Author Topic: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2  (Read 460234 times)

Annie

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6080 on: May 06, 2017, 10:01:17 AM »
         
This is the place to talk about the works of fiction you are reading, whether they are new or old, and share your own opinions and reviews with interested readers.

Every week the new bestseller lists come out brimming with enticing looking books and rave reviews. How to choose?


Discussion Leader:  Judy Laird




Rosemary, have you tried watching the Father Brown mysteries?  They help to calm one's nerves during and AFTER an elections! Believe me, I speak from experience! Most of the English/Scottish/etc etc are on Netflix. Whole seasons of them. 🤓🙏🙏 for you and yours!!
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

Judy Laird

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6081 on: May 06, 2017, 11:33:32 PM »
Call you tomorrow ann
Judy

rosemarykaye

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6082 on: May 07, 2017, 04:28:15 AM »
Hi Annie - oh yes, Father Brown is another one of our go-to election remedies!  We have quite a few episodes recorded (we don't have Netflix) but I am beginning to think we have watched them all now. The DVDs are still quite expensive here as it's very popular - there are people at the cathedral who watch it simply to see what the writers get wrong in the liturgy, etc... (NB I am not quite such a pedant - yet)

Another wonderful relaxant for us is Gavin & Stacey, but it's a very British kind of humour and I don't know whether it would translate to the US.  Its great strength is in its razor-sharp observation of working class/aspirational family life. It's hilariously funny (to us anyway) but also has some really moving scenes. James Corden and Ruth Jones wrote it and star in it, along with Alison Steadman, Larry Lamb, Rob Bryden and numerous other well known actors. It's quite old now but always bears re-watching, especially on a Sunday night when work/college is looming...

This could really be an entire article/blog post, couldn't it? 'Election Remedies of a Non-Hallucinogenic Nature'....

Rosemary

rosemarykaye

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6083 on: May 07, 2017, 04:34:48 AM »
Tomereader, that book sounds very interesting, I will see if our library has it.

Small towns are so rich in stories. I suppose it used to be villages, but nowadays most villages here have no shop, nor pub, nor community hub, so secrets are much more likely to stay just that. In a small town there are still so many meeting places. My daughter was speaking just yesterday about North Berwick, the seaside town in East Lothian that we used to live close to. Many of the people there went to school together and stayed there - a friend of hers told her that when all the 17 year olds tried to get into the local pubs with fake ID, they were on a hiding to nothing as everyone knew them already (and their Mums & Dads). Considering the NB high school is supposed to be one of the best in the country, you might have thought they would have had more sense!

Rosemary

rosemarykaye

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6084 on: May 07, 2017, 04:37:39 AM »
Tomereader - not only does our library seem to have Did you ever have a family, someone has even posted a review of it:

'A story told in different voices of coping with a house fire that kills everyone you love. A well written debut title, although the number of voices telling the story can be a bit confusing at times. A good read.'

I get the impression you would agree?

Rosemary


Tomereader1

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6085 on: May 07, 2017, 12:49:46 PM »
Tomereader - not only does our library seem to have Did you ever have a family, someone has even posted a review of it:

'A story told in different voices of coping with a house fire that kills everyone you love. A well written debut title, although the number of voices telling the story can be a bit confusing at times. A good read.'

I get the impression you would agree?

Rosemary


I wish whoever reviewed it wouldn't have posted "spoiler".  You notice, I didn't.
The reading of a fine book is an uninterrupted dialogue in which the book speaks and our soul replies.


André Maurois

rosemarykaye

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6086 on: May 07, 2017, 01:11:18 PM »
Oh dear sorry - I didn't really think that was a spoiler, I thought the main thing would be a story about the various reactions to the event? Apologies everyone :(

Tomereader1

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6087 on: May 07, 2017, 01:27:29 PM »
Well, it's not exactly spelled out , even the liner notes do not spell out what the "shocking disaster" "horrific tragedy" might be.  Only on Page 28 is it stated that the "old stone house destroyed by fire".  Earlier chapter might lead one to believe that it was a horrible auto crash (words issued by June). You're forgiven, Rosemary!
The reading of a fine book is an uninterrupted dialogue in which the book speaks and our soul replies.


