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. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    I am about 2/3 into White Teeth which is so far a fine book but I felt I needed a break from it and re-read The Razor's Edge by one of my great favorites, Somerset Maugham. I just love this book so much and absolutely love his ironic style. Isabel Maturin sort of reminds me of Fitzgerald's Daisy Buchanan but of course, there is no Great Gatsby, quite the opposite, in fact. Few writers please me as much Maugham. It would have been something to know him in person.

    Then I went back to White Teeth, read a few pages and decided I finally need to read Dickens' Bleak House. Wyliefan would be proud of me. :D

    Beach vacation is coming up and I always read JCO in the summer so I am bringing The Gravedigger's Daughter, Maugham's The Painted Veil and may be some short stories by each of them.
     
  2. puglover

    puglover Active Member

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    If you go on the audible site they divide the books by genre and have lots of sub topics such as best sellers, etc. with suggestions. They also print critics reviews as well as reader reviews and although readers tastes and reactions vary greatly I have found the reader reviews especially helpful. I pay close attention to the comments about the narration because it really can make or break an audible book. I especially hate mouth sounds and so I avoid any books that have that kind of reputation.
     
  3. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I do audio books in the car all the time. I've also "read" while cleaning/sorting through junk in the attic and basement. My mother loved audio books while she ironed. The only ones I tend to avoid are the "read by the author" ones, only because, judging by the couple I have tried, most writers can't read well.

    Personally, I tend toward the action-adventure tales (Clive Cussler is good) and mysteries for driving and steer away from heavy hot romances (there's something I find squicky about listening to explicit sex scenes in traffic). But most of my enjoyment comes from the reader. If the reader is good, I don't feel as if I'm being read to; it's more like someone is just telling me the story. If that's the feeling you want, I'd suggest starting with a story told in first-person POV.
     
  4. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    I bought the Bray, one of Neil Gaiman's books that I haven't read (according to Audibles he reads his books extremely well), and a few dramatizations of works by Chandler done by the BBC with crime-scene jazz in the background and stuff :lol: Oh, and Joyland by King, which had really good reviews on Audibles. Nothing heavy, though I did buy an audio 'learn Spanish' set. All of that plus music should get me through the trip :) Thanks guys!
     
  5. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    About halfway through 'Life After Life' and loving it. Very good book. She's really accident prone though. Guess it helps that she keeps getting a 'do over'? :lol: Reminds me a lot of 'Sliding Doors' the only Gwyneth Paltrow movie I like.

    I've got a Gaiman book on hold at the library "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" (I think). Looked interesting. Reserved it before I saw the Doctor Who episode he wrote.
     
  6. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    I watched Warm Bodies a few days ago, and loved it. I mean, it's a zombie story, but it's Romeo & Juliet, where Romeo is a zombie. :) So I bought the book and started it, and I love it as well. The Romeo and Juliet is a bit more obvious in the book (M, who is Mercutio, is quite the womanizer in the book; this isn't mentioned at all in the movie). But I recommend both. Even if you don't like zombie stuff under normal circumstances.
     
  7. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I finally found the Amanda Knox book so I plan on beginning that this week. Also got the first book in the Game of Thrones series although am not sure how much I will like it since I have already watched the show and have heard the television series stays pretty true to the books (at least the first book). It is hard for me to continue reading if I feel like I know every thing that is going to happen.
     
  8. puglover

    puglover Active Member

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    Just a bit of a funny story about one of my first experiences with audio books. I was going on a road trip alone with my husband's cousin. She has a health problem that she takes medication for and it makes her really sleepy so she informed me I should be prepared to do all of the driving as she would nod off. I chose a Women's Mystery Club book from the series by James Patterson, thinking it would have enough thrills to keep me awake. True to her word, we had barely left her driveway and she was sound asleep. I drove for awhile and then started up the book which began with a pretty gruesome crime scene. She awoke, informed me that she didn't want to listen to that kind of stuff, and then promptly fell back asleep and awoke only at rest stops for the next 14 hours. I was afraid to start up the book again so I just had to persevere the rest of the trip.
     
  9. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    So, my sister just informed me she is sending me the audio book Venetia by Georgette Heyer read by Richard Armitage. She made me promise I would not read it in the car. She knows how I feel about the man's voice and she is afraid I'll get so distracted I'll drive off an overpass.

    She's probably right. :swoon:
     
  10. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Brian - trust me, the books are much better. The show deviates enough on minor things to make it different. I loved the books (well, most of them) :shuffle:
     
  11. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Here's a book-related tid-bit for you: Since the NSA surveillance story broke last week, sales of 1984 on Amazon have gone up 7 thousand percent.

    That's both :lol: and :eek: in my book! :p
     
  12. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    has anyone read "the execution of noa p singleton"

    i just got my first library card since i liked the bobbsey twins and i put my name on the waiting list
     
  13. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    Love Georgette Heyer and Venetia is one of my favorites. Enjoy.
     
