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  1. #1
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    What did you read in July 2005?

    I must preface this by saying I have been unemployed and on summer break from school, hence, a lot of reading and knitting!

    • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - LOVED IT, loved it, loved it. Probably the most masterfully arranged book I've ever read.

      Walk Through Darkness by David Anthony Durham - Disappointment. David is the husband of a former student of mine, and his first book Gabriel's Story was excellent. This had none of the raw emotion of the first.

      Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - Finally got around to this after years of recommendations and it lived up to the hype. In fact, I loved it so much I was disgusted to find out that Wolfgang Peterson (Troy) is directing the film adaptation.

      Wash and Be Healed: The Water-Cure Movement and Women's Health by Susan E. Cayleff - part of my "read all of the books I own project." Poorly edited and oddly organized, but still good work on water cure and it's relationship to other reform movements of the nineteenth century.

      A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul - A Nobel Prize winner. I liked the perspective it was told from, but I didn't find it all that engrossing or enlightening.

      Inside Greenwich Village: A New York City Neighborhood, 18981918 by Gerald McFarland - My mentor back at Umass Amherst wrote this book and it's a great urban history, covering the period right before Greenwich Village became the bohemia that it is known for now.

      Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov - The second book in the Foundation Trilogy, part of my attempt to branch out from cyberpunk to Golden Age science fiction. Excellent.

      Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov - The final book in the Foundation trilogy and probably the best. Amazing ending, it left me with my mouth open.

      Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling - Rereading the first five books before the newest is available at the library (I'm in the 300's now on the waiting list! I started at 798)


    I'm halway through Quicksilver and since it is 900 pages long, I feel like I should count that as a book read in July!!

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  3. #2
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    Re: What did you read in July 2005?

    Quote Originally Posted by brdgt
    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - LOVED IT, loved it, loved it. Probably the most masterfully arranged book I've ever read.
    oh good! this one is on its way to me right now, I'll put it at the top of the TBR pile.

    my July list:

    • The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin. fiction.
      neurotic guy has adventures, some of them life-changing, some of them trivial, all of them weird. a lot better than I thought it would be. plus I listened to the audiobook and got to hear Martin read it -- his voice was perfect for the story.

      Brilliance of the Moon by Lian Hearn. historical fiction (sometimes classified as YA).
      this is the third book in the "Tales of the Otori" series, which I enjoyed. it's set in an alternate-univere feudal Japan, and the hero is a tad supernatural. he's avenging the death of his mentor. a lot of battle scenes, but they were written pretty well. I think the first book in the trilogy, Across the Nightingale Floor, was the best, though.

      Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs. non-fiction/essays.
      if you've read Burroughs before, this is typical Burroughs. essays about his life, from fourth grade to present day. I listened to the audiobook, and his voice takes a little getting used to, but overall I liked it. if you haven't read Burroughs, he's like a crude David Sedaris, with a lot more cussing. a couple of the stories got skipped by me because they were too gross to take.

      My Friend Leonard by James Frey. memoir.
      picks up where A Million Little Pieces left off. Leonard is this Mafia guy who's a sort of godfather (no pun intended) to Frey. their relationship is really fascinating. Frey keeps up the weird writing style in this one, so if it bugged you in AMLP, you will be driven nuts by MFL.

      Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi. graphic memoir.
      soapandwater said it was good, and I'm glad I took her word for it and not EW's. very good -- much lighter than the Persepolis books, though.

      I'm Not the New Me by Wendy McClure. memoir.
      this deals with McClure's struggle with weight loss, her experiences with her web site (Pound), and the ups and downs of her love life. it's a lot better than I'm making it sound. I love the way she writes.

      Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl. memoir.
      I will read pretty much anything Reichl writes. this picks up after her two previous memoirs and is about her days as a restaurant reviewer for the NY Times. it's a lot brasher than her other memoirs, and more gossipy; I loved it.

      Toast by Nigel Slater. memoir.
      the only dud. I wanted to love it because I adore Slater's cookbooks, but I couldn't connect with it. it's the story of his childhood, and every chapter has something to do with a food that played a major part in his childhood. I just didn't like it. still like his cookbooks, though.


    sorry that's so long, yo. I had vacation this month, which is why I actually finished more than two books. I'm pretty on-target with my goal; I'm up to 40 out of 52 now, yay.

