Who are you in love with this week?

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Who are you in love with this week?

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oct. 5, 2015, 5:05pm

It's been decades since I read Parnassus on Wheels, so I thought it was about time to continue with The Haunted Bookshop.

So glad I waited.

I'm at a stage in my life that I can more certainly appreciate Christopher Morely.
I've read much more, and I can identify author's voice and savor the subtle art of wordcrafting. These two books were published at the end of the 19-teens, almost a hundred years ago. He rambles on about classic writers and the current crop of writers. Interestingly, I spend a lot of time in that era, so I know the ones who have lasted, J. M. Barrie, Edna Ferber, O. Henry, Frank Packard; and also those who have become obscure - Joseph Lincoln and Coles Phillips, an illustrator. When he mentions Helen's Babies I can go find my copy.

I'm listening on audio, and Stefan Rudnicki does a great rendition. But I think I might need to purchase a paper copy, because many many lines are quotable, particularly for booklovers.

oct. 5, 2015, 5:24pm

William Gass. His poetry in The Tunnel is stunneling.

Editat: oct. 5, 2015, 7:16pm

I just picked up a new read by Conrad Richter, The Trees...

...is there anything he's written that I don't like?? ;)

oct. 5, 2015, 7:52pm

Amitav Ghosh. I'm on a binge.

oct. 5, 2015, 8:00pm

I started that binge, and have to re-start because I never got going on the second book after I bought it (assuming you are referring to the trilogy).

oct. 5, 2015, 8:12pm

I'm in the middle of the first book of the trilogy, but also almost halfway through In an Antique Land -- nonfiction, a pretty hilarious account of time he spent in a small farming village in Egypt in his student days doing anthropology, where the two things that everyone he met who discovered he was Indian seemed to fixate on was that in India people worshiped cows and burned their dead.

Editat: oct. 5, 2015, 8:13pm

Ah yes, Christopher Morely. I think his short piece - A Ride in the Cab of the Twentieth Century Limited (collected in We Took the Train) is one of the finest descriptions of hotshot running I've ever read.

Editat: oct. 5, 2015, 8:23pm

>1 2wonderY:

Count me among the successfully seduced and utterly charmed by Mr. Morely. As soon as I closed the cover of "Parnassus," I opened "Haunted." Such warm and loving stories (yeah, loving) about natural characters, the love of reading, and lives with books.

Little did I know that when I fell in love with Robert K Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra at age 20 that it would be the beginning of a life-long affair with him and his Russian rulers that's confirmed now that I've read Catherine the Great: A Portrait of a Woman this year.

But the one author who I binge read over the years and with whom I've been head over heals from her first books to to her last is the incomparable Dorothy Dunnett. Her writing, her heroes, her plotting, and most of all her intelligence leave me in a swoon at her feet.

oct. 5, 2015, 8:27pm

>6 southernbooklady:

For a minute there, instead of reading what you wrote. . .
. . .in India people worshiped cows and burned their dead.
I thought you were going to say "bar-b-qued their dead."


oct. 5, 2015, 8:43pm

Well, that's how the villagers seemed to interpret it. :-)

>8 Limelite: I binge read over the years and with whom I've been head over heals from her first books to to her last is the incomparable Dorothy Dunnett.

I once lost almost an entire summer binge reading the Lymond Chronicles. I blew off everything -- including my relationship (which I am no longer in!) -- reading the books one right after another. I don't remember a thing about that summer except those books, and the occasional background irritated whine of "aren't you done with that book yet?!?!" -- which I don't think I even bothered to answer.

It was such a fantastic, all-encompassing obsession, that I rate it as one of the great reading experiences of my life -- up there with my discovery of Moby-Dick, the first time I read The Alexandrian Quartet, and the day I first opened a copy of The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake . But at the same time I've resisted re-reading Dunnett for years because I don't dare get that obsessed for that long again.

oct. 5, 2015, 8:55pm

oct. 6, 2015, 12:24am

I'm in a lifelong Romance with James Branch Cabell, and recently finished two shorter of his works, Domnei and The Music Behind the Moon. From the same era as Morely, but can't make any other comparisons as I've not yet read Parnassus on Wheels, it waits in my wishlist.

oct. 6, 2015, 1:06am

>8 Limelite:, >10 southernbooklady: Over in the Green Dragon pub, we would call that a book bullet (BB), and I would be expected to confess that you'd just got me right between the eyes. In fact, since it's a series of six, you'd get half a dozen hits to your credit. Not that anyone actually keeps score, exactly.

oct. 6, 2015, 2:56am

>1 2wonderY: I read Parnassus on Wheels as a teenager, and loved it, but couldn't abide The Haunted Bookshop when I picked it up a couple of years ago. Christopher Morley's writing no longer pleased me. Strange how our minds work.

