About Geoff W

Reading my way through life.

CRWM #01: From Russia with Love

CRWM01As promised, here is Episode 1 (the real first episode) of Come Read With Me! My guest on this episode is my good friend Caroline and we discuss Ian Flemming’s From Russia with Love, which I reviewed WAY back in February, which was also when we recorded this!

In the episode we discuss anything and everything from our first experiences with Bond to a distracted few minutes of ogling Sean Connery (the promised picture is below) and discussing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career. And I find out about Caroline’s adorable first library card!

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Book 50: The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of WrathI did it. I completed a John Steinbeck novel!

Honestly, I think even in high school I only partially read The Red Pony and The Pearl (or maybe I did actually read them, because they’re both novellas and pretty short), but the point is I finished a BIG one! In addition to it being a “full” Steinbeck novel, it counts toward both my Classic Club list (32/100) and as part of my 30 x 30 list!

I’ve always felt a little guilty at the lack of American authors on my read list and not having Steinbeck seems like a big omission. I’ve read many American authors, mostly before I started this blog, but Steinbeck is one of those which really is synonymous with America. He is America, a very specific swath and very specific time period of America, but he is America none-the-less.

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Culture Corner – August 2014

2014 08-08 Throwing Shade Live!I planned to start with the ridiculous movie theater I went to, but why not just go in order?

If you remember back in March I went to see a live taping of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale and how much fun I had, you’ll appreciate this. When I found out a few months ago one of my favorite podcasts, Throwing Shade, was coming to Boston I immediately bought tickets! The original plan was that Caroline, Hayley, a TBD friend and I would go. I mean it’s a comedy podcast dealing with politics and pop culture, of course it would be AMAZING.

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30×30: #14 – Read The Grapes of Wrath

2014 08-26 Falling Apart SteinbeckYAY! I’ve finally made more progress on my 30×30 list! I thought for sure, at this point it had fallen by the wayside and I’d pick up the pieces after December 21st, but THAT is why I included some reading related items on the list!

With the completion of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, I am now 1/3 of the way through my list and SEVERELY behind! I should’ve been at this point at the end of June, I’m going to have to seriously pick up the pace! Thankfully I’ve made progress on a few other and count probably cross them off in the near future (lying in the park, growing something from a bulb/seed, visiting Alie in VA, reach 525 blog posts), so it’s not like I’ve just been lounging around even though I have!

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The Classics Club – August 2014 Meme

Classics ClubThis question was MADE for me! YAY for finally having a great monthly question after months and months of participating! I’m finally reading another Classics Club novel (The Grapes of Wrath), but yay for small progress!

For August the hosts of The Classics Club have asked

What are your thoughts on adaptions of classics? Say mini-series or movies? Or maybe modern approaches? Are there any good ones? Is it better to read the book first? Or maybe just compare the book and an adaptation?

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Book 49: L’America – Martha McPhee

McPhee, Martha - L'AmericaHonestly, I’m sad I didn’t like this as much as I thought I would. Seriously, I’ve given it the lowest rating of the year so far. I bought it in one of my bulk buys at the 2011 Boston Book festival and haven’t thought of it since. It came up on my list when I used random.org to select my next book.

Even though I finished it, I just could not invest in this book, and that’s never a good sign. It started off slow, and thankfully did pick up a good bit, but still finished slow. Seriously go read the paragraph long sentence that was the final sentence of the novel. Not fun.

I think where I struggled to enjoy the book and where the author struggled to write the book was in converting an excellent idea into a manageable and digestible amount. Thankfully, the book wasn’t longer, but it really struggled through the first half. Beth felt like a whiny idiot (she was a teenager) and Cesare just felt frigid and unapproachable. This definitely changed toward the end, but it didn’t change fast enough or thoroughly enough to make me want to bump up my rating.

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Book 48: The Bookman’s Tale – Charlie Lovett

Lovett, Charlie - The Bookman's TaleGive me a book about a another book (missing, newly discovered, controversial, etc) and I’m happy. The writing could even be mediocre (this one was better than mediocre) and I can still deal with it!

I’m pretty sure this only serves to further verify I am a bibliophile, which isn’t at ALL shocking. I requested and received a copy of this book from the publisher after previewing it on NetGalley and received no compensation in return for my honest opinion.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel. It was a quick and fascinating read. However, I had some issues (and this may be from the fact this was a digital ARC copy) with the books structure. The book is set up as three intertwining stories: the original story/timeline of Robert Green’s Pandosto (1592-1879) (Wikipedia link), the beginning of Peter and Amanda’s relationship (early-to-mid 1980s – 1993/4) and the current events of the story (1995).You can imagine how this would be a bit confusing, especially as I never read anything about a book before I jump into it!

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