Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by rfisher, May 14, 2013.
That they picked a Willa Cather novel at all means I can't take this list seriously.
Lots of half price Nook books this weekend: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/NOOK-Book-eBook-store/379003094?r=1
And the $2.99 and under list is always good for a peek, as it changes all the time.
No Dickens in the top 10, or even in the top 50? They lost me.
Just spotted that Neil Gaiman had a new book out last week - The Ocean at the End of the Lane. But drat, 11 people ahead of me in the library queue! (4 copies though, so hoping I won't have to wait too long.)
Delving into the pile of bargain mysteries I've accumulated, I finished Judi McCoy's "Heir of the Dog" about a NYC dogwalker and her telephatic Yorkiepoo and started "Death, Taxes and a French Manicure" by Diane Kelly whose detective is an IRS accountant. Nothing too strenuous for my brain in this heat.
I see that Charlotte's Web is on that list. Maybe I should read it since I never read it as a child. I saw the cartoon as a kid but really don't remember much about it.
I just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns. I was visiting my family out of town and saw the book for $1.50 at a thrift store. So I bought it. It was easy in the sense that I got through it quickly but hard in the sense that it was one of the most depressing books I've ever read. Hosseini is a great storyteller but he doesn't let up on the tragedy or the melodrama. I actually received his latest novel, And the Mountains Echoed, from the library after being on the holds list. I'm trying to decide if I want to read it or return it and wait to read it at a different time. I think it might need something more uplifting after reading ATSS.
IKWYM: I haven't read A Thousand Splendid Suns yet, but I had that same reaction to The Kite Runner. I won an advance copy of And the Mountains Echoed but decided it wasn't really summertime reading -- I'll wait until darker and rainier days to tackle it.
I just finished this one last week. It was a fabulous, slim, magical book. I finished it in a day and loved it. I was lucky enough to get it second at my library. I keep an eye on what's coming out and then reserve as soon as holds are available. I'd never read his work before, but I'm now going to read everything of his that I can get my hands on.
My recent Amazon buys came from them matching the B&N and Sony sales - Divergent, The Glass Castle (Jeanette Wells' childhood memoir), The Shell Seekers (I love Rosamund Pilcher's older work) - all were $2.99 each, also picked up Life After Life ($7.99) -did a library loan on this and needed to buy it.
I also read "Eye of God" by James Rollins last week. The latest in his Sigma series. Lots of dark energy, and Genghis Kahn relics.
Neil Gaiman is amazing. I have his new book sitting (unread) on my coffee table. My favorite of his, is "Neverwhere".
Also, "Shell Seekers" is a perfect summer read type of book.
I've only read "Neverwhere," but I intend to read more of Gaiman as soon as the "stack" I have gets a bit smaller. I've given myself a rule about no more than thirty waiting books at a time.
I listened to Gaiman read his 'The Graveyard Book' during the drive to Phoenix. He did a remarkable job.
I absolutely loved Anansi Boys and American Gods, and a recent book club pick was Good Omens (co-written with Terry Pratchett -- their writing styles are highly complementary, I hope they do another joint book). And "The Doctor's Wife" is one of my top 10 fave Doctor Who eps ever.
When I was placing the library hold for Ocean I noticed that there's another new book by him just out: Make Good Art. It's a graphic novel treatment of the now-famous commencement address he gave to Philadelphia’s University of the Arts in 2012. So ... I put a hold on that one too (still "on order" at my library, but I'm #1 in the queue).
I just started And the Mountains Echoed. I decided to set aside What Maisie Knew for the time being.
The only Gaimen book I've read is "Good Omens" and while I didn't hate it, I had a very hard time finishing it. Are his others better or just more of the same quirkiness?
I have Margaret Lawrence's "The Burning Bride" waiting for me for the long weekend.
After watching the BBC mini-series North and South for the third time last month, I decided it was time to read the book. It took just a bit for my mind's ear to adjust to the syntax (I hope that's the correct word) of the writing, but now that it has, I find I'm really enjoying all the "bits" I missed in the TV production.
Started reading "Divergent" last night around 9:30. Forced myself to go to bed at 1:00. I think I'm hooked.
I liked most of Divergent very much, tho the romance storyline was pretty eye-rolling for a non-teen reader. Insurgent (the 2nd in the trilogy) was a huge disappointment, not quite awful but almost.
I'll probably read the 3rd one when it comes out in the fall, just to finish the story, but I can't say I'm too excited about it.
The quirkiness in Good Omens I attribute more to Terry Pratchett -- his writing style tends toward the OTT goofball & Pythonesque. I personally enjoy that style but it's what I grew up on, and I know it's not for everyone. Gaimen is more witty than quirky(or, in the case of his younger audience stuff, whimsical), IMO.
