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I am going to have to give Ghostwritten a shot.

 

I could not put Cloud Atlas down, but I think part of that may have been that I read it right around Christmas of 2004, when I spent an inordinate amount of time stranded in various east coast airports. I was very glad to have a fat book to pass the time with.

 

Right now I am reading The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain. It's a very compelling subject, and one I knew little about.

 

 

Cloud Atlas is the first and only of his books that I've tried to read. I really wanted to like it, I can't get past the first few chapters... maybe I need to try again. this would be the third attempt.

 

And Middlesex, I loved, all of it. One of those books that I started reading and suddenly the rest of the world melts away. My husband is quite familiar with this phenomenon. He simply stops trying to talk to me or interact with me in any way until I finish the book :lol: .

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Just finished Ask the Dust by John Fante, a slim novel which didn't live up to the extravagant praise I've heard from Bukowski fans. Henry Miller and Hubert Selby did this kind of thing much better.

I'm currently reading Middlesex, has anyone else read it? I remember it being discussed elsewhere and people were criticizing the fact that it won the pulitzer prize. Maybe not Pulitzer Prize worthy

Several of the pieces in Paris to the Moon appeared earlier as Gopnik's monthly Letters from Paris to The New Yorker. His use of adjectives to describe the weather, the neighborhood, etc impressed me

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My husband is quite familiar with this phenomenon. He simply stops trying to talk to me or interact with me in any way until I finish the book :lol: .

 

You are very lucky. I have to shout "Shut up, go away" regularly.

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Craig Brown's 1966 and all that is a gem. It's very small, almost pocketbook size, and very pricey for that at £8.95 in hardback, but it is simply packed with laughter. It is obviously modelled on 1066 and all that but it is certainly its own book.

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And, continuing the love affair with David Mitchell, I started Balck Swan Green the other day.

 

Hooray! I didn't know there was a new Mitchell! Thanks, Pim.

 

Daisy, as much as I loved Cloud Atlas I think Ghostwritten is a better book.

 

I'm almost finished with Heat, Bill Buford's book-length version of his New Yorker article about Batali and Babbo; a friend was sent an advance copy and passed it on. Knowledgeable, well-written, LOL funny, and the best description of kitchen life I've read.

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Livy is great fun. Endless battles, hand-to-hand combat, rape and pillage, politics, treason, revolutions. It is killing my eyes though, reading vast chunks of the old Penguin Classics translation every night.

 

Of course, when people say to me, "What's wrong, you aren't crying are you?" I have the satisfaction of saying, "No, ancient Roman history is doing this to me."

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Rancho Gordo had nothing but praise for Pig Perfect by Peter Kaminsky. As I just mentioned elsethread, the guy is a great writer. He's written for Food & Wine; The New Yorker; Field & Stream, and was managing editor for National Lampoon. That is quite a breadth of interests, and as you can imagine, he is down to earth and great with the sensual details that are necessary in a book about food.

 

I cited this example:

Once, years before, I had eaten at [Jacques Lameloise's] restaurant. On that occasion, he uttered the most earthy colloquialism I have ever heard. As the cheese course was being offered, Lameloise came out of the kitchen to make chitchat with the diners. He turned to me and pointed to the Epoisses, which had a rich and rotten bouquet: "Try this one. We say is it rassé." Roughly translated, it means "as fragrant as a maiden's ass." Even in the land of Rabelais, I found this a little over the top, but then, I am not from France, a nation that divides the world into two classes: Things You Eat, and Things You Make Love To.

 

As RG says, "He's someone I could see myself having dinner with, and having a really good time." Whether that means while "wearing a dress and having people stare at me," you'll have to ask RG.

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I just started reading Joan Didion's book The Year of Magical Thinking about her profound loss of her husband and the mysterious and life threatening illness of her daugher Quintana. The first chapter which I read with breakfast this morning just captivated me and it was one of those mornings I resented having to go to work (well, really not so different from every other morning) and leave my book. I'll report on it when I finish. I have always admired her prose.

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Suite Francaise by Irina Nemirovsky is truelly a crafted book....and when one considers the circumstances in which it was crafted, is all the more amazing. The first book is simply so beautifully written, the character development so precise and effective, that I was slightly disappointed with the second half. When I read the last page, I immediately returned to the first and started over again...and this time, found the second half the better of the two, and was more aware of the way it unfolded.

This is a book for a person who loves unvarnished characters, and paragraphs about unsaid thoughts.

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Livy is great fun. Endless battles, hand-to-hand combat, rape and pillage, politics, treason, revolutions. It is killing my eyes though, reading vast chunks of the old Penguin Classics translation every night.

Try a Loeb Classical Library edition. Still small type, but I find the typeface kills my eyes less than some.

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