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. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,339
    You can have him. My literary BF is Gray Pierce from the James Rollins Sigma series. I don't like pale thin men. :lol:
  2. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    16,767

    Here is a list of books from my collection that I hope you would give a try too:

    A Long Way Gone - Ishmael Beah
    Generation Me - Jean Twenge
    Schindler's List - Thomas Keneally
    City of Thieves - David Benioff
    The Necklace and other tales by Guy de Maupassant
    Shake Hands with the Devil - Romeo Dallaire
    Graceland - Chris Abani
    The Winter Queen - Boris Akunin
    The Perfect Game - W. William Winokur
    The Glass Palace - Amitav Ghosh
    Shutter Island - Dennis Lahane
    The Paradox of Choice - Barry Schwartz
    Water - Bapsi Sidhwa
    Travels with my Trombone - Henry Shukman
    Behind Hitler's Lines - Thomas H. Taylor
    The Amber Room - Steve Berry
    Last of the Old Breed - Eugene B. Sledge
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  3. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,307
    I am teaching Intro to Lit :scream: and when I teach Intro to Lit, I require my students to read a novel from a long list I give them. I openly confess to not having read all the books on the list and always read one of the ones I've missed as penance. My penance novel this time is The Way of All Flesh. I am not sure that "scathingly funny" is how I would describe it. It has its moments, but then there's the rest of it.

    When I have had enough of it, I read What is the What and wish I could just read it. I really like the way Dave Eggers writes and the story is gripping.

    When I finish The Way of All Flesh, I will move on to another book from the list (I read a lot faster than my poor students do) and I am trying to decide between One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Maltese Falcon. I have The Maltese Falcon, but I've never been able to get past the first chapter :yikes:. Does anyone know if it gets better? I kind of suspect the hardboiled detective who calls his girl a doll while staring at her fantastic legs isn't for me, but maybe I am being shortsighted.

    I also have Square Peg: My Story and What It Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, and Out-of-the-Box Thinkers , which I think will be interesting from a teaching perspective.

    I also have a trashy novel for when things get particularly dire (as they are wont to do with Intro to Lit). I can't remember the name, but I think it involves kilts.
  4. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,142
    I haven't read any of Hammett's stuff yet, but I'm working my way through Chandler in between more serious books. Generally, I veer between a couple opinions depending upon what is going on in the chapter: woah that description was actually pretty awesome (which may or may not happen with Hammett, as I don't know his writing style yet), huh that was actually a pretty good twist, oh that was actually a pretty bad twist, and a mixture of cringe/LMAO/did people actually think like this then? at all the ridiculously over-the-top, hardboiled, homophobic, racist, misogynistic stuff, depending upon how ridiculous or mean I think it is from my 21st century white female perspective.

    So, the detective who calls his girl a doll while staring at her fantastic legs would probably just make me gigglecringe, but if you can't come at it from that angle probably it's not something you'd want to read (unless you're the sort of person who thinks that sort of thing is charming or cool).
  5. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,307
    Gigglecringe is about it, but it all just seems so......contrived, maybe? Like you said, did people REALLY think (and talk) like this?
  6. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,142
    Well, hardboiled novels kind of are my trash reading these days. I just can't do romance novels and other standard trash. I'd rather read the contrived hardboiled stuff than the contrived trashy romance stuff any day.

    I definitely don't think anyone talked like that. :lol:
  7. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,339
    I read "The Storyteller" by Jodi Picoulet last night. Started at 6:00 and stayed up until 1:30 to finish it. I laughed, I cried, I rolled my eyes at some amazing coincidences. Had no idea it was about a baker and a Nazi war criminal when I ordered it from the library. This is one book that will stay with me for a long time. And I'll be buying the hardcover. It's the kind of book that I'll reread. Just fabulous in parts.

    I think I need some light reading today.
  8. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,022
    I am currently reading "The Lady in the Lake" by Chandler. Mysteries are my staple for relaxing reading. I'm liking Chandler. His detail of description - especially character description - is excellent. I'm also working my way through several Tony Hillerman mysteries.

    Also, I just finished "Bambi". I found an old, hashed copy. It was missing the last page, but I didn't miss it. I'm confident I know how it ended. I am also still slogging through "Vanity Fair". I respect it as a classic but I can't say I'm loving the read. I don't think I like any of the characters at all. I know I'm not supposed to, but I like my characters to be likeable.
  9. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Messages:
    5,160
    Mine is Severus Snape. :lol:
    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  10. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,142
    Yours and a huge number of fangirls all over the internet :lol: Who would have thought the dour, sarcastic, mean, conflicted, unattractively described man would be so popular with the ladies? ;)
  11. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Messages:
    5,160
    He's not dour, he is just misunderstood. :p

    I have a Snape action figure (with removable cape) that I bought when the first film came out. I found it in a sale bin for $2.99. It has been perched next to my computer ever since. :HA!:
  12. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,142
    Oh, don't worry, I'm with you. I've been reading HG/SS fanfiction since I was 11 :p

    The four books in the Hangman's Daughter series are all $0.99 today for Kindle. I don't know much about them but I've heard some buzz.
  13. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,892
    It's that "I could change him, he just needs love" thing I think.

