Thursday, January 21, 2010

February read?

A few possibilities:

I've got Bel Canto sitting on my to be read shelf. I don't know much about it; but it's one of those books I picked up because everywhere I turned someone whose opinion I respected was recommending it. Anyone interested in giving it a whirl?


Or else I was raving about Rumer Godden at my blog, Emily suggested perhaps Godden might be a good pick for our group.

I'm about due for a re-read of my fav, In This House of Brede. Or if everyone's read that, I could stand to re-read Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy or the much shorter An Episode of Sparrows. I just finished China Court and so am fresh enough I could discuss it. Or Black Narcissus is next on the list of books I want to read. Too many choices? Probably. Godden has that effect on me, though.

Any thoughts?

19 comments:

Julie D. said...

I'm not really a member 'round here, but you might also want to consider Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger. My Catholic women's book club just finished The Captain from Castile by him and LOVED it. As one woman said, such a great adventure and so very Catholic. I love the Captain but Prince of Foxes is better. The unification of Italy, Cesare Borgia, the arts flourishing ... and all through the eyes of Andrea Orsini, a master manipulator who is soon to meet his match from an unexpected source.

Just a thought ...

BettyDuffy said...

Melanie, I think you're too nice to be a dictator. No need to be democratic.

That said, In this House of Brede is sitting right here on my desk...waiting...I've never read it.

Julie D. said...

Betty ... do not wait for anyone else. Take up and read! One. of. the. best. books. ever. written. Period. :-)

mrsdarwin said...

I've read In This House of Brede and China Court, though I'd gladly read either again. I've been longing for a chance to read Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy but have never gotten around to it. I'm all for Rumer Godden!

Melanie B said...

Julie, always glad for a recommendation from you.

Betty, so right. I was always too nice as a college teacher too. The students always walked all over me.

So then let's read Brede for February. And maybe if we get on a roll we can read Five for Sorrow next month.

BettyDuffy said...

Julie, if you'd like to become a contributor to this blog when you feel like it, give me your email address and I can send you an invite.

bettyduffy2 at yahoo dot com

I was actually waiting for a window in my reading queue for Brede, but it has just moved up in line.

Currently reading "Fatherless" by Brian J Gail. Anyone read it? It's being passed around like a virus in my family--but it is sort of engrossing.

Anonymous said...

I'm on for "Brede". Sorry, this is a busy time of year in New Zealand - summer garden, summer house maintenance, Christmas stuff, summer holidays, family visiting. I just never had the time to read even a short story by Nabokov.

I confess I'm a bit - a lot - Nabokaverse, because of - you know - (whispers) Lolita. I can't bear the thought of it, so I've never tried any other Nabokov because of it. Immature, I know, but it's a theme I avoid. I can't forgive Robert Heinlein for dabbling with it.

Best to you all

Otepoti

Emily J. said...

Ok, if this were a democracy I probably would've voted for one of the other Godden books since I've read In This House of Brede, but since it is so good, I'm happy to read it again. And maybe I'll try to get around to An Episode of Sparrows since I bought it at a library sale one time and never got around to it.

An interesting thing about Bel Canto: People seem to love it or hate it. It's been a few years since I read it, but I remember enjoying it as a beach read in Michigan. Sentimental, not high lit, and maybe that's why some readers disparage it, but I was impressed by the sympathetic treatment of the priest hostage. He ends up being the hero if I remember correctly. Then I went and read a couple other Patchett books and really enjoyed "Patron Saint of Liars" about a young wife who runs away from her husband and stays with some nuns. Did a little research and it turns out Patchett was raised Catholic, which shows through. But a couple summers later, Betty (or our mom?) brought Truth and Beauty, Patchett's book about her disfigured friend, to the lake. It was fascinating, but disappointing, I thought - more a memoir of seeking fun and fame than a meaningful reflection on truth and beauty. Am I misremembering, BD?

Melissa Wiley said...

I'm happy you picked Brede! You won't mind if I peek at your discussion, will you? I've had House of Brede in my TBR pile for *years* and your post mentioning it (at Wine-Dark Sea) coupled with my recent head-over-heels experience with The Kitchen Madonna has had me wanting to catapult it to the top of the pile.

BettyDuffy said...

Emily, you are not misremembering. I liked BelCanto, but as you say, I don't remember it bringing up much fodder for discussion other than the surprisingly friendly treatment of the priest, and the way lines were blurred between captors and prisoners. It was a fun read though. And Truth and Beauty was engrossing, but really only because it was a chronicle of New York writers doing drugs and getting published. If there was more than that, I have forgotten.

Welcome Melissa!

BettyDuffy said...

Otepoti, I am glad to know you are alive and well. I was just thinking about you.

Emily J. said...

Ditto from me, Otepoti. I came back because I felt remiss in not saying Happy New Year and welcome back. I have to admit I sympathize with you on first impressions of Nabokov, but I keep stumbling across commendations of him.

Emily J. said...

And P.S. Welcome Julie D and Melissa! I like reading your blogs!

Chevy said...

Not a member of the reading circle, but I really enjoyed Bel Canto. I thought the writing was especially beautiful. Sentimental? Sure, but I likes the sentimental. At the time, it really touched me, not sure exactly why.

I read both of the Godden books and loved them both. Both gave me a certain longing for the life of a nun, not to mention an appreciation for the vocation. I am sure I will read them again, and I am not one for re-reading.

I'm looking forward to reading the discussions here about Brede!

Oh, and I second Prince of Foxes!

Nancy P. said...

I hope you don't mind if I join the discussion (at least as a reader). Rumer Godden is one of my favorites. I will try to find In This House of Brede--our Godden's children's books are much easier to find as we are always reading and re-reading them. The girls book group we host at our house read "The Doll's House" a few summers ago and made mini dolls. We also read "The Story of Holly and the Ivy" out loud every Christmas. Oh how I love Rumer Godden! Sorry to enthuse so.

BettyDuffy said...

Welcome Nancy and Chevy!

Dorian Speed said...

Oh, *this* is what you were talking about! How did I miss this? This is great!

Of course, in a town without a bookstore (I guess Hastings does count, but...), I will have to wait a week to get In This House of Brede.

I mean, if I can read along.

Melanie B said...

Dorian,

Please do join us and read along. The more the merrier. And the great thing about an online book club is the conversation is still there even if you are slower coming to it.

Dorian Speed said...

Okay, I somehow forgot how to get here, and now I just checked out Brede from our library. I guess I will lurk and comment, if that's okay! I kept trying to get back to this blog from Melanie's, but the secret passageway was actually via DarwinCatholic! Right?