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Prancer
04-20-2012, 08:50 PM
Another "cheap reads" site for you Kindle owners, highly recommended by my favorite digital librarian: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/EreaderNewsToday

Marge_Simpson
04-22-2012, 04:47 AM
Well, I finished "Believing the Lie" but what i really can't believe is that it was actually published. What crap! The most disgareeable cast of characters I've ever encountered, and only Barbara acted in character. :rolleyes:
After reading "Nothing to Envy", which was recommended by many people here, I've been reading everything I can get my hands on about North Korea.
"Nothing to Envy" made my eyes pop. I really knew nothing about the country other than it was communist and rumored to be run by a lunatic. After reading Demick's book I was horrified and outraged. Why isn't the US, the UN, someone, DOING something about this?
Then I picked up "Somewhere Inside" by Laura Ling and Lisa Ling. Parts of it were interesting, but mainly it annoyed me. The chapters are alternately written by Laura (who was arrested and held in North Korea for crossing the border illegally) and Lisa. While reading Laura's chapters I thought things like "Ignorance of the law is no excuse, dummy! Couldn't you see you were being set up?" and "Oh please. With all your family contacts, you KNOW you aren't going to a labor camp. Use your head. They are holding you to use as a bargaining chip, and as soon as they get what they want, they will let you go home." Lisa just irritated the hell out of me, with all her name-dropping. "Well, I called my close friend Oprah and then I called my good buddy Al Gore", blah blah.
I read Euna Lee's book, "The World is Bigger Now" and found it a very good read. She was the woman who was held inside North Korea with Laura Ling and a much humbler, sympathetic person.
"Aquariums of Pyongyang" was another eye-popper, but poorly written, IMO. The style is so detached I couldn't work up much sympathy for the author.
I just slogged through "Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader" by Bradley Martin. It's not an easy read - almost like a textbook - but very informative.
I just started "Escape From Camp 14" by Blaine Harden. It's very disturbing and I had to put it aside for awhile.

PrincessLeppard
04-22-2012, 05:39 AM
I've only made it halfway through Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader. Very dry. Interesting. But dry.

oleada
04-22-2012, 05:56 AM
Thanks for all the reviews, Marge_Simpson. Nothing to Envy was a huge eye opener for me and I'd love to read more on North Korea.

I went to a local bookstore this weekend and found "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" by Helen Simonson and "Unaccustomed Earth" by Jhumpa Lahiri for $6 a piece. I've been wanting to read both so it was a nice find. When, I don't know though :fragile:

puglover
04-22-2012, 05:59 AM
Just reading "Defending Jacob" by William Landay. I'm only part-way through it and I never did read or see "The Trouble with Kevin" so I can't compare them at all but I am enjoying "Defending Jacob" and finding it quite thought provoking.

cygnus
04-22-2012, 03:20 PM
I gulped C.S. Harris' latest Sebastien St. Cyr Regency mystery "When Maidens Mourn" over the weekend. I really like this series.



I'm one volume behind you (I wait for the paperbacks), but I like this series too. I'm half way through "Where Shadows Dance" and am enjoying it very much.

Marge_Simpson
04-22-2012, 04:07 PM
I'm plugging a film here as it ties in with my reading about North Korea:
Check out "A State of Mind", it's available on Netflicks. I had already seen it and it was creepy enough without knowing much about North Korea. (The way the kids are indoctrinated, the personality cult of the leaders, the utter creepiness of the Mass Games) I just watched it again and it was even more chilling, knowing more now about the country. For instance, that only the loyal elite can live in Pyongyang and they can be ordered to live elsewhere if they displease the government in any way. The families had to have been carefully coached on what to say to the filmmakers, and the food shown in the dining scenes was probably provided by the authorites to make it seem as if they eat that way all the time

Prancer
04-22-2012, 07:00 PM
Just reading "Defending Jacob" by William Landay. I'm only part-way through it and I never did read or see "The Trouble with Kevin" so I can't compare them at all but I am enjoying "Defending Jacob" and finding it quite thought provoking.

I don't think I have ever loathed a book as much as I did We Need to Talk about Kevin. You couldn't pay me enough money to force me to read it again; I still can't believe I finished it.

rfisher
04-22-2012, 07:22 PM
That's something I don't understand. If a book doesn't hold my interest, I toss it. Some after only a couple of chapters. Unless it was required reading, I don't bother. There are too many other books out there to spend time on one that's not entertaining. I feel no need to finish a boring book. Anything that's described as thought provoking is a big red flag and I wouldn't bother anyway. :lol:

I just started Alexander McCall's Smith latest installment in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I love visiting with Maa Ramotese. She provides all the thought provoking I require.

Prancer
04-22-2012, 07:36 PM
That's something I don't understand. If a book doesn't hold my interest, I toss it. Some after only a couple of chapters. Unless it was required reading, I don't bother. There are too many other books out there to spend time on one that's not entertaining. I feel no need to finish a boring book. Anything that's described as thought provoking is a big red flag and I wouldn't bother anyway. :lol:

I kept waiting to see if it would get any better. It didn't.

I read afterward that the author wrote it just after deciding she would not have children, which is a good thing. Rarely have I seen a book about children written by someone who so obviously considers children destroyers of life--and yet knows so little about them. I was :eek: that there were people who found it "realistic."

I find Alexander McCall Smith's books really boring :shuffle:.

rfisher
04-22-2012, 08:59 PM
I find Alexander McCall Smith's books really boring :shuffle:.

I agree, except for the No. 1 ladies series and The Finer Points of Weiner Dogs which was hysterical. Actually, there are two others in the weiner dog series that are pretty funny. I saw the HBO series with Jill Scott and really liked it before reading any of the books and I actually like them better on audio than reading myself because the narrator has such a wonderful voice. They are gentle humor. Except the weiner dog book which was laugh out loud funny. It's about academics and fake academics and writing papers and presenting them based on false premises. It's funny if you've ever gone to a conference and witnessed exactly what he's describing.

Sofia Alexandra
04-23-2012, 12:24 AM
Does anybody else read the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child books?I read Relic when I was a kid, and it did two things. 1) It scared the shit out of me, and 2) it made me vow that I'd one day go on a behind the scenes-tour of the American Museum of Natural History (I still want to go there). :D
The sequel, Reliquary, didn't do much for me though. One monster in a relatively confined space is scarier than lots of monsters spread out all over the place, imo. And they could've done so much more with the whole people-turning-into-lizard-hybrids thing.

I've occasionally been looking at other Preston/Child books, but I haven't bought any, since I don't know which ones are on par with Relic. Any tips?

Another good book of the scienc-y Nature versus mankind flavour is The Swarm (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/68146.The_Swarm) by Frank Schätzing. Although I don't agree with the Goodreads blurb that describe it as "a struggle between good and evil". Nature strikes back against mankind's abuse of the oceans, a group of scientists tries to find a peaceful solution. That's not "good" versus "evil", that's just two groups with diametrically opposed viewpoints trying to figure each other out.

PrincessLeppard
04-23-2012, 12:58 AM
None of the rest of the Preston/Child book reach the creepiness factor of The Relic, but I've enjoyed all of them. :)

rfisher
04-23-2012, 01:05 AM
None of the rest of the Preston/Child book reach the creepiness factor of The Relic, but I've enjoyed all of them. :)

I don't know. Still Life with Crows and Cabinet of Curiosities were pretty creepy. The books really are best read in order because of the introduction of recurring characters.

PrincessLeppard
04-23-2012, 01:12 AM
I enjoy people being eaten. :P But agree that it's best to read them in order.