André Maurois

kidsal

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6088 on: May 09, 2017, 05:43:06 AM »
Reading "The Last Painting of Sara De Vos" by Dominic Smith.  Good read about forgery of 16th century Dutch painter. Moves from 16th century Holland to 1950s New York and 2000 Sydney Australia.

kidsal

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6089 on: May 09, 2017, 06:04:37 AM »
Beautifully written "Thus Bad Begins" by Spanish writer Javier Maria's and "Ghachar Ghochar" by Vivek Shanbhag a writer from India

rosemarykaye

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6090 on: May 09, 2017, 03:46:53 PM »
Hi again Tomereader - just because I felt bad, I looked at Did you ever have a family on Amazon UK, and they actually give away the nature of the tragedy in the official 'blurb'. Maybe Amazon US is more subtle?!!  Anyway, still sounds like a good book :)

Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6091 on: May 12, 2017, 06:18:25 AM »
Has anyone read the four book Lord Byron series by Gretta Curran Browne? The first one is a freebie on Amazon right now. I was wondering if it is worth adding to my already extensive ebook TBR pile.

Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6092 on: June 08, 2017, 02:44:22 PM »
Surprisingly, both of the books I put on hold at the library came in today. One is SciFi, but the other is Ben Bova's The Hittite which is a work of historical fiction. It looks like much of the story unfolds during the Trojan Wars. The inside cover blurb also mentions the destruction of the walls of Jericho. This should be interesting since the accepted time frames for these two events are centuries different.

mabel1015j

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6093 on: June 08, 2017, 11:40:31 PM »
Reading Jodi Picoult's Small Great Things. Wow! I'd like to discuss this with a book group, there is so much possibility in this book. A Black labor and delivery nurse has a white supremacist for a patient. That's about as much as I tell you without spoilers. I'm not sure if I can finish it, it has the possibility of getting really stressful for me to read.

Jean

bellamarie

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6094 on: June 09, 2017, 12:04:50 PM »
Jean,  I have not read any of Jodi Picoult's book only because they are so very emotional and intense with real life human situations that I am not always ready to take on.  I do own a couple of her books that a friend gave to me a few years back. I read the jacket and decided not now.  Some day I may be ready. 

I am reading a fiction novel called The Secret Letter by Chris Harrison (the host of the Bachelor/Bachelorette)  Who knew he could write.  It is a very interesting story about a murder, love, and choices you make in life that can come back around to hurt you. 
"Sometimes books don't find us until the right time." quote Amelia says to A.J.,  from the book A Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

PatH

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6095 on: June 09, 2017, 01:44:48 PM »
Bellamarie, I feel the same way about Jodi Picoult.  Too much suffering for me.

Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6096 on: June 13, 2017, 11:05:24 AM »
I am more than half way through The Hittite. It is a simple retelling of the Iliad from the standpoint of a Hittite soldier who ended up fighting in the Trojan War when he came to the city looking for his wife and children who had been sold into slavery. It really makes me want to reread the Iliad or, at least, rewatch Troy.


Bova also brought up differences between the Greeks, Trojans and Hittites in social structure (including the treatment of women) and war tactics. According to Bova's Hittite, Lukka, the Hittites were more advanced in warfare than the other two groups. The Greeks and Trojans still fought with bronze weapons, while the Hittites had advanced to iron weapons. The Hittites also used siege towers and the like to scale enemy walls while the Greeks and Trojans knew of no advances. I really need to do some fact checking there and get back to reading some of my history books on ancient civilizations. I want to find out just where and when siege towers and other siege weapons came into use.

PatH

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6097 on: June 13, 2017, 05:47:04 PM »
Frybabe, if you find out more about warfare techniques, please share it with us.

