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. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Atwood herself prefers the term "speculative fiction" -- just because the term "science fiction" connotes spaceships and robots (rightly or wrongly). She talks a lot about the various genres -- and how meaningful the distinctions may or may not be -- in her book In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination. (A very good read, btw.) I happen to agree, for her books it definitely fits better than the scifi label.

    LOL, I did exactly the same thing when I ran into her in Scotland!

    I found Oryx and Crake interesting, but I didn't connect with it. At all. Largely because of the male protagonists. I liked Year of the Flood a lot. MaddAddam was only okay -- too unfocussed, and some character points that bugged me, but not a bad end to the trilogy.
     
  2. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I'm reading dreck -, er, genre fiction, AKA the stuff they sell in grocery stores. :) I just finished Jayne Castle (Jane Anne Krentz) "Deception Cove" - another in her Rainshadow SF series about the psi-talents on a distant planet previously inhabited by a now-extinct Alien Race. The "mystery" was slight, the romance kind of sketchy and the characters pretty flimsy but I enjoyed it because that was about all my brain wanted to deal with over the weekend. I'm now starting Mary Balough's Regency "The Arrangement." I like Balough; she gets the history right and her characters are always very human and interesting. Here the hero is blind and beleaguered by over-protective female relations who are pressuring him to marry ASAPHe flees their well-meant schemes and meets the heroine, an impoverished poor relation of a social-climbing miss who sets her cap at the hero, determined to overlook his handicap in favor of money and title. The setting is a small rural town, rather than the ballrooms of London, so it's not the typical Regency. I'm looking forward to a nice, comfy read.
     
  3. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    There is a short story that pre-cedes this, The Suitor. It's not a necessary read, but you may want to catch it first.

    I read both The Arrangement and The Proposal (part of the Survivors’ Club series) and enjoyed both.
     
  4. taf2002

    taf2002 flower lady

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    I love both of these authors. I have to suspend disbelief when I read Jayne Castle but those stories are fun. I haven't read The Suitor or The Arrangement yet but I've read everything else of Mary Baloug's so I know I'll love them.

    I finally gave in & decided to see what Harry Potter is all about. I've now read all 7 books & have seen 4 of the movies. Other than Jayne Castle I don't usually like books about fantasy or magic but I ended up loving these books. And the books are so much better than the movies, although they are at the least enjoyable. I'm not supposed to like Professor Snape at this point in the movies but Alan Rickman is such a fabulous actor that it's hard to hate him. The casting for the movies was brilliant.
     
  5. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    I have that book, and I agree, it is a good read. I try never to use the sci-fi, sci fi, syfy, labels, because I know of so many SF authors who rather loathe that term. Speculative fiction is what I call it in my own head, because so much of SF is not hard science based; but most people who don't read the genre don't know what I mean when I use it.

    Here's another argument- Margaret Atwood DOES write SF novels, but Douglas Adams didn't. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a comedy spoof, but not SF. (Also, I did not like it at all!)

    I'm trying to work my way through this list- NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy books. Right now I've read, or attempted to read, exactly 50 on the list. A few of them I've read multiple times and recommended to friends. A few of the books on the list are not my favourites by that author. I enjoyed Doomsday book by Connie Willis, but I'd like it if everyone read and loved To Say Nothing of the Dog.

    eta- I envy anyone who gets to read Harry Potter for the first time.
     
  6. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Comic sci-fi is still sci-fi. Here's something John Scalzi wrote about Adams; I think he makes good points about humor in sci-fi and the impact Adams has had in this regard (Redshirts, BTW, is a lot of fun). I agree that a lot of science fiction is light on the science, but to me it seems like part of the evolution of the genre and what people working in it and reading it want to explore. I don't read a lot of sci-fi/speculative fiction, but I come across a lot of discussions about what the genre is and what it should and shouldn't include, and I'm not sure it's possible to come up with a definitive answer.

    Not surprisingly, Lois McMaster Bujold writes much more eloquently on this subject that I could :)

    I've read To Say Nothing of the Dog. To say that I did not love it would be an understatement; actually, a more accurate description would be that I attempted to read it and eventually gave up because it didn't work for me at all.

