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19 December 2005 @ 07:13 pm
Book 4 an Unexpected Surprise...

My book four for 2004 was a pleasantly unexpected surprise - a great read about Catherine the Great entitled "The Linguistic Contribution of Catherine the Great". Even though this was originally someone's thesis and had a good deal of very technical linguistic commentary it was surprisingly readable and showed how amazing Catherine was. I adored it!

4 and 1/2 Stars!
19 December 2005 @ 07:09 pm
All Through the Night - Mary Higgins Clark:

Not a bad read but not one of her best. I wasn't really wrapped up in the story as much as in the first one, but still a fast mildly entertaining read...

This was my third book for the year!

Almost done with Drowning Ruth and the first Artemis Fowl book, after that I am on to a book about Catherine the Great and then "Wicked" most likely...
19 December 2005 @ 07:07 pm
Trollope works for me...

Came across this and it was so very interesting I had to post it:

From a link on Arts and Letters Daily:

"Before I turn 67 - next March - I would like to have lots of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me."

Now that is the dead on honesty that should be expected of all personal ads...
19 December 2005 @ 07:03 pm
All Through the Night and Drowning Ruth:

Right now I am reading the second Mary Higgins Clark Christmas novella "All Through the Night" and the Christina Schwartz novel "Drowning Ruth." Ruth looks to be really good... we'll see! I will probably finish the MHC book first though by virtue of it's length (it being so much shorter and all).
19 December 2005 @ 06:55 pm
Silent Night - Mary Higgins Clark

Read one of MHC's Christmas novels last night and was reminded why I like her as a storyteller, she is so good, at not building, but rather winding suspense, so that at one point there is so much intertwined you don't know how it will all end, but if you're interested in even the slightest drop of it, you have to read more. Sure it's a plot convenience and she is no pullitzer prize winner, but as far as good storytelling, she has that down!

This one was about a boy (Brian) whose father has leukemia. He is with his mother and older brother in New York on Christmas visiting his father after recovering from surgery on his enlarged spleen. While they are listening to a violinist a woman picks up his mother's wallet, whcih has fallen out of her purse. She starts to give it back, but fears that the woman will think that she took it, or something inside. She hesitates, then flees with the wallet in hand. When Brian sees this, he follows the woman back to her apartment and ends up kidnapped by the woman's brother, who unbeknowsnt to her has escaped from prison and is waiting for her inside her apartment. The rest of the novel follows the emtoions of the two women (Brian's mom) and Cally (the convict's sister) as they spend the nightagonizing over the fate of the little boy and past demons of their own. Very O'Henry in some ways and a short but satisfying read overall.

8/10 (on a different scale though)
09 November 2005 @ 01:02 pm
The Passion of Artemesia, Part 2


All in all a good book. I do remember a couple of anachronisms that were rather jarring, but overall the plot was excellent and the characeters were very shaded (the writing style seemed to imitate the painting styles it described, particularly chiaroscuro).

Final Rating: 7/10
Current Mood: italian
08 November 2005 @ 07:35 pm
The Passion of Artemesia, Part 1

A briskly moving novel with lots of description, this one definitely moves much faster than its predecessor, Girl in Hyacinth Blue which I also enjoyed immensely.

So far I have really gotten a much better feeling for the characters in this novella and because of the linear progression, the novel moves much more smoothly than Girl. I am about half way through in just under two hours so it will definitely be finished today...
08 November 2005 @ 06:50 pm
Literary Favorties:
So you have an idea of my tastes in books.

My Favorite Literary Works
*Alpha by author

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?-- Edward Albee
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents -- Julia Alvarez
Time's Arrow -- Martin Amis
Winesburg, Ohio -- Sherwood Anderson
The Borderlands -- Gloria Anzaldua
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love -- Raymond Carver
The Professor's House -- Willa Cather
The House on Mango Street -- Sandra Cisneros
The Boor -- Anton Chekhov
Uncle Vanya -- Anton Chekhov
The Awakening -- Kate Chopin
The Good Soldier -- Ford Maddox Ford
Trifles / A Jury of Her Peers -- Susan Glaspell
Tess of the D'Urbervilles -- Thomas Hardy
The Man He Killed -- Thomas Hardy
Travesty -- John Hawkes
A Doll House -- Henrik Ibsen
Bag of Bones -- Stephen King
The Stand -- Stephen King
One Hundred Years of Solitude -- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Color of Water -- James McBride
Moby Dick -- Herman Melville
Death of a Salesman -- Arthur Miller
Gone With the Wind -- Margaret Mitchell
Lolita -- Vladmir Nabakov
1984 -- George Orwell
Animal Farm -- George Orwell
Betrayal -- Harold Pinter
Children of the Night -- Edwin Arlington Robinson
Tilbury Town -- Edwin Arlington Robinson
The Harry Potter Series -- J.K. Rowling
King Lear -- William Shakespeare
Macbeth -- William Shakespeare
The Tempest -- William Shakespeare
Kolyma Tales -- Varlam Shalamov
The Jungle -- Upton Sinclair
The Monster Show -- David J. Skal
Dracula -- Bram Stoker
Arcadia -- Tom Stoppard
Cane -- Jean Toomer
Machinal -- Sophie Treadwell
Girl in Hyacinth Blue -- Susan Vreeland
The Color Purple -- Alice Walker
Ethan Frome -- Edith Wharton
The House of Mirth -- Edith Wharton
Roman Fever -- Edith Wharton
Charlotte's Web -- E.B. White
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer -- Walt Whitman
The Picture of Dorian Gray -- Oscar Wilde
The Ballade of Reading Gaol -- Oscar Wilde
A Streetcar Named Desire -- Tennessee Williams
Suddenly Last Summer -- Tennessee Williams
The Professor and the Madman -- Simon Winchester
The Map That Changed the World-- Simon Winchester
A Room of One's Own -- Virginia Woolf

My To Be Read Pile (mmm delish)
*Books I Intend to Read in the Near Future...

The Passion of Artemesia - Susan Vreeland
Dutch - Edmund Morris
Wicked:The Life and Times... -- Gregory Maguire
Desert Flower -- Waris Diri
The Chamomile Lawn -- Mary Wesley
A Year in Provence -- Peter Mayle
In the Fall -- Jeffrey Lent
The Shipping News -- E. Annie Proulx
In the Time of Butterflies -- Julia Alvarez
The Remains of the Day -- Kazuo Ishiguro
Mundo Desparado -- Patrick McCabe
Cuba and the Night -- Pico Iyer
Palace Walk -- Naguib Mahfouz
Bodega Dreams -- Ernesto Quinonez
A Handful of Dust -- Evelyn Waugh
John Adams -- David McCullough
Havanna Boy -- Martin Cruz Smith
The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay -- Michael Chabon
The Fig Eater -- Jody Sheilds
Drowning Ruth -- Christina Schwartz
The Corrections -- Jonathan Franzen
Ward No. 6 and Other Stories -- Anton Chekhov