New Book Thread because somebody' has got to do it

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,643
    I went to the midnight release of Breaking Dawn, because I was writing an article about it. That was a trip. :lol:

    I'm excited about the Hyperbole and a Half book myself, but I can't get to it right away -- too much other stuff to read first. Among other things, I've just got a gig reviewing the new Fosse biography.
  2. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Messages:
    4,637
    I jumped from medieval mystery to paranormal detective: Kat Richardson's "Poltergist" the second in her Greywalker series. I'm only a few chapters in and finding all the woo-woo walking-in-two-dimensions-stuff kind of confusing and a little tedious. I get that Harper, the main character, is new to her abilities and doesn't really understand what she sees or know what to do about any of it, but, honestly, how many times can she wail about her ignorance? It's getting old, girl. Her electronics-genius sidekick guy is witty and likable, with just enough mystery about him to make him interesting, though. I'll keep reading this one, but Number 3 is iffy at this point.
  3. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Messages:
    9,253
    Continuing on the Elizabeth George read-a-thon. And I am angry with her for A Traitor to Memory!!
    A violin was killed!! A really, really rare, old, probably priceless violin!!!
    :drama: At least she was pretty good with the details and didn't just take the easy route of having the main character play a Stradivarius; nice to see Guarneri gettin' some respect.
  4. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,336
    Finally read The Round House. Wasn't sure what to expect going in, but I really enjoyed it until the last chapter. Then it was ruined for me.

    And for anyone looking for a Kindle deal, there's a lot of books on sale for $2.40 today. Most of the Game of Thrones series, Ender's Game, The Book Thief, and The Shining. There was a $1.40 sale last week, wonder if there's a $3.40 coming up soon? :lol:
  5. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,266
    I'm reading Dish: How Gossip Became the News and the News Became Just Another Show. I picked it up because it was written by Jeanette Walls and I really enjoyed The Glass Castle, and now I cannot put it down because....it's chockful of juicy gossip. :shuffle:

    Well, it's book filled with ironies. What's one more?

    One of the interesting things about this particular gossip is that nearly everything in the book happened in my lifetime, so I remember most of it as I experienced it at the time. I'm not sure someone younger would find it as interesting. I'm up to the O.J. Simpson case, which is just :yikes:. So many things in this books are just :yikes:. I have never understood why someone would want to be famous, and after reading all this, I find it even harder to understand. Your friends and family will sell you out at the drop of a hat.

    It's given me what I consider an interesting discussion point for a class--at one point (Elvis' death) a New York Times newspaper editor says that they don't publish things because they are interesting; they publish things because they are significant. He had to apologize for saying so a couple of days later. And later in the book, Rupert Murdoch asks a convention of media movers and shakers why the mainstream media is so intent on selling people things they don't want (significant news) instead of what they do want (interesting news) when such a business model is so obviously doomed to fail.

    Interesting stuff to think about. But I gotta admit, if the book were just about such significant stuff, I would read it but slowly. It's the interesting stuff that keeps me flipping pages for hours at a time. :shuffle:
  6. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    21,980
    I need to check that out. :shuffle:

    I finished Dr. Sleep last night around 1 am. Really well done, with a good ending. Good endings are not really Stephen King's thing. (the end of the The Dome was particularly :rolleyes: ) But I really liked this one.

    I hope they don't feck up the movie too badly.
  7. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,266
    It kind of fizzled a bit toward the end; Princess Diana seems like the obvious closer subject, but the author barely seems interested in her by that point. Even the OJ chapter seems rather rushed.

    On another note, I read Child-Proofing ‘Harry Potter’ earlier today and have been thinking about it ever since. What say ye, Potter fans and parents?

    The idea of "pinkwashing" a book about eating vegetables so boggles my mind that I can't believe she ever even considered reading Harry Potter to her child.
  8. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    7,421
    I have difficulty imagining someone crazy enough to read Harry Potter to a 5 year old. Read them something else.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  9. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    28,129
    Please tell me that's satire.

