Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by rfisher, May 14, 2013.
I read the synopsis - sounds like a girl's book. Do they work for boys too?
I think so. I read the first 5 chapters while I was working summer school. At least half of the characters are boys and the author is male. I think it's just as likely to appeal to boys as girls.
Just finished "Still Life" by Louise Penny (the first Gamache book). And LOVED it. I'm supposed to be outside sweating at a pool party, but it's been sticky hot or pouring all day here, so I have zero guilt for not going.
For those who have read the Gamache series - do they ever go into the Arnot case in greater detail?
Next up is either "The Girls of Atomic City" or the second Penny book (A Fatal Grace) - I can see me totally immersing in Gamache for the weekend.
PML! JK Rowling pulls a fast one on the literary community: http://news.yahoo.com/jk-rowling-revealed-writer-crime-novel-110756185.html
I have to get this book!
So we've learned that 1. JK Rowling can write crime/mystery/detective fiction (I'm not surprised; she's a very good plotter) 2. she can get good reviews for books in a different genre 3. all the good reviews don't help sales all that much for a new writer; until she revealed it's her book, it sold about 1,500 copies. It's probably been selling more than that per hour since she made the announcement
I'm not really a fan of that genre, so I'm going to pass.
Next on my TBR list: a new book by Courtney Milan (which I just bought on Smashwords, yay for self-publishing), plus Meir Shalev's Fontanella for my book club.
Detective fiction is how I take a break from the heavy lifting in literature. I can't be reading modern minimalist Japanese fiction or Dickens all the time, can I? <--these are how I take a break from Henry James
I take a break all the time, it's much more fun for me that way I do read the occasional classic or Serious Literature, just not that often.
My approach is that books are not vegetables that should be consumed because they are good for you; I only consume books and vegetables that I like
I like Patterson's books as easy reading. I started with the Women's Murder Club ones and then moved on to the Alex Cross series. The only one of the latter that I didn't like at all was "Cross Country" because it seemed like all he did was get caught, beat up, imprisoned, beat up, escape, get caught, get beat up, etc. I haven't really cared for the ones with co-authors that I've tried, though. "Private Games" was memorable only because it was set during the London Olympics and I wondered how accurate the settings and plot could be, given that it was written and published before the games actually took place.
I'm still reading through my stack of cozies; finished "Hease and Buggy" by Laura Bradford, the first in an Amish series. It was okay but I don't know if I'll bother hunting out any of the others. I started another first-in-a-series last night during an insomia bout, something about a Soup restaurant in Vermont but the writing was actually so poor that I put it aside and started a reread of Gabaldon's "Crossstritch" the British version of "Outlander." I was curious about the differences between the two publications (although they're supposed to be very slight) and with STARZ making a series for broadcast next spring, it seemed like a good time to refresh my memory.
In the car, I'm ome the last chapters of Vince Flynn's "Consent to Kill" - finally - I think that getting the unabridged version was a mistake as it seems like it's dragged on and on.... After that I have DeMaurier's "Jamaica Inn" on tap for a change of pace.
The only one I really noticed was that the 20th century parts of Cross-Stitch are set in April-May of 1946, as opposed to 1945 in Outlander. The former does make more sense, considering WW2 was still going on in the first part of 1945 and both Claire and her husband served in the military during the war.
Casting Jamie Fraser will be really difficult, but someone is going to have a lot of fun playing both Randalls
Already have it. The reviews are good. I'll start it today after I finish my current John Sanford (I've been racing through all the Lucas Davenport books---sort of after the fact since I read his Virgil Flowers series first. I love Virgil and am ambivalent about Lucas.
Gotta hand it to her. After all the "Will it be as good as Harry Potter??" hubbub over her last novel, she probably just wanted to publish something that would be received on its own merits.
BTW, IceAlisa, getting back to Bleak House -- your timing is perfect.
Aaaargh, "Beautiful Ruins" was a charming, lovely little book that I could barely put down...until the Big Pivotal Scene, which was a lazy, unbelievable exercise in annoying. I still couldn't put it down, but the last 40 or so pages were to 1) see if things would (could?) get back on track and 2) because I wanted to be done. Such a disappointment!
Still making my way through the entire Jack Reacher series, and enjoying very much. I'm now on book 11 - one the three Prancer said are considered among his worst - we'll see how it ends, but I'm 2/3 through and enjoying it very much. Probably the only one that really fell flat for more was #10 - the one where the militia guy's wife is kidnapped in NY that ends in a standoff at a farmhouse in England. I've read a lot of kidnapping stories over the years - going back to Murder on the Orient Express, speaking of Christie - and this one just isn't in that league at all, kind of out of Child's element.
