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Susan E

Sounds perfect for your reading mood. The Greenlanders is the only book of Jane Smiley's that I've read, years ago, and it really made quite an impression of their bleak, hard lives and challenges, but I've heard so many good things about her other books I've feel a little guilty for not reading those... I look forward to hearing what you think of this one.


I read A THOUSAND ACRES a long time ago and remember really liking it. Might have tried another book, but can't remember. I have thought about reading this set or trilogy or whatever it is. Nice teaser.


I've read the first two of this trilogy and I'm looking forward to the 3rd. I'd never read anything by her before either, but I think I'll have to now, probably A Thousand Acres.


I'll be interested to see how you fare with this one. I've read a couple of her books, my favorite being Horse Heaven (which will come as no surprise to you, I'm sure). I've tried reading A Thousand Acres a couple of times and just could not get into the story, however. I do like her writing, so I'll have to put her back on the list.


Excellent! I've had this one on my tbr for a while but just haven't gotten to it yet. Iam, however, currently halfway through Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend and it is really good.


It worked out nicely since it was on the top of my reading stack! I'd still like to read Greenlanders at some point--I think it is a matter of timing and knowing it is a book you just need to stick with!


I think I tried once, but I get easily distracted sometimes--so no fault of the book that I didn't get far. Something else tempted me as is often the case. I am very much enjoying this one so far, however. And I plan on staying diligent with it!


I think I have several of her other books including Thousand Acres, which seems like a contemporary classic, so it is definitely still on my reading list. I like the idea of these three books--a chapter per year....


I had the same problem with Thousand Acres, but I think I just didn't try hard enough. Some books just require a little extra diligence and I think that is one of them. She has written far more than I even realized, so I will have to check out her other books at some point. There are so many writers I feel like I *should* have read already but haven't, so it is fun crossing off someone 'new' from my list!


I have had her other books on my shelves for some time but this is a recent acquisition. I am glad I finally picked up one of her books! That first Ferrante is on my summer reading list so I look forward to hearing what you make of it. A good sign you are enjoying it so far!


Jane Smiley is another writer I seem to have collected without reading - why do I do this?
I have had a copy of Greenlanders for an embarrassingly long time and most of the others I have were bought at least ten years ago although my sister in law give me Some Luck last year and was raving about it so I suppose I had better read it sooner rather than later just in case she asks what I think about it!


I have several of her books but not all of them. I think I bought a few and then being uncertain after trying Thousand Acres and Greenlanders decided I needed to actually Finish something before adding to my reading stash! My copy o Greenlanders is hardcover, which tells you how long I have owned it! I'm glad your SIL liked Some Luck. It is a bit slow starting but I am finding it enjoyable nonetheless.

gina in alabama

I finished the trilogy last month and of the three, Some Luck was my favorite by far. I dont want to say anything that might obstruct your reading so will just say that I read and liked Horse Heaven and Moo a great deal too. She writes from the viewpoint of animals and children very well without being too sugary. I have Thouseand Acres and The adventues of Lidie Newton in house to read so maybe later on this year I will get them done. I will wait til you finish the trilogy to discuss it with you!


I might be totally optimistic, but I hope to read the whole trilogy by the end of the year at least. I think it might be too ambitious to say the end of the summer, though if I keep up with my daily reading I might at least finish the first book by the end of this month! I am not sure how I would get on with a story written from the POV of an animal (maybe I would like it a lot...) but I do like stories written from a child's viewpoint. I have those two book as well--unread on my shelves (the latter two you mention). I have not been very good about writing about all the books I am reading/finishing, but maybe I will catch up with them eventually.... Anyway, I plan on picking up the second book as soon as I finish the first, and would love to chat about them!

gina in alabama

I liked the parts of Mooo most that were fromt he POV of Earl Butz, the enormous hog, who was being raised as part of a scientific experiement to see how huge he could become given unlimited food. He was sweet and optimistic, and totally sympathetic compared with the largely mundane and self absorbed professors and students surrounding him at the university. And Horse Heaven's equine narrator just charmed me, so much so that from a distance of maybe 15 years, I still remember his voice, and have largely forgotten the rest of the charaacters in the novel. Could be time for a re-read! hope you continue to enjoy the trilogy and am looking forward to chatting about them!


Sometimes it is the books that are just on the periphery of interest (in my case...) that end up being the best reads. I suspect that I would love Moo--I think I even have a mass market paperback of it somewhere. There is one set in academia, too, isn't there? I have several of her books. And I am a great fan of rereading and try to reread a book or two each year! I am up to 1931 in the first book. Her writing style is interesting and I like it--not sure her books are always like this--where the chapters/years are almost just vignettes. She writes about a few things of the year and pieces it all together to create a whole. In a way it almost feels like interlinked short stories (which I actually quite like). I would love to finish this first book by the end of the month, but I am not sure if I can manage it. I pick it up every day--it is my one 'sure read' that goes into my bookbag every day!

gina in alabama

Moo is set in academia, an unspecified university that I suspect is the University of Iowa where Smiley taught. To anyone who spent time in academia, it feels familiar, the interdepartmental intrigues and hi-jinks, the alliances and the petty wars. My only complaint is that there were too many (somewhat indistinguishable) academics and not enough about Earl. I found myself racing through long sections about endowments and financing searching for the Earl sections. No spoilers, but to me, he was the heart of the book. It might be a good read over the holidays (hint, hint). Some Luck drew me, because the span of years covered echo those in my own most recent family, and since I have been (somewhat less so lately) working on family history, I saw this as a possible way "in" to those times seemingly so long ago and yet so very close. Its a potential road map for me to do something similar. Dates and court records are so bleak and dusty, Smiley provided a way to make those dates breathe. Good luck with your reading, its a big book physically to tote around!


After getting into Some Luck and seeing her style, which sounds similar to what you describe here in terms of point of view and how she narrates from young children's eyes, I think I might actually quite like Moo. And a story of academia is definitely going to be necessary as we get closer to back to school time! ;) I am really enjoying Some Luck and am already looking forward to the next book. And I can see how nice it would be to use it as a way into doing your own family history research. I love reading about this era, too!

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