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Thread: Moms' Book Thread ~ Week 6 (February 4th - February 10th)

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    Default Moms' Book Thread ~ Week 6 (February 4th - February 10th)

    I hope that it’s been a good reading week for all.

    I read A Thousand Days in Venice - 4 Stars - I'm feeling generous giving this 4 Stars. To be fair, I would give it 3.5. This is a beautifully written narrative of life in Venice. It’s a tiny bit flowery with the romance, at least for me, but it still remains sweet. The food descriptions are incredible. The author is a chef and has included recipes. I always enjoy books that weave recipes into the stories. I assume that others in the series will have recipes also. The author is a chef and she not only loves food, but simply loves life.





    MY RATING SYSTEM

    5 Stars
    Fantastic, couldn't put it down
    4 Stars
    Really Good
    3 Stars
    Enjoyable
    2 Stars
    Just Okay – nothing to write home about
    1 Star
    Rubbish – waste of my money and time. Few books make it to this level, since I usually give up on them if they’re that bad.
    "There is no peace that cannot be found in the present moment." - Tasha Tudor

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    Negin, I'm glad you were able to get to this one! I agree with the 3.5 stars; I actually liked the sequel (Tuscany) better, but the concept and her journey overall inspired me, so I was tolerant of some of the things dryer bits of narrative (and I agree with the "flowery" description as well!).

    I am nearly done with Four Seasons of Rome--had to take a break for a week because I switched cars on the commute and didn't have access to a CD player for a while. It's not the most amazing book, but tolerably good and I continue to like Doerr's style. I finished The Zen of Seeing a week or so ago; it turned out to be perfectly timed, because I started an art class last week and the teacher had us do the same exact drawing activity that the book describes! It felt like kismet.

    Before bed, I've started reading a little bit out of Baking with Kafka by Tom Gould--it was gifted to me at Christmas, and is delightful. Other nights I'll read a few excerpts from Daily Rituals, which I have returned to again after a long pause (I read it from time to time when I need a little inspiration!).

    I've been reading a lot of shorter pieces (fiction & non-fiction) for a project at work, so haven't had a lot of spare time for additional reading. But my main book right now is Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which I'm also reading for work. I've read select chapters from it before, and use it regularly in my teaching, but this is my first time reading the entire book. If you like reading about education and don't mind dense vocab, this might be worth exploring!
    Mama of two lovely ladies: Carina (11) & Madelyn (9).

  3. #3
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    Vicki, did you read all of Marlena de Blasi's books? I can't quite recall. I'm about to start the Tuscany one.
    I will be reading "Four Seasons in Rome".
    I smiled at the Zen book and you having the same art activity in your class!
    "Daily Rituals" is on my shelf and I always think of you when see it. I've browsed through it a bit, but I definitely hope to read it soon. I bought my copy in a bookstore that we often return to in the Miami area (Coral Gables). For some reason. it's hard to find bookstores in most of Miami.
    "There is no peace that cannot be found in the present moment." - Tasha Tudor

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    I read The Godfather of Kathmandu by John Burdett -- one I had picked up at a library sale awhile ago. It's apparently the 4th book (of six) in the Sonchai Jitpleecheep series, but since I don't really get into series, I didn't really care if I read things out of order or started part-way through. I really enjoyed it. An interesting police/crime procedural set in Thailand. Burdett deftly mixes Thai & American modes, mores, & thoughts with various other cultural traditions & backgrounds included too. A murder mystery with a second storyline of drug trafficking that is a bit off the beaten path. This particular book will also intrigue movie buffs. Recommended for fans of international mysteries.

    John Burdett's famed Royal Thai detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is put to the test both as a Buddhist and as a cop as he confronts the most shocking crime of his career.

    A rich American film director has been murdered. It is an intriguing case, and solving it could lead to a promotion for Sonchai, but, as always, he is far more concerned with the state of his karma than he is with his status in the earthly realm. To complicate matters his boss, Colonel Vikorn, has decided to make Sonchai his consigliere in a heroin smuggling operation. Sonchai travels to Kathmandu to meet Vikorn's connection Tietsin, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, and falls under the sway of this dark and charismatic guru.


    The book I'm currently reading, The Illustrious House of Ramires by Eça de Queirós, is just delightful.