    If she feels that her son is too young for Harry Potter, then don't read it to him. Or if she has some issues with some of the behaviors, discuss it with the kid. I doubt Harry Potter is going to warp her special snowflake's fragile, delicate mind. :rolleyes:

    My parents never censored books. I somehow survived. :p
  10. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,138
    That article is so ridiculously stupid that I am actually seething after reading it. If you feel you must censor something for your child, then wait until the child is old enough to read it. I was reading adult fantasy books at the age of 10, and all the sex and murder and intrigue didn't in any way ruin my life, or even impede it. I am so glad I did not have this woman for a mother.
  11. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,316
    :huh: Is this real?
  12. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    21,980
    I just found out Game Change 2 is out. Excuse me while I go hit the bookstore...
  13. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    13,689
    My father intentionally gave me "mature"/adult books to read.
  14. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    40,307
    I'm presuming she didn't read any nursery rhymes or sing songs either. Surely, she didn't want to traumatize with that cradle falling from the treetops. Or little bunny fou-fou, we all know what happens to him. Ring-around-the-rosy refers to the dying from the plague--surely she didn't want to go there. One of my then five-year-olds favorite stories was the Elephant Child by Kipling (mostly because he liked trying to say grey-green greasy Limpopo River) with scary crocodiles trying to eat the curious Elephant Child or Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (scary cobras!). He also like Cookie Monster and Cookie Tree and thought it hilarious when Cookie monster threatened to turn the tree into pencils. But pink washing vegetables? Seriously?

    I agree 5 is too young to appreciate Harry Potter. It was written for 12 year old and up, but this lady has issues.
    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  15. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4,833
    That's not what I expected pinkwashing to mean. :shuffle:

    And yes, she's an idiot. If you don't want to wait until your child is mature enough to deal with the darker themes in Harry Potter, at least stop after the first three. And don't try to turn every sentence into some morality play.
  16. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,332
    when my godchildren started school, i found out they changed the words to ring around the rosy. instead of ashes ashes they said something else. i will have to ask their mom what it was, i was so annoyed. i hate change especially if it because people are being wussies.
  17. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    20,740
    Her child is in for a very rude awakening when he gets old enough to start exploring the world for himself and hearing some of the things coming out of his friends mouths and the stories they tell. He will be horribly confused and probably not well adjusted, at all. She is crazy and who can edit a book as they are reading it? I bet she sits down and re-writes the book ahead of time, she seems THAT nuts.
  18. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,138
    I just picture him talking about Harry Potter with his friends later. "How much bullshit was it that McGonagall made Harry write that essay after he stole the broom?" *blank stares*
  19. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,316
  20. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,316
    So I suppose books like Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales are entirely off the menu. Grimms' too. Goodness forbid her precious darling actually learns anything at all about the world they will be entering in about a decade.

    My son's class is reading 'Sarah, Plain and Tall,' a lovely book I might add. The kids loved it and got it, at least my kid did. But I guess I should have pinkwashed the fact that Sarah was a mail-order bride and that the mother died. But I didn't. I think they are at the age when they should start learning about death and loss.
  21. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,072
    How about don't read Harry Potter to a kindergartener? Problem solved.

    (Though I'm guessing that kid will also never be allowed to see a Disney movie...)
  22. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,138
    Or any movie at all. It sounds like conflict in general is mostly just out the window.
  23. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,332
    it's been a long time and i forgot all about it. but my friend skipped over the parts of harry potter where they note he's an orphan because her children are adopted.
  24. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,138
    That makes no sense to me. I would have thought it would be awesome to give the kids a role model with that kind of significant item in common. And isn't Harry being an orphan kind of a big plot point? How did she do that and have the story make sense?
  25. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,332
    ita totally. plus at the time, the books were new and a lot of people were talking about them. i would imagine they had some idea of that through their friends. also, the boy was a great reader and probably wasnt fooled by her.
  26. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,266
    I agree.

