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27 May 2011


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Thank you CR, for making this happen. I would not have read either book, were it not for the Ménage! And had I read them on my own, I would not have gotten as much out of them.

I like the non-fiction/fiction mix. But I also enjoyed the two non-fiction books you chose for the "Travel" Ménage last year. I am sad that I missed the "Crime" Ménage that you organized before that one because you included a graphic novel. I have never read one before. I still (wrongly, I know) associate them with comic books. So if I could put my two cents in, if there is anyway you could work in a graphic novel in the next Ménage that would be great (for me).

I have one question for you. How did you happen on TBOL? Was it via “Inglorious”? Was it the title or the cover, since you were pregnant at the time?

Yes, thank you CR for this experience. It was interesting and fun and gave me a fresh perspective on fiction. :-)

I did enjoy the fiction/non-fiction mix. I like the idea that there's the potential for entertainment as well as learning when it's done that way. Having said that, I'd try just about anything as long as it's thought-provoking. Graphic novel? Now that would be new and different!

The only graphic novel I've ever been tempted to read was Maus by Art Spiegelman. Maybe we should read that along with The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer. I've heard both books are excellent. But I doubt that would suit most women... :-) And we'd have to start now and set the date for early next year!

P.S. I posted my final thoughts on the books at the end of yesterday's thread this morning (GMT) before you'd added Day 5.

I'm sorry I didn't comment yesterday on TBOL. You all were too smart for me. The only part of the book I enjoyed was the historical chapters on Semmelweis although I related to the tensions between Bridgitte (sp) and her mother.

I also liked the fiction/non-fiction mix, but I like the non-fiction menages, too. I'm easy. How about a biography/autobiography and another book about the time period. Of course, there would be endless possibilities.

Thanks as always, CR, for arranging the menage!! You are the best.

I enjoy both fiction and NF, so I enjoyed both the Capt Cook menage last year and this menage. I think fiction, because it is open to more interpretation, generates more discussion and I have been amazed by what other readers took out of both of these books. To me the best part of the menage is that I read books I otherwise would have missed, and I have greater insight into them because of the discussion. Whatever the menage is next time, you can count me in!

I have a question: Which book did you enjoy better, and why? For me it was TDP (even though is was not as rigorous as I would have liked) because TBOL never quite came together for me. Also, I second Ruthiella's question. CR - knowing that you like NF, what made you pick up TBOL?

Ruthiella, Greta,
Thanks to YOU for making the Menage happen. I have been blown away by all the great comments--I'm going to re-read them in a week and give it all some more thought.
Ruthiella--I really enjoy NF graphic novels for adults so maybe I'll try to find a good one for the next Menage. They're often quick(er) reads too, which is nice when reading two books to discuss.
I forget how I found TBOL. I think it was because I REALLY enjoyed "Inglorious," and then stumbled across her second book. I just happened to be pregnant--and while pregnant, I didn't really read about the subject, other than to obssess over "What to Expect when You're Expecting," of course. That was more than enough to take in--other than that I read NON-parenting and childbirth titles. It was nice to re-read these books with pregnancy behind me.

By all means you should read "Maus" sometime--it's an experience. And a stunning intro to the form of graphic novels. Sadly, however, WWII in any way shape or form is pretty much my only "deal breaker" subject--I can't read fiction or NF about it, at all. I find there's still constantly so much WWII stuff in the news and pop culture that I can't handle it in my other reading. I wonder if there's any good NF/Fiction about WWI. THAT I would read.

Thanks again for all the great comments---whatever time zone you're in!

I felt the same way. What a great crowd of readers--I love hanging around people who are smarter than me. Luckily I get the chance a lot, as the number of people who are smarter than me is LARGE.
My pleasure for arranging the menage--thank YOU for taking part. My sister always wants to talk to me about your comments in particular, always very thought-provoking.
Yes, will have to give the next Menage titles some thought. I think I will be back in the mood for two NF titles.

I have loved your comments too--live from the NICU! What a great perspective, particularly for these books. I look forward to your participation in our next Menage!
Also glad to help people read books they might not otherwise. Mostly you have to read what you like, but I always think it's good for our brains and recreation to read something just a little different (particularly if they're not super-long books that sap a lot of time and energy).
I agree that the insights gained through these discussions (particularly on TBOL) have been wonderful. Learning about the tarot card headings alone was super-cool. And duality and postmodern stuff? Awesome. It's like being back in college for free.
As for why I read this book, I must say that, although my main love is NF, I have a soft spot for fiction titles that really get to me for some reason. I think I prefer NF simply because it is more efficient--I tend to like about 7 out of every 10 (or so) NF titles I start, whereas I only get into maybe 1 out of 10 or 1 out of 20 novels I try. But once a novel or author gets into my heart...I really intensely love them. And Kavenna, for whatever reason, has really found her way into my heart.

Oh, but your question was, which one did I like better. Hmmm. I'm going to cheat and say I think I liked them equally--TDP because that first taught me about Semmelweis and blew me away, and because it was a good brisk short read; TBOL because something about it really tugged at me. I think they were both really great examples of their respective types, types I really enjoy: punchy nf history and kind of "thinky" fiction. If that makes any sense.

And, BTW, Kavenna is also the author of a NF title, I think it's titled The Ice Museum. Weirdly, I haven't read that yet. Maybe this summer.

CR, I fully understand your not wanting to go there with the WWII thing. Despite numerous people recommending both books to me, I guess I'm off the hook having to read them anytime soon. :-) I'm glad I had the opportunity to read Kavenna and learn to appreciate her writing and now I have Inglorious sitting here next to me beckoning to be read. Keep me posted on what and when we can read together again and I look forward to seeing you all here next time!

Great menage! Love your category of "thinky" fiction. My favorite. I liked how this one was such a mix of genres. i look forward to next subject pairing. If I think up a topic suggestion, I will shoot you an email.

This review of a new book on World War I was in the "paper" this morning. I've requested it from the library, but there's already a line. I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.


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