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  1. #521
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadingirl View Post
    Does anyone here like Ian Rankin? I put his latest book on my Xmas list - excited to here Rebus is in it though it doesn't sound like he is doing any detective work.
    I'm a huge Rebus/Ian Rankin fan. I'm currently #9 in the library queue for the new one, but I think they have multiple copies so it shouldn't be too long now.

    I have to say, though, that I'm having a hard time loving Fox. I don't dislike the new ones, they're just not as good as the Rebus ones. Rankin no doubt knew that going in, that he'd have a hard time pleasing his fans ... so I give him credit for at least trying.

    And I think Rebus will be involved in the detecting in the new book -- although in a civilian capacity. Sort of a "New Tricks" idea if you're familiar with that series. It should be very interesting to see how Rebus & Fox interact!

  2. #522
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    I love mystery/thrillers that use words like palimpsest and they are perfectly in character.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  3. #523
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    Finished The Wings of the Dove. Whew. The story is awesome as are the characters but the language... Did he really need all these 'as it were' and 'at any rate' and the generally infernal sentence structure? The former annoyed me the most because IMHO, these contribute absolutely nothing to the quality of the prose, rather the opposite. However, I think this was the way he actually spoke and the way his brain worked, judging from his real life quotes.

    I need to read something trashy next although I currently am reading various lectures and essays on The Wings of the Dove. It's hard to get it out of your head.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  4. #524
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    I just finished a book I enjoyed - Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch. A story about a Southern girl who is a "less-than-perfect debutante". I bought it at the library sale because I liked the cover photo & the caption said "Charming. A fresh effervescent story. A memorable tale of good girls & bad choices". I started pulling out my dollar when I saw that "good girls/bad choices" part & I'm just glad I didn't have to yank the book out of somebody else's hands.

    I have been having pretty good luck lately buying books I know nothing about with covers I like. I'm going to stick with that approach.

  5. #525
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    I finally finished The World Without Us, which was part excellent and scary, and part nothing new under the sun. It was a little bit more slow going than popular science books usually are IMO. Now I'm reading The Curse of Chalion, which is the first Lois McMaster Bujold book I've tried my hand at.

  6. #526

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    I read The Curse of Chalion earlier this year and really enjoyed it. Haven't gotten around to the sequel yet.

    Tonight is my last Moby-Dick class. 4 more pages and I am finished with the book. Final verdict? One of the most exciting, interesting and unexpected reads I have had in a long time.

    Re-read The Nine Tailors recently, as it has always been my Sayers favorite. It ended rather abruptly, I thought, more so than I had remembered. Next up is Gaudy Night, so I can debate with a friend which is the true masterpiece. At the moment we don't agree.

    Am also giving the recommended fairly recent new translation of Anna Karenina a try. So far I am not tempted to pitch it aside in disgust the way I have been with every attempt previously. I think I have enough reading for the next few weeks.

  7. #527

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    I have gone over to the Dark Side. I ordered a Kindle Fire HD. It arrives today.

    But I swear I am only going to use it for travelling! Honest!!!

    Meanwhile, I'm reading Mercedes Lackey's "Changes: Vol 3 of the Collegium Chronicles." It's pretty good, even if I can't figure out how old the main characters are supposed to be.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  8. #528
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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post

    Am also giving the recommended fairly recent new translation of Anna Karenina a try. So far I am not tempted to pitch it aside in disgust the way I have been with every attempt previously. I think I have enough reading for the next few weeks.
    Which new translation? The free one on amazon is pretty atrocious.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  9. #529
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaphyre14 View Post
    I have gone over to the Dark Side. I ordered a Kindle Fire HD. It arrives today.

    But I swear I am only going to use it for travelling! Honest!!!

    Meanwhile, I'm reading Mercedes Lackey's "Changes: Vol 3 of the Collegium Chronicles." It's pretty good, even if I can't figure out how old the main characters are supposed to be.
    Word of advice: don't be suckered in by all those free or cheap books. There's a reason they were free or cheap. And, you will. You'll get caught up in the moment.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  10. #530
    I <3 Kozuka
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Which new translation? The free one on amazon is pretty atrocious.
    The free one on amazon is by Constance Garnett. Growing up, hers were the only available translations for many of the Russian classics.

    I suspect emason is talking about the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation that's widely available because it was part of the Oprah Book Club. I loved it.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  11. #531
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    In that case, Constance Garnett's knowledge of Russian is rather inadequate for a translator, let alone, for a translation of Anna Karenina where archaic language is used.

    The new one sounds encouraging because it appears a native Russian and a native English speaker are involved.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  12. #532
    Bountifully Enmeshed
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    Word of advice: don't be suckered in by all those free or cheap books. There's a reason they were free or cheap. And, you will. You'll get caught up in the moment.
    Nonsense. Don't listen to her zaph, Shopping for bargain e-books is like shopping for any other bargain. You have to shop often, buy little, paw through a lot of stuff you don't want, and recognize that you are getting last year's models to find those occasional treasures.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  13. #533

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    The free one on amazon is by Constance Garnett. Growing up, hers were the only available translations for many of the Russian classics.

    I suspect emason is talking about the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation that's widely available because it was part of the Oprah Book Club. I loved it.
    Correct this is the one I meant; perhaps I should have said newish instead of new, because I think it came out in 2004. Anything has to be better than the Constance Garnett, which I have tried to read at least three times and never could get into.

