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  1. #501
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin View Post
    Aw crap...that's the next book that my book club is reading. I may have to question my choice of book club because so far my reaction to every book I've read for it has been "meh". I might stay being a member but maybe make the decision on a month-by-month basis as to whether I'll actually read the book. If September gets busy, I'll give this one a pass.
    It's a very quick read, it definitely won't be taxing. I would actually be interested to hear what someone else thinks about that book.
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  2. #502
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    I'm starting to question my book-choosing skills. I just got another disappointment, although this one I'll finish. It's a YA novel called 13 Reasons Why, and the concept is very interesting - several months after the suicide of a teenaged girl, one of her classmates receives a mysterious package full of cassette tapes she recorded detailing why she chose to kill herself. Each person who receives the tapes played some sort of role (many unknowingly) in her decision. Unfortunately, the writing is mediocre, and the book is as subtle and nuanced as an ABC Afterschool Special. I'm only halfway through, and I get it, I get it! We all need to be kinder to each other! Rumors are bad! Not saying goodbye to the girl who sits behind you could ruin her day! I should have known it was nothing more than a Story With A Message....the first couple of pages are accolades by (apparently) teenagers, saying things like "this book literally changed my life". Plus, it needs a continuity editor, stat. The majority of the plot unfolds in the past, and the timeline is a bit questionable
    I think YA tends to have obvious messages; it's one of the things, IMO, that obviously sets it apart.

    I see there is a new genre called New Adult now that is supposed to bridge the gap between YA and Adult. I haven't read any of it yet, but have been wondering if there is more moral ambiguity or just more sex :p. From what I've seen, I'm thinking there's just more sex.

    ETA: Since you want to know what other people think, I read 13 Reasons Why and was rather meh about it--but thought that it was a very good book for the YA market. I could see my daughter and her friends reading it and finding it powerful and meaningful. I don't remember noticing any continuity errors and I thought the book was well-written for the genre. *shrug*

    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    Going back to "classics", I recently watched the film Infamous, about Truman Capote during the time he was writing In Cold Blood. I've never read In Cold Blood, but now I'm interested. Thoughts from those who've read it?
    In Cold Blood is an excellent book and one that is important in both the True Crime and New Journalism genres (if you like either of those, ICB is one of the greats); just be aware that Capote's insistence that it is all absolutely true is a weeeeeeee bit false.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  3. #503
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I think YA tends to have obvious messages; it's one of the things, IMO, that obviously sets it apart.
    I think I have been a bit spoiled by many of the YA books/series that skew a bit to the "adult" part of Young Adult. This is far more of a Tween book, I think.

    In Cold Blood is an excellent book and one that is important in both the True Crime and New Journalism genres (if you like either of those, ICB is one of the greats); just be aware that Capote's insistence that it is all absolutely true is a weeeeeeee bit false.
    I thought the film did a pretty good job of preparing me for the elasticity of Capote's truths
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  4. #504
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    I think I have been a bit spoiled by many of the YA books/series that skew a bit to the "adult" part of Young Adult. This is far more of a Tween book, I think.
    I don't.

    But you're only halfway through it, right? I'm not sure you've gone far enough into it to know why Hannah killed herself yet. There's more to it than just rumors and small unkindnesses. It's also about the responsibility you bear for doing nothing when you could do something. The rumors and small unkindnesses play a role, but there is a context for them that I don't think you've gotten to yet.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  5. #505
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    Going back to "classics", I recently watched the film Infamous, about Truman Capote during the time he was writing In Cold Blood. I've never read In Cold Blood, but now I'm interested. Thoughts from those who've read it?
    I'm different than others. In Cold Blood is one of the two or three books I stopped reading after about 50-100 pages. i thought it was revolting. I will refuse to ever consider it again. My 2 cents.

  6. #506

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    Wandering into the book thread

    What a fascinating read in itself!

    A couple of weeks ago I read "The God of Small Things" http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9...f_Small_Things
    It truly is worth its Booker prize. So much depth, and it held my attention until the very end.


    On a "lighter" note, I'm currently reading "Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death" by James Runcie. It's a nice read (short murder mysteries) but I think I'd enjoy it much more if it weren't about an Anglican priest - the author clearly has absolutely no understand of either the Christian faith or Anglicanism. The priest's habits and beliefs appear to be more in line with Catholicism, and his spiritual musings don't ring true.
    It's a shame because there's a lot of potential - the atmosphere is great and the stories hang together.

