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Matryeshka
02-16-2011, 12:20 AM
The first Parasol Protectorate book was quite enjoyable in a quirky, steam-punky kind of way. The subsequent books were less quirky and more typical supernatural-romance stuff... :blah:

still... I am waiting for the next book... :shuffle:

Yes, I am on book the third and am vastly disappointed in the pregnancy subplot. Though I LOVE that Italy is a dreadful because that's where vegetable eating, coffee drinking Italians dwell. Veggies are quite bad for you, afterall.

vesperholly
02-16-2011, 04:18 AM
Are there any books you'd all recommend that have upstairs/downstairs, Downton Abbey-style settings? I loved that series and Remains of the Day (book and movie).

Kasey
02-16-2011, 05:50 AM
Have been on a non-fiction streak lately...currently halfway through a book on Poisons (http://www.amazon.com/Poisons-Hemlock-Botox-Killer-Calabar/dp/1559707615/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297835296&sr=1-2) which includes some interesting trivia, as well as famous poisoners of the past. People do look at you funny when you work in a hospital and whip it out for reading on a break tho....

IceAlisa
02-16-2011, 06:14 AM
Have been on a non-fiction streak lately...currently halfway through a book on Poisons (http://www.amazon.com/Poisons-Hemlock-Botox-Killer-Calabar/dp/1559707615/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297835296&sr=1-2) which includes some interesting trivia, as well as famous poisoners of the past. People do look at you funny when you work in a hospital and whip it out for reading on a break tho....

:rofl: I am so buying this book.


ETA: It was already on my wish list. :eek:

LilJen
02-16-2011, 01:43 PM
Read several Jodi Picoult novels a few years back. Started by the Amish one, because I live in an area with a lot of Amish. Picoult's books are all THE SAME. Horrifying plot twist, unlikely romance between lawyer types, ripped-from-the-headlines storylines. . . I will say they're entertaining but that's about it.

Did I mention Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible [Amazing? can't recall] Voyage by Alfred Lansing? I visit this thread so seldom that I can't remember. Anyhow, QUITE the survival tale and amazing indeed.

Currently finishing up The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Another incredible tale about a kid from Malawi who, with little education and using a few books and bits from every junkpile he could find, built a windmill to generate electricity (and income) for his family. He was always fascinated by electricity and magnets and such, but he was out of school (his family couldn't afford it and were struggling to keep food on the table, as there was/had been famine at the time) and just pored over these books and eventually constructed a windmill. He was on The Daily Show.

Wyliefan
02-16-2011, 02:25 PM
ETA: It was already on my wish list. :eek:

*backs slowly away from IceAlisa* ;)

zaphyre14
02-16-2011, 02:39 PM
I finished my Iris Johansen marathon in the car with "No One to Trust." All I will say is that I'm glad I did the abridged versions since I don't think I could endure the whole things. Now I'm into McCall Smith's "Tears of the Giraffe." I could do with a little less detail about the engagement and more on the investigations but I'm still enjoying it, again mostly to the skill of the reader.

In actual print, I finished Nevada Barr's "Burn." I've read a lot of books set in New Orleans. Even though Barr lives there, I didn't feel as if she captured the feel of the city as much as she's done with the settings of some of her other books. Maybe she's better with national parks than with urban settings. And I hated - hated - hated the ending.

Grannyfan
02-16-2011, 06:18 PM
Have been on a non-fiction streak lately...currently halfway through a book on Poisons (http://www.amazon.com/Poisons-Hemlock-Botox-Killer-Calabar/dp/1559707615/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297835296&sr=1-2) which includes some interesting trivia, as well as famous poisoners of the past. People do look at you funny when you work in a hospital and whip it out for reading on a break tho....

A book I've read about that sounds really interesting and along those same lines is called Stiffs. It's about cadavers.

If you're on a nonfiction streak, I highly recommend three books by Erik Larson:
The Devil in the White City about the 1900 Chicago World's Fair and a serial killer operating in the area around the same time
Thunderstruck about Marconi and the development of wireless communication; there's also a murder subplot
Isaac's Storm about the great Galveston hurricane and the early days of weather forecasting

The first one is my favorite, but they're all fascinating.

I also recommend [I]Unbroken[I], Laura Hillenbrand's new WWII survival story.

Spinner
02-19-2011, 05:08 AM
Just finished The Book Thief. It's not often a book can get to you, but this one did. I was especially moved by "Death's Diaries" in part 6. I had to re-read this passage 3 times because I wanted to feel it again and again.

