- member since January 18, 2008
aentonio’s last login was Saturday, July 16, 2011.
Hi aentonio, thanks for the welcome back!
The show I got addicted to may make you cringe, depending on your tastes: it's Criminal Minds, one of those American crime procedurals, but it's all about the psychology behind serial killers. Some dark part of my mind was really fascinated by it - and although it can be a bit formulaic and sensationalist, it's one of the slightly less ridiculous, showy crime procedurals. It's not quite a guilty pleasure, but close!
How did you enjoy Harry Potter? I'm quite impressed, to be honest, that you managed to hold out for so long - I caved quite early to reading them just to know what it was everyone was talking about. I have to admit, story-wise, I really enjoyed them, and they make me laugh in places, but they're sort of my vaguely-guilty pleasure reads. I'm not sure I'd add them on to here either! ;-)
I'm really pleased you enjoyed Brazzaville Beach, it stuck with me for a little while afterwards and I've recommended it to quite a few people. I think his style suits my reading, if that makes sense - not over the top but not without its difficulties, either.
I think I'll give myself three more months, out of sheer stubbornness, to see if I get my reading rate back on track, and then I'll most likely be taking your advice and increasing my time limit! I'm pleased to be back on here and reading again, anyway, and plan to re-start the reviews - and hope you do as well, I re-read your one for Cloud Atlas the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it, it made me remember reading it. :-)
Hi aentonio, and I am sorry not to ahve been in touch for such a long time - I hope you are well! I'm afraid I neglected shelfari for a while, mostly to avoid the fact that I wasn't getting anywhere near the amount of reading done that I would like: I became hooked on a TV show and was devouring that in my free time.
I see you have finished Time's Arrow and The Handmaid's Tale, as well as a few more books that look very interesting. My to-read list is longer than ever and I am well behind on my 100-in-a-year schedule, but fingers crossed for the next six months. Just finished The Red Tent by Anita Diamant which I ahve to say, I don't think I would recommend to any man, ever. It was fairly brutal on the opposite sex and also nail-bitingly graphic. Just starting The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt - only a few pages in thanks to the train ride this morning but already very intrigued.
Anyway, as I said, I hope you're doing well and can forgive my rudeness in not replying for so long, and hope you're enjoying the summer!
Hi aentonio, and sorry for such a late reply! My computer access has been limited over the last week, with the laptop dying and the desktop being shrouded in dust covers while the house has a spot of renovation. Very good week for reading, though, with Brazzaville Beach for my book club - excellent - and I'm Not Scared and True Grit for fun (and because they're nice, quick reads, perfect for getting my 100 books back on schedule).
I see you've finished Cloud Atlas! What did you think? I think your point about the language was great, he really seemed to be having so much fun with it and it really distinguished the new time periods. I loved it. It definitely is more hopeful than The Handmaid's Tale, I think - there's more humanity and it's infinitely more light-hearted, though there are some shocking parts, especially in the two 'future' sections. I think my favourite section, though, was the second one - the one with the composer. He was so despicable, but charming. There really wasn't a single section I disliked, though, I found them all really fascinating and unique, and would have read a single book about them as well. I've recently got hold of If On A Winter's Night A Traveller, by Italo Calvino, which was mentioned in a lot of the reviews I read of Cloud Atlas as an inspiration for the book.
I think how much you talk about a book during and after reading it is a good sign of how much you enjoyed it - I still find myself thinking about Cloud Atlas a lot recently, as well as the other book I mentioned, Brazzaville Beach, and those are the books I keep recommending to people at the moment.
I've only read one book by each of the Amis...es? Not sure how to put them into the plural! I adored Lucky Jim, it was my first book of the year and I fell for it quite hard. I enjoyed Time's Arrow less, especially to start, but it's really innovative and by the end of it I felt so immersed that I was actually disoriented for a while after finishing. I really want to read more by both of them, they're a fascinating duo, I think.
