Monday, July 16, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week. 

Old City Hall: A Novel
Synopsis here.

I completely enjoyed this book. That it is set in Toronto and can easily recognize all the places mentioned was an added bonus.
The story moves back and forth between four characters as they narrate their story.It is a clever plot with many twists to keep a reader's attention. The details about the Toronto courthouse and procedures kept me riveted as well.
Now I want to know if one can tour the Old City Hall based on his descriptions of the building!!
I also went and bought another of his books to read.

The Paris Wife
From the book jacket:
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wifecaptures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. 

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill-prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will becomeThe Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for. 

A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

This was a good quick read. It is a fictionalized version of Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson.
I was taken with all the writers mentioned who lived in Paris during the 20s that they mixed socially with.
I had read a biography of Hadley so was aware of their story. The author does a good job in the novel version.
I felt for Hadley, they started off as an ideal couple despite the fact that she is a few years older than him and a lot more old-fashioned and settled. But Ernest gets too big for his britches and falls into the rather decadent lifestyle of his rich and famous "friends". He's a bit of a moocher and whiner. He certainly doesn't go on to a better life, he had three more wives and several children after Hadley.
Hadley, however does go on and marries someone "steady" and has a good life that means something.

The Last Good Man: A Novel
From the book jacket:

In Jewish scripture, there is a legend: There are thirty-six righteous people on earth. The thirty-six protect us. Without them, humanity would perish. But the thirty-six do not know they are the chosen ones. In Beijing, a monk collapses in his chamber, dead. A fiery mark—a tattoo? a burn?—spreads across his back and down his spine. In Mumbai, a beloved economist, a man who served the poor, dies suddenly. His corpse reveals the same symbol. Similar deaths are reported around the world—the victims all humanitarians, all with the same death mark. In Venice, an enterprising Italian policeman links the deaths, tracing the evidence. Who is killing good people around the world? In Copenhagen, police are preparing for a world climate summit when they receive the Interpol alert. The task falls to veteran detective Niels Bentzon: Find the “good people” of Denmark and warn them. But Bentzon is a man who is trained to see the worst in humanity, not the good. One by one, people are crossed off his list. He senses their secrets and wrongdoings. Just as Bentzon is ready to give up, he meets Hannah Lund, a brilliant astrophysicist mourning the death of her son and the implosion of her marriage. With Hannah’s help, Bentzon begins to piece together the puzzle of these far-flung deaths. A pattern emerges. It is, they realize, a perfectly executed plan of murder. There have been thirty-four deaths—two more to come if the legend is true. According to the pattern, Bentzon and Hannah can predict the time and place of the final two murders. The deaths will occur in Venice and Copenhagen. And the time is now. 

2012 books read (50 to date):
The Coast Road - John Brady
Still Midnight - Denise Mina
The Bulgari Connection - Fay Weldon
Good Bait - John Harvey
The Heretic's Treasure - Scott Mariani
Dead I Well May Be - Adrian McKinty
The Devil's Elixir - Raymond Khoury
A Darker Domain - Val McDermid
The Impossible Dead - Ian Rankin
GB84 - David Peace
The Emperor's Tomb - Steve Berry
Stonehenge Legacy - Sam Christer
Inquisition - Alfredo Colitto ABANDONED!
The Troubled Man - Henning Mankell
Nineteen Seventy-Four - David Peace
Faithful Place - Tana French
Dead Like You - Peter James
Brother and Sister - Joanna Trollope
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton ABANDONED!
A Beginner's Guide to Acting English -Shappi Khorsandi
The Snowman - Jo Nesbo
The Leopard - Jo Nesbo
The Stone Cutter - Camilla Lackberg
Miramar - Naguib Mahfouz
The Gallow's Bird - Camilla Lackberg
Nineteen Seventy- Seven - David Peace
Timeline - Michael Crichton
Millennium People - JG Ballard
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins 
Birdman - Mo Hayder
Clara Callan - Richard B. Wright
The Paris Vendetta - Steve Berry
Little Girls Lost - Jack Kerley
The Reutrn of the Dancing Master - Henning Mankell
Nemesis - Jo Nesbo
Dublin Dead - Gerard O'Donovan
City of Bohane - Kevin Barry
This Beautiful Life - Helen Schulman
The Copenhagen Project - K. Sandersen
Prague - Arthur Phillips
Fortunes of War - Gordon Zuckerman 
The Cold Cold Ground - Adrian McKinty
Before the Poison - Peter Robinson
The Mozart Conspiracy - Scott Mariani
Dancer - Colum McCann
Pig Island - Mo Hayder

Old City Hall - Robert Rotenberg
The Paris Wife - Paula McLain


  1. What I am reading ? "Histoires à ne pas fermer l'oeil de la nuit" from Hitchcok.

  2. Oh I am reading blogs, yes, blogs, and feel so ashamed about this..So little time, and much to do..

  3. I enjoyed The Paris Wife as well. I wonder what would have become of Hemingway if they would have stayed together?

  4. The Last Good Man sounds like a page turner. Enjoy.

  5. Enjoy your week of reading. I think I visited before and thought I was on the wrong blog, oops.

  6. The Paris Wife looks like a good one. I don't know that much about Hemingway. I wonder if it helps to read his novels before reading that book.

  7. I've been wanting to read The Paris Wife! I checked it out from the library once but never got to read it.


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