When I'm not reading I enjoy motorcycles, swimming, surfing, traveling and knitting. AND MUSIC. and podcasts.
- CA, USA
- member since January 25, 2010
jocelyn j’s last login was Saturday, March 27, 2010.
The History Non-Fiction Group is set to read The Linguist and the Emperor: Napoleon and Champollion's Quest to Decipher the Rosetta Stone by Daniel Meyerson for the Jul-Sep quarter. This book discusses the two men whose lives intersected over a love of all things Egypt and led to Campollion solving the mystery of the language on the Rosetta Stone. The book is fairly short - only 271 pages including the Author's Note at the end - and easy to read so it's a good book for the first ever quarterly read. Please join us if you're interested.
Thanks for the update. I liked most of what Vowell is dishing out. Her first couple were still her best. I'll keep reading her. I also loved Tender Bar, in part (maybe large part) because I worked behind a bar for some 12 years in my wild oat youth. I also like Krackauer's works. Tillman's story just fell between the cracks for me. Much of his HS and College antics seemed to be whitewashed as a glory-send-up. The death seemed so meaningless and so inevitable, given the power of these guns and the training that goes into our new young recruits. By the conclusion I felt like this was just not that special a story. An accidental shooting of a rebel in his prime with great athletic promise. OK, very sad and I get the sensational news coverage. In the artistic hands of Krackauer who typically turns a simple story into a 7-layered masterpiece, I was disappointed. Have a great weekend. Lets bat it around soon. Cheers, Dave
Hi, I took a quick look at your "to read" list and have a couple of suggestions. I love Mary Karr's sharp and poetic writing. Cherry was not her best by any means (that could be a man talking, but I really wanted to love this book and I did not). Did you read her first book? I have not read her latest poetry, nor her story of addiction. I think I'll move to her poetry next, clearly her strong suit. I also saw "Where Men Win Glory" on your list. Boy, was I disappointed in this book. An interesting feature article maybe... but not worth telling in the long hand of a hardcover book. Just amazing that it made it to NYT Best Seller's List. I imagine the right combo of flag waving patriotism and NFL hype can send a book up the flag pole! When you get a chance, zing my list. It is way to long. Happy Tuesday, Dave
I am not familiar with Amy Gerstler. The last poetry book that really made an impression on me was The Selected Works of May Sarton. I HAD to read it and it would not hear of me setting it down, not for a moment. I used to listen to The Writer's Almanac on NPR every day, but got away from that. I heard it last night and think that maybe I'll go back. There are lots of good new poems there, as well as old favorites.
I have read Liar's Club and had Karr's latest book, Lit, from the library. It's about her being an alcoholic. I didn't find it nearly as interesting as Liar's Club or Cherry (which was only sort of interesting). Are you familiar with Bastard Out of Carolina? I haven't read The Tender Bar, but I'll see what the library can do about that.
Which sort of history are you taking? For a degree? I had a history class that I liked, once. It was called Women in the Early Modern Era and it was team-taught by a history and an English prof. I always took those cross-curricular history courses so I would avoid getting stuck in plain, ol' history. I had to take one class on the Native Americans of California, and even though I got a decent grade in it, I couldn't tell you a thing I learned in that class. Oh, and when I took in the arrowhead my dad found when he was a kid to show the instructor and find out more about it, he yelled at me and said my dad should have left it where it was. I told him we had no idea where that was, so in the meantime, all the kids in my classes were going to see it, and knowing that, would he like to tell me some information about the artifact so the kids would get more out of the experience. He grudgingly gave the info. I think what he really wanted was for me to hand over the arrowhead.
I did read The Glass Castle and enjoyed it a lot. I was amazed that the author could show the benefits as well as the drawbacks of a childhood that most people would spend the rest of their lives complaining about. She seemed to harbor no bitterness against her parents and actually showed a good understanding of their limitations while proving her love for them. I found Half Broke Horses interesting because it provided more information on the same family. The grandmother was quite adventurous, but didn't do the sort of things that would cause people to think you were certifiably insane. Certainly, for the time period, she was quite an active and unique woman. From the beginning, the mother was a handful. I would recommend Half Broke Horses, but not as heartily as Glass Castle.
Which book of poetry did you buy, and what are you reading? Right now I'm reading Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves. It is just OK.