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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    I just bought Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.
    I saw the review in Entertainment Magazine with the illustration of Colonel Brandon complete with tentacles. Just about fell over laughing with delight! I'm very tempted to read "Zombies." I'm one who loved P&P and S&S but wouldn't give you ten cents for the rest of Austin's stuff. But those two I love. (I always wanted to take Emma and jerk a knot in her uppity little a**. But I love the movie "Clueless...")

    Anybody read Mo Hyder? She's like a British Karin Slaughter..in fact it was Karin who recommended her to me. She's a seriously good writer, but she does get really into some dark stuff. She kind of makes "Silence of the Lambs" look like a nursery rhyme.

    I broke down and got the new Phillipa Gregory. "The White Queen." OK, I'm hanging on, but what's gotten into her? These past two books feature women who are just not likeable nor anyone you can pull for. I don't mind villainesses...love them! But Gregory's heroines are turning into vanilla pudding. Yawn.

    I also just let my darling neighborhood book store owner talk me into buying Diana Garibaldi's first, "Outlander." I am not a bodice-ripper fan, but this friend just swears these are the BEST. Any thoughts?

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holley Calmes View Post

    Anybody read Mo Hyder? She's like a British Karin Slaughter..in fact it was Karin who recommended her to me. She's a seriously good writer, but she does get really into some dark stuff. She kind of makes "Silence of the Lambs" look like a nursery rhyme.


    I also just let my darling neighborhood book store owner talk me into buying Diana Garibaldi's first, "Outlander." I am not a bodice-ripper fan, but this friend just swears these are the BEST. Any thoughts?
    Ask Karin S why she killed off my favorite character.

    IMHO Outlander is DG's best book of the series. Two was iffy. Three excellent when C and J finally hook back up, Four-Six good and not so good. She switched writing style in four and I don't like the self-contained chapters. So far, I'm having trouble getting into Seven.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    Ask Karin S why she killed off my favorite character.
    Yeah, that was a shock. I hated it too, and she said it was kind of a surprise to her too. If I get to interview her again, I'll grill her about it. She's a delightful girl....

  4. #44

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    I just finished A Big Little Life, A Memoir of a Joyful Dog. What a fabulous book. From the back cover:

    "She arrived with her name, Trixie. I joked sometimes that it sounded more like a stripper than a dog. They told us we could change it and that she could quickly be taught to answer to a new name. But if it sounded more like a stripper than a dog, it sounded more like an elf or fairy than a stripper. Elves and fairies are magical beings, and so was she."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holley Calmes View Post
    I broke down and got the new Phillipa Gregory. "The White Queen." OK, I'm hanging on, but what's gotten into her? These past two books feature women who are just not likeable nor anyone you can pull for. I don't mind villainesses...love them! But Gregory's heroines are turning into vanilla pudding. Yawn.
    Oh, agreed 100%. I've always had issues with Gregory's writing, especially the dialogue, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately, it was tedious and as you mentioned the heroine was dull as toast.

    Which stinks, because she's supposedly starting a Plantagenet cycle and they were far more interesting than the Tudors, IMHO.

    I am looking forward to Alison Weir's 2010 releases.

  6. #46
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    I'm reading Dracula, at last. I'm loving it. The idea that any of this reads as actual journals, letters or newspaper reports is massively unconvincing but I try to ignore that because the device of having the characters write with no knowledge of what's to come is used brilliantly to build the suspense. I just can't stop reading, which (unfortunately) is unusual for me these days. I'd been putting off reading it for ages in case it was too scary for me but as yet, at least - about a third of the way through - I'm not particularly scared, just massively creeped out in a squicky kind of way in places. It's very cool indeed knowing all the precise spots talked about in Whitby
    I am too long away from water;
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  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fergus View Post
    Oh, agreed 100%. I've always had issues with Gregory's writing, especially the dialogue, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately, it was tedious and as you mentioned the heroine was dull as toast.

    Which stinks, because she's supposedly starting a Plantagenet cycle and they were far more interesting than the Tudors, IMHO.

    I am looking forward to Alison Weir's 2010 releases.
    I want to read that one. I read 'The Other Queen" while on my trip to Cuba and found I liked neither Bess or Mary. And George? I found it amazing that she could make some of the people I found most intriguing in Elizabethean times to be plain awful! I still have to hack through 'The Constant Princess'.

    ICAM about the Plantagenet family. Would love to see what she would do with Edward II.
    Any word on whom she will also be writing about?
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight1 View Post
    ICAM about the Plantagenet family. Would love to see what she would do with Edward II.
    Any word on whom she will also be writing about?
    Her Wikipedia page says the next releases will be The Red Queen & The White Princess, which leads me to believe that her focus will again be on the later Plantagenets/Lancasters vs. York.

