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  1. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin View Post
    Jenny, I never read The Great Brain series but you've included it in some pretty impressive company, so I might have to check that out.
    Haven't read one since I was a kid, but I do remember reading the whole series and enjoying them. The narrator is a little boy, and his brother is somewhat of a con artist (The Great Brain) and they get into all kinds of adventures - takes place in Utah around the 1890s. The originals had lovely illustrations too.

    My favourite author as a child was Zilpha Keatley Snyder, who wrote wonderful stories about children who lived in their own little worlds. As an adult I've reread several of them and they hold up really well.

  2. #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I have finished Phineas Finn by Trollope. Must there always be a sister who relentlessly and obnoxiously pushes her BFF to marry her good-for-nothing brother? So far, the answer is yes. Why are Trollope's women, with some exceptions, so clueless as to what they want? I know it's Victorian times and all but still, they keep getting married or trying to get married Dorothea Brooke-style of Middlemarch fame. And then they wonder the the eff went wrong. Was marriage for the sake of duty, whatever it may be, common? Especially when there were many eligible and more attractive men around? This feature annoyed me, even though I do understand how different things were for women.

    At the same time, there are terrific female characters, Violet Effingham and Mrs. Max Goesler. These are women liberated by their big and social position, and are therefore free to be themselves and not to give a damn. The simpering, "soft", "feminine," Mary is very dishwater, OTOH.

    Trollope got the politics all wrong apparently, according to the intro, crediting the Liberals, instead of the Conservatives for ultimately passing the act that enabled working class men to vote. And he definitely reeks of good old-fashioned anti-semitism, be it toward a wealthy banker or the PM Benjamin Disraeli. Le sigh. If I am to read 19th century English lit, I have to live with that.

    I am looking forward to continuing the series with The Eustace Diamonds. Bling! Wheeeeeeeeee!


    They are also reading Polyanna. What's that about?
    I hope you are also going to watch the PBS series - Susan Hampshire, Philip Latham. The Phineas Finn stuff is wonderful. I didn't like the Eustace Diamonds part as well.
    Last edited by A.H.Black; 04-09-2014 at 12:50 AM.

  3. #243
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    HELP!!! I have nothing to read but cheezy cheap cowboy romance "books," kellerman and Patterson "novels, dean kootz, or "self help" "books." The libray is way far away on the other side of the highway. Goodwill has nothing beyond harlequin and religious stuff. The used book store is ooen on the owner's whim-which wasn't today. The novels at walmart, walgreens, etc are not my cup of tea. I ca only read the free local bargain guide so many times. I am lost in a vast literary wasteland of crap!!!
    Have a nice day!

  4. #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.Black View Post
    I hope you are also going to watch the PBS series - Susan Hampshire, Philip Latham. The Phineas Fill stuff is wonderful. I didn't like the Eustace Diamonds part as well.
    Oooh, thanks! I will look for these.


    Jenny and Erin, Mini said the 1st Ingalls book was OK--he rarely says he hates something. He is a super diplomatic kid. I do know that he really enjoyed Sarah Plain and Tall because he asked for the sequels and read them but didn't say anything about Prairie. I do feel more hopeful when you say that the series get better as they progress since it was hard work for us getting through the 1st one.

    It's not that there is no action--there is, it just deals with things I have very little interest in--agriculture of the time. It also seems to me a highly idealized picture of existence--perhaps that's why I am having trouble with it. One could say that it's written from a child's perspective but many children are very perceptive of both positive and negative sides of life. I suppose it's a goldmine for an anthropologist studying agriculture of the time, as it is supposed to be accurate.

    I guess it's assigned for the same reason that Swedish children are taken on field trips to Skansen to learn how to pound in nails and churn butter.
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 04-09-2014 at 04:41 AM.
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  5. #245

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    Quote Originally Posted by immoimeme View Post
    HELP!!! I have nothing to read but cheezy cheap cowboy romance "books," kellerman and Patterson "novels, dean kootz, or "self help" "books." The libray is way far away on the other side of the highway. Goodwill has nothing beyond harlequin and religious stuff. The used book store is ooen on the owner's whim-which wasn't today. The novels at walmart, walgreens, etc are not my cup of tea. I ca only read the free local bargain guide so many times. I am lost in a vast literary wasteland of crap!!!
    That settles it with regard to what you don't like to read But what kind of books do you want to read?

    BTW, not all Harlequins are created equal.

