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It's the tenth!

Once a month book_memes demands to know what are you reading?

What book are you currently reading?
How far in are you?
What's it about?
Are you enjoying it?

[my answers in comments]


( 58 comments — Leave a comment )
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Aug. 10th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?
Bleak House by Charles Dickens

How far in are you?
Almost through - about 50 pages left

What's it about?
A court-case, a murder and the fate of the people involved in both

Are you enjoying it?
Enormously. Dickens is both sentimental and brutal, outraged and wry... and the entire book (all 900+ pages) is packed with character. What I thought was going to be a challenging read has actually been a real pleasure. More Dickens, plz.
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(no subject) - trishtrash - Aug. 10th, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Aug. 10th, 2010 08:30 am (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

How far in are you?
p. 103

What's it about?
see below

Are you enjoying it?
I have the sneaking suspicion this is one of the books I'll finish having no idea what's it about.
Aug. 10th, 2010 10:00 am (UTC)
That's exactly how I felt like after reading this book. Still debating with myself, whether I should give something else by Murakami a try.
(no subject) - dead_power_line - Aug. 10th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pax_athena - Aug. 10th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - arylla - Aug. 11th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Aug. 10th, 2010 08:48 am (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?

1. As The Crow Flies by Janet Street-Porter
2. One-Hit Wonderland by Tony Hawks
3. No Name by Wilkie Collins

How far in are you?

1. About a third in
2. About five chapters in.
3. More than halfway now.

What's it about?

1. Janet Street-Porter walking from Edinburgh to London in as straight a line as possible.
2. The man who hitchhiked round Ireland with a fridge takes on another bet - this time to have a hit single, anywhere in the world within two years.
3. Two Victorian orphans are disinherited by an unfortunate set of circumstances and the younger sets out to reclaim her father's money by whatever means she can.

Are you enjoying it?

1. It's better when she's not fawning over the various celebs she gets to wealk with her. She whinges a fair bit, but I can empathise with that, as I tend to do the same on hard walks!

2. Not as good as Round Ireland with a Fridge, but quite amusing so far.

3. The plot is rather slow and stately, but the characters are the main point of interest.
Aug. 10th, 2010 09:59 am (UTC)
What book are you currently reading? Just finished "Masked", in the middle of "Gentleman of the Road" by Michael Chabon and "Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex" is just being opened.
How far in are you? See above.
What's it about? The first one is an anthology of superhero short stories, the second one is a fantasy/historical novel of two Jews in Khazaria and a tribute to Michael Moorcock and the last one will be, I suppose, about a young criminal mastermind saving the world.
Are you enjoying it? Masked was really nice. Nothing groundbreaking, but a solid read. Chabon is wonderful, though pretty hard to read for a somebody whose native tongue is not English - though I suppose that even in German he would use some specialized terms I'd have to look up. About the last one I have no opinion yet, but the series has been a very guilty pleasure of mine over the last few years.
Aug. 10th, 2010 10:52 am (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?
William Blake - "The Complete Poems"

How far in are you?
Almost finished! I'm reading the Notes.

What's it about?
See book title.

Are you enjoying it?
Mostly, yes. The poems were mostly slightly hard to follow, but the Notes make things clearer.
Aug. 10th, 2010 12:18 pm (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?
The Passage by Justin Cronin

How far in are you?
page 383 (of 766)

What's it about?
A government experiment gone wrong that destroys life as we know it.

Are you enjoying it?
I am. There are some terrible editing or type setting errors (the same line written two or three times) but other than that I am really enjoying the book.
Aug. 10th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?
1. Shadow of the Silk Road - Colin Thubon - non fiction
2. The Sadness off Witches - Janice Elliot - novel - just received as gift

How far in are you?
1. 68 pages
2. 24 pages

What's it about?
1. man traveling the area that was the "silk road" of merchants and culture as west discovered the east - and vice versa. What that area is like today - physically and culturally
2. good question. not far enough in to know

Are you enjoying it?
1. yes very much- interesting places - interesting people - author has a way with words
2. not sure - author is British there are some references I don't understand so I wonder if I am missing some symbolism. I'm not sure if I like these people.

Aug. 22nd, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)

ROFL! I know just what you mean! I loved the story but loathed many of the characters!
Aug. 10th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?
"Notre Dame de Paris"/"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" by Victor Hugo.

How far in are you?
Just about 250/600 pages.

What's it about?
Various fates intertwining in 1482 Paris (including those of an archdeacon tormented by his celibacy, a luckless poet, and a charming and clever goat).

Are you enjoying it?
I like the goat. And the fact that there were eleven characters called Jehan within the first sixty pages. And-- mainly I love seeing some earlyish prose fiction by Victor Hugo. Everything I know as the quirks of his style/narrative/take-on-the-concept-of-the-novel from "Les Misérables" and "93" is here already in an adorably underdeveloped way - especially the Voice of God generalised statements, which in spite of their pompous build-up are sometimes rather commonplace truths ('Great events can have unforeseeable consequences!').
Aug. 10th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?
Autobiography by Agatha Christie

How far in are you?
about 300/560 pgs

What's it about?
Just what it says on the label--her life. She focuses on her young life, before she started writing.