    That, plus Alan Rickman. :D
  14. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,142
    Plus his voice specifically, I think :lol: Though I may be wrong about that.
  15. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Messages:
    4,637
    I hunkered down with YA SF over the weekend: Cassandra Clare's "City of Ashes." I liked it, although the angsty brother/sister duo is getting a bit tiring. I give the author credit for worldbuilding, though. My omly quibble is that I kept wondering how these teenagers are able to get away with virtually no adult supervision and with never going to school. But I'll pick up the third one, the next time I'm in Walmart.

    I then moved on to M.J. Rose's "The Book of Lost Fragrances" - a paranormal/reincarnation tale centering around the perfume industry and a quest for a mysterious Egyptian formula for the perfect scent.
  16. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Messages:
    9,268
    That's Jodi Picoult in a nutshell. Laugh, cry, amazing coincidences, tough moral issues bathed in amazing coincidences, lawyers. :)
    dbell1 and (deleted member) like this.
  17. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,647
    Oh, come now. Sydney Carton was winning over the ladies before Snape was born or thought of. ;) (I know quite a few women who are in love with both of them!)
  18. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    40,341
    Damn straight I am. I even read the blog page.
  19. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,307
    Every woman adores a Fascist,
    The boot in the face, the brute
    Brute heart of a brute like you.
  20. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,647
    Sylvia Plath was ahead of her time. :D
  21. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,647
  22. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,647
    Be prepared -- it only gets more and more tiring.
  23. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,195
    Just finished Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue. Not exactly a fun book but so well written and brilliantly tragic.
  24. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,892
    I'm about 1/4 of the way through A Tale for the Time Being, the latest by Ruth Ozeki. I loved her previous books (My Year of Meats and All Over Creation), but so far this one surpasses those. She's weaved together 2 characters' lives by the done-before but still effective device of a found diary -- but with the added twist of it floating in on the debris stream from the 2011 Japan tsunami that's washing ashore in British Columbia. Add to that her powerful imagery, engaging characters, and environmental themes, and you have a winner. Loving it so far!
  25. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,591
    I'm currently alternating One of Ours with the new Mae Murray bio. Murray has a rep for being the quintessential batshit crazy silent movie star with one great performance in her, The Merry Widow (MGM, 1925). I look forward to reading about her feud with director Erich von Stroheim (who plays Max in Sunset Boulevard). I'm particularly curious as to how she managed to survive the Depression after getting cleaned out financially by her husband and blackballed by MGM.
  26. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    19,418
    After meting it out bit by bit since it's been published, I finally finished Robert Caro's "The Passage of Power" about the run up to the 1960 Presidential campaign through Johnson's years as Vice President and then through beginning of the Johnson presidency after the assassination of JFK. I'd recommend it as well as the rest of Caro's series on Johnson. I don't know what I'm going to do after the fifth and final volume is published.
  27. puglover

    puglover Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    629
    I just listened to the new book "Six Years" by Harlen Coben on audible and really loved it. It is full of suspense and very unpredictable - sort of a mystery/thriller with romance as the backdrop. I could have done with a little bit less description of his intense, unwavering feelings but in general I would recommend it. It would be a good summer read for lying at the beach.
    dbell1 and (deleted member) like this.
  28. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    16,767
    On the off chance you guys are not tired of me mentioning WW2 books, I found another one that is worth reading. The book is called "Bringing Mulligan Home". It is new and written by journalist Dale Mulligan who's father was in Okinawa and was haunted by demons the rest of his life. The War in the pacific was totally different from the War in Europe and things there was not quite always clear. It was not until after his father died that Mulligan started to track down his father's former Marine buddies and piece together his Dad's wartime experiences. Haven't readily yet but plan to soon.
    http://www.amazon.com/Bringing-Mulligan-Home-Other-Side/dp/1586489992
  29. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,339
    I deleted about 100 books off my Kindle last night. I read about 10 of them, the others were freebies that looked interesting at the time. There's easily 200+ left. There's also 2 shelves full of 'need to read' and another 6 next to my chair at home. I am now in the mindset that I must get through my piles of virutal and real books before I even think about buying another. :yikes: This does not count my library holds though. :shuffle: I need those...
  30. Nan