    But when my kids were five, I read them stuff like Junie B. Jones and the Magic Treehouse books and other age-appropriate books like that, and there were plenty of parents who objected to those, too. Junie B. Jones was always getting in trouble and didn't suffer enough consequences (plus she called people names and referred to things as "stupid," a word that is apparently not allowed in a lot of homes) and the Magic Treehouse books were too scary and so on.

    I find this an interesting phenomenon because I grew up in the era when the Victorian concept of children's books--that children's books existed to teach didactic moral lessons--was just beginning to die and the more modern approach was just starting to take hold, and let me tell you, those Victorian books were boring as hell. If you want your kids to read, they need to find reading interesting and engaging. They get enough lectures. But so many parents of young children seem to think that every moment has to be about Teaching Something Important.

    But what really gets me about this piece (aside from the vegetable thing, which I don't think will ever cease to boggle) is that the author writes novels: http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Messina/e/B001H6SVHA

    Really? A vampire version of Little Women?????? And she's sanitizing Harry Potter?????
  27. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,316
  28. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,444
    Sounds very interesting! Does the book talk about how news reporting has been in large part taken out of the hands of reporters and editors? With everybody and their brother willing to be interviewed, people calling in from disaster scenes on their cellphones? Major networks now using cellphone footage provided by people who happened to be there? And the highly competitive 24/7 news world that leads media to report unchecked info, rumours and speculation?

    re it rushing toward the end - I've found that time and time again with biographies. They start strong with the early life and early career/what made them famous, and then seem to cram the second half of their lives into one final chapter, like they can't wait to finally finish the thing, or are rushing to meet a deadline. Annoying.

    re parents censoring reading - didn't read the article as I'm not in the Harry Potter camp, but raising my hand as another whose parents were happy that I was reading both "age appropriate" books and whatever I found in my family's bookshelf, or at my grandparents' cottage where my grandmother had a huge library of books of all genres. Yay for reading, boo for censorship.
  29. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    13,689
    I was another who read whatever I found on the bookshelf while growing up.
    As I said earlier, my father often supplied books to challenge me, and force me to think.
  30. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,316
    So my son asked me this morning if I knew that Vincent Van Gogh had cut off his ear and later shot himself. I suppose Van Gogh is the artist of the month they are studying at school. So much for pinkwashing. I haven't heard of any parental outrage.
  31. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2001
    Messages:
    4,906
    I read a lot of inappropriate books as a kid/teenager too...the one that always boggles my mind in retrospect is that my mom gave me Flowers in the Attic to read when I was 12 or 13. I know that she mentioned that she herself had read it, so it's not that she didn't know how inappropriate it was, unless she somehow forgot. But that also seems unlikely because it seems like the kind of book that you would need brain bleach or some kind of massive head injury to forget how inappropriate that book was. So I'm left with the conclusion that she did remember and just didn't care, which also seems odd for my fairly conservative mother. Maybe someday I'll ask her and clear up the mystery because it just doesn't reconcile with the person I know! Anyways, I turned out fine in spite of some inapproriate reading material (and inappropriate movies/tv/etc) so I guess she knew what she was doing.
  32. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,266
    The book was published in 2009; I'm guessing it was mostly written in the mid 2000s, so no.

    The main focus is on tabloids--how the methods and subjects of tabloid magazines spread into mainstream publications, and into television, and how various interesting-as-opposed-to-significant events unfolded in ways that changed new coverage. There is some discussion of news-as-business and a bit about the pressure to run with stories without sufficient corroboration, but most of the focus is on the gossip industry. Walls was a gossip columnist herself, so no surprise there.
  33. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,019
    Didn't read the article but maybe I'm 5 again. Someone gave me a box load of children's books. In it is a whole set of Bobbsey Twins - so I'm reading the set. My only complaint is they are "updated" and I'm not sure how much has changed. I should be able to tell when I read the one where they go to the country. That was the only one we had as a child.

    I work in an elementary school and there are parts of my day that are just plain unproductive, so I am reading much more children's literature. Has anyone read much Lois Lowery? I started The Giver today and I don't know how I feel about it.
  34. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,444
    I've been thinking about the idea of interesting vs significant that you mentioned earlier, and given that I live in Toronto and have been bombarded with "news" coverage of the mayor for the past six months, the idea of news vs gossip. His political work gets an average amount of coverage, but what he did or didn't do in private now makes headlines around the world.