One of my favourite authors is Henning Mankell, and he died yesterday. I've spent a lot of the past 24 hours feeling low, knowing that there will be no more books coming from his oh-so-fertile brain.

Jo Nesbo is the answer to the question that this thread poses. I now own all of his Harry Hole novels, and am reading one of the two I have not read, right in the middle of the series (The Devil's Star).

oct. 6, 2015, 5:22am

So Harry Hole is Nesbo, not Mankell. Woops.

oct. 6, 2015, 5:24am

SBL, Moby Dick is my answer to the great american novel nonsense talk that seems to have died down the last two decades. I can read it repeatedly and there are chapters i have read over a hundred times (bulkington's chapter, lee shore, for instance)

oct. 6, 2015, 8:21am

Hurrah for Moby Dick fans! I only read it as a 7th grader and not since, but have fantastic memories. At that age it was an adventure story all the way. I remember checking back at the tablet of contents all the way through, counting how many chapters were left until they would finally catch up with the white whale.

oct. 6, 2015, 9:16am

Moby-Dick is definitely a unique reading experience. I came to it late in life, but I loved every single gorgeously detailed and over-written moment of it. But it's a case of loving the book more than the author. I've not had the same reaction to other things I've read by Melville. So it isn't like my love of William Trevor, (as an example) where I just adore his language in anything he writes, or my compulsion to pick up every Stewart O'Nan, just because he's always challenging my expectations. Or my fondness for Doris Betts, whose quietly wise and compassionate perspective just permeates every one of her novels.

Moby-Dick is Moby-Dick. A think unto itself.

oct. 6, 2015, 9:27am

I had the good fortune of never having to read Moby Dick in high school. I first read it after I had been drafted, assigned to a destroyer, and had made a couple of sea voyages. The book is actually two in one - a novel and a description of the state of the whaling trade. I had no trouble at all identifying with the book - I served with the descendants of Queequeg, Ishmael, Starbuck, Stubb and all the rest.

oct. 6, 2015, 9:38am

Melville would probably be both delighted and appalled that the book was assigned in 7th grade. alco261, you can add philosphy and the arts of essay and poetry...

oct. 6, 2015, 9:45am

>14 ahef1963:
His death is what inspired me to start this group as there didn't seem to exist an appropriate place on LT for such topics. Earlier this year I wrote an RIP E L Doctorow and IIRC, posted it on Books (general discussion).

The inaugural post to this group is an RIP Henning Mankell. I invite you -- and all of his readers and "lovers" -- to take a look and leave your remembrances if you have not already.

Editat: oct. 6, 2015, 9:48am

>20 RickHarsch:, lol, Moby Dick wasn't assigned reading, I just read it voluntarily. Let's see, 7th grade, what was assigned reading then? I actually don't know if anything was. Banner in the Sky wasn't until eighth, so I guess if something was assigned then it was even less intense than that.

Editat: oct. 6, 2015, 10:18am

>21 Limelite: There is a group dedicated to just author passings:


but it seems to be maintained by just one loyal member.

oct. 6, 2015, 10:20am

>23 2wonderY:, interesting. I've been following/updating the topic in other groups

501 Must-Read Books (must be on the list to get a mention here)

Literary Snobs (not just authors)

oct. 6, 2015, 11:01am

>22 Cecrow: What, you didn't have assigned reading every year?? Let's see, in 7th grade we did The Westing Game, which probably in part due to the fun assignment we did with it (keeping a mini note book of the clues and our guesses of what all the secrets were and such) and it being my favorite teacher, remains one of my favorite books, and I think we listened to War of the Worlds (or maybe part of it?) because I don't recall reading it at all but I know we did a project thing based on the craziness the broadcast inspired. Oh, I think Raisin in the Sun was also that year. I'm drawing a blank on other titles, but I know there were several more!

oct. 6, 2015, 12:22pm

>25 .Monkey.:, >22 Cecrow: All of the schools I attended had assigned reading. As luck would have it, each time I changed high schools (3 times in 4 years - we'll ignore the grade school count) Moby Dick was either the assigned book for the following year or had been assigned the year previous. What I did get stuck with was reading The Scarlet Letter three times. As far as I was concerned then and now, the only person in that awful book worth siding with was Roger Chillingsworth.

