Books moral and immoral

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

    39,026
    6,771
    113
    I think your best bet on cheap e-books is to look for older books (like two or three or fours years old, not classics and Victorian lit :p) that are professionally published. I've gotten some very good books very cheap that way. I've read a few good self-published books that were written and formatted well, but not many. The best deal is library books :D, although everyone and their third cousin is usually hitting the e-libraries this time of year.

    I've been reading a lot, but only because I am trying to clean up all the crap cheap books I've downloaded over the years. I read the first chapter. If I a) hate it immediately, b) see a lot of typos, c) can't read it because of the wonky formatting, it gets deleted immediately. I know that it's possible to come around to liking a book once you get past the first chapter, but I have close to 900 books on my Nook and figure that it won't kill me if a few get away.

    I did plow through all of Joanna Bourne's spy romances over break. And I read three books (and several papers), god help me, about technology in education and one book about the Middle East.
     
  2. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

    41,765
    8,181
    113
    Already read it. It was stupid and I won't bother if he writes a 4th. I hate it when authors make characters do stupid stuff just to fill pages. He clearly ran out of plot points half way through the 2nd book.

    And, WTF was up with the whole Corrie Swenson nonsence in the latest Pendergast? Or the stupid psychiatrist who fancied himself in love with Constance Green? I get that Preston and Child were trying to establish this father/child theme, but talk about overkill. And we now can carry on the good brother/bad brother theme into future books. The 1st book of this subset, was back to :kickass: Pendergast, but they dropped the ball on this one. At least we don't have any pesky wives or girlfriends to be annoyed by.
     
  3. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

    9,906
    1,662
    113
    Yeah. Well, Henry James is well known for "infernal sentence structure." I forced myself to read The Portrait of a Lady several years back, but no more Henry James for me. Yuck.

    I got a bunch of fun books for Christmas, mostly graphic novels. Just finished Dotter of her Father's Eyes, which is all about the daughter of James Joyce, and then tells a parallel story of the daughter of a Joyce scholar. dh also got me a Star Trek/Dr Who crossover (Assimilation volume 1). Of *course* there's a cliffhanger so I have to get vol 2. Also can recommend Goliath by Tom Gauld. (yes, dh is addicted to graphic novels and we totally have no more shelf space for them.) dd got Darth Vader and Son, a very funny graphic novel. Anyone else needing light reading? Try some of these :)

    I read The World Without Us a while back and enjoyed it. I mean, as much as you can enjoy something on a kind of depressing topic.

    Re-read a couple of Josephine Tey mysteries over the break: Miss Pym Disposes and The Man in the Queue. Two thumbs up.
     
  4. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

    5,878
    864
    113
    I don't know why so many bookstores shelve it only in the YA section. It made to to my favourites list.

    Once again my darling husband bought me a whole stack of books from my wishlist. I'm halfway through 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and I'm loving it- even his detailed cooking scenes. I also love the covers, choice of paper, font, and page numbering system. It feels very special to read.
     
  5. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    25,887
    5,306
    113
    For some strange reason, someone gave me a copy of Scotty Bower's Full Service, which talks about the sexual exploits of Tinseltown's most notorious male hustler of the Golden Age. Naturally, it was nice to receive a gift for Christmas, but why would anyone think I'D read a book like that? :saint:
     
    PeterG, jamesy, Prancer and 3 others like this.
  6. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

    5,234
    944
    113
    I only managed to read one new book over the holidays and it was a disappointment. E.M. Delafield's Late and Soon, which I thought was going to be more about the main character and her daughters and how the war affected them, but turned out to be mostly about a cheesy romance. I found the romance unconvincing, the characterization of the daughters to be lazy, and the actions of the main character to be ridiculous (running off to marry a guy in a week? Even if it was a guy she had loved for two weeks in her youth, it was still bizarre).

    I have two books hanging around to read before I let myself buy anything new...The Postmistress and Gillian Flynn's Dark Places. I suspect the latter will be much like Sharp Objects by the same author...a quick read, a little too gruesome for my tastes, and with a somewhat predictable twist or two. Probably not something I would retread, but ok to get through a plane ride, so I might save that one for my next trip in a couple of weeks.
     
