with a new book i've just started.
that was written before frances mayes ever had an inkling of an idea about the sun in tuscany.
before most go-buy-a-wreck-in-italy-and-renovate memoirs burst on the scene.
and i'm enjoying it.
i just finished this:
was terribly wonderfully frighteningly entertaining.
but probably not for the more discriminating reader.
which i am not.
it rained all weekend. felt good to wake up to a bright glittery morning. cool, sunny, breezy. big thoughts drifted in and out of the open window of my mind. small thoughts too. i let them come and go.
i wrapped up TICKET TO VENICE in a nice neat package over the weekend so as of NOW i am a free agent.
with only one ongoing investigation regarding a seam ripper someone stole off my desk.
as soon as i crack that case i'm good.
what are YOU reading? anything good? confess.
Shar Ulm says
Hi. I don’t mean to brag but I’ve read six books this month (Jan.) My dear aunt Fern gave me an old stack and I’ve scarfed most of them up. After reading V is For Vengeance, Sue Grafton’s newest, it was on to Something Wicked This Way Comes (Bradbury);The Shelter Year (Jeffrey Ford); Perfect Angel (Margolis), A Place of Safety (Caroline Graham), and Mr. Murder by Dean Koontz. All good and come recommended! Really.
Deb L. says
I rarely read a book twice but have read MoonTide by Dawn Tripp twice in a month. Poetry in prose… It will give you a glimpse of early days of Cape Cod (Massachusetts). Also The Lotus Eaters (can’t recall author but newly written) about a journalist in Vietnam during the war. Both highly recommended!! Deb
Playing Hopscotch With Heather Willms says
Through the Glass by Shannon Maroney. Made my top 10 when I did not think anything could be budged off. The true story of a teacher who is contacted by the police while at a conference to tell her that husband has been arrested for kidnapping and abusing two women. A compassionate and heartwrenching journey through the justice system.
Barbara Hagerty says
….and @Diane: I finished Henrietta Lacks recently. GREAT book! Unbelievable what the family went through!
Barbara Hagerty says
I just found all three books of Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy at a used bookstore for $2 each, so I poured myself a glass of wine and curled up with book one earlier tonight. I’ve wanted to read this trilogy for years, but truth be told, period epics are not my usual read, so I kept forgetting to look for it when I was in shops. But I’m not a discriminating reader, either. In fact, you could call me a book whore. So you can find me reading Proust, Stephen King, Dostoevsky, almost any graphic novel and the backside of a cereal box all in any given day.
Actually, I couldn’t PUT it down 🙂 No pouts were included.
See? This is why we all connect with you and with Dispatch…did we all come from the same pod or something??? Ditto to the translated mystery writers, Jo Nesbo lately my can’t put down, but so many others, mentioned and more. Ditto Louise Penney mysteries. Nothing scarier ever than King’s Christine (much better than the movie) and Misery, the book (scarier than the movie, if you can image!) Bill Bryson is the funniest travel writer on the earth. Anytime you need a giggle or uplift just pick up any one of his books. So here’s my entry, a book I knew nothing about but couldn’t pout down. (I usually read 4-5 books at a time, but I left them all in the pile until I finished this one. Best characters, you’ll love them: Carry the One by Carol Anshaw.
Yes again to Behind the Beautiful Forever, and then for total immersion: No Angel, the first of the dangerously addictive Lytton family saga by Penny Vincenzi. Just the thing for a sabbatical….
Tammy Gilley says
I’m completely sucked in to the Chelsea Cain series of Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell mysteries set in my home city of Portland. Total book crack.
Susie LaFond says
Well hey there Miss Free Agent. Love the way you rock n roll. Over on TTV we are still partying, making journals, video flips and have a grand time. And you of course can drop in anytime you want…cuz we are gonna miss ya so it’s wonderful to know we can just swing on over to DFLA to catch up with you. Books on my list Paris My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas This is a memoir that looks really really good. Currently I’m in the midst of Trading In Memories Travels Through a Scavenger’s Favorite Places by Barbara Hodgson and that is just the tip of stack.
