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. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    10,392
    3,482
    113
    Read "A Thousand Pardons" tonight. Very slim book. Very unbelievable. Very sparse. Very rushed. Very forgettable.
     
  2. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

    39,074
    6,868
    113
    Just finished Tony Danza's I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High. There were a couple of places where I :rolleyes:, but for the most part, I liked it very much. I watched Teach and quite liked it, too, and was rather amazed at how real it was, given the restraints of the format. Apparently that reality was not appreciated by A&E; according to the book, they wanted more drama and wanted to soft script episodes (soft scripting means that the production team sets up situations and then lets the cameras roll while the stories play out) because the show was boring, but Danza refused--and good for him if that's the case because he dealt with some kids whose lives were already too full of drama.

    I thought he did a good job of capturing why teachers get so wrapped up in the job (you really have no choice, even if you hate the kids), why teachers nearly always love the kids even though they are sometimes really unloveable, why it's so hard to get anything done and just how frustrating and difficult it can be but why you still do it because the rush you get from seeing an idea take hold is like nothing else. I will say, though, that I am kind of biased in his favor because we have a lot of same classroom-related flaws. :shuffle: My, does he like his anecdotes. :shuffle: :shuffle: I'm glad the website is still up; it was nice to go back and see the pictures of the kids; I remembered a lot of names, but not many faces.

    Next up is How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, which has been advertised to me as so sharp I will bleed and full of language that will make me wince.
     
  3. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

    5,159
    800
    113
    Wheel of Time question. Finished reading the first three books and really enjoyed them, but it seems the rest of them weren't as good from what I've seen posted here and on other boards. Should I just skip to the last book?
     
  4. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

    7,652
    1,470
    113
    I'm reading Fortune's Children about the rise and fall of the Vanderbilt family. Lots of interesting things about the family dynamics and the epic competition among them for the biggest and best mansions.
     
  5. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

    4,800
    1,176
    113
    I'm into historical mysteries at the moment and have finished the Catherine LeVendeur medievals that I've found - the conflicts between Christians and Jews form the hearts of the plots and are an aspect I hadn't really considered. As a change of pace, I've started Margaret Lawrence's Hannah Trevor serier, set in Maine in 1785. The first "Heart and Bones" introduces Hannah, a midwife who lost her husband and children during the Revolution and now lives with her deaf daughter and Aunt Julia in a small town rife with tensions. One of the town's richer men is attracted to Hannah, his partner is a money-grubbing land speculator with a wife who is one of Hannah's strongest detractors and a huge gossip. I'm barely 50 pages in and already hugely invested in the characters.
     
  6. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    10,392
    3,482
    113
    Heard about "The Astronaut Wives Club" on NPR this morning. Sounds fascinating. Once my library gets it in, I'll be reading it.

    Just read "Small Sacrifices" about Diane Downs, a woman who shot her 3 children in the 80's and blamed it on a 'bushy haired man'. Older story, but very harrowing and well written. I'm not normally into 'true crime' books, but this was a good one. Sad to think that this was considered shocking, but so common these days.

    Next up to 're-read' on library loan is Harry Potter 4. I may be skipping chunks of it... :shuffle:

    While waiting for George RR Martin to write another GOT book :lol: I've bought "The Iron King" which was among his inspirations. Looks like my perfect book -Iron kings and strangled queens, battles and betrayals, lies and lust, the curse of the Templars, the doom of a great dynasty - and all of it (well, most of it) straight from the pages of history, and believe me, the Starks and the Lannisters have nothing on the Capets and Plantagenets. :watch:
     
    Jenya and (deleted member) like this.
  7. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

    5,878
    864
    113
    I've read the entire series twice. The only book that I skimmed and skimmed on the first reading was Crossroads of Twilight. All the later books that Jordan wrote suffer from a lack of editor, but at the same time, there is just so much lovely detail and entanglement that I loved it during the re-read. Knife of Dreams really brought back the "Moment of Awesome".

    But- The Gathering Storm co-written by Brandon Sanderson was by far my favourite of the series. And the final books were very satisfying.

    I had to consult the wiki (carefully) to keep track of the more than 1800 named characters!
     
  8. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

    31,200
    4,451
    113
    Not Winston Churchill's The Gathering Storm, I take it.
     
  9. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

    5,878
    864
    113
    I own that one too, but I've never read it. It just sits on my library shelf mocking me while I read my SF novels...
     
