Tuesday, March 01, 2016

The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge: Your January-February Choices

It's time for you Bitches to have your say.


[via]

Tell us what you've been reading during the months of January and February for The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge.

58 comments:

  1. Speaking of Canadia, I've been reading Alice Munro's short story collection, Family Furnishings. I really love her writing right up until the minute I can't stand another minute of it and have to take a breather for a while.

    Also, first.

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    1. PEENEE: That’s perhaps the best description I’ve ever read of Munro’s books.

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    2. why that must be about the time Naughty Mormon Boys comes in.

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    3. MISTRESS MADDIE: I don't know how Peenee gets any reading done at all what with all those Mormon boys.

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    1. MAGO: Your bedside reading table is truly engaging.

      As I mentioned on your blog, I’m intrigued by that Renaissance book of bawdy humour. It’s like Infomaniac for 15th and 16th century readers!

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    2. For further readings, if you are interested, see this list please.

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    1. Sounds (and looks) like something published by Infomaniac Publishing!

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    2. LX & MR. DeVICE: The “mounted” always gets her man.

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    3. Is this Pablo Escobar in happier days ?

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    4. It's the late great John Candy.

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    5. CANADIAN GIRL: John Candy…gone too soon but always fondly remembered.

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  4. Apart from all the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novels I've re-read, I've re-read Nichelle Nichols autobiography Beyond Uhura which is a very enlightening look at what it meant to be a black performer during the mid-to-late 20th century; a very lengthy, and sometimes risque poem about a bumble bee Caltha Poetarum by T. Cutwode; All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders; and, most recently, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen - a tale of a dysfunctional American family.
    So far, I'd have to say that The Corrections is my favourite, so I may be reading less sci-fi and more straight-up fiction from now on. When I'm not reading DS9, that is!

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    1. MR. DeVICE: Will this be the year The Mistress finally picks up a copy of Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections?" Thanks to you, I say yes.

      You’re the only person I know to have read the very lengthy, and sometimes risque poem about a bumble bee, “Caltha Poetarum” by T. Cutwode. I see I can read it on Google books so I’ve made a note.

      In other news, I have yet to read a Star Trek novel, as I once promised you in a galaxy far, far way. Oh wait, that’s Star Wars.

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    2. Mr Franzen's writings seem to have the "Marmite Effect" on readers - they either love or hate his books, with very little middle ground.
      Once I got used to the lengthy descriptions (which didnt take long), I loved the time spent getting to what seems like every thought in these characters' heads.

      The Bumble Bee is most amusing - only it may take a while to get used to all those ſs (and vs instead of us etc) depending on which version you read.

      Perhaps you should try a Star Trek actors' biography first, before dipping into the vast and sometimes confusing library of Trek Lit?

      ::ignores Star Wars jibe::

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    3. MR. DeVICE: The “Marmite Effect.” I’ll keep that in mind and I’ll be using that phrase whenever I can now that I know it.

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  5. Oh dear... I didn't do my homework... again.

    Never mind Mistress... I'll show myself to the oubliettes.

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    1. HUGGY JON: And what exactly have you been doing during this long, cold Canadian winter?

      *opens trap door.

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    2. HUGGY JON: Well, snap out of it! It's almost spring!

      Although the two feet of snow is no indicator.

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    3. I did need to do a lot of reading for work... official kind of documents, legal stuff, rules and regulations stuff and also a lot of research for personal projects, mostly on the Internet but I did make a few trips to the library where I perused many dozens of books, magazines and other types of documents, so... you understand that I had other things on my mind to fill my leisure time than reading.

      Add to this practicing/studying music scores every day. You also know my fondness for learning languages so I spent lots of time devoting myself at getting better and better at it.

      Chances are I won't have anything more to offer on the next meeting of the infomaniac book challenge

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    4. HUGGY JON: Books that are work-related count for the Book Challenge and it isn’t necessary to name titles if you’d rather not. My reading for pleasure will be slowed down a little this month too by what I call “professional development reading.”

      I spend time studying languages too so I know how much time that consumes. I love it but it cuts into my time for other things, no doubt about it.

      And with music, 'Where words leave off, music begins’ as Heinrich Heine said.

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  6. Go on then... sling me in the Oubliette..... I promise to do better next time.... I feel like I've gotten a D-
    Sx

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    1. MISS SCARLET: Since The Book Challenge is not a contest ... *narrows eyes at LX*... there are no failures and no losers.

      But remember... READ MORE BOOKS!

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    2. At least it's warm down there, dearest Scarlet !

