ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Members try to read 50 books in 2010. Anyone can participate. Keep track of your progress with your own thread.

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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby deej » 16 Nov 2010, 01:33

Congrats Elaine, well done.
Raise your hand if someone you know is alive today because you can't afford a hit man.
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby ElaineB » 19 Nov 2010, 02:13

#51 Written on the Body, by Jeanette Winterson
I don't think I'll give this stars because that implies an objective quality standard that might mislead. I didn't much like this book, but I know others did and it is in many ways a well-written story. It just didn't click for me. All the buzz seems to be about the lack of gender identification of the first-person narrator, but I didn't much like her (my take). The first half of the book is basically about adultery and I didn't feel any empathy for her. Then she did finally fall in love for, perhaps, real, and, wham!, the story jolted off into another direction that I found quite implausible. Maybe it's OK for allegory, but it just didn't work for me. I skimmed most of the last half.
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby wildlx » 19 Nov 2010, 03:41

:thinking: I love Written on the Body!
A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion. “The Woman-Identified Woman” Radicalesbians (1970)
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby ElaineB » 19 Nov 2010, 04:39

I know! Just goes to show ya.
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby ElaineB » 28 Nov 2010, 01:59

#52 Spelling Mississippi, by Marnie Woodrow
4+stars
This was terrific. A quiet, slow story set in New Orleans, so that kind of matches the pace. Cleo is on vacation from Toronto. Madeline lives in the city with her husband. The lives of these two women, and their pasts, their connections to their mothers, have been running separate courses but are fated to merge. Sort of like a braided stream—more so than the mighty Mississippi of the title. All these parts are connected yet separated. Then they come together. The writing is first rate. And for writers, the POV is omniscient, and done well, though it took a bit to get used to. I got a little confused between the two women’s stories at first. Lesbian stories might not be the best place for omniscient POV. With male and female main characters, it’d be easier to keep track. I really connected with these characters, all of them. I had no idea how this would turn out. This is not lesfic, and I wasn’t familiar with the writer. Could I trust her not to throw the lesbian storyline under the bus for straight readers? She held out to the bitter end, but it ended very satisfyingly. Another masterful debut novel.




#53 When Dreams Tremble, by Radclyffe
3stars
Formulaic, but not as bad as her series. No bar scene. The sex is the instruction manual, multiple simultaneous orgasms type. And you know she’s “the one” because of that. Really? NYC lawyer Leslie comes complete with the Armani suit. At the end, it’s biologist Dev who compromises. She takes a job closer to NYC. Does Leslie move to the Albany office? Nope. Does she alter her thinking about her law practice—defending corporate polluters? Nope. It’s Dev who decides that what Leslie does is OK because it highlights flaws in the regulations. Please. “Fish are people, too.” That’s Dev’s big, dramatic, game-changing argument in court. Rad doesn’t elaborate, just tells us that the jury is now on Dev’s side. A jury in NYC is not going to give a shit about fish. It’s not that fish are people and therefore need protection, it’s that the pollutants in the water that are killing the fish will also kill people because people also drink that water. Duh. Anyway, a fine read for a rainy day when you are too sick to be productive but not sick enough to sleep.
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby wildlx » 28 Nov 2010, 08:51

Spelling Mississippi is brilliant!
A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion. “The Woman-Identified Woman” Radicalesbians (1970)
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby Nurse Jo » 28 Nov 2010, 09:12

I guess I should try to read it again! Especially in view of our holiday plans next year ;)

Elaine, I didn't get on with this book at all. I was in a rather precarious emotional and psychological state at the time and unable to cope with the book. I tried as everyone raved about it but just could not get into it.
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby Lilien » 28 Nov 2010, 12:49

#53 :-)
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby wildlx » 28 Nov 2010, 22:06

#53 Boring!
A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion. “The Woman-Identified Woman” Radicalesbians (1970)
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby Nurse Jo » 29 Nov 2010, 01:38

I seem to remember that no. 53 was the book that stopped me reading Radclyffe. I thought it terrible compared to some of her earlier books. Just my opinion.
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