  7. #507
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    But you're only halfway through it, right? I'm not sure you've gone far enough into it to know why Hannah killed herself yet. There's more to it than just rumors and small unkindnesses. It's also about the responsibility you bear for doing nothing when you could do something.
    yes, a little over halfway so far - and the message of doing nothing has been introduced.

    I do hope that it will turn around by the end (as much as a book where you go into it knowing someone kills themself can turn around, anyway).

    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.Black View Post
    I'm different than other. In Cold Blood is one of the two or three books I stopped reading after about 50-100 pages. I hated it. I will refuse to ever consider it again. My 2 cents.
    well, alrighty then!

    there are some other books that are considered classics that I somehow didn't read in school, and sometimes I go back and can't slog through them - because they just remind me of school even though they were never assigned to me. Huckleberry Finn is one - I bought it a few years ago and only got a third of the way through because I was a bit bored

    Re: Steinbeck - I had to read The Grapes of Wrath between 10th & 11th grade and turn in a journal at the end of the summer. The previous year i'd switched to this new school, they expected me to read the drop dead boring Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I balked and tried to BS my way through it and got a D in English for the first time in my life (just the 1st quarter). So I took this summer reading VERY seriously and documented my thoughts on TGOW in a very detailed manner. I actually enjoyed the book, but I was enraged by the ending. My teacher handed my journal back to me asking why - saying it had been a very controversial ending. I can guess why that was, but I just really hated the character of

    Spoiler

    .

    I wonder if I still have that journal
    Q: Why can't I read the competition threads?
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  8. #508
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    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post
    A couple of weeks ago I read "The God of Small Things" http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9...f_Small_Things
    It truly is worth its Booker prize. So much depth, and it held my attention until the very end.
    Is this your first time in the book threads? Well, if so, welcome, book lover!

    The God of Small Things is one of my favourite books of all time. There have been many Booker winners that I've tried to read, or managed to read but couldn't get on board with all the hype. The God of Small Things is the exception to prove the rule. Once I stopped fighting the unusual narrative style, I just let the book carry me along. It was an incredible journey.

    BTW, her non-fiction is also well worth reading, esp. Walking with the Comrades.

  9. #509

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    Is this your first time in the book threads? Well, if so, welcome, book lover!

    The God of Small Things is one of my favourite books of all time. There have been many Booker winners that I've tried to read, or managed to read but couldn't get on board with all the hype. The God of Small Things is the exception to prove the rule. Once I stopped fighting the unusual narrative style, I just let the book carry me along. It was an incredible journey.

    BTW, her non-fiction is also well worth reading, esp. Walking with the Comrades.
    Yes it is! At least in a few years can't remember having ventured into here before. Thanks for the recommendation...

  10. #510
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    Five Things You Need to Know About Dating a Book Nerd

    Number four cracked me up:

    4. Want to get a book nerd’s attention? Try sexting: Snapchat a picture of the book you’re reading, with a steaming cup of coffee near it but not too near it on a flat, stable surface. Oh, baby… It’s so hot how you respect the printed page and always take care with liquids.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  11. #511
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  12. #512
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post

    Going back to "classics", I recently watched the film Infamous, about Truman Capote during the time he was writing In Cold Blood. I've never read In Cold Blood, but now I'm interested. Thoughts from those who've read it?
    Another pitch for In Cold Blood. Excellent writing, blood chilling experience.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    For all the "Wolf Hall" and "bringing Up The Bodies Fans"....here is some news from Great Britain. Exciting!

    http://madameguillotine.org.uk/2013/...s-rsc-casting/

    I really love Madam Guillotine. Read this blog all the time. Anyone who loves literature, history, art history and especially Jack the Ripper might enjoy checking in on her.

  14. #514

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    New Book Thread because somebody' has got to do it

    I just finished The Rosie Project and really enjoyed it. It was one of my favourites of the summer.

    I read half of Reading Lolita in Tehran and was exceedingly disappointed in it. It was a gift from someone whose taste I respect, but I didn't want to read it before reading the major novels included (e.g., Lolita and The Great Gatsby), but having homework for recreational reading felt too daunting. My book club decided to read it, so I went against my instincts. Oops. I put it down after a major Great Gatsby spoiler. So frustrating. At least the discussions here about Gatsby had almost convinced me to remove it from my lifetime "to read" list, anyway.

