Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by rfisher, May 14, 2013.
Another pitch for In Cold Blood. Excellent writing, blood chilling experience.
For all the "Wolf Hall" and "bringing Up The Bodies Fans"....here is some news from Great Britain. Exciting!
I really love Madam Guillotine. Read this blog all the time. Anyone who loves literature, history, art history and especially Jack the Ripper might enjoy checking in on her.
I just finished The Rosie Project and really enjoyed it. It was one of my favourites of the summer.
I read half of Reading Lolita in Tehran and was exceedingly disappointed in it. It was a gift from someone whose taste I respect, but I didn't want to read it before reading the major novels included (e.g., Lolita and The Great Gatsby), but having homework for recreational reading felt too daunting. My book club decided to read it, so I went against my instincts. Oops. I put it down after a major Great Gatsby spoiler. So frustrating. At least the discussions here about Gatsby had almost convinced me to remove it from my lifetime "to read" list, anyway.
Overall, I felt like I was missing a lot of nuance because of my unfamiliarity with the work. I guess I was hoping for something more like Nelofer Pazira's A Bed of Red Roses (memoir about living in Afghanistan during and after the 1979 invasion).
I also loved The God of Small Things, and I even read it for a class, so it had that "ugh, homework" feeling going against it. The other book from that class that I'll never forget is Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh. My confession is that I found Midnight's Children to be rather meh.
On a completely different note, my new guilty pleasure is Jana Deleon, thanks to Bookbub. I've finished all her non Harlequin books and am now facing the dilemma of going for those ones at $5 each. Why can't my library buy them? Sniffle.
I read somewhere that Fighting Pax, the final book in the Dancing Jax trilogy, was coming out in August, but there's no sign of an actual release date yet. I wanna know what happeeeens!
The first two books are like Harry Potter mixed with the Narnia books, seasoned with Stephen King's It. They're spellbinding, funny, dark, and - especially during one harrowing scene in the second book - quite horrific at times. Many of the characters start out as annoying, but they're all very human (one is even a Whovian!), and before you know it you'll find yourself really rooting for them. And there isn't an overabundance of romantic drama, which in my book is a plus.
I just started MaddAddam, the third book in Margaret Atwood's Orxy & Crake trilogy. I finally got around to reading the second book, The Year of the Flood, just last month, in prep for this one coming out. Glad I did so recently. While Year of the Flood takes place in the same universe as Oryx and Crake, it's not at all necessary to have read O&C to "get" Year of the Flood. However, since MaddAddam picks up immediately at the same time, place, and character POV where YotF left off, it seems fairly important to have read YotF. (Although MaddAddam does begin with a recap of both the previous books.)
BTW, although it was quite a while ago that I read Oryx & Crake, I remember thinking it was clever, but not particularly loving it. Year of the Flood, oth, I really enjoyed. Probably because the characters were more engaging. That might be because of their context in relation to the story ... or it might be because they're women. Atwood does best with female characters, imo.
Anyone read The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared? I was recommended this by someone who is supposed to be familiar with my taste. However, I've been burned before. I've lost quite a bit of respect for someone who had recommended Ayn Rand to me. I've related the incident before but I was young, naive and trusting and bought the book based on the recommendation. I found myself gagging on page 2 and sold it on amazon. She. Can't. Write.
I fit just about perfectly into the book nerd type from Prancer's link.
Anyway, any feedback on the 100 year old man? Thanks!
Oh and I am reading Proust's Remembrance of Things Past/In Search of Lost Time. It took some getting used to but now I am into it and really like it. Has anyone read it?
I read it for my book club a few months ago and was unimpressed - actually, nobody in my book club liked it very much (though I know people who did), and I think a couple of my friends have reading tastes that are closer to yours. Basically it's Forrest Gump if Forrest had been a sociopath; for that matter, every character in that book just seemed to have no emotional depth whatsoever. Which was probably done on purpose, and it was entertaining at first, but eventually I just got tired of the whole thing.
If anyone here orders from Kobo, they have a promo code for 50% off (one-time only): B2S50. I used it earlier today to buy something by a new-to-me romantic suspense author.
It had its moments. I quite liked the present-day storyline, even if the characters were cartoonish -- the dry humour and absurdity of it all still tickled me, and I enjoyed the ride.
The flashback chapters, though, I found tedious. The Gumplike quality just didn't work for me.
It is, however, pretty easy to skip those bits.
The 100-Year Old Man is going to be made into a film here in Sweden. I haven't read it, but IIRC it's topped the bestseller list here, so perhaps it works better in its original language?
Thanks, I will give it a shot.
I'm not sure language is the issue -- I was actually surprised at how well the humour translated (since that is very frequently not the case).
It made a few bestseller lists in English too, though, so not surprising it would be a superbestseller in Sweden.