  6. #246
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    I've just finished listening or reading all the Baldacci Maxwell and King books. I love Michelle Maxwell. Baldacci has such a strong female character. Now, I'm going to try some of his other series and NS. I also just finished Randy Wayne White's Deep Shadow. I'd never read any of his Doc Ford series before. It was OK except for all the philosophical blathering and his skipping around from each character's POV. It made a couple of hours time sequence into an entire book with action only in spurts. Plus, I figured out what the creature was long before the reveal. I read reviews of his books and the complaints were about too much science and biology. Those were the best parts of the book and are the reason I'll read some of the others. One reader on Goodreads was comparing Doc Ford to Pendergast, my literary husband no matter what that Princess might think, and I laughed out loud. Pendergast doesn't spend 20 pages wondering if he should do something and then screwing it up. He just gets on with what has to be done and doesn't even wrinkle his black suit or scuff those handmade oxfords. I don't think I'll listen to White on audio because I was screaming at the CD player all the way to and from work. At least with a book, I can just skip over all the rumination and get to science and biology. His latest book is about Florida archaeology and I suspect I'll scream WRONG a lot. White isn't as funny as Hiasson or Tim Dorsey, but if you like the FL gulf coast, the books are pretty good. And if you like soul searching Jimmy Buffet style, there's that.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    I'm currently reading To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell because my brain needs something light and fluffy after spending a semester researching terrorist groups and organizations that research terrorist groups for a professor. I need to know that people still fall in love and don't want to bomb random buildings, kidnap people for ransom, kill people for all kinds of ideological reasons, etc (I seriously could not study something like that for years).
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  8. #248
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    [QUOTE=immoimeme;4234713]HELP!!! I have nothing to read but cheezy cheap cowboy romance "books," kellerman and Patterson "novels, dean kootz, or "self help" "books." The libray is way far away on the other side of the highway. Goodwill has nothing beyond harlequin and religious stuff. The used book store is ooen on the owner's whim-which wasn't today. The novels at walmart, walgreens, etc are not my cup of tea. I ca only read the free local bargain guide so many times. I am lost in a vast literary wasteland of crap!!![/QUOTE



    Have you tried buying books from E-Bay? It's been awhile since I've done that but always received the books I ordered & in the condition the sellers said they would be in.

  9. #249
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    I liked "revolutionary road" and "the girl who played with fire" so something like that. I was able to finnnaalllllly go get the rest of my stuff so I now have my books to read....for the umpteenth time. All I decided worth keeping was
    Pillars of the earth
    Valley of the dolls
    Shadow of the dolls
    The key to rebecca
    Thirteen moons
    Revolutionary road
    Square foot gardening
    French women don't get fat vol one and two

    I do like gone with the wind but I think I know it by heart so why keep it.
    Its not genres I enjoy-it's the writing. Something written sharp and perhaps unintentionally funny is what I like. Irony. Parody. Well-turned phrases. Fifty dollar words, or $20 ones will do in a pinch. Ideas. Concepts.

    Suggestions?
    Have a nice day!

  10. #250

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    Quote Originally Posted by immoimeme View Post
    Its not genres I enjoy-it's the writing. Something written sharp and perhaps unintentionally funny is what I like. Irony. Parody. Well-turned phrases. Fifty dollar words, or $20 ones will do in a pinch. Ideas. Concepts.

    Suggestions?
    There isn't a single book on your list that I've both read and liked (well, other than GWTW, and I read that years ago) so I'm afraid I can't recommend anyone whose writing style would be a good match for your taste. Maybe Diana Gabaldon will work for you? It's hard for me to say, but I hope someone else will be able to help.

    BTW, is there a reason why you're looking at paper books rather than getting an e-reader? It's been so convenient for me not to have to buy online/head over to the used book store.

  11. #251
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    I read enough internet articles I don't want to read a e-book too :-P
    Besides nothing feels like a book but a book!
    Have a nice day!

  12. #252

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    Quote Originally Posted by immoimeme View Post
    I read enough internet articles I don't want to read a e-book too :-P
    Besides nothing feels like a book but a book!
    I don't see what one has to do with the other - an e-ink screen is nothing like reading online on a computer/tablet/smartphone.

    I thought that I preferred the feel of an actual book. But you know what feels better than a book? Quick access to new books, the ability to carry multiple books around, and being able to keep any book you get without cluttering the house with tons of paper books.

    But to each their own, I guess

  13. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    I'm currently reading To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell because my brain needs something light and fluffy after spending a semester researching terrorist groups and organizations that research terrorist groups for a professor. I need to know that people still fall in love and don't want to bomb random buildings, kidnap people for ransom, kill people for all kinds of ideological reasons, etc (I seriously could not study something like that for years).
    Last summer I had to do a report on terrorist threats in North America--likely attackers, likely targets, and probabilities. After weeks of reading government reports on terrorism and national security for both the US and Canada, I found myself looking at all kinds of people in terms of their potential as homegrown terrorists and was in desperate need of something frothy with a happy ending.

