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It is quiet in the blogworld at the moment - you are not alone! And it took me six years to update the look of my blog, so never worry about not doing these things the moment you think of them! I'll be very interested what you think of Tales of the City. I bought a copy of it years and years ago and have hesitated over reading it for reasons I don't quite understand. If you enjoy it, I will definitely be keener to pick it up.


There's this movie scene of a sunny street in San Francisco that has entered my mind when you spoke about going there and I wish I could remember the name of the film or better still, that it would stop playing in my mind, but I guess it is just because I would like to go there too :)


As to lower than expected visitors--do I count as visiting your blog if I read it on Google Reader? How I visit depends on which device I'm using. At my "big" computer , it's Google Reader; relaxing in my reading chair with iPad, directly on blog.

Am thoroughly enjoying your mythology posts and have bookmarked them to revisit.

Now I'm off to check out this Inspector Montalbano of whom you write!

Liz F

Well I'm not going anywhere, Danielle so I will be checking in as usual each day!

I'm in a bit of a funny place re my reading at the moment - I wish I could settle on a reading 'theme' like your mythology strand but nothing is really holding my attention that well!
I am way behind in both the Middlemarch and Les Miserables readalongs and might have to look for a different translation of the latter as mine is quite old and I am struggling a bit with it.

I have given up on the Beryl Bainbridge week readalong because....well, I just can't get on with her books and I have come to the conclusion that life is too short to persist with books that I'm not enjoying!
I find myself resorting to my usual favourites - the good old crime novel! I am loving SJ Bolton's Dead Scared but having to restrict reading it to either day time or when people are around because she can really ratchet up the suspense!

Having said that, I have a feeling that I might be about to embark on a Southern reading theme as I have just started and am really enjoying Eudora Welty's The Optimist's Daughter, and I know that I have a few other books set in the southern states on my shelves by authors I have enjoyed before.
Alternatively I might start on a French theme by revisiting Chocolat and then going on to read Joanne Harris's other two books about Vianne Rocher .... oh dear too much choice and absolutely no ability to make a decision!


I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling the quiet! I've been blogging since early 2005 and everything looks exactly the same here, but maybe there is something to be said for continuity? :) I'm really enjoying Tales of the City--it's very light and easy to read, fast, too. It is set (and was writen) in the 1970s and it is totally descriptive of the time and place--sort of groovy if you get my meaning, but I like it.


Catharina--I wonder which movie it is? If you have ever seen What's Up Doc with Barbara Streisand there is a wonderful scene where she is riding a bike through the hilly streets of SF that has always stuck in my mind. I need to get ahold of the movie and watch it again. I shall certainly send you postcards from there--a little armchair travel in the meantime, but I hope you can visit, too!


Marcia--Thanks so much for dropping by and I always forget that many people (much like I do myself) likely read my posts from Google Reader or other feed readers. I think Typepad is only couning actual hits when people click in so it is not really giving an accurate count of activity. Strangely yesterday was a good visit day--much better than I've had in weeks and I thought it would be low as I think not everyone wants to read about Greek Myths, but you never know, I guess. Besides people may click in to read old posts--it's all very strange and mostly I don't think about it all, but lately it's just seemed particularly quiet. I do appreciate your kind comment though--chatting with other bookish people is what I like most about this. And I shall be finishing the Inspector Montalbano mystery today--liked it better than the first (but then liked the first, too). I like the character very much and now want to pick up the next book in the series already.


Liz--Thanks--I always enjoy chatting with you and am happy when people stop by regularly a then I feel like it's friends talking and I've made a lot of 'virtual' friends! The Myth reading was completely unplanned--I've had that Hamilton book for years now. It's funny how something can look good but not actually appeal one moment and the next is the one thing you want to read most! :) Now I am finding all these retellings of myths that I am adding to my reading pile, which I am hoping will not in the end overwhelm me. It is sort of fun having a theme to stick with though. As much as I wanted to read a novel by Beryl Bainbridge--since I have collected quite a few--I know better than to try and add one of her books to my reading pile at the moment. I loved Middlemarch when I read it and like you did it with a group of people--I read Les Miserables on my own--but I think it took me the better part of a year for me to read both books (that being a year per book), so don't feel bad about taking your time with them. I can't remember which edition of Les Mis I read--I think it was just a Signet classic--but to be honest it wasn't my favorite classic and I really struggled to finish it. Maybe it was timing or maybe like you the translation wasn't the best? I just remember it was very, very long. And while I don't mind someone like Dumas going off on tangents, it didn't work so well with me with Hugo for some reason (sorry M. Hugo). I have the new Bolton book on my library pile and took a peek at it--I can't wait to read it. My library pile is towering at the moment and I think I may have to take an afternoon off from work to get in some quiet reading tiem. I read the Welty and really liked it--though it's the sort of story that is much more introspective--not a lot really happens. I love Chocolat and like you want to read the next two books--I think her newest doesn't come out here until later in the summer--not that I'll have read the other yet in order to catch up.... And if you want a really good book--I am finding Steinbeck's East of Eden a totally compulsive read. It's So Good. I know it is chunky (which has put me off for so long), but I don't even care now the story is so good. Have you read him? I had only read a few short stories and now I think I will have to read everything I can get my hands on.


