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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:33 pm 
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jogirl wrote:
Currently I'm reading Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs, but I picked up In Cold Blood from the library today (on the recommendation of this thread!) and I'm really looking forward to it.


I hope you enjoy 'In Cold Blood'!

I'm just going to pick up Kate Atkinson's 'Life After Life', after being on the library waiting list for ages. Has anyone read it? I've heard good things about it, and really hope it lives up to the hype.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:20 pm 
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Madaddam is picking up a bit (halfway through). I really just think I don't like Toby's character, although I don't remember disliking her in The Year of the Flood. Also, I think that all of the little made up brand names that I thought were super clever in the other two books are just annoying to me now. I'm wondering if it's written a little differently, or if I just don't have the patience for it at the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:25 am 
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allularpunk wrote:
Madaddam is picking up a bit (halfway through). I really just think I don't like Toby's character, although I don't remember disliking her in The Year of the Flood. Also, I think that all of the little made up brand names that I thought were super clever in the other two books are just annoying to me now. I'm wondering if it's written a little differently, or if I just don't have the patience for it at the moment.


I just finished it the other night and didn't love it as much as the first two. It definitely has a different tone to it compared to Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood. It's much shorter, too, so I think she didn't develop stories and ideas as much as in the previous two.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:43 am 
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After deleting my goodreads account due to amazon reasons I'm still looking for a better way to update my book list online. Maybe I do need to have a blog in the end. Another one... but then I always dont know if it should be english or german.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:21 am 
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Now reading: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

pizzicato wrote:
Kitteh wrote:
Now listening to: Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy


Next on my TBR list! (ok, maybe not top priority, but very close)

I'm enjoying it, I hope you like it when you get around to it!

VeganinBerlin wrote:
After deleting my goodreads account due to amazon reasons I'm still looking for a better way to update my book list online. Maybe I do need to have a blog in the end. Another one... but then I always dont know if it should be english or german.

I know some people use Library Thing, maybe you could try that instead?

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:25 am 
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Kitteh wrote:
pizzicato wrote:
Kitteh wrote:
Now listening to: Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy


Next on my TBR list! (ok, maybe not top priority, but very close)

I'm enjoying it


That's what I hoped to hear!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:08 am 
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quagga wrote:
allularpunk wrote:
Madaddam is picking up a bit (halfway through). I really just think I don't like Toby's character, although I don't remember disliking her in The Year of the Flood. Also, I think that all of the little made up brand names that I thought were super clever in the other two books are just annoying to me now. I'm wondering if it's written a little differently, or if I just don't have the patience for it at the moment.


I just finished it the other night and didn't love it as much as the first two. It definitely has a different tone to it compared to Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood. It's much shorter, too, so I think she didn't develop stories and ideas as much as in the previous two.


Ok, glad I'm not just being a total grumpus whose tastes have changed over the last three years. I knew I still liked dystopian novels!

(PS If anyone has any recs on that topic, please let me know! I've read a lot of them, but you never know.)

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:09 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:47 pm 
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jennyc wrote:
jogirl wrote:
Currently I'm reading Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs, but I picked up In Cold Blood from the library today (on the recommendation of this thread!) and I'm really looking forward to it.


I hope you enjoy 'In Cold Blood'!

I did really enjoy it. In fact I have neglected almost everything on my "to do" list this weekend in order to finish it!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:41 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
emmalv wrote:
The reason I came here to post though, is that I also picked up and started my first foray into Shirley Jackson: 'The Lottery and Other Stories,' and I'm loving it so far. I'm about a third of the way through and the stories are dark in a really unusual way. Very subtle compared to today's pop culture.
ANNNDDD, if you have a Kindle, right now its $3.28.

I love SJ's style so much. Understated, subtle, very clear and effective with no trace of ego in her work. She's right out of the way and just letting the story operate. The Lottery is my all-time favorite short story. And boy, I've read tons of short stories in my life!
Love Shirley Jackson! The Haunting of Hill House is one of the few books that retains the power to be truly scary no matter how many times you read it. She was a really interesting writer; along with serious novels and short stories, she also published a number of proto-Erma Bombeckesque, housewifey pieces in magazines like the The Ladies Home Journal, but (unsurprisingly) a lot of them have a little sting in the tail.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:13 pm 
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jogirl wrote:
jennyc wrote:
jogirl wrote:
Currently I'm reading Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs, but I picked up In Cold Blood from the library today (on the recommendation of this thread!) and I'm really looking forward to it.


I hope you enjoy 'In Cold Blood'!

I did really enjoy it. In fact I have neglected almost everything on my "to do" list this weekend in order to finish it!


Yes, I think I did the same. If anyone has any recommendations on similar books, please share them.

