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  1. #721
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    I like WW2 fiction, sweeping multi-generational epic novels that they don't write anymore. I used to read the ones my parents had.

    Ever tried "Sobibor" by Michael Lev or "Winds of War" by Herman Wouk? Lev has a fascinating story of his own to tell. He was captured by the Germans at the beginning of the war, but his life was spared when his CO lied when asked by the Nazis if he had any Jews in his unit. He later escaped and joined the partisans. I do not know his other works but this book is worth a look by anyone interested n WW2.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sobibor-Michael-Lev/dp/965229408X

  2. #722

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    There's also the Ken Follett century trilogy. Only the first two books are out so far. The first book (pre-WW1 to post-WW1) was OK. I heard the second book (WW2) was better than the first. They're definitely multi-generational sweeping novels.
    Creating drama!

  3. #723
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffisjeff View Post
    There's also the Ken Follett century trilogy. Only the first two books are out so far. The first book (pre-WW1 to post-WW1) was OK. I heard the second book (WW2) was better than the first. They're definitely multi-generational sweeping novels.

    I am of the opposite opinion I am afraid. The first book was pretty good but the second was disappointing. It had very little of the War in it and an insane amount of coincidences plus I found it hard to care for any of the characters.

  4. #724
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    Just finished "The Painted Girls". Story of the girl who was the model for "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" by Degas. LOVED! I've been googling trying to find out what really happened to the sisters. The author gave them a made up ending. I'm not into ballet, and am not a fan of novels in that time period, but it was really good (although I did want to slap the older sister a lot). :shuufle:

  5. #725

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    I am of the opposite opinion I am afraid. The first book was pretty good but the second was disappointing. It had very little of the War in it and an insane amount of coincidences plus I found it hard to care for any of the characters.
    Hmm, thanks. I guess the 2nd book is moving lower on my to-read list.
    Creating drama!

  6. #726
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    Last night I finished Exiles by Ron Hansen. It's about Gerard Manley Hopkins writing The Wreck of the Deutschland, and is told in two parts that switch every so often. One focuses solely on Hopkins' life after he learns about the wreck, and the long period of time it took him to write the poem, as well as his life as a Jesuit priest and how the Jesuit society kind of mistreated him (though Hansen himself is a devout Catholic, though not a Jesuit, so it's never too accusatory). The other part tells the life stories of the 5 Franciscan nuns who died on the Deutschland, as well as relating the story of the shipwreck itself, in very vivid, sometime very horrifying detail. The book is a blend of fiction and nonfiction; while a lot is known about Hopkins, almost nothing is known about the nuns, and I'm sure he filled in details on the shipwreck. I don't know if its because of that, but I found the tale of the shipwreck and the nuns much more interesting than the stuff about Hopkins. I also really like shipwrecks though, so that might account for it as well. The prose isn't quite as achingly gorgeous as in Hansen's Mariette in Ecstaty, but I definitely think that you are at all interested in Catholicism, shipwrecks, or the poetry of Hopkins, it's well worth reading. (Though I was a little afraid the descriptions of the shipwreck would give me a nightmare when I finished reading it last night. They did not, but some seriously unpretty stuff.)

  7. #727
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    I feel like I haven't posted on FSU in forever, but leave it to the book thread to bring me back.

    I am more than half-way through Gone Girl and I would like to kick every singe character down a flight of stairs. Can anyone give me a good reason to finish this book
    I read Gone Girl too and honestly halfway through I started skipping over whole pages. Amy was awful and I hated the ending. I read one of Flynn's other books called Sharp Objects and liked it a lot better. The characters were still majorly screwed up but it helped that it was told through one point of view and not with a false narrative.

    I am currently reading Immoral by Brian Freeman and like it so far. It reminds me a lot of Sandford's Prey series so I guess that is why. I love them. Too bad about the awful tv movies.
    Last edited by Clytie; 03-02-2013 at 08:15 PM.

  8. #728
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Ever tried "Sobibor" by Michael Lev or "Winds of War" by Herman Wouk? Lev has a fascinating story of his own to tell. He was captured by the Germans at the beginning of the war, but his life was spared when his CO lied when asked by the Nazis if he had any Jews in his unit. He later escaped and joined the partisans. I do not know his other works but this book is worth a look by anyone interested n WW2.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sobibor-Michael-Lev/dp/965229408X
    Escape from Sobibor is $2.99 at Amazon today. I think I might buy it...

  9. #729

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    As usual, Willa Cather does not disappoint. A missed train to or from work just means another 15 or 20 minutes to soak up a couple more chapters of her fabulous prose.

    Tonight I bought She Partner a birthday present, the Library of America two volume set of noir novels of the 30's - 50's. She likes crime novels, and she's also expressed an interest in the classics, so I thought I'd combine the two for her.
    My job requires me to be a juggler, but that does not mean that I enjoy working with clowns.

  10. #730
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    I started reading The Book Thief last night and I'm a little over halfway done already; couldn't put it down! I had to drag myself away to come write my lesson plans.