  10. puglover

    puglover Active Member

    707
    184
    43
    I have been reading the Cork O'Connor series by William Kent Krueger. I love series and the chance to really get to know the characters and I feel this author does a very good job of character development. The first book of his I read is, I believe, a stand alone book that came highly recommended by audible called "Ordinary Grace". That book is written from the perspective of a small town teen age boy and his take on a harrowing summer that includes numerous deaths and a suicide. His series - featuring a small town sheriff named Cork O'Connor takes place in northern Minnesota. Growing up just north of there in Canada, I can really relate to the geography with it's numerous beautiful lakes, freezing cold winters, and hardy citizens. I also like the fact that his heros are neither super - nor terribly flawed - some aspects of both. The author has an obvious love of the local native population and his "hero" is part Annisanabe. There is a spiritual tone through the books - sort of a combination of Native spirituality and more traditional religion that may be off putting to some people. I also like the fact that although he champions the first nation people, no group is all good or all bad. All in all, I am enjoying his books.
     
  11. Nan

    Nan Just me

    6,788
    2,466
    113
    I've got my eye on this one. Let us know if you like it. :)
     
  12. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    10,392
    3,482
    113
    Just finished "Inferno" by Dan Brown. Not a bad premise - some overpopulation growth hating zealot decides to unleash a virus, quotes a lot of Dante, and Langdon is out to stop him. Got very muddled at points with some obvious red herrings popping up. I now want to visit every place mentioned in the book. But it did get a bit :rolleyes: when every museum caretaker/docent/whatever just dropped in shock and gave private tours to the famous Robert in his tweed coat. Total popcorn/summer read/brain candy book.

    The library called tonight "Life After Life" is in. And "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" is in on their ebook site. I'll be busy reading this weekend (I hope). :)

    PS - Nan - will let you know about the Iron King. Figured for $2.00, it was worth a shot. :lol:
     
  13. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

    22,468
    5,137
    113
    I tried to read Dmitry Glukhovsy's Metro 2033. Russian dystopian fiction, you say? It was awesome, you say?

    I didn't make it out of the first chapter. I should have. I mean, nuclear war devastates earth, people survive in the Moscow underground and battle mutant creatures and each other? It needed an editor, badly, to cut out on a bunch of unnecessary details, and either the translator isn't a native English speaker, or the editor just dropped the ball there, as well.

    Meh.
     
  14. Impromptu

    Impromptu Well-Known Member

    1,502
    430
    83
    I just finished Farthing by Jo Walton. It's an alternate history/detective novel set in a version of 1940s England where the British signed a peace treaty with Hitler in 1941, and the Americans never entered the war (which at the point in the book, 1949, is an ongoing stalemate between Germany and USSR). In this particular novel, a man is killed at a house party, and suspicion points to the Jewish son-in-law of the hosts. I thought it was a great read, and I'm looking forward to reading the sequels.

    I found this book through a service called Paperback to the Future, which is run by an independent bookstore in New Hampshire. You sign up for the service at 18 dollars a month, tell the bookstore your three favorite books, a book you recently read and loved, and a book you recent read and hated, and based on your tastes, they will pick out books for you. http://www.riverrunbookstore.com/paperback-to-the-future

    The bookstore did a great job with this one, because I couldn't put it down.

    FWIW, the books I told her were one my favorites shelf were Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, Nora Roberts Northern Lights and Connie Willis's Blackout / All Clear (that being sort of a cheat, since it's two books, but she originally wrote it as one, and the publisher split it into two. A recent book I read and loved was Ben Aaronovich's Rivers of London and one that I hated was Shannon Hale's Austenland.

    What is kind of strange is that I had debated switching out Northern Lights for Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union, but decided that even though the Chabon book was a more literary novel, I do actually re-read Northern Lights a lot more often. But the book she sent me is a lot closer in genre to Chabon's book than to Roberts's.
     
  15. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

    22,468
    5,137
    113
    If you like that sort of alternate history, I recommend Robert Harris' Fatherland. (I push this book all the time. I love it.) A murder mystery set in Berlin in the 1960s, a Berlin in which the Nazis have won WWII.

    And I am pondering trying out the book service you mentioned. :)
     
  16. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    5,597
    1,865
    113
    I've recommended Fatherland to a number of people, too. It's a fantastic book, and while "the Nazis won" is not the most original premise for alt history, it is really well executed.