    A friend and I talked our book club into reading a romance novel (well, novella) and yesterday we got together to discuss it. As someone who's been reading romance for years, it was really interesting to see how people who are less familiar with the genre react to it and what did and didn't work for them.

    Other than that, my TBR list is once again down to zero :(
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
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  7. immoimeme

    immoimeme my posts r modded

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    FTW !!! Library just happened to have one copy of "doctor sleep" on the new bks shelf and I got. Bwahaha its mine its mine all mine whee!!!!
     
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  8. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I found both of the aforementioned Connie Willis books boring in the extreme and I'm not a Margaret Atwood fan either. I'm really enjoying the Balough romance - the hero is a hoot! - and I now have an old, very dated political thriller by Richard North Patterson, "No Safe Place" going on audio in the car. I don't know that I'd have the patience to read this in print but for traffic-driving entertainment, it's okay and I'm actually enjoying the behind-the-scenes look into a presidential campaign. I keep thinking that it's the kind of story my mother, political-scandal-junkie that she was, would have loved.
     
  9. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    I read literally hundreds of regency romances in the '80's and '90's and the quality ranged from recycled Harlequin plots with plagiarized lines from Georgette Heyer to charming romps that nearly approached Heyer's best. Mary Balogh's were the first I would choose, because hers were always good ones. I'm happy that she has escaped being a stable author to one who sells by her name.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  10. immoimeme

    immoimeme my posts r modded

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    If yr reading "dr sleep" and you get to pg 37 and start laughing hysterically over the vintage s king line "what have we got for our next contestant, johnny? Well, bob, it's a great giant platter of GREASY SARDINES!" yr going to enjoy the rest of this bk. :)
     
  11. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    One of the English teachers at my school has her book coming out Oct 15th! I am so excited for her. It is called Reclaimed, her name is Sarah Guillory. I will review it as soon as my copy comes in.
     
  12. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I've got three paperbacks by Dodie Smith, free to good home (if you'll pay postage). I thought they'd be like her I Capture the Castle, but they weren't, exactly -- the characters in these were a little, shall we say, uninhibited for my taste! :) More accurately, they're an odd combination of uninhibited and old-fashioned, which just didn't appeal to me much. Still, the writing style is good.

    Anyway, here are titles and descriptions:

    http://www.amazon.com/New-Moon-Old-...YTA_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381004271&sr=1-4

    http://www.amazon.com/Ends-Revelati...YTA_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381004617&sr=1-5

    http://www.amazon.com/Town-Bloom-Do...YTA_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381004271&sr=1-7

    PM me if interested.
     
  13. immoimeme

    immoimeme my posts r modded

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    I'm on pg 465. It's good real good. Good clear writing. Easy to read pacing that is neither too fast nor too slow. Scary in an "hm

    UH.....hmmmm....uh oh" way. We're heading for The Big Showdown now. Whee!:)
     
  14. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I finished Bolough over the weekend and really enjoyed it. I'll hunt out the others in the series. Now I'm into Kat Richardson's "Greywalker" paranormal mystery. So far it has everything paranormal but the kitchen sink: ghosts, visions, wierd dimensions, witches, vampires, missing persons, a spooky antique parlor organ. I haven't run into a zombie yet but I assume there will be one in there somewhere. I'm not particularly enamoured of the narrator P.I. who seems to have next to no investigative skills whatsoever, but there's enough action to keep me reading.
     
  15. Impromptu

    Impromptu Well-Known Member

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    I read and loved To Say Nothing of the Dog, but even more so, I adore the Blackout/All Clear, duet. In fact, I love those books so much that I have them on my "keeper" shelf, I re-read them every year or so, and I want to hold them and pet them and call them "George."

    All five entries in the Oxford Time Travel series are great, although The Doomsday Book is a bit of a downer.
     
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  16. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    We've been talking about this already in the Nobel Prize thread but I just wanted to cross-post and say how thrilled I am about Alice Munro's Nobel prize win. There have been past Nobel winners I've read and enjoyed, but she's the first one who's actually on my list of all-time favourite authors. She manages to write in a way that's exquisitely "literary" and still entirely accessible and relatable. Hugely deserving win.
     
