Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Tell Me What I Should Read Next

I have a lot of wonderful books on my Kindle that I bought for 1.99, and maybe I should pick one or two of them to read this summer. Let me name them for you. Then would you tell me which of these sounds like the book I should read next?


North Woods by Daniel Mason

"A sweeping novel about a single house in the woods of New England, told through the lives of those who inhabit it across the centuries."



Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

"...this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery..."



Virgil Wander by Leif Enger

'A man seeks to rediscover his broken Midwestern community in a novel that “brims with grace and quirky charm” by the author of Peace Like a River...'



Gringos by Charles Portis

'Jimmy Burns is an expatriate American living in Mexico who has an uncommonly astute eye for the absurd little details that comprise your average American. For a time, Jimmy spent his days unearthing pre-Colombian artifacts. Now he makes a living doing small trucking jobs and helping out with the occasional missing person situation—whatever it takes to remain “the very picture of an American idler in Mexico, right down to the grass-green golfing trousers.” But when Jimmy’s laid-back lifestyle is seriously imposed upon by a ninety-pound stalker called Louise, a sudden wave of “hippies” (led by a murderous ex-con guru) in search of psychic happenings, and a group of archaeologists who are unearthing (illegally) Mayan tombs, his simple South-of-the-Border existence faces a clear and present danger.'



Miss Carter and the Ifrit by Susan Alice Kerby

"It’s the final months of World War II and Georgina Carter, a single woman in her late forties with a drab job in the Censorship office, is convinced that nothing very shattering, nothing very devastating could happen to one after that age. But then she buys some wood blocks from a blitzed roadway, one of which, when burned in her fireplace, releases a long-imprisoned Ifrit (don’t call him a genie) eager to do her bidding. Nicknamed Joe, he zaps in exotic foods and luxurious decor, and takes her on a dizzying hurtle through space to visit a beloved nephew in Canada. Then an old flame visits and Joe senses possibilities . . "


A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

'A "powerful and poignant" twentieth-century reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear (The New York Times Book Review) that takes on themes of truth, justice, love, and pride—and centers on a wealthy Iowa farmer who decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. '



Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

"Kitchen is an enchantingly original book that juxtaposes two tales about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home in the lives of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan."



Old Filth by Jane Gardam

"Sir Edward Feathers has had a brilliant career, from his early days as a lawyer in Southeast Asia, where he earned the nickname Old Filth (FILTH being an acronym for Failed In London Try Hong Kong) to his final working days as a respected judge at the English bar. Yet through it all he has carried with him the wounds of a difficult and emotionally hollow childhood. Now an eighty-year-old widower living in comfortable seclusion in Dorset, Feathers is finally free from the regimen of work and the sentimental scaffolding that has sustained him throughout his life. He slips back into the past with ever mounting frequency and intensity, and on the tide of these vivid, lyrical musings, Feathers approaches a reckoning with his own history. Not all the old filth, it seems, can be cleaned away."



So Big by Edna Ferber

"First Published in 1924 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1925, Edna Ferber’s “So Big” is the fascinating tale of Selina Peak De Jong and her resilience in the face of a difficult marriage, widowhood, and single parenthood, set in the Dutch farming community of South Holland, Illinois near Chicago."



The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

"The Thorn Birds is a chronicle of three generations of Clearys—an indomitable clan of ranchers carving lives from a beautiful, hard land while contending with the bitterness, frailty, and secrets that penetrate their family. It is a poignant love story, a powerful epic of struggle and sacrifice, a celebration of individuality and spirit. Most of all, it is the story of the Clearys' only daughter, Meggie, and the haunted priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart—and the intense joining of two hearts and souls over a lifetime, a relationship that dangerously oversteps sacred boundaries of ethics and dogma."


Which of these sounds like a good summer read?



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information. 


Saturday, June 8, 2024

The Sunday Salon: Reading Madame Bovary in French...Very, Very Slowly

     


Welcome! I'm happy you joined us here at the 
Sunday Salon. What is the Sunday Salon? The Sunday Salon is a place to link up and share what we have been doing during the week plus it's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 







I've had trouble this week settling into a book. I'm working on Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, and that's going well, at a pace of a chapter a day. I'm working on Madame Bovary in French, and that is going much more slowly; I've finally finished the first chapter after working on the story for a week. My naturalist group is reading How the Mountains Grew, and I'll be reading that all summer.

But I'd hoped to read some light fiction this summer, and everything I've tried so far---well, let's just say the library is getting a lot of my books back very, very quickly. Hopefully, something will work for me soon...




What I Read Last Week:

James by Percival Everett

The Road to Character by David Brooks




What I'm Reading Now:

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (in French)

Tik-Tok of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Ozathon)

The Great Book of Journaling: How Journal Writing Can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning, and Purpose by Elsie Maigel and Lynda Mink (Writing)

How the Mountains Grew by John Dvorak (Naturalist Group Book Club)

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (1000 Books)








What I Posted Last Week Here at Readerbuzz:

The Sunday Salon: Baby Birds in My Sycamore Tree





Join Gather Together for a readalong of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens - 831 pages - this summer:

  • June: Ch. 1 - 16, pp 1 - 204
    Discussion post: June 30
  • July: Ch. 17 - 31, pp 205 - 407
    Discussion post: July 31
  • August: Ch. 32 - 46, pp 408 - 608
    Discussion post: August 31
  • September: Ch. 47 - 65, pp 609 - 831 (end)
    Discussion post: September 30




You might like to join Emma at Words and Peace for a readalong of Madame Bovary in French this summer. 









My husband and I have participated in a citizen science project, Texas Butterfly Monitoring Network, since March of 2021. This week and next week we are using the data we have collected to draw some conclusions about the butterflies we have observed at a local park. We will be presenting our findings at the Advanced Training Day for our Texas Master Naturalist Group next weekend.









