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JenniferMaxwell
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0 posted 04-08-2010 01:02 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Just about finished Christopher Buckley's "Losing Mum and Pop". A book you can polish of in a lunch hour or two. Not nearly as melancholic as the title might lead you to believe. More like a celebration of their lives. Guarantee you'll laugh more than cry.

Link to some reviews: http://www.librarything.com/work/7806132/reviews
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1 posted 04-08-2010 06:46 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

I cherish that kind of a book! Thanks for the link, Jennifer. Much appreciated.
JenniferMaxwell
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2 posted 04-08-2010 08:15 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

There are a lot of very tender moments that will make you shed a tear or two, Sunshine. Christopher cared for his father during his last days, was at his side night and day through one crisis after another and was at his mother's bedside when she died.

He also includes stories about his Mum and Pop as well as his own youth showing how "interesting" it is to live with strong-willed, opinionated, famous parents. He delves a bit into some of the issues he had with his parents with honesty and introspection. They were not the perfect parents, and he admits he wasn't the perfect son.

He reveals the humanness of two larger than life icons, and does so with insight, tenderness, love, and humor.

JenniferMaxwell
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3 posted 04-10-2010 09:59 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Just started it, only 50-60 pages into it and find it rather intriguing. Anyone read it? What did you think?
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4 posted 04-10-2010 10:53 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Not new, but here are two good reads, Jennifer...

"Ava's Man", [and] "All Over but the Shoutin' "

both by Rick Bragg.

If you enjoy books of family....you will certainly appreciate these national bestsellers...

  

JenniferMaxwell
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5 posted 04-11-2010 05:50 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Thanks for the recommends, Sunshine, both sound very good. I'll look for them next time I make a library run.

The Unconsoled is still working for me. Reminds me a little of Murakami's work, surreal, well written, a little slower paced, not quite as edgy.
  
serenity blaze
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6 posted 04-11-2010 07:00 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I am just popping in to let ya'll note, I'm taking notes on the notes-

And of course, I have a recommendation too.

The American Plague--

The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, The Epidemic That Shaped Our History

by Molly Caldwell Crosby

And granted, my editorial eye is not so keen on some of the structure ("the untold story" in your title? naw...it's told now, Mary)

but anyhow, it's invaluable to anyone who enjoys the why's and how's of history. Like, um, for example, prior to relinquishing the very fertile and politically strategic land involved in The Louisiana Purchase? Napolean lost 23,000 troops to "the stranger's disease" in the Southern American country now known as Haiti...

The idea of that fact made his decision much more understandable to me. And they don't teach stuff like that in grade school. Or even High School. Apparently Thomas Jefferson is on the ephemeral list as well.

(It's what I heard. )

ciao for niao!
JenniferMaxwell
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7 posted 04-11-2010 08:00 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

The strangers disease - thought for a minute that might have been something quite different, something requiring lots of penicillin.

Anyway, history - something I really need to read a lot more of, so good to have recommends. Thanks very much, serenity!

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8 posted 04-11-2010 09:34 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Jenn...

I'm way so behind on keeping up with my reading, but my intentions are good.

One book that was given to me three years ago was Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth, a historical epic.

I found it fascinating...for reasons far beyond what I thought I might experience.



Serenity...that's a title I'll be looking into! Thank you, Sis!


serenity blaze
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9 posted 04-11-2010 11:15 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Pillars of the Earth was not an easy read for me as I tend to run with the symbolism.

Just a little bit.

But it has that structure that I am so snippy about. I think Joey Campbell would approve, too. (He let's me call him Joey now that he's...um, dead.)

Hugs you two, and hah! The stranger's disease...it's all about immunity babes.
JenniferMaxwell
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10 posted 08-14-2010 10:06 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

OMG, Karen, I read Pillars about 5 years ago and loved it. Wanted to read it again but couldn't remember either the title or the author. Thanks so much for the reminder!
On my library list for next week!

Working my way through Mankell. Have read Italian Shoes, Chronicler of the Winds, Eye of the Leopard all of which I'd highly recommend.
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11 posted 08-15-2010 12:59 AM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

One of the best books I have read in the past few years is Gertrude Bell
Queen of The Dessert
Shaper of Nations

Written by Georgia Howell
I do not understand why no one I know has heard of her nor have I seen any mention of this book in any book reviews..
It should be made into a movie the caliber of Lawrence of Arabia.

