Monthly Archives: July 2013

Where’s the Spoiler Alert, Maria?

Reading a review for Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love by Sarah Butler, written by Maria Russo, I am intrigued and the narrative sounds interesting. Until the 5th paragraph when Ms. Russo gives us a key piece of information. She excuses herself in paragraph 6 by saying “I reveal this…because it’s obvious early on (I figure it out by Page 47).”

Since I haven’t read the book I can’t truly say that the information she gave was a spoiler, but it sure feels like one (which is why I’m not telling you what it is). Maybe I’m not so sharp as Ms. Russo and wouldn’t have figured it out by Page 47, or perhaps I would enjoyed figuring it out myself while reading those first 46 pages. Maybe the author would tell me to relax, that this piece of information isn’t meant to be some big secret.

Until then, however, I am asking Maria Russo to please use a spoiler warning in the future!

And I am adding this to my books to read.


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Literary Transitions

At page 445 (out of 509) reading David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. It shouldn’t be any spoiler that the story is told through time, moving out and then back again. The first transition of time was well done. I found the next few to be ok, not bad. But when I got to the 7th transition, I loved it, and then the 8th transition, and the 9th transition. I expect the 10th, and final, move through time to be just as good.
I am enjoying this book, this story, far more than I expected I would.

Allow me to share three short sentences, the first a statement by an archivist, the other two are Sonmi-451’s response:

Fang seems to have been the ringleader.
He was, yes. He chiseled open the fault lines in the others’ personalities.

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Filed under For The Love of Books, See The Movie, Read The Book

3 Days Ago I Hadn’t Heard of Her, Now I Want To Read Everything She’s Written

Catching up on newspaper reading 3 days ago I read a short interview with author Curtis Sittenfeld. Just enough to get me to add her work,including Prep and Sisterland, to my list of books to read. For good measure I also added books that she mentioned to the list:
Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel, which she describes as an intelligent page-turner about, among other things, South Florida, art, insomnia, and marriage;
Old School by Tobias Wolff;
Oh The Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey; and
Far From The Tree by Andrew Solomon, about how we as a society define disability and react to differences.

And then, as so often happens, reading a different newspaper a bit later I find a review of her book Sisterland. Then I read an essay in the New York Times Magazine (July 14, 2013) that I enjoyed; you won’t be surprised to hear that the author was Ms. Sittenfeld.

One name and six new additions to the list.

Book club note: Ms. Sittenfeld suggests Far From The Tree as a “great book club pick (that would) lead to really interesting conversations.” She also recommends breaking it into three different meetings.

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Movie, Book, Movie Again

As I mentioned earlier, I watched the movie Cloud Atlas because the previews and reviews were intriguing (and I’m a bit of a Tom Hanks fan, he’s the reason I read Da Vinci Code) but I felt like I was missing pieces.

I am currently on page 212 (out of 509) of David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas, and I have figured it out: the movie is intended to be the illustrations for the book. I understand what I’m reading better for having seen the movie, and I’m looking forward to watching the movie a second time once I finish the book!

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Books to Live Long Enough to Read

Welcome to The List of Books I Hope to Live Long Enough to Read. The name is my request for immortality because I add to the list far faster than I can read and I’d have to live forever to finish them all. In only a sort-of alphabetical order by author’s first name, with a word or sentence about why it was added, here are a few from the list. Possession by A.S. Byatt – Prize winner; an exhilirating novel of wit and romance… intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs – Funny look at healthy living. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson – A poignant novel that moves seamlessly between horror and hilarity. The Instructions by Adam Levin – Novel that is muscular and verbose, troubling and empathetic, monumental, breakneck, romantic, and unforgettable. Long Gone by Alafair Burke – Suspense novel. Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante – a literary thriller that examines the deception and frailty of memory and how it defines our existence. Dear Life: Stores by Alice Munro – Collection of short stories highlighting the moment after which life will never be the same. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett – Not only is this Brooklyn Books’ May book, it, along with Bel Canto, have been very well reviewed and highly recommended by many. And speaking of Bel Canto, that’s on the list as well.

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz – Dare I admit that my interest in reading this book was probably born when I saw the movie Julie and Julia?

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This Is Not A Movie Review

Recently watched the movie Cloud Atlas. Haven’t read the book, but the reviews were intriguing. I think the reviews I read were probably written by people who HAD read the book.

I bet the movie works better as a companion piece to the book than as a stand-alone film.

I’m adding Cloud Atlas to my Books I Hope To Live Long Enough To Read.

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