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

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

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  1. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

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    I finished The Invention of Wings, which I didn't realize until I was halfway through was based on a real person. Very interesting read about a woman from a slave-holding Charleston family who was passionately anti-slavery and a pioneer in the women's movement as well. The novel switches chapters back and forth between her and a fictional slave. It's amazing how similar their lives are in spite of their differences. The differences as well as the similarities are heartbreaking.
     
  2. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    For those in search of lighter fare, I am currently reading Murder Your Darlings by J. J. Murphy, a murder mystery starring Dorothy Parker

    http://www.roundtablemysteries.com/buythebook.html

    Lots of witty one-liners, some/probably most of them cribbed from things that members of the Algonquin Round Table actually said or wrote
     
  3. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I finished The Dead in their Vaulted Arches (the latest Flavia de Luce book by Alan Bradley) last night. Well, early this morning. Insert toothpicks-keeping-eyes-open emoticon here.

    I'm still not sure what to think. There were more twists and turns than the Hampton Court Palace maze, and all kinds of revelations about the past -- and the future. Many were somewhat eye-rolling, but since we have to suspend disbelief with this character all the time ... they worked. Anyway, I can hardly wait til the next one.

    I also just spotted that the series has been optioned for TV, and is currently scheduled for 2015. That will be interesting. The key is in the casting of Flavia of course. It will also be interesting to see how many episodes they film in what period of time -- Flavia ages barely a year over the course of the 6 books so far.
     
  4. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I'm reading Charles Finch's "The September Society" the second Lenox Victorian mystery. This one has Lenox popping back and forth on the train between London and Oxford to find out what happened to a young student gone missing from his college while he debates the major question of proposing marriage to his neighbor and best friend, Lady Jane. A thrill a minute it isn't, but there are enough clues dropped to keep me reading to find out where that one goes - and then there's another one.... I'm definitely due something lighter and fluffier after this, though.
     
  5. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    On my vacation I've read Quiet, the power of introverts, The brief and wondrous life of Oscar Wao and Trollope's Can you forgive her?

    Enjoyed all three, :respec: introverts! and want to read the rest of the Palliser novels and to learn more about the history of the Trujillo government in the Dominican Republic. So I have just ordered In the time of the butterflies. I swear, all dictators have the exact same playbook.
     
  6. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Over the years I have sought out favourite books from childhood/teen years - some I remember so well, and some have surprised me in what I did and didn't remember about them. One book has been nagging me on and off over the years, not knowing the title or author, and I finally found it this morning (yay internet!). The good news is according to a lot of blogs and comments sections, I'm not the only one with fond memories, and the publisher even reissued it in 2005. The bad news is I wished I'd known the title then and pounced on it, because those editions are now going for $300+ used. :eek:

    Mind you, there was a soundtrack I really wanted in the same boat for *years* but I kept it in my cart and kept checking back now and then, and one day there it was at a reasonable cost, and I got it :) I've done that with out of print books too, so hopefully I'll score this children's book before too long.
     
  7. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    what book is it that is $300?
     
  8. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    The Griffin and Sabine books are marvelous. Will have to hunt around for them--haven't read them for years.

    Almost finished with The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candace Millard. I am quite sure I never want to go to the Amazon. Bugs, heat, and humidity--no thank you!
     
  9. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

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    Considering how this book ended, I wasn't sure there would be any more. I surely hope so, and I hope we get to see the TV series in the U.S. Masterpiece Mystery, maybe?
     
  10. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    i really dont like the FdL mysteries, but i like flavia and her dad. im always afraid they will run out of money. i think it would be really hard to cast her.and then bind that child up so she doesnt grow up or out.
     
  11. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming there will be more, the publishers optioned the series to 10 books. I'm also assuming that
    the next book(s) will be set in Toronto at Flavia's new school. The population was getting a bit thin around Bishop's Lacey, so moving her to a bigger city could work well. It will also be good for Flavia to have some interaction with girls her own age. And the fact that Bradley knows Toronto so well is no doubt the reason he chose that location.

    The mysteries are indeed rather weak (as they are in the No. 1 Ladies Detective books), but I still love the books for their characters and setting. Not so much the sisters, obviously, though there's no doubt more there than meets Flavia's eyes.
     
  12. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Finished The Swan Gondola this morning. I was pretty disappointed. It was cleverly done (especially the final reveal/twist/I'm not even sure what to call it!), but it just didn't capture my interest. I never felt swept up by it, like I felt with The Night Circus. But that was a pretty subjective response, so maybe you'll like it better.

    No title? No fair! You have to tell us what book it is! :lol:
     
  13. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    The Fourteen Bears - link is to a blog and if you scroll down to the bottom you can see the cover and some of the charming illustrations - and here is the Amazon listing.
     
  14. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Aww, that looks adorable!
     
  15. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I'm still waiting for my library to list this one, but I'm keeping a lid on my expectations. And really, I don't expect anything to completely sweep me away the way The Night Circus did.

    Another one that's been compared to The Night Circus is Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. That one I do have on hold at the library.
     
  16. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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  17. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    it does! i still have most of my books from when i was little, i was hoping i might have one for her
     
  18. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Aw, thanks. I do need to check with my parents, who probably have much of our stuff still in boxes deep in the basement, and my sister, who ended up with a lot of our childhood toys when her children were young.
     
