Books moral and immoral

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

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  1. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    I think I would appreciate it a lot more now since no one is making me read it

    Has anyone seen the film with Demi Moore? Might be worth a viewing for the laughs :shuffle:
     
  2. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Um, no, I'd recommend Easy A as a better version of The Scarlet Letter before I'd recommend the Demi Moore version.
     
  3. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    I don't like "The Scarlet Letter" either. I tried reading it as an adult, thinking I would appreciate it better than I did as a teenager. Not.

    I'm still wading through "Vanity Fair". I don't like one character in the the whole book, with the possible exception of Captain Dobbin. Thackeray writes with such a jaundiced eye. My friend laughs at the characters and reads it as satire. I guess I don't like satire.

    I finished "Lady in the Lake" and have moved on in the omnibus to one of Ed McBain's, 87th precinct stories. I'm surprised that I quite enjoy McBain. I never would have tried him before. Now, maybe I will pick up one of the full length books.
     
  4. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    :cheer2:

    I was reading FSU in class while my students worked on something and I brought up The Scarlet Letter. The (noisy, adamant) consensus was that The Scarlet Letter is the worst book in the entire world :lol:.

    This would be my research class, however, not my lit class.

    If you don't like satire, Vanity Fair is not the book for you.

    If anyone is looking for something to read, I have piles of papers here that you could read--and grade, too.
     
  5. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Vanity Fair is one of my favorite books ever. I re-read it every few years or so. :respec:
     
  6. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    The PBS version with Meg Foster as Hester was to die for.

    Book wise - I need to pick up "Pope Joan" from the library. Can't wait! :)
     
  7. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    Now reading "Cut to the Quick" by Kate Ross. It's the first in the Julian Kestrel Regency mystery series and came highly recommended on Goodreads and Amazon, based on some of the historical mysteries I've been reading. I have to say, it starts slow and the first murder doesn't occur for almost 100 pages. The main mystery seems to be what a wealthy self-made cit is holding over the titled lord to force the lord's son to marry the Cit's daughter. Kestrel, the investigator, has no real reason for investigating beyond curiosity, and I'm not finidng him half as witty as the other characters seem to, but he is different and rather mysterious himself. Unfortunately, the author herself died yer young from breast cancer so there are only four volumes in the series. I'm still hunting for two.
     
  8. cygnus

    cygnus Liberal Furry

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    I love that series- enjoy!
     
  9. galaxygirl

    galaxygirl Ma name's Beckeh

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    I loved Gone Girl but don't remember enough detail to discuss it. I had been thinking about re-reading it but I'm afraid that might ruin the book for me.

    It starts getting a lot more interesting in part two. If you do decide to go back to it some day, I definitely recommend starting from the beginning. A big part of what makes the book enjoyable is the slow build of tension.

    :blah: I don't see anything good coming of this. I hope to God I'm wrong.
     
  10. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    Is anyone familiar with the books Bernard Cornwell wrote under the name Susannah Kells?
     
  11. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

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    I re-read it and didn't ruin it for me, but I like reading books when I know what is going to happen, so a re-read might not be for everyone :) I loved the book too, which is a bit surprising considering how unlikeable most of the characters are. That said,
    I think I did kind of like Nick in spite of his lying and cheating ways, and I had a kind of strange admiration for Amy's brains, even if I wish she'd put them to better use.

    I've gone a couple of months without having the chance to read much, but finally picked up a couple of books last week, pulled from recommendations in this thread. I tried my first Jennifer Crusie book and didn't care for it - that said, it was one of her earlier books (Getting Rid of Bradley or something along that line), so I may give her another shot with one of the middle works that Jenny mentioned up-thread, depending on whether I can get it from a library or not. I was glad I got the first one from the library.

    On the other hand, I loved Elin Hilderbrand's The Castaways and had a hard time putting it down. Since I was reading it on my iPad, I wasn't able to do my usual trick of skipping to the end of the book to see the ending (I'm sure there's a way, but I haven't figured it out yet), so I was reading as fast as I could to try to get to the end ASAP. I have a vacation starting next week that will have a lot of plane and bus time, so I borrowed a couple more of Hildebrand's books to keep me occupied during the trip. Also planning to try Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series on the vacation.

    In the meantime, I accidentally got the audio book version of Hilderbrand's Barefoot from the library and have been listening to it while I unpack. I'm not enjoying it nearly as much as The Castaways and I can't tell if it is the audio format or the book itself, although I'm leaning towards the format. The narrator is a bit annoying and goes way too slowly for my taste. But since I won't have cable or internet until Saturday afternoon and I still have lots of unpacking to do, I might as well carry on with the book and finish it.
     
