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. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,178
    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...)
     
  2. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,158
    Or any movie at all. It sounds like conflict in general is mostly just out the window.
     
  3. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,540
    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.
     
  4. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,158
    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?
     
  5. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,540
    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.
     
  6. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,379
    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?????
     
  7. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,471
  8. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,483
    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.
     
  9. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    13,830
    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.
     
  10. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,471
    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.
     
  11. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    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.
     
  12. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,379
    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.
     
  13. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,027
    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.
     
  14. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,483
    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 :)
     
  15. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,379
    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.
     
  16. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Messages:
    4,656
    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
  17. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,483
    My husband refers to him as "your boyfriend." :lol:
     
  18. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,939
    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.
     
  19. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    40,496
    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.
     
  20. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    22,061
    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:
     
  21. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,611
    Yes, I was freaked out by the pictures when I was a kid. While a lot of the stories in Grimm and Andersen weren't much better, the illustrations in the editions I had were generally pretty tame.
     
  22. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    40,496
    I'm hoping for Constance, but I figure there are future books coming with her demon spawn and the resurrection of Diogenes. We never did see a body after all.
     
  23. lmarie086

    lmarie086 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    3,038
    Took a detour from my book pile and finally read The Book Thief by Markua Zusak. I I can't remember the last time I was so affected by a book. Truly one of the best I've ever read.
     
  24. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    20,751
    One of the english classes at my school is reading this and I am so bummed that it isn't a class that I go to (I am an inclusion teacher). It is so incredible. I keep saying I will read it again but haven't done so, it doesn't help that I gave out my book and don't remember to whom.
     
  25. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,939
    I read The Book Thief very recently too -- it was a book club pick. And I agree, it's superb.

    I'd be very interested in a high-school English class interpretation of the book. I know it's thought of as a young adult book, no doubt because of the age of the protagonist -- but my sense is that the writing style would be a bit of a challenge for a lot of younger readers to navigate. Still, there's plenty that any age group can take away from this book.

    And I really, really hope they don't screw up the movie.
     
  26. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Messages:
    4,656
    Can some of you Preston and Child readers tell me if reading the first book "Relic" is absolutely necessary to picking up the series or can I skip to "Reliquary" without missing too much backstory? I started the audio of "Relic" but the first cassette was scratchy and hard to hear, I didn't care for the narrator's voice and I got so annoyed and confused that I gave up. Now I have credits to burn at Audible.com and the series is coming up on a special 3-for-2 deal. I see that the subsequent volumes have a different narrator who sounds better on the sample. But I don't want to feel I've missed something important either. Advice, please?
     
  27. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    22,061
    Relic is one of my all time favorite books. While you don't necessarily need it, it does introduce all the main characters and set up later books.

    Hypothalamus eating monster running amuck in a museum? You gotta get through it. :)
     
  28. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Messages:
    12,405
    Now that my replacement Kindle has finally arrived, I can FINALLY finish reading the Divergent series. My Kindle went out in the middle :wuzrobbed in the middle of book two. It's going to make a kickass movie. So far, I can definitely tell the author read The Hunger Games and thought, hmmm, how can I combine this with Harry Potter and make Gryffindor and Slytherin the same house? I don't find it derivative exactly, but it's definitely inspired by.

    The books are good so far, but I think they could have been great had they been written by a more nuanced, skilled writer.

    ETA: I have finished reading the series. That was a crime against writing. I am PISSED. I am really, really, really ANGRY I've read this series. I am practically shaking. The author telegraphs more than a Russian wunderkid so you could see the Big Reveals a mile away, but that doesn't bother me if it's well-written and the ending is worth it. This is not. This was emotional manipulation at its worst.

    Rant ahead:

    All that for a freaking Christ metaphor? Seriously? How original :blah: Just for the record, I have no problem with the main character dying. And I would not have had a problem with her dying in this serious, because, well, you knew it was coming when you started getting the story from Tobias' point of view. It's the way it was done. For the sake of this story, and to show you are more than "damaged" genes, it would have been a better message if one of the GDs had died. In the end, all the GPs died heroically or at the expense of some GD's idiocy. It would have been OK if Caleb that got to make the sacrifice to prove that he was more than his damaged genes, that he could learn and grow and love. It would have been really poignant if it had been Peter who seeing the damage his actions caused made one truly selfless act instead of getting to "restart."
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  29. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,379
    If anyone is looking for some obscure older books, this list of the 100 best books from an 1898 edition of the Illustrated London News might be just the thing: http://timescolumns.typepad.com/stothard/2013/10/not-the-hundred-best-novels.html

    I find old lists like that interesting because I like to see what has lasted and what hasn't. I haven't heard of half those books, yet the other half are pretty much set in stone in the canon. I am :rofl: at The Mysteries of Udolpho and Clarissa being so highly ranked.
     
  30. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,471
    The only book I hated more than Consuelo was its sequel, La Comtesse de Rudolstadt. :scream: Not a Sand fan at all. But it was nice to see others who stood the test of time.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.