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. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    Tell her you read all those Regencies for the history.

    In my case, I think it's just comes with my job, sort of like the way some of my students clutch their pearls because of my cavalier attitude toward the Oxford comma :p. People generally don't like to have their cherished assumptions blown out of the water. My guitar teacher runs into this all the time as well; he's an amazing musician and can play things that make other guitarists' jaws drop, but his personal taste runs to lowbrow music like Irish drinking songs. And he picks his private students based not on talent but on how much fun they have playing things like Irish drinking songs. He says he listens to talented musicians play at the university all day and there's only so much Bach a person can listen to before he begins to forget that music is supposed to be fun (which is not to say he doesn't love Bach). People find this puzzling.

    I think a lot of people associate reading with Improvement--it's something you do to improve your mind, your career, your information base, etc. And those people rarely think of reading as something you do for entertainment or leisure. Most people I know read for information, period. And from that perspective, reading something like a novel only makes sense if it's the kind of novel that improves your mind.

    This is actually something born out by studies--people read a lot these days, more than they did in the past, but leisure reading is slowly but surely fading away.

    I know people who say they don't do any of those things, and I believe them unless I have good reason not to. Why not? We all have different tastes.
     
  2. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Trust Prancer to provide a reasonable explanation when all I wanted to do is snark about book snobs :p
     
  3. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Any suggestions for a Kate Atkinson Jackson Brodie-style mystery for my upcoming beach vacation? I can't always be reading Proust and JCO, you know.

    Leisure reading, real books, sniff, all going out of style. The only kind of reading I do unless I am in school (which I haven't been for years). I mostly read what many would call "serious literature" and don't watch sit-coms or action movies. My shallow pleasures are fashion and make up. And FSU got me hooked on royal gossip and what-is-Kate-Middleton-wearing thing.

    Mini Ice definitely reads for improvement but sometimes I do hear him chuckling over a book, so there's some pleasure involved too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
  4. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    I have no desire to improve myself. If it's not entertaining me, I chuck it and move on the next. Of course, it was much more satisfying to chuck paper books than just hitting the home button on the Nook, but the instant gratification of the Nook has seduced me and I have a metaphorical chuck with the boring stuff. Not that I don't try to avoid the boring stuff in the first place, but occasionally one will be sufficiently disguised to induce me to hit purchase.

    I am however putting myself on a strict budget. It's a good thing I preordered all those books first. :)
     
  5. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    leisure reading - shocking life: the autobiography of elsa schiaparelli

    i suspect it's not super accurate, but it's hot pink and is easy to find in a bag

    did you ever read charm school by nelson demille? it's all kgb up in there, you might like it

    did you ever read geek love by katherine dunn?
     
  6. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I find it very satisfying to delete a book from my Nook library. It's like making the book completely disappear. Poof!

    For Kate Atkinson--I always see her compared to Michael Connelly for mysteries. Stylistically, Carole Cadwalladr is supposed to be similar.

    Geek Love--:scream:
     
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  7. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    lol, i havent read it in a long time but i was super into it when i read it. i remember taking it places because i couldnt put it down.
     
  8. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I haven't read it in a long time, either. And it will be a long time before I read it again.

    Another possible mystery for the beach: Mozart's Last Aria. I don't know if it's anything like Kate Atkinson, but I thought it was an entertaining mix of history and potboiler.
     
  9. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    You know what else is pink and easy to find in a bag? Valley of the Dolls. How much do we love it?
    No and no. KGB, eh? I luuuuurve me some KGB. Had their HQ a few blocks from my school in the old country.

    Ooooh, thanks! Getting the Cadwalladr. What the heck kind of name is that?
     
  10. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    i love valley of the dolls!

    another book on my shelf i'd take the beach if i didnt hate it, elizabeth taylor: my love affair with jewelry. i think you'd like the pictures.
     
  11. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    OMG!!! BLING!!! But I have to say, I am not so nuts about some of her pieces. I'd sell them in a heartbeat.
     
  12. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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  13. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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  14. immoimeme

    immoimeme my posts r modded

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    Valley of the dolls is exactly for fun reading. So is shadow of the dolls. Then again I find lots of fun reading articles on aldaily.com
    So.