    Nan Just me

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,767
    I tell myself that everyday. So far, it's not working. :slinkaway
  31. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Messages:
    10,512
    acraven keeps giving me her books that she's ready to part with much faster than I can keep up with reading them. Not to mention those I buy myself.
  32. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,339
    I bought another one and downloaded 2 freebies today. :shuffle: But, one was a free Hunger Games cookbook (unofficial) - does food count? :lol:

    PS - thanks Puglover, I'll reserve that book, I was on the fence about it. :)
  33. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,142
    Where was this?? //overexcitedgeek
  34. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,762
    So I read Maeve Binchy's last novel A Week in Winter from the library. I'm glad I didn't spend money on it. It wasn't as syrupy sweet as Minding Frankie, but it had all the trademarks of her last several books: random strangers together, magical place making everything better, "spinster" woman whose mere presence solves everyone's life problems, etc...There was one character who walked away the same as she came and had real potential to have a story but that was not developed at all.

    I remember loving some of her older work, especially Firefly Summer and Circle of Friends (which has a much less cloying ending than the movie version). But I feel like as she got older, she just loved her characters too much to put them through real tragedy or conflict or make them find their own way out.
  35. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,339
    Amazon had it for the Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009I62O38/ref=cm_cd_asin_lnk Reviews actually liked it. Not sure if it's a US only deal though.

    I finished 'Sarah's Key' tonight. I really wanted to love this book. Dealt superficially with the 1942 French roundup of Jewish men, women, and children. It jumped back and forth between 2002 and 1942, and was too disjointed for me. Our 'heroine', a writer just annoyed me from page 1. And Sarah was ignored, although her story was the one that really mattered. It could have been great. Instead, it's back to the library and I'm glad I didn't buy it.

    PDilemma - I've got A Week in Winter coming eventually from the library. The librarian summed up Maeve nicely 'she takes forever to make a point'. :lol: But, I love Maeve. And Rosamund Pilcher.
  36. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,142
    I have a VPN! Purchased. Thank you!

    ETA: I love the amount of thought put into this! And I also love that they have a recipe for lamb stew with dried plums, because every time she mentioned it in the book I wanted it!
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  37. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,469
    Finished The Killing Floor (first Jack Reacher novel) and loved it. I know many of you have read the others - are they as good? Might just buy the next two and then go from there.

    Although it's definitely violent - I could do without the torture/sicko stuff, but thankfully that happened off camera so to speak - I enjoyed the :kickass: aspect of it. There were a few logical leaps that seemed unrealistic such as
    his smart brother leaving phone numbers and clues lying around - there's no way he'd need to write down those clues - and Reacher deducing where Hubble was? That was plain luck and far too convenient for this story - the author could have easily built in some clue from the prison time instead.

    But one thing I really :respec: was the ending. Too often in these books - I'm looking at you James Rollins -
    the hero falls for a girl he's known five minutes, then proceeds to risk his life and everyone else's for her, and at they ride off into the sunset together, *barf* and also totally unrealistic. Next book, they have to explain why the hero had to shed the love of his life, so as to free him up for the next hot chick. In this book, I loved that the chapter started with "it didn't work out," and logically explained why. For that matter, I liked that Roscoe got bundled off for the climax of the story, so that it was about Reacher, not her. Wouldn't mind if she turned up in future, but happy he's not tied to her.

    And there's no way I'm seeing the movie, ever. Tom Cruise in Top Gun, Mission Impossible, etc no problem. But Jack Reacher? No flippin' way.
  38. Nan

    Nan Just me

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,767
    I know there are some romance novel readers out there. I took some time off last week and needed some really light reading and stumbled upon Julia Quinn's Bridgerton Series (the lives and loves of eight brothers and sisters, Regency style). The "formula" was easy to spot, but the characters were fun and she writes snappy dialogue. Good, fun fluff.
  39. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,469
    Nan, you've likely already run across this author before, but just in case you might want to try Jennifer Crusie. She started as a romance writer and evolved into a kind of anti-chick lit writer. Recently injecting more of the supernatural in her stories, which not everyone likes, and ditto her collaborations with another writer. But there's a chunk of books in the middle - around Welcome to Temptation and Faking It - that are quite good. Fun characters well drawn, romance that's a bit more real, light reads.
  40. Nan

    Nan Just me

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,767
    Thanks, Jenny. I'll look her up. I seem to swing back and forth between murder mysteries, science fiction, romance and a host of other things. Is that a sign of a multiple personality?? :lol:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.