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Reader 4
zedecaixao
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-08-2010
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Re: 2010- What Are You Reading?

just wrapped up A History of Violence and now mostly through Pride & Prejudice and Zombies.  good times all around.

New User
autumncrazy428
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-24-2010
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Re: 2010- What Are You Reading?

Well, right now I'm finishing the (currently) last book in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton, and I'm rereading Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels. I just love Sookie Stackhouse! It's like an addiction...

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: 2010- What Are You Reading?

Finished today

The Last Summer of Reason by Tahar Djaout

 

 

I highly recommend this 145 page novella, found in manuscript form after the assassination of its author, Tahar Djaout, on May 26, 1993, by a fundamentalist group in Algeria.  It has the flaws of an unfinished novel, but it reads like a voice from beyond of what it must have been like to find oneself increasingly hemmed in and threatened by extremist forces that would recognize zero tolerance.  I found this dystopia far more haunting than such familiar texts as Fahrenheit 451  or 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale, perhaps partly knowing its close parallel with the author's own story.  One can almost feel and experience vicariously the growing fear, isolation, abandonment, and finally terror.  

 

At times, Djaout is almost poetic.  Some of the most poignant passages are descriptions of the condemnation of the bookseller (who acts as perhaps Djaout's personal foil) by his own radicalized daughter followed by his memories of her innocent, mischievous girlhood and of his deep conflicted paternal love for the young adult who now forswears him.  

 

This is a story about intolerance.  As Wole Soyinka writes in the forward, "Ultimately, however, we come face to face with one overweening actuality:  the proliferation of a mind-set that feeds on a compulsion to destroy other beings who do not share, not even the same beliefs, but specific subcategories of such beliefs.....The arrogant elimination of the Djaouts of our world must nerve us to pursue our own combative doctrine, namely: that peaceful cohabitation on this planet demands that while the upholders of any creed are free to adopt their own existential absolutes, the right of others to do the same is thereby rendered implicit and sacrosant.  Thus the creed of inquiry, of knowledge and exchange of ideas, must be upheld as an absolute, as ancient and eternal as any other."

 

The flap on my library copy (Ruminator Books) reads: "A percentage of the proceeds from this book will go to the American Booksellers Foundation for the Freedom of Expression, 'the bookseller's voice in the fight against censorship.'"  Almost an incentive to buy a copy.  A greater one is to have a copy to share and pass along to as many who will take the few hours to read this gem.

 

Video with bits of the beauty of Algeria.  There is a BBC documentary (multi-part) on Djaout; the audio is French.   Other "nearby" videos deal with the wars in Algeria.  It was in exploring an LbW nomination (since selected for June), Children of the New World by Assia Djebar, that I stumbled upon Djaout. 

 

A review.  Reader reviews tend to be more positive than professional ones for this book.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Distinguished Wordsmith
crzynwrd4lf
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎04-04-2010
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Re: 2010- What Are You Reading?

I feel like a sponge! I've been reading Orson Scott Card, but I just started reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen on the side. Of course, all the poetry flying around here I can't help but dig up some of my favorite poems! Even though I feel like a sponge I still have a very small stack of unread books here such as Catch 22, The Jungle, Anna Karenina (which I've also started). Summer is looking to be very good!!!

"One potato, two potato, three potato, four/ she's coming for you now, you better lock the door"-- Promise Not To Tell
Contributor
NannersNR
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-12-2010
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Re: 2010- What Are You Reading?

Rhys Bowen is a good author. I, being of at least partial Welsh descent (rest seems to be germans) also like the Rhys series. Don't have any for the nook yet. I am currently reading: Kim Harrison witch series William Least-Heat Moon Roads to Quoz Dali Lama on science
New User
wingsofjoy
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-17-2010
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Re: 2010- What Are You Reading?

I just finished reading Jane Austen's Persuasion;  I am currently reading the collected works of Hans Christian Anderson, a collection of short stories by Christian authors called The Storytellers Collection,  a book by Robert Whitlow called Life Support, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  All are interesting, and all will be greatly enjoyed. I also hope to read soon Magnificent Obsession by Buzz Aldrin,  and recently read The Lovely Bones, Always Looking Up (Michael J. Fox) ,The Last Song (Nicholas Sparks), The Shack, and The Autobiography of Santa Claus (not remembering the authors right now). Have a reading list longer than my arm, and since I keep adding new titles all the time, don't anticipate it ever getting any shorter.

Joyfully His ...
Distinguished Wordsmith
crzynwrd4lf
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎04-04-2010
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Re: 2010- What Are You Reading?

Great reading list! To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time favorites, I think I own three copies and can't help but pick it up and read excerpts from it. My TBR pile is shrinking despite the weekly trips to the bookstore. Hope you enjoy the boards!

"One potato, two potato, three potato, four/ she's coming for you now, you better lock the door"-- Promise Not To Tell
Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: 2010- What Are You Reading?

[ Edited ]

I just finished Let the Great World Spin which I really enjoyed and I am now rereading Out Stealing Horses for a book group. I forgot how much I loved that book.

 

Let the Great World Spin

 

Out Stealing Horses

  

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: 2010 - What Are You Reading?

[ Edited ]

Am re-reading Siddhartha for a discussion group next week.  It has been years since I have been serious about re-reading it, although I think I have pulled it from the shelf from time to time.  This time I am wondering if I eventually want to add something else from Hermann Hesse to my TBR pile.

 

 

Siddhartha

 

I also have a library copy of Glimpses of World History by Jawaharlal Nehru.  It is based on letters he sent to his daughter while he was in jail in the 1930's. Don't know how much of this 970 page tome I'll tackle, but right now each letter is short and a rather delightful read.

 

Just finished Factory Girls for a discussion that didn't happen.  :smileysad:  I found it a rather surprising look at factory production within China -- we hear about the high ratio of men to women, but these stories seemed to indicate a dearth of men, at least ones that had potential as desirable for long term relationships. There certainly seemed to be growth in independent lifestyles with an edge of materialism (buying power is still low and workers are frequently deprived of even what they have earned, especially if they disappear to seek better conditions) as young rural women left their homes to work in urban factories.  Cell phones were ubiquitous. Also of interest was Leslie Chang's intertwined story of her family as they migrated or were impacted by the revolutionary movements in China over the past century.  Ms. Chang has been a Wall Street Journal reporter, and the book does have a journalistic tilt.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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bookwormmom4
Posts: 78
Registered: ‎11-27-2009
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Re: 2010 - What Are You Reading?

 

 

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up" Mark Twain