    Starred review from Publishers Weekly:

    Slyly funny and richly detailed, this reissue of Quieros's long out-of-print book makes for a delicious introduction to Portugal's greatest novelist. First published in 1900, the year of Quieros's death, it portrays Goncalo Mendes Ramires, the latest in an aristocratic family that predates even the kings of Portugal. In the isolation of the gloomy ancient tower of Santa Ireneia, Goncalo rehearses the feats of derring-do of an uninterrupted line of ancestors whose most recent contribution is himself, ``a graduate who had failed his third year examinations at university.'' Hoping to win some small scholarly reputation and thus secure a political future in the capital, Goncalo sets out to portray (a la Walter Scott), the adventures of one such ancestor. Installments recording the haughty courage and cruelty of his medieval forefather, Tructesindo Ramires, contrast with Goncalo's rather banausic existence, his cowardice, his small acts of noblesse oblige and his questionable apotheosis. Quieros's luxurious prose lends itself well to both the subtle irony of his morality play and the beauty of a decrepit Portuguese estate with its autumn sun, wilting flowers, faded portraits and other reminders of a bloody and powerful past.
    In the first review I linked, I think this paragraph explains why I'm finding this book so delightful:

    At every turn, Gonçalo proves himself to be a perfectly inconsistent hero; at one moment, petty and cruel—a conceited snob and hopeless coward—who just as suddenly turns into a paragon of virtue and compassion, a shining example of humility and noblesse oblige. Yet it’s Gonçalo’s glaring inconsistencies and human frailty that make the nobleman so likeable and the satire ring so funny and true.
    Here's why I think many would enjoy this book:

    In many ways, The House of Ramires is an English novel set in Portugal and written in Portuguese. The characters feel drawn from English Lit 101; the bildungsroman and romance, Fielding, the biting satire with its impoverished aristocrats, nouveau riche heiresses and corrupt politicians, Trollope. Gonçalo’s grandiose ambitions for his Novella, with a capital “N,” sound familiarly like the pretensions of the noblewoman turned lady author by necessity in The Way We Live Now, Lady Carbury, who was “devoted to Literature, always spelling the word with a big L.” Then there’s Barrolo, the kind-hearted country squire and all-around good old chap, later perfected on screen by Nigel Bruce. There are the dowager Lousada sisters, who terrorize the village with their gossip and innuendo like many a patrician biddy in Austen. In addition to these characters, there’s Gonçalo and Gracinha’s English governess who makes a brief appearance in a fond flashback. But most of all, there’s Bento, Gonçalo’s loyal and wise manservant, always the voice of reason in the face of upper-class stupidity; Bento, Jeeves to Gonçalo’s Bertie Wooster avant la lettre. And, then, of course, there’s always Walter Scott.
    This one is highly recommended so far.

    (Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.)
    Celebrate your freedom to read! Read a banned book!

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    I have read two book this past week:

    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Magical realism. 5/5 I am late to this party seeing that it was published in 2011? 2013? One of those two years. I loved this book!! I loved the descriptions, the characters, the writing style, everything about it.

    Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. Mystery. 4/5 This is a two-fold story of goodness: it is an ode to mysteries and it is a mystery within a mystery. I love Horowitz and I loved this book.

    I am now reading:

    You Do You--not sure of the author's name and am too lazy to go in the other room to find out. I picked this up solely because of the title. So far as I can tell the title is the only thing goi g for it.

    Silas Marner by George Elliott. This is my slow read for Feb.

    Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn
    Julia
    mom of 3 -- dd (18), ds (17) and dd (15)

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    Hi friends!

    I'm still reading The Alice Network. I'm enjoying it, just moving slowly. My fault - not the book's!

    Julia, I liked The Night Circus as well. My book group read it a few years ago. Often I'm not too impressed with my book group's selections (I go for the social stuff! ) but that is one that I ended up really enjoying.
    ~eclectic homeschooling mom of 3

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    Another fan of The Night Circus. Still reading This Must Be the Place. It was a busy week and I was too scattered to do much reading.
    IN THE END, ONLY KINDNESS MATTERS
    Mom to 5 girls and 5 furry kids too
    20 Years Homeschooling and still learning

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    I finished The Dean’s Watch, read The Scent of Water and am about to begin The Rosemary Tree, all by Elizabeth Goudge. My dad is having a heart test tomorrow and may need to stay overnight, so I ran by the library today and got a couple of Goudge books in case I need to stay with my mom.
    Wife to David, mom to 9, homeschooling Thomas (19), Abby (15). Grammy to 6 granddaughters and 2 grandsons! Homeschooling since 1986, Rowing since 2000.

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    After I finished The Locked Cupboard, I started another book by the same author, Teddy's Button. This is more of a children's book rather than for teens or adults. It's Lamplighter, so it's another facsimile of the original publication from the 1800s. I'm having trouble settling on what to read right now, so this is a nice little filler book.
    "Ree-bee," Mom to United States Marine ds 21 * artist dd 19 * motion-loving ds 16 * piano-playing ds 11
    "For Miss Minnie loved children and she loved books, and she taught merely by introducing the one to the other." from "A Consent," by Wendell Berry

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    So sweet of you to think of me, Negin! I feel the same way about the Susan Branch books (they always make me think of you!). I've only read Venice and Tuscany from de Blasi's books so far, but I have a few more in my TBR list. I loved the Tuscany book, while I just moderately enjoyed the Venice installment (I think she was still getting her stride in that one). I hope you do as well!
    Mama of two lovely ladies: Carina (11) & Madelyn (9).

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