GLEN ELLEN, CA, United States | Member Since 2012
I am a big Hemingway fan, but interestingly I had never read A MOVEABLE FEAST. I'm not sure why, but it was poorly reviewed when it came out and I was a busy young wife and mother putting my husband through law school and didn't get to read much at the time. Earlier this year I read THE PARIS WIFE, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and decided it was time to read A MOVEABLE FEAST. I was delighted to see that there is now a restored edition available, and was especially pleased to listen to what both Hemingway's son and grandson had to say. I believe this edition, which was restored to their best belief, to the way Hemingway had wanted it, makes a lot of sense. It is easy to understand why Mary Hemingway, Hemingway's wife at the time of his death, would be sensitive to material about Hadley, Hemingway's first, and many, including him, would say his best marriage. She edited those passages out in the original edition. The passages about Fitzgerald were especially interesting. I also loved hearing about how Ernest and Hadley lived in Paris - their apartment, their friends, the French lifestyle, etc.
The narration was excellent. Sounded just as I would imagine Hemingway would sound.
I love a good western, and this book got great reviews. I enjoyed it even though none of the characters were very likable. Some of the reviewers really got carried away raving about this book. But that's my opinion.
One thing that really bothered me was the use of modern language. I sincerely doubt that the Comanches of the mid-1800 were using the f---k word, shit, or using words like asshole. Nor do I suspect they started sentences with "actually". There was a lot of sarcasm used between the Comanches when they were talking. It didn't ring true to me. This language took the "period" out of the "period piece" for me and really was distracting.
I got much more out of the non-fiction book by S.C. Gwynne, EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON, Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History. It you want to know more about Comanches, and Quanah Parker, who is mentioned in THE SON, I highly recommend this book, which was excellent.
I can't begin to describe how much this book impacted me. I work with wildlife myself and feel it is such a privilege to do so. They move in a different world than we do, but share our space. Just reading the introduction got me hooked. Not only did I want to hear every word of this book, I knew I had to have the physical book to have, to keep and look through, so I ordered it immediately.
Lawrence Anthony really understood wildlife. Anyone who would adopt a herd of rogue elephants has my complete respect & admiration. Just reading how he dealt with the elephants and the other animals in the book gave me so much vicarious pleasure. It is such a good read that I could barely put it down. Mr. Anthony writes from his heart.
Just as I was thinking that we so need people in this world like Lawrence Anthony, I discovered that he died of a heart attack in the past year. Devastating! I also read that the elephants, the very same ones that he talks so eloquently about in this book, showed up at his home shortly after he died and stayed there for days. If you read this book you will know why - there was a powerful bond between him and the elephants and the story of how that bond developed is in this book.
Like most people who were alive on that terrible day I remember it well. I was in Austin, Texas on the day JFK was murdered. I worked for the University of Texas and he was coming to the campus that night. They had been preparing for days. My husband and I were so excited as we were to see him that night. When we heard he had been shot, I pictured him showing up with his arm in a sling or something like that. Never for one moment could I begin to imagine him dead!
This book brought back that time and place for me. What I felt hearing Jackie's voice again is hard to describe. This was a fascinating read for me and I am so glad that it was published. She comes across as so loyal and devoted to JFK, one wonders if she knew what an active sex life he was carrying on during their marriage. We knew nothing about it at the time, of course. Different time, different rules.
I hate to admit that I've never read a Barbara Kingsolver book before, but this was my first. Of course, I know of her, and her fine reputation, and what drew me to this book was when I read a review of it and discovered it was about Monarch butterflies. I had the privilege of seeing the Monarchs at one of their wintering places in California and it was a very special, almost magical experience. The book did not disappoint at all. I really loved it, and learned more about the Monarchs. I thought Kingsolver did an excellent job of narrating the books as well - not always easy for an author to pull off. It won't be the last Kingsolver book I read.
I'd seen the excellent film when it came out, but had never read the book. I know Patricia Highsmith is a highly regarded author and so thought I would give this a try. What a good read. I had no idea that there were several Mr. Ripley books and now I have added them to my wish list. It's a bit disconcerting to see someone get away with murder, but I suppose it happens every day.
The idea of "historical fiction" has never appealed to me much, so that pretty much leaves T.C. Boyle out. However I went to a couple of his readings, and found him to be such a charming, humorous, intelligent guy that I really wanted to read one of his books. SAN MIGUEL sounded good, so it was my first T.C. Boyle read. I enjoyed this book enormously and felt that the performance was part of the reason why. Barbara Caruso did such a good job. The characters, location, and story of the two families living on the island of San Miguel were interesting and held my attention. This may have been my first book by T.C. Boyle, but it definitely won't be my last. Now I want to move on to WHEN THE KILLING'S DONE, which takes place in the same location.
As someone who works with wildlife, I have had mixed feelings about zoos for a long time, so I thought this book would appeal to me - and it did. There are many stories about animals, but it was also the stories about the people who work with them that made this interesting. I thought John Allen Nelson was a good narrator for this story.
The story of the elephants that were captured in the wild in Africa and brought to the zoo in Florida was fascinating. It really turned me off at first, but then these elephants would have been culled if they had stayed in Africa. Generally I don't feel that zoos should take animals from the wild, and I don't feel that elephants in particular should be in zoos at all. Still, if people can't see elephants, how do they know what it is we are trying to save? It is a tricky question.
This book got good reviews so I wanted to read it. It did not disappoint. The narration by Michael Maloney was a little overly dramatic, but didn't turn me off. The history of Edmund de Waal's family was fascinating and somewhat sad. The fact that they were enormously wealthy did not protect them, as jews, from WWI and WW2. They lost pretty much everything except for this large collection of netsuke, small ivory and/or wooden ornaments originally carved for samuri warriors to wear on their belts. Despite the dramatic narration, I would definitely recommend this book.
When this book came out, I wasn't at all interested in reading it as it is a novel. It got very good reviews though and after it had stayed on some of the better best selling lists for about a year, I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did, as I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
I am a big Hemingway fan and have read all of his books as well as many books about him. This novel is a pretty accurate portrayal of this period in Hemingway's life. I think that of his four marriages, his marriage to Hadley was the best. I loved reading about their early days in Paris and all the famous people that they met. It was an exciting time for both of them and where his career really started.
Carrington MacDuffie did a good job with the narration, although I did have a problem with the portrayal of Hemingway's voice. It was just too naive and innocent sounding. Although he could be immature and childish throughout his life I don't think his voice would ever come across quite like it did in this reading. Small complaint though as overall it was such a good read.
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