I watched Troy when we were reading the Iliad here, and was rather unimpressed with the interpretation.  But in a couple of scenes, the glory of the original leaked through.

Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6098 on: June 14, 2017, 07:32:44 AM »
I agree, Pat, that the movie to be desired in interpretation, but I liked it anyway. While I am not a big Brad Pitt fan I thought he looked magnificent in the armor.

Bova did not use the Trojan Horse in his depiction of the Fall of Troy. He used a siege tower at the city's weakest point in the walls. This strikes me as a little more realistic than the Trojan horse story of the Iliad. He includes in the book an account of how the Homeric tale came about including "Homer" got blinded. Fanciful, but interesting.

Iron Swords: Iron swords appeared around the 12th century BC. The Sythians and Persians used them, but they didn't become in more common use elsewhere until the 8th century BC according to Wikipedia (without proper citation). Google search, surprisingly, isn't returning much. I will have to see what I have in my home library which includes a history of Persia, an old book on arms and armor, and the Durant's Story of Civilization series.

Siege towers. We read about them mostly used in the Middle Ages and by the Romans. Before the Greeks in the 4th century BC (earliest Greek use as best as I can tell), the Assyrians were using them in by the 9th century BC (several sources say 11th Century BC). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_tower#/media/File:Assyrian_Attack_on_a_Town.jpg The ancient Chinese were using them way earlier although I saw no dating for those other than "ancient". Oh, and it appears that on the tomb of Egyptian general Intef (11th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom, circa 2000BC) at Thebes there is a depiction of a rudimentary mobile siege tower.


DISFrontman

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6099 on: June 21, 2017, 04:07:38 AM »
My language in college was Ancient Greek (two terms of Homeric, one Koine) and we read the Illiad, or at least the first parts of it, in Homer's native tongue.

The biggest criticism of the Troy movie that I've read and agreed with is the way the roles of the gods were more or less neutered from the story.  It's nearly a "secularized" version of the tale.

RE: iron weapons, I did some research on this subject during the writing of Regarding Tiberius.  It wasn't as if a switch was flipped and iron weapons popped up and made bronze weapons instantly obsolete.  Bronze alloys can altered to enhance hardness or ductility, and cast into beautiful examples of craftsmanship.  Iron was a mixed bag--no carbon and it's soft, too much carbon and it's brittle.  The ONLY advantage to iron weapons initially was cost: bronze is a copper/tin allow, and tin is rare--in the ancient world, you had to import it from places like Britain at great expense.  Iron ore was more abundant.

The best example of late-Bronze era weapon technology is the one found in China from the 3rd Century B.C.:

http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/3000-year-old-bronze-sword-discovered-china-002051

It was a bi-metallic casting (higher tin alloy to make the edges harder, lower for the inner tang to prevent breakage).  In some areas the blade was still so sharp that it could cut the hands of the archeologists studying it.

Here is a video of a YouTube weapons aficionado putting a bronze sword through some impressive tests:

https://youtu.be/ngjMtzJ6xgQ

So when Pitt dispatches that huge muscle-bound character in the beginning of the film, I think the blade technology of bronze weaponry makes that scene at least somewhat plausible.

One other advantage to bronze swords is that they are highly resistant to corrosion.  It isn't all too rare to dig around in certain areas of Britain and unearth one.  Compare that to finding Roman-era iron weapons, which are typically rusted to nothing, even though they numbered in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.  Discovering one completely intact is nothing short of miraculous.

Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6100 on: June 21, 2017, 07:28:56 AM »
Good Morning, Bart. I was just thinking of you a little earlier today (and yesterday, as a matter of fact). How are things going with the sequel? I hope you and the family are doing well.

Thanks for the additional input about the bronze and iron weapons. I never delved very deeply into the history of weapons themselves.

What do you like to read when you are not busy with work, family and writing?

