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  1. #141
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    Finished Cane River last night. It was an interesting read that shed a lot of light on the racial structure of Louisiana from the 1850s to the early 1920s.

    Originally I think I was going to read Divergent next but I have a shelf of books that I bought when Borders went out of business that I'd like to get through first. So, in keeping with my historical fiction rooted in fact trend, my next read is going to be Empress Orchid by Anchee Min. It's based on the life of Empress Dowager Tzu-Hsi of China. It sounds like it's going to be a pretty interesting read.

    So far I'm sticking to my one book a month resolution! Yay me!

  2. #142

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    You can blow through Divergent pretty quickly, though. There's nothing really heavy in it that you need to ponder. Good story (mostly), but a quick read.

  3. #143

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    Divergent is great. I love Partials too. That book has everything to be the next it
    poths Void: MarieM carries a rusty old blade in her handbag!

  4. #144

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    I'll take your word on the really good writing. I couldn't get that far.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    I like Lauren Winner's take on them (spoiler alert).

    http://www.booksandculture.com/artic...vdec/3.06.html

    "I realize that they are not Great Literature. I realize that they are not comparable to the very novels I will, in a few paragraphs, compare them to. But they are excellent specimens of what they are. I have read just about every Mitford knockoff published in recent years, and Karon's stylistic sensibility, humor, and local color beat the copy-cats by a country mile."
    Finished In the Company of Others. Found it, frankly, kind of dull. I kept waiting for something to happen. I guess everyone was happily made right with God at the end, but. . . I'll be interested to see what fellow book group members think.
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  5. #145

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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    Finished In the Company of Others. Found it, frankly, kind of dull. I kept waiting for something to happen. I guess everyone was happily made right with God at the end, but. . . I'll be interested to see what fellow book group members think.
    That's pretty much the way I felt about the first Mitford book I read so I've never bothered with any more of them. The only people I know that rave about Karon are either 90 years old or fervent Protestant Christians longing for "simpler times."

    I'm reading Raymond Buckland's first Bram Stoker mystery, "Cursed in the Act." Stoker is managing a London theatre when one of the stars is poisoned but survives only to have his understudy murdered in the street. The narrator is Harry, the stage manager, who gets to play Watson to Stoker's Holmes and there is apparently something spooky going on as well, possibly to do with zombies or vampires, although it's just speculation at the moment.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  6. #146
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    Last night I blew through the Griffin & Sabine trilogy by Nick Bantock. I've been meaning to read these for years, and did get as far as seeing a stage adaptation of them about 10 years ago. Anyway, I was glad I had all three on hand, since the first two each end on such abrupt cliffhangers.

    I loved the illustrations, and I loved the premise of taking an epistolary novel to the next level -- the sense of discovery as you match the postcard images to their text, and take each letter out of its envelope is quite delightful. I also loved the premise of the story, and the poetic and philosophical underpinnings of it all. I wasn't entirely happy with the ending, but it's hard to bring that kind of story to a satisfactory conclusion. (And I know he eventually followed it up with another trilogy, so I'll probably read that one too, just not right now.)

    But I'm looking forward to The Trickster's Hat when it comes in at the library.

  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by made_in_canada View Post
    I just finished Cockroach, the book Samantha Bee is championing for Canada Reads. I couldn't put it down. It's unsettling and uncomfortable on so many levels but also completely engrossing. I'm looking forward to see how it does.
    I just finished listening to day 3 of the debate. I don't like the "survivor" format but I love how impassioned everyone on the panel is about the books and why they're valuable.

    The books that have had been the most polarizing have been Cockroach and Annabel (by Kathleen Winter) -- and the fact that there has been so much heated discussion to me says these are the ones that should be read. But it's down to just Cockroach and The Orenda now, and I think it's a fairly safe bet that The Orenda will be the final choice. (I've read it, and thought it was good and "important" but not as good as his previous books.)

    Anyway, both Cockroach and Annabel are going on my to-read list.

    If you want to listen to the debates, they're all available online. Canada Reads 2014

  8. #148
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    I'm thrilled with how well Cockroach has done!
    "Beautiful things don't ask for attention." -The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

  9. #149

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    There is a new book called Longbourn by Jo Baker about life in the Bennett household (Pride and Prejudice family) but from the servants perspective. I haven't read it yet as I have it on hold at the library but it sounds like a good read for anyone who likes Dowton Abbey or Upstairs/Downstairs.

  10. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaphyre14 View Post
    That's pretty much the way I felt about the first Mitford book I read so I've never bothered with any more of them. The only people I know that rave about Karon are either 90 years old or fervent Protestant Christians longing for "simpler times."
    Hey, I'm neither. Well, okay, I'm a fervent Protestant Christian, but I can't think of any time in history that was a simpler time! I realize the books aren't exciting, but I just like the style and humor of them.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  11. #151
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    I finished The Invention of Wings, which I didn't realize until I was halfway through was based on a real person. Very interesting read about a woman from a slave-holding Charleston family who was passionately anti-slavery and a pioneer in the women's movement as well. The novel switches chapters back and forth between her and a fictional slave. It's amazing how similar their lives are in spite of their differences. The differences as well as the similarities are heartbreaking.