    Perhaps Sharon Kay Penman has the monopoly on early Plantagenets. I'm still getting through her The Devil's Brood, which is pretty fantastic.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fergus View Post
    Oh, agreed 100%. I've always had issues with Gregory's writing, especially the dialogue, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately, it was tedious and as you mentioned the heroine was dull as toast.
    Me too. It annoys me because I feel like I could really love her books if they were well written, considering the fact that I'm a history junky and the Tudors are so crazily interesting. How she makes her characters seem so boring, I don't know. I hated The Boleyn Inheritance and The Other Queen, although I do confess to finding The Other Boleyn Girl to be somewhat likable (although completely historically inaccurate). I usually still find myself reading them, however, so I'll probably get around to reading The White Queen at some point. Maybe she's slightly better when not writing about the Tudors...

    I'm so jealous of you guys. I'm in college and am being forced to take an early American literature class (it's for my major), so the only thing that I'm able to read right now is book after book on the Puritans (and not like The Scarlet Letter, which I love, but actual Puritan-written works like sermons and historical accounts from Plymouth, etc.). How you make something like sailing to the New World boring is beyond me, but they manage to do it.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jodi View Post
    I'm reading Dracula, at last. I'm loving it. The idea that any of this reads as actual journals, letters or newspaper reports is massively unconvincing but I try to ignore that because the device of having the characters write with no knowledge of what's to come is used brilliantly to build the suspense. I just can't stop reading, which (unfortunately) is unusual for me these days. I'd been putting off reading it for ages in case it was too scary for me but as yet, at least - about a third of the way through - I'm not particularly scared, just massively creeped out in a squicky kind of way in places. It's very cool indeed knowing all the precise spots talked about in Whitby
    Bram Stoker's great-great nephew has a sequel coming out in a couple of weeks. It's based on some of Stoker's notes.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverstars View Post
    I'm so jealous of you guys. I'm in college and am being forced to take an early American literature class (it's for my major), so the only thing that I'm able to read right now is book after book on the Puritans (and not like The Scarlet Letter, which I love, but actual Puritan-written works like sermons and historical accounts from Plymouth, etc.). How you make something like sailing to the New World boring is beyond me, but they manage to do it.
    Oh ye gads! That must be some *dense* stuff. Lord knows they were the most uptight/high-strung people in world history (IMHO, no offense to any contemporary practicing Puritans).

    I was a Euro history major in college and was loaded down with heavy stuff like The Gulag Archipelago, Das Kapital and even Mein Kampf. However, I always kept something frivolous and smutty in the dorm so when my brain was turning to mush reading about totalitarian states and dictators, I would whip out the beach-read for about 30 minutes, just as a brain-enema.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilJLeonard View Post
    I just got Crimes Against Logic: Exposing the Bogus Arguments of Politicians, Priests, Journalists, and Other Serial Offenders from the Broward County Library on Prancer's recommendation. Interesting thus far. More on it later...

    NJL
    Just skip over the part where he goes on and on about the British banking scandal--you'll only understand it if you research the whole thing and it's not at all worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holley Calmes View Post
    Anybody read Mo Hyder?
    I read Pig Island. It was pretty good, but the ending was just . I saw it coming from way back and was furious with the main character throughout for letting it happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holley Calmes View Post
    I also just let my darling neighborhood book store owner talk me into buying Diana Garibaldi's first, "Outlander." I am not a bodice-ripper fan, but this friend just swears these are the BEST. Any thoughts?
    I wouldn't say they are the BEST, but they aren't exactly typical bodice rippers, either. I liked Outlander, but gradually lost interest in the series as it went on.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverstars View Post
    the only thing that I'm able to read right now is book after book on the Puritans (and not like The Scarlet Letter, which I love, but actual Puritan-written works like sermons and historical accounts from Plymouth, etc.).
    Heh. I loved Anne Bradstreet's poetry, but man, those sermons of Cotton Mather (and his were some of the more entertaining ones) went on forever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fergus View Post
    However, I always kept something frivolous and smutty in the dorm so when my brain was turning to mush reading about totalitarian states and dictators, I would whip out the beach-read for about 30 minutes, just as a brain-enema.
    Yes, a little trash every now and then soothes the savage brain. I read Harlequin romances when I was in grad school, just because they required no thinking at all and it was soothing.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post

    I wouldn't say they are the BEST, but they aren't exactly typical bodice rippers, either. I liked Outlander, but gradually lost interest in the series as it went on.
    That's exactly how I feel about them.

  14. #54
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    I am nearly over Gregory. I really thought that The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool were excellent - well researched, thoughtful, fresh perspectives on history, with interesting characters. I've continued to buy and read all her others because I love the period, but each is less satisfying. I have The White Queen, but the opening bit about some mythical goddess keeps turning me off and I read other things instead.

