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  1. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I loved it when I read it in high school, but I'd have to refresh my memory before I could say anything intelligent about it now.
    Thanks for trying to answer.

  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michalle View Post
    What is it about Life of Pi's ending that people don't like (under spoiler bars, of course)? I have no interest in reading it but I'm curious about why the ending is so controversial. I tried to skim the end in the store but couldn't figure it out without the larger context of actually having read the book!
    I PMed you on this.

  3. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    I'm always amused at people who feel obligated to finish a book they don't like. The book police are not going to sweep down and arrest you. If I don't like it past the first chapter, out it goes. Too many other books out there to waste time on ones I don't like. I didn't even bother when I was in college. You can pretty much always get the info you needed for the class if you know how to skim.
    People read for different reasons. I am always amazed at people who assume that their standards are or should be the same as everyone else's when it comes to reading books.

    I read We Need To Talk About Kevin for several reasons, none of them having to do with seeking entertainment. The book was promoted as an award-winning and insightful look into what produces school shooters, which is why I started reading it, and I kept reading it because I couldn't believe anyone got anything at all about the psychology of school shooters out of the book. What I got from it is that the author thinks that smart, sophisticated women should never have children (or get married, either), as children will destroy everything good and worthwhile about them, and that the author is herself is a real piece of work, an impression reinforced by reading a couple of her interviews about the book.

    But maybe that's just me. People have mentioned the book here a few times, and I've always wanted to know what they think about it, but so far, no one has really said much.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I read We Need To Talk About Kevin for several reasons, none of them having to do with seeking entertainment. The book was promoted as an award-winning and insightful look into what produces school shooters, which is why I started reading it, and I kept reading it because I couldn't believe anyone got anything at all about the psychology of school shooters out of the book. What I got from it is that the author thinks that smart, sophisticated women should never have children (or get married, either), as children will destroy everything good and worthwhile about them, and that the author is herself is a real piece of work, an impression reinforced by reading a couple of her interviews about the book.
    I didn't get that, either from the book or from the movie. I certainly wouldn't say that this book, or any book, that presents an individual story is meant to be interpreted as "all similar cases will turn out this way."

    I saw it more as being a question asked rather than answered. Was Kevin

    Spoiler

    Deep psychological insight? No. But thought-provoking questions? Absolutely.

    Did Shriver's own personal circumstances, views, and choices affect the book? Of course. As do any author's. But nowhere do I interpret that as a broader indictment of marriage or motherhood.

  5. #145

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    I'm peeking at Barbara Cleverly's "Bright Hair About The Bone" a historical mystery set in Burgundy, France. It opens with a funeral which could be a little more depressing than I'd like at this moment but the writing is descriptive and flowing, so I'll plunge on and see where it gets me.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    I certainly wouldn't say that this book, or any book, that presents an individual story is meant to be interpreted as "all similar cases will turn out this way."
    Um, I don't either. I don't think the story has anything at all to do with the purported plot, so.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    I saw it more as being a question asked rather than answered. Was Kevin

    Spoiler

    Deep psychological insight? No. But thought-provoking questions? Absolutely.
    I got that that's what Shriver was going for, but I didn't get that at all because

    Spoiler



    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    Did Shriver's own personal circumstances, views, and choices affect the book? Of course. As do any author's.
    Yes, I do grasp that. But it isn't her personal circumstances that make me think she's a piece of work. It is, instead, her reactions to criticism of the book, particularly criticisms along the lines of what I said above, that make me think so.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post
    I'm interested in opinions anyone might have about Ursula K. LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness. I am about to start it, in part because a friend just read it for a class, and I can't discuss it with her until I read it. My friend HATED it and cannot understand why in the world it got the Hugo and the Nebula.

    Whether you liked it or disliked it, I would like to know why. Thanks in advance for any replies.
    All I know is that I loved it when I read it but that was thirty years ago. And I don't remember it at all, but the fact that I remember I loved it counts for something.

    Since Prancer told me I should add my preferences I want to say that if you like social realism novels, Capital by John Lanchester was the best book of its kind I read this year. I used up my whole Nook charge reading it cover to cover...it takes place in modern-day London.

    (There, I have fulfilled my duty to Lady Prancer. I think.)
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  8. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Yes, I do grasp that. But it isn't her personal circumstances that make me think she's a piece of work. It is, instead, her reactions to criticism of the book, particularly criticisms along the lines of what I said above, that make me think so.
    Well, I haven't read any of said reactions, so can't comment there. The only interview I've seen with her was on the DVD, and she came across there as very matter-of-fact: this is how I came up with the idea, this is how it came about. No attempt to pretend to be more than that.

    I haven't done any more "research" into the book, the author, or the issue, so I'll bow to your superiour knowledge there. I was just reacting on face value to both the book and the movie.

  9. #149
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    I'm doing a happy dance: Just spotted that there's a new Ian Rankin coming out in November ... and it will be a Rebus book! I do like his new protagonist, Fox, but miss Rebus. And it looks like this new book will have both of them.