Gertrude Bell  Do look  her up  on the internet. And then read this book.A fascinating true life story.  
latearrival/jo  
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12 posted 08-15-2010 01:17 AM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

To all: thank you for some interesting book titles. I have copied them all. I have a stack here to get to but it is always good to have some reserve recommendations. Thank you all. latearrival
I just finished Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
About our trying to remake Iraq. They have just moved out of the "castle" that was once Saddam Hussein's (and what a doomed mission it was). They have this year left that location to move into the American Embassy. A 700 million set up of 28 buildings. It is finally starting to be used but they are still spending millions to set up space for  General Petarus and 200 soldiers.  Mind boggling!  
JenniferMaxwell
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13 posted 08-15-2010 01:41 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

And thanks for your recommends, latearrival.

I love a good biography. Bell was a brilliant woman and what an amazing life she lived. Putting the book on my list for sure.

JenniferMaxwell
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14 posted 08-15-2010 01:53 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

And here's a link to the author's site where you can read excerpts from the other book you mentioned "Imperial Life in the Emerald City"
http://www.rajivc.com/
latearrival
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15 posted 08-16-2010 02:33 PM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

Thank you Jennifer.You will love Gertrude Bell and I will read that link about the author of the other one. latearrival/jo    
Bob K
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16 posted 08-17-2010 09:18 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I've been reading some poetry recently, and I'm enjoying it.  Two are translations from the French, A Moral Lesson bt Paul Eluard ( with an acute accent over the initial accent in Eluard's last name) and Portal of The Mystery of Hope by Charles Peguy, also with an acute accent over the "e" in his last name.  Pronounced PAY gee, to rhyme with PAY me.  Then in plain old American, Sally's Hair, by John Koethe.

     I'd be interested in knowing what anybody thinks, if they're interested in giving any of these a shot.

     I'm reading some science fiction and mysteries.  I've picked up a few Ian Rankin Novels, which are Scottish and hard boiled of sorts. Ethan Ganin has written a number of excellent main-stream pieces of fiction, most recently America, America which I've found hard-bound and remaindered for about six bucks at Barnes and Nobles.  If you have a B& N nearby, you can stop in and read a sample page or two to get a notion of the quality of the prose, which is very fine indeed.

JenniferMaxwell
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17 posted 08-18-2010 05:44 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Thanks for the recommendations, Bob. All new to me. Will check them out.
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18 posted 08-18-2010 01:01 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Hi Jennifer, I am a "light" reader, but am absolutely hooked on books that make me laugh out loud, and can also make me cry.  I love Sophie Kinsella.  She writes all the "Shopoholic" books, and they make you laugh.  Could be I see myself in those books?

I just finished Three Cups Of Tea, which is the most inspirational book, I have ever read, about one person making changes in India that matter.

I always try to read the book before seeing any movie made of it, and Eat, Pray, Love is actually a good book.  I wish I was with her on her journey.

This is not new but I think you'd love this one, "Kiss My Tiara" I liked it so much I actually sent copies to some poets in here.  It is by Susan Jane Gilman.

If you need a good read that is sequenced, there is not a single thing on the shelves that can beat the "Dark Tower" series by Steven King.

Well, that is just my take on books.

As I say to myself often, "Buy the funny one, you have had enough lessons of life to last you a lifetime!"  Being retired is fun, I even read my granddaughter's books and enjoy them.  Second childhoods rock!

Oh, and Karen, I loved Pillars Of The Earth, awesome book.
JenniferMaxwell
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19 posted 08-18-2010 08:51 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I read Three Cups of Tea, indeed a remarkable story of one man's commitment to spreading peace in the troubled lands of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I could use a good laugh right now, Mysteria, recovering from a botched dental procedure, so thanks for the recommendations.

I find myself sort of reading in cycles, a couple of weeks on say dystopian, sci fi, fantasy fiction then a few weeks on political, history, or biography, and then poetry or the classics. My reading lists sort of follow my moods.

JenniferMaxwell
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20 posted 08-19-2010 10:32 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Thanks for mentioning poetry in translation Bob. One of my favorite sites is Poetry International where you can read the work of some of the best poets from around the world. The poems are presented in both English and the language in which they were originally written.

