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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:10 pm 
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You'll find some Zevon lyrics in some of his books, but no credit given to WZ. Brookmyre's sleazy like that. I stopped reading him after "A Big Boy Did It and Got Away" - it's almost a terrorist manual. I think it was being written about the time 9/11 happened, which made it seem ever so inappropriate.

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:21 am 
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That doesn't sound too clever, Lucy - but I'll give him one more go on the strength of his last book.

By complete contrast, I'm currently reading 'Grumpy Old Rockstar' by Rick Wakeman! Whether or not you like his music, Rick's a great storyteller and he's led quite a rock and roll life...!

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:51 pm 
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We finished listening to "Wolfe Hall" by Hilary Mantel, and are now listening to the second book in the trilogy, "Bring Up the Bodies." We both like this one, although not as well as the first; I think it's because this puts a much greater emphasis on revenge, and it isn't going to be pleasant. But the first book was nothing short of brilliant. I can't recommend it strongly enough.

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:08 am 
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Finally got to the end of 'Umbrella' by Will Self, which was on the shortlist for the Man Booker prize, but beaten to it by 'Bring Up the Bodies'. I chose it having read 'The Book of Dave' which I thought was brilliant; Umbrella is a completely different kettle of fish. It's been called a stream-of-consciousness novel, having no paragraphs or chapters and a narrative that slides between characters and time zones at the whim of the author - often within the same sentence, let alone the same page. You can almost see Self with a smug grin on his face shouting "come on, keep up...!"
I found it a bit heavy going, but when it works, it's more than worth the effort.
It follows the history of a particular lunatic asylum/psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of London, through the eyes of three or four main characters and their relationships to one of the patients; stretching across the last hundred years of its existence, finally being closed down and sold off for conversion into 'luxury apartments'!
It resonates with me, as where I live in South London there were several similar institutions; the Victorians always built them about 25 miles from the centre of London - just far enough away(!) - my mum worked in two of them and I got a summer job in one while I was at college. All closed now, the last of the patients farmed out to smaller 'care in the community' homes and the buildings, parts of which are often listed, are indeed flats and housing.

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:18 am 
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My Aunt Josephine was in the infamous Byberry asylum, just outside Philadelphia, for 25 years until advances in medications let her re-join the real world. It, too, was finally shut down. It must have been a hideous place to be.

I just can't get into Will Self. There are some things WZ liked that are beyond me. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:04 am 
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Just finished Carole King's memoir, "A Natural Woman." I enjoyed it, using a postcard from Julie as a bookmark. Now I've picked up a library book by Geoff Nicholson, "The Lost Art of Walking."

I love this description from page 7: "By some accounts, walking itself was a series of falls, a precarious balancing act that had the walker standing on one leg for most of the time, constantly pitching himself forward, transferring energy and weight in a reckless and dangerous manner, avoiding disaster only by constantly getting a foot down in the very nick of time."

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:20 pm 
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Recently finished "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kanheman. It puts forth a theory about how we think, dividing it into two systems. One is fast and "intuitive" (and often, although not always, wrong) and the second requires more work (and yes, our brains are lazy and like to take the easy way out). Not as heavy as I'd been afriad it would be, it's fascinating, convincing and benefits from an author who is quite charming. I strongly recommend it.

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:05 pm 
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I just finished the latest John Harvey, "Good Bait" and have started "Caravan of Thieves" - a first novel by David Rich, mostly a screenwriter. So far, so good. I went to request Hiaasen's "Bad Monkey" from the library, but the waiting list is over 300 requests long.

I'm not sure how they do it, but I bought the hardback from Amazon for only $14.99. Maybe it's a 'book club' version. I'm going to save it & read it when I run away from home for the weekend of Aug. 3rd.

Now I'm going to the library's website to see if I can request Charlene's recommendation...

-- Lucy, avoiding cleaning the bathroom - both mine and the cats'

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:45 pm 
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We listened to Bad Monkey. It's OK. I'll be interested to hear your take on it, Lucy.

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:24 pm 
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I was pretty deep into it beforel I laughed out loud. The whole concept was bizarre and worthy of south Florida, but there wasn't much of "usual" little inanities that are frequently scattered throughout a Hiaasen book.

I was at a hotel on a lake, so I took the book outside with me. Sat in the gazebo, took it into the restaurant with me, sat on a bench on the dock near some fishermen...and that's when I started LOL'ing. I had to leave - I think I might've been scaring the fish away and I thought of Hiaasen telling WZ, "You're spooking the bonefish! You're spooking the bonefish!"

Also this weekend, I finished Rita Mae Brown's "Dolley" - mostly taken from Mrs. Madison's diaries - and continued where I left off in Mark Twain's "Roughing It."

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:48 pm 
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I'm adding e-books as we have some looooong flights coming up. I've never read an Iain Banks. Pianofighter, do you have a suggestion for a first book? I am going to get "It's All Fun and Games ..,, btw.

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:37 am 
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Hi Charlene - I would start off with 'The Wasp Factory' - that's the one that hooked me in. I really liked 'Espedair Street' too, although it doesn't often get a mention. I've just finished his last book, 'The Quarry'. A bit like those old Agatha Christie's (or the film Peter's Friends) where a bunch of people turn up to find the answers to various questions - except that in this case only one person dies. Great characters and dialogue as always.

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:29 pm 
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I'm reading Joyce Carol Oates' latest: The Accursed. 667 pages of Gothic weirdness in Princeton, NJ, 1905-1906, with appearances by Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Upton Sinclair & Jack London.

Demons! Abducted Brides taken to Hell! Subsequent Escape! Mutant Babies! Children turned to stone! With less than 200 pages to go, the vampire shows up!! People who may or may not be dead!!! Poisonous flowers mistaken for calla lilies! (and then a guy goes nuts from the poison!)

(I want to know what drugs she's on.) I read a review of it by Stephen King and he approves of the book. Perhaps it's not as weird as I make it seem. Apparently, it all ties together at the end in an unsuspected way, which he, as reviewer, wouldn't reveal.

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:11 am 
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Just finished 'All the Madmen' by Clinton Heylin. It's a fascinating snapshot of a particular period of British music, centred on six musicians and the premise that their work at that time was largely influenced by / a result of / their association with madness and depression. Heylin is a master of research and I find him very readable. The period 1967 to 1973 is close to my heart and most of the musicians he has chosen are among my favourites – Syd Barrett, Nick Drake, David Bowie, Ray Davies, Peter Green and Pete Townshend – which probably accounts for why I liked the book and many of the 'critics' did not. Whether you agree with all his arguments or not, he makes a decent fist of his case and links the strands together well. There are one or two clunky descriptions and turns of phrase, but overall I enjoyed it.

Posting this, I noticed that an earlier recommendation of mine (Umbrella) also featured asylums and psychiatric hospitals - a complete coincidence - hey nurse, not so tight with that straitjacket...

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 Post subject: Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:39 pm 
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My brand new copy of Pearls Falls Fast, autographed by Stephan Pastis.
THANKS LUCY!!!!!!!


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