Books

Books. I mean it.

Apparently I stopped writing about reading even before I stopped reading. So here are the two books I read in August, the last books I've finished, though I am steaming through "People's History of Christianity" in anticipation of hearing Diana Butler Bass speak this weekend.

In late summer I went to see "Julie and Julia," which I loved, and then I quickly read the two books on which it was based.

#39, "Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously" by Julie Powell is the now-famous story of a woman who hated her job and as a distraction blogged her way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." It's amusing and fascinating, and I highly recommend it.

Then I read #40, "My Life in France," by Julia Child. I enjoyed it as a post-war memoir and a slice of life, but it's not nearly such a good book.

At the point my reading came to a crashing halt, I was capping off my Summer of E.M. Forster with "A Passage to India," but I remembered that I don't like it, and I decided–gasp!!!–not to finish it. So scratch that one off the list.

Chances are nil that I will reach my original 60 book goal for the year, but maybe I can still make 50. I'm determined to finish the Bass book, and then I have some others in the sidebar, but I think it's about time for a quick novel. Any suggestions? I've had a recommendation to read "Driftless." What are you reading?

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22 thoughts on “Books. I mean it.”

  1. I’m not sure I have a great recommendation but I read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series this year an really enjoyed it. Plus it is a kids series so a quick read so they restarted my reading when time was short.

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  2. I read “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” this summer and really liked it, and recently read “South of Broad”–which I liked, but I wonder if people who’ve never lived in Charleston can totally get.
    I need a new novel now, too.

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  3. I thought Elizabeth Berg’s “Home Safe” was a good quick read. I am really, really appreciating “A Thousand Splendid Suns, too.

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  4. Do audiobooks count? ‘Cause “The Horse Boy” is fabulous but made even more so by listening to its author read it to you with his Australian accent… And because he was THERE when the events of his book happened, there is an authenticity to the reading of what happens, the vocalizations of his son, that are so intense… It was fascinating.

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  5. I just finished a good Maeve Binchy – Echoes. I second the Percy Jackson series. I found them really good reads, especially if you’re into Greek mythology.
    I’m in search of something new to read too —

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  6. Here are a few suggestions (you could read my reviews on Goodreads, same nom de plume): Dog On It by Spencer Quinn — a dog is the partner of a private eye, told in the dog’s voice. Awakening by S. J. Bolton — thriller set in Dorset with interesting female wildlife vet protagonist. Tales of Wonder by Huston Smith — not-too-long autobiography of the great comparative religion guy. February House by Sherill Tippins: W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Gypsy Rose Lee and Benjamin Britten share a house in Brooklyn in 1940. This is a true story. Also, music is good, but audiobooks count as reading too and I suspect you spend a fair amount of time in the car.

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  7. if you’ve read the rest of the narnia series, then the last battle would certainly take care of that list – i read them all over the summer – very good. also, i can second the percy jackson series – i’ve been reading those with the boys, but i would have enjoyed them otherwise as well – very well done – all the children who are demi-gods are adhd and dyslexic which i thought was a fun spin.

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  8. oh my GOODNESS what riches in the recommendation department.
    I am also reading DBB (Peoples History….) I just LOVE her. She is so optimistic.
    Also reading (sort of) Full Cupboard of Life by Alexnder McCall Smith and (actually) Strong Poison by Sayers.
    And for a class, I’m enjoying Built To Last. But dont think I would read it if it wasnt assigned. Definately more corporate than I’m used to – but interesting to think about what makes organizations really last.
    Anyone else use Shelfari.com? I LOVE it as a way to organize reading lists.
    Ok, off to look up these Percy Whatisname stories….

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  9. I forgot to mention two of my favorite authors: Ann Patchett and Beth Gutcheon. Pretty much anything they write is good, this past year I especially liked Patchett’s book The Magician’s Assistant.

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  10. I don’t like A Passage to India, either. It’s supposedly Forster’s masterpiece. Sez who?
    Maybe you need some book candy. I haven’t read any of them, but I understand that Alexander McCall Smith’s Sunday Philosophy Club series is just as charming as the #1 Ladies Detective books.

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  11. I am finishing Practicing Theology and then need to move onto Knowing the Triune God. I find there isn’t much room for fun reading, although I want to read, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Mission Song as recommended by OMA.

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  12. I’m about to re-read Finding Beauty in a Broken WOrld for the REvGals book discussion in two weeks. (Really, already, yikes)… Otherwise I have four books waiting for me…Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry, The Lives Our Mothers Leave Us by Patti Davis and many others, Day After Night by Anita Diamant, and People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks….

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  13. Reading (the fun stuff) Rashi’s Daughters: Joheved, The Food of a Younger Land by Mark Kurlansky, and the Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson. Wading through Joel Marcus’ commentary on Mark so I can get this darned sermon on the Little Apocalypse going, because it sure isn’t coming easily. Also looking through A Brush with God: An Icon Workbook, by Peter Pearson, to see if I can use it for a Lenten series on hands-on spiritual disciplines.
    Never enough time to read!

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  14. I started the year with a goal of reading 50 books, and then my reading tapered off as the summer progressed, and with winter approaching, I still haven’t picked up any reading momentum. Trying not to fret over it, even discussed it at spiritual direction a while back. I’ll get back into a rhythm with it in time.
    Glad to hear someone recommend ‘The Help’, as I’ve been curious about it. Maybe that will be my airport/airplane book for my Thanksgiving trek south.

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  15. Yes, you can do audiobooks on the iPod. There are several listed on iTunes. I haven’t tried it for myself yet but I know the option exists. Instead, I used the Classics app to finally read Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. I can’t believe I never read it before now. Moving on to Through the Looking Glass! 🙂

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  16. You can do audiobooks via ipod two ways (ok, I’m cheap). I check out CD’s from the library, upload them to the computer, sync to ipod. Also, our library now has (although I haven’t tried it yet) a system for just downloading audiobooks right to your computer – which you could then sync with the ipod.

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  17. yes, yes, yes. just download to itunes. also, I have picked up audio books at library and downloaded them to itunes, except sometimes something goes funny with that. totally worth it!!!

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  18. Hi! Came back to double check on these recs, and saw the continued conversation on audio. I’ve listened to some books from librivox http://librivox.org/ on my iphone before – they are uneven, because they are read by teams of volunteers, but sometimes that makes them very interesting!

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