Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer Reading challenge update

The PLAN
Umberto Eco The Island of the Day Before
Wallace Stegner Angle of Repose
Wallace Stegner Crossing to Safety
Bronte Wuthering Heights (for Knit the Classics )
Elis Weisel Night Just borrowed from Jq

and to accompany the Tudor Roses Knitting:
Susan Kay Legacy
Eliz Jenkins Liz and Leicester
David Starkey Elizabeth
Rosalind Miles I, Elizabeth

I know that plans rarely get followed here, so good thing I wrote that list as "tentative".
actually read/listened to:
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
darkand depressing. I both read this in the book format and listened to it on audiobooks (Audible.com Narrator: Janet McTeer and David TimsonProgram Format: Unabridged). The narration was excellent and I will listen to books narrated by this pair again.
Legacy, Susan Kay
I first read this book in 1985 (86?) and found it just as well written and researched, yet readable, the second time around. I've sent it on to Sherry from the Tudor Roses KAL, and from there I believe it is going to Carrie.
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte, Audible.com audiobooks Narrator: Amanda Root Program Format: UnabridgedNaxos AudioBooks, 2005. I listened to this one entirely while knitting, and loved it. Found myself doing extra rows just to continue listening. Amanda Root did a very credible job narrating.
The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn, Robin Maxwell, paperback. I almost feel bad writing this because the book was in my swap package from Michaele, and she gave it to me because it was on my wishlist - so I asked for it. But, this one was just a little too History Lite for my taste. The author used the technique of inventing a fictional device (the diary) and using it to tell a story heavily based on historical fact. Problem was, from my perspective, there was just a lot too much literary license, and the book can't be written for above a 6th grade reading level. Can't recommend it.
The Ocean Between Us, Susan Wiggs, listened to on audiobook, Narrator:Richard Ferrone Provider:Recorded Books. I don't know if I disliked this book so much because the narrator was so bad or because the storyline would have been far more appropriate for a family living in the 1960'/70s, or just because I'm too much the cynic at the moment for one of those mushy formulaic novels. The most irritating part of listening to it though was Richard Ferrone's narrations of women's spoken lines being read in a high nasal voice. C'mon. And the story line of a naval wife who's trying on her own life as she turns 40, after living the perfect Stepford wife life since she was 20 - and one of the supporting characters as a 26 yr old widow who had infertility problems. again, c'mon. What 22 yr old is declared to be infertile anymore? I do believe the docs won't even start fertility counseling until a woman is much older than that, and the main story line would have been much more believable and timely if the copywrite date were 30 years earlier. Story of my mom 30 years ago. Except the ending was lots different. Usually was. Bottom line: skip this one.

On the nitestand (and audio) right now
The Lyre of Orpheus, Robertson Davies, hardcover 472 pgs
Twilight, Katherine Mosby, paperback 291 pages
Elizabeth and Mary, Jane Dunn, audiobook audible.com Narrator:Donada Peters Provider:Books on Tape

I'm skipping reading A Passage to India this month for Knit the Classics.

4 comments:

Nanci said...

Save yourself some time and skip The Island of the Day Before. I usually love Eco, but I only made it through perhaps two chapters of this one. i really think that the fault, however, lies with the translator. (Though he's used the same guy for all his novels, so far as I can tell.) It read to me (and I'll admit to wearing my editor's cap now) as though he was a bit too reliant upon his dictionary/thesaurus, and so used words that just don't flow or enter regular English vocabularies often enough. If I have to go to a dictionary more than once or twice in a book (and I honestly can't remember when I've ever had to do so), there's something wrong.

Becky said...

Thanks for the great reviews. A narrator can make or ruin a book for me and it's hard to get a review of audiobooks.

Love the dresses you are making and the details of constuction.

Your question about the Samantha hat on my blog -- the yarn is single. It's heavier than fingering weight, so it works up well on the size 6 needles. I like that! (There's a link to my email in the sidebar.)

Elizabeth said...

Everyone went on about Crossing to Safety, which was an engrossing read, yet somehow unsatisfying to me in the end. But Angle of Repose, now that one takes a little stamina to stick with it at times, but is really worth it.

I've barely read anything in months and I'm feeling the vaccuum. Must re-prioritize my time, I think.

Elizabeth said...

You do know exactly how many days of summer are left for such a hefty reading list, yes?