  17. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

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    I've read 30 of those, and feel quite nerdy for it:)
    Thaks for the list, I'll be using it as a reference!

    I am reading James Clavell's Shogun, because currently I am in need of some fun reading about Japan. And fun it is, I have trouble putting it down ( I missed the book in my teenage years, but I've always loved historical adventure, especially if it has some info about seafaring)
     
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  18. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I have read approximately 30 as well.

    I say approximately because

    1) most of my SF/fantasy reading was during the 1970s -- in a couple cases the titles are familiar but I can't remember the plot enough to be sure I actually read the book (or the whole book), and/or

    2) I read the first book in a series but not the rest of the series.
     
  19. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I don't particularly care for SF or Fantasy, but I've read 20 of them.

    I just finished Diane Ravitch's The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education and will proceed to Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools as soon as I read something relaxing to de-stress. I work in a program funded by Bill Gates, but the things he says about education make me :scream: and these books sure aren't helping.
     
  20. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Alice Munro of Canada got the Nobel in literature. Anyone familiar with her work? Opinions?
     
  21. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I think she writes wonderful short stories.
     
  22. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Oh I didn't know there is a Nobel thread. :shuffle: But thanks. I will check Alice Munro out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  23. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    Those are both on my list to be read but I'm scared I will :yikes: and :scream: and :mitchell: all the way through
     
  24. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    I've also read about 20 of the sci fi books. I think the list is a bit of a misnomer, though. Many of the listings are multiple volumes. Isn't the Robert Jordan series about 16 volumes? More like 150 books.
     
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  25. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    In the first book, she covers how she gradually went from being one of the biggest supporters of voucher programs and mandatory testing to being completely opposed to both, and in the second book, she addresses the specific arguments against her first book by her critics--Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee, et al. Her writing is measured and careful; she's very good at making solid, evidence-based arguments, so if you don't reading about data and studies, you won't like the books.

    If you're looking for ammunition, though...........
     
  26. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

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    She's been on my "to read' list forever, but I still have not. I heard/ read absolutely gushing reviews for many years; and I outsourced her to my husband ( he is the literary fiction type, more so than I am; I mix things up a bit). He was positive but not excited. Have to try for myself someday, we don't always agree.
     
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  27. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    I still remember reading Alice Monro's short story in Grade 12 English class, and prior to that point had found literary analysis irritating and pointless, but the combination of her writing and a brilliant teacher made it probably the most enjoyable teaching I had in high school. It was like a light bulb suddenly went off in my head, and I could see the layers under the words. I've always intended to take a university level course in literature, or a least join a book group, but rural life has put that out of reach for now. But I have the book thread...:)

    eta- Also, if you are going to read great Canadian women authors (Atwood and Monro) you should also add Carol Shields and Margaret Laurence to your "should read" list.
     
  28. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Well, I don't really care where they come from as long as I like the writing.
    Of course, winning the Nobel gets my attention.
     
  29. SHARPIE

    SHARPIE Hapless Board Owner Staff Member

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    I got a Kindle recently, so have been reading more. Pre Internet days I used to read around 2/3 a week. Anyway, nothing really of note but I just finished the new Bridget Jones book and while I wasn't keen on Mark Darcy being killed off I ended up really enjoying it. :)
     
  30. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't realized there was a new book...or that Mark was killed off. Hmm, still might end up reading it sometime if I really need some light material.

    For now, I'm reading the annotated Northanger Abbey, the latest that David Shepard has done (with only Mansfield Park yet to come). I forgot how much I don't care for the Gothic parody in the second half of the book. As naive as Catherine is earlier in the book, I don't buy that she would really be so stupid as to think that General Tilney murdered his wife. The little pokes at sentimental novels and remarks on how Catherine isn't your typical heroine earlier in the novel are much more entertaining. I found I was racing through the first 300 pages in Bath but now that I'm at the section at Northanger, I've slowed right down to a chapter a day.
     
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