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What I’m Reading

2013 book challenge of 30 books is well under way and I am doing pretty good – a little over halfway there.  Three more books since my last update.

The Night Circus –  by Erin Morgenstern

nightcircus

There were a lot of things I liked about this book: the imagery being the biggest. Most of the characters were developed well, although the 2 main characters (Celia and Marco) were probably the least developed, which is odd.

This is a story about a circus where the magic is real, not an illusion. There is the understanding that anyone can develop true magic talent, but most choose not to (or don’t know that it is possible). I know the real story is supposed to be about a competition between the 2 magicians, but honestly – there was no competition, or it was lukewarm at best with absolutely no sense of urgency. Probably the big downfall of the book is the touting of this fierce competition which just… wasn’t.

I found some of the timeline jumping to be a bit confusing as well. Not quite sure of the purpose of that.

This was a debut novel from Erin Morgenstern and I think she did a really good job. There were some times when the romantic dialogue between Celia and Marco dipped into YA territory, but otherwise I enjoyed her style of writing.

Definitely a read, but do a library loan.

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The Hangman’s Daughter – by OliverPötzsch

hdaughter

A historical mystery.  I do love period novels.  This one was quite interesting involving solving a mystery of murdered children with a midwife being suspected as a witch.  The town’s hangman believed the midwife and the story was about him and a physician trying to solve the mystery.  I am not sure why the title is the Hangman’s Daughter, though.  She is in the book and one of the main characters, but not *the* main character.

I enjoyed the authentic period feel of this novel. It turns out that the author’s family lineage is from the hangmen, so he did a lot of research in the writing of this novel and it shows.

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My Antonia – by Willa Cather

myantonia

What can I say about a classic novel?  Whenever I read a classic, I am reminded once again why they are classics.  They stand head and shoulders above everything else. The writing is just so captivating in this book.  It’s funny, there really isn’t a plot per se, but the book just draws you in with life in rural Nebraska.

It’s the story of Antonia, an immigrant, told through the eyes of a childhood friend.  There are quite a few themes in this book like life as an immigrant, the power of the land, the power of the past to connect people.  It’s just such a good book.

Here is a snippet of the beautiful writing

There were no clouds, the sun was going down in a limpid, gold-washed sky. Just as the lower edge of the red disk rested on the high fields against the horizon, a great black figure suddenly appeared on the face of the sun. We sprang to our feet, straining our eyes toward it. In a moment we realized what it was. On some upland farm, a plough had been left standing in the field. The sun was sinking just behind it. Magnified across the distance by the horizontal light, it stood out against the sun, was exactly contained within the circle of the disk; the handles, the tongue, the share—black against the molten red. There it was, heroic in size, a picture writing on the sun.

You can get a free copy of this book here for digital media, so go do that now!

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What are you reading?

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20 comments to What I’m Reading

  • Kim

    I love to read and always get more reading done in the summer!!
    I’m reading “The Perfect Husband” by Lisa Gardner – very good so far!!

  • deb

    Hi Lori!

    I’m reading Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. I’m only a few chapters in but its pretty good so far.
    I love it when i latch on to a book that has me up reading until 2am . This is not one of them …yet…let me get into it a little more. LOL! Hugs! deb

  • I just ordered a textbook for next semester… so I think I’ll start reading that pretty soon. BORING. I think it’s time to hit the store and find a good new read!

  • I’m not sure I’ve ever read My Antonia. I’ll add it to my classics list!

    I picked up Nora Ephron’s ‘I Feel Bad about My Neck’ at a yard sale a few weeks ago, and I’m looking forward to reading that. I also have the Habit book (finally!), but it hasn’t really grabbed me.

  • I’ve read two books by a Danish writer Jussi Adler-Olson this month, he’s a crime writer and the books are very good.

    I started last weekend reading the authorized biography of Bruce Springsteen and so far I learned things about him that I never knew. It’s very interesting.

    • I don’t listen to Bruce (can we still be friends??), but the only thing I remember about him was way back when he had an affair with one of his band members who I think is now his current wife? Why I remember that is beyond me LOL.

      • Yes we can still be friends! We don’t all have to like the same things. You’re correct about his wife. I don’t know much about his personal life, I’m interested in his music, not in the person so most of the things in the book are new to me, like that he’s suffering from depressions. Didn’t know that.

        I signed up on good reads too, a site that’s really something for me. I’ve already added you automatically there as my friend too happy

  • I should be doing the book challenge. Where can I get a list of the books to be read?

    • There’s no list of books. Goodreads.com has a place where you can challenge yourself to read a certain amount of books in the year. It’s also a great place for book suggestions.

      I borrow most of mine from either my Amazon Prime membership or the library for my Kindle!

  • Beth

    I agree with you on The Night Circus – I think I gave it a 3 on my Goodreads review. It was all over the place – maybe I just didn’t get it. I couldn’t wait to be finished with it! There is a book discussion at my library on it and I think I may go just to get some more perspective on it.

    I just finished Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker – which I really liked. I’m now reading The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar – I’ve read most of her books and I’ve liked some better than others (The Space Between Us is the best) but I’m enjoying this one so far.

  • I hardly ever read fiction any more, and then when I do, I am often disappointed (poor choices, I guess.) But just last night I finished a book that had been recommended to me by my table-mate at the Ohio quilt retreat. She was from Canada, and the book is written by a Canadian and takes place in Canada. It is a beautifully written book with an engrossing story. I thoroughly recommend it. I am hoping she will write more. The book is “Crow Lake” by Mary Lawson. I got the free sample on my Kindle, and that was enough to convince me to read the whole book!

  • I have not been reading in the past few years – not sure why – I need to get back to it!

  • I’m reading “The Great Oom” by Robert Love, which is about the birth of yoga in the United States. Cool Victorian looking yoga pictures and just fun overall. big grin

    happy Marion

  • I enjoyed The Hangman’s Daughter a lot. That reminds me that there is a 2nd book–I need to check it out.

  • I loved all the book reviews and since I grew up in Nebraska I really should read My Antonia. Lately all the books I have been reading have been about health and nutrition. I need to read some books for fun!

  • Biz

    I don’t read enough books – too many blogs to read! I keep thinking if I buy a Kindle that will change! big grin

  • I need to read more! Actually, I need to finish one book before I start another…so I don’t have two on the go at the same time that I don’t seem to finish. sigh. I hang my head. Have a great day Lori

  • You make me feel bad since your reading list always seems so enriching (couldn’t come up with a better word!). I tend to pick up easy reading mysteries or light fiction.

  • Ang

    I have read the first three Hangman’s Daughter books and really enjoy them! I think a 4th may be out now or is coming soon!

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