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Artemis@BC
06-28-2012, 07:02 PM
I have a friend who picks a theme/topic for summer reading every year, and this year it's dogs. :dog:

I've already given her The Art of Racing in the Rain (but told her to skip through the racing parts ;) ) One Good Dog (which was completely awesome, I highly recommend this one), and James Herriot's Best Dog Stories. But I was wondering about A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron. They're on my to-read list, but I haven't managed to get there yet. Anyone read those?

She already has a couple of my-life-with-dogs biographies (can't remember which ones) and a couple of Susan Conants (not my favourites, but whatever).

Zemgirl
06-28-2012, 07:30 PM
I only read the first book and I hated it. I thought it was awful. It was terribly written - I'm not asking for award winning writing, but there were points where I was wondering what in the hell they were talking about. There is the scene where they first met and the main character is stumbling so much I found it hard to understand and read.
I guess Ana stumbles all the time because that's what Bella Swan does.

I was fortunate when it came to avoiding the hype, because reviews on romance blogs started appearing well before it became a runaway hit, and between that and the preview, I knew that it was not for me. Why did you decide to read it? It sounds like a painful (ha!) experience.

michiruwater
06-28-2012, 07:53 PM
Not to mention that actual practitioners of BDSM are pretty irritated with the book's portrayal of a 'normal' BDSM relationship. Anyone with a brain should be able to tell that it's straight-up abusive in multiple ways. What's-his-name has no interest in a consensual BDSM relationship that takes into account what Ana wants. I'm pretty sure Armintrout covers this multiple times, but I specifically remember a spot where Ana is crying because she can't stand that he's making her do the BDSM stuff and Armintrout was very :huh: about how it was portrayed as normal. It just adds to stereotypes.

I loved Armintrout's recaps. I refuse to read the actual books.

martian_girl
06-28-2012, 09:07 PM
I've been told this before too, but I have no idea where to start with them! Aren't there like 596 novels? I'm a bit reluctant to commit to such a long series... Any particular ones that you recommend that can be read as stand alone? Or do you need to read the whole thing in chronological order?

Well, only 39 according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld#Bibliography). :P You can actually jump into the series anywhere without getting too lost. There are several reoccurring characters and illusions to past novels, so the more books you've read, the more of the jokes you get. However, you can really jump into the series anywhere.


I started with Mort, which is a petty easy read. Hogfather is probably my favorite book of his. I also have re-read Jingo about a dozen times.

And if you haven't already, give Good Omensa try (the Gaiman/Pratchett collaboration). It will give you a bit of an insight into his sense of humor.

ryanbfan
06-29-2012, 01:17 AM
I guess Ana stumbles all the time because that's what Bella Swan does.

I was fortunate when it came to avoiding the hype, because reviews on romance blogs started appearing well before it became a runaway hit, and between that and the preview, I knew that it was not for me. Why did you decide to read it? It sounds like a painful (ha!) experience.

I choose to read it for the hype and I wasn't very impressed. Since I bought it on my NOOK and the 'content' of the book was extremely screwy (book pages wrong, characters missing, etc)... I'm actually getting a refund due to a content issue :lol: so I didn't lose any money on a book that I regret buying :shuffle:


Not to mention that actual practitioners of BDSM are pretty irritated with the book's portrayal of a 'normal' BDSM relationship. Anyone with a brain should be able to tell that it's straight-up abusive in multiple ways. What's-his-name has no interest in a consensual BDSM relationship that takes into account what Ana wants. I'm pretty sure Armintrout covers this multiple times, but I specifically remember a spot where Ana is crying because she can't stand that he's making her do the BDSM stuff and Armintrout was very :huh: about how it was portrayed as normal. It just adds to stereotypes.

I loved Armintrout's recaps. I refuse to read the actual books.

I felt the same way. We all know how BDSM basically works (give or take) and I felt Christian was overly controlling... it reminded me of all the magazine articles you read as a teen that say "if your boyfriend stalks you/has to know where you are 24/7/won't let you talk to other men... this is a red flag and you should leave him for your safety!"... yet here's this book glamorizing this like it's no big deal.