  19. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Sometimes those Amazon listings are insane. There was an out of print CD I wanted a few years ago that was listed on Amazon for $275. Craziness. I eventually got it from eBay for $5.

    Is the book really that collectible? Hard to believe if it was reissued in 2005, especially if it was popular. Sometimes the prices on Amazon are deceptively high: http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=358

    Still expensive, but considerably cheaper used at my favorite Better World Books: http://www.betterworldbooks.com/The-Fourteen-Bears-H0.aspx?SearchTerm=The Fourteen Bears

    ETA: Rats, it says out of stock.

    But there's one available on Half.com for $133.
     
  20. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    at abe books, they have the 14 bears for the bargain price of $134
     
  21. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Yes in some ways the internet is the best thing that ever happened to the book lover, and in some ways the worst. I like used bookstores and enjoy hunting around for vintage cookbooks especially - but now that so many of them are selling online, the deals just aren't there any more. I remember once being in a small shop in a tiny village on the northern tip of the Big Island in Hawaii of all places - I thought I'd really score there, but the prices were outrageous, and sure enough, the owner was behind the counter tapping away on some reseller site.

    I still find a few though :) There's a little summer town not far from here that has two decent shops, and at one of them, I almost feel bad about how little I've paid for the stacks of books I've found there!

    Same thing happens to my husband, who is a music collector - he can still find a lot of deals, but shops won't negotiate like they used to, and the big scores are few and far between. Plus, since the masses are all moving to downloads, the market has narrowed to the hard core buyers, usually older, and usually with money to spend on what they want, so sellers can pretty much name their price.
     
  22. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Saw that :lol: There was a vintage cookbook I wanted for years that was always around $200 so when I found it for about $70 I treated myself :) Ditto a soundtrack - when it suddenly came up for about $35 instead of $150-200 I pounced, but unfortunately it was incomplete - there were supposed to be 2 CDS, and I only got the one. I didn't bother trying to return it because I still wanted the one CD, and I didn't want to go through the trouble of fighting with some guy in France about it.
     
  23. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    That's the Amazon Canada listing. The US Amazon listing is around $153.00. It's all what the market will bear. When someone comes along and lowballs the price, it will go down.
     
  24. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    Just finished Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson. It sucked me in despite having to massively ignore the unrealistic amnesia of the protagonist. It's a little gimmicky at parts but it's 1:30 in the morning and I intended to be asleep by 10pm so I guess it isn't that bad :shuffle:
     
  25. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    I have been on my Dominican Republic kick and just finished In the Time of the Butterflies.

    I have an equivocal opinion--I liked that the author made the Mirabal sisters very human and flawed, not idealized, even though she said she had mostly filled in the blanks herself and the characters are not truly historical ones. I had become interested in the Trujillo dictatorship and have come to the conclusion that all dictators use the same playbook. It's like Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Trujillo knew each other and had a correspondence or at least attended Dictatorship 101 together.

    However, there is something about the style of writing that bothered me, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I suppose the style is a bit self-conscious and does not feel natural. A little bit precious. The book was pretty easy to put down and come back to in a few days--I wasn't absorbed in it. I would give it 3/5 stars if I were feeling generous.


    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao also covers the Trujillo years in the DR but is a much stronger, grittier and powerful work. I'd go for that one if you were interested in reading about the DR or just wanted to read a great, Pulitzer prize-winning book.

    Now I am switching back to Trollope and am on the second of the Palliser series, Phineas Finn. I am not so much interested in the politics of the time but do enjoy Trollope's writing and character development.
     
  26. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    I'm biased. . . Alvarez taught creative writing at my alma mater, and she just didn't seem like a very friendly person, although I should say I never did take a class with her. Heard varying reports of her teaching skills. Seemed like almost all the very heavily published profs were kind of crummy teachers, whereas the best teachers (in my experience) didn't publish much. (Hello thread drift: Are colleges/universities for teaching, or are they a place where people can get a paycheck for teaching in a kind of half-assed manner while doing other projects? Nope, I'm not opinionated at all :))
     
  27. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    Ugh, I've been far too busy/distracted to read much lately. I finally finished re-reading the Harry Potter series that I started MONTHS ago. The fact that I've read them before (more than once) made it so that I could read at a slow pace because I know the story so well I didn't have to go back and reread sections if it had been a while - but that's a double-edged sword, as I also didn't prioritize it. And I'm still reading the fun travelling Brit nurses story from back in September! it's not a long book, and it's an easy read, I just haven't made the time.

    So this weekend, I started reading Alif the Unseen, which is already really engaging and I wish I was at home curled up with it on this lovely day. Fingers crossed that I can maintain that enthusiasm and focus when I'm not at work :shuffle:
     
  28. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    I find it to be true IME about teachers and publishing being inversely related. Have you read her books?
     
  29. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Thinking of witty user title and coming up blank

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    I loved Alif! I finished it about a month ago and it was such an engaging and fun read. I hope you enjoy it.
     
  30. Impromptu

    Impromptu Well-Known Member

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    SOLD!

    (Sometimes the instant gratification of ebooks is a dangerous, dangerous thing).
     
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