Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Reading: June Edition

I have always been a reader, and in the summer, when I have more disposable time, I read more. A friend from work was giving away books near the end of the school year and since I'd never read The Lovely Bones back when it was popular, and it was among her offerings, I took it. I needed a paperback for my trip, something I could leave in the ship's library when finished (possibly in exchange for something else).

I'd been put off by the description of this book; it sounded like it would be gruesome and horrible. I was wrong. It was well-written and interesting. I am glad that I read it.

Another friend from work (who must remain nameless!) mentioned this book to me the day before we left for our trip. I am so out of touch with popular culture that I'd never even heard  of it, much less how controversial it was! She assured me that I'd not be disappointed, so I went bought it in paperback with the promise to share it with her on my return.

It was everything I'd anticipated. And more! Little matter that the story and characters are all preposterous and that the writing is nothing short of terrible. It is salacious, tantalizing, and titillating (you should pardon the expression) and my nameless friend was right.
After finishing volume one, I thought I'd move right along to volume two. But by then I was in a Swedish-speaking country visiting villages where there were no bookstores. And even if there had been, an English book would have been very expensive. What to do! What to do!

We had taken the iPad along, so I went on line, bought the Kindle app, and downloaded the book. 

I'm here to report that I like the Kindle app much more than I'd anticipated; volume two, not so much. The writing was worse (if possible), the characters and situations even more ridiculous, and, worst of all, there was disappointingly more plot and less salaciousness! In no hurry for volume three.

Since I now had the Kindle, new material was no problem! I had read The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose when they had first come out and liked them, so when I saw that a third volume was now in print, I had looked at it at Barnes and Noble before leaving home. It was a huge tome of a thing, hardback, and nearly thirty dollars. So I left it there.

Downloading it for the Kindle was weightless and less expensive. I began reading it, but found I couldn't concentrate on the various characters and situations, and set it aside. I will probably go back to the beginning and start reading it again tonight. There is no reason to think I won't like it.

From the time I saw the television series "Brideshead Revisited" more than thirty years ago (how the time has flown!), I knew I wanted to read it. But until now, I never did.

My turn to pick came around for our monthly book discussion group, and I chose it for June, and read it since returning home. It does not disappoint! I loved it, and am eager for our discussion. It is a very rich book with wonderful characters, humorous and serious by turns. 

On Thursday I'll find out how the others liked it.

When I was having trouble with The Wild Rose, and newly excited about the Kindle, I wandered around Amazon to see what else would strike my fancy. I had heard the Irving had a new novel out, and I've liked everything else that he's written. I downloaded In One Person and it is classic Irving: wrestlers, sexual unconventionality, mother-son situations, wonderful relationships -- the only Irving element that is missing (so far, and I'm on the last chapter) is bears!

A young male is more accepting of his own bisexuality than his family is (though they should not have been surprised by it!), and the story is set in the early years of the AIDS horror. An excellent read.



5 comments:

Pat said...

LOVE downloading books with the Kindle app on the iPad!

I read Lovely Bones a number of years ago when my daught4er gave it to me. Highly recommend it. Shades of Gray? Could not even get through the 1st book. I like the suggestion to read Brideshead Revisited -- will need to follow up on that one.

Bonnie said...

I, too, am glad I read Lovely Bones. Thanks for the other book suggestions. It will give me some ideas of what to look for on my next trip to the library.

Janet O. said...

If you think you are out of touch with popular culture--the only book of these that I had even heard of before was Brideshead Revisited. Oh, wait--I seem to recall someone mentioning Fifty Shades of Gray, but I can't recall what they said about it. I'll go crawl back into my hole and read something. : )

Salem Stitcher said...

Thanks for all the book ideas. I've been running out. I'm not interested in reading the Shades of Gray books for some reason. I'm putting the rest of them on my wish list though!

AnnieO said...

The Lovely Bones is one of my new favorite books. My daughter bought it and I read it afterwards, then passed it on to my mom :) I love sharing books with my girls--they got me into The Hunger Games series too. The Fifty Shades books are making the rounds of my Bunco group; so far, I haven't sipped that Koolaid.