I'm sure Liesel Meminger was fast asleep when more than a thousand bomber planes flew toward a place known as Köln. For me, the result was five hundred people or thereabouts. Fifty thousand others ambled homelessly around the ghostly piles of rubble, trying to work out which way was which and which slabs of broken home belonged to whom.
Five hundred souls.
I carried them in my fingers, like suitcases. Or I'd throw them over my shoulder. It was only the children I carried in my arms.
But the tears came when I finished the last few paragraphs of this part where Death describes his first days collecting souls in Auschwitz and Mauthausen. I'll spoiler tag it in case any of you haven't read the book yet--you should!

Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each soul that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary, poisoned cheeks. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their vanishing words. I watched their love visions and freed them from their fear.
I took them all away, and if ever there was a time I needed distraction, this was it. In complete desolation, I looked at the world above. I watched the sky as it turned from silver to gray to the color of rain. Even the clouds were trying to get away.
Sometimes I imagined how everything looked above those clouds, knowing without question that the sun was blond, and the endless atmosphere was a giant blue eye.
They were French, they were Jews, and they were you.

topaz
02-20-2011, 03:16 AM
As the Representative for Trashy Reading here, I eschew anything remotely literary and so spent my weekend reading Mary Balogh's Regencies "A Christmas Promise" and "A Matter of Class." I'd recommend both, if that's your fancy; Balogh has a knack for creating realistic characters and stepping just to the side of the traditional Regionacy format. .

I've read or listened to one of Mary Balogh's novel. I enjoyed A Secret Affair.

Have you read anything from Sabrina Jeffries? I would highly recommend them. They are witty, steamy and a good time read. Female characters are strong. Sabrina is my favorite romance author and her regency period romances shine. I like Lisa Kleypas novels too. Loved the Wallflowers and Hathaway series.

topaz
02-20-2011, 03:17 AM
I finally, finally finished Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning. It was a very very good book. The last book of series was worth the 2 year wait.

Two of my favorite authors have upcoming books to be released on Feb 22nd. Kim Harrison's Pale Demon and Richelle Mead's Iron Crowned are two of my most anticipated book releases this year.

Prancer
02-20-2011, 04:50 AM
A book I've read about that sounds really interesting and along those same lines is called Stiffs. It's about cadavers.

I read that book and Bonk, too. Mary Roach has a real knack for making a reader laugh nervously and cringe at the same time.


I also recommend [I]Unbroken[I], Laura Hillenbrand's new WWII survival story.

I have this one, but haven't read it yet. I'm reading books that I can put down easily right now.

rjblue
02-20-2011, 06:07 AM
Are there any books you'd all recommend that have upstairs/downstairs, Downton Abbey-style settings? I loved that series and Remains of the Day (book and movie).
Winston Graham's Poldark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Poldark_Novels) series. Both the books and the TV show. They kept me sane when I was up at all hours of the night feeding my new baby 25 years ago. I had to return all the books, because they were borrowed, but I'm about to buy my own set, and add the few new ones I've never read.

It's in an earlier era, but the upstairs/downstairs thing is there. Here's an excerpt from one Amazon review, which I wholeheartedly agree with:
Most writers get into a rut and create the same novel over and over again. Winston Graham keeps finding fresh things to say and innovative things for his characters to do in these books. This picture of Cornwall at the turn of the 19th century rings true from beginning to end. The love, passion, struggles, and lives of this family are so engaging that I could read these books over and over again. The perils and joys of mining and seamanship, farming, religion, banking, courting, medicine, justice, war, all form a backdrop for the day-to-day details as this time and place come to life.
These people love and hate and dispise each other, they forgive each other, and sometimes learn to live with each other. Through each book the cast is expanded with wonderful characters full of quirks and individual personalities.

Wyliefan
02-20-2011, 01:13 PM
Finally finished Possession. It turned out to be a good read after all (though I confess I'm not sorry to be done ;) ).

I love this: "He had time to feel the strangeness of before and after; an hour ago there had been no poems, and now they came like rain and were real."

oleada
02-21-2011, 05:56 AM
I just finished Before I Fall. I really enjoyed it. The NPR reviewer linked here earlier called it subtle, layered and ultimately ethical book, and I agree with that. I'm glad it lived up to the good reviews. I liked going back every day and seeing how it all changed.