Books moral and immoral

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Sep 6, 2012.

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  1. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I started Barbara Cleverly's third Letty Talbot mystery "A Darker God" over the weekend but it just wasn't holding my interest. Too many characters, too much long-winded dialog and too little character development.

    So I jumped to Rowling's "A Casual Vacancy." Pribably a big mistake since I'm about 75 pages in and the most sympathetic character is the dead guy. It moves along though so I'll probably hang in for a while, but I'm missing the charm of the Harry Potter books.

    I did like the Kate Carlisle bookbinder's mystery enough to hunt out the next three on the book swap site. And I have Steven Saylor's "A Gladiator Dies Only Once" collection of Gordianus the Finder short stories.
     
  2. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I scrapped both Rowling and Cleverly last night as too depressing and picked up Kacey Michaels' "A Most Unsuitable Groom." It's old and part of her Becket series which I may or may not have read when they first came out, The hero is approppriately tortured, a soldier wounded in The Americas, who after returning to Britain, is confronted by the woman who saved his life - and the child he doesn't remember fathering. It's way easier reading and even if the plot is predicitable, I like the characters. It's certainly worth the 25 cents I paid for it.

    Now I just need to be sure I have batteries on hand so I can still read by flashlight is Hurricane Sandy knocks out my power.
     
  3. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Note to self: do not start watching a post-apocalyptic TV series (Falling Skies) while you are in the middle of a post-apocalyptic novel (The Twelve). Aside from a confusion of plotlines and characters, there's a very high risk of dreams dominatied by alien vampires. :eek: :scream:
     
  4. susan6

    susan6 Well-Known Member

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    I tried reading Le Guin's "The Dispossessed" and Asimov's "Foundation".....and got bored and stopped both times. On the other hand, Herbert's "Dune" is one of my favorite books. So I never know what I'm going to like. Kind of frustrating.
     
  5. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    Those are three very diverse authors. That is one thing about SF as a genre category- the writing styles are wildly varied. The only thing they have in common is that somewhere in the plot there is a "what if".

    "Dune" is on my list of books to find. For some reason I used to get it confused with "Battlefield Earth" which is on my never-to-read list.
     
  6. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    About 1/5 of the way through Red Mars and still liking it very much. Asimov is an author I've been meaning to read but haven't really delved into yet.
     
  7. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    They just won the World Series. :cheer2:

    The book is really good, but it certainly doesn't exactly wrap up the trilogy.

    As it to be expected, I guess.

    Le sigh.
     
  8. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Finished The Twelve last night. At about 2:00 am. Then took another 45 minutes to fall asleep after that. :eek:

    Great book, even better than the 1st one (The Passage, which I enjoyed very much). I started the book assuming it was the 2nd in a trilogy, or possibly even longer series. At the point I started reading last night (about 150 pages to go), the way things were going I began to think that the story might end with this one. But no. There's obviously more to come.

    (Just looked it up, and indeed it is being called "The Passage Trilogy.")

    So, on the one hand I'm glad that there will be a third book ... but on the other I'm not pleased I have to wait until 2014!

    This was also a book I was very happy to have in hard copy as opposed to ebook. In addition to several maps, there's also a dramatis personae list that's handy to be able to refer to -- and I just find that sort of flipping easier with a paper book.

    I highly recommend this one for fans of post-apocalyptic lit. Less so for those expecting vampire lit -- there are creatures that share some characteristics with vampires, but not the things that vampire lovers tend to love. Just sayin'

    BTW, there's an excellent and extremely creative recap of The Passage at the beginning of The Twelve, so although reading The Twelve first obviously makes the most sense, it is actually possible to dive straight into The Twelve.
     
  9. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Has anyone tried the Supper Club Mystery series?

    I was looking for something else in a digital library and stumbled across Carbs and Cadavers. There were 14 people on the waiting list, even though it wasn't a new book, so I thought, "Ah, that must be a good book," and put myself on the waiting list. Well, now I have it and so far, I am not thrilled.

    I read this on the author's bio: She taught sixth grade language arts in Cary, North Carolina for the majority of her eight-year teaching career and it hit me that that's one thing I don't like about the book--the sentence structure and pacing of the book make me think of books written for middle schoolers. The characters are adults doing adult things, but there is a certain subject-verb-predicate, subject-verb-predicate, overexplanation of detail to the way they are described that is getting on my nerves.