Woot woot, I'm first in the library queue for 4 highly anticipated fall books: Maddaddam (Margaret Atwood -- 3rd book in the Oryx and Crake trilogy, Aug 27), The Orenda (Joseph Boyden, Sept 10), Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Oct 15), and Just One Evil Act (Elizabeth George, Oct 15).
The last couple of Elizabeth Georges have been pretty disappointing, but the new one promises to be Barbara-centric so I'm particularly looking forward to that.
That's my favorite mini-series. I have the book on my shelves, but I've not read it yet.
I'm currently reading The Other Boleyn Girl, not bad so far. It's holding my attention, and I know to take Philippa Gregory's "history" with a huge grain of salt.
I am nearly done with the first Game of Thrones book and went and purchased the next 3. I am heading off for a week at my parents place out in the middle of no where with a beautiful pool and view of the pond (that they call a lake, but I digress). I brought the next 2 in the series with me although I seriously doubt I get through one of them as thick as they are. But, just in case. I told myself NO MORE BOOKS. I have 3 or 4 sitting somewhere that I never even picked up.
That and The Queen's Fool were her best books IMO - much more researched, well developed characters, interesting historic details, compelling storytelling. After that she got lazy IMO and just started churning them out.
That's too bad. I also read Divergent over the weekend and couldn't put it down. I hadn't bought the second book yet, but I was intending to.
Right now I'm reading the 8th book in Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series - I know I've missed a couple of books (book six and seven), but the 1.99 Nook price was too good to resist. I always enjoy this series, but not enough to make it a purchase at full price.
Gaiman's solo works are not nearly as slapstick as "Good Omens". If I had to pick one word to describe his writing, I would say "enchanting".
Finished Divergent at lunch today. It seemed really rushed in the final 20% of the book. Things happened and I kept going "wha?!?" and went to check to see if I skipped pages. Just Kindled book 2. An e-library loan would take about 3 months and my regular library is 2 months out.
Found out today that my library is closed 'until further notice' because of a gas leak. That explains why the books I reserved (that were on the shelf) are still showing as 'unavailable for pickup'. I might have to break into my 'read this shelf of stuff next' piles...
If you have a Salvation Army store anywhere nearby, they still sell books for cheap, cheap. Anyway mine does - paperbacks 4/$1.00, hardcover 3/$2.00. Bibles are free and every child gets a book for free. I like my Salvation Army Store.
I finished Mary Hocking's Good Daughters this morning. It was very good, but ended on a somewhat unexpected dark note. Hocking did an excellent job of depicting the lives of a London minister's family 1933-36; I was a little surprised that even in 1933, there were "ordinary people" who could see WWII coming. The period details were perfect, and I liked how much of the story was seen through the eyes of Hocking's 12-to-15-year-old-self, trying to come to grips with adolescence, family, school, society; dimly aware of the threat of war, but all the other issues seem to loom large as well. I'm looking forward to the next volume in the trilogy, Indifferent Heroes.
During my vacation I read:
JCO The Gravedigger's Daughter another JCO I didn't like although it was as atrociously bad as that figure skating book. The writing was stilted and almost Ayn Rand-like in its melodrama and humorlessness. Yes, like most her work, it dealt with violence and tragedy but still. Rebecca's character occupied the main stage almost constantly and yet managed to stay one-dimensional and uninteresting. The men were of four kinds: murderer, serial murderer, rapist/murderer and sensitive hippie. Oh and a boy piano prodigy. Not her best IMO.
Next I read Maugham's The Painted Veil and was surprised how different from the movie with Naomi Watts and Edward Norton it was. Especially after the unfortunate JCO, Maugham's prose flowed effortlessly. There were central aspects that lacked verisimilitude but overall, a beautiful work, if not in terms of plot, then in the quality of the prose.
Now I am on Murakami's Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, a change of pace, to say the least. I am under a 100 pages in and am intrigued.
I finished And the Mountains Echoed and was a little disappointed. There was one whole story line that seemed totally superfluous, and the whole story was really anti-climactic. I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of the book and then it seemed like he didn't know where to go so it just got sloppy. Next up is The Birth House. A girl at work LOVES it and talked it up pretty good, lol.
Last night I remembered that I had started Dickens' Bleak House before I left for vacation. As it goes so well with the bleak San Francisco weather, I took a break from the cyberwars of Murakami and read a few chapters.
Well, I'll be darned!! I like this a lot, the humor, the sarcasm, the snark! Wileyfan would be proud--I stayed up until well past 1 am to read it. I like it! And I've grown up with the notion that Dickens is a dreadful bore. Go figure.