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mkats
06-26-2011, 02:58 PM
Since moving last month I've been without a car, so I walked out three miles to the nearest library yesterday (ended up being more like four after I kept getting lost :duh: ) but I found it! It's a cute little library where the selection is pretty small (authors M - S altogether take up just one shelf) but I was so happy just to have a library within my reach again, and I did find three that looked quite interesting, including Philippa Gregory's The White Queen. I've read it once when it first came out and according to the catalog The Red Queen was available, but it wasn't on the shelf when I got there :drama: so I picked up the White Queen. Again. Very sensible...but I like to reread things.

I had intended to be home by noon but between getting lost and getting suckered into just sitting in front of the "how-to" shelf and thumbing through all the books (how to cook for singles, how to speak Arabic properly... :shuffle: ) I ended up not getting home until close to 2 PM :lol:

Nomad
06-26-2011, 09:17 PM
IceAlisa - glad to hear you enjoyed Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Gentlemen Marry Brunettes is almost as funny. It's basically Dorothy's story, as told by Lorelei, although you get updates on Lorelei's life post Blondes.

I tried to start Anna K this morning but I'm not really in the mood for it. Now I'm vacillating between another Virago Modern Classic (The Tortoise and the Hare, by Elizabeth Jenkins) and The Innocent Mrs. Duff by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding, whom Raymond Chandler called "...the top suspense writer of them all."

Artemis@BC
06-27-2011, 06:53 PM
I'm a few chapters into Cutting for Stone, and so far I'm a little underwhelmed. I do like a lot about his writing style, and the setup and setting are both promising ... but I find the multiple medical procedure references to be unecessary and distracting, and some of his prose is overblown and turgid. But I'll give it a few more chapters at least.

Has anyone else here read it? Does it get better? It got a lot of positive reviews at another book forum I frequent.

Prancer
06-27-2011, 08:18 PM
I'm a few chapters into Cutting for Stone, and so far I'm a little underwhelmed. I do like a lot about his writing style, and the setup and setting are both promising ... but I find the multiple medical procedure references to be unecessary and distracting, and some of his prose is overblown and turgid. But I'll give it a few more chapters at least.

Has anyone else here read it? Does it get better? It got a lot of positive reviews at another book forum I frequent.

:lol: IceAlisa and I have both posted about trying to read this book and just not getting into it. I don't hate it; I just find myself putting it down and not having much desire to pick it back up.

rfisher
06-27-2011, 09:49 PM
I've decided I'd make a great agent or publisher. If I'm not hooked within two pages, the book goes in the reject pile.

Sarah
06-27-2011, 10:11 PM
I just finished reading Sisterhood Everlasting, Ann Brashares' "adult" novel about the girls of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series all grown up and on the verge of turning 30. The first third of the novel is so depressing that I actually had to put it down and stop reading for a day, but the rest, I read in one shot. Some definite "WTF???" moments and minor character inconsistencies, and some plot twists that will anger fans of the original YA series, but it's worth reading because when Brashares is at her best, she manages to capture tiny moments in beautiful pieces of writing.

My thoughts as well. I read the first 1/3, got depressed and almost abandoned it then and there, but after a few hours, I picked it back up and finished it in one shot. Definitely agree with you about Brashares when she's at her best. Glad I finished it, but not entirely happy I started it. But overall, definitely worthwhile.

Artemis@BC
06-27-2011, 11:23 PM
I've decided I'd make a great agent or publisher. If I'm not hooked within two pages, the book goes in the reject pile.

The problem with that, though, is that there seem to be so many books that do grab me in the first few pages ... but then the rest of the book doesn't live up to the opening. That seems to be happening more and more lately. I actually did like the first page or two of Cutting for Stone, but it went downhill after that. The Book of Negroes was the same way for me, as was Gods Behaving Badly -- both startes so well but failed to follow through. Which makes me twice as resentful: if the book is no good in the first chapter or two I won't bother finishing, but if it is good in the first chapter I keep hoping it will get back to that level and end up slogging all the way through.

dramagrrl
06-28-2011, 12:15 AM
Definitely agree with you about Brashares when she's at her best. Glad I finished it, but not entirely happy I started it. But overall, definitely worthwhile.
I would have been super angry about having started it at all had I not been spoiled about Tibby's death from the Kirkus book review. (I was angry enough that a short review would include such a big spoiler!) Knowing that was going to happen kind of prepared me for the first third of the novel, though not quite for the absolute bleakness of it.