  12. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Finally read "The Light Between Oceans" tonight - Amazon had a Kindle sale and I was tired of waiting for the book to come in at the library. Spectacular. Such a stunning book. Now kicking myself for not getting it earlier. I have to resist Amazon - B&N is having a big Nook sale and they're price matching a lot of stuff on my wish list. :yikes:
     
  13. quartz

    quartz the moment is a masterpiece

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    I am a life-long reader, and have been a bookseller for almost 26 years, and yet for some reason, I've never participated in the book threads! I am having a really good week personally right now, and one of the things that made me happy is that Khaled Hosseini has a new book coming out in May called "And the Mountains Echoed".
     
  14. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    That's not one of her better efforts. If I had to recommend a Crusie book for someone not familiar with her work, I'd go with Welcome to Temptation (my favorite) or the very popular Bet Me.

    For anyone interested in romance novels, Dear Author has a new reviewer who's also new to romance, having read mostly fantasy up until recently. In addition to being quite entertaining, this review also includes a really good list of recommendations people have given him so far (other than the first one ;)), so that's a great resource for anyone who's looking for good romance novels. He mentioned in the comments that he's already updated it, so maybe there will be an even better list in the next review.
     
  15. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

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    My bank account is really not happy that I read this.
     
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  16. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    Getting Rid of Bradley is from when she wrote for Harlequin (the new-defunct Temptation line). If that had been the first book I read by her, I'd have never read another one. Crusie is not the most consistent writer, but she had a string of winners--Welcome to Temptation, Faking It, Fast Women, and Bet Me. Crazy for You is OK. She does not write paranormal very well, from either a romance or general storytelling point of view. From her blog, I know she likes urban fantasy/paranormal romance, but she can't write it. With the exception of Agnes and the Hitman, her collaborations are dreadful. Wild Ride is maybe the worst paranormal "romance" I've ever read, and it's on my top 20 of worst books. Steer clear of her latest romance involving a ghost; the name escapes me. It pissed me off and showed a real regression in writing. I don't think Silhouette would have published it--yes, that's how bad it is.

    For her good ones, if you want :grope: , go with Temptation. If you want a romance that actually has romance in it, go with Bet Me. If you want snappy dialogue and improbable crime, go with Faking It. If you want a book that's just barely romance and more like really well written chick lit, go with Fast Women.

    I'm looking for a good romance novel--I'll be in Texas for work for two weeks, and I need some recommendations. Kindle recommended Maya Banks, and :yikes: It makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like a feminist opus. And that was just the SAMPLE. I went to Amazonreads and I wish I'd have read the reviews before I wasted my time reading the sample. Women being raped/beaten/kidnapped/generally abused by the hero appears to be a theme with her. Very romantic, rape. :blah:

    I just finished Age of Miracles. It was so good, I've totally forgiven Karen Walker Thompson for Swamplandia. I don't know what genre it would be. The protagonist is a 13 year old girl, but it's not YA. It features The End of the World, but it's not dystopian. Horrible things happen, and you know everyone's going to die, but it's really hopeful. It's one of the best coming of age stories I've ever read.
     
  17. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that about covers it. And Phin is definitely :grope:.

    I've read some of Banks' KGI stuff and found it very paint by numbers. I think a lot of her success is due to being such a prolific writer rather than being a particularly good one.

    Anyway, if you can give some examples of what you liked, I'll try to recommend something better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  18. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    You know that old library trick of holding a book by the spine and you can tell where the "good bits" are by where the pages separate? You can definitely do that to my copy of Temptation. Only time I EVER had the urge to play pool.

    I'm picky when it comes to romance. I hold romance to a higher standard than fic lit. I am easily pissed off when it comes to hero/heroine behavior. I think what I really like is urban fantasy that has a heavy dose of romance in it--I love, love, LOVE the Kate Daniels series. I liked the first five Sookie Stackhouses. I like the series with the girl who's an assassin and her assassin name is Spider. It has dwarves; the name escapes me. This is a problem with my Kindle. I also liked a series where the girl's sister died and she goes to Ireland and she discovers she can see Sidhe. Oh, and the Mercy Thompson series. Love, love, love Mercy. (I guess I should also qualify that I can handle reading violence against the main heroine so long as it makes sense to the larger story arc. Women who take on supernatural creatures that are stronger than they are, violence is expected.) I actually think you might have given me some of the above series, Zemgirl :lol:

    For historicals, I like some Loretta Chase, some of the Cynster Stephanie Laurens, Sarah Maclean, and some of the Pennyroyal Green series. No Johanna Lindsey, please. I expect sex in my romance novels and don't care for long dissertations on dress styles and ballroom manners in Regency novels. I don't like damsels in distress. Loathed Discovery of Witches. I can tolerate virgins in historical romance, but not in contemporary. For contemporary romance, I like late 90s/early 00s Jayne Anne Krentz, but I don't care for most of her Jayne Castle series and her Amanda Quicks are just :blah: (I think that she knows they're blah, hence the "Quick" :p ) I don't really like rooting for the bad guy, so I need to be able to relate to the hero and the heroine. I don't really buy the whole "changed by love" thing, or where the hero clearly dislikes women...except the one innocent blonde who changes his heart forever :drama: But at the same time, I don't want my heroines to be overly fantabulous and perfect either. I'm one of the few women in my age group who despises Sex and the City, and don't get me started on Girls.
     