Summer is definitely in full swing. I myself feel more lazy and use excuses like it's Monday and hot and humid and I can't concentrate so I can't possibly do a blog post today I must eat these strawberries from the garden instead :) The Armstrong book sounds great. I will have to add it to my own list :)


I am so glad you are enjoying East of Eden, I find I need to reread it every so often - Cathy is such a good depiction of evil. I hope you enjoy Ragnarok. I had a mixed response to it but it might be because Byatt is not my favorite author. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.


I'm all for lazy and all for eating strawberries, too! :) I've been indulging in a nightly bowl of mixed berries almost every night now--unfortunately not from my own garden, but still very good. I think you'd like the Armstrong book--it's really good, chock full of info and I suspect I'll need to read it again.


Pburt--I am finding East of Eden compulsive reading. I don't want to set it down, which is a shocker for me as I have not been able to stick most classics out this year for some reason (my fault in most cases I'm afraid and not the books). The characters are very complex, and Cathy seems completely amoral--it's all such interesting reading. I've got Ragnorak on my desk at work and will bring it home this weekend. Not sure when I will get to read it, but soon I hope. I'm very curious about it--I've not read a lot of AS Byatt's work.


Just a note to let you know that you can still have me to add to the numbers, if that is of any cheer to you. ;)
Will definitely keep East of Eden in mind after your high recommendations! Have you read his 'The Moon Is Down'? A rather powerful story about the beauty and horror of human nature in the midst of WWII. It portrays very well the relationship between the conquered and the conqueror. The setting is in a small Norwegian town.

Liz F

I found a pile of Steinbeck books in a charity shop and snapped them up a while ago as he is definitely an author I want to read. So far I have only read The Pearl (when I was at school so I'm not sure that that counts) and Of Mice and Men on several occasions - the first couple for myself and subsequent ones to help my children with homework on it (would you believe that three out of the four had it as a set book?)
I think East of Eden is in the pile so I will look it out but if not I will embark on The Grapes of Wrath which I have had forever!
I will plough on with Les Mis - I had a quick compare and contrast with a more recent translation of it and couldn't see that it made a huge amount of difference so it must be Hugo's style that I need to get used to! Middlemarch is fine - I just need to work out where I put my copy!
Really want to read The Great Gatsby too before the film comes out but I'm not sure how I am going to fit it in unless I abandon everything else and that's not going to happen (although at the moment I would dearly love to walk away from work..)
Oh well at least I have a few months to think about it as I don't think the film is out until the end of the year - in the UK anyway.


It is rather quiet, isn't it? I just tell myself people are busy reading books, heh;P We are still waiting for summer here in London, but suspect we won't be seeing any sunshine until July. I do hope we will get some summer this year!

I read Tales of the City several years ago and loved it. It made me think of summer in SF and ever since I've always wanted to visit the city.


You haven't started Bomber? I'll be the only one posting then I suppose with Kevin commenting as he suggested it. It will be hard for me to finish as it is a long book. It's very readable but a bit too much show -don't tell. And from the amazon reviews I got the impression that not many women read this...A lot just goes over my head and I keep on asking my boyfriend (he is an aircraft engineer with a particular interest in WWII planes). I'm able to make a difference between a Spitfire and a Lancaster bomber by now. Pfff.
I'm very suprised about the use of German and the German titles. not one tiny mistake, it's a realy pleasure.


Michelle--It is indeed cheering to know! :) I am thoroughly enjoying East of Eden, and even though I have a couple of library books I need to finish, which are hardcovers, I still carry the Steinbeck with me as well. Needless to say I've been loaded down with books this week. I have not read 'The Moon is Down' but I will look for it. I have The Pearl sitting on my desk at work, but I will try and just focus on East of Eden--but it's good to know which other works to pick up next! And that one sounds right up my alley.