    If anyone has read it, is the story worth the writing?
     
  10. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read that series - I tend to stay away from the food-based series just because I don't cook and I'm not that ineterested in the recipes the authors add ad accents to the stories.

    To me, almost all of those theme-based mysteries are the adult substitute for the Nancy Drew books we read as kids. So far the only author I've really liked in the cozy genre is Elaine Viets. Donna Andrews was okay and I currently like Kate Carlisle. And even those I rarely pick up new and instead scarf them up at yard and library sales or on the swap site.

    I'm currently reading another of Kasey Michaels' Beket historicals, "The Return of the Prodigal." I skipped the volume between the last one I read and this one so some time has passed; Waterloo is done but the plot to restore Napoleon to the throne of France goes on and it doesn't seem as if I missed much of the family saga. Again the hero is wounded (lost part of his left arm) and tortured by the many secrets of his past; he seems a bit manic-depressive to me, although he is recovering from a narcotic addiction as well. The heroine is a more complex character, although at times she borders on the Too-Stupid-to-Live stereotype when she misses obvious truths about her "father's" character supposedly out of loyalty and love. But she's no spineless wimp, nor simpering virgin, which is unusual enough in these tales so I'm content to keep reading. Again for 25 cents, it's a decent read.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  11. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I don't think there are any recipes in this one, although it wouldn't surprise me to find some tucked away somewhere. The gimmick with this one seems to be nutrition labels--every chapter has a (fake) junk food title and a nutrition label to match

    Yes, I agree; they're usually so formulaic that there's no point in reading them, but every now and then I turn up one I kind of like. I think this one is going back to the library, though. I can't get interested enough to tap the screen for it, which is about as indifferent as a person can get.
     
  12. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Hubby gave me All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-Long Journey with Jane for our anniversary. Story of an English prof who conducts reading groups on Austen in several Central & South American countries, out of her curiosity of how Austen would translate for those cultures. Really interesting!
     
  13. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

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  14. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    I'm reading a zombie novel, Rot & Ruin. I like it. :)
     
  15. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

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    You would enjoy reading a cereal box as long as there was a mention of zombies. :p
     
  16. Michalle

    Michalle New Member

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    I read a Maigret novel, "The Hotel Majestic," based on earlier recs in this thread. Really enjoyed it. I thought it had interesting commentary on class in (I think France?) at the time, without being unfair to the wealthier characters or turning them into caricatures (at least not all the way through... they sort of start out that way but then you find out more about them). It definitely made me want to read more & to check out his more supposedly "literary" books as well.
     
  17. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I'm into the final episode in Kasey Michael's Beck saga, "Becket's Last Stand" and not really liking either of the main characters. Cassandra's a flighty twit, Court's stodgy and boring so of course, they're meant foreach other, assuming that both survive the Impending Catastrophe that will either make or reak the Family. A tad too melodramatic, even for a popular historical.

    I'll do something contemporary and gory next, I think, to cleanse my mental palate.
     
  18. RomyNL

    RomyNL Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was brilliant too

    I'm reading now The Song of Achilles
     
  19. Impromptu

    Impromptu Well-Known Member

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    I used to really love Kasey Michaels, but I can't remember the last time I enjoyed one of her books (unless I was pulling an older comedy of hers off my shelf). If you like comic historicals, you might want to look into Maya Rodale's "Writing Girls" series. I think the first 3 are only .99 cent downloads (at BN.com, not sure about Amazon).
     
  20. star_gazer11

    star_gazer11 practising choreo

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    Ooh, I forgot this was a kindle freebie a while back. I'll have to bump it up on the TBR list.
     
  21. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

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    2 days later and I'm still thinking about it! Chapter 16 (where Tatsuji recounted his past as a kamikaze pilot) had me SOBBING at the end. :wuzrobbed
     
  22. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone else read The Dog Stars? I finished it last week and I'm still not quite sure if I would recommend it or not.

    On the other hand, The Good Father is definitely worth reading.
     