I began to list 3 Good Things every day during the pandemic. Now I've established a regular routine of writing down my 3 Good Things. Here are 3 Good Things from last week:




Good Thing #1:

Action for Happiness has a Joyful June calendar.





Good Thing #2:

I saw my first owl a few weeks back.
Now the owl has had owl babies!




Good Thing #3:

"Think of 3 things
you're grateful for
and write them down."

Excellent idea, Action for Happiness!
I think I will!




Weekend linkup spots are listed below. Click on the picture to visit the site.

        

I hope you will join the linkup for Sunday Salon below.


Friday, June 7, 2024

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens: Book Beginnings on Fridays, First Line Friday, The Friday 56, and Book Blogger Hop









Today's Featured Book 

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

Genre: Novel

Published: October 1839

Page Count: 816 pages

Summary: 

"When Nicholas Nickleby is left penniless after his father's death, he appeals to his wealthy uncle to help him find work and to protect his mother and sister. But Ralph Nickleby proves both hard-hearted and unscrupulous, and Nicholas finds himself forced to make his own way in the world. His adventures gave Dickens the opportunity to portray an extraordinary gallery of rogues and eccentrics: Wackford Squeers, the tyrannical headmaster of Dotheboys Hall, a school for unwanted boys, the slow-witted orphan Smike, rescued by Nicholas, the pretentious Mantalinis and the gloriously theatrical Mr and Mrs Crummels and their daughter, the 'infant phenomenon'. Like many of Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby is characterised by his outrage at cruelty and social injustice, but it is also a flamboyantly exuberant work"




 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAY is hosted by Rose City ReaderWhat book are you happy about reading this week? Please share the opening sentence (or so) on BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAY! Add the link to your blog or social media post and visit other blogs to see what others are reading.

Happy Friday and welcome to the FIRST LINE FRIDAY, hosted by Reading is My Superpower! It’s time to grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line.

"There once lived, in a sequestered part of the county of Devonshire, one Mr. Godfrey Nickleby: a worthy gentleman, who, taking it into his head rather late in life that he must get married, and not being young enough or rich enough to aspire to the hand of a lady of fortune, had wedded an old flame out of mere attachment, who in her turn had taken him for the same reason. Thus two people who cannot afford to play cards for money, sometimes sit down to a quiet game for love.


Charles Dickens. Nicholas Nickleby (p. 18). Kindle Edition. "








THE FRIDAY 56 is hosted by 
Freda's Voice, but Freda is currently taking a break and Anne of Head Full of Books is filling in. To play, open a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% on your e-reader). Find a sentence or two and post them, along with the book title and author. Then link up with Anne and visit others in the linky. 


"Mr. Squeers’s appearance was not prepossessing. He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favour of two. The eye he had, was unquestionably useful, but decidedly not ornamental: being of a greenish grey, and in shape resembling the fan-light of a street door. The blank side of his face was much wrinkled and puckered up, which gave him a very sinister appearance, especially when he smiled, at which times his expression bordered closely on the villainous. His hair was very flat and shiny, save at the ends, where it was brushed stiffly up from a low protruding forehead, which assorted well with his harsh voice and coarse manner. He was about two or three and fifty, and a trifle below the middle size; he wore a white neckerchief with long ends, and a suit of scholastic black; but his coat sleeves being a great deal too long, and his trousers a great deal too short, he appeared ill at ease in his clothes, and as if he were in a perpetual state of astonishment at finding himself so respectable."


Charles Dickens. Nicholas Nickleby (p. 56). Kindle Edition. "







The purpose of THE BOOK BLOGGER HOP is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, and befriend other bloggers. THE BOOK BLOGGER HOP is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer   

June 7th-13th - Summer often means more time for reading. Do you have a list of books you're eager to start reading during June's warm days? Do you have a summer reading goal? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

Yes, indeed. I made a list here: 

https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2024/05/the-20-books-of-summer-and-big-book.html

Nicholas Nickleby is on the list. I'm trying to read a chapter a day, and there are sixty chapters.




Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Novels I Love


On Goodreads, I currently list 199 favorite books. As of today, here are my top ten favorites novels...

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers

Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry




Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information. 


Saturday, June 1, 2024

The Sunday Salon: Baby Birds in My Sycamore Tree

     



Welcome! I'm happy you joined us here at the 
Sunday Salon. What is the Sunday Salon? The Sunday Salon is a place to link up and share what we have been doing during the week plus it's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 







Summer is here, and this was a week of long hot days of swimming, bicycling, yoga, a museum outing, my writing group in Galveston, and baby Pileated Woodpeckers in my sycamore tree (see photo below). And, of course, reading!








What I Read Last Week (Links take you to my review):

Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis (Novel)
The Complete Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino (Fiction)
The King of the Copper Mountains by Paul Biegel (1001 Children's Books)




What I'm Reading Now:

How the Mountains Grew by John Dvorak (Naturalist Book Group)
The Road to Character by David Brooks (Nonfiction)
James by Percival Everett (Literary Fiction)







Updated as of the end of May









The summer challenges begin!






I began to list 3 Good Things every day during the pandemic. Now I've established a regular routine of writing down my 3 Good Things. Here are 3 Good Things from last week:




Good Thing #1:

Look what appeared in our sycamore tree!
Yes, two Pileated Woodpecker chicks.




Good Thing #2:

Hurray for Aqua Zumba.



Good Thing #3:

I've been doing Duolingo 
daily for a full year.




Weekend linkup spots are listed below. Click on the picture to visit the site.

        

I hope you will join the linkup for Sunday Salon below.