Liz--Definitely books to snap up! I have read practically no books by Steinbeck--I only recall reading some stories--how sad is that. Not even Of Mice and Men. But I shall be rectifying that! That's cool that you have read along with your children for school. Maybe if I can get through East of Eden I'll try and tackle The Grapes of Wrath this year, too. Maybe, that is! I think Hugo is just dense reading--it was not one (well for myself anyway) that I was excited to reach for--though maybe I shouldn't admit to that?! I was thinking this year might be my year of reading American classics--I could follow up with a Hemingway, a Faulkner and a Fitzgerald, too. I think I've read The Great Gatsby at least three times (once in school) and I've loved it each time--I know it is not to everyone's taste, but I could happily read it again. And yeah, that work thing does sometimes get in the way of everything else we like to do! :)


Sakura--It's been much quieter here than normal, but I'm all for reading more, so I can understand the desire to turn off the computer! :) I wish I could bottle up some of our heat and send it to you! It's already hot here, though today was lovely. Tales of the City is a fun read--and it does feel very much like what you imagine sunny California to be!


I've only just started it, and I am hoping it reads very quickly as it will be my main book next week. I was afraid it would only be about the bombing raid, but I was happy to see that it at least begins with wives around and a country house. I'm sure that stuff won't last. And I am afraid this is going to be an emotionally draining book in a different sort of way. Interesting about the technical stuff--I'm not at all knowledgeable about aircraft so that may all be over my head. At least it sounds like he's done his homework and things are historically accurate--there is much to be sad for that! I probably won't post about the book on Friday but fingers crossed I can finish by then!


Put me on the list of those who use Google Reader and never actually get around to commenting! I do enjoy reading your blog, though, and I'll have to remind myself to join the discussion from time to time.


East of Eden and Cannery Row are my favorite Steinbeck novels, although I recognize what a seminal work Grapes of Wrath is. A few years back I was visiting Stanford and found a large paperback edition of Steinbeck's letters and they were an excellent window into his work process and thinking -- especially those written as he was writing East of Eden and Grapes of Wrath.


I always think summer is going to be more relaxed than it is! What it really turns out to be is just as much work as ever but not as much structure, what with not having to be sure my son is out the door to school by 7 a.m. It takes me a couple weeks to find my own rhythm.

I want to read Tales of the City--I've heard it's good, and I've done very little SF reading and want to do more.

FYI, there is a fun blog called written by a magazine editor who lives in San Francisco. You might find some fun tidbits on there for your upcoming trip.


Just wanted to say that I agree with your comments about summertime blogging. There definitely is a difference in blog-traffic, but also in...... blogging, in general.
A lot of bloggers that are friends -- I visit their sites and see that what used to be daily blogs are almost... weekly, now that the sun is working overtime!
My own site is the same!
But, as you so rightly say, the blog is a public/personal space where content is more important than regularity or frequency.
I must say, I just love Karen Armstrong -- I think she is so amazing. I read this book, and also have been in the presence of the author, and in awe of her understanding and wisdom. Her two volume memoirs are among the very best autobiography type stuff I have ever read! [Through The Narrow Gait and The Spiral Staircase].
Another really good one in the Canongate series is Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad.
-- Wishing you a wonderful summer!


Rebecca--Thanks! And I shouldn't really even worry about this considering I also read a lot from Google Reader, so I am just as guilty about not visiting in a way that is obvious!:) I should really relax more this summer, too, and spend more time reading than worrying about the blog!


AJ--I'm not sure why I find it so, but East of Eden is such compulsive reading. I often find myself thinking, just one more chapter or section... I will have to read Cannery Row as well. One of my coworkers is from California and has read lots of Steinbeck. She told me Cannery Row is her favorite, too. I'll have to see if my library has that book of letters. I love that sort of supplemental reading--and I do it often (or want to do it often anyway) with Classics. Thanks for the heads up.


Kathy--Since I don't have children, it all feels the same to me, only hotter! I know lots of people are on vacation or spending less time online since there is so much else to do outside--I should do more of that myself. I am enjoying Tales of the City--very easy reading and very 70s-feeling. Thanks for the link, too! I'm going to look it up. I found a blog that is about walks in SF, which looks like fun. Need to explore more of that in preparation--I expect that is a good way to find out about things the guidebooks won't think to mention.


Cipriano--I'm glad I am not the only one finding it to be quiet. I've noticed that others are posting less as well. I have gotten into such a routine I seem to be following it still, but maybe this is a good time for me to kick back a little and spend more time reading--I can't help but want to chat about what I'm reading here, though. Somehow talking about the books makes it mesh in my mind more and makes me remember better. So I'll keep it up as much for myself as for anyone who happens by and wants add to the conversation! I have never read any of Karen Armstrong's books, but I do love how she talks about myths. I feel like everything she says is worth remembering! I have her book The Spiral Staircase and will have to try and read squeeze it in now. I did read The Penelopiad, but it is one to reread I think as I would get much more out of it now than I did the first time around. I'm with you about being in awe of Armstrong though! (Well, Atwood, too). Have a great summer as well!


I've been out of blogosphere for last two months, but I just caught up w your blog posts & just loved having so many to read. :D

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