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. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Went to new library tonight to get 1 book that was on hold. They had 3 others. :yikes: I had them remove one from the list (Joe Hill's NOS4A2 ). The ones that came in were Instructions for a Heatwave, All That Is, and Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore. Also picked up The lost whale : the true story of an Orca named Luna - it looked really good.

    Meanwhile, at the old library, I'm still #1 for 7 books. :p
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    There was a sackfull of packages waiting for me at the concierge's desk tonight. All books. Women of the Balkans represent! It was quite the hodge-podge of Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian, and Slovenian writers. Time-wise, from 1917 to 2010. Plus Isabelle Eberhardt's Dans l'ombre chaude de l'islam and Irene Rathbone's We That Were Young, an autobiographical novel focused on her experiences as a volunteer in WWI. So my day ended well. :)
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  3. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    Just got "Jack Absolute" by CC Humphreys in the mail and can't wait to start it. *must finish work tasks first....must finish work tasks first...must FINISH....*
  4. immoimeme

    immoimeme having a nice day

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    I got "Blue Nights" by Joan Didion. It's a book about grief. I think. It's a book about her daughter. Maybe. Mostly, it's a book about how. How? Yes, how. How can I write a book. Like this. Like this? Yes, like this, and make gazillion dollars. Gazillion dollars. Writing. A book. Like this. Writing the same sentence. Over and over. Over? Over. The same sentence. With different punctuation. Same sentence? Yes. The same sentence. With different punctuation? Yes. (etc etc etc). Sheesh! :rolleyes:
  5. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    :rofl:
  6. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    I once heard an interview with Joan Didion. At the time she still used a typewriter to write - the kind with a ribbon. She said she had to use the same ribbon for the whole book. Couldn't change it and couldn't go back and take out or rewrite or edit - until the book was finished. If she did, she had to start the whole thing over again. Apparently, by the time she finished a book, you could barely see the print. Maybe with this book that's why it was the same sentence over and over - she couldn't see it. On the other hand, I hope, by now, she is not still using that typewriter.
  7. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    She "had to"? Sounds like the self-imposed rule of an obsessive-compulsive. Also sounds like not my idea of an enjoyable read.
  8. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    Self-imposed - exactly.
  9. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    I really like Joan Didion. I absolutely hated Cloud Atlas.

    I guess immie and I won't be forming a book club any time soon.
  10. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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  11. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Read Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore last night. Interesting premise, our mid 20's narrator was downsized in the 2008 recession and took a job in a 24 hour bookstore with very few clients. Wasn't a fan of the "cloak and dagger Google will reveal the key to immortal life through a book" :blah: going on through it. And I'm glad I got it on a dead tree real book, rather than the kindle - it felt better reading lines about 'the smell of a book'. I've never sniffed my Kindle. :lol:

    Today, I finally read The Paris Wife, about Hadley Hemingway (Ernest's first wife). A 28 year old 'spinster' before they met :rolleyes: , she saw the promise in him and bankrolled his literary dreams in Paris where they both drank a lot and had a child (that he didn't want at first). The book kept her from being a saint (which was appreciated) but by the end of it, I hated him and his mistress and was thrilled when she climbed out of the bottle and got a divorce.

    At the slow library :p - 2 books are in. And the Mountains Echoed and A Light in the Ruins. Still have 4 to read from the faster library, so, I'll get them Monday.
  12. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Still slogging through the new JKR murder mystery Cuckoo's Calling. It lays bare the imperfections of her prose but every now and then she does turn a good phrase. I am not feeling sucked into the plot as I like to be in a murder mystery. Get it from the library if you absolutely have to read it.

    :lol:
  13. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I loved Didion's 'Run River' and 'A Book of Common Prayer' - the latter, especially. I found those books incredibly terse and evocative - quintessential 'less is more'. For many years now I've been reading 'page turners' (mystery, fantasy, historical fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, some sci fi), so haven't kept up with pure literature. But this one, I'll read. Thanks for the heads up, though I don't know what to expect. Even great writers have their bad books, just as great film-makers fall down and make some terrible movies.