    Standing in Another Man's Grave, out on Nov 6.

  10. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    I'm always amused at people who feel obligated to finish a book they don't like. The book police are not going to sweep down and arrest you. If I don't like it past the first chapter, out it goes. Too many other books out there to waste time on ones I don't like. I didn't even bother when I was in college. You can pretty much always get the info you needed for the class if you know how to skim.
    I always try to finish books I start. Maybe it's idealistic but I always figure that there's something I can take away from it. I read the Twilight series despite wanting to throw them all into a fire because I was working with a bunch of girls who were all reading them and I wanted to be able to participate in their discussions. Also, I just really really hate not finishing things I start. And I'm kind of a masochist
    "Beautiful things don't ask for attention." -The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

  11. #151
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    I just finished Gone Girl and I don't want to throw the book across the room. It actually ended basically how I expected it to once I decided my first theories on how it would end were wrong. I think the ending isn't surprising at all though that could be because I had heard grumblings about it so

    Spoiler



    I suppose that's good in a way, not being surprised by the ending, but I also think it affected my enjoyment of the novel a bit because I spent most of the novel trying to figure out how it ended and I don't like doing that. I like to be surprised by endings (at least endings of mystery novels).

    Adding this down here instead of editing above because I'm on my phone. I think the ending wasn't surprising based on what happened when

    Spoiler

    Roll Tide, y'all!

  12. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    No attempt to pretend to be more than that.
    And maybe she didn't intend it to be more than that. That's just how I read it.

    One thing she has said is that people obviously read the book very differently, so she considers it a success even if people don't see it as she intended it be seen. And from what I have seen, people DO read the book very differently and get completely different things from it, which I think is interesting.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  13. #153

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    I've got to read Homer's The Oddyssey and Virgil's The Aeneid in the next 12 weeks for a course on Roman and Greek Myth. I can't actually remember even reading them, but I know I did...I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to it or not!

  14. #154
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    lol, i know i read them because i have the books and they say "mlp rm 12" in the front, but i have no recollection reading them
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  15. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    I've got to read Homer's The Oddyssey and Virgil's The Aeneid in the next 12 weeks for a course on Roman and Greek Myth. I can't actually remember even reading them, but I know I did...I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to it or not!
    Coursera by any chance? I am reading them also. I read The Aeneid in Latin class, but have not read The Odyssey.

  16. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    I hope that feeling carries with you for the full book. I really loved the first 4/5 or so of the book, had a lot of the same feelings about it as you ... but hated, hated, hated the ending. So much so that I spoiled my enjoyment of everything that came before it. I know a lot of people found the ending profound, but for me it was just manipulative.

    I have had wondered if I gave it a raw deal though. Since the movie is coming out soon, I might re-read the book afterward. But then again ... I might not. Esp. since I had pretty much the same reaction to his more recent book, Beatrice and Virgil.
    I loved the Life of Pi, but I know what you mean about feeling manipulated by the ending. But I HATED Beatrice and Virgil. Enough that I don't want to read any more of that author.

  17. #157

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    The ending of the Life of Pi, pretty well soured me on reading anything else by Yann Martel. Maybe I'll change my mind down the road, maybe not too. And I know I won't be watching the movie.

  18. #158

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    Urban fantasy recommendations

    The past couple of years have become a fan of urban fantasy - romance or dramatic. I have read everything in my favorite series, and it will be a while before new books are available, so I am looking for something new to read.

    These are the stuff I read:
    Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, love it.
    Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series (love, love this - found it accidentally in an airport shop)
    Iliona Andrew's Kate Daniel's series, really like this
    Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series, sort of like this. I love the world, the writing is not always great (and I find the smut parts boring , I don't normally)

    I have tried reading Anita Blake, but I got stuck.
    I have downloaded samples of Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse and Seanan McGuire's October Daye books.
    I'm not really sure what to think of them - any good?

    Any recommendations in this vein?

    I also enjoy traditional fantasy, but I find it hard to find something good. Last I read some Brent Weeks, I enjoyed that.
    Have some good favorite fantasy authors?

  19. #159
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    The first 5 Anita Blake books are pretty good (first is really good). After that, she had a "personal revolution", divorced her husband and embraced sex (her description) and the books turned into porn with no more mystery.

    I've read all the Sookie books and, while some books better than others, the series is fun and reflects the northern LA, southern AR region CH lives. Or it does to me. If you aren't from that area the references to Wal-Mart and the Piggly Wiggly might be lost.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  20. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by galaxygirl View Post
    I just finished Gone Girl and I don't want to throw the book across the room. It actually ended basically how I expected it to once I decided my first theories on how it would end were wrong. I think the ending isn't surprising at all though that could be because I had heard grumblings about it so

    Spoiler

    I was pissed off at the ending too especially since the book was so readable. Talk about unreliable narrators, the twists and turns of who is saying what and for what purpose was ingenious. Which made the ending that much more disappointing but there IS room for a sequel, right?
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

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