    I'm going through a meh reading period - nothing awful, but nothing amazing either.
     
  17. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

    4,800
    1,176
    113
    Has anyone read any of David Liss' historical mysteries? I've seen a three-book series listed and then three more that are stand-alones (I think). The newest one is "The Twelfth Enchantment" and I'm debating on whether to spend my Barnes and Noble gift card on it.
     
  18. Impromptu

    Impromptu Well-Known Member

    1,502
    430
    83
    I'll definitely check out Fatherland I remember almost buying it on several occasions, but not (I don't remember why not).

    The book service is fun, because there's that anticipation of getting a new book, but not knowing what it is going to be. I was curious about what she would come up with, based on what I gave her.
     
  19. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    2,058
    119
    63
    I read SSGB, an older book by Len Deighton with the same sort of premise. This one takes place in England in 1941 just after Nazi Germany has successfully invaded. It is a police detective procedural with the building of the atom bomb as a sub-theme. Unfortunately, I can't recommend this one, unless you happen to be a big Len Deighton fan.
     
  20. Nan

    Nan Just me

    6,788
    2,466
    113
    Thanks. :)

    If I remember correctly, there are some people here who listen to audio books, aren't there? I'm thinking about getting one, but would like to hear opinions/experiences from people who listen to them. Do you have to be in a quiet room to concentrate on the story or can you be doing other things while listening?
     
  21. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    2,058
    119
    63
    I think a lot of people listen in the car or while exercising.
     
  22. puglover

    puglover Active Member

    707
    184
    43
    I listen to a lot of audio books. I like the freedom that I can use my hands for something else and still enjoy a book. I do now have a number of favourite narrators and they can make a huge difference in the book. Some of the accents are amazing and really bring the characters to life. I do find - for me - that audio only works for a certain type of book. I like it for action or mystery/thriller books but things have to start with a bang and keep moving or I lose my way. It is not ideal, IMHO, to listen to very descriptive stories that are slow moving or those with a ton of characters as I tend to mix them up and it is more difficult to go back and check these details out.
     
  23. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    20,822
    2,372
    113
    I did a free trial on Audible and never finished a book. I simply can not keep my focus on the narrator. I find myself letting my mind wander and then I have no clue what happened. I do this when reading, as well, but I can easily take my eyes back to the paragraph before and start again. I find it much more trouble to go back through the audio and I find that when I do zone out it is for longer periods of time. I just prefer to read the old fashioned way, a book in my hand. No audio book and no E-Readers.

    ETA: Goodness me, every sentence except the last begins with "I." My apologies. :scream:
     
  24. Nan

    Nan Just me

    6,788
    2,466
    113
    This is what I'm afraid I'll do, but I think it's at least worth a try. Thanks for the imput, everyone. :)
     
  25. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    29,119
    3,988
    113
    That's next on my list! That and the new Khaled Hosseini book.

    I'm still on the Book Thief. I moved so close to work that I don't have two hours a day of subway rides, so I'm been really neglecting my reading. I just picked it up again today to read while on the train to visit my aunt in Coney Island and it's so good, I almost missed my stop.
     
  26. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    20,822
    2,372
    113
    If you are going to try then please try on audible or something first. Do not go out and buy anything on CD. Those are very expensive. Audible usually has free trials. Your local library may even have some!
     
  27. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    9,263
    1,947
    113
    Speaking of audio books, can anyone recommend several mindless but fun audio books that they enjoyed that I can buy for the trip to AZ? It's like 4 days and I am going to be going nuts by the end.
     
  28. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

    22,468
    5,137
    113
    Libby Bray's Beauty Queens is hilarious on audio. She reads it herself, and includes all the footnotes (which in the book were also hilarious). It's really well done.
     
  29. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

    41,817
    8,267
    113
    The No.1 Ladies Detective series by Alexander McCall Smith are also excellent on audio. The narrator is fantastic. In fact, I like her so much, I hear her voice in my head if I read the books. And the HP series is a great long trip option. I love audio books and always have at least 3 in the car at all times. I prefer to listen to them than to the radio or music.
     
  30. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    9,263
    1,947
    113
    I've been meaning to read McCall Smith anyway, and the Bray sounds awesome. Thanks both of you, I'll buy those later today! And why didn't I think of HP? Always a good option!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.