    Charm school is v gd. One of his best.
     
  15. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    I've heard nothing but raves about Charm School over the years from so many different people, one of these days I will have to give it a go even though it's not my usual lighthearted and easy going fare.
     
  16. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    A more serious version of Valley of the Dolls might be The Group by Mary McCarthy.

    For purely indulgent beach read, I really enjoyed The Power Trip by Jackie Collins when I spent a few days on a Caribbean beach last winter. It has everything you want - rich Russians, spoiled models, powerful producers, lots of namedropping etc etc, all lumped together on a luxury yacht with secrets and murder and sex and all that. One of her better books IMO - a fun and satisfying read that goes perfectly with an umbrella drink and the sound of waves at your feet.
     
  17. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Coming in October:

    Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography
    by Meryle Secrest

    It's the first actual biography of her, apparently.
    It will be on my list.
     
  18. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Welsh. Names that hog all the consonants are often Welsh. :D

    Another couple of authors you might like to try are Val McDermid and Aline Templeton. For McDermid, there are several non-series ones: The Vanishing Point, Trick of the Dark, A Darker Domain, The Grave Tattoo, The Distant Echo, A Place of Execution. The Tony Hill - Carol Jordan series is very good too, but they're also very dark, and you'd want to read that in order if possible. (Skip the Lindsay Gordan series, they're not nearly as good.)

    Aline Templeton is a series, set in Western Scotland. First book is Cold in the Earth.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
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  19. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    But I do...Don't you? ;)
     
  20. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Books are not vegetables, they are not full of good for me nutrients. Therefore, I will not pick my reading material based on whether it's supposed to be good for me or not. What's good for me is to read what I enjoy :)
     
  21. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    This!

    BTW: I have read romances which were better and more satisfying than so-called "serious" literature.
     
  22. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Me, too. I'm perplexed as to why some people dismiss romance novels as inherently unrealistic. Sure, some aren't very true to life - but you'd think that nobody ever has a satisfying romantic relationship.

    I'll just leave this link, even though most of the books mentioned are not really my favorites.
     
  23. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    oh hello there!

    thanks
     
  24. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    I'll look out for that, too. Although I can't think of Schiaparelli without immediately envisioning Rosalind Russell's three-eyed sweater in the country house lunch scene of The Women.
     
  25. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I am reading Frozen Solid, which so far is pretty much your standard thriller about a plot to infect humanity with a disease combined with the "something weird was found in the ice" story, but I must say, if ever I had any desire to go to Antarctica--and I don't think I have--then this book would surely have destroyed every tiny inkling. There are places humans just aren't meant to be.

    I am also getting the impression the world is going to come to a catastrophic end any day now, one way or another. If one of the more well-known options doesn't do us in, this book offers several other possibilities :scream:.
     
  26. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough . . . but what about people who enjoy the "good for me" books? ;) I'm only half joking. Sometimes people talk like there's Serious Literature, which people read only out of duty, and there's trashy beach reads, which people truly enjoy. But that's not always the case.
     
  27. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Well, in that case they are reading the books for pleasure, not out of obligation, so more power to them :)
     
  28. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    Especially with certain true life romances that seem less realistic than some fiction (Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn may be one example).
     
  29. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    I want to go to the Antarctic. Maybe I should read this so I'll be better prepared. I just don't want to get eaten by a leopard seal. The orca are too smart to be interested in people (they know we wouldn't be very good food), but seals aren't as savvy.
     
  30. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    There are no leopard seals so far. Everyone who is on station is sick or crazy or both, and they all have raw, peeling hands from the lack of humidity. The protagonist is exhausted all the time because she, like everyone else, got off the plane and gasped at the cold, thus giving her lungs frostbite. They have pods for rooms, the food tastes of the chlorine they use to prevent bacterial growth during long storage, the lights are all motion-activated, and it's always dark. And the layers upon layers of clothes they have to wear--how does anyone move? Oh, and they all get one two-minute shower per week, which is a total dealbreaker right there.
     
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