But back to #11 - this is the one that contains both the $100K reference and the Hendrix record element that we talked about in the last thread re lazy research/inaccuracies that bug us in books. The $100K one wasn't as bad as a thought in one way - they didn't assume the writer was European but rather than they must've spent time in the military and/or abroad, and at that point they knew it was their former army buddy, so in essence they were patting themselves on the back. So Child clearly has no idea, despite living in NY for some years himself, that Americans regularly describe things like salaries and running in K terms. But personally, I was more offended as a Canadian (hey Mr Child, you know that great big country on top of the US?) because we've used the metric system for about four decades now, and given the close relationship between Canadian and US culture there is naturally a lot of spillover, and Americans might just be a little more worldly than he thinks
The Hendrix reference wasn't too bad but in another way ridiculous. It was a coded message in which someone referred to the second album, track 6, which is Little Wing and also the code name for something important. I checked the five album copies and one CD that hubby owns (don't ask), and indeed the track listing is consistent, as is the cover art. I asked my husband if Axis Bold as Love is indeed the second Hendrix album, and it definitely is - all the mix ups came later after he died and they started issuing and reissuing all kinds of stuff, throwing album and track orders all over the place. BUT, the book is copyright 2007, and three of the people discussing this had cell phones, and one of them had a top-of-the-line laptop with her, not to mention an assistant doing research for her back at the office - but they all went to a local record store to solve the puzzle
I get the feeling that Child is very tech awkward and has tried to turn it into an endearing quality of Reacher's, but you simply can't get away with errors like that any more. Not to mention the heavy use of faxes in this book - in 2006/2007??
Finished Jude Morgan's An Accomplished Woman the other night. It's a Regency novel in the vein of Georgette Heyer (with lots and lots of Austen references worked in). LOVED the first half . . . was a little less enthusiastic about the second half. Morgan wants to show that some of the characters aren't exactly what we took them to be at first, a la Pride and Prejudice -- but his version of this is, "Hey, let's have these guys do a complete 180!" Er, no.
Still, it was a fun read with a lot of laugh-out-loud lines. Recommended.
I admire her for doing that.
I'm looking forward to reading it.
I ordered the book; it's on backorder at Amazon.
How many copies have been sold since her identity was revealed?
I strongly suspect that the leak about the author's identity came from her camp, once it became clear that the book, on its own merits, was not selling. Though it's definitely cool that she was apparently able to write well in a different genre completely.
I'm #10 in the library queue for The Cuckoo's Calling. I'm willing to bet that at least 7 of the 9 in the queue ahead of me heard about it being Rowling before I did!
Oh, I wouldn't be surprised. But she got the best of both worlds -- she got to see it reviewed honestly without all the hype attached to her name, and then she got to see it shoot up the bestseller charts once the truth came out. Nicely played.
They've signed Sam Heughan to play Jamie a;ready: http://goodbadandunread.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Sam-Heughan-Jamie-Fraser.jpg No word on anyone else, though.
According to my news station, it was one of the Newspapers that investigated - the Sunday Times? Who knows. Your suspicion is just as valid.
It wasn't so much the reference, but the fact that he was so wrong on that one and he went on about it for something like a page and a half.
And if it had just been Reacher, it might have been okay, because one wouldn't expect Reacher to be up on technology. But in this case, the other people with him should have been all over Google and it was glaringly weird that they were not. And too, too convenient that they found the record in a store right away in spite of the record being rare--although I thought that whole story was a setup for a joke.
I saw the Jack Reacher movie a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't as hard to take Tom Cruise as I expected, mostly because he was so entirely different from my mental image of Reacher--not just in terms of his size, but in just about every way--that I just kind of stopped thinking about the books altogether. The opening scenes feature Reacher walking around buying clothes at Goodwill while women cast him overtly lustful looks, which is just not how I see Reacher at all, and it went from there. I just didn't think about the books; it probably helps that I read One Shot several yeas ago and only dimly remembered the plot.
So, it wasn't bad at all, really. My husband observed that the older Tom gets, the more he looks like Dustin Hoffman, which cracked me up because there are some scenes where he does indeed look pretty Rainman-ish.