Apparently all of the guys in the class were supposed to side with Dimmesdale and all of the gals with Prynne - indeed, the first time I read the book the teacher asked for a show of hands concerning the last two and that was the way the class split. When she turned to go on to another subject I made the mistake of asking, " What about Roger?" She turned around with a shocked look on her face and asked me if I was serious. When I said I was she made a note of that fact and at the end of the day I was given a note to take home to my parents concerning my choice of characters worthy of defence.

oct. 6, 2015, 12:24pm

Military brat?

oct. 6, 2015, 12:28pm

>27 geneg: No - Had a father who's job moved him all around the country.

oct. 6, 2015, 12:44pm

FBI brat?

oct. 6, 2015, 1:25pm

This week, so far, I'm loving Terry Pratchett and Charles de Lint.

oct. 6, 2015, 2:07pm

>29 RickHarsch: Fisheries Biologist brat

Editat: oct. 21, 2015, 7:24am

>25 .Monkey.:, >26 alco261:, it's come to me now that our assigned reading was Shane in 7th grade. I think it is still the only western I've ever read, even though I thought it was pretty good.

Edit: Or was that eighth grade? I'm starting to think it was, and seventh grade was White Fang. Can't remember, I'm getting old.

oct. 6, 2015, 2:35pm

>26 alco261: LOL oh god, I'd have died! I had to read Scarlet Letter my jr year in "Early American Lit" and despised it! That class was the only class of my entire life where I dreaded each new book to be assigned, almost all that we read for it was miserable! Being, obviously, an avid reader, I had never run into this problem before (or since)!!

oct. 6, 2015, 4:15pm

I think if I was teaching a bunch of seventh graders I'd assign them Agammemnon by Aeschylus and follow it up with Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. Seventh graders want Fright Night, not King Lear. Besides, their parents would probably be impressed, at least in the Shakespeare, of whom they have heard. I'll bet the kids would be impressed, as well.

Editat: oct. 6, 2015, 4:26pm

>34 geneg: But first you'd have to bring in a travelling troupe to perform The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)!

Hmm, no touchstone yet for the original script by Long, Singer and Winfield?

oct. 6, 2015, 5:02pm

>35 2wonderY:

Funniest play I've ever been to. Saw it in London at one of those wonderful intimate feeling theaters in West End performed by The Reduced Shakespeare Company.

"Brevity is the soul of wit," is their motto, natch.

oct. 20, 2015, 7:57pm

Three cheers for Moby-Dick! When I recently retired, M-D was the first book on my list, and it paid off so many times.

oct. 21, 2015, 10:30am

I can't say I'm currently in love with any author and can't think of any that I'd love to read next, although it's October and that's my favorite time to read. I'm in love with that, reading in October. I'm slogging through The Case Against Satan, vapid twaddle which is, in a nutshell, what was wrong with the 70s although it was written in the 60s. I'll finish during lunch and be done with it; add another bead to my '75 in 2015' challenge.

oct. 21, 2015, 10:46am

I just finished reading Under a Flaming Sky, hoping for a repeat experience with Daniel James Brown. His The Boys in the Boat is in my top 5 list for this year, and it's been a very good year. His book on the Hinkley firestorm is not nearly as engaging. And I'm certainly NOT going to read his book on the Donner party!

I'm hoping he writes again, and fulfills his potential.

oct. 21, 2015, 11:23am

It's not love, but boy does Daniel Woodrell write like a dream. Finished The Maid's Version yesterday - read it one day, and recently finished Tomato Red which was even better. Winter's Bone will probably be next for me to get at the library.

oct. 21, 2015, 12:51pm

>40 Bookmarque: boy does Daniel Woodrell write like a dream

Oh, does he ever. Don't pass over his short story collection, The Outlaw Album. It is gorgeous, just gorgeous. (And if you like Woodrell, then put James Still on your wishlist.