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    3. I totally read your comment out of context when it came through as an email, Mr Mags.
      Sx

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    4. MISS SCARLET & MAGO: Warm and damp.

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  7. The last paper book I read was a couple of years ago called Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. It was about an orphaned young woman who bosses everyone about on a farm and Aunt Ada saw 'something nasty in the woodshed' when she was a little girl, but what she saw was never revealed.

    10 Sorry Tales by Mick Jackson. Kindle edition. Featuring undertakers, dark forests, a hermit, a mean horse and two strange sisters.

    The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Set in 1960s Mississippi, maids dish the dirt (for one lady of the house, quite literally!) on their employers. Lovely recipe for chocolate pie.

    Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours by Jules Verne.

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving. Kindle edition. Still reading. It was free!

    For a bit of light relief I like to dip into The A-Z of Punishment and Torture by Irene Thompson.

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    1. I love Cold Comfort Farm. Possibly because I identify with the bossy protagonist. In a way, it's like a fairy tale, but twisted.

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    2. MITZI: Unlike you and Peenee, I didn’t read “Cold Comfort Farm” but I saw the film, based on the novel.

      I like the cover art on “10 Sorry Tales” and may read it, based on your recommendation and The Times Educational Supplement who said, “A unique mixture of pathos, humour and cruelty, delightfully disturbing for an adult or child.”

      Again with “The Help,” I saw the movie but didn’t read the book. Are we sensing a pattern here?

      As for “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”… oh dear… rather than read the book, I saw this in the form of a Disney cartoon. Don’t judge me.

      I’ll pass on the torture book as I’m still having sleepless nights from Mr. DeVice’s witch wringers.

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    3. I like the 10 Sorry Tales cover art, too. Very Addams Family!

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    4. MR. DeVICE: Yes, the illustrator’s work puts me in mind of Edward Gorey. His name is David Roberts and in reading a little bio about him, he says he was influenced by, “Edward Gorey, Maurice Sendak, John Burningham, Gustave Doré, David Hockney, Heath Robinson and Aubrey Beardsley.”

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  8. I've just bought a copy of Rufius - more about that here - but, much like Miss Scarlett I tend to carry books around in the vain hope I will read them; my fiction reading of late appears to be limited to The Daily Mash (of course). Jx

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    1. JON: Your post had me at “Priapic fascination.” Not to mention “effeminate buggeree.”

      Did you ever get around to reading “Fanny & Stella?”

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    2. I am more fascinated by all things priapic, and effeminate buggerees, than fannies. Jx

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  9. Does reading a cookbook count? "My Paris Kitchen" by David Lebovitz was not only great cooking, but a lovely look at an American living in Paris. I also read "Between the World and Me" Ta Nehisi Coates. There were a couple of others, but I'll not bore you with the titles. xoxox

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    1. SAVANNAH: Yes, cookbooks count as shown by my choice of Ruth Reichl’s combination cookbook/memoir.

      I’ve read “My Paris Kitchen.” It’s a must-read for foodies and Francophiles alike.

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    2. What are you hmm-ing about, Norma?

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    3. What about “My Paris Kitchen” Norma? What? What? What does the “hmm” mean?

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    4. oh mistressa, i apologize! all i meant is that i might consider reading it, though i'm not particularly francophile-ish.

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    5. NORMA: No need to apologize. I just can't always read your mind.

      You might want to look at the author, David Lebovitz’s blog and if you like his style, then pick up the book.

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  10. Well dearest, I managed to read two books in my cocooning. The first was Wildflower, the autobiography of the famous female impersonator Barbette. It follows Clyde Broadway's life from rural Texas to his life as a legendary drag queen aerialist. A fascinating read told in a story format. The second book was Tangled Sheets, a collection of male erotica......just for fun. I know your thinking, don't I already get enough filth here?

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    1. MISTRESS MADDIE: For a moment I thought you’d read Drew Barrymore’s autobiography, also entitled “Wildflower.” But reading about a small town Texas boy turned legendary drag queen aerialist sounds much more appealing.

      “Tangled Sheets” could be the title of your autobiography! Subtitle: “Mind the Wet Spot.”

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  11. "intimacy idiot" by issac oliver, which was plugged by nathan lane in the nyt book review didn't flip my skirt. neither did "what a time it was" by jeffrey lyons writing about the exploits of his father, leonard who was a columnist back in the day. it basically was a bore.

    i am VERY anxiously awaiting the arrival of jean stein's new book, "west of eden." (stein wrote a great book about edie sedgwick years ago.) stein is the daughter of doris & jules, jules who with lew wasserman founded MCA. this is hollywood fucking royalty.

    i also read (to death) a few clients
    the other day. does this count?

