Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Prancer, Jun 23, 2010.
This thread title seems the perfect slogan for a popular bordello.
It's a slight variation on a bookmark I have .
I picked up the one Falco book I haven't been able to buy from the library last night, "A Dying Light in Corduba" and moved it to the read-before-sleeping slot, which relegated "Killer Cuts" to the bathroom.
I also collected three more of Marcia Muller's mysteries on tape to add to the two James Patterson's I have for car-listening. So I'm either going to have to take a couple of loooooooong trips in the car over the next three weeks or dig out a cassette player and headphones at work in orsder to get through all of those.
Add to that the nearly $200 haul from B&N last week (i had a bunch of gift cards and coupons so I paid less than half that) and I think I have reading covered for a while.
I have bedroom, bathroom, den, living room and car books all at the same time also. In fact, I have two bathrooms so there is a selection in each.
Thanks to Princess Victoria's wedding, I'm on a Scandinavian fiction kick:
The Mistress of Husaby by Undset,
The Royal Physician's Visit by Enquist,
and Music and Silence by Rose Tremain.
Finished The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Purse and found it really disappointing after The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The book doesn't really get interesting until over half-way through, and there are too many extra subplots that don't go anywhere. I understand that Bradley is setting up for the next few books, but it just muddied the waters, possibly because his mystery wasn't strong enough and instead of changing that, he added a bunch of extra filler.
I could deal with all that because I find in most mysteries, the actual mystery is the least interesting part if the characters were as good. In the first book, Flavia's sisters were kind of bratty to her, but in a mischievous, fun sort of way, and Flavia gave as good as she got. In this one, the sisters are downright vicious. The dad is more absent-minded, and there's a darkness in this one that wasn't as present in the first one. The secondary characters weren't as likeable or as fun to dislike.
But most disappointing to me was Flavia's voice--in the first one, she is precocious and does not act like your typical 11 year old, but it's written in such a way that you can suspend disbelief. In this one, she sounds more like the 50-some odd year old man that writes her, and her interest in poisons at certain points goes from being kind of naughty fun to signaling "future serial killer."
The one good thing about the book is that it gave me a new word--muddlerumpus, which basically means shenanigans. But in my head, I hear eccentric, middle-aged BBC characters in flowered dresses saying, "Mr. Thistlewaite, your addition of herring to the Earl Grey has caused a muddlerumpus of the first degree!" I'm trying to find a situation where I can combine "muddlerumpus" with "hootenany" to make the greatest, most annoying hipster sentence of all time.
Just finished "Walking into the night" by Olaf Olafsson. It's a novel about the butler of William Randolph Hearst, at Hearst castle. Decent enough read, with the main character being both likeable and despicable. There's a lot of back and forth between his current station and his earlier years.
Just starting "Veronika decides to die" by Paulo Coehlo. About three chapters in and it's quite intriguing.
Oh dear. *sigh*
I read all 11 books, bought the 12th and read it twice. Now I'm halfway through a re-read, made very enjoyable by Leigh Butler's re-read blog, and anticipating book number 13 due out later this year.
I have books I received as Christmas gifts still unfinished and a stack of books from a library book sale that I haven't opened yet.
Apparently I've morphed from a 48 year old woman into a 16 year old boy. I can't believe I only scored 97% on the nerd test.
(But the book is amazing during the re-read. I can't believe that Jordan could write a series with 1000's of characters and so many events and individual histories and yet have so incredibly few inconsistencies. It's like Harry Potter cubed.)
I bought 42 books in the last 3 months (damn you, Feltrinelli International!) and, as usual, wanted to read them all at the same time. Finally settled on A Sultan in Palermo by Tariq Ali and Passione di famiglia by Cristina Comencini.
I read this one a while back. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts once you finish.
I just started The Last Child by John Hart. The premise is intriguing but it's off to a slow start. I'm hoping things pick up soon.
I'm going to start rereading them next year, I think. I haven't read book 12 yet, because I refused to buy any more of them in hardcover. I'm half hoping I'll hate Sanderson's take on it so I can get rid of all 15 of them once I'm finished with the series.
I finished 'Spirits in the Wires', and it was a middling effort from Charles de Lint. He still feels very "easy listening" to me, and I don't know if it's because his protags almost always end up with happy endings, which is a bit of an accomplishment considering how how many Newford books he's written by now. It's a pet peeve of mine when people write tech-y stuff into the plot and fall into the trap of naming the tech. It dates books quicker than Morozov can say "blonde!".
Well. The Gathering Storm was the only book I had to re-read. I'm a new fan of the series, but from what I've read on the internet, I'd say the reaction to the book is 90% awesome, 8% adequate and 2% disappointed. Knowing that all the major plot points (all 485 of them) are all laid out and dictated by Jordan makes the transition to Branderson quite seamless.
Got a gift certificate for Mother's Day and have ordered The Help, Child 44, and a Thomas Cook book not out yet, The Last Talk with Lola Faye.