As you read the work of poets from a particular country, horizons expand, the fog of cultural differences seems to lift and understanding becomes possible through the gift of poetry.

Anyway, a link to the site: http://international.poetryinternationalweb.org/piw_cms/cms/cms_module/ index.php?obj_name=international

And a link to a poem by a poet whose collected edition is on my must buy list, George Seferis.
http://greece.poetryinternationalweb.org/piw_cms/cms/cms_module/index.php?obj_id=2526 &x=1

JenniferMaxwell
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21 posted 08-22-2010 06:53 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

A few weeks ago on impulse I picked up a copy of Ariel, The Restored Edition. When I got home, I tossed it aside, kicking myself  for spending $13.95 on something that was surely a gimmick, a way of separating Plath cult fans from a few more of their hard earned dollars. I mean, how different could it be from the previously published editions? This weekend, housebound and rather desperate for reading material, I gave it a shot and was very pleasantly surprised.

There is a lovely, honest and very compassionate intro by Frieda Hughes, Sylvia’s daughter. She does not condemn her father for the way he tortured the original manuscript, editing out 12 poems,inserting 12 others and rearranging the order of poems so that the progression Plath intended was distorted beyond recognition, nor does she minimize Sylvia’s rages and outrages.

Also included is a facsimile of the original manuscript showing Plath’s edits, revisions and handwritten notes. Fascinating in itself.

My sense is that Plath, as troubled as she was at the time, knew exactly what she was doing when she selected the poems for and the arrangement for Ariel. I also think that even though you may have read Ariel in another edition, you might find the Restored edition as illuminating as I did.

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22 posted 08-23-2010 09:17 PM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

Jennifer.Thank you for the last recomendation. Plath is hard to understand.I never cared for her husband and what he wrote about her. I always thought he was a bit egotistical and envious of her. So this book by her daughter is hopefully  more responsive to her mother's worth. In my deepest heart I do not think any spouse  or child can really know one's spouse or parent. We all wear  masks as is well known and even living with another is not enough to reach the deepest part of them.JMHO/. latearrival/jo  
JenniferMaxwell
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23 posted 08-23-2010 10:57 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Hi jo

I started reading Plath about maybe four or five years ago. Hard as I tried, had difficulty making sense of many of her poems so you’re not alone there. Having lost my birth mother to suicide, guess I was sort of drawn to Plath’s work in an effort to try and understand the pain that would cause a woman to leave her children motherless. More or less driven by that need, I read everything I could get my hands on about Plath and a little later, Hughes. I read all her work,  her journals, letters and every bio out at that time, searched all the articles about her work online and followed the Plath discussion forums. Little by little, the pieces started falling in place. I could pretty much figure out the inspiration for her poems and what she was saying.  Needless to say, as a confessional poet, her writing was based on her life experiences and the emotions she felt because of  those experiences. The more you know about her life, the easier it becomes to understand her poetry.

As for Hughes, definitely a womanizer, with a very weak moral compass. On the other hand, living with a person who suffers from mental illness, extreme mood swings, temper tantrums, violent rages is emotionally exhausting to say the least. Many have failed the test. Took me a while to understand life with Sylvia couldn’t have been easy, was a nightmare at times. The first time I read his “Birthday Letters” I thought him callous, shallow, a money hungry letch using her name for monetary gain. As I learned more about their history together, I went back and read his Birthday Letters over and over. Now I’m of the opinion that he truly loved her, but because of his own character flaws and Plath’s mental illness, their relationship was doomed from the start.

Another totally excellent read would be Hughes collected works. Weighs about a ton and isn’t something you carry around to read while waiting in the checkout line, but definitely something to consider. As a matter of fact, just today I was listening to Hughes read on YouTube.  Worth checking out.

Still waiting for the Gertrude Bell to arrive ILL.  Read a little of it at Amazon online and it looks really good.
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24 posted 09-08-2010 12:28 AM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

Jennifer.I just printed out the reviews on the book Imperial life in the Emerald City.Thanks for suggesting it because it  verified my opinions. I have let one of my friends borrow it and I will be able to show her this list afer she in into it. She is  about the only one who I share my books with as she returns them and we can discuss them together.She said Gertrude Bell was the best book he has ever read and she is a vivid reader. Thanks me for lending it to her.   Reads faster than I do and remembers more than I can about the books LOL  latearrival/jo
 
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