    I am not much help on that at the moment, though. I am reading Hitler's Furies, which isn't exactly light and fluffy. I am, however, finding it awfully repetitive; you can't possibly miss the point--GERMAN WOMEN WERE ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN THE HOLOCAUST AND ARE CULPABLE--even if you want to, because she repeats it in some form every three or four pages.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  14. #254
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    Really enjoying The Eustace Diamonds, although the main character, Lizzie Eustace is not nearly as fascinating and a lot less smart or charming than Becky Sharp who was compared to her by Trollope himself. Still a fun read and I can't help but wish Lizzie well. The diamonds themselves are not nearly as impressive as I thought. They were priced at £10,000 at the time which is helpfully translated for the modern American reader to be nearly $500,000 today. But it's the design that I thought would be more impressive, not the price tag.

    However, it's only a circle of diamonds with a Maltese cross while I imagined something like this or this, something really ostentatious. However, a circle of really amazing stones can be also pretty darn nice. The last image is the QE2 diamond necklace and looks like it costs bijillions. Not bad, eh?

    Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled conversation about literature...
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 04-12-2014 at 10:18 PM.
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  15. #255

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    I read Reconstructing Amelia for one of my book clubs today. I recalled that there were a few people in this thread who didn't care for it, but I thought it was very good. I read it pretty much in one sitting aside from a short break to eat lunch - I couldn't put it down! Perhaps most remarkably, I didn't skip to the end of the book as I usually do and just read the whole way through, which I pretty much never do. I did have a few minor criticisms, mainly that I thought it was unrealistic that Kate would be allowed to go with the detective while he questioned people and that there were a few loose ends that were never tied up. Some of the plot twists were easy to guess and heavily foreshadowed, but there were still a couple of surprises.

    Also read These Things Hidden for a different book club and liked it too. Another quick read that had a secret being revealed one piece at a time. I did feel like the character development in this one was a bit weaker and unrealistic but at least it kept me interested from start to finish.

  16. #256

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    I don't see what one has to do with the other - an e-ink screen is nothing like reading online on a computer/tablet/smartphone.
    I have an iPad, an iPhone, and iPod and two laptops. I'm not buying another gadget just to read stuff on. I don't need more gadgets

    I do need more books. Or more time to read books. Gah.

  17. #257

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    I have an iPad, an iPhone, and iPod and two laptops. I'm not buying another gadget just to read stuff on. I don't need more gadgets

    I do need more books. Or more time to read books. Gah.
    While I don't have a tablet and don't want any Apple products, I do have a laptop, a desktop computer, and a smartphone, with Kindle apps on all of them.

    And I'd still much rather read on my Kindle, even if it is a single-purpose device.

  18. #258
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    Extinction - by Mark Alpert It is another humans facing annihilation because of it's inventions type book but since The Terminator isn't in novel form, I'll read this instead. It seems fine to me so far but then again I'm only in chapter 2.

  19. #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    While I don't have a tablet and don't want any Apple products, I do have a laptop, a desktop computer, and a smartphone, with Kindle apps on all of them.

    And I'd still much rather read on my Kindle, even if it is a single-purpose device.
    I resisted the idea of reading on a gadget for a long time because no goshdarnit, I'm a purist and paper books are the only way to go!

    Then when I realized that I was in a long reading slump because the print of books hurt my eyes I relented and bought a Nook and it made an incredible difference.

    In a pinch one day I started reading on my iPhone, which I thought would be absolutely unbearable considering how tiny the screen is, but I like reading on that even more than my Nook. I think I like the backlighting, but it's also nice to have such a small box of print because it keeps my eyes focused and it honestly doesn't annoy me to be "turning the page" every 10 seconds. I realize that I could buy a backlit e-reader but I'm not about to spend money on yet ANOTHER gadget. Since my phone is always with me it's one less thing to haul around, anyway.

    I never thought I'd get on board with the e-book thing, but here I am and I'm reading more than I had in a long time because of it. I'm sure the authors are happy to take my money.
    The fastest thing out of New Jersey since Tricky Nicky in a Muscovian handbasket

  20. #260
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    I finished Alif the Unseen last night (yes it takes me weeks to get through a thoroughly engaging book these days), and am sad now. The ending was a little too tidy and slightly half-baked, but the story was so grand that it would be hard to have an ending that completely satisfies. Tonight, if I can get off work in time, I'll be going to see author G Willow Wilson interviewing another author I'm not familiar with - hope there will be some speaking from Wilson on her work as well. She's had more renown for her work in comics, especially having created the first female muslim superhero, but I hope she returns to fiction literature as well. I really loved the way she presented different manifestations of muslim faith and culture, incorporating fantasy elements and modern technology, and a compelling central everyman character.

    NOW what do I read?
    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

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