I would like to comment on some books, but I have misplaced my glasses after unpacking all my crap. Or rather, I'm certain a small orange ball of fur has misplaced my glasses.
I can only read like five pages without a headache, so I am reading, in five page sittings, Who Hates Whom. It's a somewhat snarky look at how a lot of modern conflicts have arisen.
I'd like to read more than five pages at a time. Sigh.
I'm disappointed in Carolyn Haines' latest Sarah Booth Delaney. Ms. Haines is a better writer than this effort. Too much waffling angst from Sarah Booth and not enough and humor. I'm sending her an email with my issues. I hope she abandons the current story arc and goes back to what made the series charming and fun in the first place.
Finished this morning (last night was a slow night at work ) I really liked it, although I had the premise figured out pretty early in. It's mildly twisted (like me ) and at the same time, it gives one to thought of what we really are perceiving around us. Seriously, I think the mindset proposed in the book is similar to the one I've had all my life. Coehlo has a kind of unique writing style to my ears, hard to describe. The next book to start is "Brida" by the same author (was on a 2 for 1 sale).
I just finished this book last night. It did drag in places, but I thought it was worth the time to read, and the ending was not what I expected.
I enjoyed Sanderson's book at lot - more than I enjoyed the last few Jorden books.
IMO this series was too long and Jordon lost control of it. There were two many wheels within wheels and they weren't moving in perfect alignment. Sub-plots were left hanging and not picked up for thousands of pages - Matt's marriage to the Daughter of the Nine Moons being one example.
Maybe it would seem different if I read all the books at the same time, rather than waiting two years or so for each new one.
But I don't think I can read them all again. The inspiration just isn't there.
I read this some years ago and it was lovely and very memorable. The setting and era were not familiar to me and it really opened up a world. Made me reflect too on our understanding of various disabilities and "special" people now and how they were seen in the past. It's a little long and slow, but magnificent too.
I know I would have given up if I'd been waiting between books. I didn't read Harry Potter until after Deathly Hallows was published.
But the re-read is so much fun. There are things that happen in the first books that I completely missed or else didn't know it meant anything, yet are really neat to pick up on when you re-read it.
The things Verin does have a completely different meaning now, for example.
I'm a serial re-reader anyway. My Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, Margaret Atwood, Isaac Asimov, Bernard Cornwell, Amy Tan, Orson Scott Card and Lois McMaster Bujold novels are all well worn. The only books I don't keep are the thriller/mystery type.
Hope you find your glasses soon!
May I just say Who Hates Whom sounds great. Off to put it on my wishlist.
Along with Empress Orchid, I am reading a Marilyn Monroe bio by Anthony Summers called Goddess. I had read it about 20 years ago but don't remember a thing. Plus my English wasn't as good back then so I wonder how much of it I understood.
I wanted to compare the biographical info with that of the novel Blonde I just finished. The novel is a tremendous, beautiful book and not in any way intended to be a biography. However, I do find a few drawbacks--one is the beautiful use of metaphor is marred by spelling out of the meaning as if JCO is afraid the reader won't get it. I get it, OK? You don't have to spoon feed me.
Another, a more serious flaw is that JCO had mostly failed to show Marilyn's very shrewd side and ability to advance in her chosen profession. She is mostly portrayed as a victim and a vastly insecure human being (which without a doubt, she was) but she could also be very smart in her career moves. These are not mutually exclusive character traits so I am not sure why JCO chose not to highlight yet another facet of this complex personality.
But the book is otherwise amazing. And the Summers biography is a good, absorbing read.
THREE months?!? That's crazy! Each of those books is about 1,000 pages long. I salute you!
I should really read the first four books - I started with #5 since there was a 13 hour flight that I had to kill time on, and read forth from that. #5 took a really long time to read (obviously), but lots of the books past it were pretty enjoyable. Some of them are absolute bores, though - I think almost everything from books 9-11 could've been skimmed over in 100 pages.
What do you think of Brandon Sanderson's style in writing the last books? Personally I like it a lot, since it's so uncluttered and much more direct. No more page-long descriptions of dresses and 90% less sniffing. And I'm excited to see what happens in the last two books now.
You should read them along with the re-read blog I linked. Leigh keeps pointing out things I miss even on the re-read. And Moiraine is such a key character but you've missed most of her contribution to the story.
There was no jarring change in style feeling, nor was there a feeling that someone was trying to copy Jordan. It just feels like someone else took over reading me the story of Randland and is reading at a better pace. The next book is going to be great because I think
Matt is finally going to rescue Moiraine from the Tower
Well, rfisher, if you want to know what happens to Archie and Gretchen, here ya go. If ya don't, just scroll on by.
