifer Government by Max Barry. A darkly funny neoliberal dystopia.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,436
    I loved Jennifer Government! I keep hoping for a sequel. Seanan McGuire sounds like a hoot.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    I'm another who doesn't have much time to read these days. I started An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield after Christmas, but haven't finished yet.

    I'm actually thinking of getting a Kindle or other e-reader/tablet, in the hopes it will get me to read more. I tend to play games on my phone while I'm watching TV during dinner and before I go to bed. With a tablet maybe I'll catch up with Words with Friends and then turn off the TV and read instead of playing solitaire.

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,227
    Just finished Margaret Atwood’s ‘MaddAddam’, the finale of that trilogy. A friend who knew of my reading about native american's and the early california missions recommended "The Orenda" by James Boyden about the jesuit's and first nations of canada which is my next read.
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 04-06-2014 at 01:25 AM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    I am almost through with a remarkable book my mother bought me for Christmas.

    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

    If you like historical works concerning the 17th century Salem witch trials, rare books, and libraries, you'll probably enjoy it.
    Emily

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