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    1. The Isaac Oliver was initially kind of fun, but soooooo one-note. Okay, so you're a kind of nerdy kid trying to get laid and have fun in Manhattan; now tell me something else (over and over and over again). It was like being trapped in an elevataor with a twink bartender.

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    2. being trapped in an elevator with a twink bartender is something i think i could work with.
      ahem.

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    3. NORMA: I read “Edie: American Girl” long ago so I’m interested in Jean Stein’s “West of Eden” but I’ll let you be the guinea pig and see if it rates reading.

      MUSCATO, NORMA & JON: Shaken or stirred?

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    4. shaken or stirred? yah, he'll be that.

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  12. I managed to read one whole book in January, Chicago Haunts Ghostly Lore of the Windy City by Ursula Bielski. It was a gift from a friend who knows of my fascination with creepy things in the dark & my interest in folktales & local beliefs & culture. I confess, the most interesting parts detail actual deaths & locations of the cemeteries & places these spirits reportedly haunt. The one about the little girl Inez Clarke is particularly intriguing --little girl killed by lightning or disease, buried with a life size statue over her grave, & that statue reportedly disappears & is sighted at different locations by witnesses. Real or not, when I get back to Chicago, I want to see the statue because it looks very beautiful & masterfully crafted.

    I also started reading a huge book on art & architecture, but I'm not even a quarter of the way through. So many pretty pictures! And I am fascinated by the descriptions & various history & interpretations that accompany the pieces. I will post next time when I've completed reading this spectacular book.

    Since I didn't want to appear lazy for having read only one & a quarter books, I am relieved to say that I did manage to read two other books on leap day, bringing my total to 3 and 1/4 books. These last two books were more poetry & art & I shall post about them later in the week when I have the time.

    I have to say, I'm quite impressed with the range of reading material the Infomaniac book club has presented. Who knew that the words highly cultured, as in sophisticated, would apply to this group, & not testing for strains of herpes, as one would expect when using cultured to refer to Infomaniac readers?

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    1. EROS: The only ghostly feeling I got in Chicago was when I accidentally stumbled upon The Biograph Theater, where John Dillinger was shot and killed.

      The Mistress shares your love of enormous architecture books. I’m careful not to shelve them too high so I don’t have an accident.

      Infomaniac Bitches are an impressive group, aren’t they?

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  13. I'm off to a shaky start...but in December, anticiapating the annual flood of bilge telly, I stocked up on library books. Off we go...
    Anyone read Shakespeare's "Othello, Moor of Venice"? You might like to try "Iago"-David Snodin. It's not a bad idea,being about a prisoner in Venice and an Inquisitor who determines to delve into his(the prisoner's psyche) but Mr. S. did rather lose track towards the end.

    I picked up "Jezebel"-Alan Gold. Again, probably could have been a ripper, given the lurid Bible tales about the lady,but I think Mr. Gold is not the best novel writer.

    And another based on history. The cover let me down and I'm cross that the publisher let it slip through! It shows a picture of Florence's FAMOUS cathedral dome.Now, I'm a fan of Brunelleschi's dome, so I thought "The Mosaic Crimes" -Giulio Leoni -might have been about him. Nope. It's about Dante Alighieri ( and other actual people)and is set in 1300.
    It is based on /around the design for the
    cathedral's mosaic above the alter. A complex weaving of history and, if you've read Dante's "Inferno" you can easily see where and how he might have got his idea.

    And in between, I've been re-reading "Islands for Survival" - Wade Doak- about his family's time on an underwater research vessel in the Solomon Islands.

    One more! "H is for Hawk" - Helen Macdonald, much-lauded book of self-discovery combined with the training of a goshawk.I'm not a falconer [the sport is illegal in Australia], but do have an interest in raptors so much of the book is fascinating.But I could have wished for tighter editing!
    I've also re-read Garth Nix' Old Kingdom series and several of his short stories.

    Now, I've been making notes of titles from all you learned folk.How the hell do you find time to read when there's so much distraction in the side bars. No, Muriel, not those bars...

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  14. DINAHMOW: Othello? Didn’t read the book but saw the play. I know, it’s not the same thing but there you go. I think David Snodin’s “Iago” might be a little too graphic for me. And this is coming from someone who runs an Oubliette.

    As I continue reading your list, I’m sensing you’re an historical fiction kinda gal? With a peppering of fantasy for good measure?

    p.s. Thank you for joining in on our discussion. Be sure to visit again around the 1st of May when we have a look at what Infomaniac Bitches have been reading in March and April.

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