Once I got past that section, though, it was much easier to keep going. I especially liked Brashares' descriptions of Lena and Kostos' letters to each other - the passage about letting letters go off into the ether and not being able to re-read and obsess over them like emails was a particularly lovely piece of writing.

I do have to say, though, that it seems like Brashares has struggled with how to write Carmen since after the first novel in the original series. I was not amused to see her suddenly turned into a size zero, iPhone-obsessed, shallow nitwit who didn't seem to have any idea whether she was coming or going most of the time.

genevieve
06-28-2011, 01:02 AM
I also did a quick reread of Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Patterson, a favorite of mine. The author really manages to capture what it feels like to be a girl in her mid-teens without being obvious or preachy. It's also set during World War Two and on an island, a time period and setting I'm drawn to.

Wow, I read that book when I was about 12. I've never known anyone else who's even heard of it! I don't remember a ton about it - does is take place in Scotland? - but I do recall the tone you're describing and definitely getting a sense of place as well.

ETA: I just read the wiki, and no, not Scotland. I think there must have been another book I read around the same time that takes place in Scotland.


I've been reading My Year with Eleanor (http://www.amazon.com/My-Year-Eleanor-Noelle-Hancock/dp/0061875031), which is about a late-20-something who lost her job in the economic crash and had no idea what to do with her life. While sitting in a coffee shop, she spied a quote on a chalkboard:

"Do one thing every day that scares you."—Eleanor Roosevelt

So she decided to do just that for a year. Her experiences, interwoven with Eleanor Roosevelt's life, make for a much more interesting read than I expected. I do want to pat her on the head at times, as she seems very young, but then she does something so challenging that I am amazed at her guts, not to mention some of the things she finds to do. I actually find myself wanting to go out and DO things.
There's some well-deserved backlash against the whole "My Year of..." literary trend, but this does sound kind if interesting, at least in a DO SOMETHING kind of way.

Prancer
06-28-2011, 01:17 AM
There's some well-deserved backlash against the whole "My Year of..." literary trend, but this does sound kind if interesting, at least in a DO SOMETHING kind of way.

DO SOMETHING and also, if you are a person who is subject to anxiety and negative thinking (not that *I* am, mind you, but I've heard), then there is a lot of discussion about why people are anxious and how to cope with it.

TygerLily
06-28-2011, 02:32 AM
DO SOMETHING and also, if you are a person who is subject to anxiety and negative thinking (not that *I* am, mind you, but I've heard), then there is a lot of discussion about why people are anxious and how to cope with it.For reasons NOT mentioned at all whatsoever in this post, I swear, I'm putting a library hold on this one.

Nomad
06-28-2011, 04:07 AM
Neither of the Elizabeths was doing it for me - both seemed to be about women oppressed by their asshat alpha-male husbands - so now I'm reading William by E. H. Young, about the parents of five adult children. I'm only six chapters in and already I love how Young contrasts William and Kate as partners, parents, and people. They love each other. They love their children. And yet they're so very different that I suspect that this may be a novel about why a seemingly "perfect" middle-aged couple "suddenly" gets divorced.

galaxygirl
06-28-2011, 04:27 AM
The problem with that, though, is that there seem to be so many books that do grab me in the first few pages ... but then the rest of the book doesn't live up to the opening. That seems to be happening more and more lately. I actually did like the first page or two of Cutting for Stone, but it went downhill after that. The Book of Negroes was the same way for me, as was Gods Behaving Badly -- both startes so well but failed to follow through. Which makes me twice as resentful: if the book is no good in the first chapter or two I won't bother finishing, but if it is good in the first chapter I keep hoping it will get back to that level and end up slogging all the way through.

Some of the best books I've ever read are ones that I almost gave up on after the first few pages. For example, The Stone Angel (http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Angel-Phoenix-Fiction/dp/0226469360/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1309231544&sr=1-1) by Margaret Laurence.

On the other hand, when I absolutely love the first few pages or so of a book, that's a big warning sign for me that I'm going to wind up not liking it.

rfisher
06-28-2011, 02:12 PM
For mystery lovers http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/ is an excellent resourse. All the new 2011 award winners are listed as well as upcoming releases. I have my list made out all the way through January. :)

Spinner
06-28-2011, 03:20 PM
My quick review (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/168470400) of SJ Watson's debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/before-i-go-to-sleep-s-j-watson/1100151937?ean=9780062060556&itm=1&usri=before%2bi%2bgo%2bto%2bsleep). :wideeyes: :eek: Heart raced at the end! A-MAZING!