  4. #3
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    i finished My Year of Meats last week and LOVED it. i was so engrossed with the story that it took me no time at all to read it.

  5. #4
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    I read House of Spirits and The Stories of Eva Luna both by Isabel Allende and of course, Harry Potter. That's it...I really like Isabel Allende though, I recommend her

  6. #5
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    I really liked all the books I read this month. They were:

    Nasty: My Family and Other Glorious Varmints by Simon Doonan--very funny

    Towelhead by Alicia Erian

    Oh the Glory of it All by Sean Wiley--a long but interesting read

    Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller

    Memory of Running by Ron McCarty--my favorite of all the books I read this month. A great book!

  7. #6
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    Re: What did you read in July 2005?

    Quote Originally Posted by moon_lemming
    Quote Originally Posted by brdgt
    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - LOVED IT, loved it, loved it. Probably the most masterfully arranged book I've ever read.
    oh good! this one is on its way to me right now, I'll put it at the top of the TBR pile.

    Each section is a little hard to get used to at first but become incredibly rewarding. In fact, I found that the sections I found the most impenetrable at first were my favorites in the end. (each section is told in a different style - diary, letter, first person, third person, interview, folk tale - and advance through time into the distant future and then return on themselves.)

  8. #7
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    I didn't do much reading this month. I blame the heat, work, and general ickiness.

    The Secret History by Donna Tartt -- at least, I THINK I read it this month. Either way. So great. So fun. I tried reading it two years ago and couldn't get into it, but now I see how much fun the author had poking at her characters.

    Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver -- At first I was really critical of it, saying things like, "It's forced! Too sloppy! CRY ME A RIVER. WAH." By the end of the book, I had, in fact, cried a bit of a pond. I don't take back my critique of the book, but I did end up enjoying it a lot.

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling -- meh. I was really excited to read it, and I plowed through it, but as the hype subsided, I'm not as excited to read the next book as I should be from reading this book.

    I also read some Elizabeth Bishop's poetry. That's always fun. She wrote this charming, long poem about Robinson Crusoe, which was amusing and cute. I recommend it. Plus her poem "the filling station" for its crafty messages (a bit of a stretch, as back then everyone was a bit craftier).

  9. #8
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    I have really not read as much as I would have like over the summer. But I've been doing a lot of crafting and other good stuff (i.e. watching The OC on DVD), so I guess it's all good. In July, I read:

    *Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - good, but Goblet of Fire is still my favorite
    *The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammet (I confess that this book was not what I expected. Based on what I'd heard about the movies, I expected witty repartee and sparkling dialogue, but what I got was just a murder mystery with some glamorous people in it. And I don't really like murder mysteries. So, it was just meh.)
    *Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott (I am in the middle of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and picked this up just to read an essay or two for a change of pace. I would up devouring the whole thing in one sitting. I want Anne Lamott and Nick Hornby to be my neighbors so I can hang out with them all the time.)

    I also read some manga in preparation for a work presentation. And there are some other things that I can't quite place as June books or July books, but those listed above are the ones I remember for sure :).

    Alison

  10. #9
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    I think every year I go on a big Southern lit binge. This year was inspired by watching "Breakfast at Tiffany's." I went to read that book, but I hardly ever read fiction anymore, so instead I read a biography of Truman Capote: Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career by George Plimpton. It wasn't written in the regular style; it's just quote after quote after quote by people who knew Capote. This made the reading go by just like that. It was fascinating.

    Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare by Philip Short

    I've done so much research on Cambodia I don't even know where to start. When this was in the new books section of the library, it was like a gift from the heavens, because this country is so fascinating. I ended up being a little disappointed in the book, because it began as a biography of Pol Pot, but ended up mostly being a history of the Khmer Rouge.

    Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

    A lot of you have probably read this book, but if you haven't, go read it now. It's the best book I've read all year.

  11. #10
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    ender's game
    ender's shadow
    xenocide
    speaker for the dead
    shadow of the hegemon
    ((if you can't tell i've fallen in love with the orson scott card ender series))
    harry potter and the half blood prince


 
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