Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by rfisher, May 14, 2013.
And written by one of our own, too .
Seriously? :O Why do I not know these things?
Because you don't have a freakish memory for posts dating back to 2007?
But yeah, seriously--the part in the first book where Miranda logs on to check skating results always made me .
When Miranda's 'friends' at the skating boards were worried about the skater in her town and didn't ask about her, I went "oooh, snark alert!"
Book 3 & 4 just came home. Wonder if Brandon the skater makes another appearance? (don't tell me!)
I loved the first two books of that series, but like many dystopian series, I thought it fell apart in the third. I haven't read the fourth. Let me know what you think!
So I loved Didion's Play It As It Lays. I saw a lot of female Hemingway but not much of Henry James. Perhaps his influence is more abstract while Hemingway's is quite literal.
I do feel like I need to detox after this book but it was good anyway. I read it just before I go to LA for the weekend too.
What should I read next by her? Fiction-wise.
Christmas Eve book snark--please don't hate me, oh ye admirers of 19th century women writers. I tried reading Belinda by Maria Edgeworth, after all, wasn't Jane Austen whose work I esteem so highly , inspired by her work? Well, IMO, Austen is a 10 and Edgeworth is a 2 on my scale of enjoyment.
What turned me off were the interminable chapters of the lady Delacour self-indulgent whine about petty upper class gossip, adultery and dueling. I really couldn't care less. Normally these things would entertain me nicely but I just couldn't see the point this time. Not sure why. The style is OK, the characters aren't badly developed. But I am irritated by them, chiefly by the lady Delacour--she is nuts! And won't shut up!
I haven't been so annoyed by a book since JCO's My Sister, My Love with all the fake figure skating terms and lace panties. At least, it was funny from a skating fan's point of view. This isn't even funny. And there is no skating.
OMFG Hild is SOOO GOOD. Hope you like it!
Democracy is generally considered Didion's best novel, but it's a little too postmodern for my taste. She's written very few novels--five, I think?--so there aren't a lot to choose from, and Democracy and PIAIL are the only two I have read.
Austen greatly admired Edgeworth; Edgeworth did not greatly admire Austen .
Edgeworth's best book is Castle Rackrent, although I think it is more interesting if you know something of the background and history of the story. It was groundbreaking in some ways. But Edgeworth was a better writer than novelist, I think.
I got a $100 B&N gift card for Christmas ! What can I blow it on?
Thanks for both suggestions, will look into them.
As to your gift card--I had fun with this one: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. It may or may not be your cup of tea but is worth investigating IMO.
Also, a lot of us here liked Life After Life. It's a touch post-modern but not for the sake of being post-modern if that makes sense. I thought it was excellent.
Donating Belinda somewhere.
Finally got around to reading Steven King's Doctor Sleep and loving it!
Thanks to you, I am getting Hild today when I return 2 other books.
I finished Allegient. It didn't suck as much as I thought it would, but I went in with very low expectations.
Got halfway through The Good Lord Bird but it's due back today, so I guess I'll just go back on the list for it.
I've been reading Columbine by Dave Cullen for some light Christmas reading It's as good as everyone's said it is. Very interesting examination of all the stuff the media got wrong and all the misconceptions we have about the Columbine massacre.
I really enjoyed (is that the right word? "found informative" is maybe better?) that book as well. I would like to require it in a class, but I'm not sure which class I could fit it in and if the school board would go for it.
Did you copy that from my review of the book?
One of the things I found most interesting about the book is that really, the media got it right--just not at first. A few details aside, I had already read everything that was in the book in the media--and I wasn't particularly making an effort to follow the story. I did tend to click on anything I happened to see about Columbine, but I didn't make any special effort to look for Columbine stories.
I have always been completely baffled at some of the more persistent things said about Columbine, even after more updated information has been provided, and I have come to the conclusion that a lot of people found a particular theme related to Columbine that resonated--that the boys were bullied, that they were social outcasts, that their parents must have been neglectful and uninvolved, etc., etc.--and really weren't especially interested in anything that contradicted their particular views of what Columbine meant. And I have found that to be true even for some people who have read the book and had it all laid out in a single comprehensive narrative.
I had it on pre-order for my Kindle, but cancelled once the negative reviews came out. Figured I'd do the library book instead. Wish I'd have done that for the first 2 books.
I have to disagree here. After she published Castle Rackrent, Edgeworth's father stepped in and "advised" her on all but the last of her subsequent novels. Up until his death, she wrote to please Daddy. Which is not to say that all those novels are bad. They aren't. I'm particularly fascinated by Patronage (1814), which is, in many ways, similar to Mansfield Park (also 1814). My favorite Edgeworth novel, however, is her last, Helen (1834), written long after her father's death. It is one of the few novels written during that Twilight Zone between Austen and Dickens that is worth reading.
Well, daddy was an awfully scandalous gossip if he is the mind behind Belinda.
Don't get me wrong--I love scandalous gossip as much as the next FSUer, this after all, is a skating forum. The problem with that particular scandalous gossip: it was hopelessly dull. And that is a special talent. The difference, so far, between Edgeworth and Austen is that Edgeworth made extraordinary events boring while Austen made you fascinated with the mundane.
Except that it wasn't Maria who made extraordinary events boring, it was Daddy Edgeworth, who insisted on a moral lesson. Which is why I consider Richard Edgeworth one of the great criminals of English Lit, right up there with Papa Burney and Samuel "Daddy" Crisp, who spoiled Frances Burney's last three novels with their "advice."
I didn't realize literary daddies were so nosy.
Alas, yes. Charlotte M. Yonge was yet another writer whose theme song could have been "I'm writing this novel for Daddy…." And that bumped her down to the second or third tier of 19th century writers, too.
Sounds like a good topic for a grad school thesis.
I did write a thesis on the topic: And Hardly Any Women at All: Jane Austen and the Myth of Isolated Achievement. Props if you can name the novel the title comes from.
Really??? And here I always thought that if I had been a 19th century woman (god forbid) I would have wanted a crazy radical father like hers.
I clearly need to read more on Maria Edgeworth.
I cannot bring myself to use my gift card . It's always so hard to spend and not hoard.
I did! Sounds like that makes me the oddball around here. But I really did.
I'm using mine on P. G. Wodehouse's Pearls, Girls, and Monty Bodkin and Alec Guinness's A Positively Final Appearance. Hope you find something really good to buy with yours, Prancer!
I know you have a Nook, so I'm assuming you regularly check the 101 Nook Books $2.99 and under. The list changes often. And right now B&N has up to 50% off 300 bestselling Nook books, lots of current titles.
I cracked this morning and bought something off the 50% off list. Twenty minutes later, I was broke .
I do love the $2.99 list .
I haven't read Didion for ages, though she remains one of my favourite authors. "Book of a Common Prayer" is one of my all time favourties and I also read "Run River" and "The White Album". That's how long ago it was?
I'd like to revisit her now - what books do you recommend I start with?
Well, what'd you get?