Books: And What Are You Reading?

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lizkat

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Not a book but a quarterly magazine for me today... I love The Paris Review just for its continued existence but for continuing also to justify my admiration.

This quote is is from "U Break It We Fix It," the latest in Sabrina Orah Mark's regular column, craftily enough titled Happiness. She has such an ear for the pitch of where we are these days.

We are knee-deep in broken things. I wade through the kitchen, and the news, and our yard. The dryer is making a sound. The country is divided. Tree limbs are everywhere. “How did the switch break off the lamp?” I ask Eli, my seven-year-old. He shrugs. “It’s like a miracle,” he says.
 
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Clix Pix

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I had read some entirely enticing reviews of Actress, including one in the Washington Post that sticks in my mind, but they hinted --to me at least-- that I'd need to be in a very different frame of mind than I've been lately to appreciate its complexities and craftsmanship. Somehow your comments reinforce that in me, even though I'm keeping the book on my "sometime, maybe" list.

Uncanny Valley I can see reading a lot sooner. Not sure what that says about it, or me, or Actress either. But thanks for mentioning Valley bc going to download a sample into one of my e-libraries as a reminder to check it out.
Yeah, it was the review of Actress in the Post that caught my attention and so when I saw the book on the New Books shelf at the library, I grabbed it. Definitely the book is well-crafted and a bit complex, and probably one to read during the daytime when one is wide awake and such, rather than in bed at the end of a long day when one is a bit tired and drowsy, as some of the subtleties can elude the reader...... I am definitely enjoying Uncanny Valley, though, even when drowsy!
 

lizkat

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OK I got pulled into this one by more than a couple of good reviews: Jess Walter's The Cold Millions --and I can't put the book down now so it's working out fine. Historical novel about the free speech riots in Spokane, Washington during 1908-1910... rights of workers to organize, right of nonviolent direct civil protest... the book weaves fictional characters' lives into recounting of historical events and characters like the fiery Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a feminist, labor rights activist, communist and a founding member of the ACLU.

cover art The Cold Millions.jpg
 
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Arkitect

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Turned the final page on this last night, Richard Bosworth, Mussolini's Italy : life under the dictatorship, 1915-1945.

Next up, my favourite Historian, Margaret Macmillan's The war that ended peace : How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War.

Concurrently also Betjeman's collection of architectural essays, First and Last Loves.

And lurking in the background, E.L. Doctorow, The March

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Clix Pix

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Next up for me: Mercury: an Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury. I finished Uncanny Valley last night. Then there are a few mysteries/regular fiction awaiting me as well....
 

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Turned the final page on this last night, Richard Bosworth, Mussolini's Italy : life under the dictatorship, 1915-1945.

Next up, my favourite Historian, Margaret Macmillan's The war that ended peace : How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War.

Concurrently also Betjeman's collection of architectural essays, First and Last Loves.

And lurking in the background, E.L. Doctorow, The March

View attachment 1385

Another fan of Margaret McMillan? Excellent.

Spent most of yesterday reading The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix.
 
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Clix Pix

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Ooh, now, SS!!!! You KNOW that's going to catch my attention -- both the title and the author!!! Must make a quick detour to Amazon to check things out, then see if the book is available at my local library!!!

ETA: BOOM! I have now placed a hold on the book, which the library system does have. Yay!!!
 

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Ooh, now, SS!!!! You KNOW that's going to catch my attention -- both the title and the author!!! Must make a quick detour to Amazon to check things out, then see if the book is available at my local library!!!

ETA: BOOM! I have now placed a hold on the book, which the library system does have. Yay!!!

Books, book-sellers, strong female characters........I think you'll enjoy it; I certainly did. Shall happily re-read and re-visit.

And - aside from a rollicking pace, nice nods to folk tales, and old myths, there are some lovely asides re references to books sprinkled throughout the story. And some very good jokes.
 

Clix Pix

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Having already enjoyed several of his other books, many thanks to you, I can pretty well anticipate that I will enjoy this one as well! Already looking forward to it! If the library had not already had it, I would've gone ahead and bought it. I may still do just that, if it turns out after I've read it that I just love it and want a copy of my own.....
 

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Instead of getting into Freddie Mercury, as I had intended, I'm reading One By One, by the fantastic suspense writer Ruth Ware. It was waiting for me on the holds shelf yesterday when I stopped at the library. She is a terrific writer and her books are always page-turners. I had to argue with myself in the wee hours of the morn to STOP reading the book, put it down, and turn out the light. I'll probably finish the book tonight, though!
 

lizkat

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Surely I'm not the first person to notice that there's just a simple transposition of two letters between being "unclear" and arriving at "nuclear"?

Anyway it feels ironic to have been arrested momentarily by that discovery while reading a blurb about the Jonathan Lethem's novel "The Arrest".

But then Todbaum shows up in an extraordinary vehicle: a retrofitted tunnel-digger powered by a nuclear reactor. Todbaum has spent The Arrest smashing his way across a fragmented and phantasmagorical United States, trailing enmities all the way. Plopping back into the siblings' life with his usual odious panache, his motives are entirely unclear. Can it be that Todbaum wants to produce one more extravaganza? Whatever he's up to, it may fall to Journeyman to stop him.

Written with unrepentant joy and shot through with just the right amount of contemporary dread, The Arrest is speculative fiction at its absolute finest.

So the question becomes would I rather look up more reviews of this email-touted book (in a genre I have not spent much time with) or shall I get on with the prep of some pasta sauce for tonight's supper.

Life in this ongoing and apparently just barely pre-apocalypse era is occasionally pretty mundane... and I'm starting to think i like it that way.. Still, I've decided to read "Yes, Chef" next and leave "The Arrest" in limbo for now. I have it on good authority that having any job in a commercially successful kitchen is never mundane, but not much room for speculation either: a precise if dramatic ballet, else one is fired. This version of that life is by Marcus Samuelsson, born in Ethiopia and orphaned there, raised in Sweden, educated in culinary arts in his new hometown of Goteborg, then also in Switzerland and France, finally to New York and eventually to establishment of the Red Rooster in Harlem.

cover art Yes Chef - Marcus Samuelson.jpg
 
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Clix Pix

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As I had predicted, I finished off One By One last night/wee hours of the morn.... Next up is A Burning, by Megha Majumdar. It's a debut novel set in India and the reviews intrigued me. I'll be starting it this evening....
 

Clix Pix

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I'm enjoying A Burning -- it is rather different than my usual sort of book. The author has a distinctive style and an interesting theme. In the meantime got notification that a couple more books are waiting for me at the library, including Garth Nix's Left-handed Booksellers of London so probably will go over to the library either today or tomorrow.
 

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I'm enjoying A Burning -- it is rather different than my usual sort of book. The author has a distinctive style and an interesting theme. In the meantime got notification that a couple more books are waiting for me at the library, including Garth Nix's Left-handed Booksellers of London so probably will go over to the library either today or tomorrow.

I expect that you will enjoy Garth Nix's most recent book; I certainly did.
 

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Read a very interesting piece - a sort of "long article" - entitled "The Regular Army Before The Civil War 1845-1860" by Clayton R Newell.
 
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