it's definitely not the Coupland book!
Q: Why can't I read the competition threads?
A: Competition forums on the board are available to those with a Season Pass or a premium membership How to View Kiss & Cry
Just finished The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro & I would recommend it. It's about a young woman who is a talented artist but currently persona non grata of the art world due to a previous incident with one of her professors. She agrees to copy a Degas painting from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - one of the paintings stolen in 1990 during the famous theft that was front page news. Part of the deal is the return of the original painting to the museum & a one woman show for her with a well known contemporary gallery. Baking layers of paint with formaldehyde in an industrial oven in the loft - what more could you ask for?
Now I'm reading The Night Strangers - a ghost story by Chris Bohjalian. Can't read this one late at night. I've read several of his, starting with Midwives (also recommended).
I posted about this elsewhere, but I think this a better thread for it--has anyone been following the "sock puppet author scandal"?
The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy
Fake Reviews: Amazon's Rotten Core
The Author and the Sock Puppet
Amazon Tackles Review Problem, Deletes Wrong Reviews--I know some people have wondered about Harriet Klausner and her many reviews. Her secret has been outed and it's mentioned in this link.
I have never found customer reviews to be all that persuasive because reading tastes are so personal, but I do tend to scan book reviews if there are a lot of them.
“In the hour of adversity, be not without hope; for crystal rain falls from black clouds.”.
I read online book reviews the same way that I read restaurant and hotels reviews: for something in them, usually a detail, that specifically resonates in a strong positive or negative way, ignoring the rest and ignoring people who expect something unrealistic for the genre or what they're paying. For example, if someone mentions mold in the bathroom or thin walls, I'm , but if someone sounds like a because it took them eight minutes to checkout at the exact check-out time in a big hotel, or if the car valet service is slow or the restaurant not kid-friendly, these are irrelevant to me most of the time (although it's good to be reminded to check out earlier). Likewise, if someone expects Tolstoy in romance novel, that person's opinion isn't relevant, or if the main praise is for lavish descriptions of scenery or long discussions of period clothing, I know the book is not for me, but understand it's perfect for someone else. I'm always happy to know that a book, hotel, restaurant, play, etc. is not for me before I spend time or money on it.
A college friend who did some great short story and academic writing and book criticism back in the day has finally published her first novel, after releasing an excerpt on amazon, which I liked a lot. I thought it was funny after I bought the eBook, I was invited by amazon to write a review and found that the first reviews are from her husband, sister-in-law, and a mutual college friend.
Last edited by kwanfan1818; 02-02-2013 at 09:42 PM.
"This, after all, is opera, opera in New York, not some dainty pastime like professional hockey..." -- Chip Brown, NYT Magazine 24 Mar 13
The reviews that drive me nuts are the ones that are no more than plot synopses. I can get that info elsewhere for heaven's sake - what I want are clues as to what it's like to actually read the book. Don't get me started on people who give a book one star and say it's terrible and then go on to say they didn't read past the first few pages.
Back when I actually dated, I was talking to a guy from Eharmony who was a self published author. So, being me, I looked up his books on Amazon. The reviews were obviously fake - "The next John Grisham" "The best book I've ever read" "This author is a superstar". When I stopped laughing, I googled his name. He actually had been sued by a book company for lifting their ISBN numbers to inflate his sales. Never understood how he did it, but I found it insane.
And back to books - I'm now reading "Knife Cut", it's about a surgeon and a 16 year old patient who hangs herself in the shower. It promises a gut wrenching twist. So far, it's an interesting character study.
Not sure if anyone's into very deep history or Freud, but I found this link on Amazon - all Acheron Press is free - not sure how long it'll last: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_1?...qid=1359839531
I'm still reading Angela's Ashes. I'm not quite half way through, and I started on September 30th. I think this is the longest it's ever taken me to finish a book. No one I know hasn't enjoyed this book, and I just can't see why, I'm just not loving the writing style at all, and it's hard to get past.
Angelskates, I read Angela's Ashes when it was first published. I thought it was well written, but the most depressing thing I'd ever read. Several years later I went to an author reading with Frank McCourt and his brother Malachy. Malachy read first and had the audience in stitches. I'd expected that after reading his book. What I didn't expect was Frank having us laughing as well. I'd totally missed the humor in "Angela's Ashes". If you listen to the audiobook it's like a totally different animal than the printed version.
Christoph Niemann, Abstract City. Compilation of "doodle blogs" that he did for the NYT. Hilarious stuff, as well as an interesting epilogue in which he talks about his creative process.
BARK LESS. WAG MORE.
I'm such a book geek! My favorite author just answered a comment I posted on his facebook page and I'm all and
I finished Room on the plane ride to Thailand, and I really, really liked it. It was really well-done for a very tough concept. Hats off to Ms. Donoghue. I'll have to check out her other stuff.
Started Gillian Flynn's second book, Dark Places, which so far is, IMO, clearly the worst of her three books but we'll see. It's trying way too hard.
I have two books going right now - Patterns on the Sand by Gamel Woolsey, and Irène Némirovsky's Le Vin de solitude. I really like Woolsey's prose style - she was primarily a poet and it really is a shame that she wrote only two novels, neither of which was published during her lifetime. As for Némirovsky, I think she had issues with her mother. The mother in Le Bal was regrettable; Jézabel was a monster; Bella in this novel is not off to a good start. But it's Némirovsky, so I'm intrigued.
"...some people are moulded by their admiration, others by their hostilities.”
― Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart
I needed a change of pace from the rather intense/grim stuff I've been reading lately so I picked up Jayne Castle's (aka Jane Anne Krentz) "The Lost Night" and am whipping through it. It's another in her Harmony SF series with ties to Kentz's Arcane saga, set on a planet where the colonist have developed psi talents in order to co-exist with the rements of a previous Alien civilization. I like Castle's world-building, even it seems an awful lot like a transplanted Washington State coast. I love the "dust bunnies" - fluff-ball pets with fetishes for glittery purses and Barbie-doll figures. Her characters do tend to be one-dimensional though - evil is Truly Evil and good is Heavenly Good. But it's light and fluffly and fun to visit.
"Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Look to tomorrow. Rest this afternoon." Charles Schultz
I finished Barabara Kingsolver's latest, Flight Behaviour. It's not my all-time favourite of her books, but I enjoyed it very much. I particularly liked the protagonist's growth over the course of the novel.
Slightly OT... I went to Powell's bookstore in Portland last weekend and was so overwhelmed! Besides a endless sea of books, the place was jammed with people. (Loved the books, hated the crowds.) I found one space that did not have anyone else in it, pulled down a book, and it was on "how to make a whip". I read about the finer points of braiding leather for 15-20 minuets until I could again venture back out in the mass of humanity. What a place! Next time I go there, it will be a weekday morning instead of a weekend.
Okay, so, Dark Places sucked me in shortly after the previous post. It's far and away the grisliest of her books though. And if you've ever considered reading it, there's a pretty graphic animal torture scene that had me squicked out, and I don't normally get very squicked over that sort of thing. Plus the murders at the center of the book are pretty horrific and are described in detail more than once.
The growth of the main character was done slowly and believably, and I appreciated most of the supporting characters, even if they were terrible people. The ending made sense and was a heck of a lot more satisfying than either Gone Girl or Sharp Objects, IMO. Significantly so. It's interesting to be able to see how much she grew as a writer between each book, as well.