Nancy Frisch says
Someone on Amazon reviewing a book called some readers “novel eaters”. eeeeeeeeeek! That’s me. For my book club I like to read a little ahead so I just finished: The Paris Wife, The Round House by Louise Erdrich, and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Loved The Round House and Wild. Read the Dog Stars and Sebastion Bergman. On the recommendation of NYT book review I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – thought provoking and very interesting topic. For guilty pleasure: ebook The First Rule of Ten by Gay Herrick and Tinker Lindsay about a former buddhist monk/former LAPD detective turned LA PI. Who doesn’t love a story about a PI in LA? Also, went back and bought the second in the series The Second Rule of Ten. Went to my local book store and bought off the sale table Diane Keaton’s Then Again, a memoir about her mother who when she died had completed 85 journals. I am enjoying the book and there are lots of pictures of journal pages. Mary Ann, I recommend this book to you! 85 journals! Let’s all get to work.
Yes! Someone mentioned Ann Patchett…. Love those!!
I am reading On Photography by Susan Sontag. Just started it today.
The Mysterious Benedict Society (read aloud to my 1st grader. Fun story, juicy sentences.)
The Big Bounce (Elmore Leonard. I read lots of Elmore Leonard.)
Last night finished Mockingjay, last of The Hunger Games books. I was snobbily predisposed to not liking them, read them to keep up with the “kids” (anyone younger than me in the world) and ended up enjoying them. This last one was pretty war-laden but once you are 2 books in, you’ve got to finish the series up, I guess.
Toni Williamson says
Just finished I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg and loved it. Not something I would normally read.
Recently finished, The Orphan Master’s Wife about life in North Korea, which was excellent, and now for a lighter read I’m onto The Tea Rose. I’ve never read A Valley in Italy, but it looks interesting.
just finished Chad Harbach’s ‘The Art of Fielding’, a wonderfully moving, beautifully written novel about friendship and relationships in the context of a small college. It helps if you care about baseball but it isn’t ‘about’ baseball
I’ve moved on to ‘The Revolution was Televised’ by Alan Sepinwall. It’s subtitle:
The cops, crooks, slingers and slayers who changed tv drama forever.
confession: I love tv. Contemporary tv, I’ve long felt, offers more depth, complexity,
intelligence and genius over the long term than most commercial film.
the book examines in depth shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Buffy the Vampire slayer, and Mad Men.
It’s as much fun as watching.
on the reserve list at theibrary – the most recent Michael Connelly Harry Bosch mystery.
Bosch and Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder are my go to anti heroic mystery solvers.
I’m currently obsessing over a novel I stumbled across at the bookstore, “The Man Who Loved Children” by Christina Stead. After looking it up online, I discovered it’s a sleeper classic from the 1930s about a dysfunctional family. The writing is so beautiful, and the characters are like none other. Now I’m telling everyone about it. I’m going to be sad when it ends.
That is a dangerous list up above me! My Goodreads list is getting longer than my life may be! I have been immersed in Scandinavian crime novels after the Steig Larson trilogy. I adored all the Henning Mankell books and am now watching the Wallander Swedish movies on Netflix. I’ve read all the Jo Nesbo (Norwegian) ones out in English and have started the Icelandic Yrsa Sigurðardóttir books. Her detective is Thora, a women which does make a change. I’d never read this genre but have fallen surprisingly and happily down the rabbit hole.
Most recently, I’ve ‘read’ Jerusalem, a cookbook, and my heart and my tummy wish I had a chance to go back to the Middle East for this kind of food again. I’d easily become a vegetarian. Now I’ve just started Monica Ali’s ‘In the Kitchen’. Need to read more to see if it’s a keeper.
btw, I read ‘A valley in Italy’ book some time ago. A lot of the older books set in Italy give a good feel of how it was. One old favorite of mine was Matthew Spender’s ‘Within Tuscany: Reflections on a Time and Place’. A good source for such memoirs is http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/book/memoirs.htm
Kathy L. says
Ooops – That should say Andrew McCarthy.
Kathy L. says
The Longest Way Home. Andres McCarthy. Love. It.
I am reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It tells the story of a poor black women who died of cancer in the fifties. Her cells taken without her knowledge became one of the most important tools in medicine. Know as the HeLa cells they were important in developing the polio vaccine, uncovered secrets of cancer viruses and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Beside being informative it’s a good read.
I’m currently listening to A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny on my way to and from work. I’m a big Penny fan too Dawn.
I put aside the 2nd in The Game of Thrones series to instead read at bedtime, The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo, a Novel….it goes back to the library soon.
When I’m bored out of my head at work it’s light fun stories that I work my way through on the Kindle. Right now I’m reading Homemade Sin by Mary Kay Andrews.