After multiple twists, turns, convoluted plot points and assorted eyerolling moments (this is a pun of sorts, although you'd have to read the book to get it), Archie has the chance to kill Gretchen, but to do it, he must let someone else die. Since he believes that the dying man in a serial killer, he does let him die, and instead stabs Gretchen with a scalpel she had been using to torture the dead man. Gretchen then tells him that the dead man was innocent, a victim of her plot to be MORE than a boring serial killer. She wanted to do something more challenging, like create evil in someone who isn't evil. Archie pulls his gun, puts it to her head, and wants very much to pull the trigger, then puts Gretchen under arrest and immediately feels redeemed because he hasn't become evil after all. He feels free for the first time since he met her. There's more to this scene, but those are the pivotal parts--well, it does sort of come out that Gretchen actually cared about Archie when they were having their affair and tortured him because she thought he was planning to break off their affair and stay with his wife, blah blah blah. Gretchen is arrested and carted back to prison, and Archie wanders off into the sunset hand-in-hand with Susan, the young reporter with the colorful dye jobs.
So the possiblity exists that there will be MORE books.
In the grand tradition of rapidly produced series fiction, the first one was the best of the lot and the last one was the worst. And I think the main reason this series is so creepy is that Chelsea Cain seems to be very much in love with Gretchen herself.
Yes. The first four books are probably really good, since I keep reading abuot things like Draghkar and Darkhounds and piece it together from the Internet and all but it's not quite the same as if I'd read about them at first.
I hope so! I think Towers of Midnight (the next book) will have to be great because
Mat and Moiraine comprise one of the best plotlines ever (and Min's visions are apparently infallible). Though, if the third person in the Tower is Noal, and Noal can't remember a thing about his short-term past, what could that possibly mean? Maybe Compulsion? And if so, by whom?
I am such a nerd, geez! Though will we *ever* learn
who killed Asmodean? And according to the description for the new book, Perrin will likely be taking on Slayer, which will be interesting...
I like that Sanderson didn't try to copy Jordan. That would've likely led to disaster, and I think had someone else went Jordan's pace I would've sworn off the series for good (though I thought I would've after Knife of Dreams, too).
Hmmm...all these descriptions are tempting me to re-start the Wheel of Time (though I still stand by my original assertion that the only reason rjblue's SIL, IIRC, started her on the series is because he secretly hates her and wishes to drive her insane).
I started in between the fifth and sixth book, and by the time I had waited ten thousand years for the seventh and eighth books, I'd had enough. It was just Rand feeling sorry for himself, Nynaeve being bitchy, and everyone struggling to move three feet in the snow. But Jordan not writing them might be a plus for me--I think he lost himself in the details around the seventh book and couldn't come back.
Grrrrr...must resist...must not visit...library....
I'm plodding through Anna Karenina now. Holy moly, that thing is long. I'm starting to get into it now, though it took a while. Apologies to the fans, but Russian literature is really not my bag -- a lot of it comes across as rather stilted and stagy to me, no matter the translation (and this is supposed to be a particularly good translation). However, there's some really good stuff in here, like the part where Levin works on the farm. It seems to me Tolstoy wrote that sort of thing better than he wrote society parties.
And anyway, somewhere I picked up the idea that one ought to read Anna Karenina sometime during his or her life, so I'm going to read it or die trying.
Gah. I suspected the last event would happen based on the 2nd book. I think I won't waste my money on this one. If the library gets it on audio I might listen. I agree that the first was riveting, the 2nd revolting and the 3rd redundant and boring. Cain is just recycling the plot through the books and apparently has nothing more to offer. I wonder if the sales have been sufficient for the publisher to waste their time on a 4th. I won't contribute to the cause.
At least you are reading Anna Karenina and not War and Peace.
If I had a nickel for every time I've started AK, I would never have to work again. However, I can never get past about page 40; it's at that point that I realize I don't want to spend 10 more minutes in the company of any of these people.
I'm just about to start on 'Devil on the Cross' by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Has anyone else here read it? I haven't read much African literature, other than South African novels and stories about apartheid and real classics such as 'Things Fall Apart' and 'A Grain of Wheat'. I thought Andre Brink's 'A Dry White Season' was over-rated but his 'Looking on Darkness' was so devastating that it took me about a month to recover from reading it.
Anna Karenina and Middlemarch, both. I would be an exceedingly wealthy woman.
I did manage to make it through Middlemarch, but it was nearly the death of me. It wasn't the length; as I've said elsewhere, I'm absolutely batty about Dickens. But Eliot wasn't what you could call a lively writer.
In grad school, I had a week to read that. My professor owes me a week of my life back.
You have all my sympathy!!
Yes, so did I; that was what I predicted to myself. But I kept hoping that Archie would pull a Holmes and go over the falls with his Dr. Moriarty. For one thing, Archie is clearly too damaged to ever be normal.
Good god, what kind of sick grad student were you? You don't actually read the book, you read the criticism. That gives you an early start on your paper and allows you to make sage and scholarly observations in your seminar.
Congratulations! I was not able to manage more than maybe 10 pages... I agree with you about Russian literature, I have tried to read Anna Karenina, War and Piece, Quiet Flows the Don, Dr. Zhivago, etc. with no luck, LOL.
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