  14. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    Thank you. :)
     
  15. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    :lol: I love having a library card again! They're now a 'contact' on my cell phone so I know when they're calling with reserves that came in. "The Good Nurse" is now waiting for me. They don't have 'noa' yet, I've been watching.

    Finished "Life After Life". Loved the ending. Now want to re-read it before I take it back to the library. But, there's other books still waiting for me to read them the first time. :shuffle: I have book guilt. And I'm on ebook hold for the GOT series. Figured I'd re-read those eventually.

    Currently reading "Silent Tears", about an American expat volunteering in a Chinese orphanage. It's in diary format, some repetition and it's tough to keep track of all of the children. Very sad to read.
     
  16. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    So now I am 3/4 into White Teeth which should otherwise be known as a collection of ethnically diverse assholes. We have the Bengali Muslim family where the father is crazy and confused and the mother inconsequential, the white English/Jamaican family where the father is a half-wit and the mother is inconsequential but it is the English Jewish family really takes the asshole cake. Crazy, arrogant, clueless, offensive, creepy, you name it. Oh and the mother is inconsequential but also a clueless creepy biatch. So everyone gets it from Zadie Smith and you've got to feel for the poor kids in these families caught in between.
     
  17. immoimeme

    immoimeme my posts r modded

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    I read "to kill a mockingbird" for the last time. I have It pretty much memorized by now but this was the first time I read it and thought that this is no children's book and I finally understand why schoolkids don't wanna read it.
    In other news I am still waiting for someone to invent and write about a character as interesting as...I am drawing a blank....the girl in "the girl who played with fire." What a shame the author died -those were some dayum gd bks he wrote, even tho everytime the characters had coffee I had to have some too lol.
     
  18. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Lady from the library just called about ANOTHER book that's ready for pickup. "Dad is Fat" by Jim Gaffigan. We both giggled and I said 'it's for my teen'.

    "Silent Tears" was a touch preachy in spots and repetitive, but it also had me crying a few times. End of the book contained letters from people who had adopted some of the children from the orphanage. Those were tough to get through too.
     
  19. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    I taught TKM to tenth graders for years and most of them loved it. I have heard of it being taught in 7th or 8th grade, though, and I think that is a bit young to grasp its complexity.
     
  20. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    I taught it to 8th graders. It was fine for the really bright kids, but no so much for the rest. It's much easier to teach it to tenth graders.
     
  21. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I can ask this here:

    Has anyone here purchased Amanda Knox's memoir? I ask because I bought it and when I took it out to read it, I noticed the edges of all the pages are really ragged and worn. It looks as if the machine that cuts the paper was getting a dull blade and so it kind of messed up all of the pages. Then I thought about it and I wondered if this was done on purpose so that it kind of resembles a worn journal or something. Did anyone else have this or were all of the edges of their pages smooth like in any normal book? I want to take it back but I don't want to look stupid if this was how the book is supposed to be.

    ETA: Our resident book expert, Nathan, answered my question. They are called deckled edges. Who knew!?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  22. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I bought Cockpit Confidential, because I've been reading Patrick Smith's Ask The Pilot for years and figured I'd try his book as well, but haven't read it yet.

    I had to read it in 8th grade and again in 10th grade. I probably got more out of it the second time, but I liked it when I was younger as well and I think most of my classmates did, too - it was a lot more interesting than most of the assigned reading. Though of course, it's been a while since I was a teenager, so I can't say how teens today would feel about it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  23. Prancer

    Prancer Dysteleological Staff Member

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    My son still considers TKM the worst book he has ever read. I tell him this is because he hasn't read....I think I use a different book every time.

    My daughter read TKM in ninth grade and ranks it about third on her list of required reading books. That is not a ringing endorsement; she isn't much of a reader.

    However, I read somewhere that TKM is the most loved work read in English classes and The Red Badge of Courage is the least favorite.

    I am rather meh about TKM and quite like TRBC. I don't know what it is about me. My literature specialties are 18th century Brit lit and American Naturalism, two literary periods so popular my current Intro to Lit textbook doesn't even mention them :p. We go straight from the Metaphysical poets to the Romantics and skate right through Modernism with nary a glance to the side at Naturalism. What joy is there in teaching lit if I can't inflict McTeague on unsuspecting freshmen? :wuzrobbed

    My penance book for this Lit class is Cry, the Beloved Country, which I have somehow missed all these years. I had a "lively" discussion with one of my brothers about Modern and Postmodern novelists and almost switched to The Naked and the Dead (another one I've never read), but I decided that I would stick with Cry.

    Should I read The Naked and the Dead when I finish Cry?
     
