Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by rfisher, May 14, 2013.
It's one of the few books on which Spinner and I agree.
It took me a while to get into it too, but once I did, I thought it was quite good. I didn't love it quite as much as some others in the thread did, but still a worthwhile read IMO.
I'm currently reading Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette, as the movie with Kirsten Dunst was on tv a little while ago and combined with a recent trip that included both France and Austria, it piqued my interest enough to get the book. So far it is fairly dry, but I'm hoping it picks up once she goes to France.
The Book Thief is my favorite book of all time!
Finished The Book Thief at 6am. Perhaps was bawling. This is why I resisted it so long, methinks. Didn't want to feel.
It had that effect on me too, TygerLily.
Currently reading Kate Ross' last Julian Kestrel mystery "The Devil in Music" - it's set in Austrian Italy amid the political upheaval left after Napolean's defeat and the collapse of the Kingdome of Italy. There are a few too many characters for me to skeep straight and some of the "clues" are glaringly obvious but I am enjoying the insight into Kestrel's background and character.
I picked up a mixed bag of audio cassettes at a yard sale on Saturday (nine titles for $3) so I'll have some odd listening ahead this summer. I guess I'll have to keep my poor old car running for a while longer.
Since the 7 books at the library that I'm first in line for are still not in I've turned back to the kindle. And am thrilled - the daily deal a few weeks ago was the Muirwood trilogy. Fantasy books about people with the power to control the earth's elements. It's like Harry Potter meets the Hunger Games. Loving the books - have finished 2 and am on the 3rd now.
I have concluded that authors should not read their own works for audio books. I started John LeCarre' "The Constant Gardener" yesterday and could not make it through the first 15 minutes. He speaks too fast for one thing and he reads as if he's just reading with no inflection and no pace changes. I could not tell who was speaking during conversations and there were too many words I either couldn't hear or couldn't understand so I gave up.
Now I have Kate White's "A Body To Die For" going and the reader, Kate Walsh, while a little too perky and chirpy in places is much better. All the slang and trendy-speak sounds a little dated now but the plot seems decent. I'm getting chucles about the descriptions of the setting - a five-star spa located in Warren, Massachusetts (which in reality isn't anything like the descriptions in the book, which makes me wonder if the author had done more than drive-by research on the place).
I'm currently reading Flaubert's Parrot.
At one point the narrator facetiously makes a list of subjects for novels that he'd like to see banned for good or 10 or 20 years. Reminds me of the discussions of music bans in skating.
Reading Atkinson's Life After Life. It would not be a spoiler to say that her heroine basically has multiple episodes of the Groundhog Day throughout her lifetime. That is, she relives not one, but quite a few days in her life over and over again. She gets to do multiple do-overs where she tries different things to alter the outcome. Interesting, well-written so far--I am about 2/3 in.
I really dislike the character of her mother, Sylvie. It's a very well-developed character and is very unlikable. I hated her from the moment she let her two toddlers wander into the surf in the ocean. She was too busy reading/lounging around to supervise and was counting on the nanny. Good thing Heidi Klum is a better mother than that.
Guess I am used to the Pacific Ocean's powerful and tricky riptide. Whenever my son is on the beach I am right near him and don't let him wade in too deep. At our beach the riptide is one of the most treacherous and only experienced surfers in wetsuits can venture in safely, provided there are several of them and they watch out for each other. Lots of drownings on that beach nonetheless.
Reading the very last of the Randy Wayne White "Detective" series of books set in Sanibel/Captiva, Florida - my favorite place in the world. I highly recommend them although some are better than others. The hero and his best friend are pretty unique and fun, I think. Also just finished the last Ian Rutledge book by Charles Todd. I found it quite disappointing.....like the mother/son team just wrote it for the deadline check. Ian's too interesting to be so short changed. Also finished the new Deborah Crombie which was entertaining and fairly well written. Better than I could do at any rate! I have about 6 Ian Rankins to go. Don't know if I can slog through them. I love him, but I love the books better when they're read through. The process isn't always fun.
I just started reading a book I've had on my shelf for years - no idea where it came from: The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. So for it's done a decent job of believably getting the protagonist involved in solving a 500-year old murder through painting restoration.
Just finished Dan Brown's "Inferno". We are selling tons at the store and customers keep asking if I have read it and what is it about. I have also read "Da Vinci's Code" and "The Lost Symbol", and this is pretty much more of the same. I do like the topics he chooses, but his writing style is not to my tastes at all; like reading a screenplay rather than an actual novel. Very quick read due to his frantic and rushed style, and the fact that the whole scenario takes place over a day. Interesting story but the presentation really aggravates me.
I read this right when I got to China back in September. I have to admit I thought the ending was disappointing, but I did like it overall. All the stuff with the painting and the chess analogies was fascinating, but I found all the history about the people in the painting to be a lot more interesting than the murders that were occurring in modern times. I also thought the identity of the murderer became really, really obvious eventually, which was basically why the ending was disappointing, and I would love to know if you feel the same eventually!
Up next is "A Tale for the Time Being", about a Fukishima tsunami Hello Kitty lunchbox with a diary that washes ashore in the Pacific Northwest. Looked interesting when I saw the blurb.
