good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience - new book thread

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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  2. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    Finished reading The Hope by Herman Wouk. Not nearly as powerful as Winds of War and War and Remembrance - or The Caine Mutiny for that matter, but still enjoyable. The Hope is historical fiction about the state of Israel. It starts in 1948 at the point where Leon Uris' Exodus ends; with the birth of Israel. It then follows the history through the 6-day war. I see The Glory goes beyond the 6-day war to set up present day history - so maybe I will get to the sequel at some point.

    I also read a Michael Innes mystery, The Ampersand Papers. I haven't read Michael Innes before - always mixing him up with Hammond Innes. I enjoyed this very english mystery for light (but not necessarily easy) reading.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  3. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Prancer will appreciate this. There is a new mystery anthology (Faceoff) that pairs two different writer's characters. David Baldacci is the editor and gives a little background about the two authors before each story. Lee Child's Jack Reacher is paired with Joseph Finder's Nick Heller in a story titled Good and Valuable Consideration. Finder is apparently a meticulous plotter and outliner while Child never knows where his story is going to go. Which totally explains why suddenly Reacher is doing things that have you going WTF? The two writing together was done by email with Finder constantly pestering Child about where his part of the story was going to go next. Child never knew until he got there.

    I only got this yesterday and have only read one other story which paired R L Stine with Linc Child and Doug Preston. Needless to say it was the weirdest Pendergast story I've ever read.
     
  4. immoimeme

    immoimeme my posts r modded

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    "Night film" was (italics) interesting (italics) but the ending was not unexpected. I guess you could read it once. I don't feel it's re-readable. I do feel the author did a nice job of weaving together somewhat disparate internet memes to produce a coherent fictionalized whole.
     
  5. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I just picked up "The Mapmaker's War" by Ronlyn Domingue, read the first two pages, flipped through the rest of the book, and posted it to the swap site. It's written in second-person present tense, with wierd punctuation and the strangest grammatical format I've even seen. The blurb on the back cover sounded interesting but not enough to make me struggle through that prose, no matter how beautiful and lyrical it's supposed to be. Nope, gonzo. There's a wait-list for it on the swap site so hopefully somebody else will be able to enjoy it.
     
  6. cygnus

    cygnus Liberal Furry

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    I have a hard time with novels written entirely present tense at all- it just seems so wrong and unnatural. Let alone 2nd person present tense. Yuk.

    I couldn't read "Wolf Hall" and sequels or "The Orenda" for that reason, although I probably would have otherwise enjoyed them.



     
  7. Artistic Skaters

    Artistic Skaters Drawing Figures

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    Some only remember him for the Little Critter books, but Mercer Mayer is a fine artist & did beautiful illustrations for many of the classic tales. I have several first editions - East of the Sun & West of the Moon is my favorite.
     
  8. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    :lol: They should try to match writers with similar styles. I can see a lot of potential for bloodshed in this scenario.

    Isn't it funny how distracting and irritating things like that can be? Weird punctuation and nonstandard spacing do that for me. But tense weirdness doesn't really bother me at all.
     
  9. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    It was actually pretty good, albeit, there was a rather brutal take down of the bad guy. It was also funny. I think Child should have Finder oversee his writing more often. I think the writers must have liked putting very different characters together.
     
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    Today I received Conclusion of the Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph (1767) by Frances Sheridan, novelist, playwright, and mother of Richard Brinsley. (Little known fact: in need of ideas for The School for Scandal, Richard "borrowed" from his mother's work.) Anyway, I read Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph about 20 years ago, loved it, and was so frustrated that the sequel was just not to be had. And now I can finally read it. According to the blurb on the back, it's a forerunner of Les Liaisons Dangeureuses (1782); Sheridan's works were translated into French, which has me wondering if M. de Laclos did some "borrowing" himself.
     
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  11. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    It is a classic; and wonderful, IMO.
    Mr. Sharra lived nearby; so, the book got lots of press when it was written'released.
     
  12. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    In killing time befor today's Big Release, I read Yet Another "Hunger Games" Inspired Teen novel "The Selection" by Kiera Cass (and if that isn't a pen name, I'll wear a tiara to work!) and surprisngly enjoyed it enough to consider picking up Vol. 2 when I'm at B&N this afternoon. There's the typical lover's triangle; Poor but Beautiful Juliet leaves her secret Even Poorer Romeo for a chance to snag The Handsome Prince who's conducting a nationwide search for his bride in a televised version of The Bachelor. Our Juliet/Cinderella goes into the competition with only the hope of earning money and status to help her starving family but ends up more attracted to the Prince than she planned on. The alternate history presented is pretty interesting, although only briefly explained as part of a history lesson for the Selected girls and the caste system of the society seems pretty well defined.