Have you ever read any Wallace Stegner? Just wondering.
No, do you think I should? The Spectator Bird sounds like something I may like.
Maybe that one; it's a shorter one. Possibly Angle of Repose - his pulitzer prize winning novel. I just mention him because I think he is a fine writer. I met him once at a booksellers meeting. He was one of those people who made me feel like a life-long friend even though we had just met. I thought him an impressive man.
I'm not sure I would recommend spending a lot of money on one of his books - try the library or a thrift store until you know if you like his style.
Thank you! Will check him out. His work sounds like something I may like. So glad you got to meet him in person--so much fun! I met John Fowles at a book signing, years ago. He was in total no pryde but congenial nonetheless and signed my book with a cute line.
Does anyone watch Justified?
My husband and I are hooked on the show, so I decided to read the Elmore Leonard books about Raylan Givens even though I really don't like Elmore Leonard. If you don't know the background, Raylan Givens was a minor character in a couple of Elmore Leonoard books and then was featured in a novella and a couple of short stories. One of those short stories ("Fire in the Hole") was turned into the pilot episode of the show, although it was given a different ending. The scriptwriters, with input from Elmore Leonard, then created a whole new storyline for Raylan, and Elmore Leonard later wrote a novel about Raylan, using characters and storylines from the show, even though some of it conflicted a lot with the stories he had already written about Raylan. This is considered really unprecedented in TV/novel marriages, because usually books are usually developed separately from the show and go off in different directions unless the books are entirely based on the scripts. One of the books in which Raylan was a minor character was Out of Sight, which was first a movie and later a short-lived series; the star of the series appeared on a episode of Justified as the character from Out of Sight at one point and there were references to things that happened in the book and the OoS series. I have read a lot of articles about what this all meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeans in terms of multimedia productions, but that is neither here nor there.
I am reading Elmore Leonard Raylan Givens 3-Book Collection: Pronto, Riding the Rap, Fire in the Hole, all of which were written before the show, and the timeline is driving me crazy. In the first story, Raylan describes his background as a coal miner who worked every kind of mine there was in Harlan County, Kentucky and sat out one entire year on strike until his daddy died of black lung disease and his mama moved the family to Detroit, where he went to Wayne State University and then joined the US Marshall service. Only in another section of the book, he talks about being a weapons instructor in the Marines. So what, did he start working in the mines when he was 12? When did he go into the Marines and how long was he in that he was a weapons instructor, which is a job one generally gets at the end, not beginning, of a career?
But what has really annoyed me is that in the first story, he is in the process of divorcing Winona, who has taken up with their realtor (just like the show) in Georgia (not like the show) and says he doesn't miss her at all (definitely not like the show) but he does miss his kids terribly. He has two sons (absolutely not in the show), Ricky and Randy, who are six and two, respectively. At the end of the story, he is living with a former stripper. Okay. In the next story, he and the former stripper have been together a year and he mentions going to Georgia to see his sons Ricky and Randy, who are now 10 and six. Now I know they grow up fast, but really.
One of the things that has really bugged me on the show (this will make no sense if you don't watch) is that Raylan told Ava that he met Winona in Utah when he was on the job and as soon as he heard her accent, he knew she was a Kentucky girl. The storyline on the show and in the books was that Raylan was a firearms instructor in Glyncoe, GA for several years when he was re-assigned to Miami; he left Winona behind to sell their house and she left him for the realtor. On the show, however, the house is Frankfort, KY, so when Raylan makes a mess in Miami and is sent to Kentucky as punishment, Winona and her new husband (but no kids) are there. Only people keep talking about how Raylan hasn't set foot in Kentucky since he blew out of the place to go to college, so how did Winona end up in a house in Kentucky?
Don't mind me; I just wanted to vent.
I too am hooked and don't mind the inconsistencies because I get to drool over Tim Olyphant each week. And, Winona is forgettable unlike Ava. I'm also so glad they kept Boyd Crowder because I also drool over Walton Goggins who is a fantastic actor. They film part of the opening credit on the Kentucky River bridge on the Parkway just outside Versailles, KY. I think of Raylan every time I go home.
I just finished Linda Fairstein's latest and started Kathy Reich's. Fairstein's was one of her better books (Central Park is the history lesson this time) and Reich's is awful. In fact, I may have to pull a Prancer and not read any more of her books. Which makes me sad as I used her early books when I taught biological anthropology as a good way to demonstrate forensic anthropology. Kathy really needs to go back to her roots. She's turned Tempe into superwoman who solves all the crimes single handedly. Which I wouldn't mind if she did it with forensic anthropology, but she doesn't. It's just stupid now. She's also forgotten the mystery rule of show don't tell. And the triangle between she, Ryan and Pete is stupid and been done to death by others (looking at you Evanovich).
But, the new Reacher is out tomorrow.