One of the library books on my list turned out to be 3rd in a series, it goes back next week, I haven't read the other 2 and it's a 2 week rental.
Read "The Bridge" by Kay Bratt, a short story about an abandoned Chinese boy and the old woman who takes him in. She's the caretaker of the 'Lucky' Bridge where people dump their children. Very well done, and based on a true story. She lived in China for years and wrote other books about the orphanage system there, I'll be finding them next.
Today's Kindle deal was a bunch of classics, including "Gone With the Wind". Never read it, so for $1.99, I will now. Audio edition goes for 49 hours! Hope the speaker made a ton of $$.
Sounds similar to The Eight by Katherine Neville - I think we may have discussed this book here sometime in the past. Chess is a big theme, unravelling a present day/historic mystery w interesting characters and settings.
I've read a ton in the last couple of weeks. I read Curtis Sittenfeld's Man of My Dreams and it was kind of meh. Not early as good as American Wife.
I have also read the first 5 of the Sookie Stackhouse books; don't know why I hadn't read them before but it seemed like the right time.
I need to finish the Sookie Stackhouse series. The problem is I don't remember which book I left off on and I don't feel like figuring it all out.
I am on the part of Atkinson's Life After Life where the character does Groundhog Day during WW2. Quite a few GD's involve the Blitz. The upside: the writing is excellent and evocative. The downside: so evocative I couldn't fall asleep until 3:30 a.m. last night.
The mystery of why B&N opened the Nook up to Android is becoming a little less mysterious.
The technology website TechCrunch reported that Microsoft, which already owns a 17 percent stake in Nook Media, was proposing a $1 billion offer to buy all of Nook's digital assets.
The report also suggested that Nook would stop selling Android-based tablets entirely by the end of fiscal 2014 in favor of distributing content via other publishers' platforms.
Hmmm, so should I start stripping the DRM off my books now? I have more than 1000. It might take me a while.
I read Cassandra Clare's "City of Lost Souls" over the weekend and found it disappointing, very scattered and rushed to tie up all the relationships without really ending the saga. I moved on to Jaqueline Frost's "Twice Tempted," a paranormal vampire romance with a bit of mystery thrown in. It's okay, although the heroine's angst over Vlad's (yes, THAT Vlad!) refusal to admit that he loves her is wearing a bit thin and I'm not even half through yet. I also hate when the main character gets a good look at the villain early on but takes forever to connect that view with the mere glimpses she gets during the crime and so spends untold pages trying to figure out who the criminal is.
It's nearly summer and my reading tastes are sliding even lower on the Trash Reading scale.
Summer reading is like summer movies--some people like the art house, some people like the mindless brain candy.
I have been happily chowing down the brain candy, but I have to teach a summer lit class (whyyyyyyy? whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?) in a couple of weeks, so I've been reading some good stuff, too. I had never read The Handmaid's Tale before, so I just finished that, and I finished The Corrections, which I had started but never finished. I think I will read Middlesex next. I got a free copy of it from the publisher a long time ago and never got around to it. I guess I'm around to it now.
I just finished Veronica Roth's Divergent, which was fun but had plenty of plot holes and moments. Ever since these futuristic, dystopian ya novels became wildly popular it seems like the quality of them has dropped quite a bit.
Now reading The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf, which is good but not as engaging as some of her other novels. I've also started A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. I loved A Game of Thrones, so hopefully this one is just as great. I've heard a variety of opinions on whether the series gets better or worse.
I think the best people enjoy a good dose of both.
I've had this on my Nook for a while. Just haven't opened it for some reason. Should I?
Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting By In America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Sisters, Secrets and Sacrifice: True Story of WW2 Special Agents Eileen and Jacqueline Nearne
Frozen In Time: Quest for Lost Heros of WW2
Nickel and Dimed is a serious eye opener, especially for people who don't understand why some people can't just "pull themselves up by their bootstraps."
Eh, it's a fun, light read if you're ever in the mood for something like that. There are positive aspects to it - the fast-paced action is entertaining and I liked some of the characters. It's just flawed and didn't wow me like I expected it to after all the praise it received.
I finished The Hangman's Daughter last night. Imperfect little murder mystery that reads more like action-adventure at times, about a hangman in Bavaria in the 1700s who believes the midwife accused of witchcraft/murdering a little boy is innocent and tries to find the real murderer in order to avoid executing an innocent woman whom he respects. It's a translation from German, and sometimes the translator chose very modern language that didn't seem to fit. It also bothered me that all the main characters were extremely modern and enlightened compared to everyone else in the book, so much so that it rang false frequently. The author of the book is descended from the Kuisl family, a long line of hangmen in Bavaria, and the main character of the book is his great-great grandfather, and apparently some of the more modern aspects of the character are actually based in fact (he was a gifted healer) but the author admits in the closing section that he may have trumped it up a bit for his relative. There were also some repetitive moments. Overall, though, it was a quick and entertaining read. I bought all 4 books in the series on Kindle for like $10 or something during a special sale a while back, and I enjoyed it enough to go read the next one, which I will in a bit.