    IMO Didion is among a rare class of writers, including Hemingway and Leonard Cohen (whose perfect sentences and images also rhyme). The fact that I can't write like them is why I never ventured far into poetry and literature.
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    That calls to mind Dawn Powell's Turn, Magic Wheel (1936), in which one of the main characters is based on an ex- or soon-to-be-ex-wife of Hemingway. It might have been his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, since Hemingway dumped her for Martha Gellhorn around this time. Gellhorn, btw, was no slouch as a writer herself. I've read A Stricken Field and Liana and thought they were both very good.
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  15. Sofia Alexandra

    Sofia Alexandra Well-Known Member

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    So I'm at a film camp this week, away from home, and I brought The Ocean at the End of the Lane to read in the evenings. It was a good thought, but it fell through pretty much right away. I had about three hours to kill at a train station, and in that time I read the entire book, cover to cover. Oops. :D
  16. Yehudi

    Yehudi Well-Known Member

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    Read "What Happened to Anna K." which is a modern retelling of Anna Karenina told within the Rego Park/Forest Hills Bukharan Jew community. The problem with the book is that Anna is so unlikeable. She is a pretentious pseudo-intellect who, despite reading Wuthering Heights more than a dozen times, has never figured out that while Heathcliff may be good for a shag, he is hardly marriage material.
  17. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Ugh. Wuthering Heights. A collection of a$$holes with no redeeming qualities. What IS the big deal??
  18. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Aren't all Joan Didion's books about grief? She's consigned, along with Paul Theroux & Patricia Cornwall, into the category of writers I would like to read again after they've successfully been treated for major depression.

    Just finished The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope she turns this into a series.
  19. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    Love the Jack Absolute books! The 007 of the Revolution! I must say, however, that he treats my poor Banastre Tarleton very badly and without any regard to reality, alas. Tarleton was a fascinating character and was rather more the darling of the social world than the persona Humphreys concocts. but I guess anything is legal in fiction when you're dead. That's why it's called fiction... Enjoy the books but don't believe anything you read about Tarleton! On a similar vein, I just started "The Skull and the Nightingale." Interesting premise. So far so good, but then, not very far. I've been reading Nelson DeMille all summer, so this is a bit of a change.
  20. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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  21. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    OK, I may have to take back some of my snark about JKR. Just when I thought the book was a gigantic :yawn:, she hit me with a well-written chapter and a character that just leapt off the page--Guy Some, the designer. Dialog and snappy back-and-forth is where she really shines.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  22. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    So, The Great Gatsby? One of the greatest novels ever, so they say?

    Yes, it's one I'd never gotten around to reading until now. I'm halfway through and going, huh????

    Maybe it will make sense by the end, but I feel nothing for any of these people. Probably because none of them feel anything themselves.
  23. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    But, but, but. . . they're all so smolderingly passionate!!!

    Took me forever to get which Catherine was which & the multiple Healthcliffs and flashbacks and all, too. Among the most confusing books ever written.
  24. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    There is a haiku for that one too. My book arrived today:

    You say passionate, I say under-medicated. They all probably suffered from SAD in that fog.
  25. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    Consider them all symbols rather than characters.

    If by passionate you mean suffering from borderline personality disorder, then yes, they are passionate.

    I'm slowly wending my way through The Stranger You Seek, which came highly recommended but isn't really doing it for me. There must be something between cute and cozy and experienced, cynical detective with complicated personal life/history that dominates the entire story. Next I plan to give Greg Hurwitz a try.
  26. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    Well,I finished it, and I am completely :confused: at all the good ratings and award nominations this book has received. There are some amusing lines, I'll give you that. Maybe people don't read a lot of mysteries, but the big twist? It was only a twist in the first place if you share the assumptions the police make, which you have no reason to do if you have half a brain, and from the midpoint of the book on, there are many immense, blinking neon signs saying "FORESHADOWING OF BIG TWIST HERE!" If you grasp the clues, which you surely will even though no one in the book does, you will know whodunnit because the possibilities are so limited. And the ending? :rolleyes: If you didn't know from reading the reviews that this is the first book in a planned series, you would after reading the last few pages.

    What really irritates me is that this book is so obviously a pastiche of popular mystery series. It's like a recipe--take four cups of Janet Evanovich, two cups of Chelsea Cain, a cup of James Patterson; mix well. Stir in a healthy dollop of Carl Hiassen and any number of other writers for whom the setting is a character, then sprinkle with a whole lot of eccentricities so no one can accuse you of outright copying characters, even though anyone familiar with the authors I listed will recognize.....let's call them "inspirations."