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  19. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    ;) Exactly. I also like the Dempsey way of conning, that is, persuading people. Very useful.

    You have far more diverse romance reading tastes than I do! So this is something of a challenge. First off, I can't help you with PNR and urban fantasy - I don't read either (other than the first few Sookie Stackhouse books, which I also enjoyed) so I definitely couldn't have recommended any of those books to you.

    As for the rest... Julia Quinn seems like an obvious suggestion, also Miranda Neville and maybe some of Connie Brockway's books and early Liz Carlyle. Sherry Thomas is :kickass: and Courtney Milan and Meredith Duran are pretty awesome too. Milan is that rare romance author who can also write very good novellas, so that's a pretty risk-free way of trying her books. I've never read Lindsey and don't think I ever will.

    For contemporaries, you can take a look at Ruthie Knox (Ride With Me is quite fun) and Victoria Dahl; I also like Tammara Webber, who writes younger characters. If you are willing to venture into romantic suspense, Pamela Clare is good - she has a series focusing on female journalists, of which my favorites are Unlawful Contact and Breaking Point. She also writes historicals, but I don't think they'd be your cup of tea.
     
  20. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Have you tried Elizabeth Hoyt or Madeline Hunter?

    Yes! 50% off 1000 Top Nook Books: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/?sort=SA&size=30&pro=1634&store=ebooks&view=grid
     
  21. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

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    Did you read the older version, "Endurance" by Alfred Lansing? It is written as the best example of an adventure novel, all the while with good research. It was one of those "I cannot put you down to eat or sleep" books for me.
     
  22. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

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    Has "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter been brought up here? I looked through some pages, but did not see.
    I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is a little bit of everything- romance and sharp amusing observations in the tradition of Franzen or Perrotta; Italy and LA, musings on art and addiction... wistful, nostalgic and riding the line between an easy read and high literature.
     
  23. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's the book I read. I did wish he'd given us a chapter on what their lives were like after the rescue. It was an abrupt end - the boat showed up and then, it was over.

    Last night, I read "The Boy From Reactor 4". I'm a Chernobyl/Pripyat nut, so it was very interesting. BUT, the book begins with a weird chapter and then does the '8 months prior' thing. Hard to build drama when you know the result. :wall:

    I downloaded "The Sunne in His Splendor", Sharon Kay Penman's 900+ page book about Richard III. I have 4 of her hardcovers on the shelf to be read. There's also 11 books on my library waiting list. I'm going to literary hell here. :shuffle: Is there an 'overreader's support group' I can join?
     
  24. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I (mostly) loved The Age of Miracles too ... but I'm confused by your reference to Swamplandia. You know that was a different author, right? Or were you just being facetious and tarring all authors named Karen with the same brush. :D
     
  25. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone else read the latest Lisa Gardner, Touch and Go? I read it yesterday and really found it one of her weaker efforts. I also just finished Camilla Lackberg's The Stonecutter and have started in on Steve Jobs.
     
  26. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    I give up. I actually cancelled some ebook holds tonight. :shuffle: There's 3 'real' books waiting at the library; The Language of Flowers, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, and The Good House. And another 3 due in soon. Time to start pacing myself.
     
  27. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I have The Good House on deck - got an interesting review in the NY Times Book Review, so really looking forward to it.

    For now am deep into Jack Reacher - on book 3, have the next waiting on my nightstand, next two in my Amazon cart :)
     
  28. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    That's why I reserved it too! :lol: I skim through the Times and then grab the Book Review. Keep a pen handy in case I see something that looks interesting. If my eyes glaze over mid review, I pass it by.

    Does anyone have any opinions on Kate Atkinson? Life After Life looks interesting.
     
  29. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I've found a lot of books via the NY Times Book Review. We get the paper every Sunday and it's one of the sections I look forward to - along with the crossword :)
     
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  30. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I've read a couple of her Jackson Brodie mysteries, and really liked them. She's good at finding the humanity and connections in her characters and situations, so I'm guessing she's got more than enough to offer in a novel even without the "whodunnit" part.
     
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