  24. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I hit the jackpot of audio casettes again at a yard sale and now I have Vince Flynn's "Contract to Kill" going in the car; it's about two dueling assassins: an American working for the CIA/FBI/NSA to take out a Bin Laden-type Muslim terrorist and a German working for the Saudis hired to take out the American. Given all the violence, it actually hasn't been all that bloody or explicit (at least yet) and it certainly keeps the action going and some of it's pretty funny (the American just got reamed by his wife for missing an appointment with the decorator for their new house - he was wrapped up planning his assingment and forgot so she "punishes him by making him look a heaps of carpet samples. She greeted him at the door with "Kill anyone today?"; His response was "No, not yet.")

    And I picked up 15 "cozy" mysteries at the church garage sale setup last night (there's a reason I volunteer to help sort donations); the theme-type ones with bookstores or resale shops or recipes threaded in. The current one I'm whipping through is "Little Shop of Homicide" by Denise Swanson, #1 of the Devereaux Dime Store series. Dev is a former corporate exec who has more trouble in her past than any ten people and has bought a small-town dime store complete with soda fountain to start over. When her high-school sweetheart's current fiance is murdered, Dev finds herself a suspect and joins forces with a hot, sexy, wounded US Marshall to prove her innocence. I've read worse and for a quarter, it's actually not bad. :)
     
  25. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    You're making my eyes twitch. Stop talking about that Modern, Postmodern, Naturalist crap. :yikes: :scream: Off to read something banal and smutty to get my equilibrium back.
     
  26. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    Yes, I am too. I read it for the first time a few years ago, and couldn't really see why it appears to be held in such high esteem. I thought this might be because I'm English and perhaps incapable of understanding the situation in the US at that time. But you're American and still meh, so....... I don't know. I mentally filed it away as anti-racism for teenagers and /or bright children, and while its aims are obviously admirable, I couldn't see anything special about it.

    I read this when I was going through a phase of reading a lot of books about South Africa. Paton obviously felt passionately, desperately I often thought, about his subject, and he expresses it well. The only major flaw IMO is the ending, which seems naïve. The apartheid book that moved me most was Andre Brink's Looking on Darkness; it took me about a month to recover from reading it. I thought it far better than his much more famous and acclaimed novel A Dry White Country.

    Only if you want to learn some three-letter words instead of four-letter ones.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  27. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    My God. I read McTeague in college. That is possibly the weirdest book I have ever read. It explains a lot about dentists, though. :p.

    The Scarlet Letter is the book that makes me :scream: I will never inflict that on my students.
     
  28. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    I didn't have to read The Scarlet Letter in school, but I read it for pleasure when I was in my thirties or early forties. I think it is brilliant and one of the GREAT American novels; I think I would have felt very differently as a teenager. Why do you dislike it so?
     
  29. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Bleak House is a slooooow read. Definitely not coming with me on my vacation. But I am enjoying the sense of humor. I have Tim Wu's The Master Switch with me today which I will start now while on my rare lunch break before all hell breaks loose. My afternoon schedule is looking like hell so the book better be good.

    ETA after a few hours of reading: OK, so the general idea of this book is that history repeats itself and just like AT&T was a government-sanctioned monopoly, Google is likely headed in that direction as well. Because history repeats itself. Or something. I am really not interested in the history of AT&T, the radio and telephony businesses going back to early 1900. The problem is, a good 2/3 of the book is about that and the rest is about Google/Apple shaky balancing act. Google is supposedly morally torn between keeping net neutrality and being the sovereign of the Internet search. Again, just like with White Teeth, I lack any kind of expertise in this case, in either IT or economics and am not in any position to judge the validity of this. I will keep reading and hoping I will run into someone who understands both.

    Here's a representative quote:
    Having worked in the Silicon Valley, I've run into some IT guys who reject Apple products on principle, as parts of a very closed, authoritarian system--control of apps, rejection of Skype, etc.

    As to White Teeth, the denouement was disappointing. It seems to happen a lot, a decent book is marred by a sloppy ending. I have the impression that Zadie Smith tied it all up nicely for the sake of tying it up nicely and not for the sake of quality, structure and certainly not for the sake of verisimilitude. But I did enjoy many parts of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  30. Prancer

    Prancer Dysteleological Staff Member

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    If you come up with something good, let me know.

    I think it's the coming of age story more than the anti-racism story that appeals so much, but I could be wrong about that.

    I will see your "read McTeague" and raise you one Norris-Dreiser seminar in grad school. The Octopus? A Man's Woman?

    Good times. good times. Norris was a strange dude.

    Can you make choices like that if you have to do Common Core? Our schools just adopted Common Core as well, and my daughter has to read The Princess Bride over the summer because that is apparently what one does under Common Core at her particular level.

    Since I downloaded The Princess Bride for her (I gave her my Nook Color when I got my Nook HD, and since they are both on my accounts, we both get all the same books), I thought I would read it this summer, too. Now that I think about it, that sounds a lot more enjoyable than The Naked and the Dead. But so do a lot of other things.
     
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