I just read 'The Haunting of Hill House' last week and was rather scared by it! It was very creepy and atmospheric. I still aren't sure if I liked the ambiguity or not - I think I would have liked a conclusive 'No, there were no ghosts all along it was just [insert other explanation here]'.

As I've been housebound due to a massive storm, I also just finished 'Life After Life'. I really enjoyed the structure of it (every time the main character dies, she goes back to birth and restarts her life, but she isn't entirely aware of it as anything other than deja vu), and thought Atkinson did a good job at avoiding too much repetition - it's hard to keep the premise fresh. The passages about the second world war were very well written in particular. However, I'm still a little flummoxed by the ending and can't quite decide how it all fits together and what it all means. Has anyone else read this?


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:44 pm 
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quagga wrote:
allularpunk wrote:
Madaddam is picking up a bit (halfway through). I really just think I don't like Toby's character, although I don't remember disliking her in The Year of the Flood. Also, I think that all of the little made up brand names that I thought were super clever in the other two books are just annoying to me now. I'm wondering if it's written a little differently, or if I just don't have the patience for it at the moment.


I just finished it the other night and didn't love it as much as the first two. It definitely has a different tone to it compared to Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood. It's much shorter, too, so I think she didn't develop stories and ideas as much as in the previous two.


Toby is mostly just concerned about Zeb and not much else, which is annoying. I also don't like how Ren and Amanda are minor characters, I really liked them in Year of the Flood.

On the other hand, I think Zeb and Adam are Atwood's best male characters so far. Sometimes I think she writes men like a lot of male writers write women, they're often one dimensional.

Also I'm almost done and I DO wish I reread at least Year of the Flood before, I can't remember minor characters or some things being referenced. I think I"m enjoying it more than I enjoyed Oryx and Crake, which took me a while to read, but I definitely loved Year of the Flood more. This feels more like just getting Zeb's back story while tying up loose ends from the first two books.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:54 pm 
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I've read one chapter of David Niven's The Moon's a Balloon and I already like him better than Errol Flynn. Only one chapter in and I can already tell he's a stellar ranconteur. I sense an amusing and entertaining read ahead.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Desdemona wrote:
seitanicverses wrote:
emmalv wrote:
The reason I came here to post though, is that I also picked up and started my first foray into Shirley Jackson: 'The Lottery and Other Stories,' and I'm loving it so far. I'm about a third of the way through and the stories are dark in a really unusual way. Very subtle compared to today's pop culture.
ANNNDDD, if you have a Kindle, right now its $3.28.

I love SJ's style so much. Understated, subtle, very clear and effective with no trace of ego in her work. She's right out of the way and just letting the story operate. The Lottery is my all-time favorite short story. And boy, I've read tons of short stories in my life!
Love Shirley Jackson! The Haunting of Hill House is one of the few books that retains the power to be truly scary no matter how many times you read it. She was a really interesting writer; along with serious novels and short stories, she also published a number of proto-Erma Bombeckesque, housewifey pieces in magazines like the The Ladies Home Journal, but (unsurprisingly) a lot of them have a little sting in the tail.

Yes, I've heard of her Erma Bombeckish writings! I haven't actually read them. I think her book (that has Savages in the title--like Life Among the Savages or something) might be in that vein. I think it's a tongue-in-cheek book inspired by her children. Don't quote me though but I read that somewhere in a biographical blurb about her. Even though she's probably more famous for ghostly eerie stuff and that's what I've read of hers, something about her writing even in that realm hints at a really sharp and wicked sense of humor that I could see applied to other writerly topics and genres...

I think we were talking in this thread or another thread about favorite opening paragraphs in books and a lot of folks love the opening of Lolita, which I think is pretty special as well, but I think my favorite opening novel paragraph is Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. Or it's definitely one of them. I think I remember it mostly as one of the most stellar examples for how powerful atmospheric setting can be in writing...

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:13 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
Desdemona wrote:
Love Shirley Jackson! The Haunting of Hill House is one of the few books that retains the power to be truly scary no matter how many times you read it. She was a really interesting writer; along with serious novels and short stories, she also published a number of proto-Erma Bombeckesque, housewifey pieces in magazines like the The Ladies Home Journal, but (unsurprisingly) a lot of them have a little sting in the tail.

Yes, I've heard of her Erma Bombeckish writings! I haven't actually read them. I think her book (that has Savages in the title--like Life Among the Savages or something) might be in that vein. I think it's a tongue-in-cheek book inspired by her children. Don't quote me though but I read that somewhere in a biographical blurb about her. Even though she's probably more famous for ghostly eerie stuff and that's what I've read of hers, something about her writing even in that realm hints at a really sharp and wicked sense of humor that I could see applied to other writerly topics and genres...
Yes, it's called Life Among the Savages, and it's about raising four kids in Bennington, VT after moving there for her husband's academic job. Deceptively breezy with a vein of darkness running through it.
seitanicverses wrote:
I think we were talking in this thread or another thread about favorite opening paragraphs in books and a lot of folks love the opening of Lolita, which I think is pretty special as well, but I think my favorite opening novel paragraph is Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. Or it's definitely one of them. I think I remember it mostly as one of the most stellar examples for how powerful atmospheric setting can be in writing...
Oh, my goodness, yes - it's amazing!

