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Prancer
04-20-2011, 04:09 AM
Millersburg is one of the towns she mentions in the books. Is it the county seat? Apparently, that's where the hospital and corornor's office for Painter's Mill is located.

Millersburg is the county seat and, I think, the biggest town in Amish country, with a population of two or three thousand folks and lots of shops for the tourists.

barbk
04-20-2011, 04:59 AM
Millersburg is the county seat and, I think, the biggest town in Amish country, with a population of two or three thousand folks and lots of shops for the tourists.


But do the young dudes plaster their buggies with reflectors to show their coolness like they do in Lancaster? :)

Prancer
04-20-2011, 05:25 AM
But do the young dudes plaster their buggies with reflectors to show their coolness like they do in Lancaster? :)

Not so much. One difference between Lancaster and Millersburg is that Lancaster has a higher Old Order Amish population, while Millersburg has more New Order Amish, with a higher population of Beachy Amish mixed in. You can find all three in either place, but there are some striking differences in what you see because of the population differences.

NO Amish are permitted to drive around in fancier buggies than OO Amish, and so you see things like battery-powered interior lights, decorative pieces on the outside of the buggies and (gasp) RUBBER TIRES. NO Amish are also far more likely to keep their horses smart; OO Amish consider overtly healthy, highstepping, groomed horses to be a sign of pride and vanity, but NO Amish don't.

So if you go to Millersburg, "cool" is more likely to come in the form of a buggy with a fancy front and decorative molding, and maybe interior lights zipping around town behind a pair of sprightly horses. The passengers might wear a bit of color and the men will have carefully trimmed beards. The OO Amish, as people do, tend to bend over backward the other way in contrast, to show their greater humility, and so cool for an OO Amish dude would be a muddy horse pulling a very plain buggy.

Then there's those Beachy Amish, who are permitted to drive cars, and so show everyone up, only there aren't a whole lot of them and everyone thinks they're Mennonites, anyway. :lol:

rfisher
04-20-2011, 01:41 PM
There's always a dilemma for an author who sets her mystery series in small towns. You can kill off half of the population pretty quickly and the other half is in jail. Caroline Haines told me she got worried about her *Bones* series set in rural Mississippi because how many murders can an amateur PI investigate in the same small town? She moved Sarah Booth around to New Orleans, LA, and the Caribbean, but got a lot of complaints from readers because their favorite ancillary character couldn't be moved as well. You can take one or two along, but it's hard to make a case for the cafe owner or local sheriff. So, you end up killing the strangers. I always imagine a sign on the town entrance to Joanna Flugg's Hannah Swensen series that says: Welcome to Lake Eden, Minnesota. Strangers beware as you have a 95% probability of being murdered in your sleep."

VIETgrlTerifa
04-21-2011, 05:31 AM
Wasn't that the problem with Murder, She Wrote as well?

rfisher
04-23-2011, 12:55 PM
PL there's a new Pendergast coming in August and it looks to be :kickass: I didn't realize that last one was the first of a new triology. I figured they'd do two, but they're doing three. Helen may be alive and Pendergast is out for blood. :cheer2: I loved the last book and am glad they're ignoring Weird Constance for the time being.

PrincessLeppard
04-23-2011, 01:34 PM
:cheer2:

RockTheTassel
04-23-2011, 04:22 PM
I'm currently reading Night and Day by Virginia Woolf and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It's my second book by each author, and I'm finding such a new appreciation for both.

Any opinions on Atlas Shrugged? I'm really liking it so far (about a fourth of the way through), but I know so many people who loathe it. Of course, many of them haven't actually read it and only loathe it because they know it as "that big book that spews conservative hate". :rolleyes:

PrincessLeppard
04-23-2011, 04:47 PM
I tried to read Atlas Shrugged in order to form an opinion on it, and couldn't get through more than 20 pages.

gkelly
04-23-2011, 05:25 PM
Any opinions on Atlas Shrugged? I'm really liking it so far (about a fourth of the way through), but I know so many people who loathe it.

I read it in 4 days (the first time) when I was in high school, and reread it several times in the year or so following. At the time I was inclined to embrace the philosophy it espoused; later I changed my mind about most of it.

Is it possible to enjoy the book without embracing the philosophy? I think yes, if you take it as a a kind of sometimes slow-moving thriller and skip over/skim through the longer speeches where the plot stops dead.

IIRC Rand stated her belief in one of her essays that the keys to successful fiction are plot, plot, and plot. To the extent that the novel works, I think the plot sucks you into considering the ideas.

And I do think they are worth considering. But the moral world they address is very black-and-white and leaves out a lot of aspects of real experience. So if you do engage with the ideas as an adult, be prepared to consider and then reject, or to say "OK, good enough, but what about...?"

The characters I'd say are no more or less two-dimensional that in the average thriller. Some interesting internal conflicts for some of the main characters, but many exist mainly to serve as moral exemplars and/or plot points.

IceAlisa
04-23-2011, 06:04 PM
I am reading Cutting For Stone now and am surprised that I am not finding it "unputdownable" like many other readers.

It's really up my alley in terms of themes and narrative style that is surprisingly well-developed for a rookie writer like Verghese. I've always had a special interest in physician writers.

And yet I have no problem going for days without picking it up. Perhaps it's not escapist enough at the moment. I'd love for Kate Atkinson to write another mystery or for Tana French match her effort in The Likeness.

What do people think of Cutting For Stone?

Prancer
04-23-2011, 06:15 PM
I tried to read Atlas Shrugged in order to form an opinion on it, and couldn't get through more than 20 pages.

Rand's writing plods gracelessly along, hectoring as it goes.


I am reading Cutting For Stone now and am surprised that I am not finding it "unputdownable" like many other readers.

I started that one a while back, put it down and didn't pick it back up. Like you, I don't know why that is--it's a good book. But it didn't hold my interest well, either. I do intend to finish it, but.....maybe I'll be more inclined to do so later.

rfisher
04-23-2011, 06:43 PM
Life is too short for boring books.

BrokenAnkle
04-23-2011, 06:50 PM
I just got a Nook! Must be careful not to go crazy!

Prancer
04-23-2011, 06:51 PM
I just got a Nook! Must be careful not to go crazy!

Ooooh, Nooks are very dangerous. It is so easy to buy books without having any sense of spending money at all.