    I keep swearing I am going to stop reading mystery/suspense but I can't seem to cut the cord.
  27. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I finished "Jack Absolute" and liked it enough to hunt out the two sequels on Amazon. The minute descriptions of the battles got a little tedious (easy to see they were written by a man) but the plot was intricate and the main characters engaging. I'm surprised they let Louisa hang but since no one actually seemed to have seen her body, I'm left wondering if she might pop up again somewhere, especially since I know the story of John Andre and Benedict Arnold and their flip-flopping loyalties.

    I'm now into Tessa Grant's "Daughter of the Game" - a Regency romance/mystery/adventure that looks interesting and begins a series that I ran across a while back.

    And in the car, I'm continuing my Clive Cussler kick with "Flood Tide" - aka: Dirk Pitt takes on a worldwide syndicate smuggling illegal immigrants out of China and into the US. The books don't lack for adventure; I'm only in the first quarter and already Dirk has, while on vacation recuperating from near-fatal injuries suffered in the last book, discovered a lake full of dead bodies, infiltrated a mansion hiding a massive prison, rescued a dozen chinese immigrants - and a beautiful female INS agent - from death in the lake/cemetary, blown up a yacht and evaded scores of assasins in cars, boat and planes through sheer luck and his superhuman reflexes. There is nothing Dirk Pitt can't do. And now he and his partner are shuttling between Manila nd Hong Kong to investigate a cruise ship to find out how it's being used in the smuggling operation I expect Pitt to almost die another six or eight times before I reach the half-way point.
  28. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Slow library has done what I feared. I went to get the two books last night, and they handed me 2 others The Astronaut Wives Club and The Apple Orchard. And all are '2 week' loans. I asked how that was possible when I've been #1 for 6 weeks for 3 of them. :wall:

    I now have 8 books out (and The Orphan Train holding at the new library). I think I may need to return 3 of the ones I don't really want to read and circle back to them in a few months.

    I tried reading The Casual Vacancy. I now understand the hate. Lovely descriptions of horrid people. I gave up after 50 pages.
  29. Impromptu

    Impromptu Well-Known Member

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    I love Tracy Grant's books - although she writes them out of order, so it gets confusing which ones are supposed to be first.

    Years and years ago, she used to co-write traditional regency romances with her mother, under the name Anthea Malcolm. They were some of my favorite books - luckily I still have most of them in paper, because that backlist has not been republished yet.
  30. Tesla

    Tesla Whippet Good

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    Can you renew any of the ones you have out? That'll add a few weeks to your timeline. I haven't taken anything out of my library in a long while, but I used to be able to renew any books I had out, and I was able to renew them online. :)
  31. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Tesla - I'm certainly going to try. I have the feeling I was among the first to reserve a few of these, and this :lynch: is forming behind me.

    Irony alert - I had The Woman Upstairs for a week, couldn't get into it and returned it once I saw the queue growing. Last week, a neighbor/coworker mentioned the book finally came in for her at the library. I told her we should coordinate lists. She could have read it when I gave up and then returned it. :lol:
  32. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Tee hee, glad you got that haiku book. It's a hoot, isn't it?
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  33. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Total hoot. My absolute favorite is the Thomas Mann The Magic Mountain:

    Love it.
  34. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Symbol, shmymbol. That part of my life was over 20 years ago, cum laude with high honors in English blah blah blah. I read to enjoy (when I am not reading and editing or writing for money). And I finished The Great Gatsby. What a downer. Perhaps not quite as bleak as, say, Jude the Obscure, but sheesh.

    Now The Hobbit, which I haven't read in yeeeeeeeears. And it's also on our book group's list for the upcoming year. And I've become addicted to Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series.
  35. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I really liked The Great Gatsby. One of the few books to live up to the hype.
  36. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    NOTHING'S as bleak as Jude the Obscure. Just the memory of that book makes me shudder.
  37. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    I agree. One summer I read Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Hated Hemingway. Enjoyed Fitzgerald.
  38. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    I read for enjoyment unless I'm being paid to read and write, too; do you know anyone who doesn't? And I find Gatsby easier to swallow if I don't think of the characters as people but as symbols.

    Guess that's not the case for you. *shrug*

    I'm undecided about Greg Hurwitz so far, but if you don't like gore, stay away. It opens with the very gory murder of the child of the protagonist, which is kind of giving me nightmares.
  39. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    I love Gatsby. One of my favorite novels for sure.
  40. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Love Hemingway too. His short stories :swoon:
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