The opening lines:
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

And the closing ones:
Mrs. Sanderson was enormously relieved to hear that Dr. Montague and his party had left Hill House; she would have turned them out, she told the family lawyer, if Dr. Montague had shown any sign of wanting to stay. Theodora‟s friend, mollified and contrite, was delighted to see Theodora back so soon; Luke took himself off to Paris, where his aunt fervently hoped he would stay for a while. Dr. Montague finally retired from active scholarly pursuits after the cool, almost contemptuous reception of his preliminary article analyzing the psychic phenomena of Hill House. Hill House itself, not sane, stood against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, its walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

{{{SHIVER}}} I read it for the first time when I was about 10, and it's still one of my top go-to options when I want to be creeped out (see also Henry James' The Turn of the Screw). Maybe time for a re-read, especially with Halloween coming on!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:22 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:
quagga wrote:
allularpunk wrote:
Madaddam is picking up a bit (halfway through). I really just think I don't like Toby's character, although I don't remember disliking her in The Year of the Flood. Also, I think that all of the little made up brand names that I thought were super clever in the other two books are just annoying to me now. I'm wondering if it's written a little differently, or if I just don't have the patience for it at the moment.


I just finished it the other night and didn't love it as much as the first two. It definitely has a different tone to it compared to Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood. It's much shorter, too, so I think she didn't develop stories and ideas as much as in the previous two.


Toby is mostly just concerned about Zeb and not much else, which is annoying. I also don't like how Ren and Amanda are minor characters, I really liked them in Year of the Flood.

On the other hand, I think Zeb and Adam are Atwood's best male characters so far. Sometimes I think she writes men like a lot of male writers write women, they're often one dimensional.

Also I'm almost done and I DO wish I reread at least Year of the Flood before, I can't remember minor characters or some things being referenced. I think I"m enjoying it more than I enjoyed Oryx and Crake, which took me a while to read, but I definitely loved Year of the Flood more. This feels more like just getting Zeb's back story while tying up loose ends from the first two books.


I'm enjoying reading Zeb and Adam's backstory the most out of all of it. Toby's constant jealousy of every single woman Zeb encounters and has ever encountered is highly tiresome. I also just guess I don't feel like this book has much to do with the other two yet. I mean, yeah, we're learning about life leading up to the flood through the eyes of one of the stronger characters, but I wish something was going on in the present that was interesting. It's also kind of repetitive, what with Toby's recreation of Zeb's stories to the Crakers, which I find boring. I wish she would have just...told Zeb and Adam's stories. Minus Toby. It's really rare that I dislike a main character in a book this much. It's also taking me forever to read since I'm not loving it. I need to just power through and move on.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:56 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
I've read one chapter of David Niven's The Moon's a Balloon and I already like him better than Errol Flynn. Only one chapter in and I can already tell he's a stellar ranconteur. I sense an amusing and entertaining read ahead.

If you enjoy it (I really did), the sequel, Bring On The Empty Horses is also excellent.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:18 pm 
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allularpunk wrote:
I mean, yeah, we're learning about life leading up to the flood through the eyes of one of the stronger characters, but I wish something was going on in the present that was interesting. It's also kind of repetitive, what with Toby's recreation of Zeb's stories to the Crakers, which I find boring.

I know when I read Atwood's The Robber Bride, there's about a hundred or two hundred pages of background I skip over when re reading. I mean, I read it all the first time but you know, backstory, yadda yadda. This is what I dislike about reading fiction novels. This need to fill in backstory and stuff can sometimes be dull!

jogirl wrote:
seitanicverses wrote:
I've read one chapter of David Niven's The Moon's a Balloon and I already like him better than Errol Flynn. Only one chapter in and I can already tell he's a stellar ranconteur. I sense an amusing and entertaining read ahead.

If you enjoy it (I really did), the sequel, Bring On The Empty Horses is also excellent.

I plan on reading that next!