Sarah Bryant says
I just finished and loved Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, an fantasy set in current times. My favorite mystery series stars the young English sleuth and amateur chemist, Flavia de Luce by Alan Bradley. It begins with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I have read A Valley in Italy several times and loved it. Sarah
Just finished reading Paths Unknown by Shirley Davies-Owens (who happens to be my mother) – historical fiction
I’m presently reading The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (for my book club)
and Voyager by Diana Gabaldon – my guilty pleasure…..shhhhhhh… don’t tell anyone 🙂
Joan Clarke says
I just returned to the library un-read, Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. I have been in a reading slump for over 2 years. I have managed to read a couple: The Snowman by Jo Nesbo…it’ll keep you on the edge of your chair, trust me. I’ve got RED BREAST on the table beside me, so far unread. Can’t concentrate and feel so frustrated not having this life long pleasure as part of my life.
I read Bill Bryson’s, A Walk in the Woods, his hilarious trek of the Appalachian Trail…joined on the venture by his old college roommate who is horribly out of shape and totally umprepared for a trip of this magnitude. I laughed out loud in many places. Highly recommended.
Keep posting your reading lists with ratings and short synopses…maybe my reading mojo will return.
I read Stephen King’s first book: Carrie…that was enough of King for me.
I recently read a book by Julia Alvarez called A Wedding in Haiti. Non-fiction.
Tells the story of two journeys she took from the Dominican Republic into Haiti and back.
A travel journal of sorts. Beautifully written. A few black and white photos.
Reminds me of the trip I took to Haiti last March.
Not dark. Not frightening. On the contrary, hope-filled and life-affirming.
Michele Unger says
Rereading Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent. Laugh-outloud-funny in places. My husband will be most happy when I finish this tonight and stop waking him up guffawing in bed. He finds my hysterical laughter annoying. (Not sure how he can even hear it over the snoring coming from his side….)
If you haven’t read Stephen King’s “The Stand”, you should. It is my favorite of his old stuff.
Right now, I just started Alexander McCall Smith’s “The Sunday Philosophy Club”. This is my first reading of any of his books.
After that I have “The House at Tyneford” by Natasha Solomons, and then “In the Woods” by Tara French. I think everyone has read that one but me.
Have you joined Goodreads?
Glad you are finding your way during your lovely, wonderful, fun-filled hiatus!
Linda J Miller says
I’m addicted to the Harry Hole murder mystery series by Norwegian author, Jo Nesbo. Started with Redbreast before Christmas. I have now read six of them. Saving my last one for a trip to Florida next week. They are so well written, that I can’t bear to put them down. Great character development.
Lisa Hoffman says
Thanks to our favorite librarian, Erin in Morro Bay,
I’m totally hooked on a brilliant mystery series that takes
place in the fictitious and wonderful Canadian town of
Three Pines. Written by Louise Penny, I’m deeply invested
in all the characters in this town in addition to the beautifully drawn
main character: Inspector Armand Gamache and the entire
Montreal Homicide Bureau. Honestly, I wasn’t a big mystery
reader…..until now. Read them in order starting with STILL LIFE. Trust me…. Um,
Dawn E. Nguyen says
well, since you still have The Passage on your side bar….I finished The Twelve a couple months ago. Did you get to that one yet?
Right now I’m dribbling through Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez. I dream of frozen landscapes that are silent except for the sounds of nature.
I just finished Above All Things a debut novel by Tanis Rideout. I have a review on my site and a chance to will a copy of the book here too! http://theeccentriclady.blogspot.com/ I read a lot of different stuff but I think I’m to chicken to read Stephen King also.
I have to second “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” and “11/22/63”. Both excellent. I also recently loved “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green and “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey.
Alison Mackay says
I just finished reading “The Sandalwood Tree” by Elle Newmark for my bookclub, which I really enjoyed, set in the 20th AND 19th century in India. Now I am reading “Son of the Morning” by Linda Howard, (definitely a guilty pleasure) set partly in 14th century Scotland with a sexy hero and the present day with a heroine hiding from a murderer. I know the two worlds are about to combine somehow. It’s not high literature, but it’s totally got me sucked in!
I recently read “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “The Hills of Tuscany” as I will be traveling there in May (Yay!)
Love your blog, appreciate your sense of humour, from Alison, your enthusiastic fan in Byron Bay, Australia.
