New Book Thread because somebody' has got to do it

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by rfisher, May 14, 2013.

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  1. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    I am more of a Poirot reader, just because that's the first Christie I read, and I didn't read any Miss Marple books until many years later. There are two volumes of 5 complete Christie books - one Poirot/one Marple - that have a great selection of each. The Poirot one doesn't include one of my favorites - The Man in the Brown Suit.

    I found Cat's Eye completely devastating. It's my favorite Margaret Atwood novel, although it's hard to say I "liked" it.
     
  2. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    I used to read James Patterson. The first few Alex Cross books were good. Loved "When the Wind Blows", but not impressed with his sequels and YA novels in the series. He is way too comfortable resting on his stacks of cash and he's sloppy and formulatic (to me, at least).

    I will happily recommend James Rollins to people - his Sigma books are great, and the stand alone ones are pretty awesome too (Altar of Eden was fabulous). Just avoid his vampire book - cowritten and horrid. :scream:
     
  3. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    I used to read Patterson, but I am bothered that so many of his books are now co-written. That just seems odd to me.

    Anyone have any thoughts on Patterson's middle school books from the perspective of a kid? I was thinking of getting them for my son to read during the rest of this summer (he's making his way through the Harry Potter series quicker than I expected!). My son is going into 5th grade in the fall.
     
  4. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    I'm interested in anyone's thoughts too. Am thinking about them for my nephews but seeing them on so many commercials bothers me a bit. If they're good do they really need that?
     
  5. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I don't know about Patterson, but fifth grade was when my son started reading and loving the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. You might try those if you are looking for some alternatives.

    Patterson is a successful corporation as far as writers go; that's why he has so many co-authors and why his books are advertised so much. His name sells and there aren't many authors who can say that.
     
  6. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    So...do you know if those books are any good?
     
  7. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I haven't read them and thus have no personal judgment to make. You can Google reviews as well as I can, but if you haven't, the School Library Journal gave them all starred reviews.
     
  8. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, those look like something he might like.

    Picking kid books is hard. My daughter made her way through the Mallory McDonald series this past year (2nd grade). In the first book, Mallory was 8, which was perfect for my daughter, who was 7 when she read it. But she has now almost "caught up" with the series and Mallory is no longer really age appropriate. My daughter, now 8, is currently reading Mallory's Guide to Boys. :yikes:
     
  9. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I think picking books for anyone is hard, as reading tastes are so personal, but kids can sometimes be exceptionally tough. I am pretty good at getting books for my husband and son, but my daughter? I have no idea what to get for her. A couple of weeks ago, she went to B&N with me and asked if she could buy some books--and then came back with three books of poetry. Never saw that coming. When she was in third grade, she really liked The Spiderwick Chronicles and Judy Moody and her brother's Time Warp Trio books; I think that was the last year that I was able to say "I think you might like this" with any confidence.

    You also have to watch those pink, cartoony covers, as they aren't always what they seem. When my daughter was in (I think) fifth grade, she came home with a book she had borrowed from a friend. I thought the format looked interesting, so I flipped through it. In the first chapter, the main characters debated Brazilian versus French waxes and had a fairly involved discussion about the necessity for pre-planned birth control if one was going to get trashed at a party. That sure wasn't what I was expecting.
     
  10. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  11. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    I read the synopsis - sounds like a girl's book. Do they work for boys too?
     
  12. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    I think so. I read the first 5 chapters while I was working summer school. At least half of the characters are boys and the author is male. I think it's just as likely to appeal to boys as girls.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  13. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Thanks. :)
     
  14. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Just finished "Still Life" by Louise Penny (the first Gamache book). And LOVED it. I'm supposed to be outside sweating at a pool party, but it's been sticky hot or pouring all day here, so I have zero guilt for not going. :lol:

    For those who have read the Gamache series - do they ever go into the Arnot case in greater detail?

    Next up is either "The Girls of Atomic City" or the second Penny book (A Fatal Grace) - I can see me totally immersing in Gamache for the weekend. :lol:
     
  15. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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  16. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    So we've learned that 1. JK Rowling can write crime/mystery/detective fiction (I'm not surprised; she's a very good plotter) 2. she can get good reviews for books in a different genre 3. all the good reviews don't help sales all that much for a new writer; until she revealed it's her book, it sold about 1,500 copies. It's probably been selling more than that per hour since she made the announcement ;)

    I'm not really a fan of that genre, so I'm going to pass.

    Next on my TBR list: a new book by Courtney Milan (which I just bought on Smashwords, yay for self-publishing), plus Meir Shalev's Fontanella for my book club.
     
  17. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Detective fiction is how I take a break from the heavy lifting in literature. I can't be reading modern minimalist Japanese fiction or Dickens all the time, can I? <--these are how I take a break from Henry James :slinkaway
     
  18. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I take a break all the time, it's much more fun for me that way :) I do read the occasional classic or Serious Literature, just not that often.

    My approach is that books are not vegetables that should be consumed because they are good for you; I only consume books and vegetables that I like :D
     
    dbell1 and (deleted member) like this.
  19. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I like Patterson's books as easy reading. I started with the Women's Murder Club ones and then moved on to the Alex Cross series. The only one of the latter that I didn't like at all was "Cross Country" because it seemed like all he did was get caught, beat up, imprisoned, beat up, escape, get caught, get beat up, etc. I haven't really cared for the ones with co-authors that I've tried, though. "Private Games" was memorable only because it was set during the London Olympics and I wondered how accurate the settings and plot could be, given that it was written and published before the games actually took place.

