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I have been reading AK slowly but surely. The main complaint of most readers doesn't bother me. I have read several books based in Russia and know that one family member can have many different names, depending on who is talking about them/addressing them. It isn't as strange as you think, our own language has many different ways of addressing people. If you are talking to a family member you use their given name, but if you talk about a family member, you give their relationship as well as their name. If you know the person well there may be a nickname you use, and then parents rarely call their offspring their given names, but shorten them or use "pet names". OK....keeping that in mind...embark on Anna Karenina and the naming is not as odd as people first think..
I have only got as far as where Levin has found out that Vronsky has not proposed to Kitty, and Kitty has gone into a decline. The book is much easier to read than I thought it would be, however, I am only reading in 10-20 page chunks.
I had also started a book called "The Confusion" by Neal Stephenson, only to realise that it is the second book of a huge trilogy. So, yesterday I found a copy of "Quicksilver", the first in the trilogy, and am reading that.....all 900+ pages of it.
Bearing that in mind, please forgive me if I don't post for a while, as I am working my way through two ENORMOUS books.

The bumph is so good I bought this twice. Then gave the second copy...when I realised what I had done, to one of the English teachers at school. good I bought it twice?
Well is another book that just wanted to be read!
Luciano is a street child, living by his wits. One day "the chef" catches him stealing a pomegranate, and instead of turning him in to the "authorities" he gives him a job in his kitchen. "The Chef" is chef to the Doge of Venice in a time where there is corruption everywhere. Many are searching for answers to various questions, such as eternal life, beating ageing, turning base metals into gold. "The chef" has a copy of "the book"....but what is contained within the pages is not what the searchers are looking for. However, they do not know this, and the Doge, the Pope, and several other influential persons initiate a search for "the book". This puts "the chef" and Luciano's life in danger.
If I say more I will spoil the plot. If what you have read has caught your interest...look for this book, set in 1498, prior to the mass production of printed matter...the masses were expected to follow whatever "priests" told the to sheep...this novel explores the beginnings of the masses thinking for themselves.

And here's a link to the author's site
I will admit when I picked this book up I didn't read the back, the short bit on the front had me hooked.
One Sect, many secrets....and murder
I didn't realise it was about Mormons, and polygamy, I thought it was about a "Bluebeard" type man.
Another brilliant book, with the two tales intertwining throughout. In my eyes, one without the other would possibly have made a weaker novel, but both woven together made for very interesting reading.
If you are a very strong feminist this book will make you angry, how the children are treated is not so good either in my eyes. The indoctrination of the Mormon women of the sect is particularly shocking.

I finished this just before the winner of the Man Booker prize was announced, and I said to Blue that if Wolf Hall was as good it would win. Don't you ever wish you'd been brave enough to put a bet on?
Will give you a bumph and what other readers think about Beyond Black. I found it another fast paced book, with a great big dollop of "black" humour. The loneliness of Alison's childhood sets her apart from other people and she finds she has a gift ...she's a medium, but not one of the fly-by-night charlatans, she is a genuine medium. Mantell infuses the serious passages with the right amount of humour lifting what could be a very very dark book, as Alison is increasingly visited by the spirits of men from her past.

I thought this was a novel, but it isn't, it is 4 linked stories, not quite in the same way as the tales in The Passion are linked. To me I finished I could have justified myself going back to the start of the first story and starting all over again. Makes you think which comes first.

The world may be slowly coming to an end, but for Billie and Spike it's just beginning. Sent into space to explore the Blue Planet - a strange but habitable new world where leaves are as big as cities, birds nest in shells and humanity could have a second chance - they start to fall in love. But what will they discover in their newfound land? As they whirl into the future, through new lifetimes, different identities and dazzling stories, will they ever truly find a home?

For more about Jeanette Winterson visit her author website.

I read one of Swift's books for my degree, and have since read "Tomorrow". What can I say about Swift's books in general, my Mum wouldn't like them as they are not told in the regular linear timeline, with the main character sometimes relating the present, sometimes the past, however, they all tie up together. The Light of Day is told along these lines. There's a a murderer, a detective, the police, and a lot of memories. As with the other two books I have read of Graham Swift's I thoroughly enjoyed this one, it being quite face paced, with short succinct chapters. However, it did left me wondering if Sarah had actually murdered her husband, as George reveals that on his way home Bob, Sarah's husband deliberately ran a red light having a very close shave with a HGV. This, however, did not disappoint me as I like books to make me think.
For more about Graham Swift, click below, I think the link is a little out of date, but is a reliable one.

I am still reading Anna Karenina, slowly but surely and am enjoying it. Since I last posted I have read 4 books. I'll update you on those.
I have been treating myself to some new knitting books as well. When I try out the patterns from them I will post the results over on Fidgetty Fingers.

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