Good Omens is the only Gaiman I've read, but I've heard him recommended quite a few times, and Sophie's Choice has been one of those books I've been meaning to get to for years now. I think that's always the way, though: the to-read pile gets bigger while the read pile grows much more slowly, and it seems impossible to keep to a 'one in, one out' rule! Hope you're having a good week! :-)
Hi aentonio, hope you're well! Have had quite a productive week of reading though those train journeys I mentioned I was going on were either much shorter than I remembered them being last time - or I've become a much slower reader! Still, I got through two very different coming-of-age novels that I'm really looking forward to reviewing, Ham on Rye and Coconut Unlimited. Just finished yesterday All The Pretty Horses, which was ... very good, but I'm still processing it. I definitely liked it, but I haven't sorted my thoughts out about it yet.
I have a copy of Ghostwritten! I'm hoping to get to it in a week or two - I have to read Brazzaville Beach for my next book club meeting on Thursday first. I'm really looking forward to reading it though, Cloud Atlas just made me really excited about how fun and interesting Mitchell's writing was. How are you getting on with Cloud Atlas and The Handmaid's Tale? Very interesting two books to read together, I'd think, especially once you get into the last two of Mitchell's narratives. Your review for Ghostwritten has made me even more interested in it, it sounds pretty experimental and has some great questions. I'd quite like to do one of his for my book club - we're scheduled with books for the next year or so but I think I'll put Mitchell's name in the suggestion pot.
The only Banks I have is The Wasp Factory - like you, I'm not the biggest fan of SF. I have a couple of Eco's in my collection, but the only one I've read, when I was much younger, was The Name of the Rose, and I think the reason I did was precisely the one you gave: I didn't have to be wholly versed in Franciscan theology to appreciate the writing and the storytelling. It is one of those books, though, that I remember very clearly despite being younger and despite the fact that a lot of books I read seem to slip out of my mind quite quickly, unless I enjoyed them very much or they had a particular aspect to them that hooked me. I think I'll save my next Eco until I have a completely free few days - and access to an encyclopedia!
Shorter books are definitely on the agenda in the future, I've started organising my books by size! I see you've got Time's Arrow on your to-read list, I'd love to know what you think when you get to it. That was a nice, quick read, and very immersive. Very funny in some places and grotesquely disturbing in others - Martin Amis is another author I want to read more of, and his father.
My commutes are down to half, now, so less of the 15-minute reading times, but on the other hand I'll have more time to just sit down and read properly. What I'm really looking forward to is a possible lazy, sunny holiday with a friend where all we're planning to do is drift around a warm country and spend most of our time buried in books - even more appealing now that the snow is back up here! :-)
Ghostwritten has shot right to the top of my to-read list - well, to-buy list, first, but I think I'll wander over to the bookshop this lunchtime and pick it up, and see if they have his others in stock too. I'm not quite finished Cloud Atlas yet, but I think I will be by tonight or tomorrow night at the latest, and it's by far and away the most inventive and unique book I've read this year and the last! He's an incredible writer and it's so immersive - it sounds as though it's less explicit than Ghostwritten, but still very dark, but with a really good sense of humour, too. It's also split into very readable sections, so it's quite an easy read to put up and pick down. Ghostwritten is definitely on my March reading list, so I'll get onto it as soon as possible and look forward to discussing it with you!
I'm pleased you're enjoying The Handmaid's Tale so far - it made a big impression on me when I first read it at school and the book club uncovered many more things I enjoyed about it. When you're done I'll say what things I picked up the most, but before then I'll just say that what I remembered most vividly, coming back to it, was the world Atwood created - very creepy and memorable, amazing imagery!
There are too many books in the world! (I don't mean that, of course, only when I work up the courage to look at my to-read list and feel completely dwarfed by it!) I was going through some boxes of unpacked books from our last house move and found The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, which I started ages ago but never got very far into, I remember it being quite gruesome so I was possibly a bit young for it, will have to try again. I loved The Name of the Rose but haven't read anything else by Eco - and the problem with talking about books is that the list of interesting ones gets longer and longer! It's good to be reading similar ones to someone at the same time, thought, for the discussion. I don't live or work with many book-readers so I'm sort of limited to a few old friends, online and my book club. What I'm looking forward to is a couple of holidays coming up where I can really relax and read a lot - I have two three hour train journeys this weekend so I'm hoping to get a lot of reading done then and make some progress on my 100-in-1-year challenge.