  23. Evilynn

    Evilynn ((Swedish skating dudes))

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    I'm ever so slowly getting the hang of Brandon Sanderson's version of WOT. He seems to do some characters better than others, but some things are still really jarring. Meanwhile I read Jim Hines's Libriomancer, good UF fluff for SFF geeks (sort of like the Dresden Files with libraries and without (most of) the low level sexism that means I can't read too many Dresden Files books in a row without getting a high BP), and I'm reading a Swedish slasher novel on the side, but it's too early to tell if it's kinda good or if it'll get really, really bad.
     
  24. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    I'm reading "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco. THIS time, I got a lot farther, and I am actually going to finish it. It does help to keep Cassell's Latin dictionary to hand. (If you've seen the movie...they edited out about 80% of the book. Most of which you really would probably have to have a PhD in Medieval theology to appreciate fully. I'm enjoying it anyway. Though I'm not sure I'll be up to following it with "Foucoult's Pendulum.") It's kind of brilliant (I'm sure I don't appreciate how much so as my Latin is crap and I do NOT have a PhD in Medieval theology.)

    I suspect I may have to give up on "Moby-Dick", though. I wanted to read it just to say I had, but I begin to default to my original suspicion that not even Herman Melville read it.

    When I'm done, back to Lord Peter Wimsey. I'm trying to read all the ones I haven't read, meaning pretty much everything that doesn't include Harriet Vane and isn't "The Nine Tailors" or "Clouds of Witness." I bogged down in "Murder Must Advertise" and "The Name of the Rose" is my mental break.

    Yeah.
     
  25. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    I'm half-way through Moby-Dick as my M-D discussion class is at the halfway point. I think M-D is one of the most interesting, amazing, brilliant, flawed books I have ever read. By the time I am finished with the book I think I will agree with those who think it is THE great American novel of the 19th century, if not THE great American novel, period.
     
  26. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I read The Name of the Rose a long time ago, so my memory is a little hazy on it, but I remember it being far easier to read than Foucault's Pendulum, which often seemed like the longest book I ever tried to read.

    I read Moby-Dick several years ago, too, and my memory on it is a little hazy as well, but aside from a few chapters, I liked Moby-Dick and didn't struggle with it at all. I understand why people consider it boring, but I thought most of it was interesting.

    I just downloaded The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary. I don't know why I hadn't heard of this book before, but it sounds right up my word geek alley. If nothing else, I hope to learn lots of words to play in WWF :EVILLE:.
     
  27. Evilynn

    Evilynn ((Swedish skating dudes))

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    I really enjoyed Foucault's Pendulum, but it was not the quickest read, no. :lol: I still need to read The Name of the Rose though.

    I'm taking a break from WOT to read Mikael Niemi's new novel Fallvatten (a disaster novel set in the part of the country where I grew up). He won the Swedish equivalent of the Booker prize for his book Popular Music From Vittula, so the writing should hopefully be good. ;)
     
  28. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Get a Latin dictionary. It will make some bits more understandable (you don't NEED them necessarily, but it makes it better.) I'm still debating on Foucault's Pendulum, though. Maybe I'll read How to Travel with a Salmon first, or whatever that nonfiction essay book we have of Eco's is called (it does involve how to store a salmon in a hotel room, though...um, a dead salmon. I think...)

    I just cannot get into Moby-Dick. I mean, at least I finished Hawthorne (Blithedale Romance), even if I wanted to throw it at the wall because of the utterly lame "big reveal" at the end that would only be surprising if you hadn't actually read the rest of the book while also being over the age of eight. But I am about ready to scream for something to happen, and I can't get past the whole "Melville was gay" thing because when you read it thinking about that, some of it is just funny in ways I'm not sure he intended it to be. I have to take another crack at Emerson, too, who is more readable than I thought while living in Mass (though he could still have learned a lot about condensing ideas. I begin to think my problem is not the books themselves but nineteenth-century florid style tropes...Eco is COMPLEX, but he's not flowery for the sake of it.)

    Also picking at "Clarkson on Cars", some of which I'm sure would be even funnier if I were British.
     
  29. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't make it through THE Name of the Rose in high school... Boooring! I feel like big I'm not grabbed quickly enough not worth my time.

    I am reading a book on SNL now, which I found for cheap at a Thrift Store. Considering the amount of drugs done, it's a surprise more of them haven't had tragic endings...

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2
     
  30. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Eco wrote in the Postscript:

    Of course, he can't force you to read those pages. You could try skipping them and see if the second hundred pages draw you in.
     
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