  11. #731
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    Finished To Marry An English Lord. Fans of Downton Abbey, check it out! After Consuelo Marlborough married a man half her age (causing lots of and , an aristocratic English lady in her 80s was asked what she did on her walks in Hyde Park. Her answer: looking in perambulators for my future husband. That's SO Lady Violet!

    Reading The Human Stain by Philip Roth. So happy for the tightly packed prose!
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  12. #732
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbell1 View Post
    Just finished "The Snow Child". I really wanted to love this book. Instead I only mildly liked it and am irritated at parts of it. I also hate when authors don't use quotation marks in books.
    This is next on my list after I've got through re-reading Moby Dick. I was given it as a birthday present and so feel somewhat bound to read it but the people I know who have made it through to the end weren't especially smitten. Since, as you say, it doesn't use quotation marks I imagine that's going to irk me deeply.
    I hear outside a million panicking birds, and know even out there comfort is done with; it has shattered even the stars, this creature at last come home to me.

  13. #733
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    Barnes and Noble's Discover Great New Writers Winners

    I've heard good things about A Good American and The Day My Brain Exploded and very mixed things about Wild.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  14. #734
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    I am of the opposite opinion I am afraid. The first book was pretty good but the second was disappointing. It had very little of the War in it and an insane amount of coincidences plus I found it hard to care for any of the characters.
    After the colossal disappointment of World Without End (aka Book Without End) I vowed to never waste any more time on another Follett "epic." If he writes any more snappy espionage thrillers I'll give them a go, but no more multi-generational sagas please.

  15. #735
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    I enjoyed Follett's two smaller novels - Paper Money and The Modigliani Scandal. Of the latter, I do enjoy art theft stories, so it was fun.

  16. #736
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    ^ He's written a gazillion short thriller/suspense/mystery/spy novels. They were his bread and butter for the longest time, until he published Pillars of the Earth in the 80s (at the time, quite a departure for him). Some of his "classics" (if you can call them that) still stand the test of time, like The Eye of the Needle and The Key to Rebecca. A more recent one I liked was Jackdaws, about female undercover agents in France.

  17. #737
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    Last night I finished Exiles by Ron Hansen. It's about Gerard Manley Hopkins writing The Wreck of the Deutschland, and is told in two parts that switch every so often. One focuses solely on Hopkins' life after he learns about the wreck, and the long period of time it took him to write the poem, as well as his life as a Jesuit priest and how the Jesuit society kind of mistreated him (though Hansen himself is a devout Catholic, though not a Jesuit, so it's never too accusatory). The other part tells the life stories of the 5 Franciscan nuns who died on the Deutschland, as well as relating the story of the shipwreck itself, in very vivid, sometime very horrifying detail. The book is a blend of fiction and nonfiction; while a lot is known about Hopkins, almost nothing is known about the nuns, and I'm sure he filled in details on the shipwreck. I don't know if its because of that, but I found the tale of the shipwreck and the nuns much more interesting than the stuff about Hopkins. I also really like shipwrecks though, so that might account for it as well. The prose isn't quite as achingly gorgeous as in Hansen's Mariette in Ecstaty, but I definitely think that you are at all interested in Catholicism, shipwrecks, or the poetry of Hopkins, it's well worth reading. (Though I was a little afraid the descriptions of the shipwreck would give me a nightmare when I finished reading it last night. They did not, but some seriously unpretty stuff.)
    Thank you for reminding us about this book. I heard about it, wanted to read it and forgot about it until your review. I'll make sure it is added to my list--it sounds unique.

  18. #738

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    I finished CivilWarLand in Bad Decline last week. I've decided I just don't get George Saunders, and that's OK. Other people can find him filled with hilarity and deep insight, and I just want to smack the insufferable out of him.

    In a total opposite direction, I picked up Ella Minnow Pea. It's very Whimsy By the Numbers (with a side of trying way too hard), but it doesn't irk me quite as bad as Saunders. There are some cute ideas in it, but the whole premise is just too twee and too expected in reaction. It's all in letters (it gets compared to the Guernsey Sweet Potato Pie book in reviews, but don't believe it. This is a better written book, but not half as good) between people who have names like Muttie Tassie and Tuffie and they're all so similar in personality and voice it's hard to tell them apart. The book is about an island nation off the coast of the American south whose inhabitants practically worship the guy that came up with the phrase "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." One by one, the letters start falling off his monument, and the town council decides Nollop is speaking from the grave, telling them not to use certain letters. "Hillarity" ensues as the book tries to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up--read by the cozy cat mystery set? Biting satire? Comment on technology and language in our times? Big muddled mess?

    I need to find a book that just has a simple, well-written plot line. It does not have to be unique or new or insightful, it just has to be well-written with a decent plot and semi-believable characters (all of whom are alive and don't turn into something rabid at the full moon). Is that really too much to ask?
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  19. #739
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    Mariette in Ecstasy is short, beautifully written, has a simple plotline, and believable, living characters.

  20. #740

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    I just finished Death Will Get You Sober by Elizabeth Zelvin. A fairly light traditional mystery about death at a detox.

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