Are you enjoying it?
Yup. It's a pretty fascinating look at the decline of Victorian culture and the rise of modernism. Christie began writing the book when she was 60 and stopped when she was 75, though she didn't die until 10 years later. She has some interesting reflections on the development of modern culture (cars, airplanes, the death of Victorianism and Empire) as well as many humorous and sweet anecdotes about herself and her friends.
Aug. 10th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
I read Christie's autobiography this year as well, and I really enjoyed it! I loved seeing her own opinion of her work, in addition to learning more about her remarkable life.
Aug. 10th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?
The Seventh Tower: Aenir by Garth Nix

How far in are you?
Technically I haven't started it yet, going to be doing so in a moment, but it is the third book in a six book series that I've been reading the past few days so I'm a third of the way through the series.

What's it about?
A world where a Veil blots out the sun and a Castle with seven Towers houses the Chosen who use light as their source of power and know nothing of the Icecarls who live beyond it. Something very suspicious is going on in the Castle and the two main characters, Chosen Tal and Icecarl Milla, entered the spirit world of Aenir at the end of the previous book in search of a lost book that will help them find out what.

Are you enjoying it?
Yes, this isn't my favourite series from Garth Nix and is clearly aimed at a slightly younger audience than his Old Kingdom series but I'm finding it enjoyable so far. There are some interesting concepts and things have been getting more intriguing as the story develops.
Aug. 10th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

I kind of just picked up The Mists of Avalon at the library because I recognized the title from this "best fantasy" list that i've found good stuff off of... I'm on page 408 out of 876. It's a (VERY loose) retelling of the Arthurian (Camelot) legends from the point of view of the women. Somewhere in the background there are epic battles against the Saxons, but the book pays only cursory attention to that (mostly in that the women pine for their husbands while they are out fighting), instead focusing on marriages, unrequited loves, babies, and women using their husbands/lovers as tools to promote their religion (christian vs. pagan). I think it's well written, and I will definitely finish it, but it also could have been a lot better than it was. The women, even the "strong" characters, spend too much of the novel lamenting that they're not pretty enough to attract the man that they want and are generally of a spineless variety. the character of Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere) is particularly annoying as an agoraphobic bigot who spends most of the novel pining for her husbands best friend Lancelet (Lancelot). Feminists in general will probably dislike this book, but anyone who likes fantasies with a STRONG romance novel vibe will actually probably like it. That's not normally my thing, but I find it just well written enough to keep going despite of that.
Aug. 22nd, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)

Feminists in general will probably dislike this book,

On the contrary ~ for me (as a feminist) the book describes strong characters, given the times. Gwenhwyfar is in fact a victim (as were most women then.) Her strength is in her determination to uphold her religion; to choose her lover & in the end, when he proved himself less the hero she had imagined him to be, to be her own woman even though it meant the nunnery.

As an exploration of Goddess-centric practice, Mists is considered a classic by many eco-feminist Goddess women.
Aug. 10th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?
1. The Liars' Club by Mary Karr
2. Grimm's Fairy Tales

How far in are you?
1. Only the first chapter.
2. I've only read the first five or six tales.

What's it about?
1. It's Mary Karr's memoir of her childhood.
2. For anyone who isn't familiar, I think the title says it all.

Are you enjoying it?
1. Yes.
2. Yes.
Aug. 10th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?

1) Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
2) Christopher and his Kind by Christopher Isherwood

How far in are you?

1) A few chapters.
2) About a third of the way in.

What's it about?

1) William Bradshaw meets the enigmatic and charming Arthur Norris whilst on a train to Berlin, in late 1930. William soon begins to realise that Arthur may be in trouble - as he constantly appears nervous and has men threatening to break down his door in a rage. Currently, William is stumbling home from a New Years Eve party where he has learned that Arthur has some rather interesting sexual fetishes...

2) The life of Christopher Isherwood when he lived in Berlin from 1929 to 1939. An out and proud gay man, he is enjoying the gay nightlife of Berlin but is aware of the rising threat from the Nazi Party, and the constant battling with his mother regarding his way of life.

Are you enjoying it?

1) Yes. I love Isherwood's style of writing, it's very different to anything other that I have read. He has a way of taking you right into a moment - I feel as if I too am in Berlin, New Years Day 1931 wandering home through the streets of drunk and disorderly citizens.

2) It's fantastic. Isherwood happened to live through one of the most interesting times in human history and realised it enough to document it. It's a great read and a must for fans of gay literature.
Aug. 10th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)

I'm almost finished.

It's about Napoleon's sister, Pauline.

It's alright. She's not as interesting as I thought she would be.
Aug. 10th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
What book are you currently reading?

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

How far in are you?

A little less than halfway.

What's it about?

It's about a sex addict who pretends to choke on food at restaurants in order to get monetary gifts from the people who "save" him, so that he can afford to keep his insane mother in an assisted living facility.

Are you enjoying it?

It's alright, but I'm not enjoying it nearly as much as the other Palahniuk book I read (that I can't remember the name of). I think it's just trying too hard to be shocking and I am a hard one to shock.
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