Editat: oct. 23, 2015, 6:31pm

I'm Canadian, and our required reading was so much different. I read The Scarlet Letter as an adult, and have never read Moby Dick. We were assigned a lot of Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Farley Mowat, and poetry by Earle Birney and Irving Layton.

In love with Blu Greenberg this week - writer of How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household. She doesn't leave out a single detail of the Orthodox Jewish life, and as a non-Jew who is fascinated with Jewish Orthodoxy, it's a treasure of a book.

oct. 23, 2015, 8:25pm

>42 ahef1963: speaking of Orthodox Jews, have you read any works by Chaim Potok? His books The Chosen, The Promise, and My Name is Asher Lev? They are superb!

oct. 24, 2015, 4:07am

>43 fuzzi: I could never pick just three of his books to recommend! I do think In the Beginning also ranks among my most favorites, though.

>42 ahef1963: Every country has their own literary canon and such that they often cover in schools. However, it's not as though American schools all teach the same books. It varies vastly by region, state, district, and hell even individual teachers within the same school! I read Scarlet Letter in an elective lit course, not a standard one, have still not read Moby Dick, have read a number of those "everyone's read because school" classics on my own because my classes read various other things... I think most of those kind of titles I never had. Of the classics I read in high school standard lit, was Romeo & Juliet, Flowers for Algernon, Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men...does One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest count among those? ...and that's it, I cannot think of a single other one of those "core" books being assigned. I guess the teachers I had felt more could be gained from teaching students the less everyone reads them titles? *shrug*

Editat: oct. 27, 2015, 12:01pm

I'm finally getting around to reading Anthony Trollope, and having a wonderful time of it. He sets us up to despise character after character and then reveals additional details that make each one more rounded and sometimes even lovable. Obediah Slope is as creepy as they come, but he walks around with an anathama dangling from the corner of his mouth. How can you hate that, at least in a literary sense?

apologies, as I'm listening rather than reading the print version. Trollope actually has the anathama lurking in the corner of Slope's eye.

oct. 26, 2015, 6:49pm

Ah, Conrad Richter...I've read six books of his so far, and not disliked one.

I found a copy of The Grandfathers and ordered it. It sounds like another enjoyable read.

oct. 26, 2015, 8:20pm

Once Halloween is over, I'm going to read An Error of Judgement by Pamela Hansford Johnson. Supposed to be good. Under Lombard, she wrote a mystery call The Grinning Pig, wherein murder is announced by somebody waving a pig's head on a stick in the windows of the soon to be deadly departed.

Editat: oct. 27, 2015, 11:43am

nov. 9, 2016, 6:55am

Chris Cleave is my new crush this week. I'm listening to Everyone Brave is Forgiven. It may possibly rank as the best book this year so far. The dialogs are sparkling. One reviewer called them pretentious, but I find hanging with the characters a delight. But that's just the beginning. Cleave doesn't just tell what happens to the characters; he skillfully exposes events while at the same time, economically using it to delineate inner developments.

British understatement has a major role here. Alistair helps pull a downed pilot out of the Channel waters while en route from the Dunkirk evacuation. The pilot characterizes the water as "Brisk." Alistair's reply to what he thought of France is "Crowded."

nov. 9, 2016, 10:57am

Thanks for reviving this. I've got a crush on two authors both new to me this week, both Brits, both thriller writers; Stephen Gallagher and Alex Marwood. I've just started Gallagher's collection of short stories Out of His Mind (which for some reason links to Homer's The Odyssey so I haven't) and Marwood's The Killer Next Door, so don't have much to report.

I'd read OOHM's opening story Magpie in 2010 and made a note of it at the time, but I never looked for anything else by him. I do like how he suggests supernatural elements to his noir crime stories. I was hooked on Marwood's book almost from the first page by the descriptive power of her prose and, frankly, her snarky humor.

I've been reading a lot on my Kindle lately, and really liked hefting Marwood's book and fanning the pages.

nov. 10, 2016, 7:49pm

>49 2wonderY: Loved Cleave's novel, Little Bee although I found it brutally sad. Have you read Claire Morrall's Natural Flights of the Human Mind? You just might fall in love with her, too. Her books are about people who are more than a little off kilter but not more than you'd like them to be.

This week I'm visiting an old love, reviving my lifelong romance with John le Carré, on whom I wish immortality. If only I could make wishes come true. Listening to his Our Kind of Traitor, beautifully performed by Robin Sachs, who I am now also in love with.