    With still a few hours to go, I'm alo reading an older Antoinette Stockinberg paranormal "Embers" on my Kindle, set in Bar Harbor, Maine. The mystery revolves around a fantastic dollhouse that may hold the clue to solving a 50-year-old murder and bringing justice and rest to the the ghostly victim. I thought I had read all of Stockinberg's books when they first came out but I don't remember this one. And it reads fast.
     
  13. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    This one sounds like it was also inspired by The Princess Academy. http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Academy-Shannon-Hale/dp/1599900734/ref=la_B001JP9U7E_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402412809&sr=1-3
     
  14. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I rushed off to B&N after work yesterday and came home with my prize: Diana Gabaldon's "Written in My Own Heart's Blood" and several others that look interesting. Along with the Kiera Cass sequel "The Elite", and Cassandra Clare's "The City of Heavenly Fire", I picked up Jo Beverly's "A Shocking Delight" and Sam Thomas' "The Midwife's Tale: A Mystery." I'm thrilled with my purchases and can't wait to curl up and read, read, read! This working-for-a-living gig is getting in the way!
     
  15. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I have MOBY on my Kindle and started it last night. My friend asked me if I'd finished it yet; I told her that I read pretty quickly, but not fast enough to finish a 1000+ page book on a work day ;)

    Before that I read Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon, which I really liked.
     
  16. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Hmmm.....I can't decide whether to order MOBY or not. I didn't finish the last one and just skipped to the end half-way through the book. Maybe I'll just wait for someone to tell me if they all die and she wraps up the series.
     
  17. puglover

    puglover Active Member

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    I read the new novel by Stephen King - Mr. Mercedes - over the weekend. It is not in the horror, supernatural genre but a murder/detective novel. There is no mystery or whodunit as you know from the outset who the guilty party is. King is a good wordsmith and some of the characters are really interesting but I really didn't like the book. Not too sure why - I do agree that the true monsters live among us and are not figments of our imagination - but scarier. This "monster" starts out interesting but somehow the whole thing seems drawn out and loses steam - at least for me.
     
  18. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    It's Gabaldon, not George R.R. Martin ;) People may be tortured or sexually assaulted, but she usually leaves them alive.

    Jamie will obviously be dead by the end, because he can't time-travel and she's confirmed that the ghost in the 1940s scenes from book 1 is him.
     
  19. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    Prancey, found this one in the El Cheapo bin and it has your name all over it.
     
  20. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Most of my apathy comes because I despise Breanna (Roger is OK), have never cared for Lord John (I read one of his books and haven't bothered with the others), and don't particularly care for any of the other ancillary characters. I liked book 1 (it was different and the twist of Claire not being the virgin was good), didn't like 2 (I hate when authors have fictional characters interact with real historical figures--I mean the whole scene with the King of France was just stupid), liked Book 3 once Clarie got back to Scotland (I found Jamie's story in England to be boring), didn't like 4 and 5 because I think her "brilliant" idea of writing in vingettes made for a disjointed narrative. I know she thinks it's brilliant, but I didn't like it at all, plus she ran out of story. I lost interest in 6 about 1/3 of the way into the book when she started changing POV and person with the writing. She'd never have gotten away with that if it was her first book. You have to be really, really good to do that, and she's not that good. The original story was never intended to go as far as it did and has done so because of $$$$$. Gabaldon is like Evanovich. She started out with a great premise, gained a large following and the writing has deteriorated. Evanovich's has because her daughter is writing the books now :sekret: I don't know what Gabaldon's issue is apart from the fact she has a superinflated ego and thinks she's a better writer than she actually is. IMHO.
     
  21. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's probably not for you then, since it has multiple POVs, is written in vignettes, features Bree and Lord John quite a bit and includes some real historical figures (which seems to me like something you see quite often in historical fiction).

    Nobody likes Brianna, but I think LJ is a wonderful character. I never considered Claire not being a virgin a twist, though her being the more experienced partner in the relationship at first was probably unusual at the time Outlander was written; it's still not all that common today.