    Overall, I felt like I was missing a lot of nuance because of my unfamiliarity with the work. I guess I was hoping for something more like Nelofer Pazira's A Bed of Red Roses (memoir about living in Afghanistan during and after the 1979 invasion).

    I also loved The God of Small Things, and I even read it for a class, so it had that "ugh, homework" feeling going against it. The other book from that class that I'll never forget is Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh. My confession is that I found Midnight's Children to be rather meh.

    On a completely different note, my new guilty pleasure is Jana Deleon, thanks to Bookbub. I've finished all her non Harlequin books and am now facing the dilemma of going for those ones at $5 each. Why can't my library buy them? Sniffle.

  15. #515
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    I read somewhere that Fighting Pax, the final book in the Dancing Jax trilogy, was coming out in August, but there's no sign of an actual release date yet. I wanna know what happeeeens!

    The first two books are like Harry Potter mixed with the Narnia books, seasoned with Stephen King's It. They're spellbinding, funny, dark, and - especially during one harrowing scene in the second book - quite horrific at times. Many of the characters start out as annoying, but they're all very human (one is even a Whovian!), and before you know it you'll find yourself really rooting for them. And there isn't an overabundance of romantic drama, which in my book is a plus.

  16. #516
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    I just started MaddAddam, the third book in Margaret Atwood's Orxy & Crake trilogy. I finally got around to reading the second book, The Year of the Flood, just last month, in prep for this one coming out. Glad I did so recently. While Year of the Flood takes place in the same universe as Oryx and Crake, it's not at all necessary to have read O&C to "get" Year of the Flood. However, since MaddAddam picks up immediately at the same time, place, and character POV where YotF left off, it seems fairly important to have read YotF. (Although MaddAddam does begin with a recap of both the previous books.)

    BTW, although it was quite a while ago that I read Oryx & Crake, I remember thinking it was clever, but not particularly loving it. Year of the Flood, oth, I really enjoyed. Probably because the characters were more engaging. That might be because of their context in relation to the story ... or it might be because they're women. Atwood does best with female characters, imo.

  17. #517
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    Anyone read The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared? I was recommended this by someone who is supposed to be familiar with my taste. However, I've been burned before. I've lost quite a bit of respect for someone who had recommended Ayn Rand to me. I've related the incident before but I was young, naive and trusting and bought the book based on the recommendation. I found myself gagging on page 2 and sold it on amazon. She. Can't. Write.

    I fit just about perfectly into the book nerd type from Prancer's link.

    Anyway, any feedback on the 100 year old man? Thanks!

    Oh and I am reading Proust's Remembrance of Things Past/In Search of Lost Time. It took some getting used to but now I am into it and really like it. Has anyone read it?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  18. #518

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Anyone read The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared? I was recommended this by someone who is supposed to be familiar with my taste. However, I've been burned before. I've lost quite a bit of respect for someone who recommended Ayn Rand to me. I fit just about perfectly into the reading nerd type from Prancer's link.

    Anyway, any feedback? Thanks!
    I read it for my book club a few months ago and was unimpressed - actually, nobody in my book club liked it very much (though I know people who did), and I think a couple of my friends have reading tastes that are closer to yours. Basically it's Forrest Gump if Forrest had been a sociopath; for that matter, every character in that book just seemed to have no emotional depth whatsoever. Which was probably done on purpose, and it was entertaining at first, but eventually I just got tired of the whole thing.

    If anyone here orders from Kobo, they have a promo code for 50% off (one-time only): B2S50. I used it earlier today to buy something by a new-to-me romantic suspense author.

  19. #519
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    It had its moments. I quite liked the present-day storyline, even if the characters were cartoonish -- the dry humour and absurdity of it all still tickled me, and I enjoyed the ride.

    The flashback chapters, though, I found tedious. The Gumplike quality just didn't work for me.

    It is, however, pretty easy to skip those bits.

  20. #520
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    The 100-Year Old Man is going to be made into a film here in Sweden. I haven't read it, but IIRC it's topped the bestseller list here, so perhaps it works better in its original language?

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