Desdemona wrote:
The opening lines:
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

And the closing ones:
Mrs. Sanderson was enormously relieved to hear that Dr. Montague and his party had left Hill House; she would have turned them out, she told the family lawyer, if Dr. Montague had shown any sign of wanting to stay. Theodora‟s friend, mollified and contrite, was delighted to see Theodora back so soon; Luke took himself off to Paris, where his aunt fervently hoped he would stay for a while. Dr. Montague finally retired from active scholarly pursuits after the cool, almost contemptuous reception of his preliminary article analyzing the psychic phenomena of Hill House. Hill House itself, not sane, stood against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, its walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

{{{SHIVER}}} I read it for the first time when I was about 10, and it's still one of my top go-to options when I want to be creeped out (see also Henry James' The Turn of the Screw). Maybe time for a re-read, especially with Halloween coming on!
She liked it so much she used it to open and close. Well, that was wise because it's that good! I love Turn of the Screw, too. The circa 1961 film The Innocents (starring Deborah Kerr) is a good adaptation of stuff in that book. Although I don't think it's entirely true to the original but a story based upon it, sort of thing. It's been too long since I've read and seen both.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:39 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
I love Turn of the Screw, too. The circa 1961 film The Innocents (starring Deborah Kerr) is a good adaptation of stuff in that book. Although I don't think it's entirely true to the original but a story based upon it, sort of thing. It's been too long since I've read and seen both.
Yes! It's not a 100% faithful adaptation, but it's really good; my partner shows it to his students when he teaches the novella. The Alejandro Amenábar film The Others (another one of the very few films I find genuinely creepy) also owes a major debt to Turn of the Screw.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:47 pm 
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Desdemona wrote:
seitanicverses wrote:
I love Turn of the Screw, too. The circa 1961 film The Innocents (starring Deborah Kerr) is a good adaptation of stuff in that book. Although I don't think it's entirely true to the original but a story based upon it, sort of thing. It's been too long since I've read and seen both.
Yes! It's not a 100% faithful adaptation, but it's really good; my partner shows it to his students when he teaches the novella. The Alejandro Amenábar film The Others (another one of the very few films I find genuinely creepy) also owes a major debt to Turn of the Screw.

If that's the Nicole Kidman one, yeah, I enjoy that movie. And I remember when I first watched it I found it TOTScrewish. Now I'll prolly start reading TOTS again soon. I was just thinking yesterday that October's coming which means SPOOKY MOVIES AND STORIES ALL MONTH! Yay!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:04 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
Desdemona wrote:
seitanicverses wrote:
I love Turn of the Screw, too. The circa 1961 film The Innocents (starring Deborah Kerr) is a good adaptation of stuff in that book. Although I don't think it's entirely true to the original but a story based upon it, sort of thing. It's been too long since I've read and seen both.
Yes! It's not a 100% faithful adaptation, but it's really good; my partner shows it to his students when he teaches the novella. The Alejandro Amenábar film The Others (another one of the very few films I find genuinely creepy) also owes a major debt to Turn of the Screw.

If that's the Nicole Kidman one, yeah, I enjoy that movie. And I remember when I first watched it I found it TOTScrewish. Now I'll prolly start reading TOTS again soon. I was just thinking yesterday that October's coming which means SPOOKY MOVIES AND STORIES ALL MONTH! Yay!

Now I want tots.

I read Death in the Priory, which is a true crime novel about an unsolved Victorian murder. It was OK. The author solved the case, so to speak, though it was pretty obvious who the murderer was.

Now I'm reading Satan's Circus, about the only cop in American history to be executed for murder. Another non-fiction/true crime, it takes place in NYC (mostly midtown Manhattan) during the 1890s. So far, it's much better than DitP.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Can i just say, with everyone wanting to see what i'm reading on my FB feed, I wanted to put Sentence 5 of Page 52 of Bonk, which was a passage about maybe Masters and Johnson using pyrex glass cylinders to widen young women's vaginas. or maybe it was the artificial coitus machine. oh, the sad dilemma of maintaining a FB account mostly for family contacts.....

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:30 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:46 pm
Posts: 8393
Location: Brasil
Can i just say, with everyone wanting to see what i'm reading on my FB feed, I wanted to put Sentence 5 of Page 52 of Bonk, which was a passage about maybe Masters and Johnson using pyrex glass cylinders to widen young women's vaginas. or maybe it was the artificial coitus machine. oh, the sad dilemma of maintaining a FB account mostly for family contacts.....

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:48 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 3862
jennyc wrote:
jogirl wrote:
Currently I'm reading Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs, but I picked up In Cold Blood from the library today (on the recommendation of this thread!) and I'm really looking forward to it.


I hope you enjoy 'In Cold Blood'!

I'm just going to pick up Kate Atkinson's 'Life After Life', after being on the library waiting list for ages. Has anyone read it? I've heard good things about it, and really hope it lives up to the hype.


Yes, I loved it. Love everything she writes, but that one was particularly good.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:00 am 
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Inflexitarian
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Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 3:51 am
Posts: 730
Location: Cambridge England
I am sitting at work and until a moment or two ago I was reading

Clouds of Witness ... Dorothy L Sayers

it is lunchtime here, I am not just loafing with my Kindle next to me in an open drawer ... oh, now that I think of it, that is a good idea ...

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