I KNOW! The whole Winona thing was Tim Olyphant's idea and everyone went with it because Elmore Leonard thought that Tim just totally nails Raylan Givens .
But I like Ava with Boyd. Boyd is my favorite character. He isn't nearly as pretty as Raylan, but he's more interesting.
I recognized it as soon as I saw it .
The Winona thing aside, the show has been pretty accurate--well, after the first season, anyway--except for how often Raylan runs down to Harlan County like it's right next door.
You will have to post a review for us. I am still in protest mode.
The reviews for the new Reacher say it's one of his best. And, there's a potential daughter! Can you imagine Reacher with a kid? I'll be downloading it in the morning.
I just finished the book "Night Film" by Marisha Pessi. It was way outside my usual choices as it is kind of a mystery/horror novel but it got
such great reviews that I was intrigued. Apparently, this is the second book she has written with her first one a bestseller and then a seven year gap. I have to say I really enjoyed it - it is long - but never a dull moment and full of twists and turns. I am also looking forward to the new Reacher book - he is like an old friend to me. The book is released two days before my birthday - so happy birthday me.
I read her first book and liked it, so I'm glad to hear that this one is also good. I will have to look for it .
I'm reading Night Film right now. A visit from a friend and a bad virus have done a number on me on the last few days, but I should be done with it soon
Read Fellow Mortals yesterday. Mailman tosses a match he thinks is out and 1 woman dies, 2 homes destroyed, and many lives changed. He is found not guilty but guilt leads him to offer help to everyone affected - the story follows all of their responses to his offers. It was a good read. I like a book that doesn't give tidy endings. I wound up yelling at the book a few times, and crying in spots.
Blood & Beauty has lost me. Too much focus on which Borgia thought what to keep me interested. Juan got killed and I yawned. I might not finish it before it's due back. I was hoping for a Borgia history, not a bunch of pages about Rodrigo's nose and Lucrezia's pining for 'tru wuv'.
Lots of Kindle price drops this weekend, the Game of Thrones 4 book deal was under $16.00, I snapped that up. Great price, no hernia.
Next up is Madame Tussaud. Looked interesting. The 'good' library has The White Princess waiting.
I'm in the middle of reading it (40% according to my Kobo app ) and I already don't like Ernest so I can only imagine how much I will hate him by the end. I'm actually dreading the next chapter a little bit since the one I just finished is where
the manuscripts were stolen on the train and according to her Wikipedia entry, he was super pissed and blamed her for it.
Maybe that's why I'm having so much trouble getting through it because it really shouldn't be a difficult read.
Erin, neither of them come off well in the book. He seemed to tire of her and she couldn't keep up with him on a literary level. The book reminded me of the women who put their husbands through college and then the guy dumps her. By the end of the book, everyone's actions were just bizarre.
I hate Amazon.com sellers right now. Today I finally got a book from a seller in Germany that I'd ordered a couple of months and they sent me something else entirely. There is just no way in hell I am ever going to read Turkey's Christian Minorities in the Paris Peace Treaties (1919-1923). And yes, it's in German. In a large print edition to boot. Now I have to send the damned thing back to some 'burb outside of Berlin, and that won't be cheap. Here I was all psyched about finally getting my hands on that Obsuropean novel I'd been looking for since Gods knows when. Danke sehr, Amazon seller.
On the plus side, I restarted The Vicar's Daughter, a VMC by E. H. Young which I'd started back in spring but set aside for some reason. Possibly because the main character is someone you can't help feeling sorry for, but, at the same time, can't help disliking. Young does the reverse with the female protagonist, who's kind of a bitch, but you somehow don't hate her. This is the third novel by E. H. Young that I've read, and I'm glad that I gave it another shot, because I really enjoyed the first two (The Misses Mallett and William). Whether she's setting a scene, revealing yet another layer of a character, or pinpointing the dynamics of a relationship, she tells you what you need to know but keeps her opinions out of it. If there's any philosophizing, it's because one of the characters is that kind of person, and whether or not those opinions coincide with Young's is anyone's guess. All of which I like in a writer.
Sorry to hear that, Nomad. Right now I am awaiting a shipment from Germany as well and it's been 9 days, should I be worried?
International shipping from an Amazon vendor can take up to 6 weeks before it's late. No, you shouldn't be worried - unless you haven't received a notice that the item has been shipped. It just takes a while. Also, it depends on the country. My shipments to Australia arrive faster than the ones to Canada.
That said, does the vendor have a high approval rating? It does make a difference.
^My apologies, I was confusing book orders. This was actually an Abebooks f*ck-up, not Amazon. I went on a book binge a few weeks ago and just lost track of what I'd ordered from whom, and Turkey's Minorities.... arrived without a packing slip, so I just assumed that it was an Amazon order. I did not intend to slander anyone.