  7. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Thinking of witty user title and coming up blank

    3,970
    495
    83
    I usually buy older books. I often combine them with coupons from stores like Kobo or Sony to lower the price even more. I've been able to get books from professional publishers for less than a buck using that method. :D As for the library, tell me about it! Sometimes I can get an e-book I like but sometimes I browse for 30 mins and find nothing. Still, I'm glad I have access to it. :)
     
  8. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    5,575
    1,825
    113
    Either that, or find reviewers whose taste in fiction is close to yours and who are willing to dive into the equivalent of the slush pile for you. I would never buy anything self-pubbed if it didn't come with a rec by bloggers or people whose opinions I trust, with two exceptions: 1. if these are backlist titles whose rights have reverted to an author I like (e.g. Loretta Chase) and 2. Authors who have decided to switch from traditional to self-publishing without sacrificing the quality (e.g. Courtney Milan).

    It's certainly possible to find good self-published books. Tammara Webber self-published her books and you'd never know it; the standard of the writing, editing and overall production is extremely high.

    Which one did you like best? I'd give the nod to The Forbidden Rose, myself.

    I hate the covers she gets. Her books deserve better.
     
  9. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

    1,872
    238
    63
    Not traditional books, but a collection of blogs: Puswhisperer: A Year in the Life of an Infectious Disease Doc, and Puswhisperer Year Deux, Another Year of Pus, by Mark Crislip. The blogs are available for free at Medscape and Science-Based Medicine; also for 99 cents each on kindle.

    If you are a science nerd (we've got a few on the board), you may enjoy them.

    Funny guy, great infectious disease pearls. Loves to poke fun at alternative medicine; which kind of makes me cringe since I see a naturopath/ND for my thyroid condition, but I do think alternative medicine needs to be able to withstand the same scrutiny as allopathic medicine. Helped me better understand things like infections after joint replacement, which I thought was 100% due to sloppy medical care but actually can happen in spite of meticulous medical care.

    He's not crazy about pets either; calls dogs, cats, hamsters, "vermin" because of their tendency to pass infections to their owners. :dog: :sheep::cat: :TT1:
     
  10. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

    39,026
    6,771
    113
    It's usually very bad until March or so; after that, people aren't quite so excited about having an e-reader and downloading books from the library any more. I have a lot of things on request. I saw a book yesterday that had a waiting list of 50+! :eek: I was even more :eek: when I saw that it was a gay romance novel.

    I belong to six consortiums now, which sounds better than it is. There is a little more variety that way, but there's also a whole lot of duplication between libraries (which makes sense, given licensing issues). It's kind of a drag to look in one collection after another and see the same books with the same waiting lists.

    I downloaded all those backlogged Loretta Chase books (I must say that I think she got better after she wrote them, although I haven't read beyond the first chapters yet :shuffle:) and had all kinds of problems with them. All fixed now; if any of you who have a Nook download a book and the pages are blank, you may need to wait two weeks and then they will mysteriously appear. Why two weeks is the magic number, I don't know, but three of the books I had on my Nook Color are not showing up on my Nook HD and I was told to wait two weeks to see if they showed up.

    I like Courtney Milan okay; I wasn't aware she was self-published. I'm not familiar with Tammara Webber. But yes, established authors who self-publish are a good bet--but you have to know who they are.

    I liked that one best, too.

    Those sound fun, except seeing the word "pus" in the title is just :scream:.
     
  11. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    20,856
    3,740
    113
    For Kindle owners who are members of amazon Prime, one of the benefits is the Kindle Owner's Lending Library (along with free movie downloads and 2nd day shipping).
     
  12. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    12,478
    3,528
    113
    I find Loretta Chase to be really hit or miss. I read Lord of Scoundrels after not reading historical romances for several years, and I got excited and downloaded everything by her and some Amazon recommendations. Some of Chase's were good. Some of them were silly--the one with the girl who was kidnapped at 12 and was made the wife of the sick (and conveniently impotent) but favorite son of a sheik who escapes on her own back to England and within three months marries a duke who was her childhood friend. I'm willing to suspend disbelief for the sake of a good story, but it was bad on all accounts. I also did not think much of Amazon's recommendations.

    I recently discovered Courtney Milan. I like her OK, but only at the Amazon price of 2.99. I would be pissed if I paid the normal price for paperbacks, and I'd never buy her in hardback.

