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pontalba's place

Discussion in 'Member Book Reviews/Journals/Blogs' started by pontalba, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Karen C

    Karen C Member

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    I loved The Husband's Secret when I read it a few weeks ago. Even though the 'secret' isn't a secret to the reader it's certainly interesting to see how the various other characters deal with the repercussions of the revelation. I have one of Liane Moriaty's other books in the my TBR pile too, What Alice Forgot, so it will be interesting to see how that one pans out and if it is as good.

    I haven't read The Rosie Project yet but have heard some pretty good things about it so will have to add it to my wish list.
     
  2. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    I'll be interested to read your thoughts on What Alice Forgot.

    I have to say, I didn't think I'd really like The Husband's Secret at first, the name really put me off. But I started seeing friends really enjoying it, people whose taste jives with mine, so I finally had to take the plunge. :)
    Same with The Rosie Project.

    Ya just never know! :D
     
  3. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    I've been struggling through A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry. It's so well written, almost too well written, if that's possible. Trench warfare, WWI. I'm a hundred pages in, and it's just difficult to absorb. I love it though. :)
     
  4. Sneezy

    Sneezy Well-Known Member

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    My wallet regrets opening this thread. Bezos thanks you.

    *sigh*
     
  5. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm really enjoying your thread, pontalba. Thanks for your comments on all these books.
     
  6. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, both! I appreciate the sentiments. :D

    Sneezy, now, if only I had a piece of that Amazonian Action. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Sneezy

    Sneezy Well-Known Member

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    There are a few of you here that should be at the least receiving Christmas cards from Mr. Bezos.
     
  8. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    I fell off Mr. Bezos's Christmas card list. I get Christmas cards from Powell's Books. And invitations to their family and friends discount sales. Any day now, I expect notification from Powell's that the uniform number of the cash register used to ring up my purchases is being retired.
     
  9. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    RtS, I love Powell's, however I don't love the lag time between ordering and receiving. I know, I know.....instant gratification is infantile...../sigh/ :D I have a fantasy of driving up there and loading the Jeep for the return trip. One of these days, we'll just do it!
     
  10. Sneezy

    Sneezy Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea what a Powell's Books is.

    I am resisting investigating to save my wallet the pain of what I may find.
     
  11. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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    When we lived in San Francisco, my husband and I used to fly up to Portland (OR) for the weekend sometimes and spend most of our time in Powell's. My favorite bookstore ever. I love the way they intersperse new and used books and put biographies in the subject-matter section that the person worked in. I remember their having a pretty darned good café, too. And Portland is such a walkable town with so many fun restaurants and brew houses.

    But my first Powell's was the one in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago. When I was in college, I spent many, many hours there. That's where I first started reading mysteries, purchased mostly from their collection of Penguin paperbacks.

    Now that we're back in Maine, we can only enjoy Powell's via internet. I'm also so jealous when I hear RtS is off to Powell's again.
     
  12. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    Sneezy, you absolutely MUST investigate Powell's! It's a huge, city blocks, multi-store independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon. It's a very fun place to visit, because genres are gathered in different rooms, and used books are shelved side-by-side with new ones. There are many staff comments posted on the shelves.

    [​IMG]

    Even if you don't buy any books, their website (powells.com) is wonderful. It displays staff favorite 5's, blogs by writers and staff, etc. Make sure you look at their Indiespensable program if you want to be tempted to drop money on a book every month. You can also sell them your books through the mail (they'll pay for postage).

    It does take longer to receive books from Powell's than Amazon, but because it's such a great independent bookstore, and I like the people who work there, I accept that lag. I hope one of these days you get a chance to visit, pontalba. I'm sure the staff would be happy to help you load the Jeep.

    Yeah, SO convenient having a kid living in Portland so I can go to Powell's!
     
  13. Sneezy

    Sneezy Well-Known Member

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    Sounds wonderful. Next time I am there I will make it a must see POI.
     
  14. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    More and more reasons to make the drive....only about 2500 miles. Nuttin' to it! :D

    RtS, I had no idea they paid for the postage if I'd send books to be sold! Thanks for that. :)
     
  15. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    RtS: That picture just laid me flat. And rooms for genres!? Do they rent overnight space for camping? We could bring a small tent.
     
  16. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    Peder, bibliophiles get married in Powell's, so why not an overnight tent?

    I take advantage of their "notify me" service all the time. There's a feature on their website that lets you type in the title of a book and specify whether you're looking for a new or used title. When they get a copy, you receive an email.
     
  17. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    Both of those sound like great services! :D
     
  18. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry :star5:

    When War came and Belgium was invaded by the Germans in 1914, the call came to defend and protect Home. The young men, cream of the crop, came by the thousands to populate the trenches.

    p.14 "Willie Dunne was not the only one. Why, he read in the newspaper that men who spoke only Gallic came down to the lowlands of Scotland to enlist, men of the Aran Islands that spoke only their native Irish rowed over to Galway. Public schoolboys from Winchester and Marlborough, boys of the Catholic University School and Belvedere and Blackrock College in Dublin. High-toned critics of Home Rule from the rainy Ulster counties, and Catholic men of the South alarmed for Belgian nun and child."

    A Long Long Way tells the story of these men through the life of Willie Dunne, a lovely Irish lad with high hopes. Sebastian Barry's steady, lyrical prose explicitly tells the horrifying story of trench warfare, the mud, blood and excrement. But with moments of such love and caring and unconscious heroism that the reader is compelled to continue, even though difficult.

    This book should be required reading for any person that thinks war is the answer to anything. The technology doesn't matter, it's all the same death to the grunt in the field.
     
    Peder likes this.
  19. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith 3.5/5

    Like the author, I read and saw (and was fascinated by) Robert Graves rendition of Livia in I, Claudius and Claudius the God. Graves, along with some historians, completely excoriated the third wife of Caesar Augustus. The contemporaneous historians went through a bit of a "he said, she said" routine and your view of Livia depends on which one you believe. But it must be considered what each historian had to gain or lose by his comments. And, it must be remembered how women were viewed, and treated in that time frame.

    Smith writes from Livia's point of view and while we can believe that Livia may not be an entirely reliable narrator, I did see that at the least the fiction fit the facts known. I enjoyed reading about Livia's young life but was a little disappointed that the book didn't cover more of her married life. It ends with Octavian's return from Egypt after Antony and Cleopatra's defeat and death(s).

    If possible I'd go with a 3.5/5 rating, but didn't round up to a 4/5 mostly because of a certain flatness to the prose. I'm not convinced this is due to Livia's personality.
    It won't keep me from reading more of this author. I enjoy her slant on things.
     
    Maine Colonial and Peder like this.
  20. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    I loved I, Claudius and Claudius the God, and I enjoyed your slant on I Am Livia. Have you read anything else set in the days of the Roman Empire that you'd recommend?
     

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