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ginamonge

ginamonge

Currently reading

White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India
William Dalrymple
Every Eye
Isobel English
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Andrew Solomon
How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate
Wendy Moore
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
David Sedaris
A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

The Age of American Unreason

The Age of American Unreason - Susan Jacoby Couldn't finish this one. I'll try picking it up later!

Lost Horizon: A Novel

Lost Horizon - James Hilton I couldn't get into this one!

The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House - Delightfully creepy!!

The Historian

The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova I really loved the story at the beginning...it was a page-turner! But the ending was anti-climactic and rushed. The "library of evil" was stretching things a little bit--that made me laugh! It just seemed to cater to readers...since we like to read, it would make sense that Dracula is an academic...what?

Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford

Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford - Julia Fox This is a fascinating story of the sister-in-law of Anne Boleyn. The one thing I didn't like about it was the format of the book--although it's non-fiction, it reads like a novel. The author uses language like "In fact, as Jane knew only too well..." or "...a woman to whom Catherine had contemptuously donated a damask gown." It made me wonder, "How does the author know that?" I feel that there was a level of emotionalism forced onto the story that was only speculation. But the surviving accounts of this time are few and far between, so it makes sense that the author did that. She made a good argument (based on writings of the time) for Jane's actions and the events as she described it did seem plausible. I didn't know a lot about this time in British history, so it was quite interesting (and horrifying).

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets - What a cute book! Very enjoyable read--about a young woman (Penelope) growing up near London around 1955. Her father died in the war, and she and her mother live in their old, huge house that was taken over during the war and is falling apart because they don't have the money to repair it. The story is also about her friendship with Charlotte, who wants to design clothing, and Charlotte's cousin Harry, who is a magician. The characters were all very interesting and I didn't want the book to end!

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day - Winifred Watson Quick read--very charming book...I liked the movie, but the book was even better!

Collections of Nothing

Collections of Nothing - William Davies King This was a very interesting book--basically about this man's collection of stuff that no one else finds valuable. It was a bit dry for me, and not very well organized. When I finished the book, I wondered what the point of it was (maybe that's what he was trying to accomplish, since it's called "Collections of Nothing"?).

The Hundred Secret Senses

The Hundred Secret Senses - Amy Tan I couldn't get into this one...I read the first quarter of the book and decided to stop.

La Cart: Secret Lives of Grocery Shoppers

A la Cart: The Secret Lives of Grocery Shoppers - Hillary Carlip This was a very quick read--more of an artsy-coffee-table-book than something you would read before you go to bed. The book has a bizarre and quirky premise--the author has been collecting people's discarded grocery lists for the last several years. She picked 24 or 26 of her favorites and made up a story about the person, complete with picture (all of the pictures are her, dressed up as these people--very bizarrre!!). It was a very original idea, and it was a funny book! I was only disappointed it didn't contain more grocery lists--I would have liked it if she had included an index with other grocery lists she'd found, so we could draw our own conclusions about them!

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World - Eric Weiner This was a fun book! It made me think a lot about what happiness means, what makes a culture happier than another, and I learned about some countries I didn't know much about. It was very funny!

Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Gayle F. Wald I just was writing a thoughtful review and it got deleted... :(Sister Rosetta Tharpe was an amazing musician and an incredible performer. Most of her performing was done between the 1940s and the 1970s, and most people today have never heard of her. I think part of the reason is that she didn't fit readily into one category. She was a black woman who sang gospel and played the electric guitar. She was a pioneer in rock-and-roll--Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard all mentioned her as one of their main influences. I believe this is the only biography out there about Rosetta. Because Rosetta was such a great performer and spent most of her life entertaining, she wasn't very good about telling people how she really felt about things--that's one thing I would have liked to have learned more about from this book. I don't think she was very literate either, so she didn't keep a diary or write lots of letters. It would have been interesting to hear from her perspective what her life was like, and why she made some of the decisions she did (in the interviews she gave, the stories didn't always agree with each other, or the facts changed over time). The book was a little bit dry at times, but I'm glad someone wrote a biography of her. It's a shame that she's not better known now and that she wasn't properly appreciated in her time--her grave in Philadelphia has no gravestone.There are a few videos on YouTube of Sister Rosetta's performances--check them out if you're interested.

Ballistics: Poems

Ballistics - Billy Collins My favorite poem in this collection is "Hippos on Holiday"!

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery This was an enjoyable read! Originally in French, but recently translated into English, it's about a concierge and a 12-year-old girl who live in the same building. They're both intellectual, but they try to hide it from everyone (how very French). The book is all about their relationships with other people who live in that building, and their relationship with each other. I really didn't like the ending (also very French...), but the rest of the book was cute and quite funny!

Baking with Julia: Sift, Knead, Flute, Flour and Savor the Joys of Baking with America's Best...

Baking with Julia: Sift, Knead, Flute, Flour, And Savor... - Julia Child, Gentl and Hyers I recently made the Semolina Bread recipe from this book--it was fabulous!!

And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie No matter how many times I read this book, it's still really creepy every time!! It's a very well written story--the plot twists are ingenious!