  14. #534

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    Reviving this thread, since apparently everyone was too busy over the holidays to read, except me. But I've been on vacation with the new Kindle so that's my excuse. I had the time plus a new toy.

    Given my reluctance to spend "real" money on "virtual" books, my first two downloads were freebies: the audio version of Gabaldon's "An Echo in the Bone" and the e-print of James Patterson's "Cross Country." I liked the audio - the quality was good and, combined with my Bose Noise-cancelling headphones, it kept me well-entertained duirng my 7-hour flight to Europe. Reading the Patterson wasn't bad: I could adjust the text size and the clarity of the Fire's HD screen was easy on my eyes. That said, I disliked the book itself - taking Alex out of the country and getting him beaten up, kidnapped, and escaping-near-death multiple times while everyone around him is a double-or triple agent actually got boring. I was glad when I finished it.

    My next choice, however, was a 99-center that proved the "you get what you pay for" agage, "Breaking the Ice" by Maggie Bagget. I bought it at random because the blurb said one of the characters was a professional ice skater. Copyright date was 2008 so I was prepared for some anachronisms but nothing could have prepaered me for just how truly bad this book was. Beyond the obvious fact that the author plainly knew nothing more about ice skating than what she saw watching galas on Eurosport, there were issues with unlikeable characters, improbable settings, a totally unrealistic timeline and just plain poor writing. Did you know, for example that the past tense of "spin" is "span"? Or that pair skaters do lifts and throws with both partners blindfolded? Also apparently it only takes five people to run a Civic Center? Or that ice shows book into said Civic Center for open-ended runs that sell out every night for months on end? Oh, and over-coming panic attacks only takes some deep breathing and a glass of water? The only thing memorable about this book is that, if it was an actual paper book, it would belong at the top of "The Worst Skating Books Ever Written" list. Not only should I get my 99 cents back, I should have been paid a premium for actually reading the dreadful thing to the end.

    Back home, I finished Tasha Alexander's newest Lady Emily mystery "Death in the Floating City/" I was pretty good, althought the switching between the past and present stroies took something away from the characterization of Emily and Colin's relationship. The whole book is also littered with babies: who's pregnant and shouldn't be, who wants to be pregnant and isn't, who fathered whose baby, etc...

    I also have Alexamder McCall Smith's "44 Scotland Street" going on audio in the car.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  15. #535

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    zaphyre, that ice skating book sounds horrid. E-books can be such a crap-shoot. Some cheap e-books have good writing but a lot could use a professional editor asap! Glad you like your new toy though!

    I'm currently reading The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand. I like it. It's a contemporary romance set in Paris. It's a foodie romance and reading it makes me want chocolate, macaroons and tea. I'm half way through. I'm at the point where I really want the characters to just get together already. I read the first book in the series, The Chocolate Thief and enjoyed it. This second book is proving to be as enjoyable as the first.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  16. #536
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    I recently finished A Death in the Small Hours by Charles Finch and would dearly love the PBS Mystery or BBC to adapt the Charles Lennox series for television. I do love Victorian era mysteries and Finch always brings an interesting cast of characters to each mystery.

    almost finished with The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers and I do believe this novel might be a classic one day. I envy the author for his prose and skill at telling a story. But I don't envy what might have been a horrible experience for him in Iraq.

    I just started The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides and am having a hard time putting the book down.

    Finally I am a Tina Brown fan (I know many who dislike her.) I am reading The Diana Chronicles more for the way Tina writes than for Diana though I do feel for her. I like Brown's way of bringing in political and cultural history into this biography. I didn't want a cheesefest and I think Brown has mostly avoided that.

  17. #537

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    I recently picked up Slow Dissolve from this series at the library. Nothing earth-shattering, but I'd be willing to check out the beginning of the series, if I could find the books.

    Currently reading The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy.

  18. #538

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    I read a lot over the holidays but didn't post about any of them; let me try to remember.

    I decided to try John Grisham again after a number of years and read The Racketeers. I was not impressed, his writing has gotten a bit better but the ending was very predictable.

    I read The Castaways by Elin Hildebrand and LOVED it. Great characters, interesting situations, and I liked her method of storytelling.

    Also read The World Without You and liked it OK, but the tone was inconsistent.
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe.

  19. #539

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    I read three books over the break. All, uh, post-apocalyptic and two with zombies. Shocking, I know.

    The first was Flesh & Bone by Jonathan Mayberry, and it's the third book in a quartet (?). Pretty good (hey, rfisher, they find the plane! ), but the characters still do some really, really stupid things around the zombies that they really should know better to not do by now.

    Then I read Epitaph Road, in which a virus killed off 95% of all men. The book is set about 30 years after that event. Really interesting, could've been better executed, but it made me ponder how much hatred and destruction men really do bring about. Not all men, of course. But a lot of them.

    And finally, Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick. I did not know there would be zombies in this book, so that was a pleasant surprise. An EMP kills off most people between 25-65. Most people between 12-25 turn into zombies. A really compelling story, but apparently this is a series, because the fate of three main characters is up in the air at the end. Not that I expect zombies novels to wrap up cleanly, but damn. WARNING: Some of the scenes with the zombies were overly graphic, imo, and unnecessarily so. And I am not that squeamish.

  20. #540
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    I finally read The Book Thief Wow. That is an incredible book.

    For Christmas I got two of my favorite childhood books The Hatchet and Where the Red Fern Grows. I can't wait to reread them
    "Beautiful things don't ask for attention." -The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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