    Gabaldon has always written in vignettes, she's said many times that this is how her writing process works and she can't write differently. I think she has a general idea of where she wants to go with the characters but she fills in the specifics as she comes up with scenes. I think this is part of the reason it's been difficult for her to estimate just how long the series would go on. I do feel that she could use more editing, though; the first three books were more compact (relatively) and there's a lot of stuff in the later books that could have easily been left out and made for a more coherent narrative.
     
  22. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    If I have to read only one book this summer, what should it be? I read Anthem the other night but that was done in one sitting. I am working on Amanda Knox's memoir but since I know what happened so well, it isn't really very gripping. Would love something to suck me in and I have a beach trip coming up in 2 weeks. I have some books I bought but never read that I will bring but no clue if they are any good. Anyone ever read The Thirteenth Tale? Can't even remember why I have it, maybe a recommendation from Nathan?
     
  23. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    Been there, read that. Jenny recommended that one to me while back.
     
  24. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    Bad news, rfisher: Gabaldon has already said that MOBY is not the last book in the series. She's already working on Book 9 and whether that one is the last is up in the air. She has stated that the title of the last book, whenever it comes out will be "King, Farewell" so you might just want to wait until that one skip the middle ones.

    I'm a fan of Gabaldon and I enjoy her writing style as well as her character development. I get a kick out of her blogs and her website and the interaction she has with her fans. I also respect the heck out of her historical research and attempts to keep details accurate. With the exception of "The Fiery Cross" which dragged on and on and on for me, I've enjoyed all her books. But then I like family sagas anyway.

    I've read all of Novik's Temeraire novels as well; IMO, the first three are the best then they go sharply downhill but in plotting and in writing.
     
  25. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    Spinner loved The Thirteenth Tale. I didn't make it out of chapter two. If you usually like his suggestions, you'll probably like it. I wanted to beat the author with the thesaurus she was so clearly in love with.

    I finished Alice in Zombieland on the plane yesterday. It was okay, but I should've noticed that it was Harlequin Teen (I didn't realize this was a thing) and in the author's preface, she talked about her love for God. While the religious stuff in the book doesn't beat you over the head, it's more than I wanted in a book about zombies, you know? Not sure I'll read the rest of the trilogy. Because of course it's a trilogy. :p With a lurve triangle.
     
  26. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    LOL. That's part of my issue: I don't like family sagas. I liked Claire and Jamie and the rest only when they were interacting with Claire. I generally skipped over all the other parts. That was easy in books 2 and 3, sort of easy in 4 and too much trouble in 5 and 6 so I just skipped to the end of the book. I was a fan of Jean Auel's books up until the 3rd. The rest of the books were dreadful and just repeated old information.

    I don't mind historical novels when the history is the period, customs etc., as long as they don't have characters actually interact with historical figures except for a very tangential type of interaction. "Oh, look, there's the King," and then they get on with what they're doing. I don't mind her writing about the period as long as that was her focus. Gabaldon has her PhD in marine ecology and knows how to do good research, which she's done. It's when she decides she's run out of plot points for Clarie and needs to create some drama and add 500 more pages to keep her publisher happy that she annoys me. (And, I confess, I don't like her personally, not that that might color my opinions. :shuffle: )
     
  27. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    :lol: If you weren't so enthralled with zombies, I would pretty much always follow your reading suggestions. I have tried several times to get through The Thirteenth Tale and haven't been able to do it yet.
     
  28. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    If you are interested in Amanda Knox, you may also be interested in And the Sea Will Tell. It's the story of a fascinating crime/unsolved mystery from the 70s, and a good match for the beach as it happened on a remote atoll in the Pacific. It made world headlines at the time, and there was a movie made of it in the 80s. The book is written by Vincent Bugliosi, a prominent lawyer/author of Helter Skelter among other crime/political bestsellers, and he was directly involved in this particular case.
     
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  29. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    I agree with rfisher concerning Gabaldon. It's kind of odd, I consider Outlander one of my favorite books and I've re-read it more than a few times, but I couldn't keep reading after book three, I thought she took a good idea and beat it to death.

    I was interested when I saw it was being filmed, but lost all that interest when I saw the casting. I don't think they could have been more different in their visual images than what I had pictured in my own head if they had tried.
     
  30. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the leads appear to have been completely miscast, Balfe especially. She neither looks nor acts like Claire (too thin, too whiny in the promos I've seen). The secondary casting looks pretty spot on to me, though.

    Based on what they've released so far, I can't see it becoming a hit, and I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't get picked up for a second season.