PS glad you’ve taken time off from school. I’m so relieved I’m not going back in the classroom this year, I was coping with the stress less and less well over the last few years!
Maria Cook says
I am always looking for the next book and I may just have to refer to these comments. I have not read any Stephen King in years. “It” scared me so bad; it is still in my mind. I may just have to read it again. Maybe it was the children…Hope that is the right title/story I am remembering.
Anyway, I am reading J.D.Robb – Illusion in Death – I just love the main character.. Start a reading list for your fans!!…
susan crane says
Just finished State of Wonder by Ann Patchett…….great winter read as it takes place in the heart of the Amazon!! Would be great for an intrepid traveler such as yourself Ms. Moss!!
susan w says
Once again, “reading” audiobook of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys (for the ???th time) as well as Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens (even more times). The narration on both of these is so good that I simply can’t stop. What I’ve noticed about audiobooks is that I absorb the author’s language much more than when I read pages. Then I may sometimes race through to see what happens. Audio makes me pace with the language. And good readers make it even more alive.
Sandra L. says
Hey, I just finished the Stephen King book! I really liked it, but I didn’t think it was his best. I like “Night Shift” a lot for short stories.
Now I am reading Alice Munro’s “Dear Life.”
Violet Cadburry says
I used to like Stephen King until I read It. The ending was so contrived. I will be reading Unusual Uses For Olive Oil by Alexander McCall Smith. I love all his books. Just waiting for Amazon to deliver it right to my door. I love Amazon too.
I LOVE THE BOOK YOU ARE READING! I read it and several more when I was dreaming of going to Italy…have you read the Stones of Florence? Also the Hills of Tuscany by Ferenc Mate…I think his is the one that most captured my imagination about moving to Italy 😉
Gwen Delmore says
I read my first ever Stephen King a couple of weeks ago, 11/22/63. It was over 800 pages, and I figured I would have to renew it from the library at least once, but nope, I read it in about 1 1/2 weeks! Amazing book, and now I will try more. I don’t like horror, but he is a GREAT writer!
Connie Rose says
The Man From Saigon — by Marti Leimbach. Wonderful book, well written, excellent story.
Just finishing Daniel Isn’t Talking, also by Marti Leimbach. Another excellent book, which you might especially enjoy since you’re a teacher an Daniel is autistic.
Thanks for the new-to-me Italy book recommendation!
I read Full Dark, No Stars this summer and loved it. I’m a big Stephen King fan and I must say this was one of his DARKEST books, because one of the more plausible ones. That’s what’s scary to me…when something bad is possible. Anyway, I also read The Twelve which is the sequel to The Passage and was just as entertaining as the first one. And I LOVED LOVED LOVED Shade by Neil Jordan. Someone lent me that one and it was a very pleasant surprise.
Kate Campbell says
Currently loving The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. It’s about 3 newly-graduated from college wonderfully drawn characters and takes place in the 80s (when I was in college, so I relate to so much of the times). He’s a super good writer and really captures a time of life that is confusing, exciting, scary, and interesting. One of the characters goes off to travel and it reminds me so much of when I studied for a year in France–it was so different in those times to do that–to go away was really to go away, with no computers, cellphones..you actually had to bring traveler’s checks! Anyway, I’m enjoying it so much that I’m finding myself sad to be approaching the end of this story!
Judy H. says
Love Frances Mayes’ writing. Too chicken to read much Stephen King. (Although his book on writing is on my To Read list.)
Love your journal pages.
I’ve recently read:
BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS by Katherine Boo. Non-fiction that reads like a novel. Wonderfully written. I highly recommend it.
DESTINY OF THE REPUBLIC by Candice Millard. Non-fiction about the assassination of President Garfield. Wonderful, tragic book.
RIVER OF DOUBT also by Candice Millard. Non-fiction about Theo Roosevelt’s trip down a South American river. Very good, but a challenging read.
FLIGHT BEHAVIOR by Barbara Kingsolver. Good novel about climate change as it affects monarch butterflies. I love most (though not all) of Kingsolver’s work, fiction and non-fiction.
A CASUAL VACANCY by J. K. Rowling. I’m a big Harry Potter fan and expected to like this (knowing it would be for adults and different from the HP books). While it was well written, I did not care for it because there weren’t ANY likable characters.
Sorry for this novella! I got carried away! 🙂
I am reading book two of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follet. I haven’t read any of his other books but I have really enjoyed these!!!! Un put downable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!