    I used to find it frustrating that media had so much influence and power when too often they offered sloppy/incomplete/unsourced or unchecked information as fact and of course most people believe it because, well "it was in the news." Now there's a whole other dimension - all those folks on the street who give interviews and tweet for their 15 seconds of fame, and a growing universe of bloggers - self proclaimed experts who often have little qualification other than a URL, and no one overseeing the quality and accuracy of what they publish. And yet they wield an increasing amount of influence in many sectors, and their stuff gets repeated to the point that it's believed because "it was on the internet."

    Every now and then I buy books I read as a kid from used sellers on Amazon. It's interesting to me what I remember and don't remember about books, some that I reread many times as a youngster. One of my favourite authors as a pre-teen was Zilpha Keatley Snyder - those are still great books :)
  35. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,266
    The Giver is a middle-school standard; I know a lot of people here have read it.

    I'm teaching a class on digital literacy and this is the kind of thing we are wrestling with--who are the gatekeepers? Should there even BE gatekeepers? And if there are no gatekeepers and we have to be our own gatekeepers, how can that be done, given the limitations we all face?

    One of the things that I read in the book that was really startling was that the publication with the most stringent source-checking requirements is The National Enquirer. There are reasons that the Enquirer breaks some real news stories every now and then.
  36. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Messages:
    4,637
    I recently read "The Giver" because it was a Newberry Award winner and, way back in the Dark Ages of my college career, I did my thesis using those Award winners as the basis. I try to at least skim the recent winners, but I must have missed this one when it won. I wasn't particularly impressed with the vagueness of the ending and I don't know if I'm interested enough to bother with the rest of the saga.

    I am in the middle of the audio of Lee Child's "Without Fail" in which Reacher is hired to find the holes in the Secret Service's protection of the Vice President. I don't understand why I find Reacher so interesting but I do. He and Clive Cussler's Supermen, Dirk Pitt and Kurt Austin are my traffic companions and I miss them when I don't have one or the other to drive around with. :)

    The mother of my godchildren had strong ideas about appropriate reading for her kids (no violence, no sex, no drugs, etc.) but she was so severley dislexic herself (and her husband didn't care) that she asked me to pre-read all the books that her kids were given or wanted to get. The boys were reading way above their grade levels so I got to read all kinds of stuff for them that I never would have picked out on my own. I never censored anything and never told the kids that they couldn't read anything, which wasn't what their mother had in mind. I did put notes on the books that I thought she might question and asked the boys to talk to me about the contents afterward so we could discuss the questionable parts. I think that worked better than telling the kids that they couldn't read the entire book. Years later, their mother thanked me for doing that.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  37. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,444
    My husband refers to him as "your boyfriend." :lol:
  38. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,862
    Anyone else have childhood expereinces with the book Strewwelpeter? That one gave me nightmares. But I think it was the images more than anything else.

    On a completely unrelated note, I'm looking for help finding a book/author. I was browsing a library shelf and spotted a new-to-me detective series that I thought I'd like to try. They're set in Africa (Kenya possibly, but I'm not 100% sure about that), and the blurb on the back compared him to the No 1 Ladies Detective series, but with more substance. The titles were kind of quirky and not immediately evocative of a detective series. I thought for sure I'd remember ... but between jetlag and the headcold I picked up on the flight home, it's gone completely from my memory. I tried googling "detective series set in Africa" but none of the ones that came up are right. Anyone? TIA.
  39. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    40,307
    I have MY literary husband's newest adventure in my hot little hands and will be cozied up with him tonight. That Princess person only thinks he belongs to her, but HE DOESN"T. Now, I just need Preston and Child to kill off a couple of annoying characters.
  40. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    21,980
    DAMMIT. I don't have time to read it right now. Let me know if any annoying characters get killed off. I was rather pleased wifey poo died in the last one. :EVILLE:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.