  12. #152

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    For those in search of lighter fare, I am currently reading Murder Your Darlings by J. J. Murphy, a murder mystery starring Dorothy Parker

    http://www.roundtablemysteries.com/buythebook.html

    Lots of witty one-liners, some/probably most of them cribbed from things that members of the Algonquin Round Table actually said or wrote

  13. #153
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    I finished The Dead in their Vaulted Arches (the latest Flavia de Luce book by Alan Bradley) last night. Well, early this morning. Insert toothpicks-keeping-eyes-open emoticon here.

    I'm still not sure what to think. There were more twists and turns than the Hampton Court Palace maze, and all kinds of revelations about the past -- and the future. Many were somewhat eye-rolling, but since we have to suspend disbelief with this character all the time ... they worked. Anyway, I can hardly wait til the next one.

    I also just spotted that the series has been optioned for TV, and is currently scheduled for 2015. That will be interesting. The key is in the casting of Flavia of course. It will also be interesting to see how many episodes they film in what period of time -- Flavia ages barely a year over the course of the 6 books so far.

  14. #154

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    I'm reading Charles Finch's "The September Society" the second Lenox Victorian mystery. This one has Lenox popping back and forth on the train between London and Oxford to find out what happened to a young student gone missing from his college while he debates the major question of proposing marriage to his neighbor and best friend, Lady Jane. A thrill a minute it isn't, but there are enough clues dropped to keep me reading to find out where that one goes - and then there's another one.... I'm definitely due something lighter and fluffier after this, though.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  15. #155
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    On my vacation I've read Quiet, the power of introverts, The brief and wondrous life of Oscar Wao and Trollope's Can you forgive her?

    Enjoyed all three, introverts! and want to read the rest of the Palliser novels and to learn more about the history of the Trujillo government in the Dominican Republic. So I have just ordered In the time of the butterflies. I swear, all dictators have the exact same playbook.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  16. #156
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    Over the years I have sought out favourite books from childhood/teen years - some I remember so well, and some have surprised me in what I did and didn't remember about them. One book has been nagging me on and off over the years, not knowing the title or author, and I finally found it this morning (yay internet!). The good news is according to a lot of blogs and comments sections, I'm not the only one with fond memories, and the publisher even reissued it in 2005. The bad news is I wished I'd known the title then and pounced on it, because those editions are now going for $300+ used.

    Mind you, there was a soundtrack I really wanted in the same boat for *years* but I kept it in my cart and kept checking back now and then, and one day there it was at a reasonable cost, and I got it I've done that with out of print books too, so hopefully I'll score this children's book before too long.

  17. #157
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    what book is it that is $300?
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  18. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    Last night I blew through the Griffin & Sabine trilogy by Nick Bantock. I've been meaning to read these for years, and did get as far as seeing a stage adaptation of them about 10 years ago. Anyway, I was glad I had all three on hand, since the first two each end on such abrupt cliffhangers.

    I loved the illustrations, and I loved the premise of taking an epistolary novel to the next level -- the sense of discovery as you match the postcard images to their text, and take each letter out of its envelope is quite delightful. I also loved the premise of the story, and the poetic and philosophical underpinnings of it all. I wasn't entirely happy with the ending, but it's hard to bring that kind of story to a satisfactory conclusion. (And I know he eventually followed it up with another trilogy, so I'll probably read that one too, just not right now.)

    But I'm looking forward to The Trickster's Hat when it comes in at the library.
    The Griffin and Sabine books are marvelous. Will have to hunt around for them--haven't read them for years.

    Almost finished with The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candace Millard. I am quite sure I never want to go to the Amazon. Bugs, heat, and humidity--no thank you!
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  19. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    I finished The Dead in their Vaulted Arches (the latest Flavia de Luce book by Alan Bradley) last night. Well, early this morning. Insert toothpicks-keeping-eyes-open emoticon here.

    I'm still not sure what to think. There were more twists and turns than the Hampton Court Palace maze, and all kinds of revelations about the past -- and the future. Many were somewhat eye-rolling, but since we have to suspend disbelief with this character all the time ... they worked. Anyway, I can hardly wait til the next one.

    I also just spotted that the series has been optioned for TV, and is currently scheduled for 2015. That will be interesting. The key is in the casting of Flavia of course. It will also be interesting to see how many episodes they film in what period of time -- Flavia ages barely a year over the course of the 6 books so far.
    Considering how this book ended, I wasn't sure there would be any more. I surely hope so, and I hope we get to see the TV series in the U.S. Masterpiece Mystery, maybe?

  20. #160
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    i really dont like the FdL mysteries, but i like flavia and her dad. im always afraid they will run out of money. i think it would be really hard to cast her.and then bind that child up so she doesnt grow up or out.
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

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