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What are you currently reading?
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:31 pm    Post subject: What are you currently reading? Reply with quote

Thought this would be a nice running topic to list the book(s) you're in the process of reading.

The American Prometheus -- biography on Robert Oppenheimer (atom bomb, Manhattan Project).

Interesting that he thought the Japanese were going to surrender about the time that we dropped the bomb. Most of the Los Alamos scientists were hoping the bomb would be ready to use on Hitler's Germany. They were dissappointed after VE Day.
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished White Teeth and On Beauty, both by Zadie Smith. Both deal with racial and cultural issues - within families and society at large. They are both just exquisitely written. Her characters are so true! Enjoyed them both. I believe they were both nominated for the Booker Prize.

Right now I am reading The Beggar King and the Secret to Happiness by Joel ben Izzy. He is a story teller of some renown who happens to live in my neck of the woods. He taught storytelling at a summer camp my son attended for many years and we were fortunate enough to meet him and hear him perform on many occasions. I picked this book up thinking it was a collections of his stories. Turns out - it is the story of how he got throat cancer and lost his voice! It is interspersed with folk tales that illustrate the emotional journey he makes learning to deal with his changed circumstances. It's very poignant. I'm about halfway through at this point.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan while on holiday. It takes more concentration than I was able to give it at the time so I put it aside but intend to resume reading it this week.

Over the weekend I read Kayang and Me by Kim Scott and Hazel Brown which is a family history of the Wilomin Noongar people of Western Australia.

I tend to read a lot of non fiction but am trying to make the effort to read more fiction.
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JM



Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Montreal, QC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished the Omnivore's Dilemma - it seemed like I had read most of it at some point or another in the NYTimes Magazine.

Almost finished "Sweet and Low" by Rich Cohen - hilarious true story about the family who owned the artificial sweetener company. A good read.
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queenla



Joined: 27 Oct 2005
Posts: 105
Location: Wycheproof, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished The meaning of Everything: story about how the oxford english dictionary was written- 73 years. Was fantastic.
Read a book written by local here about his flying-bombers experiences of the 2nd world war- fascinating- they were only allowed thirty hours flying time, but he got two extensions, and lived to tell. And taking a long time to read Tom Jones- story of a foundling- the original and the best- one of 'the greats' and so much fun, bit like Bold and the Beautiful.
want a book on biomimicry next and to read barbaras one about the aboriginals- sounds very good.
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clivia



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 6
Location: Stockholm Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

During my lunch break I finished Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster. A wonderful book, I will think about it for a long time.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm enjoying Joanne Harris' new novel Gentlemen and Players. Quite a departure for Harris---the other two books I've read by her are Chocolat and Five Quarters of the Orange---both set in France. This time out the setting is St. Oswalds School in England and is setting up to be a bit of a cat and mouse thriller. Solid writing.
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Saudades



Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 30
Location: Food Hell

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

several! Smile
have just recently finished The Price of Salt. am reading James Hilton's Lost Horizon [on the train to friday pub sessions]. Anne Carson's Eros The Bittersweet [not a novel, actually a thesis. weekend reading]. and Amy Bloom's come To Me [bedtime reading].
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Queenla - having grown up in the south west of Australia I know many of the areas in the book. It is published byFremantle Arts Centre Press. Kim Scott has won several book awards for his novel Benang. I'm checking the library for that next.
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Queenla - have you readThe Professor and the Madman? It is by Simon Winchester - the author of The Meaning of Everything. It is an extraordinary book about a physician who committed murder - in the mdst of a psychotic episode - and was sentenced to imprisonment in an asylum in England. He spent most of the rest of his life reading and sending definitions for the OED to James Murray - the final editor of the first edition of OED (I believe). GREAT book! I have been looking at TMOE and thinking I should read it also!
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow. It's a funny novel whose narrator is a book by Isaac Newton, a choice that seems a bit precious though it isn't; it never gets in the way. The plot centers on the life of the daughter of a man fervently committed to the routing out of evil and persecution of witches and her own quest to stop the practice altogether. The subject's the waning of superstitious fear and the ascendancy of scientific reason. However, the tone's too witty and self-deprecating to make this a weighty read.

(Loved White Teeth!)
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Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The semi-food related Nathaniel's Nutmeg, about the race for the Spice Islands (wars, too), which involved various European countries in the 16th and 17th centuries. I think it came out 7 or 8 years about it, and I filed it away for future reference at the time - a book about nutmeg wars sounded quite strange - before coming across it at the library where my parents live in July; I'd been staying with them as Haifa was a bit hazardous at the time. All of this has nothing to do with the book - it's just back story, I guess Smile .

The book itself was pretty good, and its certainly strange to think of the lengtjs to which people once went for things that can be bought in any market today.
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahem, I am reading 'Angrian Tales' by Charlotte Bronte, the stories the Bronte's wrote for each other when they were children after Bramwell was given twelve toy soldiers. After that, I have the complete Don Camillo stories by Giovanni Guareschi to read, which I know will make me smile.

I rarely read non-fiction but when I do it's usually books on art and folklore. I recently bought 'The Lore of the Land' a book about British folklore and traditions by county. Fascinating for me as I was born in Surrey, brought up in Sussex and now live in Leicestershire as well as doing one days voluntary work in Nottingham!!!

Donna,
I love folktales!! Especially Vassilisa the Fair/Beautiful, which has Baba Yaga in it!! Folktales are the only genre I know where credibility is irrelevant!!!
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoe wrote:
The semi-food related Nathaniel's Nutmeg, about the race for the Spice Islands (wars, too), which involved various European countries in the 16th and 17th centuries.


Without the blocking of the passage through Constantinople by the Turks in 1450, Christopher Columbus wouldn't have needed to discover America. The Turks blocked the passage so the Europeans couldn't get their pepper from the Spice Islands. Very important part of world history.
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Chicago Bear



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inheritance, by Lan Samantha Chang. The lives of two sisters over about 70 years, one of whom stays in China, and the other of whom ends up in America. I'm halfway through, and don't want it to end because the quality of writing is so high.
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