What are you reading now?

Forest Nymph

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I'm about to start the third in Margaret Atwood's Madd Addam trilogy. I read the first two during the month of July. I've also been doing readings for my first grad school class intermittently all throughout the summer. I've made a lot of progress and have just two or three academic articles left (I read a non-fiction book, eight academic articles, an obituary, and watched a documentary so far) and have also made progress with the reading journal we have to keep for our camping trip "classes" later this month.
 
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Mbeth

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I’m reading “The River” by Peter Heller. I highly recommend it! I almost finished it last night before I fell asleep, and had dreams about it all night. I can’t wait to finish it today.
 

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Book of Dust
(Volume One)

By Phillip Pullman

I just learned that His Dark Materials is being made into a TV show on HBO. I think it might be an attempt to capture some of the Games Of Throne audience.

While looking up some stuff on His Dark Materials, I discovered a few related books that I hadn't read. The first one was the Book of Dust. This is a prequel to His Dark Materials. It ended at a good place but with a "to be continued" and I just checked and a sequel will be published in the fall. Not sure if there will be another book after that.

I loved the Book of Dust. It takes place around 10 or 12 years before His Dark Materials. Pullman is pretty good at writing children into his books and this book has two teenage protagonists. If you haven't read His Dark Materials you might want to start there, or just wait for the TV show. but The Book of Dust, being a prequel, won't have any spoilers.

I read all of His Dark Materials back when they were new. About 20 years ago. In case you missed His Dark Materials when it was first published here is a quick description.

His Dark Materials is a fantasy trilogy by Phillip Pullman.
Twenty years ago it was super popular with teenagers. I think some of that was timing, as children who grew up with Harry Potter wanted something more "grown-up" to read.

The publisher marketed it as YA, and the main protagonist is a child. But I don't think it was overlooked by adult fantasy readers. The author, when writing it, was not intending it for a teen audience. But it was a big fad among kids for a while.

Some of the fantasy elements of the books were very unique and imaginative. People's souls are visible and take the shape of an animal. There are flying witches and armored polar bears.

One of the book's themes is very critical of organized religion. in the books, the Catholic Church is pretty readily identifiable. Many religious groups came out against the books. I believe some libraries banned it and there may have been a book burning or two. Of course, that kind of publicity made it only more popular with teenagers.

Being that it was super popular with teens a movie deal was struck. the movie was called the Golden Compass and pretty much told the story in the first book. I believe there were plans to make all the books into the movies.

I saw the movie and thought it was great. Lots of CGI - but well done. And a great cast. But the movie got mixed reviews and didn't do well at the box office. (I believe Christian groups called for boycotts. In fact, I think I remember having trouble seeing it in a theatre). If I remember right, among the book's lovers, there was a lot of criticism that the movie didn't follow the source material close enough - but I felt that was unfair criticism. In fact, I liked the movie a lot.

Here is the theatrical trailer



Oh! and here is a preview of the HBO TV show. It looks terrific.

 

Forest Nymph

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Just picked up a pricey copy of All That the Rain Promises and More ..by David Arora. It's supposed to be THE guide for mushroom foraging in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

This lady was like no you want that book if you are planning to find food (rather than study for a botany class).

This is a new goal of mine. If I'm doing sustainable food systems I feel ashamed that I can't forage for more than blackberries and oxalis and rubus parviflorus. That's a nice snack during a walk but it's not survival skills.

I know some people think it's not vegan but I would like to also learn more about bee keeping on the argument that well treated honey bees are essential to the continuation of bees thriving and human survival.
 
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Lou

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I just finished his The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse, it was excellent.

Emma JC
Well, I took Emma's recommendation and read the Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse.
It was sweet, funny, sad, thoughtful, and uplifting.

No crime or mystery which was a little unusual for McCall-Smith. and it was Historical Fiction also unusual for Smith.

It takes place during and right after WWII. Mostly in rural England but also in Germany and Holland.

This time period is often used in books, movies, and TV shows so I don't suppose the research was very hard. But I felt that the historical stuff was pretty accurate. As usual, the characters were the best part. I also think Smith is great at subtle humor and contemplation.
 

Emma JC

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Holy Cow! by Sarah MacDonald. And I'm loving it :)
I will be interested to know your thoughts on this book as their are a number of bad reviews regarding the author's attitude.

Emma JC
 
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Emma JC

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I’m reading “The River” by Peter Heller. I highly recommend it! I almost finished it last night before I fell asleep, and had dreams about it all night. I can’t wait to finish it today.
Thank you for this referral. I picked it up at the library and read it. All my favourite themes, survival, intrigue, mystery, drama....

Emma JC
 

HappyRoxy

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I will be interested to know your thoughts on this book as their are a number of bad reviews regarding the author's attitude.

Emma JC
So far, I am finding it really engaging. She has such hateful, jaded views on India at the moment. I can only wonder if I would feel the same, after getting pneumonia and almost dying, losing my hair and seeing such indifference towards human life in one of the most polluted cities in the world. What she writes makes me scared to want to visit a country that I have always wanted to visit! However, I am looking forward to (hopefully) reading a change in her attitude as she moves through a time of self-discovery and awakening.
 

Emma JC

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Travelling can be very much a culture shock for most people that have not experienced abject poverty.

I feel it should be mandatory for everyone to do so in their teens or early twenties so that they appreciate their own living place more and have compassion for others from all cultures, countries and even from poorer areas in our own countries.

Emma JC
 
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HappyRoxy

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Travelling can be very much a culture shock for most people that have not experienced abject poverty.

I feel it should be mandatory for everyone to do so in their teens or early twenties so that they appreciate their own living place more and have compassion for others from all cultures, countries and even from poorer areas in our own countries.

Emma JC
I look at my own 2 step-children who live with an attitude of entitlement. They are only 12 and 14, yet have no idea how truly blessed they are compared to many other children their own age on the planet. Not that it compares to a 3rd world country....but taking them down Hollywood Blvd last January was such a huge eye-opener for them. They had grandiose visions of what "Hollywood" was going to look like......imagine their shock to see so many homeless people. I hope one day they can gain an appreciation of how blessed they are.
 
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