    Sadly, I believe she is simply churning it out now to capitalize. I really don't think that even she likes her characters any more.

  15. #55
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    Borders teacher appreciation days starts Wednesday. 30% off almost everything.

    I need new book recommendations.

    Prancer: what new mysteries do I want to buy? Thrillers? Legal procedure? Really hot erotica?
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I've been stocking up on audiobooks for the long drive to Iowa and back this weekend.

    Has anyone read Barbara Tuchman? I haven't read her since A Distant Mirror some 30 years ago.

    I enjoyed David Keys' Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of Modern Civilization. Many historians believe that sometime in A.D. 535, a worldwide disaster struck along the lines of the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. There were contemporary reports of the sun being blotted out or weakened for nearly a year and a half, followed by famine, droughts, floods, storms and bubonic plague, and there is a spike of atmospheric sulphur in ice-core records. Some of his theories are a bit far-fetched, but it is fascinating reading.

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holley Calmes View Post
    I also just let my darling neighborhood book store owner talk me into buying Diana Garibaldi's first, "Outlander." I am not a bodice-ripper fan, but this friend just swears these are the BEST. Any thoughts?
    I really do like Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series, though I wouldn't exactly classify them as "bodice-ripping". There are some sex scenes, but she doesn't go into a lot of detail (less and less detail as the series goes on), which is probably why Barnes & Noble moved her books out of the romance section and rightfully into the fiction section.

    Like others have mentioned, "Outlander" is by far the best, but the rest are very good, too (IMHO). I'm only a few hundred pages into her new book, and so far it's fairly decent, but slow-paced. I hope it picks up soon.

  18. #58

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    I'm another Gabaldon-liker, but then I don't have high expectations for any of my reading these days - as long as it tells a decent story with likable characters, I'm good with it. I'm a little more than halfway through "Echo" at the moment and enjoying it. I think of the series along the lines of the old "Dark Shadows" soap opera - a little sci-fi, a listle historical-drama, a little romance, a little action-adventure, a little mystery. "Echo" seems to be posing more mysteries than it's answers so far, and it;s choppy in places and has some dropped threads here and there that may or may not be picked up before the end, but I'm having a hard time putting it down when it's past time-to-be-sleeping. The only one of hers I found tedious was "The Fiery Cross" which dragged on and on and on for me.

    I've done a bunch of others in audio in the car: Jennifer Cruisie's "Lie to Me" - it was okay until the tape broke three-quarters of the way through the last cassette and I realized that I didn't really care what else happened; some police pocedural I can't even remember at the moment, and now have Linda Farnstein's "The Bone Vault" more than half done - again, it's okay but I think I'm more interested in the museums than in the mystery.

    I have Ruth Downey's "Terra Incognita" on deck for when I finish "Echo."
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

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    Thanks to all of you for your comments. I will start Outlander as soon as I get through The White Queen IF I can stay awake. It doesn't get any better as it goes along. I too thought her first books were really great, although it got to be that unless you had a royal beheading at the end of the book, you felt cheated somehow.... Wideacre is pretty disturbing in places, but what a great heroine/villainess! Maybe her best book, to me. Or at least the most atmospheric.

    Mo Hyder is a really, really good writer. Her subject matter is sometimes a bit too squiggy for me-child porn and too much graphic description of crimes, but I get totally sucked in, I like her hero and his world, and she's a damn good writer.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaphyre14 View Post
    I'm another Gabaldon-liker, but then I don't have high expectations for any of my reading these days - as long as it tells a decent story with likable characters, I'm good with it. I'm a little more than halfway through "Echo" at the moment and enjoying it. I think of the series along the lines of the old "Dark Shadows" soap opera - a little sci-fi, a listle historical-drama, a little romance, a little action-adventure, a little mystery. "Echo" seems to be posing more mysteries than it's answers so far, and it;s choppy in places and has some dropped threads here and there that may or may not be picked up before the end, but I'm having a hard time putting it down when it's past time-to-be-sleeping. The only one of hers I found tedious was "The Fiery Cross" which dragged on and on and on for me.

    ."
    I went to the compuserve site to see what they had to say, knowing it wouldn't be negative. Skating ubers have nothing on author ubers. It seems there's at least one more book in the planning, probably two. I just skim all the non Jamie and Claire chapters. I don't like the choppy style she's adopted since book 4. It gets worse with each successive book. I know she likes it. It's easier to write because you don't have to keep a plot point.

    If you've read one Crusie book, you've read them all. She just changes the names and jobs.

    I'm trying to decide if I'm going to buy Chelsea Cain's latest. I swore I wouldn't after the 2nd book. The relationship between Archie and Gretchen is sick. As typical, the first of the series was different and scary. The second book was not so good. I don't expect the 3rd to be better.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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