In other news, I managed to finish All the Flowers in Shanghai by Duncan Jepsen in a little over 24 hours. It was a good read overall, and kind of depressing. I'm a few pages into The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh now.

rjblue
06-29-2012, 02:38 AM
I have a friend who picks a theme/topic for summer reading every year, and this year it's dogs.
Oh! Oh! Oh! You must get her To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/77773.To_Say_Nothing_of_the_Dog?auto_login_attempt ed=true) I loved it. My non-sf reading daughter loved it (I left it lying on a table at her house). I want everyone to read it! It's a charming, funny, feel-good romp of a tale- perfect summer reading. It's got 4 1/2 stars on Goodreads!

Spinner
06-29-2012, 04:04 AM
I polled the well-read book bloggers I follow on Twitter for their favorite book to recommend to someone who gives them no restrictions. Thought it'd be interesting summer reading fodder. Here's what I got:

Fiction
The Last Samurai (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/190372.The_Last_Samurai) by Helen DeWitt
The Stone Diaries (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/77554.The_Stone_Diaries) by Carol Shields (winner of the 1995 Pulitzer)
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/259035.Jonathan_Strange_Mr_Norrell) by Susanna Clark
Gilead (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/68210.Gilead) by Marilynne Robinson
The Book of Lost Things (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/494610.The_Book_of_Lost_Things) by John Connolly
The Secret History (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29044.The_Secret_History) by Donna Tartt
Fatherland (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56842.Fatherland) by Robert Harris (PrincessLeppard's rec!)
The Shadow of the Wind (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7490773-the-shadow-of-the-wind) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (I **loved** this one too!)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2967752-the-elegance-of-the-hedgehog) by Muriel Barbery
The Historian (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2242412.The_Historian) by Elizabeth Kostova
The Memory of Running (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/112147.The_Memory_of_Running) by Ron McLarty
The Beautiful Miscellaneous (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/852311.The_Beautiful_Miscellaneous) by Dominic Smith
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28881.Lamb) by Christopher Moore
Five Quarters of the Orange (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15096.Five_Quarters_of_the_Orange) by Joanne Harris
Buddenbrooks (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/80890.Buddenbrooks) by Thomas Mann

Non Fiction
Holy Feast and Holy Fast (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/345768.Holy_Feast_and_Holy_Fast) by Caroline Walker Bynum
The Memory of Fire Trilogy by Eduardo Hughes Galeano. Book 1 is Genesis (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/264891.Genesis)
The Professor and the Madman (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10143789-the-professor-and-the-madman) by Simon Winchester
John Adams (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2203.John_Adams) by David McCullough
Eats, Shoots & Leaves (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8600.Eats_Shoots_Leaves) by Lynne Truss
The Coming Plague (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46722.The_Coming_Plague) by Laurie Garrett
Stasiland (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10600748-stasiland) by Anna Funder (another PrincessLeppard rec!)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/386187.Midnight_In_The_Garden_Of_Good_And_Evil) by John Berendt
The Color of Water (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29209.The_Color_of_Water) by James McBride
Join Me! (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/203265.Join_Me_) by Danny Wallace
The Hot Zone (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/481488.The_Hot_Zone) by Richard Preston
Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8362253-stretch) by Neal Pollack

Happy reading! :)

PrincessLeppard
06-29-2012, 04:24 AM
I really can't recommend Stasiland enough. East Germany was SKARY, y'all. Really an eye-opening book in the same way that Nothing to Envy was so enlightening about North Korea. Like, you always suspect, but then you read these books? And you know.

dinakt
06-29-2012, 05:44 AM
I polled the well-read book bloggers I follow on Twitter for their favorite book to recommend to someone who gives them no restrictions. Thought it'd be interesting summer reading fodder. Here's what I got:

Fiction
The Last Samurai (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/190372.The_Last_Samurai) by Helen DeWitt
The Stone Diaries (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/77554.The_Stone_Diaries) by Carol Shields (winner of the 1995 Pulitzer)
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/259035.Jonathan_Strange_Mr_Norrell) by Susanna Clark
Gilead (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/68210.Gilead) by Marilynne Robinson
The Book of Lost Things (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/494610.The_Book_of_Lost_Things) by John Connolly
The Secret History (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29044.The_Secret_History) by Donna Tartt
Fatherland (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56842.Fatherland) by Robert Harris (PrincessLeppard's rec!)
The Shadow of the Wind (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7490773-the-shadow-of-the-wind) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (I **loved** this one too!)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2967752-the-elegance-of-the-hedgehog) by Muriel Barbery
The Historian (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2242412.The_Historian) by Elizabeth Kostova
The Memory of Running (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/112147.The_Memory_of_Running) by Ron McLarty
The Beautiful Miscellaneous (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/852311.The_Beautiful_Miscellaneous) by Dominic Smith
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28881.Lamb) by Christopher Moore
Five Quarters of the Orange (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15096.Five_Quarters_of_the_Orange) by Joanne Harris
Buddenbrooks (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/80890.Buddenbrooks) by Thomas Mann

