Friday, November 7, 2014

Hey it's Fall - Let's Catch Up!

For the three of you that check in my with my blog sorry about the delay in posting!  I presented a webinar for work based on the books I read over the summer and just did not get around to putting them up here.  The webinar was well received and I hope I can do it again.  I showed how all the books I read tie back to the products I support - yes, I can find something to relate to Congress in almost everything.  I also have had some distractions and that is something I want to work on over the Fall.  I don't mind having a lot going on but sometimes I know I'm just wasting time.  Which is different from taking a break which you need every once in a while.

Plus I did not want you to miss out on some suggestions that might be good if you have a book group.  So let me catch you up on what I read over the summer and what I have started for Fall.

Bonjour Tristesse: A Novel by Francoise Sagan
"Bonjour Tristesse" was the Novella selection for July.  This is a great, short book with lots to discuss.  It's a classic.  But if you buy the edition with the forward by Diane Johnson DO NOT READ IT BEFORE YOU READ THE BOOK.  Thanks Diane for giving so much of the book away in your introduction.  Four of us met to talk about this book and I was still thinking about it the next day.  It's that involved.  I also found out that one of our fellow marathon runners wrote her dissertation using this book and a few others by French authors.  I would seek out more by Sagan - who had as interesting a life as her characters.

As She Climbed Across the Table by Jonathan Lethem
Well, what I can say about Lethem is that when he's good, he's really good. When he's bad, he really stinks.  This book was terrible.  I only finished it because it was in my bag during a work trip and I did not have another option with me.  It was a slog.

All Dogs Are Blue by Rodrigo de Souza Leão
"All Dogs are Blue" was the Novella selection for August.  I can't remember where I picked this one up but I know the purchase decision was based on size and the fact that it was a foreign author.  How reliable is a narrator who is in a mental institution?  How reliable is a book that has been translated?  This one read more like poetry.  It was frenetic and made me anxious reading it.  The discussion was a little sad for a sunny afternoon in August.  Another book where the author and the narrator might be hard to separate.
To The Nines by Janet Evanovich

Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich

Something really weird happened in our house before the Chicago Marathon this year.  We could not stop reading.  We were just devouring words and could not get enough of them.  P. finished 3 books over a weekend!  I had a panic attack because even though you can read the Plum series our of order I have been keeping up the series so I had to order #10 from Abebooks.  I found #9 and one or two more at Newberry but had a gap.  Never fear - I am back on track and just rollicking along with these books.
Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks
"Maud Martha" is the only novel Gwendolyn Brooks wrote.  The language!  The people!  Chicago!  A fascinating story about growing up on the South Side of Chicago.  It's a crying shame that this book is out of print or else I would make it a selection for the Novella group but it's just too hard to find.  If you see it used, or at the library, pick it up.  It's a fast read and the type of book that just makes you feel better when you have finished it.
Murder in the Sentier by Cara Black
We stayed in Chicago this year for our vacation.  Wow, Chicago is a really fun place!  We would be out at midnight on a Sunday and think "so this is what people do when we are asleep!".  It was so much fun and I can highly recommend Chicago as a place to visit.  If you will be here in the near future do not miss the Bowie exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  It's only around until January 4th so you will have to hurry!  I also attended Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago and can not say enough good about it.  If Vogue Live is in your area don't miss it.  The event had amazing teachers and I learned some new techniques and was re-energized about knitting.  So since I was home I enjoyed reading about Paris but realize I'm getting a little tired of Aimee.  I think I have one more from this series lurking in the house and then will call it quits.

Remember how much I loved "Gone Girl"?  I went to go see the movie the day after the Chicago Marathon.  I thought the cast was great.  The actress who played the sister was really good.  Ben Affleck was the perfect choice for Nick.  I thought the ending of the book was just ever so slightly different from the movie.  I won't give it away but would discuss with you if you are interested.  I still like the book better.

Whew - so that gets us all caught up.  More fun coming this month - have a surprise involving an upcoming read but will keep it secret for now.  Happy November!

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