Right now, I am back to reading several SciFi books to the detriment of my Roman history books. My latest acquisitions waiting on the side lines are Lindsay Powell's Germanicus.., Adrian Goldsworthy's Pax Romana, and Legions of Rome by Stephen Dando-Collins. Latin classes are over for the summer, but that isn't keeping me from translating and reading Pliny the Younger's Letters. They are way too interesting to stop reading just because classes are done for the summer.


mabel1015j

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6101 on: June 21, 2017, 01:26:44 PM »
Interesting info, Bart. I like learning things like that.

Jean

PatH

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6102 on: June 21, 2017, 02:18:09 PM »
You can still get knives made with that layering technique:

http://www.hidatool.com/cutlery-and-kitchen/chef-knives-slicers?product_id=1620

PatH

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6103 on: June 21, 2017, 02:42:38 PM »
It's no good leaving out the gods when you tell the Iliad, since the whole thing is really the gods playing out their own squabbles using the mortals as their tools.

The movie also annoyed me by pronouncing Menelaus men-e-louse instead of men-e-lay-us.  Which is right?

DISFrontman

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6104 on: June 22, 2017, 02:00:47 AM »
The movie also annoyed me by pronouncing Menelaus men-e-louse instead of men-e-lay-us.  Which is right?
In Greek, Μενέλαος, the second syllable is stressed (hence the accent), so in the original tongue I would think it would sound like "men-AY-la-os." The last syllable would sound less like "louse," as in the singular form of lice, and more like how we pronounce the name of the country of "Laos," i.e., a bit more separation in the dipthong.  I think the conventional English transliteration pronunciation would be "men-e-LAY-us."

Take that with a grain of salt... I took Ancient Greek in 1992-93 and haven't exactly used it conversationally since then.  :)

Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6105 on: June 27, 2017, 06:19:06 AM »
I am now reading an old novel called Lords of the North by by A. C. Laut. The setting is about the frontier dwellers, fur trappers, and of course, the indians of the Northeast and Canada. The Hudson Bay company and their competitors are quite active. It appears, though I didn't see any dates, before the French and Indian Wars. The story begins with a kidnapping and the subsequent search for the victims.

Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6106 on: June 28, 2017, 05:48:43 AM »
I am amending my previous comment about Lords of the North. As I read further into the book I realize that it is not set during or before the French and Indian Wars, but is set, at least at the beginning, in the early 19th century. The backdrop, so far, includes the rivalry between the North West Company, based in Montreal, and the Hudson's Bay Company.

I looked up both companies. Surprise! The Hudson's Bay Company still exists. The North West Company operated between 1779 and 1821, when it merged with Hudson's Bay. An employee consortium bought out the northern trading posts in 1987 and revived the name; it is based in Winnipeg. North West Company is now a grocery and merchandise store chain, while the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) evolved into a retail company. HBC is the company that acquired Saks Fifth Avenue about four years ago.


Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6107 on: July 01, 2017, 10:02:58 PM »
I finally got around to checking a map, now that I am over 50% through Lords of the North. The area of action is mostly from what is now Winnipeg and to the west and south following the Souris, Assiniboine and Red Rivers. I just finished a description of one of the Buffalo hunts down near or below Pembina which at the time was considered part of Canada (until a survey of the 49th parallel proved otherwise). Now the story is coming up on the Battle of Seven Oaks (June 19, 1816) during what became known as the Pemmican War. The site now part of the city of Winnipeg which has erected a monument at approximately the center of the battle site. Also in Winnipeg is the site of Fort Douglas, now part Fort Douglas Park within the downtown historical district.

I am also reading bios of some of the key players from the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company. One of those killed at the Battle of Seven Oaks was an American businessman (Robert Semple) with no experience in the fur trade who had been appointed Governor of the Red River Colony. The description in the book of the Sioux depicts them as a fierce group prone to vindictiveness and cruelty toward their enemies and with having no love for the White Man. I have learned that Sioux is the French name for the Lakota.