Non Fiction
Holy Feast and Holy Fast (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/345768.Holy_Feast_and_Holy_Fast) by Caroline Walker Bynum
The Memory of Fire Trilogy by Eduardo Hughes Galeano. Book 1 is Genesis (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/264891.Genesis)
The Professor and the Madman (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10143789-the-professor-and-the-madman) by Simon Winchester
John Adams (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2203.John_Adams) by David McCullough
Eats, Shoots & Leaves (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8600.Eats_Shoots_Leaves) by Lynne Truss
The Coming Plague (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46722.The_Coming_Plague) by Laurie Garrett
Stasiland (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10600748-stasiland) by Anna Funder (another PrincessLeppard rec!)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/386187.Midnight_In_The_Garden_Of_Good_And_Evil) by John Berendt
The Color of Water (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29209.The_Color_of_Water) by James McBride
Join Me! (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/203265.Join_Me_) by Danny Wallace
The Hot Zone (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/481488.The_Hot_Zone) by Richard Preston
Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8362253-stretch) by Neal Pollack

Happy reading! :)

Did not read too many of thise, but both "Jonathan Strange" and "the Historian" are high- quality for a modern fantasy; 'Jonathan Strange", in particular, is a wonderfully- written, alternative-history fantasy novel. I am waiting for Susanna Clarke to write another book, and will buy it the day it is published.
"Buddenbrooks" is another cup of tea completely, but, of course, great literature. 3 generations of German bourgeoisie examined. Read it a long time ago, but remember loving it.
The rest are recommendations for me, as well. Thanks!

flyingsit
06-29-2012, 01:27 PM
For non-fiction, I've read a number of Simon Winchester's books and they are fascinating, Krakatoa and A Crack at the Edge of the World in particular.

zaphyre14
06-29-2012, 01:39 PM
See, now, I disliked both "Jonathan Strange" and 'The Historian." So, if they're typical of the books on the list, I wouldn't go out of my way to hunt down others.

I'm just starting Carr's "india Black and The Widow of Windsor." Idia's descriptions of Victoria and Albert are priceless. My only quibble would be that in the third-person preface, the POV shifts between the medium and her daughter are somewhat abrupt and disconcerting to keep straight. And the dress on the model onthe cover is NOT Victorian.

PrincessLeppard
06-29-2012, 02:28 PM
Spinner's list came from a bunch of different people, most of whom don't know each other. :)

Spinner
06-29-2012, 03:09 PM
Spinner's list came from a bunch of different people, most of whom don't know each other. :)

Exactly. Sort of the purpose of my query to them. I wanted a broad range of flavors to share. Feel free to add yours!

dinakt
06-29-2012, 05:34 PM
See, now, I disliked both "Jonathan Strange" and 'The Historian." So, if they're typical of the books on the list, I wouldn't go out of my way to hunt down others.

I'm just starting Carr's "india Black and The Widow of Windsor." Idia's descriptions of Victoria and Albert are priceless. My only quibble would be that in the third-person preface, the POV shifts between the medium and her daughter are somewhat abrupt and disconcerting to keep straight. And the dress on the model onthe cover is NOT Victorian.

The list is all over the place in terms of genre, though!
But I am dying of curiosity- what did you have against Jonathan Strange? Genre, plot, language?

Artemis@BC
06-29-2012, 05:39 PM
From that list, I'd give thumbs up for The Stone Diaries (way up, tho that's not even my favourite Shields), Lamb (one of my fave books EVER), and Gilead (not on my top 20 list but I did like it). And from the non-fiction list, Eats, Shoots & Leaves (though in some ways I liked her follow-up, Talk to the Hand, even better).

I could no get into The Elegance of the Hedgehog. At. All.

Fatherland is on my list for the summer.