Friday, June 08, 2012

Friday Reading Assignment

Once again I am without a Friday reading assignment.  My life has not yet returned to normal.  Indeed, I may need to redefine normal because most likely we will never achieve my former version of "normal lives" again.  I've been reading a few books lately but none of them have been so satisfying that I want to compel the rest of you to read them.

I read 1776 by David McCullough, which is certainly very good but at times feels more like medicine--good for you, but not necessarily what you want if you're trying to escape.  I also read Little, Big by John Crowley.  This has been labeled as the best work of fantasy by an American. I loved it at first but found much of the middle to be a bit of a slog.  It requires more concentration than someone who is going through a crisis can devote to it.  Still, if you feel ready for the sort of novel that provides reward for a challenge, then this might be the book for you.  It's the story of a family in upstate New York that has a relationship with fairies.  I also read Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer.  This is a children's book about a girl at a British boarding school who exchanges places in time with the girl who slept in the same bed, forty years before.  This was excellent and great comfort literature and I was pleased to learn that it's part of a trilogy.  Finally, I am reading Flashman and the Tiger, the last book in the Flashman series.  I am sorry to say that this is the novel in which Flashman jumps the shark.

In lieu of a proper assignment this week, please leave a comment if you've ever read something that was so good that you felt compelled to tell everyone you know to read it too.


  1. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I recommend this book over and over and over to people - I do not have enough good things to say about it!

  2. An obscure fantasy novel that I really liked that I found moving and compelling was "Replay," by Ken Grimwood.

  3. I read "1776" when I moved to Philadelphia. It was a great overview of the rich history which surrounded me every day. I love historical books - this one is certainly a wonderful read.

  4. "Hens Dancing" and "Summertime" by Raffaella Barker and "Milking the Moon:A Southern's tale of life on this planet", Eugene Walter.

    Hens & Summertime are brit chick lit written in diary format. She's a single mum with 3 kids living in the English countryside. It's laugh out loud funny.

    Eugene was a poet, actor, chef, editor, costume designer, among other things...He grew up in Mobile, Al in the twenties & thirties, lived oversees in the fifties and sixties and had many wonderful adventures. He worked on the Paris Review, made films with Fellini and enjoyed a good time.

  5. I currently have four Flashman books out from the library, but first I am reading The Custom of the Country, by Edith Wharton. How can you go wrong with a spoiled heroine named Undine Spragg?

    The best book I've read this year is Galore, by Michael Crummey. I keep pushing it on people as if I'm getting royalties.

  6. Sometimes life changes, we have no warning, and just have to adapt as best we can.

    Bet of luck.

    The best book I've read (and re-read many times) is "The Curse of Chalion" by Lois McMaster Bujold.

    Spellbinding plot, intruiging characters, completely logical set of Gods and rules for their use, love story, political intrigue, more love story, terrible enemies, great comrades, self-anguish, self-sacrifice, pain, magic, demons, more love, and best of all, THE GOOD GUYS WIN, AND GET THE GIRLS.

  7. I just read Mantel's Wolf Hall. Very, very good. She has the second one out, Bring Up the Bodies. There is a good bit of torture in Wolf Hall and more, I hear, in Bodies so I will give it a pass. Wimp that I am. Now I'm reading The Virginians, by Thackeray, having read The History of Henry Esmond first, of course. Thackeray is writing in the style of the 18th century. Good stories, both, but I prefer 19th c. writing.

  8. Thanks for all the lovely recommendations. I am adding them to my reading list.

    Chocolate, I recently read The Virginians and I really enjoyed it. I haven't read Henry Esmond.