    In the category of real books, I just finished Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore. I read the first chapter and raved about it to everyone I know who reads. I read the second and third chapters and raved some more. It's a good think all of my friends are procrastinators, because by the end it went horribly, horribly wrong. It looked like it was going to dance with magical realism for a while, and then the author pulled back and turned into something like The da Vinci Code, which I loathed. I was so pissed only the protective covering on my Kindle saved it (I throw books, talk back to them, yell at them, etc. Probably having a Kindle is not a good idea, but it's convenient). One of my oddest criticisms is even though it's a male writer who has a male protagonist--usually a good working combination--I think it would have been better had the main character been female. The author's name is Robin Sloan and I assumed that was the problem--a female writer trying to create a male voice and failing. Nope.

    I have three books on deck and can't decide where to start: On the Map by Simon Garfield, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, and The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver.
     
  13. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

    39,026
    6,771
    113
    Ack, I had forgotten that one, but yes, it was really bad.

    Library only for me :shuffle:

    Let me know how you like Nate Silver's book. I have it, but I keep thinking "Do I really want to read a whole book about stats?" And I can't work up enough enthusiasm to try.

    I just found out that Barnes and Noble has all the Classics Illustrated comic books that I read when I was a kid instead of reading the actual classics. I would love to download them, but they are $5 apiece and I can't bring myself to pay that much for a comic book. The one I remember best was Ivanhoe, which I loved, so I've gotten the book itself out of the library to read.

    On the whole, I think I liked the comic books better :shuffle:
     
  14. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    5,575
    1,825
    113
    She was traditionally published for her first few books and switched to self-pubbing in 2011. As for Webber, she writes New Adult, or mature YA, or whatever one wants to call it. I think she's sold the rights to Easy since it was published, but when I got it it was still self-pubbed. It is really good, as are her Between the Lines books (I don't think she's sold the rights for those).
     
  15. TygerLily

    TygerLily Well-Known Member

    1,829
    225
    63
    I'm so happy this thread has been revived!

    I read almost non-stop over the holidays. I'm in love with my e-reader! I can use not only my city's library but also my last city's. It's a dream!

    Highlights:

    - Dennis Lehane's Patrick and Angela series (though the last couple were much less engaging than the earlier ones)
    - The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doige (I've been reading a chapter here and there)
    - Julie James's books - all of them - my favourite of your recommendations
    - The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson -- it was fluffier than I expected since my only other exposure to adult Swedish books has been through mysteries (Åsa Larsson, Camilla Läckberg, Liza Marklund, Stieg Larsson) -- but fun!

    Next up: Michael Connelly's mysteries, maybe A Visit from the Goon Squad (I've checked out the e-book, but I've borrowed a physical copy before and didn't get past the first chapter), maybe The Rape of Nanking (an ex owned it and I didn't read it then, so I might not be able to read it now -- so depressing)

    Prancer, were any of your technology and education books/articles especially good?
     
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

    1,872
    238
    63
    Yup, kinda cringe-worthy, but the book is quite interesting. :yikes:
     
  17. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    4,873
    823
    113
    I got Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible for Christmas. A very fun and informative read.

    Other recent reads:

    A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans. The title may mislead. Evans examines how many misperceptions Christians have about what the Bible really says about women and living as women of faith. Her takedown of the Evangelical misinterpretation of Proverbs 31 and explanation of how that passage is understood in Judaism is fantastic if you've ever been hit over the head by the "Proverbs 31 Woman".

    Columbine by Dave Cullen: I saw this title referenced a lot in discussions of the shooting in Newtown. It is an enlightening, but horrifying, read. Everything that the media has told us about Columbine and the shooters is wrong. Or at least not quite right. And we have drawn the wrong conclusions and responded the wrong way.
     
  18. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

    39,026
    6,771
    113
    They weren't particularly useful for my purposes. I am trying to pull together something on technology, increasing IQ scores, and the changing nature of information interpretation with a particular focus on reading.

    I did learn some things that I found interesting, but most of what I was read was hypothesis and speculation and I really need something more concrete.

    Are you interested in any particular kind of reading on technology and education? I may know of something that you would find useful.

    I wish more people would read that book.
     
  19. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    29,018
    3,877
    113
    I'm re-reading this too, precisely because of Sandy Hook. It is well written, but so horrifying. Like Prancer, I wish more people would read it.
     
  20. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

    9,906
    1,662
    113
    Also read Barbara Kingsolver's first book, The Bean Trees, over Xmas break. Well worth the read. Very entertaining, great characters.
     