I'd definitely keep A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius low on your list, unless you're really interested in the content, which was what drew me in - but it fell quite flat, reading it. It did seem quite therapeutic for him, which is great, but it's never going to be one I want to go back to.
Having a slow day at work so posting a couple more reviews today hopefully - they're as much to remind me what I thought as to give other people an idea!
Hi aentonio - still haven't caught Corelli's Mandolin on TV or DVD yet but I'm keeping an eye out for it, would like to see what they did with it - and I see it had Christian Bale in it, too, who's usually very good!
I'd recommend The Handmaid's Tale, my book group meeting about it was full of really interesting discussion. I have a few of her other books but haven't got round to reading them yet - my to-read pile seems to be getting bigger and bigger and I'm trying to re-read a few I've forgotten about, and possibly post some more reviews. Thank you for your comments on my reviews - I always think they're a bit longwinded! The two sections are the two things that I always think about when I'm reading or choosing a book.
If you do read Saturday, let me know what you thought - I wasn't very favourable towards it but I was quite fascinated by it despite the problems I had with it, and I definitely want to read more of McEwan before I make a decision on whether I actually like him or not.
How are you getting on with Ghostwritten? I have just started Cloud Atlas and so far I am really enjoying it, but I haven't managed to have a really good, uninterrupted reading session of it yet - I can't wait for the weekend and some nice, quiet reading time rather than snatched excerpts read on the train! You sound like you know the frustration of a week that's a bit too busy to get any real reading done, especially with books that do require quite careful attention! :-)
I had never heard of Boris Vian, will definitely add whichever of the two titles I find to my to-read list, I think my list at the moment is a bit too saturated with American and British writers and I need to stretch out a bit. I love Of Mice and Men as well, it's one of those books I go back to every so often. I just finished Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which was very easy to read but I'm not sure I'd recommend it, it's quite odd, I'll definitely post a review on that when I get the chance. I think after Cloud Atlas and that I might switch to something a bit shorter - I love a 500-pager but three in a row is quite draining!
Hi aentonio, and not at all - thanks for inviting me, I was a rather lonely member until you did! :-)
Captain Corelli's Mandolin was very good, actually, far better than I was expecting although it took me an awfully long time to read the first 100 pages and it pushed my reading schedule back so I haven't managed to start Cloud Atlas yet! Once I got used to the style and quickness of the chapters, though, I was absolutely hooked. I haven't seen the film - does it have Nicolas Cage in it? I'll see if the DVD's on offer this week, I think. I'm currently re-reading The Handmaid's Tale for my book club, but Cloud Atlas will hopefully get the attention it deserves this weekend.
I like to do the same as you, to read more than one book by an author if I like them to get a better picture of their style and things they like to write about, but it often takes me a while to get back to another book by that author because my to-read list is getting a little bit out-of-hand - I should really try and avoid bookshops! Cloud Atlas is the only Mitchell I own, but if he's as good as almost everyone seems to say, I can imagine a few others joining my collection. Do you have any all time favourite authors or must-read recommendations?
Oh, I read your review of The Book Thief: I completely agree. It was another one that I wasn't sure what to expect, going into it, and I was sceptical for the first few pages, but then got completely hooked and loved it! Haven't read any of Zusak's others - yet!
Hi aentonio, nice to meet you! Yes, Cloud Atlas is on my to-read list, I'm hoping to get to it this weekend - you'd definitely recommend David Mitchell then? It's the first I've read by him but almsot all reviews I've had so far have been good. I see you're reading The Book Thief, hope you're enjoying it, I read it recently and after a shaky start thought it was very good! :-)
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