    I'm still reading through my stack of cozies; finished "Hease and Buggy" by Laura Bradford, the first in an Amish series. It was okay but I don't know if I'll bother hunting out any of the others. I started another first-in-a-series last night during an insomia bout, something about a Soup restaurant in Vermont but the writing was actually so poor that I put it aside and started a reread of Gabaldon's "Crossstritch" the British version of "Outlander." I was curious about the differences between the two publications (although they're supposed to be very slight) and with STARZ making a series for broadcast next spring, it seemed like a good time to refresh my memory.

    In the car, I'm ome the last chapters of Vince Flynn's "Consent to Kill" - finally - I think that getting the unabridged version was a mistake as it seems like it's dragged on and on.... After that I have DeMaurier's "Jamaica Inn" on tap for a change of pace.
     
  20. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    The only one I really noticed was that the 20th century parts of Cross-Stitch are set in April-May of 1946, as opposed to 1945 in Outlander. The former does make more sense, considering WW2 was still going on in the first part of 1945 and both Claire and her husband served in the military during the war.

    Casting Jamie Fraser will be really difficult, but someone is going to have a lot of fun playing both Randalls ;)
     
  21. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Already have it. The reviews are good. I'll start it today after I finish my current John Sanford (I've been racing through all the Lucas Davenport books---sort of after the fact since I read his Virgil Flowers series first. I love Virgil and am ambivalent about Lucas.
     
  22. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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  23. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    Aaaargh, "Beautiful Ruins" was a charming, lovely little book that I could barely put down...until the Big Pivotal Scene, which was a lazy, unbelievable exercise in annoying. :mad: I still couldn't put it down, but the last 40 or so pages were to 1) see if things would (could?) get back on track and 2) because I wanted to be done. Such a disappointment! :drama:
     
  24. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Still making my way through the entire Jack Reacher series, and enjoying very much. I'm now on book 11 - one the three Prancer said are considered among his worst - we'll see how it ends, but I'm 2/3 through and enjoying it very much. Probably the only one that really fell flat for more was #10 - the one where the militia guy's wife is kidnapped in NY that ends in a standoff at a farmhouse in England. I've read a lot of kidnapping stories over the years - going back to Murder on the Orient Express, speaking of Christie - and this one just isn't in that league at all, kind of out of Child's element.

    But back to #11 - this is the one that contains both the $100K reference and the Hendrix record element that we talked about in the last thread re lazy research/inaccuracies that bug us in books. The $100K one wasn't as bad as a thought in one way - they didn't assume the writer was European but rather than they must've spent time in the military and/or abroad, and at that point they knew it was their former army buddy, so in essence they were patting themselves on the back. So Child clearly has no idea, despite living in NY for some years himself, that Americans regularly describe things like salaries and running in K terms. But personally, I was more offended as a Canadian (hey Mr Child, you know that great big country on top of the US?) because we've used the metric system for about four decades now, and given the close relationship between Canadian and US culture there is naturally a lot of spillover, and Americans might just be a little more worldly than he thinks :)

    The Hendrix reference wasn't too bad but in another way ridiculous. It was a coded message in which someone referred to the second album, track 6, which is Little Wing and also the code name for something important. I checked the five album copies and one CD that hubby owns (don't ask), and indeed the track listing is consistent, as is the cover art. I asked my husband if Axis Bold as Love is indeed the second Hendrix album, and it definitely is - all the mix ups came later after he died and they started issuing and reissuing all kinds of stuff, throwing album and track orders all over the place. BUT, the book is copyright 2007, and three of the people discussing this had cell phones, and one of them had a top-of-the-line laptop with her, not to mention an assistant doing research for her back at the office - but they all went to a local record store to solve the puzzle :lol:

    I get the feeling that Child is very tech awkward and has tried to turn it into an endearing quality of Reacher's, but you simply can't get away with errors like that any more. Not to mention the heavy use of faxes in this book - in 2006/2007??
     
  25. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Finished Jude Morgan's An Accomplished Woman the other night. It's a Regency novel in the vein of Georgette Heyer (with lots and lots of Austen references worked in). LOVED the first half . . . was a little less enthusiastic about the second half. Morgan wants to show that some of the characters aren't exactly what we took them to be at first, a la Pride and Prejudice -- but his version of this is, "Hey, let's have these guys do a complete 180!" Er, no.

    Still, it was a fun read with a lot of laugh-out-loud lines. Recommended.
     
  26. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I admire her for doing that.
    I'm looking forward to reading it.

    I ordered the book; it's on backorder at Amazon.
    How many copies have been sold since her identity was revealed?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  27. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I strongly suspect that the leak about the author's identity came from her camp, once it became clear that the book, on its own merits, was not selling. Though it's definitely cool that she was apparently able to write well in a different genre completely.
     
  28. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I'm #10 in the library queue for The Cuckoo's Calling. I'm willing to bet that at least 7 of the 9 in the queue ahead of me heard about it being Rowling before I did!
     
  29. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I wouldn't be surprised. :) But she got the best of both worlds -- she got to see it reviewed honestly without all the hype attached to her name, and then she got to see it shoot up the bestseller charts once the truth came out. Nicely played.
     
  30. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    They've signed Sam Heughan to play Jamie a;ready: http://goodbadandunread.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Sam-Heughan-Jamie-Fraser.jpg No word on anyone else, though.
     
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