  21. KCC

    KCC Active Member

    961
    139
    43
    After hearing about Team of Rivals in the Lincoln thread (thanks to aftershocks), I picked it up and have been enjoying it since. How did I ever miss so much history in school? It is fascinating to read about the how some things never change: ownership and slant of the newspapers, Congress's mudslinging, how candidates campaigned and what they did to get elected, some very poor assumptions, etc. At 750 pages, it will take me a while to finish, but I feel good about learning something important.
     
  22. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

    5,111
    725
    113
    I started reading The Goal for work, and so far am really enjoying it. Yes, somehow a novel about process-improvement works. Go figure...
     
  23. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    5,204
    1,028
    113
    Can you expand on that? I can't say it's a book that I'm itching to read, but your post intrigues me.
     
  24. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

    14,558
    1,724
    113
    :scream:
     
  25. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

    5,111
    725
    113
    It's well-written, honestly. In my line of work, we need to be reminded we should ask 'why are we doing this' once in a while. And even read books that encourage that :lol:.
     
  26. Evilynn

    Evilynn ((Swedish skating dudes))

    2,448
    271
    83
    I'm happily reading my way through the Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey. Post apocalyptic indie series, although he's gotten a deal with a publishing house (and Ridley Scott has optioned it for a movie IIRC), so I'm late to the party. ;)

    I'll be pausing Wool 5 in favour of Robert Jordan's (& Brandon Sanderson's) A Memory of Light, the very last book in the Wheel of Time. :cheer2:
     
  27. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    4,873
    823
    113
    So much that I don't know how to summarize it.

    One that really stuck out to me was that the shooters were not particularly bullied. In fact, Klebold had been suspended the year before for bullying another student including vandalizing his locker. Harris had bullied another student, who was a neighbor, extensively resulting in the boy's mother going to the police repeatedly in the two years prior to the shooting. Neither boy was a loner by any means. They had a circle of friends in and out of school and had normal social lives. Klebold, in fact, had gone to the prom the weekend before the shooting with a date in a group of eight kids. Schools responded to this by worrying about the bullied kids and the loners lashing out when Harris and Klebold were neither. The question, perhaps, needs to be what is motivating bullies and how far will they go? The author, with help from experts in the field, makes a reasonable case that Harris was a textbook psychopath while Klebold was depressed and suicidal. Their respective mental states had far more to do with it than their circle of friends or music, video games, movies or parenting. Both sets of parents had done quite a lot to help their kids. The boys had been arrested for breaking into a vehicle a year before the shooting and their parents were involved in the consequences, impressing the judge who assigned them to a pretrial diversion program because their fathers were present for the hearings. It is very clear, however, that the Klebolds did not know how depressed their son was. The Harrises have never spoken publicly so how much they understood is unknown.

    The book also shows how many signs of what was being planned were missed by the local police, their friends, teachers, and others. Since Columbine, the FBI and Secret Service have studied school shooters, they concluded that kids engage in what they named "leakage"--in other words they tell people bits and pieces along the way. We need to pay better attention to those leaks. That is something that does seem to be happening since, as many plots have been uncovered before they were carried out. One form of leakage is because some try to recruit others to involvement. Part of Harris's recruiting helped create the false notion that this was non-athletes out to kill athletes--he tried to recruit another friend into the plan and tried to appeal to that student's resentment of "jocks" to get him involved. Harris resented everyone, essentially, and no particular group was targeted. The intention was not to shoot certain students. It was to blow up the entire school and shoot anyone that got out of the building alive. The bombs did not go off so they went in shooting instead. No specific students or staff were targeted. Not "jocks" and not Christians (Cassie Bernall didn't say a word according to the girl who was under the table with her. Another girl told Klebold she believed in God and he walked away without killing her).

    There is much much more.
     
  28. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

    3,729
    627
    113
    This is where publishers have specified it be shelved. I agree though, it could and should be put in the adult section as well. Amazing book.
     
  29. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    5,204
    1,028
    113
    Thanks for that.

    I guess because of the type of media I consume myself, I sometimes forget the black-and-white, pop psychology "answers" that tend to be doled out by the populist media, particularly in the aftermath of such events.

    Unfortunately, it's the people who "need" to read books like this that never do.
     
  30. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    17,559
    2,128
    113
    There have been a lot of articles about this book, many including lists of key myths, so maybe the truth will finally get out into the public consciousness. That, and the renewed interest following Sandy Hook, especially the public discussion about inaccurate reporting and how misinformation spread so quickly through mainstream and social media.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.