While the book does show some of the hardships endured by colonists, and fur trader/trappers, it focuses mainly on the conflict between the two great fur trading rivals. And, of course, there is a love interest involved and a brave missionary intent on bringing the word of God to the Indians.

Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6108 on: July 04, 2017, 03:59:48 PM »
I just read my first Anthony Trollope short story, "An Unprotected Female at the Pyramids". What a delight. It has a whiff of Victorian politeness, understatement, muted emotions, and humor about it. I have another in on my e-reader, but I think that is an account of a trip he made across Palestine.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6109 on: July 04, 2017, 04:23:01 PM »
Love Anthony Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire - The TV series that had Alan Rickman as Slope was a riot.

Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6110 on: July 04, 2017, 04:54:29 PM »
I thought I had that in on my Kindle, but what I have is Barchester Towers and The Eustace Diamonds, and I have The Warden in print. I may have read The Eustace Diamonds long, long ago.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6111 on: July 04, 2017, 06:28:38 PM »
Frybabe the Chronicles is a series of six novels. The Warden, Barchester Towers, Dr. Thorne, Framley Parsonage, The Small House at Allington, The Last Chronicle of Barset

link to the series: https://archive.org/details/chroniclesbarse01trolgoog

https://exoticandirrational.blogspot.com/2011/09/guide-to-novels-of-anthony-trollope.html


Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6112 on: July 05, 2017, 06:21:55 AM »
Ah, hah. Thanks Barb. Then I have the first two of the series. I think I saw Dr. Thorne and The Last Chronicle of Barset on Gutenberg; other two are probably there too.

hats

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6113 on: July 22, 2017, 12:27:00 PM »
I am reading The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson. The location begins in Jamaica. Now, I am in New York. It's a love story. It's also a story about a single mother surviving while raising a baby girl. Jamaica seems to have been one of the places where movie stars loved to relax and play. Errol Flynn shows up in this one. I can't wait to find reading time for today. What will happen in New York?

Frybabe

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6114 on: July 27, 2017, 10:21:40 AM »
I have found my next lending library read. It is an historical novel set during the late Republic. It retells the story of Quintus Sertorius, a statesman, general and at one time considered a hero of Rome, who became an enemy of Rome. He eventually lost his war and his life to Sulla and Pompey in 72BC. The Man With Two Names by Vincent B. Davis II is the first in new series. It looks like the book is only available on Amazon.

I am going to grab my Plutarch and read his chapter on Sertorius before I begin reading the novel.

hats

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6115 on: August 01, 2017, 07:25:57 AM »
I've finished the last novel named here. I really loved it. Now, I'm going to try and reread The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I would like to see the movie too.

mabel1015j

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6116 on: August 09, 2017, 02:50:45 PM »
I had Mary Cassatt as one of the elements of my library presentation last night and I came across these two fiction books about her, both of which sound interesting. I've just started, I always loved you: a story of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas by Robin Oliveira and the second one is Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman in which Mary's story is told by her sister Lydia and apparently talks about Lydia's life as an artist's model and her Bright's disease. In the "preview chapter" the author is giving a nice description of Paris and the people in Paris and their FIFTH floor walk-up apartment where Mama and Poppa Cassatt and Mary and Lydia live.

I'm looking forward to enjoying both of them. I don't know either author.

Jean

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6117 on: August 09, 2017, 04:24:19 PM »
Jean we read here, I always loved you: a story of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas by Robin Oliveira - didn't think it was that long ago - so you may want to look into the archives and see what was said at the time.

PatH

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6118 on: August 09, 2017, 05:32:02 PM »
It was summer 2014.  The National Gallery here in DC was serendipitously having an exhibit of Cassatt and Degas at then time, and Pedln, JoanP and I saw it together.

hats

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Re: Fiction ~ Old ~ New ~ Best Sellers #2
« Reply #6119 on: August 09, 2017, 07:29:09 PM »
I loved that second book about Mary Cassatt.  I no longer have a copy.  I think the book is a small treasure. ;)