Yeah, reading them all in a row like this, the patterns become a bit tedious - I know more about guns than I ever needed to know! I was also getting tired of the guesses based on complicated logic - like in One Shot when they decided who the real target was among the 5 people shot - but then in the kidnapping book, he was proven wrong so many times and I thought maybe Child was responding to criticism.
But I'm still enjoying them for the most part and will press on I like Reacher, most of the other characters he works with are well drawn, he's cut back on the truly disgusting stuff that filled the first few books, and the writing is suspenseful enough for a lazy Sunday and bedtime reading.
Child seems kind of conflicted on just how much of a Superman he wants Reacher to be. In general, I like the first-person books better than the third-person books because Reacher doesn't constantly go on about how awesome he is in his own head, whereas in the third-person books, part of the point of the narrative change seems to be that everyone else is just so darned impressed with him.
Child makes a cameo appearance in the movie, BTW, although I didn't realize it until I saw the credits.
You will have to let us know what you think of #12.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. I doubt I'd think anyone could be the Jamie I have in my head.
NPR interviewed the Sunday Times writer. He said he realized quickly it wasn't a 'new' author and called the publisher asking for an interview and was turned down. Then he gave them his suspicions and heard nothing. Then a tweet went out. He thinks the tweet was from Rowling. I think she's too rich to care.
I've read the first chapter and it's pretty good. The woman can write an amazing book, so I'll be getting on my library list too (when they finally get around to ordering it)...
I'm not sure I like this, either, and he's a bit old to play the younger Jamie. But OTOH, I can't think of a better option - as one blogger once wrote (jokingly!):
I guess if Gabaldon approves then he must be an appropriate choice for Jamie.
I think Claire might actually be the tougher role to cast; she's a pretty unconventional character and would be tough to really get right.
I'm now on Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder. it has an interesting enough start, although it's set up in a way that it may be similar to an episode of Criminal Minds - you (almost) know the killer right off the bat, and the story is in both the HOW and the journey taken by people affected by the crime. I am hoping that's not it, though, because the person being set up as the incredibly likely killer is so OTT awful, and one of the characters we're supposed to be invested in is being set up as completely pathetic, that it's hard to imagine caring for 300-ish pages.
Thanks for the blog link, Zemgirl. Funny!!
(btw, I fall in the "love it" camp)
Oh I LIKE serious literature, immensely. Just because it's a bit more effort doesn't mean it's not fun, just a different kind of fun.
Exactly. I wish though, I could read this book without knowing it was written by her. Now I will be looking for the hallmark JKR writing problems.
Dropped off 2 books at the library tonight and had someone nice check my holds (14 at the moment). Seems despite my being #1 in the queue for 10 books, 4 have come in, gone on the shelf and then gone out for another month to someone who's not even in the queue. Lady said "well, some of us just don't see the 'hold' request." She was going to make some calls tonight on 3 of the books that have been overdue for weeks. I'll be going back tomorrow night with a printed list of what I've got on hold - I have the feeling that some are shelved. There's no way that some of them can be out for 4 months, they're not THAT popular.
In other news "The Fault in Our Stars" is $3.99 on Kindle today. It was $10. It's now mine, along with 3 others that I wanted.
I didn't read JKR's first non-Potter book (although it's sitting in the bookshelf) and it's a little disconcerting to read her liberal use of swear words. HP it's not. There are bits of humor, but still not as much as in HP. She needs to remember that was one of the best parts of HP. But, the story is interesting and well written.
I am definitely in "women write about WWII" mode this summer. I'm currently engrossed in vol. 2 of Hocking's "Good Daughters" trilogy. Also, Transit by Anna Seghers and The Exiles Return by Elisabeth de Waal arrived today. I will probably alternate these with different periods/genres, though.
Yes, her humor, great sense of dialog and the intricacy of detail of HP world were key to her success IMO and not the well-crafted prose. I too skipped her first non-HP book after it got Kakutanied.
Plenty have seen Kakutani rip apart their books. Publishers have even coined a word for these brutal reviews: getting 'Kakutanied'.
i'm hoping someone here gets an advance copy of the goldfinch. i cant wait. i hope it doesnt end up letting me down like the little friend.
Reading Life after Life right now and really enjoying it.
^^Awesome, isn't it?
I loved that book - it was really hard to get into at the beginning, but I finished and wanted to start again.
Just finished "A Fatal Grace" by Louise Penny last night. I liked "Still Life" better. Looks like she stays in Three Pines for the next few books in the series.
My library's closed again, this time for AC issues. Guess it's good that it's not the gas line again? I wonder if the library's cursed since I joined it?
Separate names with a comma.